Thank you, Bleep, for finally answering some questions. That is an improvement.
Even though BLEEP's account has been closed, I suspect he/she is still out there lurking. Also, other lurkers deserve to hear a response, so here goes. I will quote BLEEP's answer and provide my analysis, for what it's worth.
(1) Please list the names of books, periodicals, websites, etc. that you have studied as part of your information gathering to learn about cults.
Rather than quoting BLEEP's entire response, I will convert it to a form which actually answered the question, and list the names of resources:
- Merriam Webster online (www.m-w.com)
- Watchtower 2/15 1994
I asked only for a list of the resources, but bleep cut-and-pasted all of this (*AHEM*) TWO resources. Perhaps he felt it would look more impressive if he did it his way. Bottom line is:
(A) the dictionary is hardly a comprehensive treatment of this (or any) complex topic
(B) I would treat skeptically any definition of "cult" that comes from the very group that is alleged to be a cult. I'll bet David Koresh could also go on at length to define a cult and "prove" that Branch Davidians are not a cult, but I suspect his definition might be skewed. It is important that many definitions be researched, rather than simply the one used by one group, the very group that is answering the charge of "cult".
(2) What do YOU think defines a cult? I mean, a lot of people call different groups "cults" but they each have their own reasons, either correct (i.e. generally accepted reasons) or incorrect (i.e. not generally accepted reasons). So how do YOU define a cult?
I agree with the Bible and dictionary.
My response: again, hardly a comprehensive treatment. The Bible (New World Translation) does not even list the word "cult" in the INDEX at the back, and as far as I know the word "cult" does not even appear in the bible. Even if I am wrong and the word does appear, I am certain that the bible does not contain a definition of "cult". So we are left only with "the dictionary" which, as mentioned above, is not comprehensive.
(3) Why is it people say "Reverend Jim Jones was a cult leader" or "David Koresh was a cult leader" or "The Branch Davidians is a cult"? What do you think it is about these groups that makes them a "cult" in the opinion of most people?
***This question was not answered***
(4) How would you react to and deal with a close family member who joined, lets say, The Unification Church (a.k.a. The Moonies)? What would you say to that person (if anything)? What if they were quitting their job, or leaving their wife/husband/family, in order to persue The Moonies more intently? What would you do and/or say?
I would do nothing, Jehovah is the one who reaches the open hearts of people.
I find this answer rather amusing; JWs pride themselves on going out "to the nations" knocking on doors, providing their "works" to prove their "faith". If what you said here was sincere and true, then why is all that door-knocking necessary? Put another way, I submit that your mandatory door-knocking program is viewed by JWs as "rescuing people from the cult of The World". I'll bet you would tell your relatives all the problems you see with the Catholic or Protestant church, before attempting to convert... whoops, I mean "witness to" them. So you answer here seems insincere at best, and intentionally deceptive at worst.
(5) You have posted previously that, in effect, you feel that people are misled by this website, as if it has a mind or agenda of it's own. Do you recognize that this website is only a collection of the postings of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, like you and me, that are not related to and not controlled by this website in any way? Do you understand that if you see something posted by someone that you don't agree with, you may post your opinion/correction? Do you understand that in order for this to be more educational and meaningful, counter-posts should be very specific and include proof? In other words, it is insufficient for me to post "The moon is made of green cheese" -- I would have to prove it! And if I ignored that requirement for proof, and subsequent requests for proof from other posters, I would probably not win over ANYONE to my opnion with respect to the lunar cheese composition. Do you understand this basic principle of discussion boards like this one?
I do think that this web site is misleading since hardly any JWs are here to voice a defense. Defense is part of the RESOLVEDD strategy in ethics. I do not agree with your point of not being controlled by this web site. You have answered all the questions that were supposed to be answered by others who have failed to answer them. I understand that a counter can be made at any time, which is a great thing having the internet. I understand the basic principles but brothers are not to debate, that might help some people come to a more understanding about me. They conclude I will not respond and will say I am uneducated.
I do think that this web site is misleading since hardly any JWs are here to voice a defense.
Perhaps you mean "one-sided" rather than misleading. True, x/antis outnumber JWs here. However, the arguments presented by the few JWs do not do a good job of supporting JW beliefs.
Defense is part of the RESOLVEDD strategy in ethics.
I have NO IDEA what the *heck* you are talking about here (and for the record, I hold a professional license which required me to pass a Provincially administered test on both Law and ETHICS so I know a little bit about the subject.) But since you are the expert, you will have to explain it to me.
I do not agree with your point of not being controlled by this web site
That was not my point. I did not say that people were controlled BY this website, rather I said that YOU were suggesting that this website it controlled by ??????. You seem to have confused who I said you said was in control, and whom/what they are alleged to be controlling.
You have answered all the questions that were supposed to be answered by others who have failed to answer them.
(Note the terrible sentence construction here!!!) No, I answered my own questions that were intended for you, as a show of good faith on my part. This was explaied in my post which included my answers, presumably you did not actually bother to read my post or you would know this.
I understand that a counter can be made at any time, which is a great thing having the internet.
Again, I have NO IDEA what you are talking about here, or what this has to do with the question/topic. BTW, it is this type of random, off-topic response which causes people to question your age and/or mental ability.
I understand the basic principles but brothers are not to debate, that might help some people come to a more understanding about me. They conclude I will not respond and will say I am uneducated.
You may be able to argue that JW doctrine suggests that "brothers" do not debate among themselves, but there is no restriction against debating your beliefs with other people. JWs do this all the time, when they go out door-knocking. Furthermore, you have entered a forum which is a public debating forum. If you are not to debate, why are you here? Again, your response is illogical at best, and deceptive (i.e. A LIE) at worst.
(6) Do you count the time you spend here as "preaching" on your month-end Publishers Report?
If I counted the time then I would be doing something wrong. I could count the time if I was telephone witnessing. It is just not part of the options that the Kingdom hall has at this time. I will ask the brothers if I can though, just never got around to it yet.
Yes, please ask them. Make sure you give them the URL so they can see which website you are visiting. Not only will you not be allowed to count this time, you will, I suspect, be banned from visiting here!
(7) How extensive is your right to free speech? If you felt that you were personally in disagreement about some bible t teaching, (for example, if you recognized that the temple was NOT destroy in 607 BCE but rather in circa 587 BCE, would you have the right to free speech to discuss your opinion and the proof you have for your opinion with the Brothers and Sisters? What do you think about this?
At any time a brother or sister has a question, an elder is available to hear the opinion. There are no confessions at the Kingdom Hall, brothers and sister can pray for an answer or a view that they have that they want resolved.
Did not answer the question. Yes, we all know the elders are there. We all know there is no confessional (which has nothing at all to do with this question -- again, an indicator of either poor thought process from BLEEP, or else a clever deliberate deception). We all know you can pray for an answer. The point is, if you have done all that, and you still have a different opinion, can you tell other brothers and sisters? Your answer implies NO because you only allow for going to the elders and praying.Therefore you implicitly recognize that your freedom of speech is limited.
(8) (NOTE: question (8) was generated due to answer (7)) Were you aware that people are expelled as apostates for doing what you have suggested: "trying to convince them otherwise".
***This question was not answered***
(9) Have you spent any time at http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies? This website has nothing to do with JWs or Apostates, but is a very interesting collection of Logical Fallacies, in other words, the mistakes people sometimes make in logic when trying to make a point about something. My first post in this thread referred to this site several times. Have you visited the site yet?
Answer (9) No.
Once again, we can see how BLEEP failed to do his/her homework. Too bad, I suspect he/she could have used this site to get more ideas about how to use deception and logical fallacies to further "prove" his points. We could have seen a whole new bleep, with new and different non-sequitors and logic fallacies, but he did not take advantage of the material provided. Oh well. Maybe when BLEEP creates his next screen name and returns to us, as if he is a different person, we will get this treat.
Edited by - Quotes on 20 August 2002 11:30:41
I almost forgot to respond to BLEEP's epilogue:
I have answered all your questions even though you have been sceptical about me and really did not want to change your point of view. So the answers I gave might hurt some since it didn't come from you. But do not forget it is my opinion and based on the Bible and not just the Watchtower.
Let me take this one bit at a time.
I have answered all your questions even though you have been sceptical about me and really did not want to change your point of view.
Actually, you have still not responded to two out of the nine questions. Yes, I have been "sceptical" (or as the the Americans would spell it, "skeptical") about you because you have avoided answering many direct questions. My attempt to get you to actually participate in a logical debate has proved partially succesful. You should be proud of yourself, you have reached a new level of intellectual intercourse that was missing from your previous posts.
So the answers I gave might hurt some since it didn't come from you.
You seem to be suggesting here that if information comes from me, it doesn't hurt anyone, in other words, the source of the material is what determines if it hurts people. Of course this line of reasoning makes no sense (it is a reverse ad-hominem argument, a.k.a. "appeal to authority" -- but you wouldn't know that because you never bothered to visit the logical fallacies web page despite my sincere suggestion.
But do not forget it is my opinion and based on the Bible and not just the Watchtower.
Uuummmmm.... Yes, we *KNOW* it is your opinion. That is why I asked you ... I wanted your opinion. More importantly, many of the questions went to the heart of how and why you formed your opinion. As I have already demonstrated in my previous post, your opinion is based on minimal and insufficient research, and since you did not quote any scriptures, it is impossible to say your opinion is based on the bible, because you have not provided any biblical references. You have provided a Watchtower reference, so I do believe that part of your statement.