How do apocolytpic cults start?

by EntirelyPossible 62 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • still thinking
    still thinking

    Thats the problem with cults isn't it Mrs J? Once you start to believe what they'll believe ANYTHING.

    It's not too hard to see how cults like Jim Jones achieved mass suicide. They all believed they were gods chosen people.

    Maybe it also says something about peoples egos?

  • EntirelyPossible

    I think it says a lot about that plus how much you can control someone once they are emotionally invested, especially if you are a skilled manipulator, also ST.

  • trujw

    It is all basic human thinking. What human doesn't long for a greater purpose. A higher calling I am chosen by god. Why does North Korea do what they do? What about Muslims they kill themselves all the time and they are crazy but hey that takes alot of guts to blow yourself up I dont care who you are. Rational humans are very hard to find when it comes to a belief system. We long for a god to not feel none of this is for nothing.

  • freeflyingfaerie

    That is a good question.

    At it's most basic, it would seem supply and demand. There is a market for people to feel a sense of belonging and find answers from someone/something that they percieve to be larger than themselves (also the desire to feel special), especially if approached at a particularly vulnerable time. Couple this with the ego-driven dilusional characters that desire to control others and have them be dependant upon them. And then the two feed off of each other and it snowballs?...

    Also cults could act like an adoptive family, satisfying (in a highly-dysfunctional and abusive way) the need for 'devotion' and a way to 'make sense' of the the world, among other things...

  • cofty

    freeflyingfaerie that is spot on

  • EdenOne

    Isn't the need to belong to something greater than ourselves a basic human need? I mean this not only in the religious sense. Family, a political party, an artistic genre, an ideology, the planet earth, the universe .... aren't we always needing to find answers as to "where do I fit in this" ? How does this explains me being ME? This is of course exploited by religion, sometimes to bizarre outcomes, but my question is - isn't this a human trait?


  • cofty

    Yes EdenOne I agree, we are social animals.

    Humans will give up a lot of personal freedom in order to belong and religion exploits that.

    So what are your comments on our responses about how the Watchtower perfectly fits the apocalyptic cult model?

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    A charismatic person/or persons.

    God proclaims special insight only to them.

    Unequivocable understanding of 'truth'.

    Eager and emotionally invested adherants

    Thought control.


  • jgnat

    I think we have a few evolutionary glitches that if exploited, make us vulerable. Just like our inefficient and hazardous swallowing mechanism, we have cognitive feedback loops that prevent us from seeing a glaring error right in front of us.

    Consider the very popular novel, the Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. Mr. Brown used a little literary deception in his foreward, "The Priory of Sion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization". The author also claimed in his book that "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents ... and secret rituals in this novel are accurate" - Wikipedia

    I had a congregation member asked me in hushed tones, was it all true? I dismissed it right away. But how hard would it be to back up my assertion with facts, without a compelling story to go with it? Mr. Brown used his audience, taking advantage of a common brain glitch.

  • EdenOne

    Following cofty's challenge, let me just wrap up my participation on this thread by admitting that the JW's are indeed a religion that may be characterized as "apocalyptic" indeed, due to the importance the Armageddon occupies in its theology; not exactly by all the reasons stated by EP. What I disagree is that the "apocalyptic" nature of the theology may produce outcomes as bizarre as the Davidians or similar groups. It just doesn't, except perhaps with individuals with mental disorders.


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