Does it Bother You that It's An American Cult?

by OnTheWayOut 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • Princess Daisy Boo
    Princess Daisy Boo

    Growing up in the cult, it was never an American thing - it did not have a nationality.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    I remember this being something that really wound my parents up when people said it on the ministry.

  • Finally-Free

    Next time I'm going to stick to purely Canadian cults.


  • tartarus

    It puzzled me that there are no Asians on the Governing Body.No Latino. No Slav. It's an American religion headed by mainly Anglo-Saxon leadership. Amazing diversity lately though - a lonely black dude. :)

    I could tolerate it at least if they were right about their doctrines. After all, Jesus' apostles were a pretty homogenous group - all Jewish. But come on ! Where is the diversity of the rank and file reflected in the leadership?

  • hamilcarr

    Just curious. Does anyone know of a still existing European cult (after the Reformation )?

  • flipper

    OTWO- It bothers me that it's a cult period. If it came from Mars or from Venus- I'd still be bothered because of the trouble it's caused people

  • Jeremy C
    Jeremy C
    Back to your original point, it does strike me as odd how very American the JWs really are. They embody many common American ideals in much of what they do.

    I have noticed this also. I have often noted that the Jehovah's Witnesses are a hybrid religion. They are a hybrid of first century Judaism, nineteenth century Second Adventism, and twentieth-century style multi-level marketing.

    First Century Judaism: They have effectively adopted several aspects of the legalistic worship that was fashioned by the first century Pharisees with a modern day Talmud of their own (WT Library). Rules, regulations, rigid policies, and extra-Biblical rulings by the Governing Body have paramount importance in the day-to-day lives and worship of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Nineteenth Century Second Adventism: They have also integrated into this model the Second Aventist's practice of Biblical number-crunching. Chronology, calculations, and numerical interpretations have not only been a staple of the JW doctrines, but have also been used as key motivators to keep the flock busy in organizational activity (1914, 1918, 1925, 1975). An organization cannot keep shouting that the "end is near" if they do not have some fixed period of time to tie it to.

    Twentieth Century Multi-level Marketing: Then, the movement has also utilized the practices, gimics, and motivation methods of twentieth century multi-level marketing organizations like AMWAY. There is a pyramid-like authority structure whereby layers of management oversee the "progress" of the organizations' output. The Watchtower leadership has a fetish for numerical figures, statistics, and percentages. Such numerical benchmarks are not only used to measure the "spiritual well-being" of congregations, but for the individuals as well. If one is not turning in the expected stats on their report slip, they are given "encouragement" to help them get those numbers back up. Traveling overseers routinely appeal to numbers, percentages and stats to "encourage" the circuit or district in its activity.

    They are most certainly an American religion. As a side note: up until the appointment of Samuel Herd; the Governing Body resembled the board of directors of British Petroleum much more than the body of elders for an international brotherhood.

  • caliber

    The issue of religious freedom has played a significant role in the history of the United States and the remainder of North America. Europeans came to America to escape religious oppression and forced beliefs by such state-affiliated Christian churches as the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. That civil unrest fueled the desire of America’s forefathers to establish the organization of a country in which the separation of church and state, and the freedom to practice one’s faith without fear of persecution, was guaranteed. That guarantee was enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

    The splintering of Christianity resulted in more than 900 denominations of that faith currently existing in the United States, of which the vast majority of Americans are members. The U.S. was the first western nation to be founded predominately by Protestants — not Roman Catholics. That fact alone expresses America’s willingness to experiment with the novel and a defiance of tradition. Its history includes the emergence of utopian societies, religious fanaticism, and the opening of the door to such eastern religions as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. Such has been the winding road of religious evolution in America


    Quite simply it was bound to happen in the USA ... more freedom allows for both positive and negative growth.


  • hamilcarr
    Back to your original point, it does strike me as odd how very American the JWs really are. They embody many common American ideals in much of what they do.

    I may be wrong on this but wasn't New Jerusalem sometimes depicted as New York?

  • changeling

    Never gave that one a thought, OTWO.

    It does bother me that my mother fell for it and dragged my family down with it.

    changeling :)

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