I cant understand why some people want to start a new religion and they have to invent new stories, but why oh why do they have to be so stupid and why do people fall for them. So many religions like the Mormons, JW etc all have such down right nutty stupid beliefs its a wonder why they couldnt simply be more realistic... i dont get it.
Why do all religions have to have really stupid beliefs that are an embarrassment.
It is all about having to sell it, your new brand of religion has got to have something different to offer, just like a new breakfast cereal.
To an extent any "belief" is stupid, "belief" in the sense of trusting that something is true, and living your life accordingly, with no evidence for that trust, and "stupid" in the sense of lacking reason.
But let us not be too proud of ourselves, at one time all of us on this board/site held such beliefs, baseless and unprovable, whether completely wacky beliefs (JW, LDS etc) or not, we were in a deluded state whilst holding them.
In the case of Joseph Smith (and possibly even Charles Russell), I sometimes wonder if they had some kind of mental illness that made them delusional. If they are convinced of their delusions, they can explain them to others in convincing ways.
Its a way to make members feel special and test their loyalty.
Every cult has a few crazy beliefs and unique language. Special names for god like "the MOST Holy One of Israel, JAH of Armies, my Lord, the HOLY One of Israel and Holy Spirit... JAHESHUA, the Chosen One of JAH (MischaJah) ".
Well obviously every religion has to be different, but there are only so many good ideas, so those who come in late like the Witnesses just have to put up with what is left- wacky ideas about a New System tm and a literal 144,000... I guess.
The WB&TS was started and Is still operated by MENTALLY DISEASED LEADERS!
There is a difference between having a Mental disease and holding delusional ideas, though sometimes the two go together. But if you are simply deluded by choice then no amount of medication will solve your problem.
From the early 19th Century End Time speculations picked up speed, from his predecessors through William Miller to Barbour etc, and, somewhat late to the party, Russell.
The new trend in literalist interpretation of the Bible gave impetus to fiddling with Bible "Prophecy", which other threads have shown does not exist of course.
I think Russell was self deluded rather than medically mentally ill, I think Rutherford only slightly believed any of it, and was mainly a money maker, with an immense ego, or as we say here in the S.E of England, "full of piss and importance".
All these guys, Joseph Smith, Russell, Rutherford were strange in themselves, so their ideas were bound to be.
I think if you can convince your followers to embrace stupid, way out-there beliefs, they are going to be more loyal. It's a psychological manipulation thing.
*nods to Cofty*