Jehovah’s Witnesses And Cults: How To Spot Them

How can you tell if a religion is a destructive mind control cult or just a religion?

There are all sorts of different beliefs out there and they all have their pluses and minuses. Just because you or I don’t agree with the teaching of a particular group or religion doesn’t mean that they are a destructive cult. Being a little “wacky” in your beliefs doesn’t make you a mindless cult follower.

There is a tendency among fundamentalists especially, to label and slur a particular religion as a cult because it is different from theirs. This is just stupid and silly and to be quite frank, quite arrogant!

Everyone should have the right to believe or disbelieve as the case may be. My view of God may be completely different from yours and that is perfectly okay! What I’m trying to say is this:

 assemblyJust because a group doesn’t follow a particularly “orthodox” view or just because you don’t agree with what they teach doesn’t mean they are a destructive cult!

I decided to put together a list of common characteristics that all destructive mind control groups exhibit.

 

 

 

 

The following is a list of twenty-two cult characteristics that will enable anyone to determine in five minutes what is and isn’t a cult.

  • If the leader or leaders write their own material and claim that it is from God or “inspired by God” or “from the mouth of God” then they are a cult.
  • If the leadership tells you that you can’t read anything written by any other church or religion and only can read what they write then it is a cult.
  • If you are forbidden to speak to or read anything written by someone who has left the group for reasons of conscience or belief then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If the leadership has to write its own version of the Bible and call it “improved” or “more accurate” and the use of that “translation” is unique to that religion then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If personal choice and independent thought is considered to be “evil” then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If asking difficult questions is discouraged then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If, when finding a particular question difficult or impossible to answer you are told to just “have faith” or “wait on the Lord” then you are probably in a cult.
  • If it is forbidden to disagree either privately or openly with the leadership on any point then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If you are encouraged to sever ties with anyone not affiliated with your religion then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If the group actively solicits membership it is probably a cult.
  • If an interested person is only given enough information to pique their interest but not enough information to scare them away then it is most definitely a cult.
  • If you are told to teach just “the good stuff” during the initial phase of a person “studying” with you then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If there are aspects of your teaching that are purposely kept hidden until the student is very far along in the indoctrination process then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If the members are instructed to be especially nice to new visitors then it is probably a cult.
  • If the leadership teaches that they are the only ones with “the truth” and that everyone else is deceived then you are in a cult.
  • If the members are encouraged to turn other members in for infractions then it is 100% most definitely a cult.
  • If you are given a litany of rules and regulations to follow then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If your schedule is booked with group activities to the point that you have little or no time to yourself then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If you are told to have little or nothing to do with anyone, including close friends and family members, who choose to leave the group, then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If your leadership is nameless, mysterious, aloof, unapproachable, unaccountable or otherwise “nebulous” then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If your leadership doesn’t have to report their income to you or the government then you are most definitely in a cult.
  • If higher education is considered evil and strongly discouraged by the leadership then you are most definitely in a cult.

How many of the above characteristics hit your religion? If it was more than five then you are probably in danger of being in a cult. If you answered yes to ten or more than you are most definitely in a mind control cult.

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and manipulation. He has many years of experience dealing with this issue because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to finally face the real truth and leave the organization.