Thread: Religion Do you think Heaven exists?
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:40 PM   #176
Brock Brock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Loopner View Post
Not quite. Without trying to create further controversy Jehovah's Witnesses are generally categorized as a cult not a religion.

There are several books by well respected authors
Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America by J. Gordon Melton

The Four Major Cults by Anthony A. Hoekema

While no one group may embody all of the characteristics, Marcia Rudin's 14 Common Characteristics of a Cult are widely accepted.
1. Members swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader who they believe to be the Messiah.
2. Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
3. The cult's recruitment techniques are often deceptive.
4. The cult weakens the follower psychologically by making him or her depend upon the group to solve his or her problems.
5. The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage.
6. The cult leader makes all the career and life decision of the members.
7. Cults exist only for their own material survival and make false promises to work to improve society.
8. Cult members often work fulltime for the group for little or no pay.
9. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.
10. Cults are anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-family.
11. Cults are apocalyptic and believe themselves to be the remnant who will survive the soon-approaching end of the world.
12. Many cults follow an "ends justify the means" philosophy.
13. Cults, particularly in regard to their finances, are shrouded in secrecy.
14. There is frequently an aura of or potential for violence around cults.
You can apply many of those to any religion, especially the big ones.
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