That's what I love about Jesus. He's one of the few religious/spiritual figures who really emphasized how important children truly are, since they are the closest to the Kingdom of God. Even if you're not a believer, you at least understand what I mean from a metaphorical standpoint. I mean, do you really think that someone like, say, L. Ron Hubbard gave a flying fuck about kids?
Why Are Jehovah's Witnesses Considered by Many to Be a Cult?
Rich kids, definitely.
the answer is in your own post. read it again
“The Jehovah Witness Watchtower is a big money (billion a year) mind control operation that steals the hearts, minds and ultimately the lives of it’s followers. The cult uses mind control tools to keep members in line such as: milieu control, loaded language, demand for purity, confession, mystical manipulation, doctrine over person, sacred science, dispensing of existence, control of environment, closed logic, and most of all fear.” And “Cult members…aren’t allowed to read anything critical of the cult so they don’t think for themselves. [They use] mind control techniques to create a nowhere to run, nowhere to hide atmosphere for the members. Members must literally spy on other cult members to ensure that they have not violated cult rules.
As Cyberjesus said - it's in your post. Everything is correct in the above statement. Although like Agonus said - you would have to have been one to get it. The mind control is in the articles and layered in year after year, it's in the talks, in the songs, it's the repetition, the number of meetings, assemblies, personal study of their articles (your are told to read it, then re-read it and meditate and underline the answers and then you go over the SAME article at the Kingdom Hall).
Everyone who is and was a Jehovah's Witness has been a victim of mind control. THERE IS NO EXCEPTION.
In short, as long as people can just walk away from a religion and speak out against it, how much of a “cult” can it be? And how much is hype?
You CANNOT just walk away from THIS religion. You lose your friends, your family, sometimes your spouse and your children, your business contacts, your lifelines with anyone who is still in. You can try to fade, you can disassociate but that all comes with a price. A price way too high.
How much is hype? NONE of it is.
Imagine: Your child is dying in a hospital and needs blood to save them. The elders from the hall come in and give you support to DENY your child this life saving procedure. You decide to take it. The elders try to stop you. They try to kidnap your child so that no blood transfusion is given. You fight for your child's life. You are then considered disloyal to GOD for saving your child. You are disfellowshipped and your child is treated like an outcast. You are told that if Armageddon comes tomorrow YOU and YOUR CHILD will be massacred by Jehovah because you disobeyed the Watchtower's stance on blood which they deem EQUAL to God's word. You will not get a resurrection - you and your child have been doomed for all eternity. At that point you are shunned by everyone. You can try to work your way back into their good graces by repenting of your sin and attending all the meetings and grovelling at the feet of the elders in your hall for possibly years on end before THEY decide if you are repentant or not. I could go on but you must get the picture by now.
Hype? No. Cult? Yes.
The Jehovah's Witness Organization (Watchtower Society) is a Cult. It is not interested in God or truth. It is interested in power and control and will use any means to get it.
I hope that somewhat answers your question.
Cold Steel, you've been on this board for four years and you don't know the answer to this one yet?
The Jehovah's Witnesses are much closer to Jim Jones than they are to any Christian sect. They are almost as heavily controlled by their leaders as the people under the control of Warren Jeffs. Just as the people who wanted to leave Jeffs' group had to give up their entire families to save themselves, JWs who choose to leave also have to make the same choice. Are they physically restrained? No, but mentally they are restrained, controlled, manipulated.
I don't know much about modern day Seventh Day Adventists so I can't comment but I know some lapsed Mormons and it doesn't seem as bad for them as if does for the ex-JWs. But I don't know what kind of internal struggles they face.
To use your own words, in 2010, the Jehovah's Witnesses ARE the real wackos.
I've never been on the inside, StAnn. I've also never had any friends that are JWs. I'm not sure any JWs would be allowed to be a friend.
Do you really think they're closer to Jim Jones than they are other religions? I look at ancient Christianity and examine the critics of first century Christians and the standard charges were 1) blasphemy; 2) secrecy; 3) cliqishness; and 4) dogmatism. These could also be applied to the Jehovah's Witnesses could they not? But early Christians did spread out and befriend Gentiles; and they got along with the Jews for quite a while, until the Gentile influence became noticable.
What makes me question whether they're a cult is that they're apparently leaking members left and right. If they really are employing mind control tactics, it seems like many would be staying. In Warren Jeffs group, the only reason they're leaking members is because the disgusting old men are marrying all the young women, leaving the young men with no one to date or marry. It makes me livid to see such people doing this. In some ways, Jeffs is one of the worst of the lot.
But who's benefitting in the JW organization? I understand many are disfellowshipped and this has all the earmarks of an organization that's rife with rebellion. The more they try to discipline, the more rebellion they cause. The kids are growing up and leaving, so the mind control doesn't appear to be working in the long run. But in Islam, they're strapping on bombs left and right.
What is a cult? And does the First Amendment protect them? Or should it? Where does one draw the line?
I'm not trying to defend them because I have no dog in this fight. But please let me know what's going on in the inside. How many people are in the "anointed class" and does this imbue them with power? In other words, if I'm in the anointed class and question certain doctrinal interpretations, am I as liable as any to be disciplined?
End times apocalyptic theosophy.
Oh, and the destroying families stuff.
Cult simply means a system of worship. So every religion is a cult. However, I see your point as for many the word raises images of suicide in compounds. The difference between the Watchtower and Mainstream religions is the extent of control. The Watchtower's use of shunning, the black and white thinking and the view of the "world" put it in the status of high control.
There is extensive information about aspects of control at http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/fear-cult-mind-control.php