The Man Who Memorized the Bible—and Still Wanted to Become a Jesuit.
Could Disfellowshipping be Likened to Time in the Penalty Box?

‘Controlling’ People—the Very Notions of Society and Morality Can be Spun in Terms of ‘Controlling’ People

The modern-day anti-cult obsession is that religious teachings are used (and even designed) to “control” people. They see it where they want to see it and overlook it where they don’t.

What of the Pink Floyd song, the one with the chorus of children? “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.” Whose plaintive cry is it it? Helpless cult victims? Maybe. I wasn’t thrilled to be made to go to school every day. It is the school systems of the world, put in place by the governments of the world! But it too, uses, ‘thought control.’ It is the boss cult which thereafter exempts itself while pointing a finger at everyone else.

I made a quip in Go Where Tom Goes that today’s anticultists would go bonkers at the seating system of early Charleston churches. There, you purchased your pew. Thereafter, you always sat there. Today’s anticultists (and only they) would spin that as ‘manipulating’ people to attend church since if you weren’t there in your pew everyone would know it. Peer pressure would do its dastardly work. There was zero chance you were sitting anywhere else. 

Instead, I liked Bro Sanderson’s talk that if you’re going to talk manipulation, do it with something that counts. He cited the Nuremburg trials, and how fear of death ‘manipulated’ people to do the most despicable things, a fear from which they would have been released had they known and exercised faith in Christ. The very notions of both society and morality can be portrayed in terms of ‘controlling’ people. If you’re going to play that game, do it with something that counts, such as fear of death that will manipulate you into being a mass murderer. 

On those endless trips in the family car, restless kids in the back, my dad would sometimes yell, ‘If you kids don’t stop crying back there, I’m going to pull this car over and give you something to cry about!’ I thought he was just being mean. I did not then realize he was proffering the wisdom of the ages, for sometimes that is exactly what must be done.

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'



Did you forget your own recent admission regarding “control”?
How your terror of shunning was such that you couldn’t even address perfectly legitimate issues raised, e.g.: “Cult !”, “Tony bought some alcohol !”, etc ?

Tom replies: Did not forget. It is not that Witnesses do not have some aspects of ‘control.’ It is that everyone else does, too. The Bible itself (Rom 12:2) says “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Which one is ‘control’—the pressure to ‘conform’ or the counsel to ‘transform?’ Is it not both?
The definition of cult has changed over the years. Some groups who were once on one side of the word are now on the other. We really don’t care what side of it we are on so long as the Bible is on the same side. And we believe it is.]

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