Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
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17-02-2014, 06:13 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(17-02-2014 06:08 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  also, if your parents never difforced and you would've stayed a JW, do you think that you would have left it just like you left "the way" at a later point?

I think so. Hard to tell. JW's are nothing if not determined, and they are very skilled at manipulating conversations so that the outcome is predetermined. I would like to think I would have had the independence of thought to sabotage their efforts to control every conversation/debate, but I can't say that I would have.

Where JW's would have lost me, I think, is with their false prophecies. They used to preach that the generation that saw the events of 1914 come to pass would not die off before Armaggedon. It's now 100 years later. Even Rose from the Titanic is dead. Game over. I would like to think I would have recognized that falsehood and walked away, even at the risk of alienating my parents.
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17-02-2014, 06:18 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(17-02-2014 06:08 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  And using the 4 points doc used to describe a cult,wich is more "cultish" ? JW or the way? Why?

Quote:1. A charismatic leader or leaders to which the group pays allegiance
2. A special interpretation or translation of an existing scripture which the group holds sacred
3. Denial by the group of one or more major tenets of the religion from which they split.
4. Recent foundation of the "cult" as opposed to the ancient origin of the parent "religion".

On point 1: Advantage, The Way. We knew who the president of the organization was and we committed ourselves to him as the man of God for our time. This backfired in the 1980s and 90s, when the president was such an a-hole that the cult shattered into a thousand pieces. It still exists, but it's a shadow of its former self.

Point 2: Advantage, JW's. I mean, they have their own Bible. We used the King James in The Way, but we wrote all over it to correct its many errors, mistranslations and interpolations.

Point 3: It's a tie.

Point 4: Again, a tie, give or take about 60-80 years. JW's are just a little older.

I would say JW's are more cult-like in the control exerted over the individual believer while The Way is more cult-like in its devotion to an individual as a special teacher from God.

I am overgeneralizing on The Way, however, because it was a dynamic group with a bit of a split personality. It's hard to control people while preaching grace.
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17-02-2014, 06:29 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
I'm curious how you were very first exposed to the Way.

You learned the JW stuff because your parents exposed you to it, but how did you find The Way?


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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17-02-2014, 08:52 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
The Way is basically a huge multilevel marketing operation, except the members see no financial benefit from recruiting new converts. I mentioned the classes earlier, but I didn't mention the cost. The foundational class was $40 when I took it. The intermediate was $50. The advanced class was, I think, $200. I don't remember: I never took it.

Anyway, the entire ministry was geared toward recruiting new students for the foundational class. A friend of mine recruited me. The Way presented, for me, exactly the right mix of Christian devotion and intellectual respectability (or so I thought). The class format was ideal for me, because I always felt I was learning, not just attending "church."

Something I neglected to mention: The Way did not run meetings out of churches. We met in people's homes, just like the early church. So everything felt really personal. We were a family. And that worked both ways: a church should be a family. And it made it a lot easier to monitor and control people. It was a system that could all too easily be abused, and it often was. Fortunately, I can say I did not experience such intrusion and abuse firsthand.
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17-02-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(17-02-2014 05:02 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Ok, thank you for clarifying.

Here's the best article connecting free vocalization to speaking in tongues. Any follower of The Way who doesn't see the connection between how we were taught to speak in tongues and how someone can be taught to fake it is lying. Sorry to be blunt.

Here's a link to an acting site that employs a gibberish exercise. It's the exact same damn thing. You speak syllables, but they do not form words you recognize. It's easy as heck. Any one of you can do it, provided you are sincere in trying to fool someone into thinking it's an actual language and you can get over the initial embarrassment of engaging in the activity. Get a room full of people praying to manifest the holy spirit, and inhibitions pretty much fly out the window. "No one gets missed." Everyone manages to speak in tongues.

Yeah any acting class'll cover it. It's a great study in timing and pacing and interplay and tone and mood and all that without worrying about real words. Naturalistic cadence is pretty ingrained in your brain; it's surprisingly easy to spew out the forms without bothering to fill in the content.

Not to mention it makes for one very classic improv game!

As seen in: every Foreign Movie Dub segment from Whose Line Is It Anyway?









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17-02-2014, 11:14 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(17-02-2014 02:30 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  I was reading Atheist Universe by David Mills today and really enjoyed his first chapter, in which he answers the kid of typical questions he's been asked. I guess this falls under the "Ask me anything" genre of threads on this board, but I figured I'd subject myself to it, you know, for fun.

So go ahead. I intend for this to be about faith and the lack thereof, although if you want to ask me about other subjects, feel free.

Height, weight, age, sex, and sexual orientation. ...critically important before asking more questions. Tongue

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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17-02-2014, 11:49 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
Male, 5-10, 215 lbs, straight, married.
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18-02-2014, 12:17 AM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(17-02-2014 11:49 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Male, 5-10, 215 lbs, straight, married.

...in that case I won't ask you your sign. But, I will ask this instead, do you feel like the online atheist community has kind of replaced the role of your former churches?

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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18-02-2014, 02:12 AM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
Thank you for the thread. It is fascinating for me to read the personal accounts of other Atheists. I am especially interested in your story.

My fascination comes from my own upbringing. I was raised a Mormon in an extended family of Mormons. My own deconversion took a turn for the best when I discovered the Jehovah's Witnesses. The similarities between the indoctrination techniques, and the methods of control, were too obvious to ignore.

I have a few questions for you.

1. Are you familiar with the Mormons and were you as believer? If you were, did you notice the similarities?

2. What is the purpose behind the forbidding of holiday and birthday celebrations? What is the Jehovah's Witnesses' official reason, and what is your own private opinion?

3. Were you psychologically or emotionally abused as a child by means of religion?

4. What led you to become an Atheist, rather than remaining a member of your second cult?

That is likely more than enough to be getting on with.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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18-02-2014, 12:00 PM
RE: Interview with TwoCultSurvivor
(18-02-2014 12:17 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(17-02-2014 11:49 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Male, 5-10, 215 lbs, straight, married.

...Do you feel like the online atheist community has kind of replaced the role of your former churches?

Not really. I'm pretty active on Facebook and was active for a long time on an online forum for former members of The Way (please don't out me). I still go to a Catholic church with my wife (she's not entirely aware of my deconversion, but she suspects, and we both agree that Genesis is nonsense). This forum gives me an outlet to think through some things, but it hasn't really replaced anything. It is, however, the only place where I am completely open about my atheism (not inclusing Atheist Nexus, which I rarely visit).
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