July WT Study magazine - How can any intelligent person believe these things??
What this demonstrates is that specially prepared baby food can still cause indigestion and give you the runs.
Diner beware! Have a few alka-seltzers on hand and please wear your diaper.
Intelligence is not a protection against manipulation and cultic mind-control.
In fact, intelligent and creative people are in some ways more vulnerable because they fill in the gaps of the story and make it real in their own minds.
By the time they get to reading the things you've quoted in the OP they are generally fully indoctrinated.
What can protect a person from joining a cult is being familiar with the techniques and tricks of coercion, manipulation and control.
Sadly, many people were raised in dysfunctional, codependent families where this kind of behavior is normal for them.
Oubliette: I know you are so right. I recognize the fact that I have some personality and social difficulties that made me susceptible to the influence of kind and loving "guidance" from well-meaning JW's that came to my home regularly for such a long time. It is embarrassing to admit how long I went along with them, to the point of seriously considering whether I had the courage to give up some of my "worldly" associations, and commit to serving the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was my husband who kept me out of the cult. He is too worldly, rebellious and critical to get drop everything and become a servant to "a slave."
I should not have used the word "intelligent" in the title of this post. As has been suggested to me a few times, there are obviously issues in my family, that made us each susceptible to the mindset and programming of the Watchtower. They are experts in their craft, and spend hours each week being programmed and trained to spread the "good news of the kingdom."
My deepest regret in this whole scenario, is that we did not pull away from the JW's, before they had fully programmed us with the concept of how wrong it was to "stumble" someone else in their faith. They used this strange rhetoric every time we would ask "what if" questions...
"Each has to come to their own conclusion."
"We are free to decide how we live our lives. (regarding choices in friends, entertainment, clubs, sports, etc.) The important thing to consider, is whether you want to give time and energy to these things, or if you want to do the things that really please Jehovah (preaching work)."
"When you talk to JW's, you will find that different people come to different conclusions about things (like movies or kid's activities). We remind ourselves it is important not to let our activities STUMBLE anyone else in their faith."
The reason I keep thinking about this logic and programming process, is the way their comments and teachings kept me from exposing the truth about the JW's to my family members, at the time we discovered it. I remember telling my mom that we had made some discoveries about the origins of the organization, and that we were concerned about some major red flags. I had hoped that she was going to ask, "Like what?"... but she was not even curious. I was still so far from being fully awake myself, that I did not recognize what was happening to her, or what had been happening to me for years with the JW's.
I know they would probably not have heard me, but I am still haunted by the thoughts that maybe I could have somehow prevented this cult from destroying our family.
Steve2 - You are a psychologist(??) Maybe you have just explained how somebody with a feces fetish can be drawn to this rat's a$$ cult...
"Thus, being hated for bearing Jehovah's name is the same as 'being reproached for the name of [Jesus] Christ,' who said to his opposers: 'I have come in the name of my Father, but you do not receive me.' (John 5:43)"
This, from the people who removed any mention of Jesus Christ from the cover of their flagship magazine, The Watchtower. What was wrong with being a "Herald of Christ's Presence"?
I couldn't tell you how many people I encountered over the years who didn't think JWs even believed in Jesus. More people probably know they don't celebrate birthdays than could actually explain their 'good news' message. So...being hated for bearing Jehovah's name is not the same, not the same at all.
Even Michael Crichton, an extremely smart and educated author, was susceptible to "confirmation bias" with regards to climate change.
many years ago I read a study that actually suggested the higher your iq the greater the susceptibility to cults etc....
We use to like debating as JWs. The Calvary Chapel guys, Walter Martin group, Fullerton Theological Seminary were all on the list. So what happened.
designs - "We use to like debating as JWs. The Calvary Chapel guys, Walter Martin group, Fullerton Theological Seminary were all on the list. So what happened."
WT theology - in the hands of a knowledgeable critic who knows what he's doing - can be refuted pretty thoroughly.
It's easy to forget, but a lot of new JW converts didn't join up because they were persuaded to believe the theology; they joined up because (among other things) the WTS has - in the past - successfuly portrayed itself as a scrappy little underdog...
...and many people are very strongly drawn to that.