How do you categorise the Society - Cult or High control religion
I have often seen many categorise the Organisation in different ways. Some say cult, some say high control religion. Personally, I view the society/ Organisation as a high control religion. To me, a cult is somewhat more sinister.
I have no doubt that the majority of witnesses are normal honest people. It is a large Organisation with very intelligent individuals. Clearly not a crazy cult!
Many honest individuals like myself and many others 'decided' to become JW's. We made an intelligent decision on what we learned, leading us to become members. It was only over time , we woke up to TTATT realising the control, restrictiveness and intrusion into our lives.
For me Control was ALWAYS the issue. CONTROL- CONTROL-CONTROL.
It was this my sister spotted earlier on which prevented her getting baptized and attending meetings. How I wished I had 'her balls' to back off when I had the chance. Sadly, I now have a mother who outright told me that if I dissociated, she would have to remain loyal to Jehovah and shun me.
Clearly, it is a high control religion. A captive religion. Nothing more nothing less.
To me it is a religion led by a few old men. Controlling our lives from the good old US of A. That's it!
So what's your your perspective? Cult or High Control Religion?
I refer to it as a dictatorial religion. "Cult" is too vague when it comes to strictly defining it and can fit a wide assortment of religions like the Mormons. "Cult" is a word that fundamentalist Christians like to use to describe those religions who are doctrinally incorrect and established as an institution.
Cult fits this description of such high mind control. The use of Fear Obligation and Guilt to the extreme.
I don't think it's a binary distinction, every religion is on the cult spectrum. JWs are more than halfway along the spectrum towards the damaging end but not as far as other groups.
IMO they are moving in the wrong direction.
I think these words are immaterial,
Does a group allow you freedom to think,
To formulate your own opinions
And express them
To act freely
Are you free to leave without punishment
Why would you join a group that does not recognize these basic
How about a 3rd option? 3)Mind Control Cult.
Unfortunately, if you want to find real psychological and sociological scientific literature, you won't find it by searching for "cults."
They're designated New Religious Movements, partially because Scientology was offended that they were referred to as a cult, and they took over CAN; the Cult-Awareness Network.
This is a great story to research and get lost going down internet rabbit holes, which I've done before. But, it's been awhile and I've forgotten a lot, so, do research it yourselves. It's a very interesting story!
Great point Great Teacher.
A cult doesn't have to necessarily be "extreme". When compared to the BITE model, the society fits many of the features of cults. If it looks like rabbit and hops like rabbit, then it is a rabbit.
Additionally, the child sex abuse scandals and suicides via refusal of blood would be considered "extreme" by most rational people.
I think its semantics. It only matters when your audience is sensitive. To a JW, the last thing you want to say is "That cult" or "You're in a cult" as it will shut them down immediately. Saying high control group is the way to approach it in that case.