International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation (IJCAM) 

Vol. 4, (2022). Published August 23, 2023 

DOI: 10.54208/1000/0004/005

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"You're Going to Go into Some Really Dark, Dark Places in Your Mind." Loss and Disillusionment of Being Shunned From the Jehovah's Witnesses Community and Its Impact

Windy A. Grendele, Maya Flax, and Savin Bapir-Tardy


Being shunned from a tight-knit religious community, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, may be a traumatic event. The accounts of twenty-one participants, qualitatively analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis, elucidate the extent to which religious shunning impacts an individual’s life. Two dominant themes emerged from the data: “losses due to shunning” and “rebuilding of self post-shunning.” This article will explore the impact that being shunned has on the participants’ lives, considering its psychological consequences and daily challenges. The article will then discuss the positive aspects which may characterise the experiences of those shunned from the Jehovah’s Witnesses community. 

Keywords: religious shunning, Jehovah’s Witnesses, betrayal, family bonds, regained autonomy