I was about to post another reply to my previous thread but I decided a new thread would be appropriate for this question.
I have learned a lot in the last few days about the JW organisation and the waverings towards cult-like behaviour. I have read web sites listing cult like characteristics and then examples of what the Watchtower chaps have done that looks similar. It was tempting, at first, to think that I am hearing from a collective of disaffected people who have been hard done by and to assume the reality lies somewhere nearer the middle than you guys say it is. However, some very well thought out positions are represented here and I am moving towards a view that I should in fact have much more concern about JW and the risks it poses to my relationship with my girlfriend than I previously thought.
This generates a further question, which is about the people in charge of the Watchtower organisation. If they are operating a cult like organisation I would expect that they either:
1) Genuinely do believe they are the messengers of God, or
2) Know it is a sham and they are pulling a fast one in order to derive a benefit of some sort.
I would imagine that it is in fact neither of those, or rather BOTH of those. Can you offer any insights into the people at the top and their motives?
If they err towards reason 2 then would you say Power over people, or Cold hard cash are anything to do with it? I believe the JW encourage donations of money? Lots of money? All of your money? Do we know much about the lifestyles of the top men, lavish and materialistic, or miserly and honourable for example? A different motivation that I'm not aware of?
I thought cults demanded all your money and the boss man has 12 wives and everyone lives in a big community on a mountain somewhere waiting for the end of the world..
I know that's a ridiculous stereotype but I said it to emphasize that I see some cult like characteristics, but also as far as I'm aware compared to some other cults there are some bits missing.