Jump to content
The World News Media

The ex-Jehovah's Witnesses shunned by their families (BBC report)


Evacuated
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Member

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most inexperienced researcher could easily find out the circumstances leading to this serious and scriptural measure by looking at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/.
It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Views 4k
  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990 Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses. This repo

Disfellowshipped or disassociated persons do accumulate. And they don't always pine for the day they will be reinstated. Sometimes they go on the attack. When they do, like people anywhere, they play

60 years in 8 different congregations in 3 states can offer up a few anomalies. My sister's experience was actually not so uncommon in the mid-west (Missouri) congregations I grew up in (1964-1976). B

  • Member
1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:

It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.

Disfellowshipped or disassociated persons do accumulate. And they don't always pine for the day they will be reinstated. Sometimes they go on the attack. When they do, like people anywhere, they play down whatever responsibility they had in favor of how others done them in.

You would think that the BBC would get the accurate scoop on what circumstances can lead to this most extreme form of discipline and what ones cannot. It's not as though the process is hidden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
5 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most inexperienced researcher could easily find out the circumstances leading to this serious and scriptural measure by looking at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/.
It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.
 

While I agree with you to an extent, I also disagree. The point you made about the abusive relationship and skipping the memorial is true for the most part. I would also not expect that type of reaction to those instances. I think the point being made is not actually WHY one is disfellowshippped, but rather the unnecessary reaction by ALL once one is DF'd, even to the extent of family. I've heard of instances of one getting DF'd  for silly reasons, but yet the reaction is the same. The punishment, in my opinion, does not fit the crime. To God, sin is sin and it has only ONE consequence unless you have Jesus' covering. Us as humans are not God and that is also why there are degrees of consequences when breaking the laws of men. To have to live like you have no family because that family is holding to what the gb says instead of the compassion Jesus had, is cruel. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
6 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a shame because I have relied on the BBC as an excellent source of information on the abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and have usually found their religion section to be reliable.

On the second point, I can state for a fact that most disfellowshippings, on average, take place within a 190-day window after the Memorial. All disfellowshippings take place within a window of time that is either 183 days before or after a Memorial. So the average amount of time between a disfellowshipping and the time of the Memorial is less than 90 days. See what you can do with numbers?

On the first point about leaving an abusive relationship, I would have to admit that this has happened. A few months ago I told the example of my own sister under a different thread. I'll copy it here:

On 3/11/2017 at 9:08 AM, JW Insider said:

This was my sister's experience. She was always told to err on the side of enduring abuse, even if it meant not going for needed treatment at a hospital - for violent abuse. Her husband, my brother-in-law, remained a ministerial servant after at least half-a-dozen complaints. My sister was disfellowshipped for finally "defying" the elders' recommendations and separating from her husband saying she had no intention of ever trying to patch things up with "mildness and submissiveness"

But this was about 35 years ago, and this person in the BBC article is saying that something like this happened much more recently. I have not seen the type of thinking that produced such disfellowshippings in the last couple of decades. I have serious doubts about it.

More seriously, however, a person who leaves the Witnesses for doctrinal reasons is considered very differently from a person who decides not to return to the Witnesses after immorality, improper divorce, or simply drifting farther away from association with the congregation. I have been personally involved in a discussion of a person who decided not to associate for doctrinal reasons, and a discussion of going after him for disfellowshipping came up. The conversation went something like this:

First Elder: "His father says he called us a cult"

Second Elder: "At least he came to the Memorial."

First Elder: "So he probably isn't really that antagonistic."

Second Elder: "Or he's just trying to make his parents think he might come back some day, that he still has a chance."

The conclusion was not to go after him, but watch if he causes any commotion. But if a person really is causing divisions and contentions as an ex-JW or apostate, I'd be just as concerned whether he showed up for Memorial or not. I agree that it has nothing to do with disfellowshipping.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

This is a shame because I have relied on the BBC as an excellent source of information on the abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and have usually found their religion section to be reliable.

The program featuring this report is a sort of British version of those shows in the States that lean to emotion rather than factual and balanced reporting. Maury Povich, Geraldo Rivera, even Jerry Springer come to mind, although there is more "theatre" . You probably have worse shows.

 I can imagine that the reporter involved in this news item had their own agenda regarding the Witnesses. Reporting on the BBC is usually of a much higher standard.

The incidents of disfellowshipping you sketch, whilst historic and different, illustrate how much more goes on behind the scenes in these matters and why this particular BBC report is really of no value other than a sterling example of media prejudice.

I must say that, once again, I am amazed at the level of "weirdness" you appear to have personally encountered over the years. Particularly this incident regarding the disfellowshipping of your sister over what appears to be entirely legitimate grounds for separation is disturbing.

The best part of the disfellowshipping process for me has always been about repentance and reinstatement and I am glad to have been involved in this side of the matter over the years. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

I must say that, once again, I am amazed at the level of "weirdness" you appear to have personally encountered over the years. Particularly this incident regarding the disfellowshipping of your sister over what appears to be entirely legitimate grounds for separation is disturbing.

60 years in 8 different congregations in 3 states can offer up a few anomalies. My sister's experience was actually not so uncommon in the mid-west (Missouri) congregations I grew up in (1964-1976). But I've never personally heard of such things being covered up in the last 20 years. At the time, 1981, the elders seemed more concerned that my sister was going to tell the truth to the hospital staff, and this seemed to be their greatest fear. (Small towns revel in gossip and judgmentalism, so fears of public reproach on the congregation were very real.)

The only truly "weird" disfellowshipping I ever got involved with (and on the "wrong" side, at that)  was that of a 90-year old brother because his friends asked me if I could do something about it, and maybe even help to initiate an appeal. It was the kind of travesty that directly resulted in the loss of several other members of this old brother's congregation, including the couple who asked me if I could get involved.

Yet, I have never directly seen a pedophile case or child abuse case in all my years and congregations. I have not seen an apostasy case since 1984. Immorality, divorce issues, smoking and other youthful indiscretions are the only types of cases I've seen in 30 years, and these have been relatively rare, only one every few years. And, of course, the joyful side of each of these has been the return to normalcy after spiritual encouragement.

What I really hoped to get to in this conversation was to just go ahead and admit that I don't believe we shun properly, most of us anyway. That probably won't surprise anyone. I have no doubt at all, personally, that we overdo it, especially with family-based shunning. I think that shunning should be defined as not inviting disfellowshipped persons into congregation activities (platform teaching, audience comments, public prayer, congregation outings, etc). It has nothing to do with whether we should continue to do good things for any and all persons: enemies, friends, neighbors. We should be able to encourage them, talk to them, hire them, visit them when they are sick, etc., etc. That won't work for every single person in the congregation, especially someone who may have been wronged, but it will work for most.

(I think I ignored the previous conversation on shunning.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I think that shunning should be defined as not inviting disfellowshipped persons into congregation activities (platform teaching, audience comments, public prayer, congregation outings, etc).

Might need a bit more detail in view of the scriptural specifics don't you think?

My comment on wierdness was more general than related just to disfellowshipping. Mind you, on reflection, having had similar experience to yourself both in years and exposure (albeit much of it inner-city), I've seen my fair share.

I would add that the level of competency and experience required to judge matters that have such a potentially serious outcome needs careful attention and is something that I was totally unprepared for. This is a particular challenge in areas of rapid growth in numbers where skills and experience gets spread pretty thin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • Member
On 7/25/2017 at 6:20 PM, JW Insider said:

On the second point, I can state for a fact that most disfellowshippings, on average, take place within a 190-day window after the Memorial. All disfellowshippings take place within a window of time that is either 183 days before or after a Memorial. So the average amount of time between a disfellowshipping and the time of the Memorial is less than 90 days. See what you can do with numbers?

Actually as an afterthought, how do you substantiate this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
6 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

Actually as an afterthought, how do you substantiate this?

This was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I was havin' a laugh (or in this case "having a loaf" as one of your UK ads says it.) But here goes:

There are about 365 days in a year. So all disfellowshippings take place between 0 and 365 days after the Memorial. The average amount of time is therefore 365/2, which is 182.5 days. Just to allow for some unpredictable skewing, and to be a little more conservative, and because the word "most" is technically at least 50.0001%, I pretended that the year has two extra weeks, so that the average would be 380/2 which is 190 days.

So it was no different than saying that about half of all disfellowshippings will take place during a six-month period, on average. Saying on average, should make the estimate even a bit more conservative, since some years all of a congregation's disfellowshippings might take place towards Winter, but in other years all of them might take place closer to Summer.

It should always be the case that a disfellowshipping is either 182.5 (or 183) days before or after a Memorial because this will cover the entire year, although I left out the word "on average" here which would have better accounted for the times when one Memorial is in March but the following year's Memorial is in April. Still, if, on average, all events (DF'ing or anything else) take place either 182.5 days before or after a Memorial, then the average amount of days that these events take place on EITHER side of a Memorial is 91.25 days (182.5/2) or 91.375 accounting for leap years. I rounded this to 90 instead of 91.375.**

** In my own experience in about 6 congregations from Californian, Missouri and New York, there is a strong skewing toward summer disfellowshippings, and some of this might even be related to the reminders all the elders get in the "season" of extra shepherding visits encouraged just before the Memorial, and the follow-ups just after. This helps my numbers by a few decimal points, but is unnecessary where I said "average." 

At any rate, after correcting the 90 to 91.375, I stand by these numbers, on average. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share





×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.