136 episodes

Religious and cult ideologies often use the practice of shunning to silence their critics and to control their members through fear. This podcast sheds light on this practice through real life stories as told by the people that have lived through it. Learn what their lives were like and where they have ended up in life after shunning. Featuring stories from Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Amish, Mennonite, FLDS, the Moonies, and more, you will learn about the real lives of former members that have been shunned.

shunned shunned

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 34 Ratings

Religious and cult ideologies often use the practice of shunning to silence their critics and to control their members through fear. This podcast sheds light on this practice through real life stories as told by the people that have lived through it. Learn what their lives were like and where they have ended up in life after shunning. Featuring stories from Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Amish, Mennonite, FLDS, the Moonies, and more, you will learn about the real lives of former members that have been shunned.

    Episode 130 - Sincerity Is NOT Enough - Jose is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 130 - Sincerity Is NOT Enough - Jose is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are a performance based cult that are all about “what have you done for me lately”. Your actions are everything to them. Sadly it is the same with relationships when it comes to JWs, you either do what they want you to do or you cease to exist to them. You, by yourself, are not enough. You must be who and what they want you to be. Jose was a super sincere person that just wanted to love and be loved, but sadly that can’t happen because those around him have other expectations of who he would have to be in order to be worthy of their affection.
    The song that Jose chose to represent his journey is Jumping Someone Else’s Train by The Cure.
    Support today’s guest by leaving him a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our *NEW* Private ExJwHelp Coaching & Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Episode 129 - Being Noticed Was Bad - Trevor is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 129 - Being Noticed Was Bad - Trevor is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    “I had these huge dreams and aspirations of what I wanted to do, where the attention was all on me. But in my actual life I was so afraid to be noticed because, in my experience, being noticed wasn’t necessarily a good thing. You want to fit in with the mold… standing out in that context can be dangerous.”
    Listen to find out what Trevor is referencing in his quote above. A young man with big dreams, he didn’t fit in with a cult that had keeping him small as one of its primary goals. Jehovah’s Witnesses want to keep you small and at the Kingdom Hall. This is one man’s story of finally beginning to realize parts of his big dreams as he realizes that those dreams are not only achievable, but far more real than anything he was promised by his former faith.
    The song that Trevor chose to represent his story is One Five and Four by Hospital Socks, a song that he gets to sing second vocal on.
    Support today’s guest by leaving him a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our *NEW* Private ExJwHelp Coaching & Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 2 hrs 7 min
    Episode 128 - If I Do This, Maybe They'll Leave Me Alone

    Episode 128 - If I Do This, Maybe They'll Leave Me Alone

    Whether it was giving his first talk or becoming an unbaptized publisher or getting baptized, Nate knew what was expected of him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. With a desire to please his parents and a desire to get them off of his back, Nate did what he had to do to get by, hoping that it would alleviate the pressure. But every step just leads to the expectation of yet another, as nothing is ever good enough for the cult. Ultimately it never mattered what Nate did, however, because Nate knew something about himself that would never be accepted.
    The song that Nate chose to represent his story is Rainbow by Kesha.
    Support today’s guest by leaving him a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our *NEW* Private ExJwHelp Coaching & Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 2 hrs 52 min
    Episode 127 - "If he kills me, we won't be married in paradise anymore, right?"

    Episode 127 - "If he kills me, we won't be married in paradise anymore, right?"

    During a meeting with the congregation elders about her abusive husband, JoHannah asked the question that is the title of this episode. Trying to get the elders to understand the severity of the abuse in her home, words that fell on deaf ears, she would take the courageous step of leaving her marriage only to be looked down upon for doing so. Such is life when you’ve been conditioned to tolerate abuse from an early age to endure the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this episode you will learn JoHannah’s story, sadly full of abuse in a cult that protects abusers (her dad was shunned for smoking while her childhood abuser ran free), but more than that you’ll learn about the indomitable person and spirit that is JoHannah and her path out.
    You can learn more about her on her own YouTube channel at A is for Apostate Here
    The song that she chose to represent her journey is Forgiven by Alanis Morissette
    Support today’s guest by leaving her a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our Shunned Podcast Facebook Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 2 hrs 26 min
    Episode 126 - Gay At Bethel - Harrison is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 126 - Gay At Bethel - Harrison is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Harrison lived a life full of change and drama growing up. A mother that was dependent on alcohol and disfellowshipped from the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses twice, move after move after move, including living with a grandmother that was also eventually disfellowshipped, there was a lot of chaos at times. Having not really been interested in “The Truth” as JWs call it, a chance month of field ministry around the age of 16 with a young couple that showed him interest would change everything. Well, not quite everything, as Harrison was gay and knew it, but he would end up serving at the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bethel. You’ll learn about Harrison as a person, as a JW, and as a Bethelite, along with some insights into the culture of Bethel, a place that is idolized by members of the cult.
    Support today’s guest by leaving him a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our Shunned Podcast Facebook Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 2 hrs 8 min
    Episode 125 - Make It Be True - Elizabeth is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 125 - Make It Be True - Elizabeth is shunned by Jehovah's Witnesses

    After a night spent with her boyfriend talking, a relationship that as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses she wasn’t supposed to have because he wasn’t in the cult, a phone call comes in from Elizabeth’s father wanting to know where she is. After replying that she was at Waffle House planning a wedding with her friend and that she just lost track of time, she told her boyfriend that now they had to go to Waffle House. Why? Because she had to “make it be true”.

    If those four words aren’t the epitome of what it is to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I don’t know what is. The desire to “make it be true”, to ignore all evidence to the contrary, to continue to uphold a dedication coerced through cult influence often as children, and to justify the sunk cost at all costs, is what leads so many to stay in something that isn’t good for them. It leads to people living an inauthentic life because they’re in so far that they have to “make it be true” because the cost of leaving is so high although they’ve already lost so much while being in. Elizabeth has such a story of her own to share, including a harrowing experience with a predatory cult member that she was saved from just before it got much worse.
    Support today’s guest by leaving her a comment HERE
    Support the show by donating to the cause on our Patreon page, Patreon.com/shunned
    Are you struggling in some area of life? Feeling stuck? Need an accountability partner or some encouragement? Need to talk to someone that understands cult life? Reach out and let’s talk. I have affordable programs to help as a certified life coach. Click HERE for more information.
    Want more resources? Go to my other website exjwHelp.com
    Join our Shunned Podcast Facebook Support Group HERE
    Leave us a review on iTunes
    Find shunned podcast on Youtube, including new VIDcasts here.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    You can listen to the Shunned Podcast Spotify playlist here for all of the songs chosen by guests of the show.
    This podcast was made possible by my original podcast This JW Life. You can find it on any podcast app or on YouTube. It is a 9 part series about life as Jehovah’s Witnesses designed to help you understand how it worked in one comprehensive story and to help you process your own if you came from that environment.
    Music provided by Jane and the Boy, entitled Save Myself.

    • 2 hrs 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

DP79SS ,

Life Affirming.

Mike, this podcast has been the relieving weight that I did not even realise that I needed. Some of your guests stories have truly rocked me to my core.
I have an epic of a story of my own but I’m not sure if I’m ready to speak on a podcast- but I am in complete admiration & I will continue to listen,- & I plan to donate to the cause.

Suzie Tee ,

Fantastic podcast!

Thank you Mike! Thank you for the time, effort, sacrifice you make to the community. You are extraordinary and your effort does not go unnoticed. Your podcast is relatable and has helped me become stronger!
Many thanks.

CG_Thorpe ,

Relatable. Warm. Community building

Thanks for your podcast, Mike. Thank you also to your guests for being brave and frank in relating the accounts of their journey from religions that shun them.

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