by Chris Stevenson
Imagine if you wanted to know how to form a strict fundamentalist faith or cult, I mean one that your family and friends can be proud of… or else. Well, one would have to know that a good cult leader knows how to create good guy/bad guy scenarios. This would serve several purposes, 1-Keep followers against each other in most areas except when they all have to follow your laws, this serves a duel purpose, not the least of which brings us to 2- Take attention away from cult leader(s) shortcomings (which by the way are numerous), and last but not least 3- Recruit blacks. The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society knows how to tap into the part of blacks’ brain that both suffered and maintained and preserved slavery generations ago. You have to be at least somewhat demonic to manipulate people in such a way. This is a prime reason why I find many old-school members of the Watchtower’s cult (best known as Jehovah’s Witnesses) to be completely unable to handle the truth. This is a self-contained sociopathic organization.
They are also masters of generating endorphins, the part of the brain that triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Endrophins also reduce pain. They are better at tapping into what makes you feel good than you may be yourself. According to MediceNet.com:
“Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In contrast to the opiate drugs, however, activation of the opiate receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.”
There is no other afterlife except Jehovah’s “New System,” or “New Order,” or any other phrase that is synonymous with the paradise earth that God is expected to make pretty much exclusively for them. Under such a wonderful fantasy even believing loved-ones will be expected to be resurrected at some point after this Jehovah destroys everyone else using his all-out angelic strike force led by Michael (formerly Jesus) the avenging Archangel-cs
How this relates to the Watchtower Society is their method of virtually incorporating the addiction and dependency by implementing a feel-good carrot called the “New Order” or “New System.” A paradise earth where you are told you can live forever, among peaceful fellow humans whom are mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves. Now who in their right mind doesn’t want that? Under this sugary feelgood promise and a concurrent threat that we will deal with later, followers of this cult will do just about anything today in order to be apart of a beautiful tomorrow. A tomorrow that will never come according to the Watchtower’s plans, nor should it. Members have been known to make bad decisions that affect their health, education, economic and children’s well-being, family and blood-relative relationships at the Watchtower’s urging. Not one of the Watchtower’s major decision and policy-makers has a doctorate, degree in law enforcement, or employed in law enforcement.
Anyplace Jehovah’s Witnesses gather can be pretty much expected to become a “spiritual paradise.” As with other illustrations in this column this is a depiction from one of their publications of cargroups of them taking a break from doorknocking -cs
As a preview to this promised paradise, the Watchtower introduces something called a “spiritual paradise;” a here and now state of being where if you insulate yourself from the outside world as much as possible, you can escape the troubles and stresses of the world. All this violence, selfishness, disease, promiscuity and other things associated with the outside world will remain just that, outside. Consider the spiritual paradise to be a placebo making you think you are not a part of the world. The reason for all the endorphins is to make you cognitive-proof. The more colorful the pictures of their literature, the more insular your mindset, and the less you will be able to open your eyes to the world outside you.
The Watchtower doesn’t want an informed and inquisitive following anymore than much of the nation’s big city police departments want gang-peace or a drug-free black community. Therefore it has been necessary from their standpoint to have their followers serve them under threat of “disfellowshipping” The Watchtower long ago devised the mildest “or else” to convince their followers to continue on performing their high-volume/low-activity work. They don’t tell you about disfellowshipping when they are first knocking on your door waking you up in the morning, oh no, Jehovah knows they get enough doors slammed in their faces already. Talk about their shunning policy doesn’t begin until the sucker… errr follower is deep into their “Bible Study” and are close to having expressed their long desire to get baptized. Some believe it never gets mentioned at all, there is no exposure to it until they hear a letter being read at a Kingdom Hall meeting. By that stage they have long been exposed to their congregation and by then is a virtual member and lucky recipient of all that sugary “love-bombing.” And even then they aren’t aware of the real history of “disfellowship,” nor will they be likely allowed or encouraged to look it up themselves. While they are on record in the early 20th Century to have been condemnatory of faiths that practice shunning, after 1948 they quickly found this could prove to be a major tool in the maintaining of control within the ranks. Actually disfellowshipping started in 1952 but Charles Taze Russell wrote about his desire for Christian churches in general to practice shunning as early as 1893. “It means that we are to make a clean-cut division between ourselves and all the unclean, the impure in heart, as manifested by their disloyalty to the truth, and thereby to God… There is to be no trifling or half-way obedience in this matter: for we are not only to be separate in spirit from the enemies of the Lord, but we are not to touch the unclean. As the Apostle elsewhere says we are to avoid them-to have no part or lot with them.” – Watchtower 1893 Oct 15 p.1588.
I use the year 1948 because this is really when Apartheid officially began in South Africa, and I feel that although Russell and his successor Joseph F. Rutherford were pretty much of the same mindset against any official shunning in their organization, Nathan H. Knorr the 3rd Watchtower President (as of 1942), was all for it. As with Apartheid, Watchtower proponents had a great need to feel better than others. Knorr introduced time consuming activities for the followers, this is where “schools” became implemented into the various Kingdom Hall congregations and headquarters. Particularly the Ministry School which stressed bible research and public speaking, and Gilead which trained and assigned “missionaries” to be posted at various points around the world. He also introduced divisive policies that put his members at risk such as no blood transfusions, he was not a doctor. To facilitate this form of shunning he would initiate a shift in the organizational structure from each congregation having one “Overseer” to the arrangement of the “Body of Elders.” We now move to the subject of the threat that runs concurrently with the feelgood tactics; disfellowshipping. The Watchtower literally can get away with explaining their obsession with this practice by openly claiming it a “loving” arrangement. Why not? No need to discontinue such a harmful policy to an undemanding following.
Their own website jw.org goes into detail of how they expect their members in the congregation to treat the target in question:
How should we treat a disfellowshipped person? The Bible says: “Stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.” (1 Corinthians 5:11) Regarding everyone who “does not remain in the teaching of the Christ,” we read: “Do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.” (2 John 9-11) We do not have spiritual or social fellowship with disfellowshipped ones. The Watchtower of September 15, 1981, page 25, stated: “A simple ‘Hello’ to someone can be the first step that develops into a conversation and maybe even a friendship. Would we want to take that first step with a disfellowshiped person?”
(“Hello Hello, I don’t know why you say goodbye I say Hello…”- The Beatles)
Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes, for several reasons. First, it is a matter of loyalty to God and his Word. We obey Jehovah not only when it is convenient but also when doing so presents real challenges.
Free micromanagement now, you pay later. The psychological effects of this backwards edict are varied depending on the strength, self-esteem and mental-toughness of the victim. The friends you made in that cult stop speaking to you, even close relatives and family members are discouraged from speaking and of course associating with you. This has led to anxiety, and health problems among those victimized by having their name mentioned (the final stage of their invasion of your privacy btw) from a platform usually near the end of a meeting. Even suicide. It’s almost an endorphin in itself in terms of hearing a letter of dismissal being read from the stage, while concurrently being happy or relieved it wasn’t you. Under such conditions who has time to understand the bottom line; real estate acquisition, increased printing presses and literature, and the one thing Knorr was known best for; international assemblies? Barbara Anderson is a former Watchtower researcher and writer (yes evidently they had women on their writing staff or “faithful and discreet slave” section as they are known in JW literature) under Writing Department Overseer Karl Adams, and wife of a longtime Bethel worker. It was her research which exposed thousands of cases of unreported child-molestation within congregations worldwide. She says Knorr was a known “prude” and his limited outlook and inexperience on sex was the catalyst that drove him to create the Watchtower Society’s form of excommunication:
I do know that in the early 50s, Knorr put into operation the disfellowshipping arrangement in a way that was not known previously. It was because of a sexual scandal that involved Bethelites. There is a Kingdom Hall, the Brooklyn Heights Congregation, in the 107 Columbia Heights building, which building houses hundreds of Bethelites. Neighborhood Jehovah’s Witnesses attend meetings at the Brooklyn Heights Congregation as well as many Bethelites. In and around 1953 or ’54 (and I’ve forgotten the exact date, which my husband knows, but he’s not home for me to ask), a number of young Bethelites who were assigned to the Brooklyn Heights Congregation were engaged in wife-swapping with couples who were not Bethelites, but who lived in the area. When the fat hit the fan, so to speak, Knorr was furious. That’s when he used DISFELLOWSHIPPING and cleaned house. When I was in the Writing Department, I read the article in the Watchtower which introduced the disfellowshipping tenet to the members. It’s quite an article to read, but what’s not in the article are the details of the scandal that caused the article to be written in the first place. I remember there is an unspecific statement about immorality occurring amongst JWs and that’s why, the Watchtower said, there was a need for disfellowshipping…
Privately, I had observed that the domestic recommendations given by some of these men reflected a 1950s mentality, the same mentality they had when they came to Bethel in the 50s when they were still boys.
What Sister Anderson is saying in short is Watchtower headquarters is populated with men bordering on two extremes, those stuck in the “Leave it to Beaver” era, and ride-or-die perverts. The very organization itself was started and maintained by a few white men armed with a sense of entitlement that far outweighs their bible and other books. This is part of the main reason they’ve had so much success in finding, indoctrinating and keeping blacks. A huge segment of African Americans in particular are already known to be high on emotion and low on research when it comes to following a bevy of black and white huckster preachers, and in other areas of life such as politics. Just look at the number of blacks about to vote Donald Trump for President.
This photo can be pretty much considered the final bookend to the Watchtower’s bunker-mentality that they pitch very hard. They are taught to expect a “great tribulation” where they will be forced literally underground, so they will be expected to meet in small groups and await further instruction from the Watchtower Society-cs
The Watchtower control-switch isn’t something they just conjured up and expect to work on millions at any given moment, this is a mental conditioning program they implemented decades ago and one of the key ways of control was to instill a bunker-mentality within their followers. This us-vs-them is a strong power of suggestion technique that has/does wield control over them decades past all their failed Armageddon dates, as it was made to do. The reason I mention black Jehovah’s Witnesses in particular is our apparent predisposition to superstition whether we know it or not. This is what many of the Watchtower interpretations of bible stories and requirements are based on; internal insular superstitions. Of course you can point to articles written in Watchtower literature warning against superstitions, but are are the bases of their prohibitions against celebrating holidays such as birthdays, premarital and marital sex, higher education, etc? These restrictions most likely tap into the same part of your brain where followers formerly believed faith-healers etc.
Since the Middle Ages religion was created to highlight holy book figures as cure-alls in their belief or worship in a higher power. Phrases like “Unless you accept the word of… you won’t have salvation,” “Unless you believe in… as your Lord and savior, then you are an evil doer,” “By accepting…” or “by calling on the name of…” You’ll notice those names are pushed like real persons granted a personality even though none of you have met or had a conversation with the person behind this name your calling on. When you accept so-and-so’s name, you may be overcome by a feeling of goodness, euphoria, joy. The very name was/is never considered a placebo, but that’s exactly what it is. It may not be a real joy you feel when it comes to you having a “relationship” with your God Jehovah, just a feeling of wide acceptance or Camaraderie from your fellow worshipers or peers. You were just given a pill of sugar and water, a placebo, a false drug. Then your endorphins take over. As a matter of fact some of you probably feel real jumpy just reading this. lol.
A few known but under-reported placebos, Jesus, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Elohim. It’s no mystery that blacks often display a different view of worship than whites even when they belong to the same church and sit next to each other on Sunday. Blacks look hard upon the church as their last hope, while many whites view that same church as a supplement to their already blessed life, a cherry on top of the two-layered privilege cake.
Don’t get me wrong. In a religion as demanding as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, even whites can be made to feel like outcasts as thousands have. Perhaps something as devastating as crossing the Watchtower’s moral line, when that happens they can suffer the same feeling of powerlessness from a powerful entity known for having it’s own way that blacks are used to suffering from many secular agencies on the outside world. Blacks following the Watchtower have done something en-mass that is quite unique from other races; they have voluntarily compounded their own world alienation by joining the Witnesses, thereby accepting their shunning practices. All one has to do is watch the news today to see all the various stories of blacks killing each other throughout the US, evidently part of the cause is we aren’t speaking to each other enough.
In spite of high miscommunication among blacks and other groups the Watchtower is still not happy about this, over the years they been pushing to officially expanding disfellowshipping by requiring close and blood family members to shun the ousted member. A lecture at one of this summer’s conventions has the speaker actually paying sort of a sick homage to the family members who avoid associating with a shunned family member as bravely and selflessly undergoing, a “trial,” a “test of loyalty,” a “protection.” Get this, a young person shunning their own mother is held up as a good example, those who view disfellowshipping as “extreme” are considered as being apart of “Satan’s world.” To support this a scripture is read, followed by a carefully-framed video skit of a family undergoing a similar situation with accompanying music etc. It is some of the slickest methods of maintaining control by making a petty organization run by several prudish old boys stuck in the 1950’s, no organization is worth putting those you love through such needless stress over what is mostly everyday situations, nor is there a God-Jesus or otherwise-that supports these types of anti-social fundamentalism. Yes the world has lots of trouble and evil, you want to improve things, then get out and be the leader you been trained to wait for and avoid victimizing loved ones with stupid, insipid practices born of your or others gullibility. Be aware of your endorphins and the methods of how strict religions can manipulate you into unnatural thinking by appealing to your likes or needs, and put down that placebo.
Chris Stevenson is author of “The MAO Syndrome: A Timeline of Newspaper columns Tracking Hate, Fear, Loathing, Obstinacy, and Stubbornness of many on the right & some on the left who are simply Mad At Obama.” He is also a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to the Hampton Institute, his own blog www.thebuffalobullet.com, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice for clbTV & Follow his Blogtalkradio interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him by email; email@example.com