Monday, September 22, 2008

The Love Bomb

One way in which cults or high control groups seduce their prey is a tactic known as Love Bombing. Remember when you first started going to the Kingdom Hall and everybody was so glad to see you? They swarmed all over you in a sort of ,"cocoonment". All of a sudden you have, INSTANT FAMILY, INSTANT PURPOSE, INSTANT COMMUNITY, INSTANT FRIENDS. Can you imagine how this must feel to those who are disinfranchised from society, or those who have suffered a loss of some kind, those who are searching for answwers, those who are depressed? You now have friends and a family. You know longer have to look for answers as to the purpose of life because the high control group leaders will dispense all your spiritual needs. You feel so lucky that you found all of these wonderful good people!
Elders who have the Pay Attention book know that this act of Love Bombing is something that is greatly stressed for new ones. Pages are dedicated to greeting new ones and how to get the congregation to join in this practice. Smiling, greetings, shaking hands, playing with their kids, inviting new ones to sit with you, making sure they have a Bible, helping them to look up scriptures. All of this is planned enducement to get the people to keep coming back, to want to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
According to the book Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Thaler Singer the practice of love bombing is a common practice in groups who seek to control others.
She states: Most cults have specific plans for drawing in each recruit. As soon as any interest is shown by the recruits, they may be love bombed by the recruiter or other cult members. This process of feigning friendship and interest in the recruit was initially associated with one of the early youth cults, but soon it was taken up by a number of groups as part of their program for luring people in. Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members' flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual, touching, and lots of attention to their every remark. Love bombing---or the offer of instant companionship--- is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.
Remember the talks right before the Memorial that we should welcome any newcomers who come. That we should make that extra effort to be welcoming. Or the midweek talks reminding us to be extra friendly and welcoming to any new ones at the Sunday meetings. Especially when we had special talks or the Circuit Overseer came to visit.
Yes many, including myself, were seduced by the Love Bomb. However, what a difference it is when you fail to tow the line. The Love Bomb train is swiftly swept away!

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Love Bomb is the BEST !!!!!

Feels like your lonely in your efforts ..

Remember you cannot bring it down "If this is from him" not from men.

Is always going to be there "that is how it's setup"

Common Sense is needed...

kimmy jo said...

After the 'love bomb' cools down and you are settled in, you really begin to see how fake/superficial this initial 'love bomb' is. It is also very, very shallow, but I guess that is the same as superficial.

Anonymous said...

Once you're baptized, if you even THINK about a disagreement with theology, your brain begins to tell you that your friends are condtional. It's quite unsettling.

As soon as an elder reads off your name on that stage, you no longer exist.

Can you feel the JW love?

Anonymous said...

Kimmy Jo: After the 'love bomb' cools down and you are settled in, you really begin to see how fake/superficial this initial 'love bomb' is. It is also very, very shallow, but I guess that is the same as superficial.

Kimmy Jo, I have a parable for you:

A person moved into a new town and asked one of the residents, “What are the people in this town like?” The resident asked, “What were the people like in the town you just left?” The new person answered, “They were unfriendly and nasty.” And the town resident said, “I think you’ll find the people here are just about the same.”

Later, the same resident was approached by another new arrival, who asked the same question. Again, the resident asked, “What were the people like in the town you just left?” The answer was “The people were warm and friendly.” And the resident answered, “I think you’ll find the people here are just about the same.”

Anonymous said...

I've been a Jehovah's Witness for 20 years and I still feel I'm getting love bombed!!!! Yeah. if loving is a sin, then our congregation is just full of sinners!!!

Anonymous said...

According to the book Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Thaler Singer the practice of love bombing is a common practice in groups who seek to control others.

Was that the same Margaret Singer that jointly submitted a report on sects to the American Psychological Association only to have it rejected because "in general, the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur."?

According to a biography on one website, "Singer's decline started with the rejection of a report of a commission she had chaired by the American Psychological Association in 1987, and with the ruling in the Fishman case in 1990 excluding her testimony on brainwashing as not part of mainline science. Still lionized by the anti-cult movement and by some media, she was increasingly criticized even by "moderate" anti-cultists, and appeared increasingly irrelevant to the "new" cult wars of the late 1990s."

Source: http://www.cesnur.org/2003/singer.htm

kimmy jo said...

Sorry but your parable doesn't hold up here. The group of JW's 'love' is superficial and conditional and shallow. It is snobby, ass-kissing people who need to 'be seen' hob knobbing. It is especially true among those with both mates in the truth, those ones stick together, everyone else is suspect! Now I am not saying their are not sincere people within the group, I am saying the 'love' is fake and conditional, if you do not agree, well, so what, I don't much care. Their are as many people with my experience and observations as you with yours.

Anonymous said...

As soon as an elder reads off your name on that stage, you no longer exist.

Can you feel the JW love?


And what happened before the elder read your name out? You knew the requirements for joining the organization, you promised to keep them, you broke your promise, you were given the chance to put things right, you didn't take it.

Even then, the elders will visit you at regular intervals, in their free time and at their own expense, to give you the chance to come back.

Our love for people in that situation is unconditional, in the sense that we still wish them the best and hope that they return to Jehovah.

As for association with people like that, the counsel is clear ... not even eating with such a man, he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works. If you didn't agree with Jehovah's Witnesses' view of disfellowshipping then you should never have become one in the first place.

kimmy jo said...

anonymous,
you are very legalistic and have no expierence except lip service. You have lost your sensitivity and sensibility. You miss the whole basis of Jesus message, that is all things be done with love. That my friend is not practiced in that organization. More than anything it is like the pharisees.
I have found people of all kinds outside the 'truth' and true friendships too. At least the people outside are not hiding behind a funky fake smile, pretending to care and if they are it is not done in the name of God so they 'look' good in front of everyone...

tohsibor said...

Anonymous said...
"As for association with people like that, the counsel is clear ... not even eating with such a man, he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works."

What is clear is the organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses' current understanding on the matter. Disfellowshipping (Another word for Ex-communicating) is another one of the organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses example of changes without scriptural backing:

***
January 8, 1947 Awake article 'Are You Also Excommunicated?'

"The authority for excommunication, they claim, is based on the teachings of Christ and the apostles as found in the following scriptures: Matthew 18: 15-19; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 16:22; Galatians 1 :8,9; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 3:10. But the Hierarchy's excommunication as a punishment and "medicinal" remedy (Catholic Encyclopedia), finds no support in those scriptures. In fact, it is altogether foreign to Bible teachings. -Hebrews 10: 26-31

Where, then, did this practice originate? The Encyclopedia Britannica says that papal excommunication is not without pagan influence, "and its variations cannot be adequately explained unless account be taken of several non-Christian analogues of excommunication." The superstitious Greeks believed that when an excommunicated person dies the Devil entered the body, and therefore, "in order to prevent it, the relatives of the deceased cut his body in pieces and boil them in wine." Even the Druids had a method for expelling those who lost faith in their religious superstitions. It was therefore after Catholicism adopted its pagan practices, A.D. 325, that this new chapter in religious excommunication was written.

...The weapon of excommunication became the instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history.”
***

The above is an excellent example of the organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses pointing the finger (again) at other religions for doing something wrong, only to change their teachings years later and do the same thing to its members.

It's good to also note there is "no support in these scriptures" for disfellowshipping. "In fact, it is altogether foreign to Bible teachings."

However, the Faithful and Discrete Slave Class of Jehovah's Witnesses over time found a way to interpret those scriptures to fit their current and changing doctrines. It’s good to know they're keeping in line with pagan influence as well.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote: "you broke your promise"

That's nice. Here's the problem with that. When you join, you don't know all of the rules. Moreover, they keep changing the rules.

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

So you are saying it is wrong to be a bit 'extra-friendly' so someone who comes to a meeting the first time?
The kindest and most loving people I have known throughout my life- family, students, co-workers, and neighbours are all Witnesses.

Anonymous said...

Friendly people are great. No complaints about friendly people.

Google love-bombing. Read Steve Hassan's book, entitled Combatting Cult Mind Control. It never even mentions the JWs. It's about cults.

If you believe JWs are not a cult, you should have no problem with the book.

JoePublish said...

I agree with Kimmy Jo's expressions. Real love is NOT conditional.

steve said...

They point to love as an identifying mark of the truth. But that love would have to be out of the ordinary, outstanding, clearly above and beyond the love shown by other groups. IT ISNT.

I was a JW for 40 years. I had many friends and knew many good and kind people in the faith. There were also some nasty, arrogant types too. It was just like any other organization.

berty said...

I think all these discusions are useless, although I am in favor of those who say that JW are a cult and have destroyed the lives of millions.
The think is that those "in" who comment here are so brainwashed and they have blinders so they will only understand when and if they would be out for any reason some day.
For those who are "interested" there are two categories. Those who will "see" what is happening soon and will withdraw and those who would have to learn the "hard" way "with trial and error". And the "length" of the trial depends on the personality of the person in question.

Anonymous said...

Read Steve Hassan's book, entitled Combatting Cult Mind Control. It never even mentions the JWs. It's about cults.

If you believe JWs are not a cult, you should have no problem with the book.


Is that the Steve Hassan that charges $250 per hour or $2500 per day to help people get their relatives out of cults?

Is it the same one who participated in the forced "deprogramming" of Arthur Roselle, whose affidavit states that "I was tied up. Steve Hassan and Ellen Lloyd took shifts deprogramming me, so that I was not allowed to sleep?" (Source: http://www.cesnur.org/2001/CAN/33/01.htm)

In that case, I'm sure his book will have a lot of interesting things to read. I wouldn't trust most of it though.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

Hi Berty,

I think the discussions are useful. You never know when someone is going to read the blog, then months or years later remember something they read and that's when the light goes on.

That's how it was for me. I read info on so-called apostate sites for years before things finally started clicking.

I liked reading things and convincing myself JW's had the truth. Then there came the day when a few things clicked and I realized that the so-called apostates had been right all along. I couldn't see it at first because I was so blinded by my faith in the organization.

As the years went by, I had so many things that happened to me that eroded my faith in the organization. At the same time, those very same things were strengthening my faith in Jehovah because I had to rely on him to help me cope with the situation. He was so good at guiding me in the right direction, so I could find the help and assistance I needed.

So keep on posting, you never know where or when your comments are going to help a JW who is finally starting to see the light.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but your parable doesn't hold up here.

"Let him that hath ears, listen"

The group of JW's 'love' is superficial and conditional and shallow. It is snobby, ass-kissing people who need to 'be seen' hob knobbing.

Are you saying that that is the kind of love you showed when you were a Witness? It's certainly not the type of love I aspire to and I don't think most of the members of the congregation do either.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kimmy Jo's expressions. Real love is NOT conditional.

I am saying the 'love' is fake and conditional>

Well then, Jesus' love must be conditional as well. After all, he said:

If you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.

He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me.

kimmy jo said...

anonymous says,
"Are you saying that that is the kind of love you showed when you were a Witness? It's certainly not the type of love I aspire to and I don't think most of the members of the congregation do either."


I say,
No, I am saying that as an observation.


anonymous says,
"Well then, Jesus' love must be conditional as well. After all, he said:

If you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.

He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me."


I say,
This 'love bomb' love is not to be compared to the love Jesus talks about here. He was perfect, humans are not, even though they try imitate his love it is not the same. JW's are far to legalistic in their approach in coping this love and that is what makes it fake and conditional and shallow. Much like the Pharisee's.

Admin Staff said...

The reality,
People are people, some are lovable some not.

Jehovahs Witnesses agape love to members IS conditional. Adherence to Societal meeting attendance, ministry hours and standards is a pre requisite for acceptance, especially for males.

Hey .. test it out, make a statement against an "accepted" Society teaching, or start to miss ministry or meetings. Very soon you will be labeled as weak and or a bad associate. Watch the love in action begin then.

kimmy jo said...

The love there is very legalistic.

Like a smiling cat watching dinner.

Like Alice in Wonderland kinda stuff.

tohsibor said...

Anonymous said...
"Well then, Jesus' love must be conditional as well. After all, he said:
If you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.
He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me."

You are certainly entitled to interpret the above scriptures in such a manner. In fact, the Bible shows that all believers are free to interpret Scripture by the leading of God’s Spirit. READ John 16:13 and 1 John 2:27 and see for yourself.

Too bad the organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses decided that only 144,000 receive such insight, and even then they only print the opinions and interpretation of a select few which make up the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Anonymous said...

Read the Steve Hassan book before dismissing it. I've read your JW books.

According to JW standards, authors can make BIG MISTAKES, but that does not mean their literature has no value.

I believe you are correct about the forced deprogramming. Hassan also admits that he no longer advises such tactics. This is what Watchtower refers to as NEW LIGHT. He has adjusted his ways, proving he 'walks in the truth' or whatever you'd like to call it.

Again, the book doesn't mention JWs. It details exactly what a destructive cult is. It explains in detail, the difference between a harmless group and a group to avoid.

No current cult member believes he is in a cult.

J said...

Here is the point folks:

Yes, some love is conditional. Like the part where I show up in a foreign country and they just 'love' me because I am a dubb.

Not all love in the congo is conditional. Genuine relationships do exist in the congregation. The problem is that when someone leaves - their genuine friends that are still in are influenced into trying to make it conditional.

I still have friends that are in, they are genuine. They refuse to speak to me because they are told love is conditional. They are forced to be conditional via mind control.

If they ever 'wake up' and leave I am sure I will be on the top of the call list.

The best description would be their love is ‘held hostage’ by the cult.

Granted this only applies to long time, genuine friendships that were based on much for than just the ‘cult’. But in my case many of these friendships were developed at Bethel right at the heart of the Kool-Aid juice machine.

james said...

Exactly right J. I too have friends in the org who don't talk to me because they are not allowed to. Last week one of my friends from the congregation phoned me. I was shocked. Why were they ringing me? Because they had just left the organization and wanted to get back in touch. As soon as someone leaves, normal, human emotions come to the fore because they are no longer supressed by the cult mentality and obedience to the organization at all costs.

JoePublish said...

Dear Chocolatepuddingeyes,

I cannot believe the things you say - they express the EXACT same way that I "feel". So much so, I'm going to repeat it, but give you credit for the quote below. (I could have said the exact same thing.)

"That's how it was for me. I read info on so-called apostate sites for years before things finally started clicking.

I liked reading things and convincing myself JW's had the truth. Then there came the day when a few things clicked and I realized that the so-called apostates had been right all along. I couldn't see it at first because I was so blinded by my faith in the organization."

I wish I could converse with you. Do you have an alias e-mail? (I don't want you to use your real one beause I don't want you to put it on this web-blog. I don't think you would do that, but just feel safe in stating this.)

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

JoePublisher,

You can send me an email at chocolatepuddingeyes at gmail dot com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

kimmy jo said...

toshibor,
You brought good information to this blog regarding disfellowshipping. Thanks.


anonymous said,
"Let him that hath ears, listen"

I say this also applies to you, anonymous. You are implying I am not listening or hearing, but I HAVE listened and heard and found the Watchtowers teachings to be not from our Heavenly Father or the Christ.

So now I say to you..."DO NOT BE MISLED BY FALSE REASONING."

amyha101 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amyha101 said...

And we feel YOU are being brainwashed. So how about we agree to disagree.. No one is forcing anyone to be part of the organisation.. We are not surprised when people hate us..
John 15:17-19 says "These things I command you, that you love one one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you."
If being "no part of the world" is being in a cult.. does that mean Jesus was part of a cult?
We undoubtedly love one another and any and all who want to do Jehovahs will. Those who rebel obviously do not WANT to be part of the organisation so why complain when you are rejected?
We are not here to argue with people who do not want to listen so that is all I have to say. :)