A Response To “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members”

ezine articles graphicsI recently stumbled upon an article at Ezinearticles.com, entitled, “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members.” It was written by Troy Bart Simon, who is listed as a “Basic Level Expert Author.” In case you have any doubt about the exact nature of Troy’s post, the description at Ezinearticles.com begins, “Jehovah’s Witnesses are often looked upon as being part of a cult, when in reality they are far from anything cult-like.” Yeah, I’m sure that won’t rile up any of my readers. Yet Troy probably thinks his statement is completely true. In fact, he’s probably one of Jehovah’s Witnesses himself.

Some at JWD have already responded to Troy’s article since it was written about a year ago. I have a few points worth mentioning, too. Note that this article spans more than one page. So don’t ignore the little numbers at the bottom if you want to read past the first one. They’re below all the “Like this post?” stuff.

Please feel free to make additions, corrections, or other points in the comments below. If I’m convinced you’re suggestions have merit, I might revise this article to include them.

Now here’s my response to “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members.”

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The Watchtower Society’s Writing Style: Their Literature’s Most Effective Techniques

literatureAll ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses know that the Watchtower Society is more than a religious organization. It’s also a publisher of books and magazines,1 which are–for all intents and purposes–a central part of worship for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Society uses its literature to hand out its spiritual food (“the truth”) to its adherents, including counsel from the governing body. Most Witnesses will probably tell you that the literature rocks, that it’s very informative, well written, and expertly researched. But the literature also has its critics. Like me. (Sorry.)

In my last post, I mentioned that the Society’s authors use techniques that make the literature feel both convincing and informative. I also told you that the literature isn’t nearly as informative or convincing as it feels. In this post, I’ll tell you how their authors keep convincing readers that they’re right, even when they’re dead wrong. I’ll even tell you why Jehovah’s Witnesses (and maybe even you) keep falling for it. For former Watchtower adherents who still have lingering fears about Jesus and Armageddon, the repetition of it all will blow your ex-Witness minds. It’s all disappointingly simple.

Now let’s see how they do it.

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  1. Ever notice that the Society provides the product–it’s literature–AND the demand all at the same time? Witnesses need the literature as part of their worship, which they’re expected to donate for. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you make your money from the publishing bizz, eh?

From The AWAKE! Magazine: A WORLD WITHOUT RELIGION-AN IMPROVEMENT?

A World Without Religion-An Improvement?Yep, my (non)award winning series on the November issue of the AWAKE! magazine continues. This time, the Watchtower Society has gone into grudge match mode by throwing a world without religion into the ring with one that has religion. Which side will be the victor in their article? I bet it’ll be a surprise! OK, seriously, at least they didn’t use Hitler as an example of an atheist regime in action (the Nazis weren’t atheists). So they did a better job than I was expecting right there. All the AWAKE! magazine gives us is a picture of Hitler shaking hands with a Catholic and a subtitle about how awful other religions were for supporting (cowering before, really) the Nazis. That’s pretty mild when you consider how the Watchtower Society goes after other faiths, especially Catholics. Hey, maybe this will be a step up!

In my last post, I wondered if the Society would bother reaching out to atheists, or if the whole magazine would be about atheist bashing to win over members of Christendom1 at our expense. In the past, their condemnations of atheists have been fairly mild when compared to how some groups deal with us. Maybe the Watchtower Society recognizes how many ex-Witnesses have become atheists and doesn’t want to drive us farther away? Or maybe they have something else in mind.

Whatever the case, let’s see what’s in store for us in this AWAKE! article.

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  1. Christendom is the Society’s label for non-Witnesses who claim to be Christian, not mine.

From The AWAKE! Magazine: IS ATHEISM ON THE MARCH?

Is Atheism On The March?I’ve been looking for articles on atheists and atheism from the Watchtower Society for a while now, and I was always disappointed that they didn’t have much to say. They continue to pick on evolution, of course, which many people associate with atheism. But why not atheists? Aren’t we the cool and happening boogiemen of the day? Plus, more ex-Witnesses turn into atheists than with any other group studied so far. With this and the so called rise of new atheism (not my phrase) in the media, you would think the Society would have something in at least one Watchtower or one AWAKE! every year. But you’d be wrong. I was pretty bummed about it … until Cofty at JWD was kind enough to post a link to PZ Myers web site, which addressed an upcoming article in the AWAKE! magazine, called, “IS ATHEISM ON THE MARCH?”

For other ex-Witnesses turned atheists, this might be a bitter pill to swallow. Me? All I feel is hunger … a hunger for more. Waitress, can we have another, please?

Here’s a quote from the article’s first paragraph. NOTE: If your doctor doesn’t recommend you engage in strenuous laughter, turn away now!

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