Everyone in a Cult, Doesn't Know They Are in a Cult

by The Bethelite 26 Replies latest jw friends

  •  The Bethelite
    The Bethelite

    That's the one thing they all have in common. Because as soon as you are aware that you are in one, you would of course leave it,

    So millions of people all over the world are in them and but of course are ignorant of this fact.

    I was asked many times over the years in field service, the question. "So you are in a cult?" "Of course not!" I replied.

    Like the millions of other Jehovah's Witnesses that never did any thorough research into their organization, I gave the wrong answer.

    Because after all who really wants to be in a cult? Nobody including the millions of people who are in them!

  • iwantoutnow

    I didnt believe I was in one for almost my whole life.

    That's why I try to be realistic and kind about those still IN not seeing what we see as so obvious.

    As many of us remember - waking up took a long time - with lots of conflict - pain - and horrible choices.

    And prior to that, we just fed on the teet of the WT that poisoned our minds to what was reality.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    It is disparaging to call someone a cult member, especially to their face. I have no problem with calling JWs a cult and over the years since I left, it seems that the general public are now using the same term to describe them.

    Indeed who wants to be pigeon holed as a dim-witted and slavish follower of a dictatorial religious sect?

    I think it healthy in the cause of exposing the JW leadership that we continue letting it be known they are a seedy cult.

    Cults usually end badly by turning inwards adopting more extreme measures and privations, closing the doors to new members and shutting out the outside world. Then they either go ballistic and kill themselves or fizzle out till the last true believer pops his or her clogs. I hope the JW org will choose the latter route.

  • tiki

    Sometimes the truth hurts......pun intended or not.....I have a vague recollection of a wt or awake article about cults and "proving" why the religion wasn't one...if they truly are not then why all the explanations and justifications. Just more unnecessary rhetoric from a group of deluded souls being bilked out of money and life for a vainglorious idyllic dream.....sad really....

  • Biahi

    I don’t think Charles Taze Russell meant to start a cult, I think it evolved into one over time.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    I agree Biahi. Charles T Russell was a religious fanatic carrying on making money from all of his questionable business activities including Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence.

    He set a template for subsequent presidents and leaders of the religion he started including:

    Sound finances first

    Date fixations and gross disappointments of those dates

    Useless moving the goal posts forward in time

    Crazy marriages of the presidents

    The idea, whether denied or otherwise, that the WT leadership were God's exclusive channel.

    Each of the presidents were fixated on the end of the world with all doctrines fed into this primary belief. A belief which made money! Why kill the goose which lays golden eggs?

    Russell had a celibate marriage, it looks like Rutherford left his wife and son and lived with one of his two diet advisers! Knorr's wife appears to have let it be known in Bethel that she was frustrated in her sex life and Fred Franz was clearly married to his apocalyptic delusions.

    Russell made a lot of money as did Rutherford but keeping the org on the rails involved mind manipulation and a loyal flock groomed to believe the certainties of the president and later the governing body. Russell though got the attention through his effective use of media and wide syndication of his sermons.

    So Russell was a preacher, with misleading and wrong information of course-- and his successors, climbing onto his bandwagon were cashing in on Russell's flawed success.

    If God had an organisation would it constantly be forced to evolve like the JW org has?

  • cha ching
    cha ching
    I think that sometimes people are unaware of what cult" means. I certainly didn't. I always pictured a small few, one or 200 people, if that. Not 8 million people! However, because of exposure (books written by all kinds of ex-cult members from many religions, institutions. TV shows, news media) and awareness, the term cult has "opened up" and people are better able to understand what it means... *controlled "beyond" *made to feel guilty. *devotion to leaders *Busy work. *repeat brainwashing .... all that...
  • Finkelstein

    Cults are formed around strong leaders, so take a serious look at the motives and personality of the person in charge. According to Morantz and other cult experts, control-freak cult leaders are nearly interchangeable.

    Narcissistic personality—Dangerous cult leaders usually hold grandiose notions of their place in the world.
    Ability to read others— “A guy like Charles Manson had the ability to spot who, at a party, that he thought he could control. It just seems to be in his personality,” Morantz said. Cult leaders “have the ability to size you up, and realize your weaknesses and get to your buttons.”
    Claims of special powers: If a leader claims he’s smarter, holier, and more pure than everyone else, think twice about signing up.
    Charisma meets anger: Dangerous cult leaders can be extremely loving, charming and affectionate, but often turn angry and abusive with no warning. This mercurial presentation keeps members off balance.

    Look for Signs of “Brainwashing”

    While the details of thought reform methods vary from cult to cult, the broad strokes have been around forever. So if you notice your righteous new friends using any of the techniques below, you might want to sneak out of the compound and call your dad:

    Isolation: Separating group members from family and friends forces them to rely on fellow cultists for all emotional needs. This is why many cults are based around communal living. (And why cult members are so boring.)
    Peer Pressure: It’s nearly impossible to overstate the power of social norms on behavior—the only reason you’re wearing pants right now is because that’s what they expect you to do—but when you manipulated peer pressure consciously, you can make people give away their life savings, marry a stranger, or listen to the horrible rock opera you wrote.
    Confession: Dangerous cults are notorious for making members confess to past sins, often publicly, then using those confessions against them. Some groups keep elaborate files of their members’ pasts for blackmail.
    Control: Cults often tell members when to eat, whom to sleep with, and what to do every second of every day. This induces dependency, and leaves little free time to question what the hell you’re doing handing out Bible tracts in Sausalito when you have a BFA in English.
    Language Control: To enforce isolation, many groups replace common words with special jargon, or create new words to describe complicated abstractions. This makes conversations with outsiders tedious: It’s just exhausting to explain the 17th Expositional Commandment of The Gospel of Norbert to your sister.
    Threats of Expulsion: Totalitarian groups often use the threat of expulsion to keep members in line. Once you’ve successfully defined the outside world as evil or deadly, it’s easy to maintain discipline by threatening to throw someone out.

  • LongHairGal


    Back in my early days in the JW religion I mentioned to an older sister that I was told JWs were a cult. The person said ‘No, of course we are not a cult. Jonestown was a cult, etc.’🙄

    They think cult is a dirty word.

    So, Witnesses do not believe they are a cult because they don’t have one ‘charismatic’ pied piper type leader and they aren’t an isolated compound.

    Of course, we all now know that other things can also define a cult.

  • APieceOfShitNamedTate

    Cult - Any organization whose leadership uses mind control on its followers. This applies regardless of the organization's size, or where its members live. Leadership can consist of one person, two people, or multiple people.

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