Thought Control - Yes, the JW's Use It Too

by Crisis of Conscience 10 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    The following highlighted info is taken from pg. 62 of Steve Hassan's Combatting Cult Mind Control:

    If information transmitted to a cult member is perceived as an attack on either the leader, the doctrine, or the group, a hostile wall goes up. Members are trained to disbelieve any criticism. Critical words have been explained away in advance as "the lies about us that Satan puts in peoples' minds" or "the lies that the World Conspiracy prints in the news media to discredit us, because they know we're onto them." Paradoxically, criticism of the group confirms that the cult's view of the world is correct. The information presented does not register properly.

    Perhaps the most widely used and effective way to control cult member's thoughts is thought-stopping rituals. Members are taught to use thought-stopping on themselves. They are told it will help them grow or be more effective. Whenever a cult member begins to experience a "bad" thought, he uses thought-stopping to drown out the "negativity" and center himself, thus learning how to shut out anything that threatens his reality.

    I found this to be quite interesting. As a JW, you exhibit these very thoughts. And unfortunately, I admit to teaching this style of thinking in the past.

    Perhaps some of you that are still "active" as witnesses recall a few parts on recent assemblies a few years ago.

    A brother is looking up some info on his computer and comes across negative info about the JW's on a website. He IMMEDIATELY turns the computer off, recognizing it as garbage, lies, and worthless talk.

    A brother gets a job offer and after having a short time to STOP and "THINK" , he refuses the offer in his head, realizing that putting "spiritual" things first (JW definition) is what is important.

    A brother is browsing though his emails and comes across something from someone he doesn't know. He begins to view it and recalls the scripture of 'turning ones eyes away from seeing what is futile'. (Pornography was the example, but this applies to apostate issues also.)

    I, in my "faithful" days, had an opportunity to perform some of these demonstrations. Little did I give thought to how the society really pushes their ideas. And I was a willing pawn to show others "how to do it". This is indeed thought stopping because the individual reacts INSTANTLY, there is no pondering over what other options there may be. As far as they are concerned, what they just saw is critical and harmful and they MUST resist it at ANY cost.

    I recall my early days of dabbling with so called apostate info. As others have already mentioned, and the book makes clear, fear is a BIG factor. But it is a natural response when you are taught that anything said outside the walls of the Watchtower walls is a threat.

    Now what I was taught in the past just makes me completely sick - THOUGHT CONTROL.

    Coments anyone?


  • Lunatic Faith
    Lunatic Faith

    I agree, Coc. I remember willing myself to push critical words, pictures, or ideas out of mind to demonstrate my faith and keep my mind clean. When I think I was just cleaning my mind for infestation by the WBTS it sickens me.

    On a similar note, we got together with my brothers (JW's) for dinner tonight. It's our ninth anniv. and they were treating us. They both know we aren't doing anything about the dubs but I don't let a lot out because I hope I will make the right comment that makes them think. My brother was telling me how effective the ministry work is and how many thousands get baptized every year and that even if it is just the young, inexperienced, we are told to keep going from door-to-door to re-validate the "truth" in our minds. So we can make a defense when the Great Trib. comes. I was sickened! I would've said the same things a short time ago. But, now that I am on the outside looking in, I actually felt clausterphobic at the idea of submitting to such narrow, controlled thinking. I wanted to say, "No! They want you preaching to reinforce the cult mind control!" But I didn't want to create obstacles so I bit my tongue.

    Anyway, like you said, at least we are no longer under the thought control. And others are learning the real truth every day.

    Thanks for the quotes. I haven't read that book yet but I can see the need to

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    @ Lunatic Faith - I remember willing myself to push critical words, pictures, or ideas out of mind to demonstrate my faith and keep my mind clean. When I think I was just cleaning my mind for infestation by the WBTS it sickens me.

    I like the way you put that. Regardless of how you look at it, your mind WILL be filled with something. But the right question is, will it affect you in a positive or a negative way?

    I must mention that in my 1st post on this thread, I actually, based on the book, combined thought control with emotional control. Emotional control is where the guilt comes in. Thought control deals more with immediate reaction - only one outcome, what the society says is right.

    And yes, I definitely encourage this book, as many others on this site have also. It's amazing how Steve Hassan, despite not having affiliation with the JW's, offers explanations that relate well to the JW experience.


  • alanv

    I remember even after I had made my decision not to go any more to the hall, I felt really bad about reading the so called apostate book 'Crisis of conscience'. Once I had read it I was so pleased that I had. From that point on, there was no stopping me. I exposed the society when ever I got the chance.

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    @ alanv - Though I currently still attend the meetings, I do remember getting my first glimpses of the book Crisis of Conscience. To me at the time it felt just as bad as looking at pornography. I was scared!!
    But after I finally gave in to reading it, I too no longer have any regrets. Rather I have confirmed that what I was feeling and thinking regarding the Society is true. And only now have I really come to realize the strong influence they have on people's lives. It's shameful and scary.


  • Crisis of Conscience
  • Ding

    The question is how to get around this barrier when talking with a JW.

    I think the key must be in finding a way to raise issues so that they don't come across as you attacking the WTS.

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    @ Ding - I haven't finished reading Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan. But that could certainly be a start into understanding the mind and how to talk to people under this control.


  • Londo111


  • Apognophos

    This is how the Society wants it to work when we start thinking about something apostate (skip to 0:20):

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