How did you feel when you found out Jehovah's Witnesses were a cult?

by The wanderer 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • AuldSoul
    How did you feel when you found out Jehovah's Witnesses were a cult?

    sick, scared, eager, nervous, unsure, curious, angry, regretful, hurt, and crippled

    2.) Did you believe it was a cult?

    I argued against them being a cult just as vehemently and effectively as slimboyfat on his best day.

    3.) What research did you do in order to prove whether or not the Witnesses were a cult?

    I knew that cults intentionally deceive people in order to achieve their aims. I knew that Jehovah's Witnesses promote themselves as the ONLY source of truth and that adherents MUST stay with them in order to gain salvation.

    Disregarding ALL the other markers (for the moment) I decided to find out whether there was intentional deception in the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. After finding many examples of intentional deception (which I will be happy to discuss with anyone by PM), the only conclusion that I could possibly come to was that they are a cult.

    They place themselves as the ONLY source of truth and the ONLY means for salvation, while intentionally lying. They lie to new converts and aged die-hards alike. And worse still, they teach the converts to lie for them. What else could you call it?

    slimboyfat, whenever you want to discuss the intentional deceits I found and attempt to explain why they are not intentional deceits at all, just let me know.


  • AuldSoul


    Most organized religions do not promote themselves as the only source of truth. Most organized religions do not restrict the pursuit of knowledge and the quest for truth to "organizationally approved" literature. Many religions do not point to the organization as the only avenue for salvation. Therefore, except in the absolute broadest sense of the word "cult", I do not agree that all religions are cults.

    I agree that organized religions are generally an impediment to personal growth, but that is also true of most companies, governments and schools. Organization tends to have that effect; if there are not limitations on individuality there is no organization.


  • slimboyfat

    According to Steve Bruce's typology Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect not a cult.

    But it seems that Mouthy and others are rather using the Evangelical definition which is used to smear groups who believe differently than they. I do not accept, for example, that Jehovah's Witnesses "manipulate" scripture any more than other churches. All churches try to bend the various viewpoints of the different authors of the BIble into a harmonious account that, surprise surprise, happens to agree with their modern-day theology. Jehovah's Witnesses are not unusual in that respect.


  • Arthur
    All religion is a cult. The moment we conform our minds to another unified group's view of things, we are being cult members. The only way not to be in a cult is to join nothing!

    I too, respectfully disagree with this assessment. Not all religions employ the use of Mind Control as outlined by people like Robert J. Lifton and Margaret Singer. Not all religions micromanage the lives of it's members by stipulating to them matters that would normally be a personal conscience matters. Not all religions disfellowship members for simply not agreeing with certain doctrines. And, not all religions teach that everyone on earth is going to be slaughtered except for themselves.

    There are indeed many spiritual groups who adopt a united or monolithic set of creeds and concepts. However, many of them do not punish their members for not accepting all those concepts. And, many of these groups do allow their members a level of personal autonomy that is not allowed or accepted in cults.

    An honest examination will show that there is a huge difference between groups like the Branch Davidians, and the Science of Mind Church. Or, there is a vast amount of difference between the Unification Church (Moonies), and a Southern Baptist Church.

  • greendawn

    I began to realise they were a cult when I got to know the new light concept and that the GB were absolutely intolerent of any criticism or even any well meant advice. It sounded very strange having to wait on jehovah to change something that was wrong when so many other people were pointing it out...and getting thrown out for their act of good will.

  • AgentSmith

    I was stunned. I first thought there must be some mistake, it cannot be. The Borg is manupulative, but not a sect! Denial, first degree!

    It has taken some time and I now realise it is mind control. I feel better for it. I was pissed off for a while.

    Now I am at a bit of a loss with all my freedom. To think for myself, and not feel guilty all the time.

  • AuldSoul
    slimboyfat: All churches try to bend the various viewpoints of the different authors of the BIble into a harmonious account that, surprise surprise, happens to agree with their modern-day theology.

    Why shift the focus away from the issue of control, slimboyfat?

    (1) Most religions DO NOT claim to be the only source of truth on earth and support their P.R. person (J.R. Brown) in lying about this claim when speaking with the press.

    (2) Most do not claim to be the only organization that can lead someone to salvation and support their P.R. person (J.R. Brown) in lying about this claim.

    (3) Most do not claim that if you leave their church, you have left God and support their P.R. person (J.R. Brown) in lying about this claim.

    (4) Most religions do not threaten severe shunning as a consequence of "wrongdoing."

    (5) Most religions do not consider open disagreement with church dogma to be wrongdoing.

    (6) Most do not shun family members who remove themselves from a particular church (evidence in the fact that very few JW converts are cut off from their families for becoming JWs).

    Most religions aren't cults, but JWs are. If Steve Bruce believed what J.R. Brown told him or what he read in the Watchtower, he might have a horribly distorted view of the religion since he would not be privy to the "Pay Attention" book or the "Organized to Do Jehovah's Will" book. And we now know for sure that J.R. Brown lies to the public about the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    But, to directly address your point, you are incorrect about what "all churches" do.


  • carla


    I suggest you research Margaret Singer and Robert Lifton and find out just what a cult is. The jw's use the gb as the individual 'leader'. I can assure when most people who know nothing of the jw's or cults for that matter hear about the jw's and how they work the first words out of their mouth is usually, 'sounds like cult!'. They simply use common sense to see it is a dangerous group that somehow uses thought reform to keep and destroy its members. The human wreckage left in the wake of the wt is enough to give one pause and think, can this group really be healthy? How could this group even claim any association with God? It boggles the mind.

  • Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    .) What was your initial reaction on finding out
    that the Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses
    were a cult?

    Disbelieft, shock, anger, sadness.

    2.) Did you believe it was a cult?

    Not at first, but now I do.

    3.) What research did you do in order to prove
    whether or not the Witnesses were a cult?

    Books on mind-control and cults that are not JW related. Crisis of Conscience. Learning that others, many others, have gone through similar and/or worse experiences than me and my mistreatment was not unique.

  • Emma

    I just left the borg, not knowing at the time if they were right or wrong; I just couldn't do it any more and there were doubts in my mind. I found this forum and read Crisis of Conscience about five or six years out. I went into a depression over the lies and lost lives. The Malawi situation just was too much. I was sad and then angry that I'd give so much of my life to the cult and that I'd brought my kids up that way.

  • solo

    I did not find out that JWs are a cult, I left the religion thinking it was the truth, the reason I left was that firstly I could not live up to their standards and secondly I was not prepared to spend any more time miserable. I reasoned that I would rather have a few years of happiness before I was destroyed at armageddon. As silly as this sounds it sums up how low and miserable I was.

    It took about 10 years for me to realise that they do not have the truth. Some time after that I came to my own conclusion that they are a cult.

    I did not do any research I just made my own mind up after years of thinking the whole thing over myself. One of the things that made my mind up was the fact that the nonsense I was taught as a JW remained in my head - nothing will rid me of it. Many times I react automatically thinking that their teachings are fact before I suddenly jolt into reality.

    When we were out on the field service years ago when my older brother, then about 8 presented the magazines to a female householder, when he finished she looked at him and said "have you been brain washed?" We laughed about it afterwards and said how silly she was but I never forgot that and always at the back of my mind wondered if she was right. He was not saying what he thought be spouting what had been instilled into him.

    When I found this web site I felt totally justified and vindicated. It was a total shock to find out about the history of the religion and the changes in beliefs throughout the years.

  • OnTheWayOut

    When I discovered they are a cult, while I had a sense of disappointment in myself, it was quickly replaced with a great sense of relief. I was duped, but so were brilliant people. I was brainwashed, but it's not permanent. I can get on with my life.

    Oh, yeah, and GO BEARS.

  • Dogpatch

    Thanks Wanderer

  • Dogpatch

    Thanks Wanderer

  • daystar

    1. I remain out of the semantic argument over what constitutes a "cult". It's pointless. The WBTS is at very least a corrupt, high control religious sect with very damaging dogmatic apocalyptic beliefs. If it's not technically a "cult" in some person's opinion, that does not lessen the degree to which it is a thoroughly screwed up sect that destroys lives. That being said, my initial reaction to discovering the generation change was utter disbelief. It seemed as if this would be a new religion if that was changed. I was shocked, but I'd been out for four years, so I just filed that piece of info away.
    2. See above.
    3. I didn't need to do much. The generation change was enough. Later, the UN/NGO scandal solidified it. After, all the info in the news, silentlambs, here, etc.
  • Genesis

    Betrayed ! As if everything I knew was an illusion ! When I was in the borg I had thoughts like "And if it was all wrong ? not it could not, it must not" ! It was, I grew up in a destructive cult, as simple as that.

  • Finally-Free
    How did you feel when you found out Jehovah's Witnesses were a cult?

    I felt stupid for allowing myself to get sucked into it. It wasn't until after I was baptized that I learned that their recruitment methods were deceptive and their retention methods abusive.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Like someone had reached into my intestines and pulled my inside out. Life could never be the same again.


  • Hondo

    Any cult books I've read, including Steve Hassan's, rank Jehovah Witnesses as one of the top five religious cults in the world. They can be identified with the top ten criteria that classifiy a group as a cult. I've seen their destructive nature first hand with the loss of my wife of 20 years to them a few years ago. I saw her for the first time in a couple years about a month ago. It was sad. We were at the airport seeing my daughter (not a JW) off to Japan. My son was there plus other friends of my daughter. There was a strange woman with my wife who no one had ever seen before (by her dress a JW we all suspected). Although we were all together, and my ex's eyes and mine made contact on many occasions, she did not even talk to me, other than a very brief hello/goodby when we were all departing the airport. I'm not a JW, but it seemed I was being shunned by her. During the whole time at the airport (at least an hour and a half) she seemed like a little girl lost at a state fair or something similar, always looking around and very fidgity. The strange woman was always within a few feet of her. I even saw my ex apparently getting her ass chewed out by this woman too (yelling at my ex and wagging her finger) after my ex's currory hi to me as we were all leaving. I could/can't help but feel sorry for my ex-wife. From a very good marriage/family to her being totally controlled by the WTBTS. I don't know if this is an exagerated cased, but It was obvious she was under total control if this destructive cult.

  • Anitar

    Hondo: No, that's not an exaggeration, I know exactly what you mean. Many JW converts have that bossy person always hanging over them. My mom sounds exactly like your ex. She is glassey eyed, she has violent and emotional mood swings, she never seems to know where she is or what she's doing. It's so frightening to watch her mentally decaying before my eyes. Yesterday, she said she was disconnecting the internet because she saw me on this website and is terrified of being disfellowshipped if being "discovered." They have her body and soul, and there is no reaching her at all.

    As for that bossy person, they're the ones the convert calls when they're having family problems, like when we staged an intervention for my mom. They also do the dirty work of the watchtower, suppressing all the converts questions and giving them what to wear, how to talk, how to think, how to piss. They're the wolves in sheeps clothing.

    To all you ex-JWs who weren't born in the org, but instead converted as an adult, do you remember a specific person who was there from the beginning, who showed you the dozens of rules and groomed you to be the perfect witness? If so, did you ever secretly hate that person? I mean, they were nice in a leacherous way, the way a snake is nice right before he eats a hamster. Did you ever think, in between the time you converted without knowing the truth to the time you learned they are a cult, "what the hell have I gotten myself into?"

    I think that moment has to come right about the time when your sitting and dozing off from boredom in the kingdom hall with your hand me down suit and your cheap dollar store cologne, clutching your magazine for dear life, singing "Loyally Submitting to the Theocratic Order," after you've thrown out your wind chimes, and your beer mugs, and your flag, and your computer, and your education, and your Bible, and your cross, and your Christmas tree, and your Ouigi board, and your shotgun, and your push-up bra, and your miniskirt, and your right to privacy, and your freedom of speech, and your freedom of thought, and your friends, and your family, and your sanity.......

    Got the picture?


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