Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a severe form of shunning against those who are disfellowshipped [excommunicated], or who have disassociated themselves, meaning that they officially left the religion on their own. If any member of the religion tries to tell you that they don’t, or that this shunning is not very severe, you can note these two “experiences,” taken from their own magazines, as proof otherwise:
The obscenity of this practice is obvious; the families of these ones are commended for not even “checking up on” another family member. So, if your son or daughter, sibling, parent, or someone else is sick, in the hospital, destitute, has been assaulted, has been in an accident, is pregnant or has had a baby, has gotten married, gotten divorced, or had a death in their extended family, you won’t know about it, and won’t be there to help. As a matter of fact, you are outright instructed to not even find those things out.
This also completely exposes the claim made by Jehovah’s Witnesses on their own website, that they “work to build up families, both our own and those of our neighbors.” (See this page.) How can you build up a family if you’re commended for not even checking up on that family?
I’m Calling Lies
There are two other problems with these “experiences,” one of which is that they’re completely fabricated. How do I know?
I ran these two paragraphs through a site called Copyscape, which compares texts for potential plagiarism. Copyscape came back with a whopping 15% plagiarism score (most universities and editorial boards require less than 1%).
You might wonder why this is a problem, since it’s the Watchtower repeating their own words, and not stealing from someone else. Theft is not the issue here; the issue is what was copied in these two paragraphs, namely, the wording of these supposedly personal experiences:
When two personal experiences, supposedly shared in someone’s own words, are this repetitive, they’re fake. Two people are rarely going to use the same phrases so often, even when discussing a similar situation.
Think about it; two witnesses on the stand in a courtroom, describing the same accident, will use entirely different wording and phrases during their individual testimonies. A husband and wife, describing their child’s first night home, will have very different descriptions of the experience.
That there are five exact phrases in one sentence of this second experience (including the phrase “motivating factor,” which Copyscape missed), which supposedly came from a different person, tells me that no one said these things. They’re fabricated.
These phrases were also used in a video presented to the attendees of the 2016 regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where a woman relates her “experience” of being ousted from the family home after being disfellowshipped. She says that her family knew that if they had “associated with” her, “even a little, just to check on” her, “that small dose of association might have satisfied” her.
Again, nearly word-for-word with the experiences above. More proof that these aren’t real experiences from real people, but just regurgitated words made up by the Watchtower Society (at about the 7:20 mark):
Lest you doubt my credentials for making this call, note that, as a freelance writer, one type of job that is often offered to writers like me (and which I always personally turn down) is the creation of fake reviews, testimonies, and endorsements. These reviews are used by authors, those selling a product, consultants, and so on, in their own marketing materials, on sales sites (i.e., amazon.com), or on their own website.
When I read reviews of anyone’s work or product, and see these types of extreme similarities, I know for a near-certain that they’re fake, created by the person trying to sell you that product. This is my industry, my line of work; I get to make the call.
Lying Is One Thing
The fact that the Watchtower outright lied about these accounts is bad enough; any active member of the religion should take that to heart, and ask themselves why they would be part of an organization that finds it appropriate to lie about anything.
My second issue, however, is what they’re lying about, and why they’re doing it. In these “experiences,” the Watchtower is lying about their practice of shunning; they’re not lying about how close we are to the end of the world, about whether or not the religion fulfills some obscure bible prophecy, or about how many Witnesses there are worldwide. No, they’re lying about a horrific practice that literally tears families apart and isolates people in a way that is nothing but abusive and cruel.
What This Says About the Practice
Note, too, that these lies are meant to endorse this practice. This actually proves that the Watchtower knows that this practice is cruel and inhumane, and that it doesn’t accomplish its intended purpose, namely, to make people want to return to their religion. If the practice was so useful and effective, they wouldn’t need to create fake reviews endorsing it.
Ironically, just a few weeks before someone created that image above, a potential client had asked me to create some fake reviews and endorsements for his book. Not only did I turn him down, but I reminded him that needing fake reviews means that no one actually does like your work, and that you know no one likes your work.
The same is true with the Watchtower. If they need to write up fake endorsements for this horrific practice of shunning, they know that no one really thinks it’s a positive force for good.
They haven’t gotten any real endorsements, no one writing to them and thanking them for taking their families away and for punishing them for leaving this horrid religion. If people really thought it was a good thing, that it helped them to “restore a relationship with god,” the Watchtower would have an abundance of real reviews, real endorsements, real testimonies, all written in different words and styles.
This doesn’t mean that the Watchtower Corporation will give up this practice anytime soon. I’ve seen it in my own industry; those authors and consultants will continue to push their product or service, never taking the lack of authentic positive reviews as a sign that maybe what they’re selling isn’t so great after all. Some will even escalate, putting out new editions or audio recordings of their struggling book, or consultants will try to break into a new market even after failing with their intended industry.
I doubt the Watchtower will be any better. The delusions they have, that they’re selling a great product to their congregants, are strong and have been strong for some time; rather than seeing those delusions for what they are, an indication of the failure of their religion and its practices, they will continue to push, and push, and push that terrible product. Unfortunately, the product they sell isn’t just a poorly-written book or sub-par consultation services; they’re selling a religion that quite literally breaks up families. These “experiences” prove it.
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