Woman Kills Family After Shunned By Jehovah Witnesses
A Michigan woman who killed her husband and their two grown children before taking her own life “suffered harsh consequences” after leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a friend says.
Daniel Stuart, 47, was found dead in his Keego Harbor home on Friday, along with 27-year-old Steven Stuart and 24-year-old Bethany Stuart. Lauren Stuart, 45, used a gun to take her own life, investigator Keith Batchelor tells the Detroit Free Press.
Family friend Joyce Taylor told Fox 2 in Michigan that religion was “100%” to blame for what happened.
Taylor said the family was not allowed to contact anyone connected with Jehovah’s Witnesses, even if that person was a close friend.
“Two days ago, four people died as a result of your shunning process,” Taylor said as she broke into a meeting in Union Lake over the weekend, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Five years ago you people pulled your support from this small family, the only support they had was you people. You turned them away and you shunned them.”
“For what?!!,” she screamed, according to the newspaper. “Because they wanted to raise their children as they saw fit.”
The Stuarts sent their children to college despite the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses does not approve of that. The Taylors were “shunned every way possible,” Taylor told the newspaper.
“If Lauren went to the grocery store, they didn’t look her in the eye,” Taylor told the newspaper. “When you are raised a Jehovah’s Witness, they choose your friends. They choose who you associate with. And if you go against that, they will dis-fellowship you, or shun you.”
Taylor is a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses herself, but told Fox 2 she left decades ago.
“They suffered the harsh consequences that every Jehovah’s Witness faces when they choose to leave the religion,” she told the station, referring to the Stuarts.
Taylor told the Free Press that she is not sure exactly what caused her friend to take her family’s lives.
“She worshiped Danny,” Taylor told the newspaper. “Danny worshiped her. They were like hand in glove. But she was very concerned about Dan. He was prone to depression and she was always worried about him.”She was in emotional distress … she felt alone. I was her lifeline,” she continued.
A Michigan man who was expelled from Jehovah’s Witnesses killed his wife and three young children in 2001, according to the Free Press.