Jehovah’s Witnesses Elevate Watchtower Literature Above the Bible, and Shun Children of Disfellowshipped Ones!

The March, 2018, Watchtower simplified edition contains a study article titled, “Listen to Discipline and Become Wise.” This article, like so many others in Watchtower literature, refers to disfellowshipping, or excommunication and subsequent shunning, as “Jehovah’s discipline,” or an arrangement from god himself.

As usual, the magazine says nothing about all the many reasons why a person might be disfellowshipped, including behaviors that are not condemned in the bible, such as gambling, “extreme physical uncleanness,” “obscene speech,” use of tobacco, taking up professional boxing, and disagreeing with the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.¹ Child sex abuse victims have even been threatened with disfellowshipping for wanting to report their abuser to the authorities,² and a rape victim can be disfellowshipped if she did not scream and fight and resist her attacker enough to satisfy the elders of her religion (see this post).

All that having been said, an experience related in this particular article shows the disturbing, disgusting treatment of those who are disfellowshipped, as it endorses the practice of shunning, not just the disfellowshipped person himself or herself, but any extended family related to that person, including children:

Notice how this woman says she wouldn’t spend time with her disfellowshipped daughter, or her granddaughter. Not speaking to a family member because they’ve left, or have been kicked out of, a religion is bad enough, but this woman wouldn’t even speak to her own granddaughter, a child, simply because that child’s mother was disfellowshipped.

Granted, the magazine doesn’t say how old the granddaughter was, so we might assume that the grandmother would need to have some type of contact with her disfellowshipped daughter in order to see or speak with the granddaughter. However, this certainly doesn’t excuse this practice; in reality, if the grandchild is still a little girl, it actually makes this practice worse!

Being so cruel and arrogant that you won’t speak to your own adult child because they don’t share your religious beliefs is one thing, but if you refuse even just brief moments of contact in order to see your young grandchild, that is outright despicable. What did the granddaughter do to deserve to be punished and isolated from her own grandparents this way? Why would grandparents withhold their love and attention from a child, because of some supposed sin on the part of that child’s mother?

This is something to remember when Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that they “work to build up families,” as they boldly assert on their own website. They easily neglect family, even children, when they feel it’s their place to punish someone for no longer being in their religion.

Literature Above the Bible

Note, too, that this woman says she looked for loopholes “in our publications,” meaning literature produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses. What she didn’t do was look for instruction and guidance from the bible.

This is very disturbing, as it actually elevates Watchtower literature above the bible itself. If she, or anyone who claims to be a Christian, needs guidance on what to do in a situation, I would think the first and only place they should look would be the bible. Yet, she doesn’t even say that she read the bible and Watchtower literature, but only looked at Jehovah’s Witness publications.

Endorsing this practice is pure blasphemy on the part of the writers of the Watchtower. The bible is supposedly god’s communication to humans, but it isn’t even mentioned when talking about what to do when someone in the family is removed from your religion.

Perhaps there is a reason the writers of the Watchtower don’t want someone in this situation to consult with the bible. If this woman had read it, she may have come across this scripture:

“Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.”
– 1 Timothy 5:8

While this verse was talking about providing materially, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that it’s also talking about providing for them emotionally, as that’s the entire function of a family, to have strong emotional ties with each other.

Jesus himself also scolded the disciples who tried to keep young children away from him and told them how he felt about children, which is another scripture this woman might have come across, had she read the bible instead of Watchtower literature alone:

“Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.”
– Mark 10:14-15

The Awake magazine of December 8, 2000, even included an article titled, “Children Deserve to Be Wanted and Loved,” and it said outright, with quotes from the bible:

“Child neglect is a form of mistreatment that betrays a lack of what the Bible calls ‘natural affection.’ (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3) … Regardless of the form mistreatment takes, it sends children the message that they are unloved and unwanted.”

Despite this, the writers of the Watchtower literature endorse this very same child neglect when that child’s parent is disfellowshipped, completely ignoring how these grandparents are sending the message that their grandchild is “unloved and unwanted.”

The Ironic Hypocrisy

Ironically, Jehovah’s Witnesses also consistently admonish children to stay close with their grandparents; the April 22, 2001, Awake magazine featured the article, “Why Should I Get to Know My Grandparents?” which said, in part:

“In bygone days, grandparents were a foundation stone of family life, particularly among worshipers of Jehovah God. The Bible commanded the Israelites to respect and esteem older ones. (Leviticus 19:32) Grandparents were considered especially worthy of honor.—1 Timothy 5:4. … In many parts of the world, older ones—including relatives—are no longer treated with due respect. (2 Timothy 3:1-3) …there is great value in getting to know your grandparents—especially if they are God-fearing. And if you have not got to know them, you may very well be missing out.”

The hypocrisy is obvious and appalling. Jehovah’s Witnesses admonish children to care for and respect their grandparents, but endorse the idea of grandparents easily casting aside those same children if their mother or father leaves the religion.

Shunning a family member for not belonging to your religion is a form of emotional blackmail and abuse, and that alone is enough to demonstrate how cruel and unloving the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses is, but now we clearly see how far JWs will go to express  this draconian control and haughty self-righteousness of theirs. They endorse an example of someone who is neglectful and abusive to an innocent child; not only does that child miss out on the love and closeness you can get only from grandparents, but she may wonder what she’s done wrong, or what is wrong with her, so that grandma and grandpa won’t speak to her.

Whatever perceived sin this disfellowshipped daughter may have committed, I would say the grandparents in this example are the ones who are unforgivable.

*** ***

¹”Shepherd the Flock of God In Your Care”

²Australian Royal Commission Inquiry, Case Study 29, Transcript, Day 148, page 15291, lines 25-39:

threaten if report

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25 replies »

  1. Alexandra, I am very curious as to what you now believe in? If you believe in the bible as Gods word and that JW’s are not handling matters right…., where does one go to be among God’s real people who understand bible truth? I ask out of sincerity because I have left the faith but I find no group on earth is doing what the bible says in all of it’s criteria. Many EX JW’s have become worse off after leaving. The thing I have trouble with is that I clearly see the ‘The Great Tribulation’ is very near and I feel very alone in my “True knowledge” of the bible and current events which JW’s don’t even believe in. It was also bible prophesy that in the last days Jehovah’s people would once again lose his favour and that when he comes he will have to clean out the congregations and set matters straight. But again Alexandra my question is for you, what do you now believe in and how do you now serve God?

    • This is absolutely no need to run straight back into an organised religion. Sadly most witnesses are so used to being in a highly controlling environment that when they leave they feel so much guilt because of not being st the meetings.
      Take your time and enjoy your freedom.
      Over time you will realise how much this cult has controlled you.. much unconditional love

    • Jess, after reading your questions and concerns, I feel your uncertainty. I left the organization many years ago, and have only found one place where I truly feel good. I live in Dallas, TX (area), I go to Hope Fellowship in Frisco Texas. Its a non-denomination church and our Pastor teaches the BIBLE, and helps put things in a modern day prospective. I reconnected my relationship with God, and I am at peace with that now. I hope you can find peace as well too. I do not believe in organized religion. Jehovah created all of us, and if he wanted their to be one religion he would have put it in the Bible or in the Ten Commandments. Jesus said FOLLOW ME, not a religion. There are many Non-Dedomanional Churches now-a-days, that you could visit and see if any fit what feels good in your heart. All of this is my humble opinion, and wish you the best!

  2. I do empathise with the victims of child abuse within the Org. Hence i left the Org because after doing 3 months research for myself my conscience would not let me remain in it. As for the GB, there are 8 of them. 7 are American, 7 are white. And I think they should all be disfellowshipped and put totally outside the Org and never let back in. I also think that many of the ‘rules’ they’ve made up are completely against the Bible principles that Jesus taught…. However I do believe that a lot of their teachings are Bible based. If they stuck to just the Bible based teachings then they would be a much better organisation. I don’t understand your comment about the GB members that i listen to. I don’t listen to any of them. It’s easy enough to find their names and see their photos if that is what you want. As for the writing department, they are not all GB members. The magazines seem to be written by a group of people in a ‘writing department’. Then it seems that the articles are shown to the GB to approve….. But each of us has to ask ourselves what we individually believe. Do we believe in God ? Do we believe that the devil is ruling this world ? Do we believe in Armageddon ? And then, Do we believe that God has an organisation here on this Earth that we should be part of ? You see what I’m saying, yes there is a time to let off steam, there is a time to seek justice, but there has to be something more, there has to be a God that really listens to us, otherwise what is life all about ?

    • Your comment John is the only one I have read just now so far, and I have not read the article but I have enjoyed Youtube videos from the author. But what you said right here is exactly what I am struggling with and I feel very lost. I can no longer deal with the people the way they have somehow been more programmed to have man made thoughts and opinions instead of God’s and no one talks to me in true authentic sincerity with Justice and knowledge of the bible as God’s word. I feel alone and lost and I suffer with PTSD and chronic health issues. But besides that I am trying to say I really relate to what you wrote. God has to have one clear way of following him and one clear peoples. Because as Jesus said there are many roads but only one right road as the many lead to death and destruction.

      • Hi Jess. Yes I try to stop thinking about it all sometimes as it gets me confused and slightly depressed. Where to turn now ? If Jehovah / Yahweh or whatever name you wish to use for the true God has a plan and purpose for us all, then i honestly wish I knew it. And if money will help the victims of abuse then yes they deserve a pay out. It’s not possible to give them their lives back / turn back time, so whatever help or compensation they can get, they should be given. But for me it’s about moving forward. I want to serve God properly, well, I want to serve God as well as i can. Being imperfect as we all are we shouldn’t punish ourselves for our mistakes / sins, leave all that in God’s hands through Jesus Christ. However, i still cannot get other people that have left the Org, to say how they feel regarding God and Jesus Christ. It’s like hitting a brick wall. I can understand people’s anger but we all have to move on in our lives. For my part i don’t want to dedicate my life to hating the Org or hating the world, I much prefer to find a positive way forward. So, what now ? I honestly don’t know yet 🙂

    • Sorry to pop your bubble but I thought the same as you for a while , over time with more research , will show you that it was never the truth. Just a bunch of guessers and speculators .
      Keep digging brother

  3. This man knows more than he will ever write on here. but this man will always try to be balanced… And if you bothered to read my comments at all you would note that i hate the things that most people hate about the JW Org, and about the GB. However I try not to fill myself with only hate as it just hurts. I’m still looking for what God has to offer. Even if every religion proves to be false, I will still believe in God. Trying to serve God properly by using the Bible as a guide, has to be a good thing. And i still believe that God will cleanse this Earth and people will survive into a ‘new world, a new way of life.

  4. I find it funny to read the hate you people have. Once again I see the lack of balance in your lives. You are so blinded by hatred that you cannot see the truth in anything. You have found new things to worship, people that write more hate for you to lap up. You are so blind that you cannot see how the devil is using you all. I know that the JW Org is not correct in everything it does. I know about how it is hiding pedophiles in it’s ranks. I know the GB is not the faithful and discreet slave.I am no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and i no longer read the Watchtower or Awake. However I do believe as much of the Bible as I can fully understand, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. And I do believe in a ‘cleansing’ of this Earth coming soon. It has to for the human race to survive, even scientists say that. There has to be massive change here on this planet soon. Jehovah God is actually anti-war and the Bible tells us to love our neighbours and our enemies. And the name Jehovah was in use as God’s name long before the Witnesses started to use it, but call Him Yahweh if it please you. I do much research which includes reading Josephus who wrote about the early Christians, and I do read my bible online and compare it to other versions of the bible to get comparisons of scriptures. So I’m not blind as to the teachings of other religions and not blind as to the writings in the bible. Yes the JW Org and it’s GB have caused much pain and problems by getting things wrong and by being too overpowering, but this Earth needs some kind of human leadership to take it in the right direction. In my opinion there has to be a group of people that serve God properly to survive the cleansing of the Earth. There has to be a ‘new world’ that the Bible itself predicts. Otherwise what hope for mankind ?
    I’m 68 years old, too old for hate and anger, too tired to want to hurt anyone by retaliation. I want truth and happiness if possible.

    • John, have you heard of the concept of falsifiability? Please just look it up and analyse the concept. Also, I don’t wish be impolite but you seem to be the one that seems to be upset and “driven” to write somewhat hateful words. Just saying…

    • End of the day John, you were scammed, I was,
      So was everyone else.I was in for 25 years and know of dozens who have quit this last year.Many are in shock because they’re whole world has fallen apart. When you first leave you think it’s still the “truth” because you want it to be , you think that the GB have lost they’re way, but with more research into their United Nations membership, hedge funds and their using the brothers to renovate halls for their real estate empire , the penny will drop. It is quite apparent by your sentiments that you are still heavily indoctrinated. Be prepared for future mental issues and the possibility of not being able to cope with the realisation that you’ve been in a high control group.
      You won’t be able to go back again.Once youv looked behind the Curtain, your done.
      Enjoy your new freedom.
      I wish you well on your journey.

      • I’m glad you ex brothers and sisters, are sane, I left sometime ago, but when you speak to people you know, its always the same old answers, and people who are in Ive found are either complete cunts, i.e just in because mummy and daddy brought them up or are self righteous arse kisses, and the ones who are genuine sadly are not noticed

  5. Mr. Butler you are quite misinformed and remain indoctrinated by a publishing company/real estate firm who are anything but a religion. They never “donate” or “assist” with victims of disasters. It is the rank and file who provide food, water, building materials and free labor plus their own transportation to help the unfortunate. The bible is just primarily a book of history for one group of people led by a plastic God who was consumed with blood lust and human sacrifice. He is no longer even considered a Deity any longer. The bible also borrows most of its myth from civilisations much much older than it claims. It is 90% dung. There is some value to what is recorded regarding the Christ consciousness but precious little. The words of the first apostate, Paul, are what JW’s base their teachings, doctrine and control of their slaves on. It is dog vomit. Bully for you that you stay in contact with your d/f’d family. I did the same thing with my oldest son when he was d/f’d for 15 years. Now that he is reinstated and I was removed without even one judicial committee meeting for exactly the same reason as he was prior, he has forgotten how often he used to call and visit us. My daughter treats me as though I am dead. All for loyalty to a lying greedy cult.
    Alexandra, dont ever stop writing your fantastically accurate and well thought out and researched articles. I look forward to them and love how you always hit the mark.
    It is imperative that we all continue to help the WT slaves unindoctrinate themselves. I want to see that cult dead, burned with fire and their ashes spread to the 4 winds. Forever forgotten. Much love!

  6. John Butler , STOP reading the watchtower publications , and start reading the bible , it could save YOUR life, we can learn from animals on how to care for our children , this Jehovah you worship through the watchtower religious corporation , is a tyrant, and loves violence since the beginning , Time to worship the FATHER in Spirit and truth , and then maybe this organisation will show the same love towards there children as animals do naturally , there is no love in this organisation ,ask me I know in it for 35 years ,If Jesus came back today to choose an organisation to preach the good news like he did in 1919 , YOUR org would be last on the list, for the unforgiving shunning ,and child abandonment that watchtower promotes. Jeremiah 7 : 10 , 10 And then you come and you stand before[i] me in this house, which is called by my name,[j] and you say, ‘we are safe to go on doing[k] all of these detestable things.’ 11 Has this house, which is called by my name,[l] become a cave of robbers in your eyes? Look, I, even I, have seen it,” [m] declares[n] Yahweh.

  7. You are making yourself look very silly on this one. Why not stick to the Child Abuse issues which are more important. You have taken the example of one woman who has got it all wrong anyway. JW’s are all individual people, you know that. I’ve left the Org due to the child abuse issues so I’m not protecting it but it would help everyone if you got your facts right. My wife and I still kept contact with our daughter (A) when she was disfellowshipped or left because of her ‘relationship’ with someone. And this daughter (A) has the responsibility of a child that belongs to another daughter (B) because daughter (B) is not well enough to look after him. But the young child is still in contact with and looked after by my wife and another daughter (C) that are in the truth. So the daughter (A) that is no longer in the truth is in contact with all family members and the child she looks after is still in contact with all family members. Since I’ve left the truth my brother who is an elder in a congregation in another town is still in contact with me and I with him. So you see it’s all about balance… Yes everyone in my former congregation has stopped talking to me or visiting us, but then I don’t care as I have come to realise that they were never real friends, just brothers and sisters in that religion. But as for family, we are all fine and getting on well.

    • Don’t tell me what to stick to; this is not the congregation where elders make demands, and you’re not my employer. If you don’t like my personal blog, keep moving. As for getting facts right, this experience is in print, in the Watchtower, not an offhand, incidental, hearsay experience such as yours, which is too confusing to even follow. Also, you might stop calling it “the truth.” That will help some of the indoctrination you’re still carrying with you.

      • Problem is when people get over emotional about it all. then it gets unbalanced. But you keep bashing if that’s your thing. The experience in just one persons opinion, in print or not. And I’m telling you that not everyone is like that, but in truth you know that anyway. My experience is not ‘hearsay’ its my family so i know exactly the situation, we all still talk to each other. I dislike that the GB call themselves the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ because they have proved not to be so. And of course I hate all the Child Abuse earthwide in the Org. But it doesn’t make me unbalanced about who they are and what they do as individuals. As for what they teach from a biblical standpoint, it’s basically the truth. They just go over the top with the rules. In my opinion the Bible was written for the Anointed anyway, not for the ‘other sheep’. But I think the 8 men GB need disfellowshipping and replacing with 12 anointed men from around the earth. If you believe in God and creation then i would presume you think God has a purpose for us humans, and a purpose for this earth. If you believe the Bible then you might just believe that there will be some kind of ‘cleansing’ coming. Armageddon or not something has to happen and quite soon too. If you don’t believe then you just become another Bible basher that hates all religion. Only you know your own feelings.

      • Alexandra keep doing the good things you do. This man obviously had not seen the first hand effects of what the J.W.’ s do to a person. I was molested by an elder and my brother for five years. The elders told me to pray for forgiveness at age ten because it was my fault I was abused. They disfellowshipped me because I wouldn’t forgive my ex husband for cheating on me with his cousin. My ex husband is still a J.W. My now husband got disfellowshipped with no judicial meeting. He had no idea that were even thinking about disfellowshipping him. The elders and the governing body are liars and control freaks. It would be amazing if a single truth came out of their mouths. I have done research too. And they take away and add to things to keep control of the filters. John 8 in their grey Bible verses 1-12 is missing. Now why would they take out the part where Jesus says that the person who has not sinned can cast the first stone? They told me to not even bother trying to get reinstated or coming to the Kingdom hall because as long as they have control I will never be reinstated. They attacked me at my moms funeral. They are unloving people.

      • John mate, as inexperienced as Iam, only being in the truth for 5 years baptized, I can say Ive seen and heard many different circumstances, I do think a lot of these sites can paint a dark picture, but also some bro’s and sisters can swing from either being so hard ruled its basically unscriptural to the ones that are so laxed your surprised their in the truth

      • thanks for reply john, keep well, shame it wasn’t the truth, then we would all be bro’s and sister’s

    • Again, nasty words John. Please try to empathise with the millions of victims around the world whose worlds have been torn apart. Tell you what… I’ll pledge to give you $100 (that’s a promise) if you can name the current governing body members who you listen to – did you know that governing body members have no set number of people at any given time? In fact I’ll give you $100 if you can email anyone from That’s a promise.

      • It’s difficult to reply to you Bob as you are being too general about things. As for sites painting dark pictures, well i don’t think you can dispute the Charity Commision or the Australian Royal commision. And i don’t think you can dispute the Supreme / High court of California,, or similar in Canada. Commisions are not courts of course, commisions only do investigations but they have certainly found some wicked goings on within the JW Org. And the high courts have proven how wicked some JW’s are and that the Governing Body are definitely hiding / withholding information about pedophiles within the JW Org. All of that is fact. And it can easily be seen that elders are just puppets for the GB. Elders have to obey rules. The GB make the rules. Unfortunately the rules are not truly based on scriptures. THE GB are not interested in such scriptures as Matthew 12 v9-12. And the GB seem to have forgotten that Jesus said “I want mercy not sacrifice”… The Governing Body and the Elders are only interested in keeping the Org looking clean, not actually keeping the Org honestly clean. Can you give me a scripture that tells you not to talk to anyone that has left the Org ? THE GB and the Elders will tell you not talk to anyone that has left the Org, but do they give you scriptural backing for saying it. You will know of course that this has broken up families and left children and adults with depression and loneliness. Once again read Matthew 12 v 9 through 12. Jesus made it so clear there, that sometimes for a loving purpose, rules can be broken… I would suggest that you do your own research Bob. Please don’t just plod on blindly serving the GB and you Elders.

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