Absolutely agree with you, wasanelderonce. If I look hard enough, I can find dysfunction in my family, and could choose to hold a grudge. I suppose anyone can, though I've never lived their lives. I point out specifics in my life, based on the complaints, and shortcomings others have pointed to in their own childhood, brought up by witness parents. Also, I see my childhood and parents behavior, through the filter of having been a parent and raising children of my own. I didn't raise them as witnesses, though I raised them with some of the ideals, structure, and beliefs that I was raised with, only without regular meeting attendance (we went rarely and sporadically). In hindsight I created dysfunction of my own, by demanding much of the same, without a solid foundation, or organization, for my children to conform with. I regret that, very much. But that is a whole different story.
No one in this world is without some sort of dysfunction, but being a JW takes the dysfunction to an extremely high level. The questions that all people crave an answer for cannot be answered by science and or religion. What is the meaning of life ? Why are we here? These are questions that people have been trying to answer for thousands of years and have led to thousands of belief systems. Dysfunction has perpetuated "bad ideas"which lead to "bad actions". Living a life based on fact and science is a good foundation to live by. This is why I have a problem with saying that being a JW has not caused a dysfunction to sometimes PTSD levels.
#1. We are taught to fear the world and everything in it. How does this help a young mind plan for the future and or have a positive attitude towards self?
#2. We cannot speak the truth about the truth. We are never taught the basics of critical thinking and reasoning. I personally want to have a realistic discussion with my kids about this but have yet to.
#3. Education is looked down upon. From birth there is a true message of disdain of education.
#4. We are taught to refuse blood for no reason . People die for this belief which is false.
#5. We are lied to about doctrine. Not one doctrine has proved correct.
.....and thousands more.
The JW cult has and continues to destroy lives, so no I don't agree that my family would of been such a dysfunction without the incredible influence of the cult. I believe that people are sold a bad idea, and it consumes their life.
Why do cults exist and attract dysfunctional people?
Why do dysfunctional people exist and create cults?
There's always religion where there is poverty. There was a lot of poverty in the nineteenth century. It's arguably what led up to WWl. That's when Russell got going and he used the war to fit it into his nonsense prophecies.
There's always some world events happening and people try to make sense of it. They don't have to have any malevolent intent - they may sincerely be looking for explanations and "truth", but rarely find it.
I am not convinced that religion is caused by poverty - there seem to be an equal number of rich believers and godless poor. If anything, religion causes poverty as people are giving time and money to religion instead of bettering themselves.
Religion is like crime, I think it causes poverty rather than poverty being the cause if it.
Religion exploits any and all governments, laws, world events, rich and poor alike. There are genuine individuals, who truly believe, practice, and faithfully adhere to whatever form they follow. And then there are the insincere, greedy, disfunctional, that use the faithful and exploit them to do whatever they wish, from fleecing their flocks and becoming incredibly wealthy, to using their position of power to prey on innocents, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. Dysfunctional people, using twisted teachings and doctrines, to create more disfunction.
Cults exploit people's legitimate needs (e.g, the need to understand and make sense of one's existence and how to spend one's life, the need to be comforted and soothed over the hard stuff of life such as loss and challenges of existence). Cults are attractive to people who have a black and white outlook on life (e.g., there's a right way to do everything and you need to work out what the right way is because you cannot have two right ways to do something). Some people are just not that good or comfortable with uncertainty (e.g., there's got to be an answer, there's got to be one supreme God, etc).