We do sound like a cult

by notalone 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • notalone

    "We do sound like a cult..." So in the last few conversations I have had with my still deeply in friend she has mentioned this a couple times when lamenting things that don't seem right. She has a relative that left and is telling everyone JW's are a cult. She is very defensive and deeply disturbed by this accusation. My friend has seen alot of things within the org that are very different than we were told it should be. I don't even think she realizes it but she is putting pieces together. She misses meetings just because she is tired.She says that some things are not right and she is not going to keep quiet. She openly wonders if anyone is who they seem to be. Today, she again said, " we do sound like a cult..." I'm playing the long game.I don't want her to revert to defense mode. But I'm wondering how many out there are subconsciously waking up. How many are out there and just one or two steps away from totally awake and don't even realize it.

  • dubstepped

    That is encouraging and mirrors some of my own path to awakening. Give her time and keep playing that long game. I think it just might pay off with this one. It's a painful process and very stressful, but there's such a beautiful freedom that lies just beyond that.

  • Finkelstein

    The JWs is definitely a high controlling cult on many aspects.

    Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
    2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
    3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
    4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
    6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
    7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
    8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
    9. The group/leader is always right.
    10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
    2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.
    3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".
    4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.
    5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
    6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supersede any personal goals or individual interests.
    7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
    8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
    9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
    10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.
  • jp1692

    If it walks like a duck ...

  • AudeSapere

    JWs have been trained on how to respond/react to the suggestion that they are a 'Cult'.

    After being out for many years, I was still defending them against this label.

    Then, on a late night radio talk show, I heard the host refer to Jehovah's Witnesses as a very high-control group. It struck me as odd labeling, but it fit. The more I thought about it, the more it fit.

    Cult is a trigger word for JW's. I think using the phrase 'high-control group' is a good way to avoid the JW trained defense response when you want someone to start realizing they are in a cult.

    From 'high-control group' to 'cult' is a very short step.

  • Finkelstein

    Good point AudeSapere

  • pale.emperor

    I remember i used to get really angry whenever anyone called it a cult. When i was a JW i would try and give proof that it wasn't a cult. JW's are told that a cult is a dangerous religious sect with a human leader(s). (Which funnily enough that is exactly what they are!) The word "cult" would instantly make me think the person using that word is bitter, misinformed, just looking for an argument or mocking me.

    Their own rebuttal of the cult claim is here: https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/are-jehovahs-witnesses-a-cult/

    Then, on a late night radio talk show, I heard the host refer to Jehovah's Witnesses as a very high-control group. It struck me as odd labeling, but it fit. The more I thought about it, the more it fit.

    Cult is a trigger word for JW's. I think using the phrase 'high-control group' is a good way to avoid the JW trained defense response when you want to start realizing they are in a cult.

    From 'high-control group' to 'cult' is a very short step.

    I do this now too. I got it from Steve Hassans book Cult Mind Control. Even when im speaking to non JWs i refer to the cult as a "high control religion". This is so dont come across as bitter or crazy.

  • Chook

    There is no better word than CULT to describe this group, Notalone the most encouraging thing said is there is " things don't seem right and she is not going to be silenced " I think she will qualify for the priesthood of apostasy. Give her time it's all these conflicting arguments racing her mind, her mind hopefully will process them correctly, this is the most encouraging read I've read today .

  • tepidpoultry

    Ironically, it was an an awake cover article in the 90s on the subject that made me start to think "cult" I don't even remember the defensive rhetoric, but I DO remember a connection that I had not thought about before: jws a CULT? hmmm

    What made me believe that they are a cult were the groups of 2 elders trying to hunt me down to investigate my non belief, where else do you hear about such a thing,

    They're a Cult alright,


  • pale.emperor

    From the 2013 yearbook:

    A Cult Member Finds the Truth

    A Bible study was started with deaf twin brothers in a remote mountain area of the Philippines. Both belonged to a cult that believed that weapons could not harm the members as long as they wore certain amulets and scarves for protection. They had been trained in the use of knives, bolos, and guns and had participated in many battles against rebel groups in the mountains. The cult allowed them to study the Bible with the understanding that the Witnesses would not force them to leave the cult.

    The brothers, of course, encouraged the twins to make their own decision based on what they were learning from the Bible. One of the twins felt that he could not make the necessary adjustments in his life in order to serve God acceptably. The other, however, kept studying. To encourage him, the brother studying with him opened the Bible and explained in sign language: “Your name, Samuel, is in the Bible. The Samuel in the Bible served the true God, Jehovah, until he was very old. You too can faithfully obey Jehovah.” This touched Samuel’s heart. “If my name is in the Bible,” he reasoned, “then I too must take Jehovah’s side.” He informed the cult that he was leaving the mountains, and he burned all his amulets and spiritistic items and made rapid progress. He is now a baptized servant of Jehovah, zealously helping other deaf ones to learn Bible truth.

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