How Cults Play the Urgency Card

by Watchtower-Free 4 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Watchtower-Free

    How Cults Play the Urgency Card

    A slick salesman will employ a “call to action” (buy now) and will often assign a sense of urgency to this: “act now, offer will expire in the next couple of minutes, hours or…” The person is urged to make a decision, to commit to something they normally would have passed on or taken time to think about.

    An example of this can be seen in online sales pages. These may present a time-limited offer (sometimes showing a clock ticking). Marketers know that it is better to strike while the iron is hot, while someone is actually on the page. People who leave a site and get busy with others things are far less likely to remember to return and buy whatever is being offered.

    How Cults Play the Urgency Card

    The sky is falling…

    file0001685347009End-of-the-world cults (also known as Armageddon or doomsday cults) play the same urgency card. They tell people the end is near and that they must take “life-saving” action before it’s too late. This is a huge trump card to play and it hits people on the deepest level.

    The Two-Pronged Urgency Sales Card

    Buy now…

    Now, if someone lands on an online sales page and does not respond to the urgent scenario created and tries to click away from the page, often an additional incentive is offered. A box will pop up: Wait! Stop! Do you REALLY want to leave this page? The the person is offered some additional incentive. This might be a price-reduction, this might be a freebie. Whatever it is, it is usually even more powerful because the person stands to benefit further.

    Cults Play the Same Double-Pronged Urgency/Fear Card

    A two-pronged approach: if it doesn’t grab one, it may grab the other.

    For someone who has been subjected to end-time propaganda, the thought of dying may be a powerful incentive to investigate matters further. But it also may not be. Many adults are skeptical and so therefore are perfectly comfortable taking their chances, rather than take any action. Just like the person who tried to click out of the online sales page, a person may not be overly concerned about the possibility of dying at Armageddon, so will pass.

    Many people who have been sucked into end-time cults, however, have related that they would have continued on in the way they had been living, having no real desire to “become religious” and not overly concerned about their own potential future demise. In fact, they may have even joked to their recruiters that if the end came, they would finally be put out of their misery. All well and good, but…

    Death of loved ones is a powerful inducement

    Death of loved ones is a powerful inducement

    They felt very differently about this happening to their family. The thought of their beloved children perishing because they, as the parent, failed to take action, was a powerful incentive, the thought of other family members at risk, had them taking a harder look.

    In sum, loved ones dying was a powerful tipping point that saw them investigating and later on, buying into the ideology.

    The Guilt Card

    Would you be responsible because you didn’t act?

    “The end is coming” is an effective “urgency card” to play, but some recruiters take it one better. If the person they are talking to still hesitates, they pull out the “guilt card”: “Your children’s lives are in your hands. They are too young to be protected when God destroys the world at Armageddon. God expects you, as the parent, to take action. If you do not act, you are pretty much consigning your children to death. You, not your children, are responsible for their lives.”

    What parent would want to think that their failure to act might result in their children’s deaths? This type of persuasion, plays to parents’ protective instincts.

    The same reasoning is employed if someone does not have children but is concerned about other family members. they are told that it is critical that they take in “life-giving” knowledge. Urgency and guilt cards effectively press emotional buttons.

    If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

    Recycle, rinse, repeat

    While the whole end-time scenario has been used repeatedly, there’s a reason why it is revisited and trotted out again and again. Each new generation is “fresh meat” as it were; each new generation has the same concerns. The urgent end-time scenario is used because… it works.

  • snugglebunny

    This is fabulous stuff. My own parents joined the JW's to save my skin. After they'd been studying for a while and encountering hostilty from our relatives, they sat down and decided to take a chance and NOT join the JW's. Then my father paused and said to my mother: "I'm willing to take a chance with my life, but can we take a chance with Snuggie's life?" So they jumped on the fear wagon after all.

    The irony is that Snuggie loathed it and left the JW's not long after leaving home.

  • WTWizard

    Fine--if you have a legitimate use for the product. Such as the blackout that keeps not coming--you get that Fenix HP20 headlight and NiMH batteries and chargers. You do that once, you then hold onto it until the one time a windstorm knocks out the electricity. Such as the dollar crash that seems to never come along--the silver you bought at 22 toilet papers per ounce falls to 15, then 12. Until, that is, the time the whole banking system collapses and bail-ins hit your country. Or the never-arriving energy crisis prompts you to buy LED light bulbs. You feel it was a waste--until you save big money on your light bill, save your neck not changing a bulb needing a ladder, and your LED bulb doesn't burn the house down at the end of its life.

    With cults, it is not just the initial investment. You need to continually waste time maintaining your status. You don't prepare once and be done with it--the silver I bought earlier will count toward my preps when the dollar finally does die, even if I buy no more. With the jokehovian witlesses, you need to keep putting more and more into that "investment". If you don't do more field circus, you lose the initial investment. You skip that Grand Boasting Session, your prep work earlier is lost. You wish to have some fun, you also lose your preparation.

    Not to mention, you gain nothing. At least you have greener, safer, more energy efficient light bulbs if you get LEDs. With silver, you have an investment that will still be worth good money. With that Fenix HP20 light, the one time your fuse blows or you need to work in the dark, your light will do just as good then as for the emergency that never came. However, with the jokehovians, you got nothing. You learned nothing worthwhile. You got zero preparations for anything but becoming the perfect slave. You wasted time and energy, and money, for negative value. And you have to waste even more time and money for even more negative value or lose your investment.

  • Vidiot
    I think of the WTS's "urgency" as a perpetual "going out of business sale".
  • Phizzy

    Yea, but the Sale really MUST end on Monday !

    So Tuesday's can start.

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