Who Molds Your Thinking?
|Many opponents of the Watchtower Society have
vigorously attacked the Organization for using mind control techniques
to influence its members. The Society, aware of the criticism,
rhetorically asked the following questions in the article, "Are
Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?":
Multitudes around the world are well acquainted with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of the millions of non-Witnesses who are studying the Bible with the Witnesses or who have studied with them at one time or another, we ask, Were there any attempts to brainwash you? Did the Witnesses employ mind-control techniques on you? “No” would doubtless be your frank response. Obviously, if these methods had been used, there would be an overwhelming number of victims in contradiction to any argument in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower, February 15, 1994, p.6
However, can the Society escape this stigma simply by the stroke of a pen? Certainly the Watchtower would like to have its readers believe it is open, honest and lenient enough that both its potential and current members have freedom to exercise independent thinking. But, is this true? Does the Watchtower give its members opportunity to think and act as healthy individuals? The following quotes from the Society's article, "Who Molds Your Thinking?":
The fact is that how you think, and hence how you act, is always influenced in some way by the feelings and views of those to whom you listen......can you really be sure that someone is not, in fact, molding your thinking, without your even being aware of it? The Watchtower, April 1, 1999, p.20
Let's apply this statement to the Watchtower Society and see what its influence is upon its members. It seems that all Jehovah's Witnesses are made out of the same mold. They must all dress alike. All the men, teenagers and small boys must wear a suit and tie. All the women wear long dresses. All the men carry the same type of briefcase and the women the same type of handbag. Inside them is the same Bible translation. All the Witnesses walk very slowly and at the same pace. Even talks in the Kingdom Halls are all of a certain length and must cover certain predetermined statements and material. All Jehovah's Witnesses must believe the same thing and the Watchtower boasts that in every Kingdom Hall around the world the same material is being read and studied. The same questions are asked and the same answers are given. It doesn't matter how major or minor the question is, the answer has to be the same in every country of the world. If this is not making everyone into one mold, what is?
An Open Mind
The article goes on to say, "Of course, to 'know what is going on,' you must keep your mind open and receptive to good influences. A healthy mind, just as a healthy body, needs to be well nourished if it is going to function properly. (Proverbs 5:1, 2) Lack of information can be just as lethal as misinformation. So while it is true that you need to protect your mind from misleading ideas and philosophies, try not to develop a jaundiced and cynical view of all advice or information offered to you".
But the minds of Jehovah's Witnesses are not open. While passing out large amounts of Watchtower literature, a Jehovah's Witness refuses to receive even a little 4 page tract from someone. He is warned not to read anything that is written by former members or that is critical of the Organization. In fact, many Jehovah's Witnesses will not even read old Watchtower literature that reveals the many changes to and misinterpretations of scripture over the years. How can the Watchtower Society say that a person needs to keep an open mind to remain spiritually healthy and then forbid its followers to read anything but approved Watchtower literature? Isn't this mind control?
The article continues with, "You must be willing to fill your mind with the truth contained in 'the holy writings,' God’s inspired Word, the Bible". But the Watchtower does not provide an outlet for its followers to read the Bible independent of Watchtower publications. Yes, the Society may give lip service and say that everyone should be reading their Bible, but how many Witnesses have time to read their Bible apart from the required weekly readings from the Organization? This is because the Society knows that if Witnesses started to read the Bible apart from Watchtower publications, its followers would soon realize that they are believing the private interpretation of the Watchtower Society and not what the Bible actually teaches. The Society must get rid of all independent thinking at all costs.
Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses' thinking is molded by the Watchtower Society. Anyone who dares to break out of this mold and think for himself usually doesn't remain a Witness very long.
There are countless Witnesses who have taken the bold and frightening step of thinking for themselves. Most who have done this have eventually separated themselves from the Watchtower's gripping control. Many of them have learned that being a Christian does not mean following the imposed rules and regulations of a man-made religion. They have surprisingly found that Christianity simply means having a loving and personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. By putting your faith in Jesus and His finished work on Calvary, you can also enjoy a new relationship with God. In addition, God will seal you with His Holy Spirit and guarantee you everlasting life (Ephesians 1:13,14). You will experience a freedom in Christ that you never had as a Witness.
"Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Written by Wilbur Lingle
Edited and expanded by Tower To Truth