There's an article on Yahoo!'s front page about "Terrible Office Tyrants"; how to spot them and what to do about them. I thought it eerily applicable to the WTS, and have rewritten it accordingly.
The original article is here: http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/107637/is-your-boss-an-office-tyrant?.html
If you've been hitting the snooze button lately on weekend mornings instead of hitting the streets for witnessing-or find yourself avoiding answering the phone so you don't have to make an excuse for why you weren't at the meeting, you may just be part of an HCG, that is a "High Control Group."
HCGs are organizations that act strikingly similar to sociopaths. Why does this happen? Because we're all "imperfect" and behind the Christian façade are narcissistic men who act out and can't moderate their power.
An HCG likes to present itself as sheep-like-a big dumb, fluffy, animal that does whatever it's told. Still, their doctrine changes, contradictions and apostate witch hunts can make you want to crawl to the nearest church or put pentagrams on your front door. Regardless of which type of HCG you are part of, HCGs are an impediment to your life, leaving you to wonder whether you live in a free country or communist China.
Booting an HCG out of the temple
The first step is spotting an HCG. At first glance, your organization's unloving behaviors can be mistaken for human "imperfection." But after a while, you'll observe a pattern. Fortunately, by recognizing the parallel between their love of piling regulations on people and how the Pharisees operated, you'll discover the same position in the Kingdom of God holds true for both of them.
With some keen insights, you can metaphorically boot these megalomaniacs out of God's spiritual temple just like Jesus did with the money changers. You can maneuver around the most unChristlike and unmerciful behavior with your newfound disregard for their authority, some practice lying and a lot of logic. You can conquer your HCG and thrive in your spiritual life.
HCG Proofing your life
Mainstream religions are not particularly fond of HCGs either. Authoritarian sects sap people's love of God and destroy their faith. I advise legitimate religions to HCG-proof their flocks by making them aware of indoctrination techniques-so that individuals can ask questions and study the Bible freely. Where HCGs lurk, so does loss of free will, free thought and free choice. Conversely, a firm dedication to being HCG-free is successful, worth working for, as evidenced by countless persons who have asked questions, chosen their own faith and worship how they want to (or not) without repercussion.
So how can you deflect the efforts of your HCG to control every detail of your life? Here are the five hallmarks of an HCG and tips on becoming free of them:
The Five HCG Hallmarks
You fall short of the expected service hours per month. So your HCG leader hounds you to do more MORE MORE! He threatens to remove "privileges" if your hours do not improve. Assessing the situation rationally and opening a constructive dialogue is not in the cards. These HCG leaders will consider that a sign that you are not being submissive.
- Determine the best time of day and day of the week to approach your HCG leader. Preferably when he's not home and you can leave a message with one of his little kids who won't get it right, but then it won't be your fault.
- When you sense the fireworks are happening, don't hang around for the show. Claim a chemical smell (Sister Hairspray right in front of you is a convenient ally) in the Kingdom Hall is giving you asthma and you must leave immediately. If you are dragged into the back room, let your HCG leader vent. Never contradict him. It won't matter if you obey or not as long as you make it sound like you're in complete agreement.
- Consider the acronym CALM: communicate, anticipate, laugh, and manage. Communicate to your buddy the PO that you saw this other HCG leader, who's been causing you problems, leaving a Holiday Inn parking lot with a woman not his wife. Anticipate that if the PO is related to you, there's a good chance a JC will be formed on this other leader. Laugh because he totally deserves it. Manage to lie on your next service report.
You're voicemail has crashed with 127 messages saying the elders would like to meet with you "just to talk." Finally, the elders drop by your house and say "What's with no response?" The need for control, desire for perfection and concern about pressures to keep membership numbers up can spur your HCG leaders to try to determine if you're just a weak, lost sheep worth goading into more activity or a dangerous, slobbering apostate.
- Defy expectations by promising to be more regular at meetings. When they give you a reading assignment, give them an estimate of how long you usually spend reading these materials in the bathroom.
- Let them know you are feeling overwhelmed by all the love they are showing you.
- Upon successful completion of the "shepherding visit" tell the hounders how this session has helped you to set a realistic goal to more fully accomplish your ministry.
Your HCG has sold billions of books and magazines, enslaving millions of people to their wacky doctrines and rules. Why then, do they need your constant praise that they did a good job? They publish magazines that say things like, "Aren't you so grateful that we published this, you could just wet yourself?" They display separation anxiety when you miss occasional meetings. Many HCGs require a lot of attention and reassurance of total subjugation and some elders can also be micro-managers.
- Reassure your hounders that you have no independence and reinforce your awe in their competence at figuring out things like, if you're female, Jesus doesn't want you to wear pants.
- Put a plan together to strategize how to avoid the excessive workloads they try to place on you just to boast even more.
- Help the elders know that other people have not been very appreciative of the wonderful spiritual food they've received-unlike you. Provide names.
A much-used word for this type of HCG is "no," as they assert their power. They are also heard saying things like "submission," "apostate lies," "keeping the congregation clean," and so on. Their regulations may harm people, but nevertheless, the declarations have been made. For many stubborn HCGs, mercy takes them out of their comfort zone. In other cases, they feel it diminishes their authority.
- Use lots of HCG jargon to relax your leaders into thinking you're obedient to their idiotic rules.
- Know that it's easier for HCGs to be more flexible if there's a lawsuit headed to them.
- Offer choices and compromises that their legal department can't pass up.
You attempt to speak to an HCG leader about some of your doubts. Three hours later, not only has he completely ignored your questions, he's gone on a diatribe about how other religions teach the trinity, a subject you hadn't brought up at all. HCGs like this suffer from SMD-Straw Man Disorder. They're only interested in discussing subject they feel confident they can shoot down and will switch to these topics to distract themselves and you from the real question.
- Make communications compelling. Force them to remain on topic.
- Add a pinch of excitement. Suggest that your question has to do with "new light" a friend from Bethel told you about. Use humor to assure the elder that you were only joking when they question your loyalty to the organization.
- Manage interruptions. Schedule formal meetings in the back room at the Kingdom Hall. Bring a tape recorder so you have proof of how it went down when they DF your ass.
There's a good chance that you've encountered persons indoctrinated by an HCG in your life; maybe you're even indoctrinated yourself. Just remember, every one "sins and falls short." And once they wake up to the indoctrination, they can act like humans show the world what's really behind that HCG's façade.