Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?

In Shocking Public Discourse, Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Told to Shun Inactive Members, Even Parents!

As was predicted in this post, Jehovah’s Witnesses have recently amped up their demands that members shun any who have been ousted from the religion or who have left on their own, even family. In that column linked above, the question was whether or not this would outright include those who are inactive, or those who have simply faded from the religion. According to one individual who attended this year’s regional convention and who made a video of the discourse in question, Jehovah’s Witnesses are being taught to take into account anything questionable done by an inactive person, report their activity back to congregation elders, and to cut that person off until the elders take official action.

If you skip ahead about three minutes, you can hear the experience of a man who found out that his mother, inactive from the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was doing something they consider sinful. He of course reported it to congregation elders and then, while waiting for them to act, decided to limit his association with his mother.

As is usual, the speaker twists scripture to justify their behavior and commands. Here he reads 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, where it says to stop keeping company with “anyone called a brother” who is immoral, greedy, and so on. However, if a person stops associating with the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they’re not technically called a brother any longer, are they? As I’ve brought out in previous posts, this also completely negates any scriptural counsel to “honor your father and your mother,” and the scriptural counsel that says a person who does not provide for his household has disowned the faith. (1 Timothy 5:8)

It’s also interesting how Jehovah’s Witnesses outright say that, when it comes to accusation of child molestation, they will leave things “in Jehovah’s hands” if they don’t have two witnesses or a confession:

Capture hands

However, if an adult is supposedly doing something else considered sinful, even if they’re not an active member of a congregation, other congregants are to spy on them and report their behavior back to elders, and then cut that person off even without the matter being absolutely established.

To Jehovah’s Witnesses

If you’re an active Jehovah’s Witness, you might want to consider this information carefully, as I’ve brought out before. Are you ready to shun your family based on misinterpreted scripture and scripture that is also ignored? Do you feel it’s your duty to report to elders the business of those who aren’t even members of the congregation any longer, including your own parent?


From the August 15, 1968, Watchtower

This discourse uses the term “loyalty” many times over, equating the organization with god himself, saying that you need to cut off your own family to be loyal to god. Do you agree? How many times does the organization need to fail in their predictions before you realize they’re wrong in what they say and teach, and that they don’t have any special magic holy spirit from god? When will you be willing to do your own research on how they have called themselves prophets and, yes, they did predict the end in 1975 and also before the end of this century, thereby making them false prophets? When will you be willing to read the scripture that talks about not fearing the one who makes false prophecies, and that these are not from Jehovah? (Deuteronomy 18:22) If the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been proven to be false prophets, and your own bible says to not fear false prophets, whom are you going to obey, god or man?

image004Might This Backfire?

While shunning and threats of shunning are a very effective way to keep people in a religion, cult, family, and the like, this information especially may very well backfire on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in a big way. How so?

For one thing, this may not cause anyone to return to the religion, and may have more members question the religion’s control over them. If I were to sit and hear a talk about “cutting off” family, and an experience that included such an obscenely disrespectful child who decided to forsake his mother just because she made different choices than him, I wouldn’t think this would be a good, righteous, loving organization. Being shunned by family in the religion might make those former members, and people they know in their everyday life, also realize that the religion is not loving, it doesn’t build strong families, and it’s just hurtful and hateful all around. Why even think of going back to such a group?

Also, many former Jehovah’s Witnesses have left the religion through fading because they don’t want to lose contact with their family. These ones would gladly speak up and speak out against the religion, but they stay quiet because of being afraid of revealing their true identities and missing out on what family ties they are able to keep. If this threat were taken away by forcing the hands of their families, making them shun these ones simply because they’re inactive, there’s no need for them to be quiet any longer. I personally started using a fake name and have been hiding my real identity for many months because of this reason, but that ship sailed some time ago. I realized my family was cutting me off no matter how much I hid, so no more. I’ve stepped up my activism through various projects, and as soon as I can figure out how, I’ll be getting my butt on YouTube to take it even one step further. Not literally because my butt is gross and that would be illegal, but you get the point.

Like me, many other former Jehovah’s Witnesses may see no more reason to stay in the shadows and, rather than causing them to return to “the fold,” this stringent mandate might simply see them also becoming more visible and more vocal. This could be outright devastating for the Watchtower, or so I hope.

Capture enemy

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Many thanks, as usual, to the Facebook group “Resources for Exposing Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses” for finding the images above.

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20 replies »

    • It’s been about 4 years now, and my JW sister and her family still shun me. I was never baptized, but was an unbaptisef publisher. When an elder told me I couldn’t associate with my oldest and dearest ‘worldly’ friend, a devout Christian, I couldn’t accept that. Reading ,Crisis Of Conscience ‘ by Raymond Franz turned me around. Not an easy book to find. Out of print. I was told at Barnes and Noble ‘We can’t order it for you, and we don’t know why…’ I know why. Least I suspect why. What does B& N Booksellers care if The Watchtower Bible And Tract Organization ( A MAJOR PUBLUSHING COMPANY!) care if ONE ex GBMember’s book gets ditched? Surely, they were paid off. The book can be found on. Amazon, used, and however you can get it, do it. It saved me. It’s not bitter or scandalous ( this man’s gradparents were Bible Students w/ C.T.Russell himself. His uncle Fred Franz was in the GB in the days if ‘Judge’ Rutherford ( who was a lawyer; never actually a Judge; although we all know JWs are all very ‘Judgemental’.. not apostasy in any way; it’s eye- opening and quite sad, really…. I wish my sister would read it, but she’s too far gone. I’m the apostate. Dear Lord, it’s so very not what God wants…..

    • I didn’t even have to read the article. But the title alone was upsetting. “Witnesses Are Told to Shun Inactive Members, Even Parents!”
      No. Not true at all!
      As an inactive member, i can tell you I am not shunned! Witnesses are always trying to contact me and visit with me. They are NOT TOLD to shun inactive ones. Such a lie.

      • Just told to shun disfellowshipped JWs! Inactive members are often just lazy members who won’t go out on service, or the elderly ones, or the overworked single parents who do the best they can to get to ALL THOSE MEETINGS, ALL DRESSED UP. Disfellowshipped = shunned and you know it.

  1. I wish I was allowed to comment this one my way. With you permission; Talking about JW and their politics, I find myself very much lost. See, I was member for 40 years and lost everything, but in this serious trouble I found Jesus and the love for him. I cannot tell all what happened, but shortly it is all about love, Jesus love and my love (our love) for Jesus. I have been born again Christian for now 25 years and I don’t know what I should do without Jesus. I must say about the worship that is what takes me through the day and my life. without this and my continued prayers in my heart to Jesus I could not survive. I like to bring my story here together with friends loving the Lord. I surrender my soul and my life to the Lord alone. Thank you Jesus. God bless all of you.

  2. Hi Alexandra,
    I enjoyed reading this post. When you said, “they stay quiet because of being afraid of revealing their true identities and missing out on what family ties they are able to keep,” that is a very accurate description. I would say I tried very hard to conceal my identity as a JW, and even years after I disassociated myself. As for family ties, those have been effectively destroyed completely. However, it won’t always be this way, and that is a beautiful thought.

  3. I’ve been shunned, and I wasn’t even baptised! apparently, if you “Knew the Truth” and walked away, you are MORE abhorrent to them than others who never actually attended meetings at all. My sister, brother-in-law and all three of their chilfren exclude me from gatherings/parties, while they continue to invite and speak with family members who were never involved with The Watchtower, one in particular who lives an extremely immoral life. My feelings are beyond hurt. I’ve lost my family.

  4. Hello everyone I would like to share my story. I left my family back on the 17th of this month, I really saw no choice. Leaving involved a 17 hour drive that took place after 8 hours of laying carpet. It was done explosively when I got home from work my wife and kids were out running various errands. So after an hour grabbing a bunch of my most valuable possessions I jumped into my car and bolted. This had to be the way it was done. Things began to head in this direction about 3 years ago when I saw the Nova show on the secrets of the bible. This show reveled how the bible developed and the origin of the Israelite. Intrigued by what I learned I began to explore what I thought to be other bible truths (meaning Watchtower dogma) I discovered the true history and development of the organization that I had been a part of since 1995.

    A big problem that I had was that my wife (who is passive aggressive and domineering) had been abusing me both psychologically and emotionally all through our 25 years of marriage and especially during the last 21 years as a JW. Usually her favorite tactic was to say that I needed to comply with her demands because I needed to consider her needs before mine because she is the “weaker vessel”

    During my research phase I became a convinced Atheist and since I no longer wanted to stick to Jehovah’s marital Standards I knew I couldn’t keep up the pretense. Leaving the entire family in Florida was difficult because my 24 year old Daughter is mentally vulnerable (but she and her husband are “steadfast in the Truth” they have my only grandchild (a little 4 year old cutie-pie) and my 19 year old son who reasons in many ways like me and may have just enough skepticism to break free too. This has been a very harrowing 2 weeks.

    I too want to do all I can to eradicate this vile cult off the face of the planet. I feel very victimized and need some healing and here I am at 50 years old starting off where I was when I was 25 but before marriage. I feel that the GB did this to me and they need to pay up if not directly then indirectly when they fork over dough to victimized little boys and girls.


    • Hello Arnold,

      So sorry to hear about your entire situation. I can’t imagine how difficult things are for you. It’s terrible how this religion can tear families apart. Please don’t blame yourself!

  5. Thanks for sharing the video clip … It instantly brought back (awful) memories of sitting through hours of “uplifting, spiritual” talks from the elders. I remember when – 50 years ago – some of conventions were 7 (FULL) days long – generally in various California county fair grounds while we sat on backless benches in the searing heat. Ugh! If I could go back 40 years and face the decision of whether to choose becoming an “inactive” JW or a “disassociated” JW, I’d still go with the latter. As I told the elder then, I chose to no longer be associated with JWs in any way, name, shape or form. I wasn’t one, didn’t believe as one and didn’t live as one. My mother and sister, both faithful JWs, instantly turned their backs on me and my baby daughter. I have never regretted my decision.

  6. I guess my sister will stop calling me altogether then. True, she only called when she needed something, but now she has an excuse to not call at all. Oh well…what can you say? None is so blind as he who will NOT see…

  7. The JW religion is increasingly vile and abhorrent. I sincerely hope that a significant number of JWs being fed this immoral call to despicable behaviour will wake up to the reality of the Watch Tower Society’s thoroughgoing badness.

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