Watchtower says: if your unbelieving relatives think you are in a cult, try to see things from their point of view
The article says the JW's should be " trying to see things from their viewpoint and by listening carefully to discern their real concerns."
I have not yet had a discussion with a JW where they have really done this.
They do not see our viewpoint, not because they do not listen "carefully", but because they are not really listening at all, they are too busy thinking of a rebuttal to assimilate what we say.
Talking to a Brick Wall is more satisfying, they don't give lame-arsed answers back.
When I was in, it always bothered me how much effort they seemed to put in to explaining why it wasn't a cult.
I had a similar reaction to one of the magazine covers, while I was still 'in'. In a way, it actually started me on the way to give voice to the doubts in my head. The cover showed a young couple in what was obviously door to door work, and the title was (to the best of my recollection), 'Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult', or something similar. That cover and article probably did more to convince me that it was more of a cult than anything I had really paid attention up to that point.
Yes undercover I remember it too.
February 15th 1994 Watchtower cover depicted a youngish black couple and the headline was "Jehovah's Witnesses - a cult or ministers of God?
I just love this paragraph which is so ironic in light of recent events in Russia.
Page 5 under the heading: *** w94 2/15 p. 5 Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult? ***
A government official of the city of St. Petersburg, Russia, explained: “Jehovah’s Witnesses were presented to us as some kind of underground sect sitting in the darkness and slaughtering children and killing themselves.” However, the people of Russia have recently become better acquainted with the true nature of the Witnesses. After working with Jehovah’s Witnesses in connection with an international convention, the same official observed: “Now I see normal, smiling people, even better than many people I know. They are peaceful and calm, and they love one another very much.” He added: “I really do not understand why people tell such lies about them.”
_______________________________________________That's Karma baby!
It's the 1980's again. Back then, during and after the great purge, "apostates" (R. Franz and COJ) wrote books showing the lies and negative aspects of the JW's. Shortly after (around 1993), damage control gets into action by inoculating the JW's with the Proclaimers book, which "candidly" admits the criticisms in two words and treats them as if they were insignificant errors. This way the JW's could fend off the attacks by saying "I know, I know, the proclaimers book candidly informs us".
So now the apostates and the press are using the word cult when referring to JW's, then damage control decides it's inoculation time again. One caveat, the 1980's were a time when JW's could only find out about the real truth of their own religion through books. Fast forward to 2017 and you have an entirely different ball game. Now information through the internet is instantly accessible to even a two or three year old. No reading or typing skills needed, as long as he/she can say Spiderman into the cell phone, he/she will get Spiderman youtube videos.
by listening carefully to discern their real concerns.
This rules out former members, so they are referring to unbelieving relatives that do not know much about the religion.
I also find it appalling the idea of only trying to understand where someone else is coming from without a genuine interest or care in their viewpoint, but only to find a way to argue your case with them.
That nails it. The article is intended to show how to use this as an opportunity to convert a relative.
Perhaps your relatives think you are in a cult - BECAUSE YOU ARE!
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's most likely a duck.
I think if we look at this from a psychological point of view, we can say that the GB and the writing department are trying to come to terms with the fact that they are a cult and that that everything they write is utter bull shit!
Well at least they thought enough about it to right in that paragraphs. I smell trouble a brewing in the spiritual paradise.
May be what happens is now head office has used the word cult , little sheep in cong Google Jw cult then bingo, its like telling children don't look or touch ,curiosity will prevail.
"Remember people, always try to act like you're 'normal' and not in our cult
Your cult overlords"