Anonymous

Elder Ostracized by Family

Stories

During my formative years, my parents joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses church. Their affiliation led to my initiation into the faith through baptism at the ridiculously young age of twelve. My spiritual journey progressed steadily, culminating in my appointment as an “elder” at the age of twenty. Subsequently, during my early twenties, I dedicated five years to serving as a full-time pioneer, an endeavor that epitomized my commitment to the organization and its teachings.

Yet, as I entered my late twenties and early thirties, an intellectual curiosity led me to delve into scientific literature that challenged the doctrinal precepts of the organization. These explorations engendered profound reservations, particularly concerning the infallibility of the Bible as the divine Word of God, a foundational principle of the faith. The critical juncture arrived in my late thirties when my then wife gave birth to very premature twin girls faced with the dire prospect of survival without a blood transfusion. In that pivotal moment, I recognized the imperative to diverge from the church’s teachings and prioritize the well-being of my children. The decision to proceed with transfusion proved lifesaving, and the twins not only endured but flourished into the resilient young women they are today.

As a result of this transformational experience, my conviction in the doctrines propagated by the JW’s wavered. Gradually, I distanced myself from the congregation and its rituals, unable to reconcile the dissonance between the teachings and my evolving beliefs. This progressive disengagement culminated in my formal disfellowshipping under allegations of “apostasy”.

Consequently, I found myself ostracized by my family and erstwhile friends, a practice that inflicted profound psychological distress and emotional anguish. 

I firmly contend that the practice of mandated shunning as promulgated by the JW’s is evil and morally reprehensible. Its profound impact on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being cannot be minimized or overlooked. This practice, in my view, constitutes a form of emotional cruelty and is incompatible with the principles of empathy, love and compassion that underlie human connection. It is my belief that such a practice should be unequivocally condemned and prohibited.