Winston Churchill once warned, “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” How true these words are when we analyse the motivating factor behind many religious and political movements. This is especially so when we apply this to the cults of our day.
It is one of the most common threads that weave cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and the Moonies together.
These cults fear change, loss of influence and modernization. They fear the influence of mass media and its ability to subvert the young with song, dance, fashion, alcohol, drugs, sex and freedom. Education is especially feared if it undermines the teachings of their religion. They fear a future they can’t control, or even comprehend.
Jehovah’s Witnesses fit this notion outright. Their doctrines are based on fear and it is a tactic they have used for decades to recruit new members and to keep the rank and file in check. One only has to look at their publications and literature wherein depictions of destruction and violence are rife. Their book of bible stories, a publication that is supposedly targeted to teach children about the bible, is notorious for its imagery of violence and brutality. No wonder there are reports of Witness children having nightmares when reading this book (And here I speak from personal experience). If their intention was to instil fear in the minds of their little ones then they have certainly succeeded.
Their blood doctrine is certainly the one that is rooted in fear. By now we all know that many lives have been lost due to their refusal to accept blood transfusions. This refusal to have a blood transfusion administered to them is supposedly in obedience to their god who wants them to die and leave family members and young children behind. Once again fear stands out. Fear of disobeying their god and losing their so-called hope of a resurrection into a paradise earth. And here I emphasise the word “hope” because you are not really guaranteed a resurrection according to the Witnesses.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also fear the “end of days”. The word Armageddon sends shivers down their spine. It is the one day they fear the most. They obey their savage and bloodthirsty god for fear of not being spared at Armageddon. Once again this is instilled in them with imagery in their publications.
The leadership is also to be feared. Every utterance that comes forth from the leaders is supposed to be seen as the undeniable “Truth”. And don’t you dare question the leaders! If you do, you are threatened with expulsion and excommunication. The fear of being expelled and losing ones family is what keeps the members from ultimately leaving. This characteristic of fear certainly is another identifying mark of cults and fundamentalist high control groups.
In a nutshell, Jehovah’s Witnesses and their fundamentalist principals characterised by intolerance and rigid adherence to those principles is a cult rooted in fear.