Jehovah’s Witnesses and Shunning

Shun the nonbelieverWhen 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.

(more…)

Oompah, A Former Jehovah’s Witness, Has Died

Oompah, also known as Eric Reeder, has committed suicide.

Oompah, also known as Eric Reeder, was a regular contributor to the ex-Jehovah’s Witness community. After losing all contact with his family due to being declared an apostate, he committed suicide. He was 51 years old.

Post from Oompah at JWD just over a year ago about being disfellowshipped.

Comment at JWD about the news of his death:

***g7/09p.29 Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?***

“No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family.”

Ironically, the religion and publisher of this statement is one of the biggest offenders with their shunning policy of its members who come to the conclusion that their form of worship is unacceptable.

For some, this severe shunning is too much to bear.

For anyone having problems leaving “the truth,” there are plenty of friends out there waiting to hear from you. Please consider reaching out to them. JWD is probably the biggest online forum for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses out there. There’s also Ex-JW Secularists and JWR.

And in the long run, there’s no shame in talking to a secular therapist or a any kind of therapist, either.

Here’s an article about shunning for those who may have been told that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t shun former members, or that Witnesses only do it out of personal choice and not in compliance with Watchtower teaching.

Guess What The Society’s Latest Trainwreck Is All About? (HINT: Apparently Deaf People Shouldn’t Masturbate.)

Dude trapped in a box.

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?

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!

(more…)

  1. Unless you still believe in their “truth” and their organization, you’re one!

How To Avoid Making Big Mistakes When Coming Out As A Nonbeliever To Jehovah’s Witnesses

Door opensWhen one of Jehovah’s Witnesses decides to “come out” as a nonbeliever to members of his family, he knows that they will cut him off for good. Yet many ex-Witnesses come out anyway because they can’t stand living a lie. (For the record, I really do think that coming out is almost always better than fading in the long run.) Some ex-Witnesses make serious mistakes when revealing their lack of faith in the Society to their families, mistakes that create needless complications for everyone involved. I have some tips on how these can be avoided below.

Note, in this case, I’m referring to Jehovah’s Witnesses who are “nonbelievers” because they don’t believe in the Society’s truth anymore. Nonbelieving ex-Witnesses may still believe in God or favor another religion, so they aren’t necessarily atheists as I’m using the word here.

So what’s the best way to come out as a nonbeliever to your relatives? And why should you consider coming out instead of fading?

(more…)