CULTS "'HAPPEN'" campus cults

by DannyHaszard 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DannyHaszard

    Speaker warns students of cults actively recruiting on campuses
    Penn State Digital Collegian - University Park,PA,USA
    ... "I want people to realize that cults are not something that happen to someone else, somewhere else. Cults do happen to students at Penn State University.". [ Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006 ] Speaker warns students of cults actively recruiting on campuses By Angela Haupt [email protected] Collegian Staff Writer Cult awareness educator Ronald Loomis warned students and faculty last night that harmful, life-threatening cult activity is present on the Penn State campus. "There are recent instances when students at Penn State were recruited into a cult and, as a result, suffered some sort of personal trauma," Loomis said to an audience of about 15 in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. "I want people to realize that cults are not something that happen to someone else, somewhere else. Cults do happen to students at Penn State University." Loomis -- a former Cornell University director of unions and activities who has studied cults for 35 years and speaks at colleges across the country -- said the International Churches of Christ (ICOC) is the most active cult at Penn State. "ICOC is one of the most active cults not only at Penn State, but on campuses across the country," he said. "It was present when I was here four years ago, and I confirmed today that it still is." Loomis warned that cults such as ICOC use deceptive front-names in their recruiting processes, such as the Holy Spirit Association or Women for World Peace. He explained that cults fall into seven primary categories: religious, mass therapy and meditation, political, new age, commercial and business, hate, and satanic and ritual abuse. Experts estimate that as many as 5,000 cults exist throughout the country, involving 2 million to 5 million people, Loomis said. "Cult leaders are very charismatic people -- they have that magic ability to persuade and influence people," he said. "Charisma itself is not a bad characteristic. It is when that charisma is taken advantage of by an evil person with an agenda that it becomes a very negative thing." Loomis said characteristics of a cult include deception, alienation, mind control, psychological manipulation, exclusivity, exploitation and a totalitarian world view. "All cults exploit their members spiritually, psychologically, financially and, in many cases, sexually," he said. "They also promote the view that everyone in the group is going to heaven, and everyone outside is doomed to go to hell." Cults brainwash members by isolating them from their families and friends and by applying "enormous" peer pressure, Loomis said. "The cult also uses love bombing, which is when it makes its members feel very unique and very special," he said. "[Members] are so desperately in need of affirmation by people that eventually they just go with the flow, because it feels so good." Loomis stressed that those most at risk of cult recruitment are students experiencing a time of transition or a traumatic event. "Cult recruitment on this campus will peak at freshman orientation, when students are away from home for the first time," Loomis said. "Seniors are also very vulnerable ... they suddenly realize they're going to be leaving this protective environment, and they have no idea what they're going to do." Loomis said signs of cult involvement include a profound personality change, alienation from family and friends, excessive monetary contributions to an organization and an extreme change in values. "There will be an almost overnight change in personality, so dramatic that you can't help but notice it," he said. "All of a sudden someone will no longer make decisions about their own lives, and they'll be criticizing the values you once had in common." Christina Zartman (freshman-archaeology) said Loomis' presentation was educational. "I can see how cults would be a concern on a college campus, and I think it's important for people to learn about them," Zartman said. Loomis will speak again at 10 this morning in the Frizzell Room of Eisenhower Chapel. The event is free to the public.

  • Gregor


    If young college people are vulnerable, imagine what those of us who were immersed in it from the cradle have had to overcome. I am 60 and have been out 25 yrs and I still marvel at how lucky I am.

  • DannyHaszard
    If young college people are vulnerable, imagine what those of us who were immersed in it from the cradle have had to overcome.

    Yep,same here,born 1957 3rd generation JW to hardcore pioneer parents.I would have died unsaved except i got assaulted so bad in 1992 by the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Rockland Massachusetts that it spit me out.-Danny Haszard

  • Super_Becka

    I'm a university student here in Newfoundland, and I'm also dating an inactive, unbaptized JW, so with everything that I've read and seen and heard about cults, the WTS in particular, I'd love to have a bunch of JWs come to campus and try to convert me or anyone else here - I'd certainly give them an earful, they definitely wouldn't be coming back.

    Thing is, there aren't many JWs here and they don't go door-to-door very often. The closest I've come to beating off some JWs was dodging a couple of Mormons a couple of weeks ago. I think I could give the JWs a run for their money right about now, though - if anyone wanted to listen to me, I'd make sure that nobody who heard what I have to say would ever convert and become a member of a sect/cult.

    -Becka :)

  • DannyHaszard

    Need to be a Jehova's Witness
    Paly Voice, CA - 1 hour ago
    ... He begins a Bible study with the aid of publications by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the main organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, click for comment box at page bottom Religion: I am a Jehova's Witness "M y beliefs offer me a refuge when things go wrong." Walking through the streets of East Palo Alto, Paly senior Alberto Prado breaks off from the small group he is walking with and knocks on the pale blue door of a corner house. "We are going door to door to distribute publications related to the Bible," he says with a smile when the door opens. "Do you read the Bible? This magazine helps extract lessons from the Bible and relate them to real life." If people do take interest in Prado's message, he comes back for more visits. He begins a Bible study with the aid of publications by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the main organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, to teach about the religion. Afterwards, people decide if they want to be part of the religion and, if they do, they are baptized. Prado is one of the few Jehovah's Witnesses at Paly. Though there are over 6 million Jehovah's Witnesses around the world, the religion is not very well known. The religion began in the early 1870's during a Bible study group led by Charles Taze Russell in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, according to , the official Jehovah's Witness web site. Jehovah is one of God's names in ancient Hebrew scripure, according to the Watchtower organization. Though Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians, they do not believe in the Trinity. They accept God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as separate entities. Prado shares his religion's teachings by preaching door to door two hours a week. "The purpose of a Christian congregation is to get people to know what God's purpose is, to spread the good news," he says. He preaches mostly to Spanish-speaking families. "Because most Spanish speaking people are pretty religious, most people are generally receptive," he says. Some people see preaching as an invasion of privacy, but Prado says, "I have thought about it, and it has been explained to me that preaching is akin to speaking to one's neighbors; there's no law against it, and it's not a bad thing to do. We do try, however, to keep out of homes where we have been specifically told not to trespass, or where there is a sign." Prado says his religion's teachings meld well with his personality. "I like to stay neutral," he says. His opinion coincides with Jehovah's Witnesses' belief of refraining from taking part in government and voting. "Government is here because of God," Prado says. "But it is best to stay neutral and not get involved." Jehovah's Witnesses are also pacificists, and do not believe in participating in war. Another unique belief of Jehovah's Witnesses is that they do not accept blood transfusions. They believe the Bible says to abstain from blood. "We interpret part of the bible to say the blood is sacred," Prado says. However, other alternative methods can be used, such as fractions and non-blood plasma expanders. In addition, Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays or holidays. "We have decided that these celebrations, being of pagan and not Christian origin, shouldn't be practiced by us," Prado says. "Although I hear all the time about presents and fun parties, I've pretty much gotten used to not doing this and it's not that much of a big deal anyway. We just like to have get-togethers whenever." Recent Paly graduate Brittany Hampton, who is also a Jehovah's Witness, adds, "We don't have to wait around until Christmas to get presents or remember Jesus because we receive presents throughout the year. We don't have to wait around until Valentine's Day to get an occasional love card because we are able to do that throughout the year. We don't have to wait around for Thanksgiving in order to eat turkey and a big feast because we eat it throughout the year. Especially when I know what is behind these celebrations, it is something that I wouldn't want to support, knowing that I am celebrating pagan gods." Even though he does not celebrate holidays, Prado has many opportunities to interacts with members of his congregation. The sense of community the religion brings greatly appeals to Prado. Occasionally, he attends circuit meetings with many congregations from all over California. "My favorite part of the religion is being able to make a lot of new friends and knowing that if I begin talking to someone I know they will be nice to me," he says. However, Prado's religious beliefs do not affect his decisions in choosing friends. "Most of my friends are not Jehovah's Witnesses," he says. "They acknowledge that I have moral standards, but I would probably have those even if I was not a Jehovah's Witness. Religion is not a factor in my relationships." Prado's beliefs, though, do affect how he deals with everyday situations. He is most grateful that his faith gives him hope. "I would not be where I am now without my religion because I would not have a reason to do anything," he says. Prado says his faith also helps him deal with everyday stress. "Since I know that all will be well some day, I just never let anything get to me too much," he says. "I like to believe it [the religious teachings]. It gives me hope that we can indeed live life on Earth in a good way. God can take an active part in everyone's life." Prado feel proud when his religion sends him apart from is peers. "I have always been seen differently because of the way I act, which I think is cool," he says. "People have actually noticed that I don't let negative things keep me down for too long, and all the times that this happens I say to myself, 'yep, this is a result of where you come from. Good job.'" For Prado, practicing his religion entails attending five meetings a week. He belongs to the Spanish-speaking congregation located at 429 High Street. Prado attends two meetings every Wednesday and two meetings as well as a book study on weekends. At these meetings, an orator explains the week's assigned Bible reading, and various people give presentations to practice preaching. During the second meeting, the congregation reads a newsletter published by the Watchtower "which gives us a lowdown on what's going on at a national level with all Jehovah's Witnesses and comes with different kinds of advice; things like how to more tactfully present a specific magazine during preaching, or addressing an issue that comes up frequently," Prado says. Usually, 200 to 350 people attend each meeting. Jehovah's Witnesses tend to be very closely knit; they take an extreme interest in what other Jehovah's Witnesses are doing around the world. On weekends, Prado studies a religious magazine. The most popular magazines are The Watchtower and Awake. "The Watchtower is more religiously based, and explains how to apply the religion to modern life," Prado says. "Awake is broader. Journalists go all over the world and relate their stories to the glory of God." Even though Prado is a devout Jehovah's Witness, he believes that his views can relate to many different religions. "Anything I would say [about the religion] would apply to any other religion," Prado says. "It is important to remember the importance of family, relationships, and humility. God is love." It bothers Prado when people make cult references about his religion. "It's just another religion, something to believe in," he says. He feels fortunate he has something so important to him. "My faith hasn't been severely tried as of yet," he says. "And I thank God for that." This story originally appeared in Verde Magazine on February 14, 2005.

    Related Feedback

    Related feedback
    Date:February 23, 2006
    Name:Maria Mongane (unverified identity)
    Location:South Africa
    Subject:Need to be a Jehova's Witness
    I want to be one of Jehova's Witness. I really need peace in my heart. Will I get someone to love me and make me One of the witnesses? I would really like to be married to Jehova's Witness. Other people don't know what love really is.
    Date:January 4, 2006
    Name:Estera (unverified identity)
    Subject:Jehovah's Witnesses
    I'm a young preacher of the good news and I wanted to give a comment online because I wanted to explain one very important factor that many people do not notice. Jehovah's Witnesses are seen as people who interrupt people's lifes by knocking at their doors. I wanted to explain that it is a beautiful gift from Jehovah that he sends people like that to your doors because if this didn't happen, no one would survive Armageddon, which is close to happen because we are living in last days of this system of things. Jehova's Witnesses experience your same problems; they don't have supernatural powers to avoid the problems in their lives. They are giving up their owm time to try to help you to change into a better person. It is urgent especially now to pay attention to propheses which the Bible states, which is a great reason to start a Bible study with the Witnesses. Do not let friends and family stop you from speaking to Jehova's Witnesses, remember it's God who will judge you. His opinion should matter more than anyone's.
    Date:December 29, 2005
    Name:Terry (unverified identity)
    Subject:Is Jehovah the real name of God
    I have been a member of the Witness' for over 18 years, I have recently discovered that "Jehovah" is not the real name of God. In the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures' title page, it gives the initials for God's name. For it to be Jehovah, it would have to be JHVH for his initials, but the initials when translated into English are YHWH, which would translate to Yahweh and not Jehovah. Could someone show me why the Wachtower Society wants to hide this?
    Date:December 21, 2005
    Name:noe leal (unverified identity)
    Subject:Jehova es amor
    I am a young Jehova Witness who has been involved in the truth since I was born. And to me, Jehova Witnesses are some of the most kind and grateful people that I've been around. Jehova has shown my family a lot of love, and I feel real grateful for that.
    Date:December 4, 2005
    Name:Proofreader (unverified identity)
    Subject:Not quite right
    First of all, please spell God's name correctly in English! You write it "Jehova" in the headline, and later in the article you add the "h" at the end. Accuracy is what I am looking for, and after reading this, it appears the intention was good, but seems some of the problems with this article may stem from poor translating of what was told to the interveiwer. There are many "almost true", and "not quite right" comments made that I feel the need to correct, out of love for Jehovah God, and the care of my worldwide brotherhood. As one brother said: "Our purpose in the ministry is to preach the good news of the God's kingdom, by means of God's word, the Bible. The Watchtower & the Awake magazine, as well as the other publications are valuable aids in learning more of the fundamentals and the deep things of the Bible. But our initial focus is to help others to see the Bible's practical use for our day and that it helps with solving problems, answers many questions, and provides hope for mankind by means of God's kingdom (of which many pray for Matt 6:10)." We are a unified worldwide organization, following Jesus Christ as our King, remaining neutral to this world's governments, (as he instructed to be "no part of the world" awaiting God's promised Kingdom arrangement to come to earth, as it is in heaven. Although we try to remain on friendly terms with everyone, our endeavor to remain separate from the world does influence who we choose as friends, following the Biblical councel of "bad association spoils useful habits." We make it our goal to choose as friends those who share our same standards of right and wrong. Our religion is different from other religions in so many ways! Our doctrine is strictly Bible based, requires our everyday life to be devoted to the furtherance of God's purposes. All our members are qualified as ministers also, with the responsibility & priviledge to teach others what they've learned... and so many more! If you want to know the truth, speak with the Witnesses personally when they come to your home, don't just rely on what you read here and there. Jehovah's message for you will change your life for the better & offer you the greatest hope- you'll learn why the real Armageddon is going to be the best thing that ever happens! Ask a Jehovah's Witness why!
    Date:November 29, 2005
    Name:nancy martinez (unverified identity)
    Location:oxnard ca
    Subject:god is love
    I believe in Jehovah. It's love because he has help me in my life to be what I am today. I am proud that I have my God with me everyday and night. I thank him because he keeps me going everyday.
    Date:October 12, 2005
    Name:michelle pope (unverified identity)
    Subject:bible study
    I enjoy studying and learning about the Bible. I love having Bible studies in my home with my new friends from the Kingdom Hall I attend. One thing I like about this religion is that they're very organized. I like the fact that wherever I may be at the time I go to any Kingdom Hall and be at the place as I would be at the Kingdom Hall I attend. I also like the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses are friendly and loving people, and what Christians are truly like that?
    Date:September 29, 2005
    Name:Alex Cull (unverified identity)
    I am doing a college course and need to find out about Jehova's Witnesses. I have been asked to find out about diet, clothing, belief systems, festivals, family composition and any special childcare practices. If any one could help I would be very grateful as I am finding it difficult. Many thanks, Alex
    Date:September 12, 2005
    Name:adil (unverified identity)
    Subject:i am looking a lovely lady
    Hi, I am Adil, and I am a 25-year-old male. I am a Jehova's Witness, and I am looking for a lovely lady to marry. Please write me at [email protected] .com. I loved you from a distant star. I couldn't reach that far. I can't believe how close we are. When I look into your Spanish eyes. The world is so beautiful tonight
    Date:March 22, 2005
    Name:Sandy Rodriguez (unverified identity)
    Subject:Jehova Witness
    Our beliefs are very different from other religions' beliefs, and that is why we are hated and not accepted by other people. There are always young people that go and are not spiritual in any type of way, but most of the young people try to be; it is very hard to be. In this world that we are living in, it is very hard to be good and spiritual, but if we do everything in a good way and we show God (Jehova) that we try, he sees our efforts. He understands that it is not easy to be faithful to him or to not commit any sins. The world sees us like we are bad and crazy people because we preach Jehova's word and because we give warning of what the future beholds for us. What I'm trying to say is that I'm happy to be a Jehova Witness, and it doesn't matter what the world thinks about us....
    Date:March 11, 2005
    Name:ogad (unverified identity)
    Subject:Tu respuesta
    Dear Mrs., I am a young Jehova witness. In my congregation, there are young people who are very spiritual. However, there are some youngsters who are not witnesses. There are also some who don't care. We are not all alike. ------- Señora Yo soy un joven testigo de jehova. En lacongregacion si hay jovenes muy espirituales. PERO si hay jovenes que no son testigos. Tambien hay algunos que no le importa.. No todos somos asi. Si hay un joven para su niña que son precursores.

    Robin McNulty secondary feedback page submit your viewpoint

  • greendawn

    It's amazing that there are 5 000 cults, and the JWs do manifest all the cult traits that he mentions such as alienation from the rest of the world, totalitarianism and love bombing. Hopefully Loomis includes the 1 million JWs in the USA among the 5 million total he mentions. In that case they make up 20% of all cultists. But then the US Mormons alone number around 3 million.

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