Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?

Jehovah’s Witnesses Love You, But Are Also Impatiently Waiting For You To Die

Charlie-Hebdo-office-attack-vigilOn January 7, 2015, a group of Islamic militants stormed the offices of a comedic Paris newspaper and opened fire, killing 12 staffers before fleeing. They did this to avenge cartoons the paper had printed of their prophet Mohammed, believing the cartoonists had been disrespectful of their religion.

On that same day, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses sat inside their homes and Kingdom Halls and prayed for their God’s “new system” to come. Lest you think these two incidents have nothing in common, note that the Islamic extremists killed 12 people. That “new system” for which Jehovah’s Witnesses pray will kill over 7 billion.

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Armageddon, According to Jehovah’s Witnesses

For non-JWs, let me explain some basics about their beliefs. When Jesus told his followers to pray “let thy kingdom come,” Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “kingdom” to be a government that will be ruled over by Jesus and which will replace all human governments on earth. Jesus will have 144,000 “co-rulers” in heaven, and all other persons deemed worthy of eternal life will live on a paradise earth, being governed by that kingdom. They will have the earth to themselves after Armageddon, which Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is a war between god and Satan. This war will destroy Satan, as well as any people on the earth who don’t worship Jehovah. This means, according to their beliefs, anyone who is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The people that JWs think will be destroyed include those in other Christian religions, those in non-Christian religions, atheists and agnostics, elderly persons, handicapped persons, and everyday nice people who just happen to not be Jehovah’s Witnesses. You could be a saint feeding poor orphans in Africa and it wouldn’t matter; if you’re not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you will die at Armageddon, or so they believe.

Not only do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that everyone on earth who is not a JW will die at Armageddon, they also believe that this Armageddon will mean fiery, horrific deaths for them, as is often depicted in their literature. Even children are shown being killed in this terrible fashion.

Make no mistake; Jehovah’s Witnesses are not violent and will not do any of this killing themselves. They don’t allow their members to fight in wars or have jobs where they may need to carry a gun; they’re not even allowed to take up martial arts or boxing as a profession. However, they’ll be more than happy to sit back and watch their god do this killing of anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with their beliefs or worship how they think god should be worshiped.

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While the actions of these two religious groups may be worlds apart, how is the mindset or attitude any different? Both groups think that perfectly innocent people who may be quite nice and even very loving, productive members of society deserve to die, simply because they don’t worship their god or believe the way they believe.

Religious Death Threats and Bullying

Being okay with the death of another person who doesn’t believe the way you do is the worst form of religious intolerance, but Jehovah’s Witnesses use this thinking to employ what I call religious bullying, or mental and emotional blackmail. This bullying belies their claim of being a religion based on love and one that builds strong family bonds.

Consider what I mean by this. If someone who decides to be baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses later leaves the religion, it’s assumed that they will eventually die at Armageddon, regardless of their reasons for leaving.

Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are openly taught this belief, that their god will eventually kill them if they don’t become Jehovah’s Witnesses, or if they should leave the religion. How is this not emotional blackmail and bullying? JW parents don’t threaten to actually physically kill their children, but do threaten to cut them off from their entire families and everyone they know through harsh shunning, and tell them that their god will kill them eventually unless they worship as the parents demand.

flood-bible-stories-book-ch10Lest you think I’m exaggerating, those images posted above are featured in literature which is used and studied with children, and this illustration on the left is taken from “My Book of Bible Stories,” which is a storybook meant specifically for children. Note that it’s not just animals and adults being destroyed by god in this terrible flood, but a mother is holding her very young baby in her arms as they wait for the flood waters to rise.

The message is unmistakable. “If you don’t do what we say and worship how we say, god will kill you, even if you’re a baby.” Jehovah’s Witnesses use this threat of ultimate death to keep children thinking and feeling the way they demand, and to keep them in the religion despite any doubts or disagreements they may have. They’re so hellbent on believing that all non-JWs will die at Armageddon that they readily include their own children in that thinking and gladly teach them that belief from an early age, raising them with a virtual death threat looming over their heads.

No, That’s Not Love

Jehovah’s Witnesses might counter this argument by saying that god is the one who talks about Armageddon and the deaths of everyone who is wicked, and that they “love” their neighbors so much they go out and warn them of their impending doom with their preaching work. My response is that Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret the bible and those predictions about Armageddon to include anyone who is not a JW; that’s not what the bible itself says. The bible talks about the destruction of the wicked, not the destruction of those who realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses have a long history of failed predictions, those who realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly apply the law of Moses to rape victims by threatening them with disfellowshipping if they don’t scream during their attack, those who have left the religion after having been molested as a child or after learning of so many cases of unchecked molestation in the congregations, women who have left their violent and abusive JW husbands, and so on.

It’s not loving to assume that anyone who disagrees with you or who sees your own failings as a religion is wicked, or to assume that someone who leaves your religion for all these very legitimate reasons deserves to die. It’s not loving to depict anyone’s death in such a graphically violent and horrific manner. It’s not loving to threaten your children with those images either.

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Okay, so in my spare time I make irreverent and satirical memes too.

I’m a Writer, So Kill Me Too

The attacks on the newspaper in Paris were done because of cartoons that poked fun at a prophet. Well, I’m a writer who does a lot more than poke fun. I call out Jehovah’s Witnesses on their horrific policies and practices that make their religion a breeding ground for pedophiles and wife beaters, their hypocrisies and double standards when it comes to victims of child rape versus adult women who have been raped, their abusive and unloving attitudes toward women and children especially, their gross misapplication of scripture that feeds their love of power, and a host of other serious topics.

According to the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I deserve to die a horrible and tragic, probably fiery death at the hands of their god because of that. Every time they pray for that “new system” to come, they are praying for their god to execute me.

The thought of 12 cartoonists being killed for their irreverent, satirical humor is probably shocking enough for you, but the next time Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, remember that they, in effect, are waiting for the same thing to happen to you, to me, and possibly even to their own children and other family members. Why? Because we believe differently than they do. Period. That makes you a victim of their unique form of extremist thinking, whether you realize it or not.

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9 replies »

  1. The thing is that, JWs are excited for armageddon to happen because they look forward to paradise (after the fight.) It’s like a child excited to supper so they can have their dessert.
    They are not excited (at least some of them and I would dare to say most of them) about anyone dying.
    Thirdly, some (if not all) believe that at the resurrection all people will be resurrected. Here is the scriptural grounds for this belief: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15)
    Many believe that at this time (after the so-called “death of the whole world” or armageddon we will all have a chance to choose whether we then want to learn about Jehovah’s peaceful ways.

  2. Everything you say this in this article is correct. However, I disagree that you should judge all Jehovah’s Witnesses who show up at your door with unkindness.
    I was raised in a JW household. From 5 yrs of age to 14 I preached from door to door. I was young and impressionable and yet I was met with so much insult and unkindness everyday while preaching that I still suffer with self-esteem problems and self-hatred. The organization is to blame for disillisioning so many people from birth. Please do not be rude and unkind to JW’s when they knock on your door. Simply say you aren’t interested.

    • No, I would never endorse engaging children in any way, other than perhaps a remark to an older child or teen that they might remember such as, “You are doing your homework about your religion, right?” and then letting it go at that. I agree, children of JWs are just doing what’s expected or demanded of them and can’t possibly even defend their own beliefs even if you did try to converse with them, so they would be the exception to any confrontation or conversation of course.

  3. Fantastic piece, 100% accurate and an apt comparison as they also believe in ‘theocratic war’ ie that it is acceptable to lie and decieve in the name of the watch tower society (note the society not God)for instance paedophile cover ups insisting its better that individual kids suffer continued rape than the Jehovahs society gets poor press. Further examples of theocratic warfare include lies to the Bulgarian government about the consequences of accepting blood transfusions in order that the Society be allowed to continue its activities there . The Bulgarians were concerned that the JW’s were being forced into not accepting medical treatment by the religon and that consequently their basic human rights to life were being denied. Of course they were right and going against JW orders results in disfellowship and shunning (loosing all family and condemned to a future death)but the society blatantly lied and denied there were any consequencies for a JW accepting blood.

  4. Way to go, Jehovah’s Witnesses! If it wasn’t for religious freedom in America, you would have been a faith that would assimilate other extremists religions, had the USA been at least far more intolerant of you. It would have saved a lot of problems in society as a whole.

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