Stop The Shunning

is creating activism videos
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About Stop The Shunning

I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses for 30 years. Now, I'm trying to raise awareness of the psychological damage and human rights violations of the Watchtower organization. 

I was baptized as a minor. Though I wasn't legally allowed to drink, vote, drive, or get married, I was encouraged to enter into a lifelong contract with devastating fine print: if I ever changed my mind and left the organization, I could never have a relationship with my family again. I can't overemphasize how exploitative these terms are. How does a minor possess the emotional or intellectual capacity to make such a decision? Really, how are those terms acceptable at any age?

The leadership of the Jehovah's Witnesses dictated how I should think, feel, and behave and this had a tremendously negative impact on my well-being. I experienced intense anxiety and struggled with shame surrounding my emerging sexuality as a teenager. The unreasonably high standards and expectations placed on members eventually led me to suicidal ideation and other self-destructive behaviors. 

But again, I stayed longer than I ever wanted to because I was afraid of being shunned. I later learned that this abusive strategy is characteristic of narcissistic relationships and was determined to break free. I trained myself to set healthy boundaries and for the first time in my life, I have self-respect. 

Throughout my journey, I would also learn more about the organization that required I sever any and all ties, namely: a chronic, systemic child sexual abuse problem, criminal obstruction of justice, and the revelation that the organization had hypocritically become bedfellows with the United Nations - an organization they vehemently denounced. 

I officially disassociated in December of 2017 to clearly communicate my position to the organization, as well as my family. I love my family dearly and they are always welcome in my life. Nevertheless, I am shunned. 

I created my YouTube channel, Stop The Shunning, in November of 2018. I wanted to add my voice to the growing community of former Jehovah's Witnesses who are taking a stand against tyranny and oppression. During this time, I graduated summa cum laude with my BA in Psychology and became a certified life coach. 

Due to impending changes in my work schedule, I'm unable to devote the time and resources necessary to keep the channel going without the support of viewers. It is my hope that despite the addition of my secular work, the contribution of my patrons will allow me to continue producing thoughtful content for the channel. 

I want to thank viewers for their support as I approach this next chapter of my life. 

Bethany

Recent posts by Stop The Shunning