Are Jehovah's Witnesses a cult?

by Shawn10538 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Shawn10538

    I am starting up a new post on this issue because this is the subject that arose from another ubrelated thread, and doesn't really match with the other title. I'm sure that this has been debated thoroughly on this site before, but I have a feeling that this will still attract plenty more comments from many others. If anyone wants to see where and how this issue came up from one of my posts, look under the thred entitled, "Has the WTS ever sued a brother?" or something to that effect.

    I just got done reading Eduardo Esquires's (as he likes to be called, you know he has quite a bit of monetary advantage in referring to himself and labeling himself with Esq. I'm just using his own logic as he used it on his site, which I'm sure he'll provide a link to, if not I'll do it next time. His logic is that all cult exit counselors label groups as cults because it lines their pockets with money to do so. The more groups they label as a cult, the more clients they get. I'll paste the section I derive this brilliant piece of deduction from his site, again, later.)

    I'd like to propose using a specific format for this discussion so we don't all get lost. Label each and every one of your arguments in note taking format. No single note should be more than on sentence long.

    For example, we're going to start with:

    I. This is statement I.
    A. This is statement A. Only one statement or sentence here.
    B. Statement B. One sentence...
    1. Statement B1.
    a. Statement B1a.
    aa. Statement

    Got it?

    This will enable us to be progressive and forward moving on the subject without backtracking and rehashing. Also, when we come to an agreement on something, let's list it chronologically like this:

    Agreement 1.
    Agreement 2.

    We can abreviate the agreements like this if you want:
    Ag. 1.
    Ag. 2.

    If we can build a really comprehensive argument on the subject, maybe we can submit it to Wikipedia, that might be cool.

    It would definitely be advantageous to go to the original thread that I mentioned before to get some history.

    It really doesn't matter which part of the argument we start on because I'm sure we'll get all over the place at one time or another.

    So I'm going to officially start off the argument right now using a rough quote from Eduardo' site, which I recommend you all read before jumping in. Actually let's get a definition going first. Here it goes:

    I will start off showing how JWS meet the criteria of a cult according to this specific dictonaries definition, incorporating their stance on blood as evidence of extreme behavior.

    I. CULT. from the American Heritage Dictionary: 1. A system of religious worship or ritual. 2. A religion or sect considered extremist or false. 3a. Obsessive devotion to a person or principle. 3b. The object of such devotion.
    A. JWs are a cult according to definition 1. above.
    1. JWs are a cult according to definition 2, above.
    a. JWs are a cult according to definition 3a above only if the individual in question is obsessive about their leaders or principles, therefore one must judge on a case by case basis.
    aa. The WTS itself is a cult if its members behave like definition 3a above toward it.
    aaa. Since members do seem to behave in an extreme, obsessive manner towards the WTS (allowing their children to die, because of their refusing blood transfusions for the child, JUST BECAUSE THEIR LEADERS SAY that to accept a transfusion would not be abstaining from blood in the manner that Acts 15 was meant to be understood ACCORDING TO THEM) this seems to suggest a cult dynamic in the works.
    2. "aaa" is true about the members' devotion being obsessive and extrreme, because: the WTS interpretation of Acts 15 is exclusive to WTS, and them alone, making such an interpretation on the fringes (the extremities, if you will) and unheard of by billions of Bible readers and every known Bible scholar outside of the JW church, making the reason why JWs interpret Acts 15 just that way seem to be a mindless following of their leaders' interpretation, and not an individual choice based on their own rational abilities.
    2x. (This is not to say that JWs are not correct about their interpretation of Acts 15 just because they are alone in it. But this does show that their interpretation would be placed in the category of "on the fringes or extremities.")
    a. When an interpretation of any text is so contrary to the understanding of every single other person on earth outside the group, and members are agreeing with such a rare interpretation of scripture not for academic or rational reasons but simply because they are told so by their leaders, and are in fear of doing otherwise since the threat of disfellowshipping keeps them from speaking out about their rational objections, this is extreme and obsessive behavior, making WTS a cult according to definition 3b. above.

    b. Since the WTS interpretation and policy on blood seem so extreme, wild, baseless and lacking in knowledge of the context of the scripture, (or else the whole world besides JWs are too dumb to understand a very simple scripture) this tends to further support the idea that JWs are extremists not only in the way they follow their leaders, but their beliefs and interpretations themselves are far to the extremities or fringes of how regular people interpret simple sentences using basic words, or simple metaphors clearly not meant to be taken to the extreme or literally in every situation.
    bb. The fact that to literally abstain from blood, one would have to stay several feet away from another person's blood, since to abstain means "to stay away from or avoid" when taken literally suggests that the simple scripture was not to be taken literally in every case.
    bbb. At what point a person has stepped too close to a drop of blood or a piece of unholy meat is definitely up for debate, but to actually touch a drop of blood with one's finger would be a clear violation of the scripture the way JWs interpret it since you wouldn't be abstaining or staying away from the blood would you?
    bbbb. Also, one must note that it is impossible to touch anything, especially a liquid with out there being a fluid exchange on some minute molecular level. Whatever you touch, you ingest. A physical and biological fact.
    bbbbb. So touching blood should be just as sinful to a Witness as eating meat (all meat has blood in it, impossible to remove it all) and transfusing blood directly.
    3. If "aaa" through "2bbbbb" are correct and reasonable conclusions, then this would mean that indeed JWs do act obsessively, in an extreme way towards the WTS, making the WTS, according to definition 3b. a cult.

    II. It is a well established fact that cult exit counselors like to label as many groups as possible a "cult" because it clearly allows them to make more money when they do this known and admitted practice.
    A. There is no actual evidence that the process or practice described in "I." actually exists.
    1. "I" seems to be a wild accusation, or an imaginary situation that exists only in the minds of certain people.
    a. The imaginary situation is a convenient belief for a member of a cult to have, since it seems logical that such a belief would lesson the negative feelings a cult member would have if he feels that he may actuaaly be in a cult.

    Thanks for participating.

    Eduardo when can we meet in person?

    Call me


  • blondie
  • ithinkisee

    Here is a little document I created using Steven Hassan's criteria for a cult (which is similar to many other's criteria).

    I used his points and then used the Society's own words from their own literature to condemn themselves as a cult.

    Combatting Cults and Mind Control - With WT References

    Hope that helps,


  • ronin1

    The Merriam Webser's Delux Dictionary-Tenth Collegiate Edition defines a cult as :

    1. formal religous veneration; worship== WTS fits this profile

    2. a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also ; its body of adherents==WTS fits this profile

    Definition of adherents: one that adheres: as (a) a follower of a leader, party, or profession (b) believer in or advocate especially of a particular idea or church

    3. a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also; its body of adherents==WTS fits this profile

    4. a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator (health cults)==WTS fits this profile-blood transfussion doctrine.

    5a. a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work ( as a film or book) (especially such devotion regarded as literary or intellectural fad. ==WTS fits this profile- devotion to GB members, etc.

    5b. a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion.


  • greendawn

    They are obviously a cult in all respects, they rule their members with an iron fist ie dictatorially, misinterpret the bible in a rather obvious way and set up rules accordingly, destroyed many families with their rules, exploit their members by getting them to work for them for free.

  • DannyHaszard

    "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. " - Matthew 24:4 Do You Belong To A Cult? related thread here at JWD Jehovah's Witnesses ripoff cult- Up close and personal Jehovah's Witnesses can be wolves in sheep's clothing. Faith based belief systems fall mostly into 3 categories:
    1."mainstream" mostly benevolent in my observation, you go to services once a week & socialize
    2.the "sects" sort of on the fanatical fringes
    3. the CULTS destructive, high demand,high control often apocalyptic

    How are cults destructive? they destroy:
    A). identity
    B). sanity
    C). bank account

    The above is my opinion.What does the Bible (Jesus) say?Jesus tells us how to determine the malevolence/benevolence of a group.

    Matthew 7:15-16 "be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inside they are ravenous wolves"by their FRUITS you will know them"

    The fruitage of the Watchtower cult is rotten to the core,no other major religion alienates and disenfranchises so many victims as Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses door to door recruitment is by their own admission an ineffective tactic. They have lost membership in all countries with major internet access because their false doctrines and harmful practices are exposed on the modern information superhighway. There is good and valid reasons why there is such an outrage against the Watchtower for misleading millions of followers.Many have invested everything in the apocalyptic promises of the Jehovah's Witnesses and have died broken and beaten. ---------- Jehovah's Witnesses are the'perfect storm' of deception in a word they are the cult of Innuendo-Danny Haszard Bangor Maine

  • Thinkagain

    Way to go Danny , also read the warchtower killers ,

    adds a little more in formation to the cult list.

    Its on the bottom of this page.

  • Arthur


    Sorry my friend, but your list of instructions totally lost me. I have to admit that I don't have quite as many brain cells as many others do.

    I would just like to agree with what ithinkisee wrote about Steven Hassan's book: Combatting Cult Mind Control. It is an excellent book, and I recommend it to everyone.

  • Shawn10538

    So if someone wants to merge the new points into the format that would be cool. If not I'll get to it later.

    The next point should start of with III. and then procede from there. Or if anyone, I was hoping Eduardo, wants to challenge the claims made so far, feel free.

    Again, the next NEW CLAIM should be "III." That's roman numeral 3, or iii.

  • Shawn10538

    I was hoping for some input by Eduardo or any other doubters out there that believe that JWs are not a cult, but I guess there aren't that many of you. So I am going to try to play Devil's advocate to get some counter points going. III. JWs are not a cult at all because every individual in the church has the explicit right to think and believe anything they want, do anything they want and stay or leave anytime they want without any negative consequences coming from the church or its members - no backlash in other words. That's a start for the con side. Also unless I hear different I am going to list all statements under "I" in the above post, (the first one) as Agreement 1. So here we go: Agreement 1 = All statements under "I" listed in the above post. This means out of all the members of this Forum, not a single person disputes any of the facts listed under "I," their wording, their meaning, their application, relevance and truth. Going... going... Gone! So, we all agree with the statements under "I." To be continued... Shawn

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