That “C” word – CULT

by Lady Lee 66 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Dear Lee Week 64 – Friday

    This is my blog today for Freeminds. Thaoulgt I would post it here for you too.

    That “C” word – CULT

    In one way this amazes me. That people are so afraid of labelling the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult. But then again I know how difficult it is for anyone to label themselves as a victim. I saw that clearly while working with survivors of sexual abuse and abused wives. We don’t want to acknowledge that it was as bad as it was. We don’t want to feel as helpless as we do while we are in the situation. We don’t like to acknowledge that we were helpless in that situation. There was nothing we could do to change anything because we had already tried everything we could think of to make things better.

    Putting a name on something; calling it what it is changes one thing – how we see the problem. It doesn’t change anything about the other side of the problem. It doesn’t change the control they want to take from us. It doesn’t change the power they have over the lives of other people in the same situation.

    It changes how we see the problem. It helps us acknowledge the level of abuse we were under. It helps us see the problem from a different perspective. And hopefully it allows us to see that there was nothing we could do to change them. We have to focus on changing ourselves.

    Me. I have power over me. I can choose to allow others to control me, manipulate me, or abuse me. Or I can choose to stop it. But I can’t stop it if I don’t see it for what it is. Cults abuse people in some of the most severe ways possible. What they do to our bodies is nothing compared to what they do to our minds and yes our soul - that inner part of us that knows something is terribly wrong. We have no power to fix it until we see it as a problem.

    When I was married the first time to the Witness, I told him if he ever hit me I would be gone. In my mind abuse was physical. It required that he hit me. But what I didn’t see was that abuse also included things people say to threaten us into submission. I didn’t see that being treated as stupid or lesser than him was also abuse. I didn’t see him sitting in front of me waving the Bible so he could get his sexual needs taken care of was sexual abuse. I didn’t have the words to describe what was happening to me or the words to label it for what it was – spiritual and sexual abuse.

    But once I did see that I knew I had to get out. Whether the abuser is one person, a parent or a spouse or a boss (I’ve had a few of those too), or whether it is a religion or organization like the Watchtower Society what they do to us is still abuse. Once we can put the label on it, call it what it is then we can take back our power and choose something else. We can then choose to leave and find something different or even better.

    But we do have to be careful. Anyone who has been abused in one way or another and who hasn’t dealt with that abuse is at a higher risk than the rest of the population of betting into another abusive relationship. So we might bounce from an abusive cult to an abusive spouse or boss and keep bouncing from one abuse to another until we learn to call it what it is and get help.

    Getting help might be as simple as finding other people to talk to who have been through the same thing or it might be self-help or even getting therapy. But we do have to deal with it. Only then can we really be free.

  • wasblind

    Book marked to read over and over again, I'll consider this a Rx as needed, thank you LL :)


    Good morning Lady Lee..

    Good post..

    Maybe do all the time?..

    Kinda like Blondies weekly thread..


  • wasblind

    Hello there Outlaw

    she does it all the time at Freeminds, Randys place :)

    or do you mean over here too ;)


    Hey WasBlind..

    Nice to have you back..

    Ya..I mean post her work here too..

    If she wants to..


  • Hadit

    Great blog Lady Lee! Thank you.

    Freedom can only come by acknowledging and dealing with what happened to us - whether that be abuse, manipulation, control - or all three. If we don't then we are open to it happening again and again and are trapped.

    I've been reading Alice Miller's books and her website and they are very enlightening. She points out that if we continue to idealize situations (it wasn't that bad, I survived, others went through it, etc.) then we will never see them for what they are and continue in the same pattern. The repressed emotions stay in our bodies and we suffer all sorts of physical and mental illnesses.

    Your blog will help people to become aware and perhaps get the courage to do something to free themselves.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  • wasblind

    Outlaw you have a PM

  • Paralipomenon

    Cult is such a harmful word. I don't use it. The actual definition of cult doesn't match what people use it for now. Especially the way it is tossed around here. I appologize for using the terms, but words such as 'nigger' or 'faggot' are no different. They are emotionally charged words meant to blanket everyone they encase in a demeaning title. I know many witnesses that are nice, kind, helpful but by labeling them as cultists it changes who they actually are and covers them with the same blanket of hateful control and malice.

    Looking at the term for cult, it has since been broken down further. There are doomsday cults, destructive cults and benign cults. The closest that the Watchtower matchs is a benign cult, but it is hardly used here since the word 'benign' doesn't match the betrayal and hurt some people feel for their experience in it.

    It's so much easier to label them as a cult and let them sit in a group that would willing kill their members to avoid shame or where sexual abuse is common for most members rather than isolated encounters, people who have all their properties and worldy posessions stolen away and so forth.

    At the end of the day, the witnesses are a passive organization. I would liken the difference as being robbed at gunpoint and falling for an investment scam. At the end of the day, both are out money, both are victims, but one didn't have a choice the other will be plagued by guilt that they were duped. I actually think that would be worse to recover from.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    Do you have any idea how much you just contradicted yourself in that post. You don't want to use the term cult because you think they are benign (meaning they do no harm) but they would

    "willing kill their members to avoid shame or where sexual abuse is common for most members rather than isolated encounters, people who have all their properties and worldy posessions stolen away and so forth."

    Can you see the contradiction? If they do those things - and we all here know that they do - then they can't be benign. They harm people. Therefore there is no reason to avoid using a word that does apply to them

    Now as to your comparison to using defamatory words to label a person with the labeling of an organization or religion it just doesn't work. Jehovah's Witnesses are victims of a cult. They follow orders and if they don't submit to those orders they will be punished one way or another. As victims of a cult (or cultic organization or religion) they have been taught how to get more vicitms into the cult so the victims wind up making more victims.

  • talesin

    hey para *waves* (funny, I was thinking of you this morning :D)

    I have to support Lee on this one. About 10 years ago, I went to the library and pulled every conceivable reference to cults. I read oh, a dozen or so scholarly books about cults. Jehovah's Witnesses was in every one of them.

    The word 'cultist' is one that I do not like, though. 'Member of a cult',,,, 'victim of a cult',,, yes.

    And, yes, I have thought many times about the other two words you mentioned. It's true that MANY YEARS AGO they had a 'different' meaning. But are you really saying that you would use them nowadays. Oh, that was a ***gardly piece of pie the waitress served me. Or, I'm out of kindling, do you have any f**gots? I think not!

    The word 'cult' has a much broader meaning, that is true. But, in the common vernacular, it references religions such as the Unification Church of God, Scientology, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Children of God, and yes Jehovah's Witnesses.


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