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.
***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.
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.
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!
When 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?
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?
But I keep coming back to my original impression of “Dianetics,” and the sobering realization that one man’s personal damage can, if transmitted with sufficient charisma and intuitive skill, infect tens of thousands of people, many of whom believe they’ve been helped by it.