Religion and Cults

by 125 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • StAnn

    Not a cult, some anti-war group of women. They show up at lots of political events.


  • beksbks

    Aahhhh so actually, it's called the Community Choice Act. Separate from the Health Care Bill, and first introduced in 2007. Again in March 2009. Not taken up. Should be it seems.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    CD, since you've placed your head on the chopping block....please defend your very broad statement that all religions do use some form of mind control. Being an ex-JW, I tend to balk at such all encompassing, demonizing statements.


    I'm going to pick a bit on Judaism here as Christianity and Islam evolved from that folklore.

    When Moses lead the Israelites through the wilderness, (if one accepts this story as factual), he controlled the people by claiming to be the only existing channel through which God spoke. Dissenters or complainers were put to death. Obedience to God, as manifested by the leader (Moses) was a strict requirement for the people. Their entire lives were dictated by Moses, through the law code, down to the most minute aspect of daily life including the "proper" expression of sexuality. Moses claims this law came to him through divine revelation.

    Children were taught these "truths" and laws from infancy and dissension was not allowed. A child who was disobedient could be stoned to death along with adults. One could never be "good enough" as one was always "imperfect" and "sinful" and thus "guilty" and needed some sort of sacrifice and atonement.

    Christianity, while diverging in the content of the story, keeps to the same process. Children are baptized at birth, indoctrinated in the mythology from childhood, taught that they are born sinful and therefore not "good enough" in themselves. They need to be redeemed. Fear is used to keep the members in control, ie. eternal damnation in tormenting hellfire. The leaders of the church interpret God's message and thus make the rules for the followers to keep.

    Every Christian and Islamic sect teaches and practices some form of this process. Content of stories and rules differs slightly, but the process is the same. Indoctrination in early childhood of being "bad" for simply being born human. Interpretations and rules made by leaders who have some sort of divine inspiration or at least an extra dose of holy spirit leading them to lead) Control through fear and punishment. (The punishment changes in severity but the fear is the key element). While all religions may not perform severe shunning, the mythology promotes an "us versus them" mentality in that it segregates people into two classes, believer and unbeliever, good versus evil, saved versus damned. There are social ramifications to that mentality, even in the most mild of the sects (which, by the way, is a synonym for the word "cult').

    Now, please go back and read the 10 warning signs of a dangerous group or leader and see if you can see any parallels.

  • wobble

    Thanks Cog Diss, very well put, so much so I have filed it for use later !

    you have put an off topic thought in my mind, (what is on topic on this thread ?) that every so often a charismatic person pops up in history and starts a long lasting movement, i.e working back, Muhammad, Paul, Jesus, Buddah, Confucius and Moses.

    I believe these guys really believed their "visions", burning bushes and such, but they were just deluded men, albeit able to produce some wisdom, with a great "presence" that drew followers.

    I wonder who the next guy will be ? there are always claimants, but they seem to lack the ability to build a lasting following, we are overdue for a new "prophet" but he would have to contend with a world full of many sceptics.

  • cyberjesus


        [ heer ] Show IPA –adverb 1. in this place; in this spot or locality ( opposed to there ): Put the pen here. 2. to or toward this place; hither: Come here. 3. at this point; at this juncture: Here the speaker paused. 4. (used to call attention to some person or thing present, or to what the speaker has, offers, brings, or discovers): Here is your paycheck. My friend here knows the circumstances. 5. present (used to answer a roll call). 6. in the present life or existence (often fol. by below ): We want but little here below. 7. under consideration, in this instance or case: The matter here is of grave concern to us all.


        [ iz ] Show IPA –verb 1. 3rd pers. sing. pres. indic. of be. —Idiom 2. as is. as 1 ( def. 25 ) .


        [ mahy ] Show IPA –pronoun 1. (a form of the possessive case of I used as an attributive adjective): My soup is cold. –interjection 2. Also, my-my. (used as an exclamation of mild surprise or dismay): My, what a big house this is! My-my, how old he looks!


        [ an -ser , ahn - ] Show IPA –noun 1. a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.: He sent an answer to my letter promptly. 2. a correct response to a question asked to test one's knowledge. 3. an equivalent or approximation: a singing group that tried to be the french answer to the Beatles. 4. an action serving as a reply or response: The answer was a volley of fire. 5. a solution to a problem, esp. in mathematics . 6. a reply to a charge or accusation. 7. Law . a pleading in which a party responds to his or her opponent's statement of position, esp. the defendant's reply to the plaintiff's complaint.



        [ ri- lij - uh n ] Show IPA –noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. 4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion. 5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith. 6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.


        [ kuhlt ] Show IPA –noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. 3. the object of such devotion. 4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. 6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. 7. the members of such a religion or sect. 8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    I wonder who the next guy will be ?

    What about Koresh? Persecuted, martered, said he would be back. All he needs is some followers to keep his dream alive.

    A MELBOURNE survivor of the infamous Waco siege has revealed he still follows the teachings of cult leader David Koresh.

    Branch Davidian cult member Graeme Craddock, 44, this week broke his silence for the first time since his release in May after 13 years' jail in the US.

    He said he believed the cult was misunderstood and Koresh's prophesies might still come true.

    And he believed Koresh might rise from the dead.

    Mr Craddock, who has returned to his parents' home in Wantirna South, was reluctant to discuss his religious beliefs, but said they were "more or less" unchanged from his time as a Branch Davidian.

    The religious sect, a radical splinter group of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was the centre of international focus in 1993.

    US authorities, attempting to investigate Koresh over allegations of child abuse and stockpiling weapons, laid siege to the cult's Mt Carmel compound near Waco, Texas.

    The 51-day stand-off ended when the compound went up in flames, killing 82 Davidians, including Koresh and 27 children.

    Twelve Australians - seven of them children - were involved in the siege and four died in the fire.

    Mr Craddock was convicted of possessing a hand grenade and conspiracy over the death of four federal agents in the incident.

    Mr Craddock, who has always maintained his innocence of the charges, said Koresh seemed normal and always promised he would return from death.

    "David Koresh taught that one of these day he was going to come back. That's what he believed was going to happen -- time is going to tell," Mr Craddock said.

    "He seemed like a normal guy. He was very confident in the way he handled himself."

    Mr Craddock said he had re-established contact with Clive Doyle, another former Melbourne Branch Davidian who has stayed in the US to continue Koresh's teachings.

    more .......

  • Will Power
    Will Power

    Not all cults are religious or god based - but they all have the same characteristics and identifying marks.

    Depending on how extreme the character of the group will determine how dangerous.

    Emotional blackmail is extreme and dangerous, often times deadly.

    Shunning or the threat of, by the group and by extension family, friends, or GOD is emotional blackmail.


  • Heaven

    AIW, have you read any of Steven Hassan's work or the work of Robert J. Lifton? Perhaps that would be a good idea.

    I think any organization can morph into a cult. I don't believe the Witnesses started out that way, but that's what they've become. It only takes one nut job at the top. And just to add to your original definition.... the WTS/JWs have actually been identified as a high mind control, destructive religious cult. The destructive piece comes into play because the authority of this group has decided that certain medical treatments are forbidden, resulting in numerous deaths. The shunning policy is also destructive, ripping apart families and friends. The pedophilia policy is dangerous and highly shameful. Children are not being protected, but pedophiles are. As I said to my father, there is no way this can be God's Organization with pedophiles being allowed to remain and children being put in harm's way.

  • Soldier77

    I will chime in what Heaven stated above. Please pick up Steven Hassans book(s) Combatting Mind Control (I still need to get this one so just a suggestion) and Releasing the Bonds (excellent book). Go through the list of what quantifies a cult and with an open mind (this may be hard to do if you are still heavily entrenched in WBTS doctrine) but please humor us and try. If you can objectively and honestly answer the questions or identify that they are indeed true of the WBTS, then you are on your way to a great awakening.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    "Cult" as a word is used too many ways by too many different groups to be easily discussed, especially with ones with limited intellectual honesty.

    Cult can be as generalized as ANY religion or as specific as ONLY religious groups who unquestioningly follow a singular man or anywhere in-between and all around.

    But two things social psychologists can agree on is this: High control groups can be dangerous, and Jehovah's Witnesses are a high control group.

    This is where the discussion needs to begin: Since the JWs ARE a high control group and high control groups CAN BE dangerous, are the JWs a dangerous high control group or are they relatively benign?

    To me the answer is obvious, but if you, Alice, would like to answer it we would all like to read your opinion on whether the UNDENIABLE high control exercised by the WTS over members of the JW faith is dangerous or benign. We can leave the word "cult" completely out of it. Semantic arguments are pointless.

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