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Jehovah’s Witnesses applaud 10 year old girl for shunning her sister

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a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.

Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.

The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.

The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.

During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.

Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.

The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.

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Jay, you apparently do not understand the reason for disfellowshipping (shunning) It is never for the actions you mentioned. It is always for the unrepentant attitude of the individual. Also, by shunning the individual they may decide to repent and come back to Jehovah's organization. Also, by disfellowshipping the individual it helps to keep the congregation clean by keeping that person's attitude to spread to others in the congregation.

Also, perhaps you are not familiar with interviews on the stage. They could have been applauding the act of her shunning her sister as you suggested, but more likely they were applauding her act of getting up in front of the audience and relaying her experience. After all, when she finished speaking the speaker said thank you for sharing that with us, he did not say thank you for shunning your sister as you would have us believe. Also, this is only part of the interview. We don't know if there were any follow up questions to her nor do we know what the subject was for the interview in the first place. Yes, I am sure that most probably agreed with her actions, but you make it seem that the ONLY reason they applauded was because of her actions with regard her sister. I think you miss the point and do her and the audience a disservice when you denigrate both her actions and the audience in such a way. 

Lastly, what is the date (EDIT 11/09/2017) It is not November (or September european format)

BTW, why is this heartbreaking? Did you speak with the sister to see how she is dealing with being shunned. We don't really know when the video was shot. Could have been this year, could have been a decade ago. The girl being shunned could have come back to Jehovah since then, or not. Either way, little Melody is following the directions given by the congregation shepherds and as such is doing what Jehovah wants her to. Both her and her sister can benefit by doing that. 

 

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The JW's in the auditorium wouldn't have applauded if they knew the entire world was watching. This is video taken inside a JW only world.

Of course the rest of humanity cannot be expected to understand.

The perception is that we are a cold, cruel and heartless people. Perception is a tricky thing.

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My wife and I attended an Assembly in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and we sat close to the front ... during a demonstration a Brother in a group of four Witnesses sharing their experiences on stage,  proudly related that he had not spoken one word to his disfellowshipped father IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS.

This was met by a vigorous round of applause from the audience ... EXCEPT myself and my wife ... who were horrified at such cruelty.

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19 hours ago, The Librarian said:

The JW's in the auditorium wouldn't have applauded if they knew the entire world was watching. This is video taken inside a JW only world.

Of course the rest of humanity cannot be expected to understand.

The perception is that we are a cold, cruel and heartless people. Perception is a tricky thing.

Your comment reminded me of how Br. Geoffrey Jackson told a prosecutor at the ARC that it would be presumptuous for the GB to claim it is God's sole channel. They back down under public scrutiny, because they realize how messed up and cultish it sounds.

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On 8/12/2017 at 6:48 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

My wife and I attended an Assembly in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and we sat close to the front ... during a demonstration a Brother in a group of four Witnesses sharing their experiences on stage,  proudly related that he had not spoken one word to his disfellowshipped father IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS.

This was met by a vigorous round of applause from the audience ... EXCEPT myself and my wife ... who were horrified at such cruelty.

It's a choice. I have never known friends who were that steadfast about not speaking with a disfellowshipped family member, but some who take the admonition to speak with disfellowshipped family about family business to the extreme. To the point of using the disfellowshipped person (who was out living on their own) as a babysitter for their younger children. Like all things one needs to be balanced. 

For my part we allowed our two daughters to stay at home for the simple reason we believed that kicking them out would have resulted in far more harm. My choice. Consequently I have not served in a congregation for about 10 years; but, my daughters are not living on the street subject to all the dangers and problems of that environment and know that they have a safe place to stay. They are family and that is exactly what I told the elders.  

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On 8/12/2017 at 19:28, UcyImd1 said:

We were told communication  with family  members was fine. Just not on spiritual matters

WT JWorg try hard to explain how, what, in which circumstances, who, why, why yes, why not .... all at all making rules on rules. But as James correctly said, you dear Ucylmd have to update information on that subject. :)) because it is not simple for JW member to be in line with instructions that can be changed very fast. Just part of text from JWorg official site;

 "We cannot here cover every situation that may arise, but let us focus on two basic ones....In some instances, the disfellowshipped family member may still be living in the same home as part of the immediate household. Since his being disfellowshipped does not sever the family ties, normal day-to-day family activities and dealings may continue. Yet, by his course, the individual has chosen to break the spiritual bond between him and his believing family. So loyal family members can no longer have spiritual fellowship with him..... In other cases, the disfellowshipped relative may be living outside the immediate family circle and home. Although there might be a need for limited contact on some rare occasion to care for a necessary family matter, any such contact should be kept to a minimum."

I have JW family out of my home/house. Last year, i meet my mother accidently (for first time after my living JWorg) on street and said, Hello Mum :), she turn serious face/head and passed. My three brothers in blood and their families  also cut contacts (silence). But in fact i have no need for their society, no sorrow, no sad because of this. If it is "normal" to applause in congregation, convention to Melody role model, then it is quite normal to me also to not feel any regret and to applause myself for my courage to stand firm for my perception of the truth.

 

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CRUELTY IS A TWO WAY STREET .....

We demonstrate cruelty by destroying whole families to discipline one person

The Russians show cruelty by banning an organization filled with righteously inclined people.

We have our shunning.

They have bayonets.

 Guess who is going to win in the "who can be the most cruel" cruelty contest?

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Guest Nicole

I  would not applaud, the same I don't applaud when someone is readmitted, I respect the victims that this person may have hurt and are present at the meeting and still deal  with that situation.  

On another note, I remember once I was at a convetion and the brother on the stage announced a deficit of $$$$$ and people started to applaud and my group areound me asked: "Are they clapping for the deficit? this is ridiculous"

I guess nowadays many JWs are being taught not to analize,  just to follow what the crowd or the elders say or do. 

 

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Guest Nicole
On 8/12/2017 at 11:28 AM, UcyImd1 said:

We were told communication  with family  members was fine. Just not on spiritual matters

Not always. I remember visiting a JW family,  friends very closed to my family, one of the adult daughters was just disfellowshipped, she lived at the next door. Suddenly 2 elders came to meet with this family. I told them I was leaving to give them privacy and but they told me to stay as I was a very closed friend to the family and also to learn about procedures. They told the family that no under any circumstances they should talk to her, unless someone is dying, otherwise nothing, not even about day-to-day affairs

 

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1 minute ago, Nicole said:

They told the family that no under any circumstances they should talk to her, unless someone is dying, otherwise nothing, not even about day-to-day affairs

I have seen Witnesses who were told by the person to be disfellowshipped that it would happen next week, try to get in as much time as they could with that person until the announcement was made ... THEN ... they "ceased to exist".

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