People in a cult are under direction and subjection about how they should THINK.
People are able to think with the faculty of reason and love and freedom to do so, as is human dignity - they aren't allowed to, whether by command, training, fear of loss or simply by choice - they have given up that right to think for themselves or trust the reflections of their mind or human thought in general - so they may accept the backward and often fraudulent thinking and desires of a demanding group - That's a cult.
Just to let you know, my wife's "friend" has cancelled at the last minute! No excuse was given, apart from, "she can't make it" (apparently). And there was me, hardly sleeping last night, planning my strategy!
Oh, well. I'll still post details of the meeting when it eventually happens! It is to be re-scheduled for sometime this week...
I'm quite familiar with Hassan's writings, Quester, but thanks for point that out.
When I spoke of "smart" in my earlier post, I did not mean "intelligent" in the sense that Hassan's remark meant, i.e., "book smart", if you will. I know some JWs who are very intelligent in Hassan's sense but who are nevertheless very stupid in the sense that they cannot distinguish between normal organizations and their own cults. Their stupidity lies in the fact that they can see cultish behavior in pretty much anyone other than their own organization. They are blind, both by training and by choice. It is this self-serving blindness -- moral, spiritual and intellectual -- that makes them stupid. I'm sure you've seen people who are very intelligent intellectually but have almost no "people skills". They are backward and "stupid" in this very important sense. There is a difference in varieties of "smartness". People can be very smart in one sense and very stupid in other senses.
I wanted to point out that the general understanding of cult associates the loss of autonomy of mind, and thereby the body, not the body alone. This idea also influences thoughts of horror such as zombies and bodystealing aliens - unlike the suffering of somene whose body is insulted, the loss of mental autonomy is considered to strike at what it means to be human, a whole person.
When someone reigns in themselves, their yes is yes and their no is no - when someone abdicates, they sell their birthright for food that doesn't sustain them.
Why ride a pale horse to harness a white looking pride - ride the white horse, human dignity.
On the back of Raymond Franz' book "Crisis of Conscience" there is a quote by an evidently brilliant person. In describing the book Kim Kimmons says: "It jolts the conscience......a warning of what can happen when an individual turns his God-given right of decision-making over to an organization."
IMO, this simple, yet profound quote says it all. Hopefully you can convince your wife and friend that God made it so that we all make DECISIONS every day and therefore the fact that we basically have no chance to make DECISIONS inside that organization indicates that it is a mind-control organization/cult.
Easier said than done of course but good luck.
By the way, don't say that it was on Ray Franz' book that you got that quote!!!!!!!