I am sort of interested to your responces if someone might ask a ? about the JW How Might you describe the JW? Would they to your personal opinion be a mind altering cult or a dangerous cult? I have heard them called both by Ex JW and non believers.I myself see them on a grand scale as a serious mind altering cult.When we began studying it was with one of the anointed .I remember all was changed for us, red became orange, up was down,etc, thanks to all you posters who have such pearls of wisdom and understanding ......its great to be here regards ......nojw
Describe JW/ A mind altering cult/ Dangerous Cult
I read somewhere that JW's fit into the "Boiled Frog" category. If you drop a frog into hot water it will jump straight out. Put it in cold water, heat it up very slowly and the frog doesn't even realise that it's being slowly cooked.
Much like a new dub convert, what?
I guess I would have to clasify the WTS as a mind altering cult.
Because they definitely brainwash their folowers.
I believe all of us here will attest to that.
I will say however, that the individual JW (for the most part) has a good heart and
sincerely believes he/she is doing what God wants.
The problem is that they (the rank and file JW) have allowed someone else
to tell them what to do to please God.
Even going as far as to close their eyes to what the Bible says and instead
gives control of their concience to a orginization that doesn't have the capacity
to guide it properly.
How it has come full circle,
When I was in 6th grade , I heard the illustration about the frog, it was realting to the "WORLD" of course @ a circuit assembly...
couldn't agree more
Doubt is like a drop of water on a stone.....keep dripping!
When a non-witness relative called us a cult a few years ago because of how my witness family shuns my da'd son, I strongly disagreed with her. I always pictured a cult to be like those following Charles Manson or Jim Jones. To me a cult followed one man, put him on a pedastel and did anything he said.
Now I look at the WTS with a more objective mind. I see the mind-control, the 'do whatever the WTS says because they're directed by God'.
I 've defended my JW family for their shunning of my son by saying to others who criticized them, that, like you said "the individual JW (for the most part) has a good heart and sincerely believes he/she is doing what God wants". Now like you say, I add, like most JW's, they do whatever the WTS tells them and don't reason on the full meaning of the scripture they 'think' they're obeying.
I too remember the frog illustration being used and agree it fits better to JW's than the world.
Why couldn't I see that then??? I guess I have to now agree that JW's belong to a cult that controls their minds....Dangerous? I don't know. I don't want to think that. I scares me how right and righteous the WTS thinks of itself and that mentality is mirrored by many r&f as we have either seen in congs. or have seen in other posts. How far would they go if told by the WTS that 'new light' has become clear and now all should do this or that?
When I was still active, a non-witness family member said to me a couple of times how he was afraid the day would come when the WTS would say it's time we all pack up and go to some place for safety because Armageddon's here. I used to laugh at that, but now, with my eyes opened I wonder......I wish I had the answer...my family is still my family and they're deep into the WTS.
Had Enough (but wondering how much more is to come)
So glad you asked. I'm repeating myself, but I did a lot of research to come up with the following analysis, so here it is:
Is the WTB&TS is a cult: If it walks, looks, quacks, and swims like a duck...well, you know. Let's look at the definition of what constitutes a cult and see if the JWs meet the definition.
There is an infallible leader or set of leaders. Check. The WTB&TS claims to speak for God, and their pronouncements are to be regarded as the very word of God.
The cult holds out an extravagant hope. Check. Life everlasting on a paradise earth. Soon.
Questioning, doubt, and dissent in a cult are discouraged or even punished. Double Check. How many articles have you seen in the WT, Awake, etc., discouraging in the most strident terms, independent thinking? How many of you have had your thinking "adjusted" because of your independant thinking?
The cult is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself and its leaders. Check. JWs are God's chosen people, and the governing body is the "only channel of communication" that God is using today.
The cult has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict or isolation with the wider society. Check. It's the JWs against everybody else, all of whom are caught up in the "world empire of false religion."
The cult adopts special terminology designed to give its members a feeling of settled, advanced insight when use of its meaningless phrases actually stifle real knowledge - subsituting sloganeering for thinking. Check. "World emplire of false religion," and "Babylon the Great," for instance.
The cult's leaders are not accountable to any authorities. Check. The WTB&TS does not file even the "informational" income tax return, for example. Its finances are totally secret. Where DOES all that money go? And who decides where it goes? And do you agree with where it goes? How do you like your million-dollar light fixture? Can YOU think of any authority the JWs are subservient to? (Don't say Jehovah. We know what a joke that is.)
The cult teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group. Check. The WTB&TS has said in print that lying is an acceptable technique in their "spiritual war."
The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them. Check. I remember entire study articles in the WT dealing with how great guilt feelings are, zeroing in especially on one of the Psalms in which David states that his "sin is constantly before" him, and holding that up as an example for good little JWs.
Members' subservience to the cult causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group. Check. No illumination here is even needed.
Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group. Check.
Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members. Check.
Check. Check. Check. And double-dog check.
I could go on further with this, but why bother? The organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is, and has always been, a cult. BY DEFINITION. It is also a false prophet. Remember Deut. 18:20-22 and its comments about false prophets and what would happen to them?
So I hope I've answered your question about whether or not JWs constitute a cult. They are. And there's no denying it.
EVIL cult!! is a word I like to use.
This is a post I had put on H20:
Yesterday was an interesting day. I ran into five individual witnesses, on separate occasions, and four out of the five expressed to me "don't leave Jehovah". The fifth simply stated "I'm not leaving Jehovah" referring to herself. All these were referring to the premise of missing meetings at any Kingdom Hall. This led me to several observations about them and myself as to mind control by the Jehovah's Witnesses.
1 I never stated whether I was leaving Jehovah or not, It was an assumption that they made just because I no longer attended meetings. Mind control makes them think the men in charge of disseminating information for the Jehovah's Witnesses are speaking for God. Therefore if you are not sitting there listening to every word they write / speak "you are leaving Jehovah".
In reality the two are not the same, WBTS / Jehovah, if one can understand that, they have a chance at overcoming a form of mind control.
2 Imposed guilt was tried by these well wishers. "Come to the 'Special talk' then we can go out to dinner" repeating this several times by at least two of the individuals. Guilt is very persuasive for most, especially if the imposed command is coming from a source such as a quasi god like the WBTS. Of course the memorial was thrown in as an extra kicker for motivation, one knows that if you miss that event Satan relay has you. More guilt imposed by mind control, if they say it, the WBTS it must be true they speak for God.
3 As I calculated my responses to each of these individuals to the degree I felt it would be tolerated by their controlled mind, I realized I was still influenced by the damaging effects of heavy constant persuasion and guilt by men. If one believes in a god it is a personal matter and if one wants to spread the gospel of Jesus by all means do so, guilt and repeated heavy persuasion, a.k.a.: mind control, are not genuine heartfelt motivators.
4 Imposed shunning of others that do not think as they do to control all members exposure to any critical ideas is why one has to calculate the answers to these well meaning ones. Being well aquatinted with three of these people and some of their recent past activities, they would be considered grave sinners worthy of disfellowshipping / shunning. It's interesting to note the denial they have of any perceived wrong doing on their part, all one has to do is continue attending meetings and it makes them feel safe or absolved from punishment from the supposed guilt. I do believe they and many others, with similar circumstances, would act the same and shun, severely, any who were deemed a threat by the WBTS rules and expelled. This is severe mind control, actually participating in shunning whether guilty of perceived wrong doings or not, when someone else says to because they speak for God is harmful ,inherently evil and destroys free will. Which if you believe in a creator, it is supposed to be something every one has and should have full use of.
Well, most of us agree certain religions can do real damage. However, there is a lot of nonsense on the topic of "cults". There is little doubt that the "anti-cult" movement has done a lot of stupid things, and caused unnecessary harm by raising a hysteric reaction to new religious movements.
Some of "anti-cult" practices has been outright criminal, like much of what was done by so-called deprogrammers.
While there are certainly unethical practices in the WTS -- sometimes
grossly so -- it is not fitting to talk about 'brainwashing', as such a thing does not exist. "Cults" mostly use control techniques that are employed to some degree in the society at large as well as mainstream religions. The difference is more in degree, both of control and coersion, practiced by the WT leadership.
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen"
-- Albert Einstein
The main reason the r&f believe by missing meetings you are "leaving Jahovah" is that the society uses the scripture that commands Christians not to "forsake the gathering ourselves together" to apply to ALL meetings. By this they say it is a command from God not to miss meetings. Of course, it does not matter if it's 1 meeting or 50 meetings a week. If you don't show your dissobeying God's command. Quite effective in putting a stranglehold on the sheep. Keeps them "tuned in" and less likely to see that the printing corporation has them as their cost effective slaves.
I classify a cult as any organization that uses psychological pressure (like shunning) as opposed to leading by example, teaching through logic and fact, etc.