Are Jehovah's Witness under destructive or dangerous “mind control” (though reform)
The answer to the above question should be of interest to ANYONE that claims to follow the Bible.
The basic answer to that question is both NO and YES
How can the be? You can not have it both ways. The answer is Yes or No.
The NO has to do with the destructive or dangerous mind control ideas that many apposers try to tell people about. JWs do not fall into that category. The criteria that are supposed to determine a dangerous mind controlling cult will be discusses one at a time in their separate essays
So, in what way can you say that JWs have “thought control” and not be a destructive cult?
This is where every one that claims to be a Christian should agree with.
What has Christianity got to do with thought reform?
A Christian is a footstep follower of the Christ. Notice these definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Christian
1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.
The Bible tells us at 1 Peter 2:21 In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely.”
If any readers do not like the NWT I will give the KJV rendering “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”
If we want to call our selves Christian than we must follow the direction of Jesus. Notice what the KJV says (John 10:27) “ My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: “ (John 12: 26) “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour..”
Jesus entrusted his heritage to his apostles as they set about carrying out the commission he set for them Matthew 28:19,20 “19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Notice they apostles had to teach those that were baptised “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” and hat includes the commission in Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel [good news] of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” and just before he ascended to heaven he told them ,
What do we know about how people become followers of Christ? Evidently Paul, by use of reasoning was very good at persuading people. Acts 18:4 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”
Ac 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Ac 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
Paul was very convincing in his reasoning’s that King Agrippa said to Paul “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28
The Greek word rendered persuade has several meanings including “persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3, be confident 2,” In the above examples the Greek word here is “peitho” in the active voice giving the meaning of persuade.
So, when we, without cohesion, decide to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses, it is because we have been persuaded by reason to do so. It is not an emotional choice, but a carefully thought out decision.
That is not all many JWs that have chosen to become JWs have made a lot of changes in their lives,not because the WTBTS has had any control over us it is because of what the Bible says. Notice the sort of changes that were made in the first century by individuals that become Christians recorded by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians “ 9 What! Do YOU not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
In order to make those changes, an individual must put on a “new personality”
Ephesians 4:20-24 20 But YOU did not learn the Christ to be so, 21 provided, indeed, that YOU heard him and were taught by means of him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that YOU should put away the old personality which conforms to YOUR former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; 23 but that YOU should be made new in the force actuating YOUR mind, 24 and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.”
Colossians 3:5-11 “5 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. 7 In those very things YOU, too, once walked when YOU used to live in them. 8 But now really put them all away from YOU, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of YOUR mouth. 9 Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new [personality], which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all things and in all.”
So, yes, Jehovah's Witness are under the influence of “thought reform”. When we decide to come to, and follow the Christ, we learn to strip away the old way of life and put on a new personality, one that conforms to what our creator requires.
But what about the accusations put forward by the conspiracy theorist about the various destructive (thought reform) mind control techniques that are the WTBTS and JWs are supposed to use? They will be dealt with one at a time in articles of their own.