Very, very interesting, Lady Lee. Bookmarked.
That C word CULT
Since I resumed posting on JWD, I've tried to stay out of lengthly debates so I'll just clarify my post and leave it at that.
In your opening line you wrote:
In one way this amazes me. That people are so afraid of labelling the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult.
As one of the people that doesn't label them as a cult, I wanted to give my reasonings why. At least in my case, it's not fear that keeps me from calling them a cult, I just don't use blanket labels for people or groups. I truly don't expect anyone to read my post here and go "Wow, this guy makes sense, I'll stop calling them a cult right now" but it provides a glimpse into the counter point to this post.
The key thing I took away from my leaving the witnesses, is to always at least look at the other side's argument, if, for nothing else will let you understand why they think the way they do.
While it still might amaze you that I don't consider them a cult, at least I hope you can understand that in every case, it's not fear.
like I said previously You are now free to think whatever you wnat. That is the beauty of no longer being under the influence lol
While it still might amaze you that I don't consider them a cult,
There you go..Thats a Good Post..
I don`t agree..But..
Your on Topic and you made Your Point..
The Watchtower organization and leaders regularly act in ways associated with a mind-control cult. The epitaph "cult" carries a strong negative connotation, but as Lee has shown here, the WT has earned that disrespect.
Yes, they are in a cult--that most of us will agree on. Now the question becomes, what is the best thing to do about it?
- To family and friends who are in the organization, the "C word" can abruptly close the ears and break the lines of communication. If you want to burn whatever bridges remain between you and the JWs in your life, your tongue can be your flame-thrower. If helping them and loving them despite their WT connection matters to you, using less volatile language is likely to benefit your cause.
- Those whose only contact with JWs is the Saturday morning service call are likely to think you're exagerating, that it couldn't possibly be as bad as other, more notorious cults. Most people have no idea of what the WT really teaches, nor the severe measures they use to "keep the flock clean". Saying "CULT!", rather than calmly explaining the facts and letting them come to their own conclusion, makes them see you as the irrational hysteric.
- It may seem safe when you're "preaching at the choir" of ex-JWs and relatives of JWs, i.e. here and on similar forums. But there are outsiders lurking, reading what we say. Think about how a hesitant fence sitter sees it: will your choice of words encourage them to join us, or send them back to the meetings?
If helping those still trapped in the organization means more to you than mere venting, think twice about what you say. Your language is the outward sign of your attitude, and that attitude is the difference between being heard and being ignored.
I got the distinct impression from Lady Lee's original post that this was more about the realisation of the individual, and how it effects their future course . . . rather than the rights or wrongs of a label . . . much less by consensus.
If you avoid a label in your own mind . . . because you doubt it's authenticity . . . then you will respond to the entity in question differently. As in LL's example of psychological and sexual abuse by intimidation and coercion . . . unless you identify it positively in your own mind for what it truly is . . . then your response to it's ill effects will be different.
If you are in no doubt you have been abused by an Organisational arrangement that closely matches the definition of a cult . . . then bloody well call it that . . . at least in your own mind. If you bow to the sensitivities of others perceptions you will create doubts and confusion which will turn the problem back on you . . . and expose you to similar probelms in the future.
My experience for many years as a JW tells me they are a cult . . . make of that what you will . . . but you won't change my mind . . . even if you stop me from saying so.
Hmmmm... interesting position, dear Para (peace to you!)... but it seems to me that your position actually validates exactly the point the dear Lady (the greatest of love and peace to you!) tried to make: being reluctant to call a spade a spade... is sometimes the very thing that keeps one from seeing that it IS in fact a spade. And so, whatever harm is usually caused by spades... passively or aggressively... goes unnoticed (or more likely, denied), and thus, unchecked. Call it a spade, however, and folks will tend to recognize its "spadelike" behavior.
The same could very well apply to the RCC, yes... but the RCC wasn't really the focus of the blog... or this thread.
Again, peace to you, both!
A slave of Christ,
SA, who says a cult... by any other name... even "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Whatever It Is Now"... is still a cult...
WARNING Could be triggering
I agree with all your points but as AGuest and sizemic say that isn't the point of the post.
I remember when I was in group therapy. No one wanted to use the word Incest. They also didn't want to use the word victim. They thought that the two words were derogatory. They are. But if I can't say I was a victim of incest then I deny my personal experience. Saying I am a survivor of sexual abuse does not carry the same meaning as I was a victim of incest. There are many forms of sexual abuse. But having a man expose himself to me in a park is vary different than my father climbing in my bed and putting his penis between my legs or that he sodomized me. I have experienced all three and believe me the first is nothing compared to the second two. There are degrees of betrayal in the second two that just don't exist in the first.
If I really want to deal with the effects of what I went through I have to call a spade a spade. I was a victim of sexual abuse. I was a victim of incest. I was a victim of a cult. I was a victim of an emotionally abusive boss. I was a victim of the spousal abuse which included emotional and sexual abuse. I was a victim of emotional abuse by my mother and father.
To see the problem and the extent of the problem allows me to see the great need to do something about it whether that is to get therapy, read about it, get professional help or join a self-help group and perhaps even do all of the above. But if I refrain from putting the correct label on my experience then I will most likely ignore dealing with some of the deeper long term effects.
I agree with Lady Lee,
a spade is a spade, and I say the WTS is a cult
I also agree with Para that the Jehohava Witnesses are
victims of this cult who willingly allow themselves to be so
jw religion is just like any power structure, but because it has the label "truth" behind it...when people want to do all kinds of sick shit, it's much easier to get away with it. it's like that post i read a few days ago here. it was an article about some dipshit constantly commenting on his female employee's breasts...and making her do all this borderline sexual stuff to get him off. well he was "the boss" so he could get away with it for a time. what happens when these dipshits are not just the boss, but "the truth". and this man was made an elder directly by "the holy spirit". now you got some real shit on your hands. and they defend these people tooth and nail because they are so convinced god directly appointed these men. so yea there is the crux of the matter. all this nonsense about "truth" "directly appointed by god as elder, ms" whatever, turns an otherwise eccentric harmless bunch, into a cult. because it justifies any behavior, based on these fantastic notions of god's direct hand being involved in their otherwise childish charade.
in contrast. if they just went and said yea ok this guy is ready to work, put him to work give him responsibility. ok good, he's nice to people, does a good job whatever. when someone then says hey this guy is really into some wierd stuff, people will just take a reasonable approach of examining evidence etc. but when you tell people this guy was directly appointed by god, it's a whole other story. and that again, is the actual point where this religion becomes a cult, instead of a harmless charade, which may do some good for society otherwise.
ladylee: i'm very sorry for what they put you through. it sucks when you put your stock in something, believe, do the work, be a good example...and people take advantage of you, scapegoat you, etc. it unfortunately pulls the veil off what this religion really is. just an organization of men/women, the same as USPS...nothing holy to see here. just as if USPS tommorow declared god was in charge of their organization. instead of when you dont receive your package and call to complain, and then collect your insurance on the package...instead they tell you no no no, god is directing the package work, you must be an evil-doer, because god never sends a package to the wrong location. yea now USPS is a cult if they inserted that logic into their organization. it sets the stage for all kinds of crazy shit with that logic.