All too many times individuals get fed up with the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society and they leave the organization. They may get into all kinds of trouble because they have finally gotten to the stage in life where they feel no one can tell them what to do. Instead of leaving and going to college to get an education or getting involved with civic organizations, they sink to an all time low, doing any and everything they believe they are big enough to do.
When the members in their congregation hear reports about these individuals they are either being sent off to jail, mixed up with drugs, unwanted pregnancies and are living life lower than a person that never professed a love for God.
The poster child becomes the example that the brothers at the Kingdom Hall parade in front of the congregation as an individual other youngsters will want to avoid following. It literally puts fear in the minds of those that hear the stories and they remain in the organization for many years not realizing that just because you leave the organization does not mean that you will get involved in bad behavior.
Many people have been told that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to ask questions. But, you know that is not true because there is a segment in the Watchtower titled Questions from Readers. This video goes into detail about how Jehovah’s Witnesses are treated after they ask the question but don’t want to accept the answer.
Jehovah’s Witness couple, Rashuna and Terrance wake up and learns the truth about the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. The husband finds out first and then slowly sends subtle hints to the wife but does nothing more than mention certain incidents like the Watchtower’s involvement with the United Nations or the Australian Royal Commission. The husband never pressures his wife, but waits long periods of time before pressing on to other issues. But, since the wife loves doing research, she simply goes to Google to do her own research based on the limited information her husband provides.
This couple is fun loving and very practical in their approach to surviving after leaving the organization. They use their wits from living a frugal life as Jehovah’s Witnesses to pursue higher education realizing that their pay off will come soon. They are teaching their young children to yearn for higher learning and even when one of their kids was not doing that well in school, since the parents left the organization and are talking about the benefits of learning, that child came home with a 3.5 grade point average.
Rashuna relates how they were faced with the blood issue and almost lost their daughter. If it were not for the quick thinking of the doctor, they would have lost their only daughter for a made up religious teaching. She and her husband Terrance went back to their doctors years later to thank him for his heroic effort to save their daughter by submitted a court order. She states that she cried profusely because she does not know what she would have done if she let her daughter die, all to find out years later that this is not the truth.
They are very excited to have learned the truth about the “truth” and are eager to share their story.
In this video, Spike Robinson delivers an exceptional presentation about Robert Jay Lifton’s Eight Criteria of Thought Reform.
Beginning in 1953, Lifton interviewed American servicemen who had been prisoners of war (POWs) during the Korean War as well as priests and students or teachers who had been held in prison in China after 1951. In addition to interviews with 25 Americans and Europeans, Lifton interviewed 15 Chinese who had fled after having been subjected to indoctrination in Chinese universities.
Lifton’s 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China, based on this research, was a study of coercive techniques used in the People’s Republic of China that he labelled “thought reform” or “brainwashing”, though he preferred the former term. The term “thought-terminating cliché” was popularized in this book. Lifton found that when the POWs returned to the United States their thinking soon returned to normal, contrary to the popular image of “brainwashing.” A 1989 reprint edition was published by University of North Carolina Press.
Lifton detailed eight criteria for thought control.
Not all of the criteria are held in the same balance.
These criteria are used in any high control situation (cults, abusive relationship, ideological reform, etc.)
Robert Jay Lifton’s Eight Criteria of Thought Reform
Milieu Control: we control what you experience and how you experience it
Loading the Language: using strong wording beyond literal the meaning to provoke an emotional response, segregate insiders and outsiders through jargon, soften the connotations of unpleasant topics
Mystical Manipulation: Exploiting natural, common phenomenon to provoke mystical, transcendent experiences that unsuspecting targets attribute to the thought reformers
Sacred Science: thought reformers teaching their own truths and discounting any evidence that goes against their teachings
Demand for Purity: Demanding a never-ending series of actions and prohibitions to qualify as worthy or pure
Confession: Telling a thought reformer how you fell short of perfection and purity; while giving them very personal, intimate information which can later be used to punish and manipulate
Doctrine Over Person: ([gaslighting/ facts don’t match the truth] being convinced that actual reality (as defined by the thought reformers) doesn’t actually match up with the reality you are experiencing
Dispensing of Existence: the teaching that the unbeliever is not worth as much as the believer; the “truth” is more than life