Watchtower Shunning, Reverse Psychology, and the Ultimate Spotlight on Abuse


The Jehovah’s Witnesses are recognized as a cult by most world renowned psychology experts internationally. Methods by which the Watchtower Society uses to control members are in some cases consistent, but in other cases, slightly shifting in pattern. We herein uncover the dirty truth behind Watchtower shunning abuse, and how it is about to backfire.


The most recent, devastating yet painfully obvious tactic is the reverse psychology used against former Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 2015-2016, the Watchtower began to flip the shunning aspect in a manner than begs to excuse them from the fire darts being shot at them over shunning.


Watchtower victim blaming


In 2013, I began a campaign to plead with Watchtower to end the shunning abuses. My urgent letter sought reform within Watchtower, requesting the 8 Governing Body members [at the time] to abolish the Watchtower shunning of former members, in order that a) suicide related deaths would be reduced or eliminated, and b) members who were “on the fence” of leaving may actually be retained if new policies were enacted. Within a short period of time, the Governing Body sent the elders to find me and offer their “scriptural reasons” for Watchtower shunning. I turned them down to meet for formal discussions, as they showed themselves to be adamantly against reforming their policies. Thereafter, the Australian Commission brought Watchtower Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson on the stand for the Watchtower’s part in hiding pedophiles and shunning victims who were once molested. The spotlight ignited the ExJW community to rally against the Watchtower, who claimed they do not shun former members. With full force brought against them by legal counsel and judge presiding over the case, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were consequently branded as even more cult-like and extremist in their practices than previously noted by many.

Reverse Psychology in Jehovah’s Witnesses: the Ultimate Abuse


Moving into 2016, new language began surfacing in dialogue with Jehovah’s Witnesses, as publications began manipulating the JWs into thinking that

a) The elders did not disfellowship the accused (or, victim) and

b) The accused disfellowshipped the congregation, thereby shunning them by the hundreds. This was a very strategic maneuver to bring a new level of master manipulation to thousands of puppets around the world. No longer did Jehovah’s Witnesses have to be persecuted for “shunning”. They now could target the former members, who they claim “left God, left the organization, and disfellowshipped Jehovah’s Witnesses.” In gentler and more coercive speech, they might even say, “We didn’t leave you. You left us. You disassociated from us.” This now shifts blame to the victims who lost entire families.


Prominent Youtuber and Christian Activist Eric, known as “Sons of Thunder” left the Watchtower organization in search of a true relationship with Jesus Christ. He now speaks out against Watchtower false teachings and abusive practices, and shared the following astounding excerpt found on JW org. The following is a manipulation tool to deceptively encourage JWs into further victimizing of former members, thereby making the congregation full of abusers and enablers.

Watchtower February 2016
“Learn from Jehovah’s Loyal Servants”

“7. How did one sister stay loyal to God in a difficult situation?

7 A conflict of loyalties may arise when a close relative is disfellowshipped. For example, a sister named Anne received a telephone call from her disfellowshipped mother. The mother wanted to visit Anne because she felt pained by her isolation from the family. Anne was deeply distressed by the plea and promised to reply by letter. Before writing, she reviewed Bible principles. (1 Cor. 5:11; 2 John 9-11) Anne wrote and kindly reminded her mother that she had cut herself off from the family by her wrongdoing and unrepentant attitude. “The only way you can relieve your pain is by returning to Jehovah,” Anne wrote.—Jas. 4:8.”

Decoding the Cult Language

By Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower teaching, “returning to Jehovah” means rejoining the religion. Let’s reword the sentence as it is properly intended: “You’re isolated and in pain because you were evicted from our religion? The only way to relieve your pain is not be praying to be forgiven, or even by reading the bible. The only way to relieve your pain is by becoming a Jehovah’s Witness again. There is no other way to not be in pain. You will not be loved unless you rejoin our religion.”

Master Manipulation


While the victim discussed in the paragraph was shunned by family already, and is shown to be in great distress, the sting of Watchtower’s bite further causes damage in the new ploy. Though action was taken against the victim to evict them from the cult, the members would now be brainwashed into believing that the victim “evicted themselves”, or disfellowshipped themselves. Watchtower is attempting to thereby relieve themselves of all blame and further public shame.

The Backfire: Reactance


A former Jehovah’s Witness likely feels they no longer have options to communicate with current family members who are Jehovah’s Witness. Their rights and choices have been taken away. As a result, reactance can occur.


Reactance: Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his or her choices or limiting the range of alternatives.


When one is pressured into accepting such a belief, they may be forced into a view which is contrary to what was intended. Reactance is common. For instance:


The Watchtower Society teaches it’s members that if they ignore the former JW, they will be so missed that it will force the former JW back into joining the organization.


Instead, former JWs around the world have formed an even larger and more powerful allegiance against the cult known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. ExJWs have become more educated on psychological tactics which were used against them while in the cult. They have armed themselves with knowledge of the operation of cults. They have banded together to support one another, and further their cause in fighting against the cult abuse of shunning. News stations have become informed. Authors have written books. Groups have been formed and are rapidly growing, and activists have come out of hiding in a staunch mission to stand against religious abuses, manipulation, and cultic influences which have torn apart families.


Reactance has backfired in the face of cult leaders. As a result, more and more Jehovah’s Witnesses are unable to avoid hearing of the absurdities of their actions, as former Jehovah’s Witnesses become even more outspoken. Many have begun to see the obvious manifestations of cult mind control. Congregations are thinning out. Chairs are emptying. We are no longer in the old age of being abused while silenced.

Reverse Psychology Fail


The once accepted reverse psychology taught that if one left, they would miss it so much, they’d return. Yet, the sea of dissidents has grown, the eyes of the sheep have opened, and the original intent of the company leaders has become a disaster. The last ditch effort which shows extreme weakness and despair, is to blame the victim. This too, is now revealed through the instituting of “Blame-Game Tactics”.


Victim Blaming


This Victim Blaming is one of the most commonly recognized classic strategies of abusers. This is good news for the victims, who may now step forward and point out the strategy, opening Watchtower up to unparalleled investigations by psychologists and cult research organizations.


The final play in the Watchtower shunning tactic has finally been revealed. The “Victim Blaming” will open up a grand stage to shine a new spotlight on just how abusive the Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society has become.

Exposing The Abuse

The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible. Please subscribe to our website and follow the upcoming entry into victimology as we further discuss religious abuse and Watchtower shunning.


Learn more:

Characteristics of a Cult

Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse recording (crazy mother flips out on son)

Watchtower abuse

5 thoughts on “Watchtower Shunning Backfires – New Abuse Strategy”

  1. Well explained and an excellent blog,Jill.
    This cult has mastered the art of ‘Victim Blame’ apportion and uses it very effectively.The subtlety is lost on the Victim, who is already numb from the ‘Eviction’ that precedes such practice.
    The lessons learnt from Royal Commission (Australia) Hearings have been either entirely lost or further reinforced so as to make the Sheep quake in their furry hooves.
    These Draconian measures are not going to help and in the last analysis, People will vote (An anathema in the cult doctrine) with their flip- flops…..
    More power to your Parker Fountain Pen…

  2. The following quotes are from the article, “Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?” in the July 2009 AWAKE!

    “You may feel that your religion is inextricably linked with family history and culture and should not be change.” This explains my wife’s fierce loyalty to JWs. While very pious, she has never been a spiritual person, and, in 43 years of marriage, I have NEVER heard her initiate a conversation about the Bible outside of field service. She has close friendships with several non-JWs for whom she works, but she has NEVER “witnessed” to them about the JW teaching about the impending end of this system. You’d think she would have done so if she truly believed it, wouldn’t you?

    “When people change their beliefs, they may decide they will no longer share in certain religious rituals or holidays.” Like, for example, attending the Kingdom Hall, going in field service, or attending the Memorial? “At times, loyalty to God may result in your making a decision that is unpopular with some family members… No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family… The Bible encourages a husband and wife who practice different religions to remain together as a family.”

    When this article was first published, I told my wife a change was imminent in Watchtower policy regarding the shunning of exemplary Christians who had disassociated from JWs over matters of conscience. Any rational person reading that article would naturally conclude so. [Prior to 1981, one could resign from the congregation and maintain normal relationships with family and friends who remained active JWs.] However, the shunning of such upright, moral persons on the part of JWs continues.

    When I discovered that the Watchtower Society, by its own standard of judging other religions, had become an apostate religious organization by voluntarily serving as publicity agents for the UN for 10 years, I disassociated from JWs after 47 years. As a direct result of that action on my part, my wife of 43 years has separated from me and is divorcing me. Also, she has begun shunning our 38-year old daughter who, although baptized at age 16, has never been an active JW.

    The above referenced article from the July 2009 AWAKE! clearly exposes a double standard on the part of JWs and the Watchtower Society. And we know that God hates double standards! (Proverbs 20: 10, 23)

  3. Jesus died for all.. when you are cruel. Isolate, spread rumors for shunning, use manipulating stuff to separate families that God intended to be together, use younger children , backbiting , and introduce that into the souls of the people in the church and families … you introduce hate … these folks are all baptized received Holy Spirit .. now they claim folks claim they betrayed holy spirt and need to punished by the congregation. … No the ones being manipulated are ones that dening the Holy Spirit … therefore shunning is not of God….Holy Spirit isn’t gender’s not cruel, it’s not strife, it’s not gossip, and it’s not cruelty . And seeking cruel treatment to former members . .

  4. The instructions given in the JW church is not to call pd…the pd have flags representing freedom of folks and so in the manipulation process of brainwashing folks are told not to call for fear they may lose a person in the seeing the flag..
    So victim blaming is punishment for calling pd and seeing the American flag…

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