Mandated Shunning Research Project

New Research Project on the Harmful Effects of Mandated Shunning


Stop Mandated Shunning (part of The Open Minds Foundation) are thrilled to announce an innovative research initiative in collaboration with the University of Roehampton, London, to study the harmful effects of mandated shunning as practiced by high-control religious groups. This three-year, comprehensive research project, costing approximately $100,000 per year, will be spearheaded by esteemed researchers Dr. Savin Bapir-Tardy and Dr. Windy Grendele. An initial funding tranche of $25,000 will be needed by September 2024 with the remaining $75,000 for the year September 1, 2024 to August 31, 2025 to follow.

Understanding Mandated Shunning

Shunning is a Crime
Mandated shunning leads to severe psychological and social harm

Mandated shunning is a practice where high-control groups enforce the social ostracism of members who are deemed non-conforming or disobedient. This practice, which can occur within religious, political, and social groups, leads to severe psychological and social harm. Despite its devastating impact, mandated shunning has not been adequately studied or addressed in academic literature.

Research Scope and Methodology

The research will employ both qualitative and quantitative methods to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of mandated shunning. Numerous interviews will be conducted to establish a baseline understanding. The study will document the prevalence of mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation among individuals who have experienced shunning. Additionally, it will explore the correlations between these experiences and specific mental health outcomes, as well as demographic influences on these impacts.

University of Roehampton, London

The research will focus on six high-control groups known for practicing mandated shunning, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Exclusive Brethren, Amish, and Bahá’í Faith. Testimonies from former members of these groups will provide valuable data for the study.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

The primary objective of the study is to evaluate whether mandated shunning and coercive control practices constitute violations of human rights. The research aims to identify specific elements that would be classified as criminal offenses, including crimes against humanity. By extending the existing body of literature, this study will offer robust evidence to inform policies and legislation to tackle this form of abuse, protect those who leave high-control groups, and provide adequate support for victims.

Global Collaboration and Impact

Given the project’s extensive scope, Dr. Bapir-Tardy and Dr. Grendele will collaborate with several universities and expert researchers worldwide. This interdisciplinary approach will combine psychological analysis with legal frameworks to explore the profound impact of mandated shunning on individual well-being and societal structures.

How You Can Help

We invite you to join our global campaign to expose the harm caused by mandated shunning and set legal precedents to protect human rights. Your support can help us push for significant change and make mandated shunning a recognized violation of human rights.

Ways you can get involved or support this crucial research:

Together, we can make a difference and work towards a world where mandated shunning is no longer a tool of coercion and control. #stopmandatedshunning