Persuasion Techniques used by JW's

by waiting 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • waiting
    A Study of the Persuasion Techniques Used by Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower.

    A research report submitted to Tabor College, Adelaide, by NATHAN CHARLES BEEL as the Directed Study Project component for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counselling--- November, 1997.
    -Lifton’s Criteria for Thought Reform
    -Milieu Control
    -Mystical Manipulation
    -Loading the Language
    -Doctrine over Person
    -The Sacred Science
    -The Cult of Confession
    -The Demand for Purity
    -The Dispensing of Existence
    -Hassan’s Criteria for Mind Control
    Behaviour Control
    -Information Control
    -Thought Control
    -Emotional Control
    -Cognitive Dissonance

    Summary of Study
    The Watchtower Society utilises manipulative techniques and environment to recruit and maintain their membership. According to Robert Lifton (1961), a psychologist who examined American soldiers subjected to mind control techniques by the Communist Chinese, there are eight criteria that are used evaluate if the environment that people have been subject to has been a mind control totalist environment. The Watchtower was found to utilise each of his criteria to varying degrees in their indoctrination process. The cult identifying criteria set out by exit-counsellor Steven Hassan (1990) also proved conclusively that the Watchtower (now abbreviated to ‘WT’) exerted behaviour, information, thought and emotional control to maintain their membership. The study then proceeded to identify the persuasive techniques of the propagandists in selecting their messages to have maximum effect on their audiences. Various pieces of WT literature were analysed and found to utilise similar techniques and thus could be appropriately classed as propaganda. Leon Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) was then examined to help explain the psychological reasons why both people become JW’s and why people remain JW’s even though there are more credible alternatives. Clinical hypnotic processes were also examined and compared with cultic applications. And again through their literature and social structures, Jehovah’s Witnesses were shown to employ these, especially in their recruitment processes. The conclusion affirmed that the WT applies a variety of powerful psycho-social techniques to recruit and maintain membership and summarised some different evangelism pointers and approaches when dealing with JW’s or those interested in becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    [url=]Persuasion Techniques Used by Jehovah's Witnesses[/url]

    Wanna talk?

    Edited by - waiting on 9 July 2000 11:34:9

    Edited by - waiting on 9 July 2000 11:35:1

  • Andyman

    Hi Waiting;

    Ecellent site! I havn't read everything yet, but what I did read sure seems to fit the scoiety and how they recruit people.

    I can remember when I was studying the elder I studied with would use things like "any intellegent person can see", or "this isn't really that hard to understand", and "a person with a good heart condition can see".

    Right now I am in the process of reading Steve Hassan's book "Releasing the Bonds". It is a fairly long book and I just got started. My time schedule hasn't permitted me to get very far, but I hope things calm down soon and I can really get into it.

    I also have started Ray Franz's second book "In Search of Christian Freedom".

    Thanks for providing this link, I hope everyone has a chance to go there and read it.

    Take care.


  • Simon

    Good site waiting - an interesting read.
    - Si

  • waiting


    Been so busy with SS vs Friend, with Path and me thrown in - ........

    Did you read the part on Propaganda? So many discussions beginning with Control.....

    I haven't read everything yet.


  • SolidSender

    Waiting - hi. Just to clarify - I am not vs-ing Friend because I am not dumb enough to try and argue against doublespeak.-SolidSender

  • Zep

    You learnt your lesson there Solid eh?.I remember talking to a witness and i caught him on a little point in respect to JW beliefs, he didn't have an answer at the time but immediately tapped on the Watchtower magazine and said "this, is not perfect" and then went and tapped on the NWT and said "this is", being quite affirmative as he did it.The message i recieved from him, although he was technically saying the WT isn't perfect, was that although there were errors they are just minor things, Typo's and stuff, and that God reveals all in due time with "new light", and all these errors are just part of Gods plan etc, and everything is cool, and its the truth still!.Later, i referred to JW's as a "belief", he promptly pulled me up on that point and said "its not a belief, its the truth" and the conversation went back and forth like that for a little!.
    Another time, i got him on a bigger question, and at first he was a little shocked because he saw a blatant contradiction, but then he just pulled himself together and said "theres an answer, i'll just go and ask, i'll get back to you", real confident he was on that point!.He came came back later with a bogus answer, i pointed out the error but he wouldn't believe me, he didn't get it, how could i be smarter than the guys who dispense the truth?

    Edited by - Zep on 10 July 2000 7:21:43

  • SolidSender

    Zep, I don’t know about you but I feel that any serious fascist eg. Hitler etc would have to admire and envy the WTBTS “program”.-SolidSender

  • AlphaQup2nite

    What it boils down to is simple:

    The harder you need to work for a goal, any goal, the more the mind rationalizes that you want it. Its true from fratenity hazing rituals to personal relationships.

    The JWs have it down to a science, pushing people far outside their own confort zones, that their psyches rationalize their desire to be one of the group. Anyone who is or has been a JW has been pressured to join the TSM, and public speaking is one of the top fears in the world. Knocking on people's doors and getting rejected 100s of times over and over again, combined with positive reinforcement telling they are doing the right thing. At least that is the way i started looking at it when i was 13 or so. Combined with the whole TMS arrangement which is designed to turn people in to better salesmen, and blind faith in the establishment keeps the people from realizing what they are actually learning. Reason denies faith after all.

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