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Commentary :: Education : Social Welfare
Harmless religion or destructive cult?
17 Apr 2005
Harmless religion or destructive cult,how do you tell?
Dr.Lifton compiled the classic 8 signature marks of a destructive cult in his masterpiece.Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism,...
Harmless religion or destructive cult,how do you tell?

Dr.Lifton compiled the classic 8 signature marks of a destructive cult in his masterpiece [ca.1961].Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism,

Eight Marks of a deadly Mind Control Cult applied to Jehovah's Witnesses http://www.freeminds.org/psych/lifton.htm

The deadbeat Watchtower corporation pays no municipal taxes on their buildings,without even one charity to compensate the community.

Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs and who are they?

The Watchtower is big money, being one of the top 40 New York City Corporations making nearly one billion dollars a year. That’s just from one of their many corporations.
Unlike in the case of Christians who are persecuted in other lands for talking about Jesus Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses are largely persecuted for following the teachings begun during the second presidency of the Watchtower, when Joseph F. Rutherford took over in a corporate flap and began changing doctrines quickly in the Watchtower belief system. He claimed that angels directly conveyed “truth” to some of those in leadership. He coined the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” to make them stand out from being witnesses of Jesus, a typical evangelical expression (and a Biblical one).

Rutherford dumped holidays, birthdays and the 1874 date for the invisible return on Christ, and invented an “earthly class” of Witnesses, since only 144,000 can go to heaven in their teaching. The rest, meaning all 99.9% of Witnesses still alive, will live forever on a cleansed earth, under the rule of the Watchtower leaders in heaven, who will keep them in line by local elders known as “Princes.”

If you have been “witnessed to” by Jehovah’s Witnesses and you reject their message, you will likely die “shortly” at Armageddon with all the other non-Witnesses, since theirs is the only true religion, and (if they can live up to all the rules) they are the only ones to inhabit this “new earth.” If you believe Witnesses seem rigid now, any non-conformist during the future “cleansed earth” will be directly destroyed by Jehovah. Even now a Witness will be disfellowshipped for any one of many gaffs, such as smoking, taking a blood transfusion, or even voting.

To even vocally question the teachings of the Watchtower will result in complete cutting off, with family and friends usually being forbidden to talk to them. The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world, in a time when Orwellian societies are nearly obsolete.

By their own Yearbook accounts, Witnesses are shrinking in number in many Western countries as of the last three years, as the internet facilitates the spread of information (much of it critical of the Witnesses). Witnesses are cautioned against creating JW-related websites, largely to prevent their members from discovering the history and dirty laundry of this organization on other websites. (There are literally hundreds of former members pages in many languages.) The Watchtower strives hard to control the flow of information to the individual Witness, and prefers that all instruction come through the magazines they carry door-to-door. Without this form of control, even as they themselves admit, they would believe just the same as other Bible believers.

My hope is that there will be a day in each of their lives when the Watchtower magazine is no longer needed, and they can go to college, vote for office, and contribute money and time to other, more vital causes in their community. More than likely they will then cease to be persecuted, except in a few societies more authoritarian than their own.

Danny Haszard Bangor Maine

References:

www.freeminds.org (type in a search word to find articles easily)

www.silentlambs.org (latest news on the child abuse lawsuits against the Watchtower)

About the author Danny Haszard: Former Jehovah's Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation (been there). Now a counter-cult educator. My home page, WATCHTOWER WHISTLEBLOWER: http://www.DannyHaszard.com

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
17 Apr 2005
Harmless? Try growing up scared that you might do something that will get you kicked out of this 'harmless' religion. Because, if you were kicked out then you were doomed. No hope outside the JW organization.

So, you frantically tried to follow all the rules. You went out in service. You read and underlined the studies in the Watchtower. You followed along and, more importantly, you answered questions during the bookstudies. And, you did all this with a smile on your face, because 'Jehovah's people' are happy people. You did not dare show fear. And, don't ask too many questions, especially if it might look as if you are reading 'worldly' books. Or, God forbid, indulging in 'independant thinking'. Because you are being watched. You are being watched by members of your congregation who are hoping you do something they can take to the elders.
Orwellian? That and worse.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
I am one of over 6 million that take the pages of the Watch Tower that Announces Gods
Kingdom with His Son Christ Jesus as King of that Government Rulership.
Any who wish to Leave off and discontinue to be one of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses may do so
with out any fear.
Those of us who stay feel as the Apostle Peter did when he was asked if he wanted to stop
following Jesus, Where would we go to Jesus was the one with the sayings or teachings of
everlasting life.
Where I live everlastingly is no doubt up to God himself since he grants this to those who he
chooses.
Be it here on earth or in the heavens.
We are encouraged to look as deeply into any and all accusations against Jehovah and his people.
Never is anything hidden as so many feel.
Quoted in the magazines are various publications and other voices of those that are not part of the
organization. We are happy to have outside information to broaden on our understanding of the
earth and the wonders of it and from the latest medical advancements that are known to man for
our well being.

As an adherent for more than 25 years I fail daily to measure up to the standards set in the bible
for Christians. The only reason I am allowed to stay with in the congregation is that I do not
practice what is bad in the eyes of God and Jesus. I am remorseful and repentant as King David
ws when he confessed Adultery and Murder.
The Bible is clear that God is looking for those that want to do what is right. Both toward God
and Ones fellow man.
No where is the bible stating that perfect are the only acceptable ones.

As for Mr. Joseph Rutherford along with the first and continued officers within the organized
group of sincere bible students, (Jehovah's Witnesses) as they are called in come countries. Not
all!!!
These men if found, (as any other in the congregations) going contrary to the scriptures (in deed
or lifestyle or teaching )
they are asked to leave and they are no longer
considered A Follower of Jesus Christ. as the rest claim themselves to be.
Any teaching that they teach must be solely based upon the scriptures.

Thank you for letting us have a voice.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
Can ya tell which comments are from a free mind and which are under the influence of "the Collective"?
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
I was a dubber [witness] for 30 years, and it is like being in a prison, you are told what to think, wear, watch,when to go to 5 meetings a week, how to have sex with your wife, and what kind of sex with your partner is good and what kind will get you disfellowshipped.
what ratings of movies you cant see, what kind of cars you should buy for service,[knocking on doors spreading propaganda] that going to higher school is not a good idea, instead you should spend your life working free for the "society" that all people excpt the dubbers will die very soon, [they have been saying this for 135 years.
It took me many years to self medicate emotionaly and recover from the toxisity of the dubs.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
I was a witness for many years, my brother left the cult because he fell in love with a woman that was not a witness, he lived with her for a couple of years before they got married,and was subsiquently disfellowshipped, I my mother, sister and father, cut off our relationship with him and his family at the direction of the society, I still dont have any contact with him out of fear of being disfellowshipped myself, this is a reality for witnesses,you will be cut off from the friends and family that are in the cult if you visit with a disfellowshipped person, brother mother or not, This one of the ways in which they keep a very tight controll grip on the people that go, along with the end of the world is comming very soon, even though they have cried this for many many years, and no one espically the rank and file call them on the many many times that they have made predictions and they have been wrong.
I live in fear and I am an elder in the hall, my father in law was removed from being an elder in the vanderbiult hall along with my brother in law because of all the infighting that goes on in side the kindom hall, there is more politicing in the society than there is in the cpitol biulding,at the head quarters in brooklyn there is much homosexuality that is covered up, leo greenleaf was a top witness that was in much trouble with young boys, all the time the society points the finger at the catholics for the same thing, There is a group of us inside that are waiting for our time to turn this backward religion around.
I have seen people die because of this cult, the no blood issue that is pushed had taken the life of many inside cult. those who think it is just a nice kind religion please be very carfull, once they get the hook set, it is like getting off of heroin. read others exp. off of the internet and save yourself the trouble that others have encountered. I have a long and unhappy life and much to account for when I die, and I already regret much. living in fear in michigan.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
I left this as you call it cult, when i was 14 years old, much to my Fathers disappointment. I lived a life that was acceptable to my peers and I achieved much, i had no contact with the witnesses and i cant even recall having my door knocked on for the next 20 years. As an educated adult of 34 years having gone through good times and not so good times I started to question the morality and future of this so called progressivly civilized society we live in. I realiized without influence from any other human being that the only hope for me and mankind as a whole is found in the pages of the bible and under the yoke of Jehovah our creator. Take a good look around you and honestly ask yourself is this world really going forward socially, morally, politically, environmentally or in any positive way. Look closely and you may see that we as civilized people are progressing quite nicely in our ability to destroy the environment, breakdown families, spread pandemic diseases, kill each other with the ease of a button press and what do we do each time it goes pear shaped....we say how can God let this happen or where is God now. Well all i can say is let Jehovah speak in defence for himself, he has done this already in the bible. Sure its hard to read and that is why we give up our spare time, that is why we brave all kinds of weather, that is why we come to you so that Jehovah can give an answer to those tired ones. If you are a sick of the way mankind is treating everything he touches then next time we knock on your door maybe answer with a kind hello and ask for Jehovahs answer to the worlds problem. The answer is simple and the remedy is not far off. What other realistic option is there mankind is failing itself misserably
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
18 Apr 2005
The K.I.S.S rule (keep it simple silly)

A. B. C's

A.The central CORE JW doctrine is Jesus second coming in 1914,and is a LIE!

B.Every devout JW will grow old and die just like me.

C.Apostate opposer's like myself will not 'die at Armageddon'.
That's it folks,....you can have reams and data streams of info (i do at my page) but it all comes down to the elementary A.B.C's

-------------------------------------------
No other major religion breaks up and willfully wrecks loving family's on the scale and severity of the Jehovah's Witnesses.[think long and hard about that]

Why am i doing this?If i sat on my hands and did nothing,i would be lost forever!

Destructive religious cults and their fascist faith are harmful to any society.I speaks as a former member of the Jehovah's Witnesses cult.I watched the Watchtower corporation destroy 4 generations of my family.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,but not their own facts".D.M.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
19 Apr 2005
A very, very nice religion indeed. Very structured.

Definitely not for the faint of heart, or the amoral types.

Check it out for yourself! www.watchtower.org
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
20 Apr 2005
Orwellian Society. Ha! I was actually thinking the same thing about the JW Org. a few days ago, right after hearing about my family becoming worried and anxious after an announcement from the Watchtower org. about a forthcoming "very important" announcement to be made during the nightly meeting. You should've seen them calling around, worried anxious looks and hand wringing. Yet the very important announcement was not really that important and within the next few days was quickly forgotten about.

Very similar propaganda used by the Ministry of Truth in the "1984" George Orwell book.
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
20 Apr 2005
Truth is not a matter of understanding the bible, but rather believing and living like our forefathers all the way back to the apostles. If this statement were not true, there would not be 20,000 christian religions. They would simply read the bible, and all agree. The humanity of the church reflects imperfection, but the guidence of God comes from the same light it always did. The holy spirit. Jesus gives Peter the power to forgive sins, or not too..... to make laws that are bound on earth and heaven. Peters successors are the popes of the Holy Catholic church. The apostles are buried under catholic and orthodox churches. Not one kingdom hall. Matter of fact, if you look at the order of service, and traditions, you will not find man made traditions, but God made. Scriptural. Even Jewish.... thats right, Jewish. After all, God is unchanging.... right? Jesus ministry begin at the age of 30, and he was crucified on a Roman cross at the age of 33. 3 years of ministry, to carry a cross and fall 3 times, be crucified in a group of 3, and die only to rise again on the third day. Now about that trinity thing....? My faith is the faith of the Apostles, and I do no disrespect to anyones honest love of God, but it is important to note that the devil puts these new and modern religions before us to stray us from truth. That is why I choose to follow the truth of the apostles. The catholic church to which God has lead me and to whom God gave the power to make the laws that bind in heaven.

God Bless
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
21 Apr 2005
I copied and pasted a series of 8 e-mails to my Mother (a devout JW) taken from a web-site about destructive cults that had nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. Each one delt with a seperate point of RJ Lifton's 8 point model of thought reform.

If there are no similarities, then why did my mother rise in defense of her religion with each and every point -when the messages did not even mention religion or the JWs?

That this is a destructive cult is also evident in my case: I was raised and very active for 30 years -Regular Pioneering, Bethel Service, Ministerial Servant, Sunday talks. After not being able to reconcile the blood stance with scripture or logic my family and I stopped going. There was no letter of disassociation, no "wrongdoing", we just stopped attending.

Now we are considered bad association. There are vile rumors that get back to us about our supposed wicked deeds. Only a few family members will have anything to do with us, and those relationships are strained.

Truely there is no valid way to leave the group. There is no room for honest disagreement with the organization as it is beyond criticism. To disagree with the organization is to go against God.

As difficult as it has been, I'm glad to be out. I was living in fear my whole life but never realized it because that was all I ever knew. Thank God for the internet!
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
22 Apr 2005
Once again it's evident that those opposing Jehovah's Witnesses use lies and half-truths to put these friendly, loving, law-abiding citizens in a bad light.

Whatever excuse they can find to defend their own views and lifestyle, they wil use. Maybe God says this or that, but they seem to know better.

Not only Jehovah's Witnesses received this kind of flak. Look for instance at the recent comments about the Pope. Just because he was conservative (in the sense that he refused to water down the will of God, as expressed in the bible, to suit modern human ideas and fashions) he is being considered "narrow-minded" or worse.

I still believe that it is much better to go by Gods word in matters of good and bad, rather than the "enlightened" ideas of mankind.

You disagree? So was Eve in Genesis made to believe in Genesis 3:1-5. And look at the world we live in now. Still convinced?
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
22 Apr 2005
The Truth Shall Set You Free - Write to Me for My Free Newsletter for Ex-JWs called, "Cocoon."

(It's a nonreligious support newsletter sent via email blind carbon copy--no one sees your email address)

Brothers and Sisters, If you have the truth, you should not be afraid or intimated to read everything there is to be read about your organization (and not just your JW literature). Go to Google and type in Jehovah's Witnesses. Then sit down and clear your mind of the JW indoctrination and read and read and read. Llisten to your gut, not your indoctrinated intellect. How do you really feel about rampant abuse (sexual and physical) in your organization (do you know how bad it really is?)? How well does it sit with you watching others say good-bye FOREVER to their mother, father, son, or daughter as though they were dead--just because they don't want to be Jehovah's Witnesses? How do you feel about people dying because they won't accept blood transfusions (the JWs once forbid vaccinations too and changed their minds on that). It's all well and good until it is someone you love who suffers, or YOU who loses your family to something that was founded by a man--a man who based his failed prophesies on the dimensions of a pyramid! We care about you as much as you care about Jehovah because we know how harmful this cult can be. My family hasn't spoken to me in 25 years simply because I moved away and stopped attending meetings. What would Jesus say about this if he were here today? Where's the love in this organization? The Jim Jones' cult followers went to their graves believing what one man told them. Are you willing to blindly do the same? Don't be afraid. There is support for you out here in "the world" (which, by the way, isn't as bad as you think).
Re: Harmless religion or destructive cult?
09 Aug 2005
Hi,

I am a jehovah's Witness and very proud to be idenity with that organization especially since their objectives are based on the bible to santicfy Jehovah's name, to be at peace with one's neighbour, no war, to share our beliefs with our neighbour not in a compelling way but lovingly and the truth attracts honest, humble and hungry persons yes we have persons who will make mistake and go against what the bible says but once they are repentant Jehovah will forgive them also we are safeguarded against satan and his demons (the occult, gambling, drugs ) once we follow the bible guidelines

Our books are available for all to read along with their bible no secrecy and no one man running an organization.

Bye.