When one of Jehovah’s Witnesses does something that his local elders deem a serious offense against God and Watchtower, he will probably be disfellowshipped by a closed-door tribunal. From that point forward, he is basically dead to all Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. It’s a bit like that one episode from the Twilight Zone, actually. If he tries to communicate with them in any way, he will either be ignored or angrily told the error of his ways.
They call it “congregation discipline” and make it sound like it’s a punishment from Jehovah God himself. As if Jehovah floats down from Heaven and plays judge and jury instead of congregation elders. If those elders were truly being influenced by Jehovah or Jesus in any way, then why is it that some disfellowshippings get annulled? As in, oops, the elders made a mistake!
But you don’t hear about those very often, do you? (They do happen, though.) Never mind. Keep reading to learn more about disfellowshipping.
I’ve never seen a yellow Kingdom Hall in real life before. It just goes to show you that all Kingdom Halls are not alike.
Some Jehovah’s Witnesses assume that former Witnesses like me are lying when we talk about our old Kingdom Halls. If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses who has read an experience at Atheist Geek News (or any other ex-Witness site) that doesn’t agree with your experiences at your own Kingdom Hall, please try to remember the following:
Our experiences at our Kingdom Halls have nothing to do with your experiences at your Kingdom Halls. And no, believe it or not, we aren’t lying about our experiences. We don’t have to.
If it’s hard for you to believe that our bad experiences with “the truth” really happened, then consider this: some ex-Witnesses suspect that you guys are the ones who are really lying to us. That’s because many of us had it so bad at our old Hall that we can’t believe you had it so good.
Either the Society wants you to know that only deaf people can prevent masturbation or this guy is trapped in an invisible box.
Yeah, you thought the Society’s use of “mentally diseased” to describe apostates 1 showed poor judgment. Then they came out with that video about Sparlock and suddenly, the Governing Body’s lack of judgment went viral! Surely they’ve learned the error of their ways by now, right?
BEHOLD! The Atheist Geek brings you the awesomest, bestest, most fantastic example of Watchtower goofiness yet. Are you sitting down? Probably. You might want to lay down to avoid falling out of your chair for this one, though. Get it while it’s still available!
As ex-Witnesses, we’ve all read about situations where the Watchtower Society (or its representatives) claim that shunning a family member is purely a matter of personal choice. That is to say that the family members who shun disfellowshipped Witnesses aren’t being forced to do so, but simply chose not to have any relations with that person for reasons of their own. This makes the Watchtower Society seem less cult-like to the public and may help the organization avoid certain legal issues for the practice of disfellowshipping in other countries. The video above shows us an example of a Witness downplaying the Society’s role in shunning disfellowshipped Witnesses in a court of law. Notice how he ducks questions relating to whether the policy of disfellowshipping is enforced by the Society or how such enforcement might happen.
There are other examples where the Society’s representatives seem evasive when it comes to answering uncomfortable questions in the media or in legal proceedings. The issue of blood transfusions is one that comes to mind. The claim, once again, is that the family is not being made to do anything by Watchtower policy. They are simply refusing treatment out of personal choice. Hence, it’s the family’s responsibility, not the Society’s.
But here’s the big question. Is any of this really true?