*grin*. Titillating. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
Most human institutions are cult-ish and that is not necessarily a bad thing (military, churches, even high pressure sales jobs can become cult-ish). Humans like to group together and share like minded-ness, persuits, and "prayer" or spiritual work. Where this and other super-cult organizations go too far is requiring one to check thier intellect, individual soul at the door. It breaks up families, it suppresses liberty, is harmful to children by and large.
It's mind control and it's soul rape.
Are they members of a cult?
*ahem*... YES!!! In the name of all that is good in this world, YES!!!
They're not allowed to do most of the things that everyone else takes for granted, like voting, celebrating special occasions (religious or otherwise), dating whoever they want to and participating in team sports as young people, they've been deprived of the simple freedoms we all consider to be basic human rights and their love is conditional. They despise anyone who's not one of them, they use their own twisted logic and circular reasoning to justify their beliefs and they refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't support them, no matter how logical and solid their reasoning is. They're not allowed to pledge allegiance to anything or anyone, but they are forced to pledge their devotion to WTS when they are baptized. They are forcefully removed from the organization if they dissent, and then friends even their own parents and children, if they are also JWs, will consider them dead.
High control, alienation from society, distaste for other views and beliefs, fear tactics... sounds like a cult to me. Hey, if the shoe fits.
All they have left to do now is line up and drink the Kool-Aid.
But that's just my opinion.
PS: jgnat, humbug is definitely my favourite word, I use it daily!! Heh, I think most people tend to associate it with Scrooge, but I like it!! And it's much more family-friendly than using some more unsavoury language. Not that I use that sort of language...
Most are under control of the WT rules and since the WT has a closed door policy when it comes to disclosure of finances and access to managers/mindcontrollers, they operate like a cult in my view. A few of it's members still have an independently functioning brain.
the jw's are absolutely a cult. period.