If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it's probably......

by LDH 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • SPAZnik

    I call it a cult for the sake of efficiency. The word is widely understood in Society today in a way that makes it's use highly practical for summing up my jw and xjw experience as it were.

    That said, I also see cult as the root word in culture. An ironic paradox and sometimes a fine line.

  • Jankyn

    It's taken me a long time to be willing to call it a cult. I generally refer to it as a high-control group; the difference for between the two is, as I understand it, in the lack of charismatic leadership.

    Most cults include a strong personality at the top (think Jonestown, the Hale-Bopp folks, David Koresh at Waco). While both Russell and Rutherford may have fallen into that category, there wasn't much charisma where Knorr, Fred Franz, Henschel, and now Jaracz are concerned.

    In fact, instead of multiple personalities, those guys may have less than one! ;)

    Anyway, after digging through my own denial, I'm less willing to quibble with the terminology. In terms of producing an isolated group of brainwashed followers, does it really matter if they're a high-control group or a cult? The result is still wrecked lives and shattered families.

    I still describe myself as having "been raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses," rather than saying "I grew up in a cult." I choose the former rather than the latter mostly because it opens up more avenues for discussion.


  • Sentient

    I agree Jankyn, what's important is the idea the word implies. The result is the same, whatever word we use to describe what is happening. It's just lack of understanding that results in arguments over the terms. I generally use the term high-control group to describe it as well simply because many have strong feelings over the "cult" term due to some extreme actions taken in the past by the anti-cult movement and the inability on the part of most people to understand how you could control someone's thoughts and actions without Koresh-type direct influence. As you said, the *effects* are the important thing.

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