In what decade was it clearly apparent that Watchtower was a high control religion?
I always ask this question.It's a good one😀
Whilst I think manditory family shunning is the big issue, being unable to leave on reasons of conscience, and still keep your relationships in tact, is at the root of the issue. This happened after they brought in shunning DA'd ones in 1981, following their unprincipled attack on Ray Franz.
Some people would say, and I think they're probably right, that it started when Rutherford brought in all those intrusive rules on what should be personal matters like health care ( blood, vaccinations etc) and grooming.
Not sure when all the silly chaperone rules started...or did they just carry over from the 1800's?? Its also very upper class - the poor didn't have time for such niceties.
The set doctrines of the WTS also established and defined who was spiritually strong and who was spiritually weak, those who held adamantly to the set doctrines acquired a perceived identity placed over them and they climbed up the power structure of the organization, MS to Elder and so on.
Its also important to realize that there are other religious organizations/sects which are also highly controlling and oppressive in a similar way to the JWS. ..... maybe even more so.
As answered before, I think it was a high control group when it enforced a recruitment work in order to sell literature. So that was pretty early on.
I would say "it was clearly apparent that Watchtower was a high control religion" when the 1975 excuse came out. At that time, they had recovered from Doomsday predictions before, but it would be hard to hide this past from the members. So they went into full mind-control mode and denied what they did and told members what to think about it.
Which decade did Rutherford take over?
Russell initially rejected calls from his many subscribers to form an organization. He said that they should stay in whatever church they attended and that Jesus knew his sheep
A quote from Charles Taze Russell
I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other denominations.
- Zion's Watch Tower, (June 1, 1916) p. 170