Court Rules: Jehovah’s Witnesses Can Shun Members

"Court of Appeals" by Coolcaesar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Court of Appeals” by Coolcaesar

The Watchtower tries to deny to the public that they “shun” former members except in cases where someone has committed a serious sin or has completely rejected “Jehovah’s organization.”

During the Australian Royal Commission hearings in 2015, Jehovah’s Witness elders and high-ranking officers continued to deny that the Watchtower’s actual policy requires former members to be “shunned” except for major sins and transgressions. They try to make it seem that every Jehovah’s Witness has the ability to decide whether to shun a loved one or friend who has run afoul of Watchtower rules and teachings.

In fact, they often describe the use of “shunning” in severe situations as “a loving provision” for those who have left (or been tossed out of) the fold. They ignore the psychological damage done to those people and the destruction of families by requiring no contact at all except for emergency situations and for necessary elder care. Continue reading “Court Rules: Jehovah’s Witnesses Can Shun Members”

Who Really Distorts The Facts of History?

[Original publication date: September 5, 2003]

by Kent Steinhaug

The April 1, 1995 issue of The Watchtower contains an article entitled “How Christians Cope With Public Reproach.” This article claims that news media reports on the Witnesses are often biased and contain false or distorted information.

What is "The Truth" and who owns it?
What is “The Truth” and who owns it?

A typical comment about the press is found on page 27 of The Watchtower: “Many press reports that heap reproach on Jehovah’s Witnesses are an expression of this hatred.” In many cases the Jehovah’s Witness leaders advise Witnesses not to respond to such articles in case “The original untruth might thus receive even more publicity, or opposers may be handed further opportunity to get lies or slurs into print.”

The article counsels Jehovah’s Witnesses to, “Invite them [misinformed persons] to get firsthand information about Jehovah’s Witnesses, which enables them to see through false accusations. You could also use explanations published by the Watchtower Society that give details about the organization, its history, and its teachings.” A footnote is provided recommending three items of Watchtower literature. Two of these are pamphlets which offer just bare outlines of Jehovah’s Witness history and activity. Continue reading “Who Really Distorts The Facts of History?”

Banned Church Member Sues Jehovah’s Witnesses

[Original publication date: September 5, 2003]

A Normandy resident who was disfellowshipped from Jehovah’s Witnesses is suing the organization for $7 million on grounds the alleged action against her was wrong.

Joe and Barbara Anderson
Joe and Barbara Anderson
© Barbara Anderson

By BRIAN JUSTICE, The Sunday News Staff Writer
Tullahoma News (Tullahoma, Tennessee)

Barbara Joanna Anderson filed the lawsuit Thursday in Coffee County Circuit Court.

She is seeking $2 million in compensatory damages, plus $5 million in punitive damages.

The defendants are listed as:

* Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc.
* Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc.
* Watchtower Enterprises LLC.
* Watchtower Foundation Inc.
* Watchtower Associates LTD.
* Kingdom Support Services Inc.
* Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
* Religious Order of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
* The Watchtower Group Inc.
* Manchester Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Elders.
* Lawrence A. Seely, Gary Hobson, Dale Dormanen, Robert E. Matthews, David Semonian, J.R. Brown, and John Does No. 1 through No. 4.

Mrs. Anderson and her husband, Joe, had publicly spoken about alleged sexual child abuse being widespread among the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination. Continue reading “Banned Church Member Sues Jehovah’s Witnesses”