Data-dog: I believe that many of them would actually be considered mentally ill, if they were ever tested.
They believe things that are demonstrably untrue and/or in clear contradiction with reality. This is the definition of a delusion, which is typically a symptom of mental disorder.
They think Satan and "this system of things" is out to get them, thereby exhibiting signs of paranoia.
Although they can appear superficially normal and even charming at times, they are nonetheless completely lacking in normal human compassion and empathy; apparently have no consciences as evidenced by their ongoing, utter failure to admit to ever being wrong about anything nor ever showing any guilt or remorse; they show total disregard for the untold pain and suffering they have caused to countless millions of people; are routinely and oft times brutally calculating and manipulative of their followers seeking their own selfish gain and desires, all the while simultaneously believing they are special and deserve more and better things than everyone around them. These traits are the classic characteristics of a life-long psychopath.
So there you have it: the Governing Body members are paranoid, delusional psychopaths and they are the leaders of a well-established religion with substantial numbers of followers Earthwide.
The implications of this are obviously very serious. Anyone that tries to imitate them will inevitably end up mimicking these same antisocial personality disorders. Sound like anyone you know? You maybe?
Induced delusional disorder (or shared paranoid disorder
), also known as
folie à deux
, is a fairly uncommon disturbance characterized by the
presence of similar psychotic symptoms in two or more individuals.
According to Phillip W. Long, MD, the dominant person (in this case: the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses) in the relationship has a delusional disorder and
convinces the nondominant person (the Rank & File Witnesses) to adopt his delusional beliefs. Needless to say, that's pretty messed up.
The bad news is that induced paranoia and delusions are very
resistant to treatment. And of course a person can't even begin to get
help unless they admit there's a problem.
There is some potential good news however: the nondominant person can usually overcome the delusions and regain their mental health once
separated from the psychotic dominant
person or in this case the Jehovah's Witness religion and the influence of its leadership.
Let's review: It's a cult!
BTW, there is no meaningful correlation between mental illness and education or the lack thereof.