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Jehovah’s Witnesses Excommunication, a violation of Human Rights

2015-10-28 Source:fecris.org Author:fecris.org

In January, 2015, UNADFI (National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and the Individual Victim of Cults) issued a report-Jehovah’s Witnesses Excommunication, a violation of Human Rights. The following is the main content of this report.

The public is usually unaware of this, but those who leave the Jehovah's Witnesses Organization are generally separated from their family against their will, and the attitude of rejection which follows an excommunication (shunning) is even more extreme as it is presented by the leaders as a "sacred" duty.

The psychological, emotional and social distress which relatives endure resulting from shunning can be terrible. Not only many family events take place in the absence of a loved one such as a father, mother, child, grandchild, grandparent, brother, sister; but above all, the relatives are forced to consider those who have left as dead and once and for all mourn their relationship with them.

Parents, grandparents, children live through terrible heartbreaking and extremely deep moral suffering, desperate loneliness, severe depressions. Shunning can lead to similar consequences as physical violence, loss of health and death. Some commit suicide, seeing no solution to the moral and emotional conflict they are living. When they have the courage, the victims seek help and support on forums, with associations or with official bodies (i.e. MIVILUDES) when they exist.

This is the most radical measure applied to a follower who commits what is considered (in the internal rules) as a "serious sin", and does not repent.

The Watch Tower, the official organ of the movement, orders its members "not to keep up relationships" with those people leaving the organization (excommunicated, or voluntary disassociation), even with their own relatives: parents, children, brothers, sisters. Therefore, those who leave Jehovah's Witnesses are excluded not only from the Organization but also from their own family which has remained in the movement. An active member who does not shun a former member will be punished by the Jehovah’s Witness organization through sanctions, which may lead to disfellowshipping.

To summarize, the displayed biblical discourse, full of love and kindness, making it easy to enter the movement hides the terrible and frightening reality of moral and emotional imprisonment making it impossible to exit without damage.

by requiring that the excluded member break family or social contacts with members still in the movement,

and by preventing the followers with threats of exclusion to keep family or social contacts with those who have left the movement,

by  exerting  pressure,  threatening  exclusion  and  its  consequences  on  those who wish  to leave the Organization, by preventing under  threat of  exclusion  followers  from deciding  in  full  consciousness  to accept a vital blood transfusion

forcing to return to the Organization those excluded who can no longer bear isolation from family or the social breakdown.

According to Wikipedia, the Union nationale des associations de défense des familles et de l'individu (UNADFI) is a French anti-cult association founded in 1974, recognized as a public utility association by a decree of 30 April 1996,[1] and directly subsidized by the French State. It gathers and coordinates the Associations de Défense des Familles et de l'Individu (ADFI), whose purpose is to acquire information on the cult phenomenon, with prevention and assistance for its victims.