Cult Numbers in Decline – Part 1

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It wasn’t that long ago that the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses were knocking on my door wanting to give me the “Good News”. Well, their version of it anyway. So I made it a goal to study up on these groups big time, even going so far as paying a visit to the LDS Institute of Religion in Edmonton to go through their books firsthand and just about emptied their photocopier of tonor in the process.

The main weapon of any cult is to distill information before it reaches the masses. Jehovah’s Witnesses are particularly effective at this by means of using fear. Mormons accomplish this by means of owning a State…which you have to admit can’t hurt.   Both also use excommunication as an effective deterrent.

However, a little something came along that more or less feels like it’s making the cult evangelist obsolete…the internet.

I remember bringing up “The Book of Abraham” with a Mormon only to have them reply back that I was merely parroting “anti-mormon” literature…that being anything that doesn’t agree with them.  By that definition, the Book of Mormon itself is anti-Mormon as none of the odd doctrines they cling to are in there at all.

Now…hey, go to Google and look it up yourself pal…multiple sources saying the same thing. Even Mormons apologists can’t answer the obvious fraud they have built their religion on. The mind starts to think and eventually realizes it has been had. The industrial revolution keeps on turning.

Even the Salt Lake Tribune admits declining numbers in the state’s Mormon population. In July 2006 the paper published an article that discussed the shrinking LDS population of the state of Utah.

Adherents to the Watchtower can also grab a sneak peek online and quickly discover that all the Christian “apostates” were bang on the money regarding the Watchtower Organization’s history the whole time. Numbers appear to be flat or in decline in countries with internet access. The Watchtower goes out of its way to publish encouraging statistics, but neglect to take into account people who leave.
In Japan alone over 600 congregations disbanded, but those numbers are still reflected as members. Witnesses are shrinking in number in many Western countries as of the last few years, as the Internet facilitates the spread of information (much of it critical of the Witnesses).

This also explains why the Watchtower is almost totally neutered when it comes to evangelizing the 16-35 age range. This demographic is comfortable with technology and finds no problem learning everything they need to know about the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society by merely going to a Search Engine. When was the last time you saw a JW under the age of 50? I’m guessing it has been awhile. If you don’t believe me, then take a peek into a Kingdom Hall.

Well, the numbers for most cults may be in decline, but that’s still no excuse to get lazy because these organizations are not going to just roll over any time soon.

So carry on with the good work in His name my fellow travelers, and remember: blowing the tires off a false religion is fine and dandy, but we must also try and communicate the true identity of the historic Jesus/Yeshua in love and patience.

This is where the real work begins.

Cults in Decline -PART 2

© 2008 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Awesome. I yearn for the day when the mormon cult has to start closing its chapels in high numbers.

    I was a mormon, but thanks to the internet, I am no longer.

  • Awesome post! Truly encouraging news!

    I long for people to find the truth that sets them free.

  • Having EX members of the LDS & JW comes in handy too. Almost everything I know about those groups comes from EX-members who converted to Biblical Christianity or even atheism…

  • I know I am probably wasting my time even visiting here, but here goes. I don't want to incite any anger or negative argument, but I would like to post my thoughts. My post has to do with the LDS church (a.k.a. Mormon church) and not with the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    So let me get this straight, just because the membership of the LDS church, specifically in Utah, is declining, this somehow means that the entire church is diminishing? You might want to re-evaluate some worldwide statistics. The church has announced for a few years now that membership is larger and growing faster outside of the United States than within.

    Have you ever read, carefully and fully, the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price? Or in another instance, could an anti-Christian attack any Christian faith without having carefully studied the principles and beliefs presented within the Old and New Testaments? Can one fully condemn a Muslim without having read and understood the Quran?

    Friend, go to the primary source and find out for yourself, and avoid the intense emotion of baseless accusations regurgitated from whatever direction.

    I grew up in Alabama as a member of the LDS church (even though my father is and always has been a non-member… he is agnostic in fact), having not even been to Utah until a brief visit in my teenage years.

    I served a full-time foreign mission for the church, have seen the faith and devotion of church members during travel to other countries aside from my mission, and continue to believe fully in my beliefs because I had the simple wisdom to pray and simply ask God if The Book of Mormon (and thus the church) is true or not. Believe me my answer was positive, a feeling far more powerful than anything I had ever before felt. It was and is not because some men feed me with information and brainwash me.

    Intuition guided by revelation cannot be extinguished from the outside. Answers to prayers are far more powerful than any persuasion by man. You're entitled to your opinion, but leave well enough alone.

    I am not sure what worldly advantage Joseph Smith was seeking by suffering merciless persecution and eventually martyrdom if he was indeed defending false doctrines. If I were to charade around spreading something I knew to be false and untrue, especially while suffering immensely along the way, I would hardly die for it. Why go about attacking this particular church even if you don't believe in it? What has it ever done to you? Are there not worse things in this world (talk about an understatement)?

    The LDS church will always stand, whether you or anyone else likes it or not. I will go to my grave with my personal testimony that the church is true, whilst maintaining my respect of other Christian churches and others' beliefs, including, as a consequence, your own.

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    Thanks for the post N PALMER. Actually, yes, I have read the Book of Mormon. Several times. I've gone through more Mormon documents than most adherents to the LDS church will ever see.

    For the record, the Spirit has bore testimony to me that Joseph Smith is a false prophet and that the Book of Mormon is not the Word of God.

    So how do we know who is right?

    You use your head. Relying on a "feeling" will get anyone nowhere.

    The LDS church will probably never totally die out. Things don't work that way. But if you seriously look into Joseph and his lies regarding the Book of Abraham, Kinderhook plates, polygamy, negros, etc, etc…you may find that this figure of a "hard-up martyr" doesn't bear out historically.

  • As I have asked someone who quoated you: How can any religous institution "Own a State"?
    They had no answer for me and directed me to you.

    Here I see you make the statment: "Mormons accomplish this by means of owning a State…"
    So, how do you mean these Mormons own a state?

    -D

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    That would be a bit of sarcasm. You'll see that a lot around here.

    It would be referring to the fact that Utah is the nerve-center of Mormonism, and thus most of the local leaders and politicians are as such involved with the LDS. Utah has long been considered a "Mormon" State since they settled in Utah back in the mid 1800's.

  • Ok, I see.

    It is intresting that one would think they own the state of Utah by the reasoning that they migrated there before the state was part of the US.
    That kind of reasoning would make the native Americans own preaty much most of the country… Oh, wait. the real owerns of the entire country is the people, the citizens…

    I just think it should be clairified that the LDS Church does not own any City, state, or country.

    But, I think it strange that no one caught that I totally missed the fact that Roman Catholisim owns not only a city but its very own country – the Vatican.

    Thank you for the clairification… I guess someone out there who quoates you did not understand your statment, and could not comment on what you ment by suggesting that there was a state owned by the LDS Church.

    -D

  • jr

    Wow Ditchu, it was a clear use of sarcasm, to me at least.
    N. Palmer: The use of emotion as a supposed spiritual experience is just manipulation. Take a good hard look at what the Book of Abraham says and consider the anachronisms as well as the horrible science it describes. That is telling enough, not to mention the papyrus has nothing to do with Abraham.

  • jr,

    It did not come across that way in the Quoat that someone used, which ultimatly led me to this post.
    I know there is a place for sarcasim but it is not in the statment of fact.
    thus, by the reasoning I am handed, this is not factual.

    Thank you for helping me to deturmine what I am looking at here.
    -D

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    ditchu,

    Watch a few "Naked Gun" movies then come back anytime.

  • Sorry, Leslie Neilsen is one of my least favorite Actors. I'd rather be forced to watch a Tom Cruse movie (even after he went Religious-Wako) than watch anything with Leslie Neilsen in it.

    By the way that would be Satire not Sarcasm.

    -D

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    Neilson is satire. Got it.

    Sarcasm is like saying "The Book of Mormon or Book of Abraham are respected archeological documents". Owwwwww!!!

    THAT'S sarcasm.

    Tom Cruise is entertaining…in a sick "car accident" sort of way.

  • right on 2 out of 3.

    The "OWWWWWW!!!" is the Sarcasim.

    Glad to have helped figure this out.

    -D

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    If you're actually implying that there is ANY evidence other than that pointing to obvious fraud for the BofM or BofA, then that's not sarcasm, that's lunacy.

  • Sorry, I don't know about the bofm or a bofa.

    However, Sarchasim is not statment of fact but the tone in which a statment is made to appear to oppose the text of that statment.

    -D

  • By the way, I DON'T have a degree in AsS (Acronymic Social Sciences) for no thing. In case you did not chtch it that was Sarcasim. (I really do not have a degree in this field, if one even exists.)

    There is a statment and it's opposing statment in one sentance. If taken correctlly the text would clearly state that I do not have the degree, but the usual understanding of the social use of the language one can assume I mean the oppsite to the direct text as in: I didn't go through all of that for nothing.
    Here the text states that the subject did not go through something, but we usually use the "for nothing" to state the opposite that the subject did go through something but it was for something and not nothing.

    But the Sarcasim pulls further in my opening statment as I am opposing the oppsition in the statment by emphsising certian terms: "DON'T" and "no thing"

    In this instance we can see that:
    1. I really do not have the specified Degree as stated in the text, (but suggested by the context)
    2. The degree really does not exist and such a suggestion of it in the text is contrary to normalicy – (one instance of sarcasim)
    3. the statment turns out to be factually nonsense, it is only real in that we know that it is a double negative to be the truth.

    Good luck figuring all of that out…

    -D

  • richie

    man… ditchu. Take a pill, visit your shrink or try to get laid!

  • richie,
    Take your own advice…

    I need no "Pill" nor do I need a head shrinker, I can think past their "exercises" anyhow, on the last note I am happy and (very) satisfied with my wife.

    -D

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    Play nice kids, or I'm going to start strapping jumper cables to your nipples…

  • N. Palmer said: "So let me get this straight, just because the membership of the LDS church, specifically in Utah, is declining, this somehow means that the entire church is diminishing? You might want to re-evaluate some worldwide statistics. The church has announced for a few years now that membership is larger and growing faster outside of the United States than within."

    I was reviewing some recent statistics from Cumorah.com as cited on Runtu's Rincon and on Mormon Curtain. It appears membership is in serious decline overseas as well.
    http://www.mormoncurtain.com/index.html

  • By the way, when individuals laud the fact that "overseas membership is growing" that is NOT proof that the organization is growing or thriving. When you look at the details, many times you will find that the majority of 'overseas growth' is in countries lacking education emphasis, technology and/or employment opportunities. In other words they will grab onto some "organized religion" because they have nothing else or are ignorant.
    You do not see growth in developed countries like the US and most countries in Europe. Just like Karl (not Groucho) Marx said "religion is the opium of the masses", education is the bane of organized religion.

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    To Mr. Ree:

    True to an extent. Depends if we're equating all cults and organized religious bodies as one entity guilty of the same crime. I would argue that reality does not reflect that interpretation.

    But also don't forget…education is much more so the bane of Humanism, despite what Star Trek utopian fantasies would have us believe!

  • isnrblog

    Interesting blog. Good points about the internet, etc.

    As a former Jehovah's Witness, from birth, most of what you said is correct. But if you peek inside a Kingdom Hall (even as a kid I though that was a goofy name for the building) you will see people in all age groups. I think your point is that they make very few converts in the 16 to 35 age group. You will see Jo Ho's who were raised in the religion in that age group.

    Their numbers are declining and it seems to be in the countries where the Internet is available.

    Where did you get the info about the 600 Congregations in Japan disbanding? Send me that reference. I do know of congregations in the US disbanding, but the Jo Ho leadership keeps a tight lid on info like that.

    I have become a Deist. I have concluded that there is a God/Intelligent Design, but I do not presume to have any exclusive communications with him/her/it and/or them. I have come to this conclusion simply by observing nature and the universe. To me, it’s reasonable.

    I say I have “concluded” that there is a God because to say I believe in God implies religious faith, which I do not have. I do not believe in any religion. I see no evidence that “God” or whoever is using any group as his exclusive way to salvation, there is no proof the Bible is from “God”, or that Jesus in fact ever lived.

    That being said, I am not recruiting Deists. I don't care what anyone believes.

    I despise all religion and my blog is just me and my view of the religious world. http://www.isnrblog.com

    I would like to link to yours, if you have no objection.

    This is a neat blog. Keep up the good work.

    Fred

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    No objection to the link.

    I'll try and come up with the reference you requested but to be honest it was a while ago. Might I recommend "Googling" it because you'll have about as much success as I would given the time I would have to do it.

    As a side note, I don't have any exclusive communications with God either.

    However, like you I look at the empirical evidence and form a conclusion. While including scientific evidence, I also look at history and archeology and find that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob certainly makes too convincing argument to be ignored.

    And I hate to disappoint, but if you're saying there's no evidence for the Bible or even the existence of Christ, then you ain't lookin' very hard. Dare I say, as one who professes to see better than those you attack, you have in turn become blinded by your own personal dogma.

    Or would I be going to far if I say…vendetta?

    Psychological analyzing is a bit of a pet hobby with me. That and irritating people.

  • isnrblog

    I draw a different conclusion from the data. I don't see where the Bible is inspired. As a Jo Ho for 50 years, I have read it a great deal. Also, I have researched with impartiality, historical and archeological data and see no proof of the God of the Bible. And yes I have looked “hard”.

    I have a degree in engineering and economics. I wanted to be an engineer and I like economics, go figure. The result was a series of technology businesses. Unfortunately, I am not a dot com millionaire, but I have done well.

    I like learning about religion, the bible, history, philosophy, archeology, human behavior etc and have read a great deal. I am reading the Quran for the 5th time. I am well aware of my present beliefs and state of mind. I have changed my views several times before and after leaving the Jo Ho’s, on some key issues. I try to be open minded and though it looks like I vehemently attack religion, particularly the JW’s, I am very aware of the possibility of getting swallowed up in my own mental vortex and digressing to an old grouch who hates everyone.

    Are you referring to me as one who professes to be better than those I attack, or to yourself? The syntax is confusing. Assuming you mean me professing to be better than those I attack, I don’t know if “better” is the correct term. I feel liberated. I see things clearly, when not looking through the Watchtower paradigm. I guess it does piss me off when Jo Ho’s parrot (forgive the metaphor) The Watchtower Society, without giving it a thought. I am not so much pissed at anyone but myself. How I could be deluded for so long is what really annoys me.

    I also am not sure Dogma is a correct term. It implies to me that I have my own rigid “religious” beliefs, which I do not. I don’t claim to know what God wants, but I would personally love to know. My position on Jo Ho’s is that their own literature hangs them. I do not argue or debate theology. I don’t care about the theology of the Bible or any religion. You have as many interpretations of the Bible as you have readers.

    Vendetta? Perhaps, of sorts, I get vulgar, rude and down right nasty. At times, I fell like I am chastising my self, as I once believed as the Jo Ho’s do. So, your behavioral analysis may be somewhat accurate, but I think my target is not them, but me. I am very hard on myself. Just the memory of knocking on someone’s door and telling them something that the Witnesses have now changed and was ridicules to begin with, makes me again angry at myself for not using my powers of reasoning.

    Fell free to psychoanalyze. I have read a lot about behavioral psychology and how it effects cults, religions etc. Interestingly, one behavioral psychologist postulated that the structure of the Witness organization tends to work better on people with strong assertive personalities, in terms of getting them to mentally commit. Subsequently, it makes them more resistant to change or to realize the problems with the cult or religion. That would be me. It took me a while to work my way out. A strong personality indicates an ego, which would make one resistant to admitting he was wrong. Fortunately, my pragmatism beat my ego and once I came to terms with the JW’s, and changed my internal beliefs, it became easier to be more objective and adjust my views to know facts.
    Anyway, I have habit of writing encyclopedias instead of replies. Forgive my rambling. I will link to your site. Fell free to link to mine.

    Keep up the good work.

    Fred

  • DysfunctionalParrot

    NOBODY does research with impartiality. You flatter yourself I thinks.

    So, since I'm a messianic Christian, where do I fit into your worldview I wonder? Should my way of thinking be eradicated for the betterment of all mankind? Am I part of the solution or problem in humanity achieving the apex of its glory?

    The Watchtower is undeniably a false institution based on lies and the re-writing of history. But that having been said, I cannot in all honesty relate to your situation. Your experiences are what they are.

    I never grew up with the 50 years of deception that you did ( not even old enough ), so I can't say if that makes me more or less able to see clearly without an emotional investment.

    We all take what we can, and make the best of it, and I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise.

  • isnrblog

    I never said your way of thinking should be eradicated. I said Organized Religions that prey upon and exploit people, using the authority of "God" should be eradicated.

    I don't care what you (the individual) think. Thats your business. When some "Authority Figure" uses a Religion to advance it's own agenda, I think thats wrong

    Of course no one can do research with impartiality. Better said, would have been I intend to be impartial and am willing to change my views if the facts dictate that.

    I also am not trying to convince you of anything. Again, I don't care what you believe.

  • isnrblog

    To clarify, it wasn't a total of 50 years of deception, after 1975 and the failed Watctower prophesy, I began to slide away. i was 24 and it took me all that time to pry myself loose.

    A lot of ties to family, business and friends.

  • isnrblog

    I cannot find any credible link that specifically states that 600 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Japan were dissolved.

    It would be useful if you could recall where you got that information.