8 Characteristics of a Cult

by Evanescence 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • Evanescence

    Well I’ve noticed that people call the Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult, so I looked into what a cult is.

    From the book “Cults too good to be true” By Raphael Aron

    Definition: A cult is a group or movement that, to a significant degree, (a) Exhibits great or excessive devotion or dedication to some idea or thing, (b) uses a thought reform program to persuade, control and socialize members. (i.e. to integrate them into the group’s unique pattern of relationships, beliefs, values and practices), (c) systematically induces states of psychological dependency in members, 9d) exploits members to advance the leadership’s goals, and (e) causes psychological harm to members, their families and the community.

    Eight Characteristics of a Cult

    1. Milieu Control: Refers to total control of communication in the groups; for example, no gossip or expression of doubt about the group. Members have to report peers who break any rules. Have limited or no contact with relatives and ignore anything in the media.

    2. Loading of the language: is the imposition of a language which is unique to the cult. The continued use of particular clichés and expressions creates a sense of camaraderie, which unites the members and sets them apart from the world, which, in some groups, is described as satanic, evil or unclean

    3. A demand for purity: refers to a radical separation of good and bad. The cult is right, the world is wrong. Acts are either good or bad and people are viewed in black-and-white terms. Purity allows the cult to let the ends justify the means; deception and lying are acceptable if they serve the pure aim of the cult. Most apocalyptic cults spread the message that you are either a member of the group – and will survive, or you are not – and won’t survive. In order to save people and draw them into the group, you can lie, because those who are saved will ultimately appreciate your action.

    4. Confession: Refers to the process by which members admit everything about their past and present behavior. Although the members is told that the confession will set him free, in effect it binds him to the group. Later on, the information can be used against him. Leaving the cult becomes more difficult, as the member feels that he will have left behind an intimate part of himself.

    5. Mystical Manipulation: --- or planned spontaneity--- refers to a process whereby the members feel they have chosen to belong to the group; a belief is created that allegiance to the cult is a totally voluntary act. Events in the cult are planned to look spontaneous, when, in fact, they are carefully orchestrated by the leadership

    6. Doctrine Over person: requires the member to interpret reality through the cult doctrine and to ignore personal experiences or reality. If the member’s experience is disregarded. Contradictions become associated with guilt; doubt indicates one’s own deficiency or evil.

    7. Sacred Science : refers to the leader’s claim to wisdom and the fact that his philosophy and belief system are relevant to all humankind. Anyone who disagrees is not only immoral but unscientific.

    8. Dispending of existence: means that those who have not seen the light are wedded to evil, tainted and lack the right to exist. Hence a cult member threatened with being cast into outer darkness may experience a fear of extinction or collapse. This is the final step in creating members’ dependence on the group.

    This is all quoted from the book. Cults too good to be true by Raphael Aron

    So what do you think, does the Jehovah’s Witnesses fit any of these characteristics?

    Thought I’d just share this with you all!

    Look around for the book its really good!


  • myself


    Interesting post, I'll check out the book. I read Kingdom of the Cults-Walter Martin. He deals with the techniques of mind control that are commonly used and some of the groups who use them

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I think so

    The Best of... Cult information

    enough so that I wrote a paper on it

    Mind Control Techniques and Jehovah's Witnesses http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/12/31235/1.ashx

    and did a video on it


Share this