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. …

Esther Gebhard

Esther Gebhard: Mandated Shunning at an Early Age


I was five when my parents joined a faith-based group that practised and enforced mandated shunning. At seven, my mother’s good friend was disfellowshipped and everyone in our group was informed that we had to shun this person to be loyal to God. If we didn’t, we’d be shunned. A few months later, I was walking with my mom when …


Elder Ostracized by Family


During my formative years, my parents joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses church. Their affiliation led to my initiation into the faith through baptism at the ridiculously young age of twelve. My spiritual journey progressed steadily, culminating in my appointment as an “elder” at the age of twenty. Subsequently, during my early twenties, I dedicated five years to serving as a full-time …

Shunning is a Crime

I Earned This Punishment Because I Have Sinned


A comment often heard from excommunicated members of high-control groups is they have sinned and deserve the punishment of mandated shunning. It never occurs to them that they may be the victim. That they have induced group phobias related to sexual norms and the group’s coercive ideology may not be “the truth”. To members still in the group, the person …