“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” is a famous line uttered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during one of the USA’s most uncertain and scary time periods during the height of WW2.
Fear can immobilize a person, make them afraid to help others in times of critical need. Fearfulness can change a person’s personality forcing them to act in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise. Above all else fear puts a pit into a person’s stomach and makes them afraid of what might happen so the future becomes ominous instead of promising.
This type of fear or terror is exactly what modern terrorist strive to achieve. This is a control mechanism. If they can’t take our present lives they try to do the next worst thing. They try to control our futures by using our fears to change our choices and behaviors. The terrorists do all of this while at the same time promising their adherents a blissful future in paradise on the condition that they adhere to this twisted ideology to the death.
The organization known as Jehovah’s Witnesses does a similar thing. The one exception is their targets are the people who are currently members of the organization. The leaders of this religion as with many other religions use fear to hold their members captive, to change their behavior, and to control their futures.
Consider a short list of fears that control an active Jehovah’s Witness:
Fear that you will be corrupted by outside sources at school or work
Fear of reading unsanctioned or critical material that might present a contrary view of the group
Fear of being seen as weak by others due to low activity/study
Fear that you will have to shun your best friend at some point
Fear that you will lose your kids to the disfellowshipping practice
Fear of a higher education
Fear of being seen by another group member speaking to a former member
Fear of not finding a suitable mate of the same religion
Fear of not doing enough for God/ Org
Fear that if you leave the group you lose your social structure
Fear that you will be destroyed by God at Armageddon
Fear that you committed the unforgivable sin
These human manufactured fears have a similar effect on Witnesses actions, emotions, and futures as the bombings and shootings that ISIS have had on the people of the world. They make people afraid. They change behaviors, worldviews, and plans for the future. Witnesses are promised that if they comply and support the organization they will receive a paradise reward at the end. People in Paris as well as people within the walls of the Kingdom hall are worried that if they take a misstep outside they might lose their lives, or they might see their friends and loved ones taken away from them senselessly. They look at people that are different with suspicion and fear. Both fear that the world that they knew and were comfortable with is no more. The source of these terrors stem from radicals within religion who desire to control their followers, and impose their so called “righteous” ideology upon the world. Truly “the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself” and its long term effects.
One last thought if you are a JW lurker. Please review the short list of fears above. Now consider the following verse…
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18