I know I was just being facetious lol
I know I was just being facetious lol
The cult status is only evident to them when they leave that said religion and become resentful and regret choices they have made because at the time they made decisions which may have been greatly influenced by there beliefs. Or someone may after leaving that said religion, on bad terms, have an axe to grind and go out of there way to convince themselves and others its a cult.
I'll present myself as a counter point to this. I was born-in. Before I woke up, and before I had done any reading about how cults work, I started to suspect that the JWs were a cult. This was, obviously, deeply unsettling and it happened frequently. When they talked about disfellowshipping, alarms that screamed "CULT" went off in my head. But they had a (misinterpreted) scripture to back it up and I was no bible scholar so I didn't feel qualified to challenge their interpretation. It must just have been that god had decided to set up his organization in a way that resembles a cult.
There were several things that I saw/heard and thought "If I were setting up a cult, that's definitely something that I'd use." These were: the ban on higher education, warnings against "independent thinking," disfellowshipping, admonition to stay away from non-JWs, superfluous and unscriptural requirements like the beard ban and dress/grooming, admonition to avoid being proud of your own accomplishments, the simultaneous and contradictory statements that it's your fault if you stumble someone yet it's also your fault if someone stumbles you. I'm probably forgetting a few, and obviously I've since learned of many more things that they use to control people.
My point is that I didn't decide that it was a cult after leaving and seeing that I'd been manipulated. When I found TTATT, it simply confirmed for me that it was a cult.
As Cofty said, it's a spectrum. The line between cult and religion is a little blurry, but JWs are so far over the line that I think there can be little doubt about their status. There are several of their doctrines/practices that solidify this in my mind, but another strong indicator is the fact that when normal people talk about their religion and how it affects them and how they feel about their faith I can't relate at all. The only "religious" experiences that I've found that I can relate to are those shared by people who left other groups that are widely regarded as cults. Furthermore, I've found that no non-JW can really relate to my experience in the cult, no matter how religious they are.
I would pretty much guarantee most who say its a cult have been disfellowshipped and have regrets.
E.G. someone may have passed over a career opportunity because they wanted,, at the time,, to prioritize preaching. And years later leave the cong. then regret and become bitter.
You should really spend a lot more time around here and you'll find that you couldn't be more off base. There are many who are still 'in' and believe it is a cult. I was never DF'd, and I really have no major regrets and made only a few sacrifices for the cult, but still strongly feel that it's a cult. In fact in some ways the cult kept me out of trouble and benefited me. In the end my greatest regrets are how I treated a few people that weren't in the cult and that I allowed myself to be controlled and sacrificed my intellectual honesty for so long.
You also state that the dictionary definition of a cult is that it must have a charismatic leader - well the founder of JWism, CTR, was that person. His successor, who I'd say really finished the job of turning it into a cult, was also a single charismatic leader. Generally cults are relatively small, but this one grew large and was thus eventually able to sustain a group of leaders, but the concept is the same. Your use of this point to rebut the description of the JWs as a cult falls flat.
@one eyed joe thank you for that info i will consider your reasonings, need a little time to think about that, you have some valid pionts.
The only flaw i can see right now is its all negative. one could argue that for example someone could have been a wife beater and a drunkard and the wife because of cultural or other reasons put up with that situation. Then the husband studies the bible and turns his life around and becomes a great husband. His interpretation has a very positive outcome so in his particular case the said religion or cult has not been DANGEROUS but has been greatly beneficial to him and his family.
P.S having said that i definitly see your line of thought so at this point im not disagreeing with you
Waste of time talking to somebody who doesn't know their subject and is determined to ignore every piece of evidence that challenges their opinions.