Watchtower Disfellowshipping Offences


Bible discussion of shunning in 1 Corinthian’s 15 and 2 John is limited to just the following areas; Fornication, Greed, idolatry, Revilers, Practicing Drunkenness, Extortion and One who does not remain in the teaching of the Christ.

This list should be the full extent of reasons for which to be disfellowshipped. In fact, Diotrephes was reprimanded for attempting to throw people out of the congregation unnecessarily.

3 John 9,10 “I wrote something to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect. That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words. Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive the brothers with respect, and those who are wanting to receive them he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation.”

Following is the vast list of offences the Watchtower has created for which a Jehovah’s Witness can be disfellowshipped or disassociated.

The abbreviations refer to the following publications:

Kingdom Ministry (km)
– Watchtower (w)
– Jehovahs Witnesses – Proclaimers of Gods Kingdom (1993) (jv)
– Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock (ks91-E)
– Organised to Accomplish Our Ministry (om)
– Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 or 2 (it-1 or 2)

  1. Adultery (sexual intercourse with a person other than your marriage mate), includes;
    • Abandoning wife and eloping with another woman – w79 11/15 31-2, w76 p.728
    • Planned adultery to break Scriptural marriage ties – w83 3/15 p.29
    • Remarriage without Scriptural permission – w56 10/1 p.597
    • Polygamy – jv 176
    • Dating a person not legally divorced – ks91-E p.135
  2. Apostasy – w83 4/1 pp.22-4, km 8/80 pp.1, 4. includes;
    • Rebellion against Jehovahs organization – w63 7/1
    • Promoting sects – it-2 886
  3. Associating with disfellowshipped people including;
    • Friends – ks91-E p.103, w81 9/15 pp.25-6, w55 10/1 p.607
    • Family – ks91-E p.103
  4. Blood and blood transfusions – w61 1/15 ks91-E p.95, jv p.183-4
  5. Drug use – ks91-E p.96
  6. Drunkenness – ks91-E p.95, it-1 656
  7. Dishonest business practices – w63 7/1, w86 11/15 14
  8. Employment violating Christian principles – km 9/76 p.6, km 2/74
    • Working for any religious organization – ks91-E p.95
    • Working in a gambling institution – ks91-E p.136
    • Selling tobacco – ks91-E p.96
    • Contract work at a military establishment
  9. False worship. Includes;
    • Attending another church ks91-E p.94
    • Following mourning customs that involve false worship – w85 4/15 p.25
  10. Fornication it-1 863
    • Bestiality – w83 6/1 p.25
    • Incestuous marriage – w78 3/15 p.26
    • Artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood.
    • “True Christians, therefore, avoid surrogate motherhood as well as any procedures that involve the use of donated sperm, eggs, or embryos” g04 9/22;
    • “Artificial insemination of a married woman by a donor other than her husband makes her guilty of adultery” g74 8/8 p.28
  11. sexual abuse of children – g93 10/8 p.10Reviling – ks91-E p.94, w96 7/15 pp.17-18; it-1 p.991; it-2 p.802
  12. Fraud – ks91-E p.94, om pp.142-3
  13. Gambling or related employment – w80 9/1, ks91-E p.136
  14. Gluttony – w86 5/1
  15. Greediness, this in used to include;
    • gambling ks91-E p.95
    • extortion ks91-E p.95, w89 1/15 22, it-1 p.789
    • greed in relation to bride-price: w98 9/15 p.25
  16. Homosexuality – w83 6/1 pp.24-6
  17. Idolatry – w52 3/1 p.138
  18. Loose conduct – ks91-E pp.93, 96, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 p.574, it-2 p.264, ks91-E p.93, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 pp.574-6, w97 9/1 p.14, it-2 p.246.

This includes;

  • Sexual perversion
  • Disregard for Jehovah’s moral standards
  • Disrespect, disregard or even contempt for standards, laws and authority,

Rather than restricted to the usual definition of sexual perversion, the Watchtower defines “loose conduct” as including “disrespect to elders”. This enables this term to be used to disfellowship for a wide range of offences not elsewhere covered, and as such is used to cover all manner of sins, such as refusal to cease fellowship with disfellowshipped people, or even being contemptuous in a judicial meeting where no other sin can be proven.


  • Lying – ks91-E p.94, g00 2/8 p.21
  • Non neutral activities (involvement in politics and the military) – ks91-E p.96
  • Military service and non military service including working casual work (certain civilian work has recently been made a conscience matter w96 5/1 p.20) – ks91-E p.96
  • Obscene speech – ks91-E p.95
  • Parents condoning immorality – w56 p.566
  • Political involvement, including voting or holding a political card in Malawi – ks91-E p.96 (w99 11/1 p.28 made voting a conscience matter)
  • Porneia. Includes oral and anal sex between married couples, mutual masturbation between persons not married to each other, homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, incest, and bestiality. – ks91-E p.93
  • Slander – ks91-E p.94, w63 7/1, w89 10/15 p.14, om p.142
  • Smoking or selling tobacco – km 2/74, ks91-E p.96
  • Spiritism (includes yoga w02 8/1 p.22) – w55 10/1 p.607
  • Stealing, thievery – om pp.142-5, ks91-E p.94
  • Subversive activity – w95 10/1 p.31
  • Uncleanness


  • Sexually perverse practices within marriage, such as oral and anal sex – w83 3/15 p.31
  • Heavy petting and breast fondling – ks91-E p.92
  • Touching of sexual parts – ks91-E p.91
  • Practice of viewing abhorrent Pornography – w2012 3/15 p.31


  • Violation of secular law if flagrant attitude – w86 10/1 p.31
  • Violence, extreme physical abuse, fits of anger – ks91-E p.96, w75 p.287, g01 11/8 p.12


  • Includes Boxing w81 7/1 pp.30-1, ks91-E p.142


  • Wilful non support of family, endangerment of mates spirituality – w88 11/1 pp.22-3, km 9/73 p.8, ks91-E p.95
  • Worldly celebrations such as Christmas – ks91-E p.95 (It appears celebrating birthdays is not a reason to be disfellowshipped)


“Shepherd the Flock of God” (2010)

Shepherd the Flock of God Cover Shepherd the Flock of God page 58

This is a summary of chapter 5 of the 2010 Elder’s handbook titled “Shepherd the Flock of God”. The chapter, “Determining Whether a Judicial Committee Should Be Formed”, extends from pages 58 to 79 and lists reasons for which a person can be disfellowshipped. Page 58 clarifies that “This list is not comprehensive. There may be other matters that would also merit the attention of a judicial committee.”

The following categories and subcategories are as laid out in the book.

“Manslaughter: p.59
Murder or loss of life through carelessness or violating a traffic law
Attempted Suicide

Por.neia: p.59 immoral use of the genitals with lewd intent.

Brazen conduct, loose conduct: pp.60,61 an insolent, contemptuous attitude made evident by a practice of these things:

– unnecessary association with disfellowshipped nonrelatives
– child sexual abuse
– pursue a romantic relationship with a person though not legally or Scripturally free to marry
– stayed all night in the same house with a person of the opposite sex (or in the same house with a known homosexual) under improper circumstances

Gross uncleanness, uncleanness with greediness: pp.61-65 vices that are not classes as por.neia but that could lead to ones being disqualified from Gods Kingdom.”

– Passion-arousing heavy petting or caressing of breast
– A practice of engaging in immoral conversations by telephone, in Internet chat rooms, or through similar electronic means
– An entrenched practice of viewing abhorrent forms of pornography that is sexually degrading
– Misuse of tobacco
– Extreme physical uncleanness

Misuse of addictive drugs: p.65

Apostasy: pp.65,66

– Celebrating false religious holidays
– Participation in interfaith activities
– Deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovahs Witnesses
– Causing divisions and promoting sects
– Continuing in employment that makes on an accomplice to or a promoter of false worship
– The practice of spiritism
– Idolatry

Drunkenness: p.66

Gluttony: p.67

Stealing, thievery: p.67

Deliberate, malicious lying; bearing false witness: p.67

Fraud, slander: p.67

Reviling: p.68 subjecting a person to insulting speech, heaping abuse upon him.

Obscene speech: p.69

Greed gambling, extortion: pp.69,70 Includes A Christian who greedily and unrepentantly extorts a high bride-price

Adamant refusal to provide materially for ones own family: p.70

Fits of anger, violence: p.70 Includes professional boxing


Grounds as listed in Index

dx86-11 Disfellowshipping
grounds: w98 3/15 22; w92 7/1 19; w89 9/15 18; w88 4/15 26-27; it-1 788
absolute endangerment of mate’s spirituality: w88 11/1 22-23
apostasy: w89 10/1 19; w86 3/15 15; w86 4/1 30-31; w86 10/15 31
bestiality: it-1 292
bloodguilt: w06 9/15 30
blood transfusion: jv 183-184
dishonest practices: w86 11/15 14
drunkenness: it-1 656
employment involving gambling: w95 5/15 23
extortion: w89 1/15 22; it-1 789
extreme physical abuse of family members: lv 221; g01 11/8 12; fy 150; w88 11/1 22
fits of anger: w10 6/15 30; lv 221; g01 11/8 12; g97 6/8 20; fy 150; g93 2/8 14
fornication: w06 7/15 29-30; it-1 863
fraud: om 142-143
gluttony: w04 11/1 30-31
greed in relation to bride-price: w98 9/15 25
gross uncleanness: lv 137; w06 7/15 30-31
loose conduct: w06 7/15 30-31
lying: w09 6/15 18-19; lv 163; g00 2/8 21
obscene speech: lv 136-137
persistent gambling: w89 7/15 30
polygamy: jv 176
pornography in certain cases: w06 7/15 31
promoting sects: it-2 886
reviling: lv 138; w96 7/15 17-18; it-1 991; it-2 802
sexual abuse of children: g93 10/8 10
slander: w89 10/15 14; om 142-143
subversive activity: w95 10/1 31
use of tobacco: w06 7/15 30-31; w95 5/15 23
whether violation of secular law is: w86 10/1 31
willful nonsupport of family: lv 220-221; w88 11/1 22

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