This article makes 10 points about the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses using the Society’s book, Revelation: Its Grand Climax at Hand! You might want to bookmark this one.
Another one to bookmark. Here are some highlights from the article.
Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth….
As Journalist Janet Heimlich has documented in, Breaking Their Will, Bible-based religious groups that emphasize patriarchal authority in family structure and use harsh parenting methods can be destructive. But the problem isn’t just physical and sexual abuse. Emotional and mental treatment in authoritarian religious groups also can be damaging because of 1) toxic teachings like eternal damnation or original sin 2) religious practices or mindset, such as punishment, black and white thinking, or sexual guilt, and 3) neglect that prevents a person from having the information or opportunities to develop normally….
In fundamentalist Christianity, the individual is considered depraved and in need of salvation. A core message is “You are bad and wrong and deserve to die.” … Decades later they sit telling me that they can’t manage to find any self-worth….
Born-again Christianity and devout Catholicism tell people they are weak and dependent, calling on phrases like “lean not unto your own understanding” or “trust and obey.” People who internalize these messages can suffer from learned helplessness….
Authoritarian religious groups are subcultures where conformity is required in order to belong. Thus if you dare to leave the religion, you risk losing your entire support system as well….
Religious groups that are highly controlling, teach fear about the world, and keep members sheltered and ill-equipped to function in society are harder to leave easily. The difficulty seems to be greater if the person was born and raised in the religion rather than joining as an adult convert…
The next part addresses one of my core gripes about the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as provided to them by the Governing Body. It also points out the difference between a religion like The Watchtower Society’s and one that promotes a healthy state of mind. Contrary to what some people say when they see an article about Jehovah’s Witnesses, not all religions are like theirs.
What do you see as the difference between religion that causes trauma and religion that doesn’t?
Winell: Religion causes trauma when it is highly controlling and prevents people from thinking for themselves and trusting their own feelings. Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth. With constant judgment of self and others, people become alienated from themselves, each other, and the world. Religion in its worst forms causes separation.
Conversely, groups that connect people and promote self-knowledge and personal growth can be said to be healthy. The book, Healthy Religion, describes these traits. Such groups put high value on respecting differences, and members feel empowered as individuals. They provide social support, a place for events and rites of passage, exchange of ideas, inspiration, opportunities for service, and connection to social causes. They encourage spiritual practices that promote health like meditation or principles for living like the golden rule. More and more, nontheists are asking how they can create similar spiritual communities without the supernaturalism. An atheist congregation in London launched this year and has received over 200 inquiries from people wanting to replicate their model.
This is an article written by a non-Witness (an evil “worldly person” or “nonbeliever,” as the Society calls us) about the Memorial of Christ’s Death. Note that the author is somewhat familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses and is a Christian.
Not three seconds after [the attendant] walked away, a lady sitting behind me … started talking about some of their theology. She asked me a question; “Do you know what the world would look like if no one ever sinned?” I answered, “Well, I supposed we’d all be running around naked and living in a big Garden.”
“That’s right and one day Jehovah is going to return the earth to its original purpose.”
“You mean we’re all going to be running around naked in a big Garden?”
The thought hit both of us at the same time. Her facial expression changed as she thought about that, but continued to verbally affirm my statement. I kept thinking about all of the covers of Watchtower magazines I have seen over the years of happy families in a paradise earth. I didn’t say it, but all of those covers are wrong. If God is going to return the earth to its original purpose, then why are all of those people clothed? I could see from her face that she had never thought of that idea and was not exactly comfortable with it. I’m sure she could see from the look on my face that I wasn’t comfortable with it either.
Here’s another good one:
Every cult has terminology they use over and over so I think one day when I am old, wrinkly and can get away with it, I will make a few Bingo cards which contain a number of Jehovah’s Witness buzz words. I will bring a bunch of my old, wrinkly, decrepit friends and we will play Kingdom Hall Bingo. The first person to get a straight line of five words will immediately stand up and announce, “ARMAGEDDON!” If your card happens to include the word “appreciate,” you are sure to win.
When you’re in the bOrg (how some ex-JW’s classify the Watchtower organization) there’s A LOT you’re afraid of. Oh my lord! If you participated in something with pagan roots you were just practically sending an engraved invitation to the Devil and all his henchmen to immediately come running because they had a new follower. You would’ve thought that December 25th meant a portal was opening so legions of demons could pass through with orders to devour anyone in a Santa hat or singing a carol. Like zombies with a homing device, they were ready to gorge themselves on your faith in Jehovah! You were just a true believer buffet waiting to be devoured.
All because the rituals are based in pagan practices and ceremonies, hence EVIL. It’s really just that easy and simple. Why was I having such a hard time with this?
This is part one. Still waiting for part two.
And now, for a dose of insanity, check out the link above. It will take you to a bizarre list of conspiracy theories written by someone called OnePoint (actually, 20571point428571, but OnePoint is good enough for me.). The comments were the best part.
JWs are already betrayed…… by their own FALSE PROPHET LEADERS. We don’t need pages and pages of useless blather, speculation and nonsense to tell us that.
Whatever this guy is smoking, I want some. I can’t even fathom wasting this much time thinking about this crapload of mythological fantasia.
What a dumbass.
The fool thinks that JW’s are fulfilling prophecy.
The only prophecy the JW’s fulfill is those describing false prophets.
Pointman is taking strong medicine.
Way to Witness to the nonbelievers. They’re practically running for their Kingdom Halls! Good job, OnePoint!