In what decade was it clearly apparent that Watchtower was a high control religion?

by UnshackleTheChains 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • UnshackleTheChains

    I'm just curious to get people's views on this.

    The bible students seem to start of as quite a liberal group under Charles Taze Russell, albeit he had some whacky teachings going on. Obviously things began to change under Rutherford.

    But what decade did it become abundantly clear that the society was indeed high control religion or even labeled a cult?

    I know that when I first heard of the JWs in the early 80's, I was told they were a cult by some friends, which seemed a common view.

  • Crazyguy

    1980s is when they became an official cult in my opinion. Franz and others in the writting department started showing them flaws in their teachings and they freaked out . The scandal made them change several rules including how and who to shun. Before this you could talk to those that left and just resigned. People in the halls would even speak up during let say a Watchtower study if the conductor said some thing they felt did go with the Bible. Now all you can did is nod your head yes.

  • DesirousOfChange
    I say it began with their intrusion into peoples lives with the mandatory and unscriptural doctrines on blood, as well as disrellowshipping, smoking, and then man-made rules in the bedroom.
  • LongHairGal


    Yes, it seemed that in the 1980s it seemed the religion took a turn for the worse in becoming controlling and intrusive.


    I seem to remember all that, but I always wondered:..why would any intelligent adult go and discuss or ask permission about their intimate sexual practices in a marriage with somebody else?? Sorry, but I never respected this.

  • steve2

    Chuck Russell was viewed as a crackpot in his day and those who aligned themselves with his beliefs were called "Russellites" (google that word and see what comes up!). He criticised the churches big time and won their everlasting scorn.

    But it was Rutherford's dictatorial leadership that first attracted significantly unfavourable attention in terms of the organization being called a cult and a sect by observers.

  • waton

    When Frederick Franz proclaimed in Yankee Stadium, that pets should under no circumstances receive blood transfusion.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    The definition many use to call certain group's cult's is they don't believe in Jesus. That is a bunch of horse pooey. You need to follow those who are experts in what a cult consist of. Steve Hassan is one of those experts. My wife and I never really knew what a cult was until we read his book back in 2008 or so. One of the method's he used was the BITE method. B was for " behavioral control" I was for "information control" T was for "thought control" and E was for " emotional control".

    Just by that one method we can see the WT. fits into the category as a cult. Even though the the signs of a cult have always been there for the WT no one really knew a good tried and true method until Steps Hassan wrote his book. Still Totally ADD

  • Finkelstein

    Yes, it seemed that in the 1980s it seemed the religion took a turn for the worse in becoming controlling and intrusive.

    I would have to agree with that most likely or impart to the 1975 failer, R Franz leaving calling the organization a deceptive fraud.

    From that era forward you can see the WTS being more aggressive but Rutherford was really the start of the organization being highly controlling and intrusive, from him the stringent rule making over its followers began.

    They made up the doctrines and then watched to see who followed along, if you didn't they had an answer, it was called disfellowshipping. (1940's)

    Organized religion is always a game of power for men to indulge in, as soon as someone says " They" have god's holy spirit ...... look out

  • LisaRose

    I would say when they started disfellowshipping people, which I believe was the 1950's. I joined in 1969, they were a cult then, imo. Prior to that they may have had wacky beliefs, but people wouldn't necessarily loose their family if they chose to leave or simply choose not to buy into everything.

  • Finkelstein

    Good point Lisa

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