Coping & Learning to Thrive after Being Shunned

What do you do when close family members and friends shun you, because you no longer believe as they do? It is particularly challenging, when the shunning has been mandated by a predatory pseudo-religious group, like Watchtower. And especially onerous if you were born into the high-control group.

Unfortunately, mandated shunning is being experienced by thousands of former Jehovah’s Witnesses today.

That is why I am so excited about shouting out praises for Bonnie Zieman’s new, ground-breaking book, SHUNNED: A Survival Guide, which is exclusively devoted to educating the reader on how to cope and learn to thrive after being shunned:

If you are currently being shunned, are contemplating being ostracized in the near future, know someone who is being abused with this inhumane practice, or just curious about this nasty form of emotional blackmail, Bonnie’s book is a must-read.

Three highlights of the book, at least for me, are:

What not to do when being shunned
How to deal with people who shun you
How to manage the worst effects of shunning



Coping & Learning to Thrive after Being Shunned — 6 Comments

    • Peter, you are absolutely right about the number of suicides as a result of shunning. Hopefully, Bonnie’s book can educate JWs, ex-JWs and the public about this barbaric practice and save lives.

  1. What I found helpful along my ten some years out of the organization, was searching To understand GOD, the creator of all things living and inanimate.
    God without religion is basis for increasing true knowledge and understanding. Realizing that most information is corrupted including the Bible and religious dogmas and mind influencing, controlling to ones harm.
    Truth known and expressed in past lives and literature does set one free. Most of what people think they know of God is corrupted and WRONG. So getting away from proving the wrong and attaining truth helps overcome.
    God helps us appreciate life, creation and understand death. A cycle as in all other creations.
    God does no harm, everything is for our good. Humans have corrupted and are abusing and keeping beneficial opportunities from others. SAD

  2. I see alot of lawsuits being filed regarding child abuse within this organization.

    Has anyone heard of any lawsuits regarding ‘domestic’ abuse between married JW couples? At 17 yrs old I married a Bethalite. I was a battered and abused wife for 3 years.
    After the beatings, ‘three elders’ would come to my house to counsel me about being more humble and in subjection to my husband. They would also encourage my husband to keep maintaining his leadership and keeping his wife in subjection. Never were my physical injuries ever reported to law enforcement.

    After 3 years, I divorced. I was disfellowshipped and shunned by my parents, brother, friends.
    The reading at my disfelliwshipping was stated for “conduct unbecoming of a Christian”.
    My health, mind and heart still suffer.

    Thank u for any info.

    • From what I have read you will not be able to win a lawsuit against WT for shunning you. Others that tried that lost. Also I doubt seriously whether you can win a suit blaming it for spousal abuse.

      Child abuse is a totally different situation because there are legally mandated reporters of child abuse. In many states clergy are among the mandated reporters which makes WT criminally guilty if it even suspects child abuse and fails to report in those states. There are some countries that make it illegal for anyone not to report a crime they become aware of. But the United States is not one of those.

      Civil cases are said to be easier to win than criminal ones, but yours would be a stretch. Best to see a lawyer though for legal advice.

    • I just read your post again and noticed that you got married at 17. It is possible that could be considered child abuse, which if you live in a statement that classifies the clergy as mandated reporters you might have a case.

      The mandatory reporting laws apply to any type of physical or emotional abuse. And note, the reporter doesn’t need proof of the incident just a reasonable suspicion. Your reporting to elders would meet that threshold.

      I see two are three things that might prohibit your suit. They are :

      1. If because of marriage or reaching the age of 17 child abuse laws wouldn’t apply.

      2. The incident happen too long ago and a statute of limitations prohibits the suit.

      Best to check it out right away with a lawyer as most lawsuits have to be filed within a certain time period of you becoming aware of your injury. Those laws are referred to as the statute of limitations. You can Google statute of limitations for filing a child abuse civil lawsuit in (add your state) to check that out.

      Best wishes!

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