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    01 Feb '13 12:501 edit
    robbie carrobie wants to address this point (instead of addressing another more pertinent one in another thread) so those interested can comment here.

    The answer of course depends on how an individual defines the word cult and therefore there will be mixed opinion - here is mine.

    Yes the Jehovah's Witnesses organisation is a cult primarily because they offer exclusive access to [their] god, his wisdom and the eternal benefits that go with him. Exclusive in that if you leave the organisation and cease to be a "Jehovah's Witness" and you are excluded from those spiritual benefits and what's more shunned by remaining members and made to suffer the emotional and spiritual pain of separation from both temporal relationships and relationship with god [Jehovah].

    You are either in or out and there is no alternative route to the christian god outside of their organisation.

    It's a religious cult.
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    01 Feb '13 12:53
    Yes. It's a cult.

    Not quite as insidious and malevolent as Scientology but still a cult.
  3. Dublin Ireland
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    01 Feb '13 13:131 edit
    Anything could be described as a cult once it fell into the definition
    of the word cult.

    a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    So the Catholic or Protestant religions could also be described as a cult.


    Christianity, Buddhism, and all the rest could be described as falling into
    the same catagory.
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    01 Feb '13 15:03
    Originally posted by johnnylongwoody
    Anything could be described as a cult once it fell into the definition
    of the word cult.

    a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    So the Catholic or Protestant religions could also be described as a cul ...[text shortened]...
    Christianity, Buddhism, and all the rest could be described as falling into
    the same catagory.
    he needs to define what a cult is, so that people can know what he is talking about.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    01 Feb '13 15:101 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    he needs to define what a cult is, so that people can know what he is talking about.
    I rarely use the word "cult" for the reasons alluded to by twhitehead. People can believe what they want and assemble in whatever groups they want. But when I think of people who I regard as "victims" of what might be described as a cult, then I am looking at how their intellectual faculties and, sometimes, their integrity, are distorted or truncated in some way by the demands of conforming to their group's doctrine, and the degree to which this distances them from what I see as common sense. So, very subjective of me, clearly. I appreciate that I am not providing a definition of a cult here. And I am not going to. It's a damaged word.
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    01 Feb '13 15:131 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    I rarely use the word "cult" for the reasons alluded to by twhitehead. People can believe what they want and assemble in whatever groups they want. But when I think of people who I regard as "victims" of what might be described as a cult, then I am looking at how their intellectual faculties and, sometimes, their integrity, are distorted or truncated in some way am not providing a definition of a cult here. And I am not going to. It's a damaged word.
    Unless you define your terms it will always be a 'damaged word'. Unless the proposer of this thread defines his terms the question cannot be answered.
  7. Standard memberRJHinds
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    01 Feb '13 15:21
    Originally posted by johnnylongwoody
    Anything could be described as a cult once it fell into the definition
    of the word cult.

    a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    So the Catholic or Protestant religions could also be described as a cul ...[text shortened]...
    Christianity, Buddhism, and all the rest could be described as falling into
    the same catagory.
    Yes, according to one definition, Christianity could be considered a cult of Judaism. A cult is often defined as the out-growth of the following of the teachings of a spiritual leader, who claims to know the truth, in contrast to Jesus, who claimed to be the Truth. But divegeester is using the word "cult" in a more restrictive way and the most common way used today.

    The following website describes how a cult works:

    http://www.howcultswork.com/

    I think Jehovah's Witnesses are in that category. One example is their belief that giving blood and having blood transfusions to save lives is wrong and to participate in such practices will result in eternal damnation and that they must ostracize such people from their group, even if it is a member of their own family.
  8. SubscriberFMF
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    01 Feb '13 15:23
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Unless you define your terms it will always be a 'damaged word'.
    It is a damaged word. So I will not bother to try to define it. Suffice to say, when people bandy it about, I think what they are getting at is the stuff I said about intellectual faculties and integrity being "distorted or truncated" and the distance the "cult" members seem to be from what the user of the word sees as "common sense". This would be why, for example, the right wing American evangelist you mentioned would term Islam as "not a religion but a cult" or why many American Protestants regard the Catholic Church as a "cult".
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    01 Feb '13 15:301 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    It is a damaged word. So I will not bother to try to define it. Suffice to say, when people bandy it about, I think what they are getting at is the stuff I said about intellectual faculties and integrity being "distorted or truncated" and the distance the "cult" members seem to be from what the user of the word sees as "common sense". This would be why, for exa n but a cult" or why many American Protestants regard the Catholic Church as a "cult".
    Its only damaged in as much as you refuse to define it. Once you definite it your powers of discernment will be able to discern the difference and thus the falsehood or otherwise of claims made on its basis.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    01 Feb '13 15:381 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its only damaged in as much as you refuse to define it.
    Nope. It's damaged because it has been defined in so many ways, depending on what the user wants to achieve by using it. So my lack of interest in trying to define it objectively certainly does not damage it.

    Once you definite it your powers of discernment will be able to discern the difference and thus the falsehood or otherwise of claims made on its basis.

    It as if you haven't read what I've said. Disagree with what I've said by all means. But why not take on board what I've said and respond to that?

    I sense you might be champing at some bit or other - something to do with what you consider to be "falsehoods". Don't pretend to be engaging me; just say what you want to say.
  11. Standard memberRJHinds
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    01 Feb '13 16:20
    How to become a cult leader.

    YouTube
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    01 Feb '13 16:442 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    robbie carrobie wants to address this point (instead of addressing another more pertinent one in another thread) so those interested can comment here.

    The answer of course depends on how an individual defines the word cult and therefore there will be mixed opinion - here is mine.derogatory connotations.

    Yes the Jehovah's Witnesses organisation is native route to the christian god outside of their organisation.

    It's a religious cult.
    Here's my issue with calling something a cult.

    So its theism is exclusionary. The theism of Catholicism and Islam and Judaism and Hinduism are exclusionary. Maybe all religions are cults and in that case there is no reason to single JWs out.

    RJ and many other theists here have exclusionary attitudes that pin theistic correctness to such things as denying evolution. Are their religions, cults?

    (By way of comparison some mainstream protestant religions are less exclusionary.)

    But does it have other attributes of a cult; attributes that are waiting in the wings? Otherwise, why call it a cult instead of just theistically exclusionary? Being theistic exclusionary is so widespread that it is basically just a descriptor.

    Here it is. "Cult" has some neutral denotations, and has some derogatory connotations for many theists and nontheists alike. We decide something is a cult on the basis of a fairly neutral or at least widely shared denotation, then we will likely adopt the position that the negative connotations apply to it as well. That's my problem.

    Instead these connotations should be brought out in the open and discussed. Then, if they fit as descriptors of JWs, so be it.
  13. Dublin Ireland
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    01 Feb '13 17:26
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    he needs to define what a cult is, so that people can know what he is talking about.
    The definitions I have given above are from the dictionary.

    A cult is any organization that venerates a particular deity person or ideal.


    Practically all organized religions would fall into that category.

    Especially if it's followers were so immersed in it as to
    totally discount any other direction outside that which may
    be their chosen way or religion.
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    01 Feb '13 18:29
    Originally posted by JS357
    Here's my issue with calling something a cult.

    So its theism is exclusionary. The theism of Catholicism and Islam and Judaism and Hinduism are exclusionary. Maybe all religions are cults and in that case there is no reason to single JWs out.

    RJ and many other theists here have exclusionary attitudes that pin theistic correctness to such things as denying ...[text shortened]... be brought out in the open and discussed. Then, if they fit as descriptors of JWs, so be it.
    I think the way the JW organisation treats exiting members is a public disgrace and I have absolutely no compunction in calling the organisation a cult irrespective or any negative connotations associated with the word.
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    01 Feb '13 22:27
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I think the way the JW organisation treats exiting members is a public disgrace and I have absolutely no compunction in calling the organisation a cult irrespective or any negative connotations associated with the word.
    We do exactly as the Bible tells us to do. If you have a problem with that, take it up with God.
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