Australian psychologist brands Jehovah’s Witnesses “a cruel cult” as Watchtower ramps up its shunning campaign

The Society’s cruel insistence on shunning family members is bringing it increasing notoriety in the outside world

Watchtower is increasingly coming under fire “down under,” with the Director of Cult Counselling Australia branding Jehovah’s Witnesses a “cruel cult,” according to Fairfax Media.

Psychologist Raphael Aron, author of the book “Cults: Too Good To Be True,” has joined Australian senator Nick Xenophon in placing religious organizations such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology firmly under the spotlight. For his part, Xenophon wants to see a national cult-busting agency set up to police such organizations.

Aron, who has lambasted the Watchtower’s practice of shunning as “draconian, cruel and callous” has expressed his dismay at its psychological effects on young ones. He gave the Australian newspaper The Age one such example, saying, “I am still waiting for a justification for someone to be able to rip away a five or six year old child from their extended family because Mum or Dad have decided to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Senator Nick Xenophon (top) and Psychologist Aron Raphael (bottom) are placing the Watchtower organization under scrutiny

Watchtower is already facing almost relentless legal pressure in Australia on account of its poor track record in complying with working with children regulations. Indeed, only a few weeks ago a Witness man appeared in a Victoria court after admitting to child molestation on facebook. Only after being charged in the wake of his surprise confession to his now-adult victim did he stand down as an elder. A wide-ranging Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has also been set up to investigate various organizations such as Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding their child protection policies.

It’s difficult to say what the end result of this intense political and judicial pressure will be. Senator Xenophon has already acknowledged that “at the moment groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology are subsidised by the taxpayer.” It could conceivably be that the Watchtower in Australia ends up losing its charitable status entirely if things don’t go their way, which would be a serious financial blow for the organization. Certainly Watchtower’s case cannot be helped by more details of their cult-like practices and policies, such as shunning, coming under the glare of the media and political spotlight.

A policy of denial

One of the more shocking aspects of Watchtower’s approach to shunning is that, when faced with media questioning on the subject, Society representatives will routinely deny that there is any such practice. According to this latest article in The Age, the Sydney lawyer Vincent Toole (who represents the Watchtower) has dismissed the idea of shunning among Witnesses as a “myth.”

When questioned about shunning by a major UK newspaper in 2011, a Watchtower representative dismissed it as a “personal matter”

This follows the media storm in 2011 when, in the wake of the publication of shocking “mentally diseased” comments in a Watchtower study article, Society representative Rick Fenton responded to questions from Independent reporter Jerome Taylor by declaring shunning to be “a personal matter for each individual to decide for himself.” (a downloadable copy of the newspaper article is available on this link)

All of this is a world away from what is stated in the April 15th 2012 Watchtower where, after relating an experience (reproduced below) of a man who is shunned returning to the organization, the paragraph concludes: “Think of that if you are ever tempted to violate God’s command not to associate with your disfellowshipped relatives.” (underlining mine)

And so, what is clearly expressed as a command in the publications is shrugged off as being a “personal matter” by a Watchtower spokesman at London Bethel, and even as a “myth” by a lawyer representing the organization in Australia. It seems that, when trying to evade the media and political spotlight, lying and deception is an excusable strategy of theocratic warfare that Watchtower feels entitled to utilize – even though “a false tongue” is listed as one of the seven things Jehovah hates. – Proverbs 6:16-19

Repetition for emphasis

The truth is that shunning is not just conveyed as “Jehovah’s decree” and “God’s command” for Witnesses – it is repeatedly rammed home in the Society’s literature as a test of loyalty to the organization. This is remarkably evident in the latest June 15th Watchtower article, which has recycled the exact same shunning experience it used only 14 months earlier to drive its damaging message home.

It is remarkable to think that Watchtower’s writing department is so desperate to reinforce the organization’s cruel shunning policy that it must resort to re-using material already printed just over a year ago. This takes the principle of “Jehovah’s reminders” (Psalm 119:119), so often used to excuse the repetitive nature of Watchtower literature, to a whole new level!

The experience itself, whether true or not, merely confirms that the predominant motivation for a disfellowshipped one to return to the organization is the renewal of family contact rather than repentance. Such emotional blackmail hardly befits an organization that claims to be identified by the love that is shown between its followers. (John 13:35)

However distressing the Society’s propaganda warfare may be, it is at least comforting to note that Watchtower’s cult credentials are increasingly coming to the attention of outsiders, including the media. This latest article in The Age proves that, even though the Society may brazenly deny its shunning policy when pushed on the subject, politicians and journalists will not be fooled. The more the Society ramps up its hateful shunning rhetoric, the more it shows its true colors.






  • To read the newspaper article in The Age, please click here.
  • The read the The Border Mail’s article “Slamming the door on Jehovah,” click here.
  • To read the above article in Hungarian, please click here.

127 thoughts on “Australian psychologist brands Jehovah’s Witnesses “a cruel cult” as Watchtower ramps up its shunning campaign

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm


    You say… “This article is a little less than objective.” I could say the same thing about your comment.

    You say… “How can we deny that we dissfellowship people, when it is in our publications for everyone to see that we do????” You should ask that question to Rick Fenton at London Bethel, who described shunning as a “personal matter,” or Vincent Toole, Watchtower Lawyer, who went on record calling it a “myth.” My article states clearly that shunning is unmistakeably prescribed in the publications between family members, but I have provided two documented examples of Watchtower officials either denying shunning entirely or misrepresenting it. You appear to be vigorously defending an organization that says one thing to its members, and another thing to the media.

    You say… “People are disfellowshipped because they are unrepentant violators of Bible principles.” People are also disfellowshipped for “apostasy” – and apostasy is deemed as any thought or verbal expression that conflicts with the teachings of the Slave Class, or Governing Body. It isn’t just about morals, or even what is in the Bible for that matter. You can believe in Jehovah, Jesus and the Bible – but still be disfellowshipped for apostasy if your thoughts fail to align with those of the Governing Body.

    Finally, you say… “Mr. Aron’s article IS NOT well written and is full of prejudice and hysteria” Firstly, it’s not Aron’s article. Aron is just featured in the article. The article is by Chris Johnston of “The Age.” Secondly, can you really say your comments are not borne from extreme prejudice as one who has committed himself to serving the Watchtower organization – even though the Watchtower has been proven to lie to people in furtherance of its agenda?

    Daniel7 – are you absolutely sure you’re on the right side?

  • March 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    @ Daniel7 ~ We made what we thought were “informed choice(s)” but were really under influence from “study and association” of a very powerful and deadly, experienced 100+ year old organization that caused indescribable pain, devastation and destruction as it presumed to Hi-jack the name and authority of an eternal God!

    • March 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Hi Konrad, I sincerely hope that the situation is not quite as bleak as you are describing it.

    • March 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Konrad, The Bible says,“ Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.” 1 Thess. 5:21 which is what I did and I stand by my decision. This “100 year old organization’ has restored to its rightful place The Name of the Sovereign of The Universe, not like Christendom’s grossly dishonoring it by deleting it from their bibles in imitation of there god, Satan. (Gen. 3:4, 5)

      Alden, Were not perfect, but it isn’t.

  • March 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    My husband attends the meetings on a regular basis for years now. Not baptized though. There is supposed to be a new NWT released at the District Convention this year. Why would they need a new Translation? Wasn’t the old one supposed to be finest print of God’s Word ever???

    • March 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Hi Darlene,
      Your husband does well not to get “dunked”, but to dedicate himself in his heart, which only Jehovah has the right to peer into. He is even in the happy position to freely be able to express his opinion against some WT practices without fear of repercussions. He might even be able to help other brothers to think with their own brain! If he finds spiritual refreshment when attending meetings who can deny him his free choice? You can advise him, however, that as soon as he goes under the water the shackles go on and he must henceforth let the WTS do his thinking for him – indescribably sad but true. PS: As far as the NWT is concerned, it was a translation principally made by one scholar alone; Fredrick Franz. As with all translations of the Bible, it has merit but is only the work of one single translator. That is why the names of the presumed “NWT committee” were never released because it basically would have contained only the one name, which would hardly have been acceptable to Bible-translating authorities. It’s not a bad idea to re-elaborate the NWT – as a form of “defranzisation”.

      • March 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        Alden, can you tell me what some of these “WT practices” are?

  • March 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    You say “How can we deny that we dissfellowship people…”. Are you an Elder? If yes, I feel you need to judge Jehovah, too. I mean WHAT you call Jehovah. Why did he kill forty two innocent children?

    Read 2 Kings 2:24 “And he proceeded to go up from there to Beth′el. As he was going up on the way, there were small boys that came out from the city and began to jeer him and that kept saying to him: “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” Finally he turned behind him and saw them and called down evil upon them in the name of Jehovah. Then two she-bears came out from the woods and went tearing to pieces forty-two children of their number.

    Imagine, forty-two children killed “innocently” in the name of Jehovah. This tale is a bad one, I have better tales to enjoy reading!!

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Dear Daniel7, May I just point out that we’re not negating here the truly biblical form of disfellowshipping. We are criticizing the extreme to which it is taken by the WTS that contradicts the love of God and our fellowman.

    • March 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Some scriptures that apply:
      “ If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.” 2 John 10

      “. . .while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.”” 1 Corinthians 5:13 (1 Cor. 6:9)

      • March 22, 2013 at 1:54 am

        It is interesting that every Christian religion have their own version of what Jesus and the apostles actually taught.
        Jehovah’s Witnesses are no exception in this as they have their own version of the “Good News” and the “Kingdom of God”.

        Jesus taught that his Kingdom was no part of this world as recorded in scripture and yet Jehovah’s witnesses still do not believe it.

        Instead they have set up an imaginary Kingdom of their own design as has been set up in 1914 and henceforth a multitude of blunders in trying to prop up this counterfeit Kingdom in the minds of their members and also preaching this counterfeit Kingdom to people at the doors.

        Jesus taught that we all have a Heavenly hope in one of the Heavenly domains that exists in God’s large grand universe and still Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that but rather put their faith in a group of confused and self proclaimed representatives of God’s kingdom who have more or less declared themselves the “faithful slave” even without even being inspected yet as to whether they are the faithful slave or the wicked slave that is beating their fellow slaves to do all the work (the preaching work) all the while putting on their members a guilt trip that they would individually be blood-guilty if they don’t go from door to door preaching their version of a counterfeit Kingdom of God.

        Jesus also taught that he was the way to everlasting life, which means that he is the mediator for all those who put their faith in him.
        He is the living “bread of life” that came in the form of the “Word” of God, his Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Father.

        Jesus (Michael) as the Creator Son of God, took it upon himself to incarnate here in the flesh in human form and die at the instigation of egotistical Jewish leaders who were full of their own self importance and only concerned about their own power base.

        Sounds familiar people?

        There is no other mediator between us and God, not the Governing Body and not the 144,000 whoever they will prove to be. Whether symbolic or literal in number.

        As I now understand, is that the basic message that Jesus preached about God’s Kingdom in a nutshell is
        “The Fatherhood of God and the united brotherhood of all mankind as children of God, the Father” as well as joining the universal brotherhood of all of God’s intelligent creation throughout our universe..

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Good points, Anonymous! “Monopoly over someone’s life, conscience and ‘The Truth’ itself.”

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Great point 70wksofyrs, “Some good advice can be found in the organisation material, but needs to be taken seriously and we must be always guided by our own conscience and sense of justice.” Your comment takes into account our individual responsibility. If we give up our conscience and our inner sense of justice, we’re dead!

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Daniel7 You said “People are disfellowshipped because they are unrepentant violators of Bible principles.” Which principles? Have principles and principles. The Bible says do not hang out together: do not eat (hang). Not that I did not ask Are you alive? How are you? Maybe they should be punished before Armageddon? You are the ones who are authorized to punish them before Armageddon. And God is going to kill them in Armageddon. Where is the logic in that?

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:19 am

    @Alden ~ Zwar ist es so und ist wirklich notwendig für mich an dir zu beschreiben?

  • March 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Hi Alden… My husband is good with jw’s because they dont pass the plate! He loves wearing suits! They treat him like a celebrity now that I no longer attend and he still does! He lives NOT like a jw, but believes in the teachings. He loves attention! He refuses to pray with his family because we dont go to the hall… I could go on forever. Ii tell him all the time…. as soon as you get baptized, you are doomed! If you think outside the box and you’re not out in service every waking minute of your life, you will be a nobody to them!

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Darlene,

    If he is not violent now, as soon as he is baptized he may become a nobody and take out his frustrations on you and any children you both may have.

    You seem a competent young woman that can pick a good man, I do hope he remains the man you picked and doesn’t change for the worse…………

    take care of yourself and all your family
    Warm regards
    70wks………. :D

    • March 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Darlene, What 70 said is disgusting.

  • March 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Cedars, I apologize for the mistake in calling Mr. Johnson’s article, Mr. Aron’s, Even in that only one side was given consideration. The Official publication of The Watchtower Society says we dissfellowship people vs these individuals who gave their opinion. Who are you going to believe? To me it’s a no brainer……… We just had a disfellowshipping in our congregation last month. (1 Cor. 5:13) Again to be honest, I have come across those who say there are teachings of “The Slave Class”. I worship the God of The Bible and follow His teachings through Jesus Christ. The Bible warns us “not to believe every inspired expression, but test…” 1 John 4:1 I have never met anyone or heard of anyone who was disfellowshipped for not following the”Teachings of The GB”. I studied for two years before I was baptized and continue to test my beliefs and I am certain that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the one’s who are doing Jehovah God will today. Not only do I stand by comments about Mr. Aron’s accusations, after looking a little closer at yours I find the same bias and hysteria comparing teaching our children in the house to house work the forced child labor and in the same paragraph with a story about a child abuser. Yes, I am sure on the right side.

    • March 20, 2013 at 5:52 am

      Daniel 7 – Again, I fail to grasp where you’re coming from…

      “only one side was given consideration”
      That clearly isn’t true. If only one side was given consideration, then how come Vincent Toole, on behalf of the Society, was allowed to contribute his fallacious statement that shunning is a “myth?” If the article was truly one-sided, as you suggest, then Vincent Toole wouldn’t have been approached at all.

      “Who are you going to believe? To me it’s a no brainer………”
      Of course, I believe the Society’s publications about the existence of shunning – which is why I have mentioned that Rick Fenton and Vincent Toole either lied or gave misleading statements to the press on that issue. In doing so, they were acting as the Society’s representatives. Therefore, the point stands that the Society will say one thing to the media when questioned, but another thing entirely to ordinary publishers such as you and I. You have yet to address that point, but instead skirt around it.

      “I have never met anyone or heard of anyone who was disfellowshipped for not following the ‘Teachings of The GB'” – (1) It’s pretty hard for an active publisher to “meet” a disfellowshipped person, much less find out what they were disfellowshipped for! (2) Your logic of “I haven’t met them so therefore they don’t exist” doesn’t hold water. If you want to test the theory that you can be disfellowshipped for disagreeing with the GB, go right ahead. Just as an experiment, stand up at the meeting and say you still believe in Jehovah, Jesus and the Bible but you disagree that the Governing Body are our spiritual leaders. See what happens.

      “I am certain that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the one’s who are doing Jehovah God will today.” – Does Jehovah’s will include willfully lying and deceiving his people about the organization’s past? If so, you clearly haven’t done enough research. Here’s an article to get you started… I doubt you will read it, because you clearly don’t want to know the real truth.

      “I find the same bias and hysteria comparing teaching our children in the house to house work the forced child labor and in the same paragraph with a story about a child abuser.” – This made no sense at all. Where did I talk about child labor? Please can you tell me precisely which text of mine you are referring to, in which article it is, and why it is “biased and hysterical.” I can safely say that none of my articles are nearly as biased as the material you will find in the Society’s literature. I encourage you to read BOTH the Society’s literature AND my thoughts, whereas the Society just wants you to hear their side. And you don’t think that’s biased?


  • March 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Darlene, I’m sure there’s bias in the congregations, have you talked to the Circuit Servant? You could move to another congregation or write The Society.

  • March 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    @ Daniel7 ~ “This “100 year old organization’ has restored to its rightful place The Name of the Sovereign of The Universe”
    The last thing I’m going to do is engage in a debate with you on this or any forum since no evidence will be enough at this point if ALL THIS still isn’t enough!
    Our own horror stories are beyond belief to you anyway…
    But I will state that if you or any person who has the ability to clearly access facts and information (If you in fact did) or had the experience or perspective that any number of us had would see that this is clearly not the case and this organization has no authority or right to presume. The blasphemy of succession alone is proof of that but all that Jehovah is finally permitting to befall the organization and the lies and crimes that are being revealed are also evidence. Also, the lies and crimes hidden all along such as the 1919 “House cleaning” and the WWII “Persecution” PR styck for just one very small example:

    • March 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Konrad, I spent 12 yrs. in what I call “The Congregation from Hell” in New York metro area. So you don’t have to tell me about horror stories. When Isareal was at its worst, burning children alive, did Jehovah stop using them? It was not until the promised one came along The Massiah did he abanded them. Even then there were false brothers in the Christian Cong. So to today (lets say everything you say is ture), we still represent true worship on the Earth today. Jehovah will bring evil doers to justice outside and inside the congregation.

  • March 20, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Servus Konrad!
    In the final analysis I can’t really imagine any human institution coming out with a perfect bill of health, religious or otherwise. Jesus said ‘where two or more are gathered’ so, when the third one comes in, the problems start to grow exponentially. We have to take all institutions with a grain of salt. The individuals within the structures are worthy of our attention, however, as they may belong to the ‘sheep’ that Jesus begged Peter to ‘feed’.
    At the moment, I don’t think the WTS is all part of a sinister plan – the people at the top are simply in error and their mind-set finds resonance in a considerable amount of people. Not all are happy with it but go along to ‘keep the peace’. When they are hit personally by a tragedy, however, they sometimes wake up.
    I no longer build my hopes up that the WTS can be reformed. The Ray Franz affair proved that. I think many individuals in the congregations, however, are still worth the effort. Mach’s gut!

  • March 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @ Alden ~ By the way, I have family in Germany and spent much time in BW. I knew many JW’s in Untertürkheim and Pforzheim, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and many places…years ago!

  • March 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Hi Daniel7,
    70wksofyrs here. How are you doing? Welcome to the site if you have never been before.
    Why do you believe my comment to Darlene disgusting?

    Hope to hear from you soon

    • March 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Because it is.

  • March 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Daniel 7 have you sent to a page on a mission

  • March 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    To Daniel7. I have no desire to return the WT Org of jw’s. I left in 2011. No, I was not df’d. I left willfully and I love not being a part of it now! Very disgusted in the shunning practices. Always have hated it! I’ve always made it a point to speak to df’d persons at the mtgs and on the streets. I was counseled on it several times. I don’t agree with it and never will! (My husband has no desire to be baptized as a jw. He was baptized as a Christian many years ago, he says. that was enough).

  • March 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”
    Ecclesiastes 1:15

  • March 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Because of wrong convictions of WTS. Many seventies sold the property and houses being convinced that the end is surely 1975 years. And that children are damaged without remaining assets. And who cares? Society gave bless those who do so. They said that it was exemplary spiritual person is aware of in which time she lived. This phrase today repeated convincing children not finishing high school. So many persons now work part-four hours cleaning up some objects. What’s the worst that persons are smart and so they happen. Why convince them of that? To be at the service of preaching collecting contributions. That GB can still enjoy in furniture of mahogany. Destroying the future of the young people. Later write an article in “Awaken” about doctor who accepted the “truth of the WTS.” They never written an article that is cleaner accepted truth and how. Damages have made WTS are endless. They do not like kids to be successful. They say the truth will leave if they go to high school. Is the truth so weak. Where is the attitude, “No one can to the truth, only for the truth.” They were to sue because the wrong policies of persuasion and persuasion destroy human lives.

    • March 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      A, No one has a future in this world. No matter how well educated you are. No matter how much money you make, we all die. The only hope anyone has is Jehovah God’s Kingdom. Jehovah’s people have been waiting for this for 6000+ yrs. and when the brothers find some that looks promising about the end, who can blame us for getting excited? Don’t listen to the lies of the hate mongers. If you haven’t studied with us, please do so. 8,000,000 of us know we’ve made the right choice.

  • March 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I thought at the college. In my country they call high school.

  • March 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    To tell the truth.

  • March 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    “A, No one has a future in this world. No matter how well educated you are. No matter how much money you make, we all die. The only hope anyone has is Jehovah God’s Kingdom” ~ Daniel7 said a mouthful there! No one here that I have seen or at least myself since that’s the only person I can speak for has denied that Daniel 2:44 or any other scripture wasn’t valid or that Jehovah wasn’t alive or a God of truth but I refuse to lie as well as much as it depends on me! But that doesn’t mean that he still approves or is approving of that organization or is allowing his name to continue to be associated with it and it’s works and if people choose to associate with it as well then that is their choice…

  • March 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Wow! never read so much twisted and hateful unsubstantiated dribble in my life. I’m married to a Jehovah’s Witness and I am very familiar with how they operate (not that it’s a secret). They are some of the only decent human beings on Earth that genuinely love and care those around them. As for this shunning practice (which is grossly misrepresented in this article) is what keeps the organisation clean and free of people that choose to no longer live in harmony with very clear Bible standards.

    Makes sense to me, because one bad apple spoils the bunch, hence their success in continuing to be a morally clean organisation. Something that is sorely lacking in other religious organisations.

    And why do people keep calling them a cult??? Is nobody aware of the actual definition of the word? JW’s worship God, they do not follow any human, look to religions like Catholicism for people worship. With their Pope and self appointed titles like Father – even when the Bible clearly states that you only ever refer to God as Father, not even Jesus has that title.

    • March 22, 2013 at 4:34 am

      Deckard, you say…

      “I’m married to a Jehovah’s Witness…” – Nice to know you’re not biased then!

      “…and I am very familiar with how they operate (not that it’s a secret)” – Being married to a JW does not make you a JW. Even many JWs themselves don’t fully understand their doctrine. There were things I only found out once I’d left. Also, you can’t say “not that it’s a secret” when there is such thing as secret books and documents in the JW faith – an obvious example being the Elders’ guidebook, which ordinary Witnesses (including your wife) are banned from reading.

      “As for this shunning practice (which is grossly misrepresented in this article) is what keeps the organisation clean and free of people that choose to no longer live in harmony with very clear Bible standards.” – Shunning is not just used to keep the organization clean, it is used to tear families apart and enforce mind control. For example, if they were remotely merciful, the Governing Body could arrange for disfellowshipped ones to be shunned by members of the congregation but not by their families. The reason they include family members is because they want to use shunning as a cruel tool of mind control, to stop so-called “apostates” from influencing their family members after they leave. The newspaper article rightly reflects how cruel this practice is from an objective non-JW perspective.

      “because one bad apple spoils the bunch” – So a “bad apple” in the form of an errant teenager should be cast out by his parents, never to speak to them again, simply because he chose to leave the organization and do some objective research, only to find out how corrupt it is? You are heartless if you truly think that.

      “And why do people keep calling them a cult??? Is nobody aware of the actual definition of the word?” A cult is any organization whose teachings and practices are potentially damaging to its followers. In the case of JWs, there are many harmful teachings and practices. Shunning is just one of them, but I could cite more. Also, FYI, usually people who are in a cult or under its influence don’t accept that they are in a cult, and object to the use of that word to describe their faith – your wife included.

      I admire your loyalty and support for your wife, but you should be thinking about helping her get out (and avoid wasting her life) rather than standing up for an organization that brings untold misery to thousands of people. On the other hand, if you are so insistent that this organization is above-board, then why don’t you join it?


  • March 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    @Deckard ~ Nothing here is “unsubstantiated” but lived in very real life terms and no one disputes the scriptural basis for marginal exclusion of those who carry on willful sin in the congregation. There is no scriptural basis for secret and closed “Judicial commitees” on a systemic basis or the massive and calculated abuse of that arrangement as well as all else that takes place against those who are targeted. You are not a Witness? No offense intended however, you are hardly in a position to know or understand in any real or pragmatic sense but your loyalty is admirable…I recommend that you secure at the very least one lustrum or a decade or more baptized experience in the organization and certainly read this entire site here as well as and before taking anyone on here on this forum…

  • March 21, 2013 at 12:05 am

    i mozda i gori dok i li i li WTS

    Jeste li mislili: Daniel 7 i ja sam bio isti kao ti mozda i gori dok sam mislio mislima WTS. Dok nisam poceo razmisljati

    Prijevod Danijel7 and I was just like you, and maybe worse while I was thinking thoughts WTS. Until I started thinking.

  • March 21, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Deckard, Thank you for the positive comments. I will be the first to admit the are false brothers in the organization, but the apostle Paul warned us about them. Our responsibility is to remain faithful to Jehovah God and to those who are faithful to him.

  • March 21, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I thought “active practicing” jw’s weren’t allow on sites like this one! Or reading and surfing the internet for anything outside of WT literature. I’m sure if the elders knew of the communication with disfellowship and disassociated persons was going on, the active witnesses would be taken to the back room.

  • March 22, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Right choice?! What is your level of education? Your right choice is to judge others before you judge yourselves. By your standards, what you read in w86 1/1 p. 13 par. 12 for you is the right choice:

    “Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah’s organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting. It is to be noted, also, that during the past year, 36,638 individuals had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing immorality. Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean! (1 Corinthians 5:9-13) This is a time for congregation elders, ministerial servants, and indeed all our brothers and sisters to avoid any circumstances that could lead to immorality.

    SURELY, YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS. In the Watchtower (Study edition) of May 2013 you read on page 29 that “a considerable number of judicial actions and disfellowshippings that take place each year are the result of sexual misconduct”. (Read for yourselves this at

    Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean! Read the Bible from the very beginning, all those who followed this “man made god” as other gods have never been clean and THEY WILL NEVER BE CLEAN!!.

    Jehovah’s organization WILL BE clean!

    • March 22, 2013 at 4:19 am


      You say something very interesting…

      “Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean! Read the Bible from the very beginning, all those who followed this “man made god” as other gods have never been clean and THEY WILL NEVER BE CLEAN!!. Jehovah’s organization WILL BE clean!”

      When you say that Jehovah’s organization “must be kept clean” you imply that it is already clean. Then you say, “Jehovah’s organization WILL BE clean” which implies that it isn’t clean at the moment. So my question to you is, is Jehovah’s organization clean, or isn’t it?

      If Jehovah’s organization is clean, then why so much corruption and lies? Why does the Society feel the need to misrepresent itself to the media and on its website, and hide truth from thinking Witnesses?

      If Jehovah’s organization is not yet fully clean, then why is it taking so long to clean it? Why does Jesus Christ need 93+ years (since 1919) to clean his organization? How “dirty” must it have been to begin with for it to take so long to clean?

      As to the Society’s assertions that most people are disfellowshipped due to immorality, you will find that this isn’t necessarily the case. 60% of the disfellowshipped ones taking part in last year’s survey claimed they were kicked out of the organization simply for disagreeing with the Society’s teachings and practices. Only 28% claimed they were disfellowshipped for transgressing the moral code.


      • March 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        Cedars! Any misunderstanding? with “Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean!” I was IRONICALLY quoting w86 1/1 p. 13 par. 12.
        I have closely observed critically (evidence based critics) for the last 3 years this organization and I finally discovered Jesus’ words, HOLY or NOT, perfect describe them “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness.” (Mt 23:27). A different opinion is NOT mine!!

  • March 22, 2013 at 1:24 am

    You said Jehovah will clean their organization. Which organization. The Catholic Church helps its needy person in many ways. When someone does not eat, for example they have a kitchen. Build schools, hospitals, etc. Muslims have the Red Crescent, the real kitchen, build schools and hospitals. The Orthodox Church also seem similar. And we give a beggar on the street treatise. Brothers in my country that does not have anything to eat today literally elders advise pray earnestly. It’s true that I experienced. A society does not any kind of program to help in those situations. Only if it is a war or a natural disaster. And on those occasions seeking extra contributions. Is that Jehovah’s organization. There are just people who believe in Jehovah.

  • March 22, 2013 at 1:36 am

    And we give a beggar on the street treatise or journal. It’s his only way to save lives in the real sense. For all we can to justify.

  • March 22, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Hello Daniel7,
    I have no idea why you feel I made a disgusting comment. I do not wish for others to be upset by my comment.

    Men in power can get corrupted and misuse their power. You state yourself you were in a New York cong that was less than fabulous.

    This thread is about how disfellowshipping/shunning can be harmful and emotionally abusive when misused by ones in power.


  • March 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Hakizimana, My level of education is, Acts 4:13 ‘Now when they beheld the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were men unlettered and ordinary, . . .’
    So what are you saying, that the higher-ups have their own secret sex club while the little one are disfellowshiped? I also don’t understand the last sentence of your comment.

  • March 22, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Anyone could get disfellowshipped for anything if they are not completely supporting the …………”unity of the congregation”…………., and may spread a little leaven which ferments the lump.

    Disfellowshipping when used as a tool to bully and discredit ones who love Jehovah is cruel and psychologically harmful

    I am saying it’s not always loving discipline, most of the time it’s cruel punishment, and revenge


  • March 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Hello Daniel7

    WTS states
    ………………..” Those who were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses but no longer preach to others, perhaps even drifting away from association with fellow believers, are not shunned. In fact, we reach out to them and try to rekindle their spiritual interest. We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin”………………..

    I don’t believe what the official website says……………………………

    In reality ones who are truly desperately sorry and stop practising sin have been disfellowshipped anyway. They have suffered in a cruel way trying to make a mense not with Jehovah God, but with men on a private judicial committee who are not ready to forgive the same way Jehovah is.

    Kind regards to you Daniel7

  • March 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I wonder is Daniel racking up service ‘time’ with his replies here. If asked, would he ever admit that he was on an (Apostate) site and turning in time with his conversations????

  • March 22, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Jw’s do shun people. I was disfellowshipped in 2010. My friends and family includeing my three children now shun me. I have no one to turn to. I live all alone with no friends.

    • March 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      @holy grail… yes indeed they do shun! I wasn’t even disfellowshipped, I disassociated myself when I read Crisis of Conscience and I was immediately SHUNNED for leaving the organization. I never left God! I would like to invite you to Colorado Springs & Worldwide Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses Internet Meetup (website). There you will find many, many, beautiful spirited people that will welcome you and love you for you! No bashing, no shunning! Just much encouragement and support!

  • March 23, 2013 at 4:28 am

    In my country there are JWs on which the newspapers were writing about criminal offenses and are not excluded. Elders say does not want to talk. Former elders remarried and has not excluded. Why? He does not want to talk? And not to mention more examples. For all of us who do not agree with the policy of the WTS that they would not be excluded. Elders simply do not accept the house and do not talk to them about spiritual matters. When they meet on the street just to say, “Excuse me now I have obligations, another time, maybe.” They now will not included to or disconnect us. Who are they to us disfellowshipped only we do not agree with their politics WTS.

    • September 21, 2013 at 6:43 am

      I became Jehovas witness for all the wrong reasons friends! i hung out with people i grew up with in the church in 1976 i was baptised at 15 i was in a spanish congregation and not really spanish I had no Father so I had no direction my Mother was poor all her life she just wanted to get us in the truth so we would not grow up as criminals but later I was DF at the age of 22 now im 52 tried to go back several times but failed i started to realise it is practically impossible to go back they claim they care but they put all work into getting more people in the church,any i decided to move on i look back and it was an exp. now the reason i was df was b/c of fornication and falling in love with the wrong girl.

  • March 23, 2013 at 5:32 am


    Has a child victim of abuse, ever prayed to Jehovah?

    Very likely I would imagine……………..If this child then grows up with the question… Why did Jehovah permit me to suffer at the hands of a JW for many years?

    Would the victim accept the answer ……Satan caused the suffering, Jehovah permitted it and He alone will seek vengeance in his own time………..

    Would most victims respond to Jehovah……………Why then, if this is your true organisation, do ones questioning the two witness rule get D’fd, but those who commit crimes do not get D’fd?………….

    I sincerely do not want to offend any victim, but my response would be and my personal belief is, Jehovah must exist, although justice was not done whilst the child was a victim many years ago, may Jehovah use this victim to expose the wrong that probably is still being practised today to another victim.

    Did Jehovah hear prayers of those many victims? I have hopes He did.
    Did Jehovah act upon those prayers? I believe with the exposing of badness, worldwide His hand plays a role.
    Has an Elder ever been disfellowshipped for abuse or wrong doing? Yes many times.
    Has a publisher ever been d’fd for trying to expose wrongdoing? Yes many times.

    But what about the young child being abused today, can Jehovah answer his/her prayer now ????????????????????????????????

    Will his/her abuser be D’fd today if there are not two witnesses?
    Will the victim be d’fd for trying to expose the abuser?
    Does prayer really play a role?
    Anyone care to comment, what do you think?


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