Glossary of terms related to mandated shunning


A glossary of key words and terms related to mandated shunning

Coercive control

A pattern of abusive behaviour in a relationship where one person or a group seeks to dominate and control another person through a wide range of manipulative tactics to undermine the victim's autonomy, self-esteem and freedom.


A term used in Scientology to describe the practice of severing all communication (shunning) with a person, who the Church hierarchy decides is a spiritual threat to other church members.


A term specifically used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to describe the disciplinary action and removal of an individual from their group, typically as a result of violating specific religious practices, beliefs and/or moral standards.


A formal religious disciplinary action that involves the expulsion or exclusion of an individual from a religious community, typically as a result of violating religious doctrines, rules, or moral standards.


A noun that refers to the state or condition of being forcibly or voluntarily removed from one's home, native country, or usual place of residence and being prohibited from returning, as a form of punishment.

Family estrangement

The emotional and often physical separation between one or more family members, in order to create space or cut ties with other family members, resulting in reduced or no interaction.

Freedom of religion

A fundamental human right that encompasses the right to believe, the right to change one's religion, freedom from coercion and discrimination, and the freedom of conscience.

Freedom to leave a religion

A key component of religious freedom and human rights, which means no one should be compelled, coerced, discriminated against, or pressured into remaining a member of a religious group against their will.

High-control groups

Organisations that exhibit a high degree of control and influence over their members' thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, and daily lives. They are characterized by authoritarian leadership and a strong emphasis on loyalty and conformity.

Mandated shunning

It is a practice where a person is formally required or compelled to shun, ostracize or cut off contact with another individual as a result of a formal directive or mandate, often by an authority or governing body.


A social and psychological phenomenon that involves the exclusion or rejection of an individual by a larger community or group, taking the form of shunning, social exclusion, ignoring, or deliberate avoidance.

Parental/familial alienation

A complex family dynamic in which one parent, often due a contentious divorce, intentionally influences a child to reject, fear or become estranged from the other parent.

Relational aggression

The use of social aggresion and related tactics to harm, manipulate, or damage the relationships and social status of others.


A social and psychological practice that involves deliberately avoiding or ignoring an individual or group, often as a form of social rejection/punishment. It can have severe emotional and psychological impacts on individuals experiencing it.

Social bulying

When a group or individual intentionally targets a specific person and calls them names, insults them, excludes them from the group, or tells lies about them in order to intimidate and control the victim.

Social rejection

The act of excluding or ostracising an individual, as a result of differences in beliefs or behaviour, to make that person feel unwanted, unaccepted or undervalued.

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