That C word CULT
Lady Lee - thanks for this and all of your writings. I had a much higher realization of what's happened to me, when I understood it is a cult. Your post really hit home.
I think the following definition represents the most widely accepted meaning when applied to religious groups.
Secular cult opponents like those belonging to the anti-cult movement tend to define a "cult" as a group that tends to manipulate, exploit, and control its members. Specific factors in cult behavior are said to include manipulative and authoritarian mind control over members, communal and totalistic organization, aggressive proselytizing, systematic programs of indoctrination, and perpetuation in middle-class communities.
While acknowledging the issue of multiple definitions of the word, Michael Langone states that: "Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership's demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders." A similar definition is given by Louis Jolyon West:
- "A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community."
In each, the focus tends to be on the specific tactics of conversion, the negative impact on individual members, and the difficulty in leaving once indoctrination has occurred.
Hi there I spent some time understanding the feeling behind what you had written. My wife is heading very quickly to be baptised and I have tried everything to stop her from doing it. Our situation stand now. Teenager is becoming interested in satanism just to upset his mother. I tried not argueing and keeping my opinions to myself ( which doesn't work) to being sweet as pie to our visiting JW guests. None of this works. Whilst being polite and kind and quiet it goes on as normal and the lies are kept on being spread. I hate the WT with a passion.
I read Captive of a Concept which gave me many insights on the WT organisation. We had discussed a few issues about this before only to realise that she was reading off the WT cue card. We got on to the subject of voting today, she will not vote....why? becuase the WT tells her not to.
I asked her if she realised how much of a fight it was to get women the vote. She was aware of Emily Pankhurst throwing herself under a horse. I asked her if she knew the reason why women weren't allowed the vote in the first place.. she wasn't sure. I said it was because of the bible and the fact religion has kept women in a lowly place for centuries. This ideal has kept this abusive ideal for one purpose.... abuse,.... she said the women work from the heart and need to read and follow the bible so they could operate in the world. I said the bible hate women and classed them as second class citzens....this is abuse from a male logical secular stand point. ( taken humanity a long time to realise this).
Because I raised my voice and exppressed my views I have become an abuser of her. She will be now complaining to her JW friends of how evil I am .. I have had enough of it. They always appear to come out as if they are the light and bright ones. I have all but lost my wife in trust, she doesn't come to me any more.
Perhaps I should have realised the power that could be held over some one using the biblical scriptures as a guide for my own gains even if egotistical. I am not like that but instead, being caring,. lost and frustrated about our situation have put myself in the position of being and abusing husband for making her feel uncomfortable.
TF: It's very tough to be in your situation.. I also feel very angry when my wife talks to her JW buddies about how bad, evil and satanic I am. Just say one little critical thing and you are attacking and abusing her. At the same time they can spend billions of hours attacking other people on their own doorsteps. The hypocrisy is mindboggling.
Nothing has been said to my face but by reaction and knowing how my wife works she complains... being self aware means that one can check themselves to ensure minimum damage occurs but then again what I say comes from the heart even if it is at times angry....
I haven't read the other comments made to this post. But well said Lee. It is very encouraging.
I wish sometimes people didn't have to witness this cruel side but it's real and it happens. Dealing with abuse is hard and it's hard to recognize what right or what's wrong when you had been manipulated and that trust has been broken.
The battle is still strong even today... being comfortable in your own skin, hoping you children will be raise in a good safe environment, and basically every decision in life is affected by how you been raised...(speaking of me as a JW).
I honestly am really happy as far as my life right now but sometimes I feel alone on my thoughts... I feel confident in my beleifs as far as JW being a cult or manipulative but it's hard seeing some of my family (who are not nessarly JWs but they beleive that their words are trustworthy) and say here you can have the Watchtower and Awake to read.