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...or One Way To Leave the Jehovah's Witnesses..."

If you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and you want to escape, there are many ways of doing it. You either slip, trip, or jump. If you just slip out of the habit of attending meetings and the door-to-door ministry, slowly remove yourself, you're a backslider. You'll get a few visits from concerned elders who'll try to bring you back into the fold, but if you're patient and persist in your non-action, they'll give up on you sooner or later. The other big one is disfellowshipping, which occurs if you're an "unrepentant" wrongdoer - you've been caught sinning and must face the consequences. Disassociating oneself is like taking the jump.

In the Jehovah's Witness organisation an individual may disassociate oneself from the congregation by voluntarily and formally resigning, usually in writing to the congregation elders. People who choose this course of action usually do so because they no longer wish to follow the teachings, either for moral or religious reasons.

Such people are shunned by faithful congregation members in the same way as one who is disfellowshipped. This means that that no-one will seek out their company or talk to them, except in the course of their ministry. This can cause problems for family members, as there are strict guidelines laid down regarding contact. Nothing of a spiritual nature may be discussed, and they are treated as though they were "wordly". Obviously this can cause tremendous friction within relationships.

As with disfellowshipped people, anyone may apply for reinstatement if they so desire, but they are required to meet with the elders to provide evidence that there is genuine repentance, and a desire to rejoin the congregation.

Some of you may be aware that I an an ex-JW, although I didn't quit this way, I slid slowly out the easy way. Occasionally though, I need to deal with them again, and I hint that my chosen course was to disassociate myself. The look on their faces as they leave can occasionally be amusing.

Dis`as*so"ci*ate (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Disassociated (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Disassociating (?).]

To disconnect from things associated; to disunite; to dissociate.



© Webster 1913.

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