Leaving

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.  Psalm 119:45 (New International Version)

 

Writing a Letter of Disassociation

Making your decision to leave official is a very personal matter.  Some feel that a letter of disassociation is unnecessary while others find it gives them a sense of completion to write one.

What to say in your letter is also very personal and entirely up to you.  Some write pages and pages documenting their reasons and supporting their decision with scriptural references.  Others keep it simple and straight to the point.  A sample letter on the more simple lines can be seen by clicking on the link "Sample Letter of Disassociation".

Click on "Correspondence With the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society" to see an example of a very detailed exchange of letters.

If you do not write a letter disassociating yourself then you may face being disfellowshipped.  Either way, you will most likely be shunned.

Shunning

Shunning, by Witness definition serves two purposes:

1.  It is a regrettable but necessary step intended to "shock" the errant believer into repentance.

2.  It is intended to "protect" remaining members from the influence of the one being shunned.

Knowing that you will be shunned is one thing, living through the experience and all of its emotional ramifications can be devastating.  Mothers and fathers have gone to their deaths not speaking to a child who has been shunned.  Men and women have been taken to court on trumped up charges by angry ex-spouses who often succeed in permanently severing their relationship to their children, older teen-aged children have been kicked out of their familial homes, and grandparents have been denied the right to ever see their grandchildren.

The fact is that a large number of people who leave the Witnesses end up breaking under the strain of the shunning and return to the organization.  They are to be pitied in the truest sense of the word.  It can be devastating to lose an entire network of family and life long friends.  Some are simply not equipped to deal with the loss.

Shunning is demoralizing and many find themselves in that position as the result of disfellowshipping (rather than disassociation) and so have not had the opportunity to adequately prepare for living the reality.  The reasons for laying the support foundation we speak of before you depart will become painfully clear when family and life long friends cross the street to avoid meeting you.