How do apocolytpic cults start?

by EntirelyPossible 62 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cofty

    Ok then let's look at some of your apologetics.

    a) Secret knowledge of am impending disaster - This doesn't fit the JW's. They have been printing loads of literature about this and the Armaggedon has been part of the teaching of the JW's since very early. It's not a "secret knowledge".

    Don't get hung up on the word "secret". The key interest of the Watchtower since Russell got together with Barbour has been the timing of the end. It pretends that its prognostications are based on unique knkowledge of the bible in a way that is hidden from other students of the bible.

    This perfectly fits the criteria.

    However these aren't conveyed in secrecy to the "leader" (the GB) because they find base their doctrine in the Bible, a very public book

    The GB have stated frequently that the bible cannot be understood without their direction. This arrogance began with Russell who said that a person would be better reading Studies in the Scriptures than the bible.

    Insulation from the outside world..not true (phisically).

    JWs keep contact with non-JWs to an absolute minimum as you well know. This is a classic sign of a cult.

    A charismatic leader that appeals to the desires of the followers - Completely untrue with the JW's. Their leadership since Russell and Rutherford became much less leader-centered.

    On the contrary there has been a significant increase in emphasis on obedience to and praise of the GB. It appears to be far more so now than even when I left in '96. The fact that the leader is a group rather than an individual makes no difference.

    without a given date-target, the JW's are much more relaxed about "the end".

    Bullshit. "overlapping generation"?

    There IS critical thinking inside the JW's. But it is often supressed

    Suppression of thoughts and ideas is THE hallmark of a cult.

  • cofty

    haha 3 of us at once!

    Please take your time to consider all of that above honestly EdenOne

  • Tater-T

    sorry EdenOne .. the JW's are the McDonalds fanchise of apocolytpic CULTS...

  • LostGeneration

    Yeah that was like fish in a barrel. Too easy.

  • cofty

    EdenOne PMd me to let me know he is out of posts. He looks forward to responding tomorrow.

    IMO he is the most reasonable JW apologist I have seen on the forum.

  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    I'm going to steal someone's post from 7 years ago, so I hope they forgive me. But this gives printed examples of how the WT uses each part of the BITE model. Here is the link so you can read more quotes beyond just how they employ "behavior control". I hope Eden will read:

    Behavior Control

    1. Most groups have a stringent schedule for members. There is always something to do in these groups. It has its own distinctive set of behaviours that bind it together.

      KM 1/95 "Always Plenty To Do" We must prepare for and attend weekly congregation meetings . We are encouraged not to let a week go by without having some share in the field ministry . Sufficient time must be regularly set aside for personal and family Bible study . Elders and ministerial servants have many congregation assignments . At times we are asked to help worthy ones in need . 2 Occasionally, some of us may feel overwhelmed by all that we have to do. Yet, the busiest people can be among the happiest if balance and proper perspective are maintained. [?]6 There is an added benefit in having plenty to do . When we are busy pursuing a healthy spiritual routine , time seems to go by much faster . Realizing that each day that passes brings us closer to the new world, we gladly accept the full life we enjoy now. We also realize the wisdom of staying busy , inasmuch as we have less time to get involved in futile worldly pursuits .

      w94 9/1 p 13 Despite Being Made of Dust, Push Ahead!

      20 Now, during the concluding years of Satan?s world system, is not the time to slow down ?not as far as Kingdom preaching is concerned and not as far as developing more fully the fruitage of God?s spirit is concerned. In both areas we have ?plenty to do.? Now is the time to push ahead because we know our ?labor is not in vain.? (1 Corinthians 15:58) Jehovah will sustain us, for of him David said: ?Never will he allow the righteous one to totter.? (Psalm 55:22) What a joy to know that Jehovah is permitting us personally to share in the grandest work imperfect human creatures have ever been assigned to do?and this despite our being made of dust!

      Watchtower July 1, 1943 pages 204-6

      Righteous Requirements

      The territory now being covered one to two times in six months could very easily be covered four to six times in the same period if everyone took his Kingdom responsibilities seriously.
    2. Constant reminding of authority of the leaders

      Watchtower 2001 August 1 p. 14 Make Your Advancement Manifest
      8 First, since "oneness" is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and " the faithful and discreet slave ." By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided "at the proper time"--through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions--we can be sure that we maintain "oneness" with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge.--Matthew 24:45.

      Watchtower 1983 January 15 p.27 Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits

      Fight Against Independent Thinking

      Really, can we get along without the direction of God's organization?" No, we cannot!-

      The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981

      We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ?faithful and discreet slave' organization .

      Watchtower July 1, 1943 pages 204-6

      Righteous Requirements

      There is only one organization on earth today fulfilling the righteous requirements outlined in this commission from the Lord. The Society, represented by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, is the only one
    3. Obedience to human representation is the most important lesson they teach.

      The Watchtower November 15, 1981, p.26
      " Your attitude toward the anointed is the determining factor whether you go into everlasting cutting off or everlasting life ."

      The Watchtower December 1, 1981 p.21

      " Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication (the Society - my notes) that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life , no matter how much Bible reading we do."

      The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pp. 79-80

      We should eat and digest and assimilate what is set before us, without shying away from parts of the food because it may not suit the fancy of our mental taste... We should meekly go along with the Lord's theocratic organization and wait for further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us and proceed to quibble and mouth our criticisms and opinions as though they were worth more than the slave's provision of spiritual food. Theocratic ones will appreciate the Lord's visible organization and not be so foolish as to put against Jehovah's channel their own human reasoning and sentiment and personal feelings .
    4. Controlled behavior makes the group feel particularly spiritual and appear spiritual to outsiders

      g94 7/22 p27 Where Parents and Children Listen and Learn Together
      An elementary-school teacher, ? saw something different at the convention. ?Those children were sitting up straight for long periods of time. And what is more, they were holding their pencils tight in their hands and taking notes, writing characters correctly despite having to write on their laps. The Witness children are different from other children, even at school, in their way of speaking and listening and in their dress and grooming.? She then added: ?I think it is because of their daily training, their praising Jehovah, and their families working together toward one end.?

      w02 11/1 p12 Maintain Fine Conduct The success of most of Jehovah?s Witnesses in maintaining exemplary standards is seen in comments about them that have been published over the years. For example, Il Tempo of Italy reported: ? People who have Jehovah?s Witnesses as workmates describe them as honest workers, so convinced of their faith that they may appear obsessed by it; nevertheless, they command respect for their moral integrity .? The Herald of Buenos Aires, Argentina, said: ?Jehovah?s Witnesses have proved through the years to be hardworking, sober, thrifty, and God-fearing citizens. ? The Russian scholar Sergei Ivanenko stated: ? Jehovah?s Witnesses are known throughout the world as impeccably law-abiding people and particularly for their scrupulous attitude toward paying taxes.? The manager of a facility in Zimbabwe used by Jehovah?s Witnesses for their convention said: ? I see some Witnesses picking up paper and cleaning toilets. The showgrounds are left cleaner than before. Your teenagers are principled. I wish the whole world was full of Jehovah?s Witnesses.?
    5. The leaders link their control of behavior to ?special? spiritual insight of scripture.

      The Watchtower; July 1, 1973, pp. 402
      Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise . To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.

      The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967. p. 587. 

      Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization , not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible.
    6. If a person has trouble conforming (especially young ones) they may be urged to become more like an older group member; to follow the leaders' "example".

      Awake! May 22, 1998 p. 13 Young People Ask . . .Who Should Be My Role Model?

      How a Good Role Model Can Help You

      But usually it?s not hard to figure out who in the congregation are truly ?walking in the truth.? The principle at Hebrews 13:7 states: ?As you contemplate how their conduct turns out imitate their faith.? For most of your peers, how their conduct will turn out remains to be seen. But there are older ones in the congregation who have proved their faithfulness, and it?s wise to get to know them.

      Our Kingdom Ministry July 1994 p. 2 Younger Ones Need a Good ExampleWe rejoice to have with us a growing number of young people who are ?praising Jehovah?s name.? (Ps. 148:12, 13) Many of them are still quite young in years. Their progress is largely determined by the training and example provided by their parents and other older ones in the congregation.
  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    These quotes are so good, I'm just going to repost them to this thread. It's a good review for most of us.

    Information Control

    1. Important information which is available to the general public is withheld from members and potential members. Research outside of the group is discouraged.

      Watchtower 1967 June 1 p.335

      Move Ahead with Jehovah's Organization

      But in Jehovah's organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research , for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to do that very thing, to help you who do not have so much time for this, these preparing the good material in The Watchtower and other publications of the Society.
    2. Deception is the basic feature of all group recruitment. It is also what keeps people inside cults.

      Conversation Stopper: ?We?re not here to change your religion.?

      Conversation stopper: ?We are here to help you develop a personal relationship with God.?

      Conversation Stopper: ?We are here to help you gain personal knowledge of the bible.?

      Conversation Stopper: ?We are Christians.?

      Conversation Stopper: You are not required to go from door to door.

      Could use some ideas on actual publication quotes for here ?
    3. Information is one of the best weapons against these groups.

      Watchtower 1967 June 1 p.335

      Move Ahead with Jehovah's Organization
      But in Jehovah's organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to do that very thing , to help you who do not have so much time for this, these preparing the good material in The Watchtower and other publications of the Society.
    4. Information about the group?s history, purposes, doctrines, financial disclosures, methods of dealing with problems, counseling, training, and discipline for offenses are kept as confidential as possible.

      Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock (book) Unit 5(b) p.110

      (Note: this is regarding judicial matters) If the accused wishes to bring witnesses who can speak in his defense regarding the matter, he may do so.

      However, observers are not permitted. No tape-recording devices are allowed .
  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    Thought Control

    1. Leaders of these groups repress questions by conditioning their members to employ "thought-stopping" statements to drown out doubt, questions, anxiety or uncertainty, such as "I can't think about that." "How can you question (the leaders) after all they have done?" etc. The intention is to stop questions regarding the system or leaders.

      Watchtower 1983 January 15 p.27 Fight Against Independent Thinking

      If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves : " Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God's organization?" No, we cannot!-

      Watchtower 2002 8/1 pp 9-14 Loyally Submit To Godly Authority

      20 Rather than challenge their authority , we truly appreciate our hardworking elders! Their record of faithful service, often over many decades, inspires our trust. They faithfully prepare for and conduct congregation meetings, work side by side with us in preaching the ?good news of the Kingdom,? and provide Scriptural advice when we need it.They visit us when we are sick and comfort us when we mourn. They loyally and unselfishly support Kingdom interests. Jehovah?s spirit is upon them; they have his approval.
    2. The cult has it?s own language which further regulates how a person thinks. Different words make the members feel special and separate from outsiders.

      Watchtower 2002 9/1 pp19-24 Imitate The Great Teacher

      Our understanding of God?s Word has given us a unique vocabulary . If we use such expressions as ?the faithful and discreet slave,? ?other sheep,? and ?Babylon the Great,? we may need to explain them with simple phrases that make the meaning clear.

      More words to make JW?s feel special. (my notes - not the Society's)

      Publisher, District Overseer, Circuit Overseer, Kingdom Hall, the Truth, the Society, Service Department, Field Service, turning in your Time, Return Visit, Placement, Magazine route, Territory Card, perfection / imperfection, Paradise earth, anointed, little flock, other sheep, bethel home, bethel elder, Bethelite, monthly average, national average, inactive, Field service report, conversation stopper, elder meeting, theocratic ministry school, talk assignment, spirit-directed Organization, whole-souled service, Pioneer, Need-Greater, Ministerial Servants w/ specific titles (e.g. Literature, Accounts), Shepherding Call, Reinstate, Disfellowship, Disassociate, Private Reproof, marked, Judicial Committee, Appeal Committee, Governing Body, Faithful and Discreet Slave, Spiritual Virgins, Channel (also Channel of Holy Spirit), Envoys (underlings of the Ambassadors of Christ), worldling, sticktoitiveness, Wait on Jehovah!, Opposer, Foregleam, Divided Household, NEW LIGHT, Mother organization, Honest hearted-one, Old system of things
    3. The change in definitions of significant words and doctrines keeps even the members from understanding their own beliefs.

      Need quotes here.
    4. God is defined by, and eventually becomes the group.

      Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, pg 171 Never would we want to have a fleshly viewpoint of this channel of communication . To do so could cause us to lose sight of the fact that Jehovah is directing his organization, and we could thereby reject his efforts to draw us closer to him .

      Watchtower 1959 May 1 p.269 Attain Completeness in the New World Society

      In the same way Christ, the Head, employs the organization that is his body to carry out his assigned work. His orders reach the whole of the organization on earth through the governing body, and on down through the Branches to the congregations.--1 Cor. 12:12-18; Matt. 24:45-47. To hold to the headship of Christ, it is therefore necessary to obey the organization that he is personally directing. Doing what the organization says is to do what he says. Resisting the organization is to resist him .

      The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591 We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his word and channel of communication.

      The Watchtower; 10/1/1994; p. 8.

      All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.

      The Watchtower 9/1/1989 p. 19 Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium Only Jehovahs Witnesses , those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil. (Revelation 7:9-17; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    Emotional Control

    1. Fear is used to manipulate two ways. The first is to create an outside enemy (we vs them) who is persecuting you.

      Watchtower 2002 October 1, p.18 Jehovah Blesses and Protects Those Who are ObedientNo doubt prior to and during that time, Gods people will experience major tests of their faith and obedience .

      Watchtower 2002 October 15, p.18 Jehovah Cares for You

      Satan is doing all in his power to bring persecution, opposition, and pressure from all quarters upon Jehovah's people . He tries to disrupt our peace and destroy our fine standing with our God.

      Watchtower 2002 November 1, p.19 Christian Neutrality in the Last Days

      First, we remember that we must expect opposition . We should not be shocked or even surprised if we meet up with it. Paul warned Timothy: "All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesis will also be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3:13; 1Peter 4:12).

      In a world where Satan's influence reigns, why would we not meet opposition? (Revelation 12:17) As long as we are faithful, there will always be some who are 'puzzled and go on speaking abusively of us.' - 1 Peter 4:4 [?] It may be that Jehovah, for his own good purpose, allows pressure from opposers to continue for a while.

      Watchtower 2002 November 1, p.17 Maintain your Conduct Fine Among the Nations

      Unfortunately, some "unreasonable men" in authority persecute us or oppose us in other ways - such as by promoting smear campaigns against us . Still, in Jehovah's due time, their lies are always exposed, and their "ignorant talk" is effectively muzzled.

      Watchtower 3/15/1986, pages 10-11

      "Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason'

      But the Devil and other opposers of true worship are skilled in deception . We should never forget that they stand ever ready to break our integrity if they can . Their propaganda is designed to weaken our faith, to cool our love for God, to sow doubts in our minds -yes, to make the spiritual paradise appear to be no paradise at all.

      Worldwide Security Under The "Prince of Peace" Ch. 7 p. 60

      There has descended upon this generation the darkest period of all human history! Indeed, there is a fitting darkness outside the visible part of Jehovah?s organization into which the ?sluggish? and ?good-for-nothing? slave class can be thrown at the order of the Master. Such a ?darkness outside? depicts the bedarkened condition of the world of mankind, especially in a religious sense. The world of mankind is not enjoying the light of God?s favor and blessing. It is not in the light of the knowledge of the Kingdom of God. It is under ?the god of this system of things,? who ?has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.?

      Watchtower 1983 January 15 p.22 Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs

      Avoid Independent Thinking

      22 This fact cannot be overemphasized: We are in a war with superhuman foes, and we constantly need to be aware of this. Satan and his demons are real ; they are not mere figments of the imagination. They are "the world rulers of this darkness," and we have a spiritual fight against them. (Ephesians 6:12) It is absolutely vital that we recognize their subtle designs and not allow ourselves to be overreached by them. Very appropriately, then, we will next consider how we can arm ourselves to fight against these wicked spirits .
    2. The second way fear is used is the fear of punishment by the leaders if you are not ?good enough.? Being ?good enough? is following the ideology perfectly.

      The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591

      Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect .

      Watchtower Apr 1, 1986 p.30-31 Questions From Readers

      Approved association with Jehovah's Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible , including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah's Witnesses.
    3. Group members cannot see the control by guilt and like other abuse victims are conditioned to blame themselves when things are wrong, even grateful when a leader points out their transgressions.

      Watchtower 2003 10/1 p23 Accepting Jehovah?s Discipline

      We all need Jehovah?s discipline. (Proverbs 8:33) In fact, we should long for discipline that is based on God?s Word. As we study God?s Word, we can accept the discipline that comes directly from Jehovah through the Scriptures . (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) At times, however, we will receive discipline from fellow Christians. Realizing the spirit in which such discipline is administered will help us to accept it willingly.

      Watchtower 1986 May 1 pp. 26-28 Can You Accept Discipline?

      Is Discipline Really So Bad?

      So the wise Christian is grateful when help is offered in the way of kindly discipline . The words of the prophet are true no matter what our age or experience in life: ?I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.? (Jeremiah 10:23) Hence, all of us need discipline.


      If loving Scriptural discipline is offered on a personal basis, by all means accept it in the spirit in which it is offered. Take advantage of any corrective training that comes from Jehovah.


      Accepting discipline can help us to be among those who please Jehovah. Discipline will help us to ?walk faultlessly, practice righteousness, and speak the truth in our heart.? (Psalm 15:1, 2) Therefore, may all of us accept discipline.
    4. The most powerful emotional control is phobia indoctrination. This can give the person a panic reaction at the very thought of leaving the group. It is almost impossible to conceive that there is any life outside the group. There is no physical gun held to their heads but the psychological gun is just as if not more powerful.

      Watchtower September 15, 1993 p.22

      "But if we were to draw away from Jehovah's organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation and true joy ."

      Watchtower 1957 May 1 p.284 Trust Your Proved, Faithful Brothers

      We will realize that Jehovah knows what is going on in his organization, and if he is willing to permit it, who are we to insist it should be different? If we really have faith, we will know that if it is wrong he will straighten it out eventually, and we are far safer inside his organization even with these minor difficulties than we would be on the outside where only chaos and destruction await us .

      Could use some more here too ...
    5. Phobic attitudes or behaviors are sometimes noticeable when attempts are made to converse with members regarding their belief in the group or its leaders.

      Typical response if someone questions a pivotal doctrine: ?What, are you becoming apostate or something?? (see also: "ad hominem")
    6. Fear, anger, rage or repetitious statements which only go in circles keep the members from thinking through to any rational conclusions.

      any ideas on some quotes for here?
    7. Fear of confrontation with family is common, resulting in very few people being rescued.Self-explanatory. Maybe some quotes on how we are to shun family members?
  • Tater-T

    yes that all good, but the OP is How do they start??

    Some one trying to make sense of it all,, then thinking they got it,, then not knowing they don't!

    Hassan's book talk's of people following someone to a mountain top to wait for a UFO .. when it doesn't come, a small percentage won't give it up ..

    pride I guess.. lack of humility..

    can any one name one that ended well?

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