Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Swamp Man Logging

Swamp Man Logging

There is a curious item you might be interested to know.  A program on television called “AX Men” features various logging operations in different parts of the country basically cutting down trees.  One of the persons featured is a guy called “Swamp Man” named Shelby Stanga.  Shelby Stanga has lived in the swamps north of New Orleans since he was nine years old, and he has been logging in the area for 37 years. He recovers abandoned logs from the nearby waterways with an ever-evolving cast of sidekicks—his dog Willy; his friends Earl, Bob, and DaVi; his cousins Jarvis and Belinda; his nieces Cheyenne and Stephanie; and his wife Donna. Stanga is a colorful personality that is kind of crazy.  He carries a forty-five long barrel revolver in his waistband and regularly shoots it off whether in the house or elsewhere.  To give an example of his spontaneity, in one early episode of the program when he was diving for logs, every time he came to the surface the camera was in his face much to his irritation.  About the fourth time it happened he pulled his pistol and shot the lens off the camera.  His retort was, “I told you not to do that!”…

So why is this colorful person curious? Apparently Shelby has been married to a sweet little woman named Donna for the past 14 years, and while he jokes about shooting her between the eyes, they appear to be a lovely couple. Donna is a Jehovah’s Witness.  On April 10, 2011 Shelby took his wife with him on a log run and made the off hand statement, “My little Jehovah’s Witness wife.”  This was curious as she was using profanity and appeared to be smoking, both considered sins for JWs.  Since that one occurrence nothing more has been said in that regard about her background other that a comment apparently from a life long friend in a blog.  Note what was said below;

·  Chuck Andrews, on January 7th, 2013 at 6:53 am
When Shelby said, “My JEHOVAH’S WITNESS WIFE” in the episode that aired on Jaunary 6, 2012 was he making an accurate statement? Jehovah’s Witnesses do come from all walks of life. Donna is not near as “rough around the edges” as those 2 women he took logging with him. Does the presence of the camera crew prevent any Hanky Panky between Shelby and those 2 women he logs with? Shelby has a very shapely wife, even if she is a sister who praises Jehovah.
·  Sue Sider, on February 2nd, 2013 at 5:48 pm
Donna is indeed a witness, and has been for quite some time. She and I go back as far as high school, and she is a great person. She is not rough around the edges…born & raised in Metairie.. nothing as you see on the show. She was a wild child in the 60′s & 70′s & we had some great times with mutual friends back in the day. I will always remember those days fondly…she was & is a sincere person & friend!

It appears this person knows her well and has a positive opinion of her.  In another episode Shelby says she only spends the weekends with him as she cannot live with him day to day and actually lives in Mississippi in a home there.  On another episode this description was given about their fourteenth anniversary;

Shelby Stanga has officially won my heart. He takes two days off from logging the Louisiana swamps to try to catch some crawfish for his bride, Donna. He explains to Cousin Belinda that the next day is their 14th anniversary and Donna really loves crawfish. So the two bait some traps with six-month-old rotten fish that you can smell right through the television set and they set off through the darkest, deepest part of the swamp. They find ferocious alligators and spiders the size of dinner plates, but not a single crawfish. Undaunted, Shelby picks 14 mysterious swamp flowers and proceeds to lay a table on top of his old barge with a naked lamp, cheese-and-ham sandwiches (Donna doesn't eat bread), and a few of the flowers in an old bottle. Oh, and he lifts Donna up onto the barge on the forks of his tractor. How sweet is that? The flowers turn out to be poisonous, and Donna is warned not to touch her food with the hand that touched a flower. But she is completely besotted. The best part? Donna reveals that it's not their anniversary at all - "just another day in paradise." Gotta love those two!         

Jehovah’s Witness are a very strict religion and do not tolerate certain conduct.  They also do not like the lime light when it comes to highlighting their religion outside of their rigid lifestyle.  It appears Shelby was heavily reprimanded by his wife on no uncertain terms and told to never say that again.  While she has appeared in later episodes nothing has been said since in that regard.   

Now this year Shelby has his on show called “Shelby the Swamp Man”.  To date with the new show no reference has been made to his wife nor has she appeared on the program with no references made to her at all.  It looks like they have either cut her out of the show or they may not be together.  There is nothing on the internet that clarifies what their status is other than that they are still married.  So it will be interesting to see if Donna stays away due to pressure from her congregation elders or if she goes a different direction in the episodes to come. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremely rigid with regular members and practice desfellowshipping or excommunication to control their actions.  When a member is expelled they are viewed as dead and family member will not acknowledge their existence.  Yet when members attain wealth or fame and make large donations to the religion, administration tends to look the other way and ignore violations of church protocol and sins.  In recent years the William sisters who are recognized as JWs have openly flaunted church rules with no penalties.  Michael Jackson, his mother, Prince and others who claimed the faith likewise often live lives that members would never be allowed to do while claiming good standing with the organization.  It appears as long as the donation money is coming in that it buys the freedom to do and say as you want without sanction.

For Donna Stanga, her best bet is to get more famous make a lot of money and then offer large donations to ‘Watchtower’ (home office of JWs) and then she will be free to follow whatever type of conduct she wishes without penalty.  It is just another example of how power and money has little to do with God and everything associated with hypocritical religion.     

You Tube Video of Donna and Shelby


For information on custody issues and Jehovah's Witnesses see    

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