The Shared Delusion Of the Governing Body

by frankiespeakin 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • frankiespeakin

    Well I'm thinking shared not in just the narrow limited to the members but also the millions of true beleivers that they act as official spokemem for God.

    Doom Day Cults:

    Doomsday cults

    Pictures of those that died in Jonestown in 1978.

    An additional commonly used subcategory of cult movements are the doomsday cults, characterized by the central role played by eschatology in these groups' belief systems. Although most religions adhere to some beliefs about the eventual end of the world as we know it, in doomsday cults, these tend to take the form of concrete prophesies and predictions of specific catastrophic events being imminent, or in some cases, even expected to occur on a particular calendar date. This category of religious movements includes some well-known cases of extremely destructive behavior by adherents in anticipation of the end of times, such as the mass suicide by members of the Peoples Temple in 1978, the Branch Davidians in 1993 and the Heaven's Gate in 1997, although many examples are known of doomsday cults that do not become nearly as destructive. This latter class of doomsday cults are of theoretical interest to the scholarly study of cults, because of the often paradoxical response of adherents to the failure of doomsday prophesies to be confirmed. Social psychologist Leon Festinger and his collaborators performed a detailed case study of one such group in 1954, subsequently documented in "When Prophecy Fails". The members of a small, obscure UFO cult in question were very quick to amend their world-view so as to rationalize the unexpected outcome without losing their conviction about the validity of the underlying belief system, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. The authors explained this phenomenon within the framework of the cognitive dissonance theory, which states that people are in general motivated to adjust their beliefs so as to be consistent with their behavior, in order to avoid the painful experience of a dissonance between the two. On this account, the more committed one is at the behavioral level to their beliefs being true, the more driven one is to reduce the tension created by dis-confirming evidence. An important implication of this theory is that common, universal psychological factors contribute to the persistence of what otherwise appear to be bizarre and even absurd sets of beliefs.

    United States Congressional investigation of theUnification Church, 1977-1978.

    The difference between the negative and the neutral definition of the word cult has also had political implications. In the 1970s, the scientific status of the "brainwashing theory" became a central topic in U.S. court cases where the theory was instrumental in justifying the use of the forceful "deprogramming" of cult members. [54] [55] Meanwhile, sociologists critical of these theories assisted advocates of religious freedom in defending the legitimacy of new religious movements in court. While the official response to new religious groups has been mixed across the globe, some governments aligned more with the critics of these groups to the extent of distinguishing between "legitimate" religion and "dangerous", "unwanted" cults in public policy. [8] [56] France and Belgium have taken policy positions which accept "brainwashing" theories uncritically, while other European nations, like Sweden and Italy, are cautious about brainwashing and have adopted more neutral responses to new religions. [57] Scholars have suggested that outrage following the mass murder/suicides perpetuated by the Solar Temple [8] [58] as well as the more latent xenophobic and anti-American attitudes have contributed significantly to the extremity of European anti-cult positions. [59]

    Since 1949, the People's Republic of China has been classifying dissenting groups as xiéjiào(??.) [60] In the Chinese language, the word xiéjiào translates to "Evil Religion" [? (xié) = Evil ? (jiào)= Religion]. The word xiéjiào as a whole is used to describe what is known in the Western world as a cult. [61] In recent years, the Chinese government has allied with Western anti-cult scholars in order to lend legitimacy to its crackdown on practitioners of Falun Gong. In 2009, Rabbi Binyamin Kluger and Raphael Aron, director of the Cult Counseling Australia, spoke at a four-day conference in southern China on cult-fighting strategies. [62] Aron is a Lubavitch Jew, a group which might be considered a cult in that its members believe their former rabbi to be the Messiah. [63]

    Sociologists critical to this negative politicized use of the word "cult" argue that it may adversely impact the religious freedoms of group members. [55] [64] [65] [66]

    In many countries, there exists a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. Governments of some of these countries, concerned with possible abuses by groups they deem cults, have taken restrictive measures against some of their activities. Critics of such measures claim that the counter-cult movement and the anti-cult movement have succeeded in influencing governments in transferring the public's abhorrence of doomsday cults and make the generalization that it is directed against all small or new religious movements without discrimination. The critique is countered by stressing that the measures are directed not against any religious beliefs, but specifically against groups whom they see as inimical to the public order due to their totalitarianism, violations of the fundamental liberties, inordinate emphasis on finances, and/or disregard for appropriate medical care. [67]

    Premise of study

    Festinger and his colleagues saw this as a case that would lead to the arousal of dissonance when the prophecy failed. Altering the belief would be difficult, as Keech and her group were committed at considerable expense to maintain it. Another option would be to enlist social support for their belief. As Festinger wrote, "If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must after all be correct." In this case, if Keech could addconsonant elements by converting others to the basic premise, then the magnitude of her dissonance followingdisconfirmation would be reduced. Festinger and his colleagues predicted that the inevitable disconfirmation would be followed by an enthusiastic effort at proselytizing to seek social support and lessen the pain of disconfirmation.

    [edit] Sequence of events

    Festinger and his colleagues infiltrated Keech's group and reported the following sequence of events:

    • Prior to December 20. The group shuns publicity. Interviews are given only grudgingly. Access to Keech's house is only provided to those who can convince the group that they are true believers. The group evolves a belief system—provided by the automatic writing from the planet Clarion—to explain the details of the cataclysm, the reason for its occurrence, and the manner in which the group would be saved from the disaster.
    • December 20. The group expects a visitor from outer space to call upon them at midnight and to escort them to a waiting spacecraft. As instructed, the group goes to great lengths to remove all metallic items from their persons. As midnight approaches, zippers, bra straps, and other objects are discarded. The group waits.
    • 12:05 A.M., December 21. No visitor. Someone in the group notices that another clock in the room shows 11:55. The group agrees that it is not yet midnight.
    • 12:10 A.M. The second clock strikes midnight. Still no visitor. The group sits in stunned silence. The cataclysm itself is no more than seven hours away.
    • 4:00 A.M. The group has been sitting in stunned silence. A few attempts at finding explanations have failed. Keech begins to cry.
    • 4:45 A.M. Another message by automatic writing is sent to Keech. It states, in effect, that the God of Earth has decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm has been called off: "The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction."
    • Afternoon, December 21. Newspapers are called; interviews are sought. In a reversal of its previous distaste for publicity, the group begins an urgent campaign to spread its message to as broad an audience as possible.

    [edit] Conditions

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    When Prophecy Fails is great book, and a pretty quick read. Makes for perfect summer reading!

  • Heaven

    The underlying issue here is that each and every one of the members of this organization have accepted and executed on a foundational principle of lying.

    When you accept as one of your personal core principles lying to yourself, then lying to others is easy.

    Once you can do this, you're headed for a slippery slope of issues in your life. Basing onself on a negative type foundation will only get you negative results. Lying destroys relationships, your personal credibility and integrity, and ultimately, no one will or can trust you.

    I think mental illness is not a surprising outcome when people do these types of things.

  • scotoma

    It's not really lying. It's fabrication. We all make up our own maps that are just a fraction of what is really there.

  • Heaven

    It's not really lying.

    I disagree. How can any JW stay a JW without lying to themselves? Once you are confronted with NU lite, you have believed and touted a lie. For old lite contradicts NU lite. JWs constantly believe untrue things (Jeruselum fell in 607 BCE... Jesus returned invisibly in 1914...Jesus selected the Watchtower as God's Chosen Organization, the gates of heaven closed in 1935, wait, no they reopened after that, I can take blood, no I can't, ok but only in fractions... Armageddon is coming in 1914, 1920, 1925, 1939, 1975, soon... this generation will not pass away, oops this generation now overlaps... etc). In order accept to believe these things, they have lied to themselves. And then they lie to others when they go door to door.

    It's fabrication.

    Fabrication is creating. Creating stories is fine but then presenting them as 'truth' is lying. This is what the Watchtower does. Andre is one of their main characters of untrue stories. So is God.

    We all make up our own maps that are just a fraction of what is really there.

    The problem is that the JWs don't keep their maps to themselves. They try to convince me that their map is the only true map and that if I don't buy into this map and give them money to allow them to keep selling their map AND if I don't start also selling this map, I am going to be judged and punished. This is not truth.

    "If your God is so inept at communication that he has to appoint people to explain to other people just what he wants from them ... Your Religion Might Be Bullshit." -- Redneck Ronnie

  • scotoma

    If it's religion - it's fabrication. The difference between lying and fabrication - is lying involves presenting something as true that you believe isn't true. Fabrication involves believing what you perceive to be facts and stating them as truth. We all are muddled. The Bible is believed to be true. It isn't. But the people who base certain conclusions on information in the Bible believe it and repeat it as truth. They aren't lying. There is a certain malicious aspect to lying.

  • Heaven

    scotoma, I'm not sure fabricate would be the correct word but I do understand where you are coming from. There is a difference between telling a falsehood knowingly versus unknowingly.

    Here are the definitions of fabricate and lie:

    To fabricate is to invent and form; to forge; to devise falsely; as, to fabricate a lie or story.

    To lie is to deliver a false statement to another person which the speaking person knows is not the whole truth, intentionally.

    JWs who have been in da troof long enough to experience changes in doctrine and failures of prophecies, are telling themselves and others falsehoods knowingly to satisfy an agenda they've been told they have to follow.

    One of their biggest lies is that they, and they alone, have the Truth. However, NU lite directly contradicts this. As soon as 1 doctrinal change is presented, one can no longer state that they have 'truth'. Yet they continue to do so.

    Truth is unchanging.

    One example is my father - he is fully aware of the blood policy change to now accept blood fractions but knowingly clings to the old lite of 'blood is absolutely forbidden'. He has chosen to ignore the 'new' truth and cling to the old 'lie' (falsehood).

Share this