Thanks for Lifton's list. Indeed the WTS uses all of them. That would put the Watchtower Society solidly in the thought reform crowd, right? Undue influence...
Have you ever read the review of Steven Hassan's books on Cult news.com?
@Enzo: I am not familiar with a Dr. Manner. Could you link me to some of his work?
“…at the end what really matters is that what governments defines as a good Cult, or a destructive cult.”
In a dictatorship, that is true. But in democracies, we have the freedom to dissent with government decisions. I’m a liberal, so I say this to my chagrin: sometimes there is no effective government solution to every problem. Governments can often be inept, or swayed to lobbyists and other special interests. Government is often ignorant about this subject and even when it recognizes a group as dangerous, it sometimes does more harm than good. The Branch Davidian standoff, for instance, is a good example of this.
Cults thrive on playing the persecution card. That is why outright banning or arresting people in certain groups, like the Russian Government is doing, is counterproductive. In the book A Piece of Blue Sky, the author talks about the UK’s and Australia’s offensives in the 60’s against Scientology and how that played right into Hubbard’s hands.
Groups like this have an immense legal department and or employ representatives to act on its interest in other venues, like the Watchtower becoming an NGO in the UN, now an NGO of the OSCE. They have slick PR people who employ spin to play down controversy and make the group look beneficial. Unfortunately, former members do not have the financial resources to have anyone to represent their interest or tell their side of the story. It is like David going against Goliath, but in many instances in real life, Goliath often wins.
No matter what government agencies recognize or do not recognize, it doesn’t change reality.
Is the Watchtower destructive?
Tens of thousands, including children, have died because of the Watchtower’s ban on blood transfusions. Although they now allow blood fractions, in the past, this was not allowed. There were also bans on organ transplants and vaccines, which are now lifted, but how many died because of this?
All of the Watchtower’s decisions, such as blood transfusions, are enforced by institutional shunning. Those who do not shun former members are themselves expelled and shunned. Therefore, anything a JW believes or practices is not necessary something they would have decided on their own, it is mandated from New York. They are not allowed to hear the other side of the story or any information critical to these mandates, especially from former members whom they cannot talk to, even so much as a hello. Therefore, by the time they have committed, it is almost impossible for them to make educated decision of their own choosing. As for born-ins, that is all they have ever known.
The institutional shunning of the disfellowshipped and disassociated have resulted in the splitting of untold thousands of families, as well as ending of many good friendships. JWs have to abide by the decision of the three-man judicial committees, which are held in secret with no witnesses, notes, or representative of any kind, and neither can they express any dissatisfaction with the decision made.
Overnight, a person’s whole support system, all their friends and family, can be gone. It is an extremely heartbreaking situation that many are grappling with on this forum. Shunning has led thousands to suicide, including some who used to post here. Institutional Shunning is emotional blackmail. It is a form of bullying.
The Watchtower has outright lied to various governments to get their way. Take, for instance, what the Watchtower told the Bulgarian government about blood transfusions. Bulgaria bought the lie and granted recognition.
There are many other destructive elements that could be called out, but for brevity, I will leave it there.
Tj curioso: An exploratory Study in methods of distinguishing destructive cults. (Jonathan Bohm, and Laurence Alison: Department of psychology, University of Liverpool)
In the european Union the JW's are not classified as a destructive cult, but are empirically classified as a more benign cult
ijgnat: you are right, what you said
Enzo can You have a link of that work? Or a more detailed information about?
The European Union classifies cults?
Wow. That was a somewhat bizarre read. Perhaps a redux is in order for Enzo?
Enzo, it seems clear Steve hassan is recognized as an expert in his field for a variety of reasons, and by his peers. Due to being active int he field for an extended period, he experimented with forcible deprogramming in the 70's which he has since abandon completely and corrected on.
He through his own experience and expertise has developed the B.I.T.E model of identifying cultlike behavior and addressing it. It is ONE OF SEVERAL protocols that exist within the community.
For the purposes of this board, it matters not to those here wether JW's are labled a cult, a high control group, and end times religion, a fundamentalist faith with paranois about society, or the country bear jamboree. The frustration, pain, and even death as a result of its policies is clear enough.
Your overall point is still a bit lost on most readers here I think. You presupposed that the BITE model is somehow the preferred method by some sort of EX-JW community. Is that right?
@Enzo - Here is her testimony in a custody case relating to Jehovah's Witnesses:
Dr. Mann testified regarding the characteristics of “high-demand groups,” including authoritarian leadership, deceptive recruiting practices, and undue influence. She believed Jehovah’s Witnesses were “not only harmful to children,” but were also “harmful to relationships that are outside of the organization.” She testified that “they scare children, for example, telling them that their parents who are not part of the organization will die in Armageddon and will not make it to paradise . . . .” Dr. Mann did not “have an issue” with the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but found it problematic that they “scare children who don’t have the ability to chose” and are unable to “say, well, I don’t want to be part of this organization.” She believed, and there was “ample evidence,” that Jehovah’s Witnesses “alienate parents from children, especially if one is in the group and one is not.” She was concerned that some of their practices could harm the healthy development of a child, including not celebrating holidays or birthdays, not allowing children to salute the flag, and not allowing blood transfusions. Dr. Mann testified she was surprised at how “meek” S.G. was when he testified and had expected him to be “a little bit more forceful about his opinions.” She believed it was possible his testimony was “coached.” She opined that terminating parental rights “at [that] stage and under th[o]se circumstances” was “overkill” and “unnecessary.”
Source: www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/A132721.DOC (Link is to a word document)
Paralpoplemom: Thank you for your exellent research: but she didn't say that it is a destructive cult, a high controlled group has not al the characterictics of a destructive cult. 1) isolation, deprivation, hours of indoctrination. 2) Phisical, and economical damage. 3)Psychological damage. Al these factors have to be cearly manifest in a cult, to be destructive. And JW's are not so extreme. They are not encouraged to isolate from the society, and to go to live in a community, that makes it not possible to indoctrinate in a extreme way: See the Jim Jones cult, the Solar Temple...These are examples of a destructive cult.What about the physical and economic damage: Jehovah witnesses are like the must others working people, and also materialistic they are not forced to give their money to the watchtower, or to sell their houses. The psychological damage is the must difficult part to prove, and has to be substained by a psychiatric, and medical control, and not only by a BITE model. The blood policy by JW is not being forced on their members. The King's story in England these day's is confirming it. excommunicating members is also practiced in other Religions, and Organisations. how abstract these rules are, they are not determinant to prove that JW's are a destructive Cult. but that is my opinion.
jignat: In Belgium a commission with a specialized team, and governments rapresentatives, made a list of destructive cults, that are followed by the Security department, and I can say to you that the JW's are not in that list, but they are recognized as a benign cult.
tj curioso: try to search on google and you will find it.