"It is important to understand that in most Bible-based cults, although the member is aggressively taught doctrine, it is not the doctrine that holds him in the group. It is the sense that the group is God's true people, a feeling cultivated by techniques of mind control. Thus, to engage the cult member in a Biblical argument or discussion is often futile." Releasing the Bonds p.145 Stephen Hassan
"Where else would I go?" is a question that holds huge power over the mind of a Jehovah's Witnesses. However, this question is not unique to followers of the Watchtower Society; it is common amongst members of high control religions. A key to moving on is for the member to understand that there are many groups that similar to their own. This article presents information on several religions remarkably similar to Jehovah's Witnesses;
Mormonism comprises the religious, institutional, and cultural elements of the most populous branch of the Latter Day Saint movement.
The term Mormonism is derived from the Book of Mormon, a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. According to Smith's account, and also according to the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" engraved on golden plates. Smith said that he received these plates in 1827 from an angel named Moroni. Here's a photo:
Question for Mormons: Why can't all Mormons receive a visit from the angel Moroni?
Answer: Because Moroni is an inanimate apparition imagined in the mind of Joseph Smith.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis is on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ. Among its founders was William Miller and Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church today. Much of the theology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church corresponds to Protestant Christian teachings such as the Trinity and the infallibility of Scripture. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century and was formally established in 1863. The Millerites were the followers of the teachings of William Miller who, in 1833 first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ.
William Miller claimed a prophetic dream from God bestowed him with the power of prophecy. In Daniel 2:29-45 the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar received a dream vision from God as interpreted by Daniel. Daniel himself had a dream from God in which he beheld four huge beasts coming up out of the sea, these creatures representing human governments. (Da 7:1, 3, 17)
The interpretation of William Miller's dream as quoted in the early writings of Ellen G. White:
Page: 229: “God sent His angel to move upon the heart of a farmer who had not believed the Bible, to lead him to search the prophecies. Angels of God repeatedly visited that chosen one, to guide his mind and open to his understanding prophecies which had ever been dark to God’s people. The commencement of the chain of truth was given to him, and he was led on to search for link after link, until he looked with wonder and admiration upon the Word of God. He saw there a perfect chain of truth. That Word which he had regarded as uninspired now opened before his vision in its beauty and glory. ... He regarded the sacred Word of God with joy and with the deepest respect and awe.
“As he followed down the prophecies, he saw that the inhabitants of the earth were living in the closing scenes of this world’s history, yet they knew it not. He looked at the churches and saw that they were corrupt; they had taken their affections from Jesus and placed them on the world; they were seeking for worldly honor, instead of that honor which cometh from above; grasping for worldly riches, instead of laying up their treasure in heaven. He could see hypocrisy, darkness, and death everywhere. His spirit was stirred within him. God called him to leave his farm, as He called Elisha to leave his oxen and the field of his labor to follow Elijah. With trembling, William Miller began to unfold to the people the mysteries of the kingdom of God, carrying his hearers down through the prophecies to the second advent of Christ.”
In September 1822, Miller formally stated his conclusions in a twenty-point document; “I believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years,—on or before 1843.” This was reaffirmed in the Jewish year 1843, stating: “My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.”
On October 22, 1844, that day of great hope and promise, ended like any other day to the disappointment of the Millerites. Both Millerite leaders and followers were left generally bewildered and disillusioned.
The Seventh-day Adventist, Ellen G White that followed the work of William Miller likewise claimed to have visions and prophetic dreams as recorded in “A Word to the Little Flock” distributed in 1847, in which her first vision in 1844 was described. Ellen continued to have alleged visions and divinely inspired dreams from then on until her death in 1915. The frequency of these was much greater in the early years, however. According to her grandson Arthur White, she had visions until 1884, and mostly "prophetic dreams" at night from then on. Arthur has estimated that she had approximately 2000 visions over her lifetime.
The principle teaching channel of Jehovah's Witnesses from the inception of organization's history up to now has never claimed infallibility or divine inspiration. They have also left the results of candid Bible research open to the possibility of unfulfillment.
Indeed, as respects the date 1914, which we have emphasized, and respecting which we have repeatedly expressed our faith, our conviction--even respecting this date we have never knowingly spoken in infallible terms. June 1, 1913 Watchtower
We are waiting for the time to come when the government of the world will be turned over to the Messiah. We cannot say that it may not be either October 1914, or October 1915. It is possible that we might be out of the correct reckoning on the subject a number of years. We cannot say with certainty. October 15, 1913 Watchtower
Using this same measuring line, beginning with the entry of the children of Israel into Canaan, and counting the full 70 cycles of 50 years each, as clearly indicated by Jehovah’s sending of the Jews into Babylon for the full 70 years, it is an easy matter to locate 1925, probably the fall, for the beginning of the antitypical jubilee................Thus it was in 1844, in 1874, in 1878 as well as in 1914 and 1918. Looking back we can now easily see that those dates were clearly indicated in Scripture and doubtlessly intended by the Lord to encourage his people, as they did, as well as to be a means of testing and sifting when all that some expected did not come to pass. That all that some expect to see in 1925 may not transpire that year will not alter the date anymore than in the other cases. May 15, 1922 Watchtower
The faithful and discreet slave identified in Matthew 24:45-47 doesn't claim a special relationship with God that is inaccessible to any and all members or claim its means of teaching is limited to a select few.
w08 9/15 p. 21 pars. 5-6 Resist “the Spirit of the World”
The provision of holy spirit was not limited to the first century. It is readily available today, and God’s spirit can give us the strength to do what is right as well as energize us in his service. (Rom. 12:11; Phil. 4:13) It can also produce in us tender qualities, such as love, kindness, and goodness, which are aspects of “the fruitage of the spirit.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) However, Jehovah God does not force his holy spirit upon unwilling recipients.
It would be reasonable, then, for us to ask, ‘What can I do to receive holy spirit?’ Well, the Bible shows that there are a number of things we can do. An important step is quite straightforward—ask God for it. (Read Luke 11:13.) Another useful step is to study and apply the counsel in God’s spirit-inspired Word. (2 Tim. 3:16) Of course, not everyone who simply reads the Bible receives God’s spirit. But when a sincere Christian studies God’s Word, he can absorb the sentiments and outlook reflected in the inspired Word. It is also vital that we accept that Jehovah has appointed Jesus as His representative and the one through whom God has provided his spirit. (Col. 2:6) Accordingly, we want to model our lives on Jesus’ example and teachings. (1 Pet. 2:21) The more we strive to be like Christ, the more we will receive holy spirit.
I'll address the other religious groups a bit later, but the conclusion so far is there is no true association between any of these groups and Jehovah's Witnesses are not a cult or “high-control group” as some love to think of them as.