Be Fair = Witnesses are NOT a cult!! What about Christians or democracy?

by Witness 007 69 Replies latest jw friends

  • Layla33


    The word cult comes from the French culte, and is rooted in the Latin cultus, which means "care" and "adoration." That idea comes from the Latin cultus - the past participle of colere, which means "to cultivate."

    The word was used in the sense of "to worship or give reference to a deity." (Note 1)

    Nowadays the term 'cult' has a variety of meanings, as evidenced by this dictionary entry:

    1. : formal religious veneration : worship
    2. : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3. : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
    4. : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults >
    5. a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
      b: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
    Source: Merriam-Webster OnlineOff-site Link Back To Top

    Positive, Negative, or Neutral?

    The term 'cult' can be used in a positive, negative, or neutral sense. Examples:

    • Postive sense:

      How much would you pay for a bottle of wine? $20? $40? How about $500 or $1,000? That's how much collectors have been paying for California's so-called "Cult Wines." But why? Source: What Makes A Cult Wine?Off-site Link KRON TV, Feb. 7, 2002 Back To Top
      You may also have heard of, for example, cult films, cult bands, or cult hits. Here the term 'cult' refers to a relatively small but devoted following.
    • Negative sense:
      Example 1

      The Church of Scientology is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion. Its purpose is to make money. It practices a variety of mind-control techniques on people lured into its midst to gain control over their money and their lives. Its aim is to take from them every penny that they have and can ever borrow and to also enslave them to further its wicked ends. Source: Operation Clambake present: What is Scientology?Off-site Link Back To Top
      You may also have heard of other destructive cults, such as David Koresh's Branch Davidians, Shoko Asahara's Aum Shinrikyo, or Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

      Here the term 'cult' refers to a movement that claims to be a religion - and which may indeed have all the trappings of a religion - but which in reality is harmful to its followers and/or to others.

      Example 2

      ...while Mormons profess to be Christians, they are outside orthodox Christianity and the Mormon Church is considered to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity. Source: Mormon Church, Apologetics Index entry Back To Top
      Here the term 'cult' is used to indicate that the group in question has separated itself from the mainstream religion it claims to represent. (In this case, given that the theology and practice of the Mormon Church violates essential Christian doctrines, Mormonism does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity, is not a Christian denomination, and is not in any way part of the Christian church.)
    • Neutral sense:

      We have chosen to use the concepts "cults" and "sects" in the title of this volume for two reasons. First, the concepts do have more or less precise meanings as employed by social scientists. Second, it has become abundantly clear that after nearly two decades, the concept new religious movements has virtually no recognition either in the mass media or the general public. By calling attention to the concepts as they are used by social scientists, we hope to begin the long process of educating the mass media and public regarding the non-pejorative meaning of these words. Source: Introductory essay, Religion and the Social Order: The Handbook on Cults and Sects in America by David G. Bromley and Jeffrey K. Hadden Back To Top
      The late sociologist Jeffrey K. Hadden has stated that"[t]he concepts "cult" and "sect" do have precise meaning as they are used by sociologists, and are free of prejudice."

      While that is true, some scholars - Jeffrey Hadden en David Bromley included - have unfortunately forsaken neutrality in favor of becoming 'academic supporters of alternative religions.'

    Back To Top
    It is up to interpretation, but I think the general sense is what I have highlighted in red.

    For further reading:

  • mouthy

    I say Jehovahs Witnesses are a very dangerous cult....Like it or lump it. If you had all the 700 people that have gone through the support group I chaired & heard of the terrible things that the WT turned these people into you would be ashamed to say it is not a cult, maybe they didnt tell you to drink the coolaid like Jones town YET! maybe they didnt set your building on fire like Koresh....Yet!!!! But more are dying from their teachings than those two put together .

  • JeffT

    I can decide to vote for a Republican and my parents will still talk to me; they'll argue with me, but we'll talk and at the end of the day we'll still all know we love each other.

    I can go to a different church and no one will stop associating with me.

    Can you say that about JW's?

  • Satanus


    When i said 'political party', i meant the organization itself, for instance, the ones working to get their candidate elected. I did not mean the average voter/citizen.


  • jookbeard

    Er yes they are anyone who would rather watch a loved one die an gruelling painful death form refusing a blood transfusion in a medical emergency is definitely in a cult of the worst kind

  • Burger Time
    Burger Time

    Watch out 007 your not drinking this forum's Kool-Aid! I don't consider them a dangerous cult, so therefore I don't think they are exceptional. Thus I will not call them a cult anymore then I would call Baptist a cult. Yes I know what your thinking, and have heard it before so spare me.

  • greendawn

    And anyone criticising the unelected leaders and their often grossly erroneous ideology is swiftly and severely punished, that is another unmistakable sign of a cult. Zero tolerence to criticism.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    OK Let's take your definition

    But look at the definition of "cult" and you will see it applies to any system of thought concieved by an individual or group to control others.

    Your comments focus on the first part of the definition

    it applies to any system of thought concieved by an individual or group

    Unfortunately you totally miss the last part

    to control others.

    And it is this last part that that provides the marker of a cult. Just how much control does the group have over its members? The more control over group members and the degree of toxicity is what really defines a cult.

    It isn't about what they believe and teach. It is about how they implement what they believe and teach

  • flipper

    Witnesses + Mind Control = Cult, Cult, Cult, Cult , Cult, Cult ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • 5go

    cult, no!

    bad religion, oh yeah!

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