JWs are not a cult................

by vitty 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • sonnyboy

    You know, I often wonder how "Biblically wrong" the JWs actually are. We have to take the collection of books as a whole.

    I've since abandoned all forms of Judeo-Christianity after leaving the dubs, but they do seem to have scriptures to back up every belief that they have.

    Maybe the problem shouldn't be with the Jehobah's, per se, but the Bible in general. Which scriptures should we deem 'TRUE'? With the many contradictions in the Judeo-Christian Bible, this is obviously left to the discernment of the reader.

  • oldflame


    That thought about changing things that was taught as truth ? There answer was "New light in the scriptures" GEE I don't ever remember the bible changing...You now what I mean?But yet people are blinded, they cannot see.

    I am one here who continues to love his Lord but under better understanding.

  • candidlynuts

    i dont think the jw's are a cult.. high control group yes . but even that didnt seem the case 30 yrs ago. it just seemed like a simple religion. i was a happy child raised in a happy jw home.

    i think that they are headed that way though as it gets more and more demanding and since they started limiting who can obtain their literature and how they discourage association even WITHIN the religion.

  • Oroborus21


    Stress Free said: "Any religion that controls your thinking up to the point where you will die for that cause, is a cult. For example you make the choice for yourself or your child to die rather then have a life saving blood transfusion because of your belief in the after life. Also, when almost every decision you make is based around what you are told by some controlling old men in Brooklyn, that for me is signs of a cult." It seems to me that a person could substitute "military organization" for "religion" and "generals at the Pentagon" for "old men in Brooklyn" and arrive at the conclusion that those poor brave fools who are dying in Iraq and elsewhere are part of a cult. (But See: Singer's answer to "Why the Marines are not a Cult") The point I wish to make is that simply because "high-pressure" is exerted in some areas, that punishment is present, peer pressure, etc. etc. and various other cultic or cultish attributes are present, the presence of a few of these or even many of these traits do not automatically render the group in question a "cult." For reasons that I will detail elsewhere Jehovah's Witnesses are not a cult. IT SHOULD BE NOTED that most sociologists (people who actually study "groups" from a scientific and academic viewpoint do not label Jehovah's Witnesses as a cult - as opposed to so called "cult experts" who profit from their work with "former cult members" and who have a vested interest to include any fringe or minority group within their scope of business.) Jehovah's Witnesses, if they must be "labeled" at all, are more accurately identified as a SECT of (2nd) Adventism. Nevertheless, I am sure that many here will continue to erroneously refer to them as a cult either due to ignorance or out right bias against them. However, having said the above, Jehovah's Witnesses as a culture do possess a number of cultic (or cultish) qualities which has been one of the sources of the cult label. Some of these cultish qualities are: - A singleminded adherence to teachings from a small elite -Lack of official channels to question or challenge such teachings -Some physically harmful teachings and practices such as the Blood Ban (doctrine) -Some emotinally harmful teachings and practices such as Disfellowshipping/shunning -Performance-based assessments of spirituality -A diametric world view, us vs. them mentality, and tendency to see issues in "black or white" -A systematic pressure to reduce or terminate outside relationships (with persons not in the Organization) -An intense adversity to contra-information or anti-group information or activities w punishment for violations (aka discouragement of critical thinking) Other qualties that are not actually cultic and in fact present in many religions and non-religious groups but THAT COULD also be factors to be included in the overall assessment are: -Non-Orthodoxy (not actually a VALID reason, but one often issued by so-called "real Christians") -Generalized and individualistic social and peer pressure to conformity -Modeled Uniformity enforced by social pressure or even punishment -A rigid program of indoctrination and study -A large time commitment required, thus occupying the person almost entirely within the sphere of the group's activities -Social pressure or punishment for engaging in activities of other groups whose purpose is adverse to the group or even similar in nature -Firm chains of command and control, a hierarchy -Hassan's BITE (Behavior, Information, Thought, Emotional Control) As can be seen from the above, the first list of cultic qualities of Jehovah's Witnesses certainly raises concern and (aside from outright bias) is usually the primary reason why some non-professionals label them a Cult. However, I reiterate that the mere presence of these qualities does not automatically raise the group to the level of what sociologists would identify as a true cult. Factors from the second list might also be present but these in themselves are not proof that Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult. To the above I would add a quantitative factor, not usually recognized by sociologists but I believe is intrinsically felt in their assessments and more importantly I would add a "person-on-the-street poll" or what would essentially be a "common sense" or "societal sense" assessment. By this I mean that I believe that the majority of unbiased responders would indicated that JWs are NOT a cult but would identify many other groups (like the one cited by a poster above, "MasterPath", or "Gentle Wind" or even a moderate sized group like Scientology) as a cult. I would be willing to wager that those responders who have had personal contact with Witnesses would actually fail to label Witnesses as a cult at a higher percentage that those responders with little to no contact with Witnesses and this would indicate that an INFORMED person would be less biased. However, I would guess that ex-members would respond with higher percentages of "cult" label, no doubt due to a number of extraneous factors. Because the questions of what constitute a cult and what are cultic attributes are ones that are interpretive and argumentative, determining for oneself what aspects of the Jehovah's Witness belief and culture are cultic can be difficult. To this end I have devised a simple methodology for parsing the cultic beliefs, traits and practices from the non-cultic ones. If anyone is interested I would be happy to describe this in a new thread. -Eduardo -Eduardo

  • oldflame

    The reason they are considered a cult because they teach against the trinity. They believe Christ was created when he has been there ALWAYS. They also teach against the need for being saved in Christ rather they believe they are saved through there religion.

  • Oroborus21


    Non-Orthodoxy is not a valid factor. While fringe or weird beliefs are considered by Sociologists when it comes to determining whether a group is a cult. When considered against Christianity, some sociologists recognize that OTHERS (mostly orthodox Christians) will attempt to utilize non-orthodoxy as a source for determination, but few sociologists do so themselves.

    The real defining hallmarks of a cult are either the consequential harm that results from group membership in the present (not in some spiritual or future post-life scene) or in the case of "harmless" cults, the attitude of the majority of general society and typically ostracism towards the group by the world at large.

    The failure to accept Orthodox Christian beliefs such as the trinity does not produce either of these consequences generally speaking.


  • Confession

    Forgive me, Old Flame, but I must disagree. None of the doctrinal items you mentioned would have anything to do with JWs' being identified as a "cult." As Oroborus' post helps us to understand, the term "cult" as defined by sociologists means more than simply "a group with doctrines others find peculiar." It becomes rather subjective when you define it in that way.

    I think people who insist on calling JWs (or any group) a "cult," may enjoy the delicious feeling it gives them to label them such. Me? I couldn't care less what word you use. As I've stated before, "high pressure group" or any other label works just fine. Since there are so many varying beliefs as to what is correct, branding a group as a cult, merely because their beliefs seem different probably isn't good enough.

    Regardless the term you use, the organization practices deception, manipulation and wields enormous power over the lives and minds of its adherents.

  • PaulJ

    Whe i first came here i hated the thought of once being in a cult. Initially i just thought, 'Theyre not a cult, they just have gotton things wrong', the word 'cult' have nasty connotations about it. But the more i look at it the more i realise it IS a cult and a brainwashing cult at that.

  • Dansk
    but if it makes the members of it happy so be it

    But they aren't happy! So many pretending that they are. So many on tranquilizers and antidepressants. They try to fit in with the congregation so try and convince themselves that everything is rosy on the inside but Satanically evil on the outside. I've never known so many people suffering from nervous problems and yet they can't see the problems are caused by the unnatural lifestyle of Watchtower life.

    When I was a member I could never see it as a cult - yet I always new something wasn't quite right. Since being out I see clearly that Watchtower is definitely a cult. People are not allowed to think for themselves. Once they do, the cultic hold is lost forever.


  • Evanescence

    I made a thread here on the 8 characteristics of a cult


    does the jw religion fit the description?


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