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Comparing Cults (helping loved ones out of indoctrination) – Cedars’ vlog no. 46

hello there you’ll have seen in one of my recent videos I had an interview with Steven Hassan during my time in London and we had a very interesting conversation about awakening people from on.you influence when they’ve been indoctrinated for many many years maybe even decades because as I mentioned in the video that is one issue that keeps being brought to my attention I do get a lot of emails and messages from people saying you know listen my my my son my mother my father my aunt my uncle my close relative has been in the cult for many many years how do I wake them up and it is very very difficult there is no I think I’ve said many times you can’t just flick a switch and there’s no magic one that you can wave unfortunately when it comes to undue influence it’s a layered process that builds up over many many years and many many kind of subconscious levels to it and it’s extremely complicated to get rid of it there’s no denying that but one thing that you can do as we discussed in the interview video Stephen and myself is that you can show other cults by way of comparison and if there are if there are doubts in the person already and I believe most Jehovah’s Witnesses of any reasonable intelligence have doubts at some level if there are doubts in a Jehovah’s Witness and they are exposed to a very similar cult or another cult that has very similar practices that can at least open up a dialogue of well what makes this organization different could it be that you know Jehovah’s Witnesses are using exactly the same techniques how can Java’s witnesses be true and this religion not true if they’re doing more or less the same thing now I mentioned in the interview video a really one very intriguing cult while this is a cult is the Westboro Baptist Church and there’s a BBC documentary by Lewis through who I happen to think is a fantastic journalist when it comes to pursuing some of the more uncomfortable elements of life shall we say and what he did was he shot two documentaries not just one but he well he shots at one documentary and then a follow-up documentary with the Westboro Baptist Church where he was actually going in there speaking to the family the Phelps family spending time with them and really getting to grips with their very narrow-minded view of the world and when you watch the documentary the beat the beautiful thing about it is it doesn’t mention Jehovah’s Witnesses once but the a lot of the practices and a lot of the attitudes are almost identical to Jehovah’s Witnesses they have the same narrow-minded those versus them it’s other games the world the world is evil the world will be destroyed anyone who doesn’t agree with those will be destroyed that kind of mentality they also do shunning and the second documentary in the series in particular touches on shunning in the fact that one of the Phelps daughters ends up getting shunned and the way the family who were shunning her respond to questions is very very interesting there’s just so many commonalities with it the authoritarian rule Fred Phelps who’s actually since died and I believe he actually got kicked out of the church just before he died which is most ironic book he at least at the time of the documentary he was the supreme lead at nobody was allowed to question his authority on anything which is you know the same as with the governing body and again it doesn’t mention Jehovah’s Witnesses once so if if you’re looking at kind of a backdoor way of addressing the problems with cults with an indoctrinated family member without mentioning Jehovah’s Witnesses I would strongly recommend showing them both both documentaries to see what they think and don’t say don’t approach it by saying well I want you to watch this and tell me what what you think about it in relation to Jehovah’s Witnesses just say well here’s an interesting documentary I never knew that the Westboro Baptist Church were so judgmental and horrible you must meet people like this when you’re doing the preaching work what do you think you know what are your thoughts and another documentary which I’ve only just watched yesterday so I’m very enthusiastic about it it’s called meet the Mormons and they only had I think as recently as June this year it’s a Channel 4 documentary it follows the exploits of Josh who is a Mormon missionary he becomes a missionary during the course of the documentary and after he becomes a missionary he’s no longer he no longer allowed to call him Josh you must call him elder fields and I think he’s British born but from America and he moves to the UK for his 2-year missionary assignment and the documentary team are given unprecedented access to follow him round he’s I think he’s handpicked by the church as someone that they can follow around and speak to but the interesting thing is they’re not really allowed any time alone with him because there’s always a church representative lurking behind the doorway listening to everything is being said and the when he becomes a missionary he or what he must always be around elder Bauman because I didn’t know this but when Mormon missionaries are assigned in pairs they must literally be in the same room as each other at all times apart from when they go to the toilet which is really creepy but again when you’re when you’re watching the documentary it’s an excruciating ly painful thing if you’ve been a jehovah’s witness for any length of time because you’re watching it thinking Wow that was me that that was me just a few years ago that creepy for me as well because the whole experience of going to this kind of missionary training which he went which he goes through before being assigned to his missionary post in Leeds very very reminiscent for me of ministerial training school so it was just a very very painful thing for me to watch and if it was painful for me as someone who’s been out of the witnesses you know for a few years now I can only imagine how excruciating it must be if you’re an indoctrinated witness watching it so I’m gonna put links to that as well there’s one link for if you in the UK because you can watch it on the channel for website but the channel for link won’t work if you’re anywhere else I’ll give you a youtube link that you can watch if you’re in another country or in the United States or wherever but what I wanted to say was if you if you show a Jehovah’s Witness family member this film which I would urge you to do because it doesn’t mention Jehovah’s Witnesses once but all of the similarities are there and at one point Josh is in tears because he can’t speak to his family because he must be completely separated from them for his two year assignment if you’re showing this to indoctrinated family member they will be mortified and they I can’t imagine that they won’t try and get out of the room and try and do something else and just do something different to be away from the TV they will not feel comfortable watching it especially as it gets sort of into the documentary and and what he’s doing but again it’s important they do watch it and I would approach it by saying nothing to do with Joe as witnesses I would just say you must meet loads of Mormons when you’re out in the preaching work and they will you know I can remember having more than one encounter with Mormons when I was a witness you must meet lots of Mormons wouldn’t it be interesting for you to see what they go through when they’re being assigned to their preaching because you might find something that’s useful when you’re next going to speak to them in the in the witnessing work oh yeah yeah sure that’d be interesting you know but they like I say they will try and get away from the TV and and the thing that you need to say to them when they do that is and you know what what’s the problem what why’d you feel uncomfortable oh I just don’t want to watch it well why don’t you want to watch it tell me about it I’m interested you know and let them talk about it openly and honestly and just so listen I’m not gonna judge you you can be completely open and honest with me I love you you know I’m your husband I’m your wife I’m your son I’m your daughter speak to me tell me what’s going on through your mind because I can imagine that there are other with any religion there are things that you’re uncertain about their doubts that you have what is it in this documentary that makes you feel uncomfortable because speaking honestly there are things in this documentary that I can see in you so I’m assuming that that’s the reason why you don’t want to watch it so why what the speech taught me through the process what’s going on in your head and I just think it’s an excellent way of opening the discussion up and showing some commonality and helping them to realize that they are there are lots of groups out there that are just as controlling just as nonsensical and ridiculous classic Jehovah’s Witnesses and if if the Mormons can be lied to and the Mormons can be controlled on such a huge scale because there are millions of them I think possibly or more moments than there are Jehovah’s Witnesses then wants to stop the same being true of Jehovah’s Witnesses and as I mentioned in my Cedars challenge it’s either true or it isn’t there can be no oh well we do good works we preach to people we and we respond in when there’s disasters we’re peaceable we don’t go to war none of that matters none of that matters if it’s not true it’s either true or it isn’t because for every good thing that Jobs Witnesses do there is something that harms people or even kills them whether it’s through refusal of medical treatments or people committing suicide because they come cope with shunning and you just see how distraught Josh is in the moment documentary just because he’s been separated for a few days from his family and look how distraught he is and I couldn’t help watching that thinking will ask anyone who’s being shunned by his anyone who’s being shunned it’s not natural to be separated from your family over something as ridiculous as not sharing the same religious beliefs so please watch these documentaries and comment as well let me know in the comments section what your witness relatives have to say because it I think it’s useful for us all to find out what the feedback is so that when we’re trying it ourselves we can already see oh well such-and-such a body had this reaction such-and-such your body had that reaction let’s make this a group effort so that we can find out whether this works what the feedback is and then we can hopefully help others so I hope you find this video interesting and good look and talk to you soon

Otis Rodgers



  1. Michaelson X Posted on September 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Check out the Book by William Sargant, Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-washing

  2. Londo Mollari Posted on September 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    This is something everybody who is awakening needs to think about. It is hard when first waking up not to blab everything one has learned with zeal. But by that time, we've alienated our loved ones. If I could turn back the clock, I would definitely try this approach.

  3. Dan Antrich Posted on September 22, 2014 at 4:30 am

    "John Cedars" I come to the realization you care about anyone who is stuck in a religious cult. I was raised a JW, and feel the same way you do watching these videos about Mormons. I want to reach out to them as well from my experience growing up. I must commend you on your work. I like what you do. Never stop helping others. Your mission is important, and appreciated by so many people. There are many other cults out there (like Islamic) that needs help as well. If only you could start a non profit organization that educates people on cult-like behaviors from religious to actual careers that practice the same tactics. The problem is people don't get educated about this growing up. It is up to people like you who know the cult like behaviors to help others. Somebody has to make it all start before others will spread the word. I have checked out other channels of people trying to do the same thing you do. It is not at all the same, you are the best choice. You are on to something sir, and I give you thumbs up. 🙂

  4. snlker Posted on September 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Great strategic move John !! 🙂

  5. Darlene Smith Posted on September 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Thanks it will help many!!

  6. Excelsior Excelsior Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Hello John, another great video, sir! I have had the pleasure of meeting Louis Theroux and he is as genuine and nice in person as he is in his documentaries. There is a channel 4 comedy called "the last leg" which had a run in with the Westboro Baptist Church over their intended protest at the funeral of dear Robin Williams. The presenter offered to pay the flights to Iraq for the whole family! They were willing to go, but instead he used the money he would have spent on sending them to Iraq to donate to a children's hospice that Robin Williams supported.

    The thing is that "ordinary" people are waking up to the fact of undue influence in many spheres of existence and the time is right to press forward with your book and the other projects you have planned.

    Peace be with you


  7. nathanaelstacy1 Posted on September 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Interesting idea, but I have two thoughts. First, I'd advise anybody who wants to show one of these programs to JW's, don't be surprised if they're able to see and dislike and speak openly against things that these other religions have in common with JW's, without recognizing how it compares to their own. JW's live with loads of cognitive dissonance all of the time, and frequently, even from the platform in the KH, will criticize other religions for doing things they themselves do. If you point it out, there will be some rationalization.

    Second, and this is a bigger thing… If you actually do what John says here, and begin the conversation by saying "hey, this will help you in your preaching" and then, if they become uncomfortable, press them to talk about it — particularly if you say something like "honestly, there are things I see in you" or whatever, expect hostility and anger. Expect the Witness to feel betrayed by you, because you were saying "this will help you when you meet Mormons" and thinking "this will show you how similar you are to Mormons." It's a deceptive ploy, and it will come off that way.

    Just my thoughts!

  8. christopher benson Posted on September 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks John for making this vid I will check that out as well it will probably be interesting 

  9. Marie Myriam Posted on September 24, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Thank you John Lloyd!

  10. Otis Rodgers Posted on September 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Newly 'out'/rapidly fading, and it's really scary! This information is clear and cool and logical – lots of emotion clouds the judgement. I am cringing watching all this. Reading "30 Years a Watchtower Slave" too (and both Ray Franz books), and since the 1970s the authoritarian and manipulative methodology of the society has become more entrenched, not less so.  It's hard to shift 50 years of feeling guilty.  But I have to say that JW Survey has put the wedge under the door!

  11. JWPrimetime Posted on October 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Having sat in on 5 mormon bible Studies and one Sunday service in the last two months it's uncanny the similarities between the two. From the love bombing to the attitude and sincerity etc. it's an experience I recommend to any ex jw agnostic or atheist. Don't go there looking for the true religion but go in viewing it as social experiment. We are all people. We all want to think we're special. It's not immune to JWs! Great video!

  12. Richard V Sassoon Posted on December 16, 2014 at 4:07 am

    If nothing more, John, your series has proved quite cathartic for me and, I suspect, several others as well. Your focus on the Mormons – L D S, or Latter Day Saints, in this video reminded me of the time we went deep into Mormon territory – just North of their headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, as witnesses where 'the need was greater'. Basically, un-worked territory, quite rural – a few real cowboys and shepherds up in the mountains for the summer…few and far between. The vast majority of people there were either active  Mormons  or had been at one time.
    I went with my 14 year old daughter and a handful of brothers and sisters from Seattle. It proved to be a real eye-opener and first rate adventure. One stand-out memory was visiting a 'stake' in the  Bear Lake region of Southern Idaho on the Utah border (this would be the equivalent of a 'circuit' in JW' terminology). The structure itself was a testament to european craftsmen that had immigrated with their trades to the Salt Lake area. A beautiful, handcrafted frame with a roof structure that reminded me of an upside down ship, all bare bones exposed, as tho a whale had beached herself on the shore, and they lifted her skeleton up and placed it as a roof frame. Quarried red sand stone from the other side of the lake faced the exterior. I had never seen anything quite like it and I have been in the building trades for almost 40 years.
    This, however, was not the highlight of the trip. My daughter and I took the tour of this building and were greeted at the end by a woman who was my Mother's age, in fact she reminded me a great deal of my Mother, a Christian woman steeped deep into a Baptist style religion from the Midwest of the United States. I was raised in this religion, tho it did not hold me much beyond my initiation as a teenager. My Mother was quite religious, as was this woman who was explaining the basic teachings of Latter Day Saints. Well, of course, when we got to the part where Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and just about every other strong assertive male there, had multiple wives, the woman quite sincerely explained why this was part of God's plan.  it was clear, that had we been living 120 – 140 years earlier, she too, would have submitted to this arrangement as  the Divine Plan, but in my mind, the closeness in age and appearance with my Mother produced this surreal moment where it became apparent, that a Great deal of what we believe is a conditioning we have undergone at a much younger age.
    My mother would have cringed at the thought of sharing a man with another woman – that was in the Old testament – but Jesus re-established the ideal of one man and one woman, I could hear her speaking as clearly as I could hear this same 'other' woman clearly explain why her beliefs were so. Two women, same age, sincerity, and devotion to a belief – like identical twins, almost, but with the exact opposite understanding.

  13. Kao Posted on July 11, 2015 at 9:09 am

    wonderful video , thanks for the links:) I will be watching them, and always looking for ways to help open the eyes of those deeply indoctrinated. I am involved in helping those lost in scientology and have many friends who have woken up from JW. yet i know not a lot about mormon or jw. i have seen the louis video as all of his are brlliant. many blessings, kao

  14. twinstar9 Posted on August 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Would you post the video you recommended on channel 4 please? The app is unuseable.

  15. AM B Posted on March 21, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Meet the Mormons is a great documentary! I watched it a while back. I think I've seen the first of Louis Theroux's documentaries as well… what struck me about that one was how one girl has a great big smile on her face as she's saying how people are going to burn in hell. He calls her on the smile, and she answers something about being happy because God's work/decisions always make her happy.

  16. Mary Ann Fournier Posted on May 4, 2016 at 1:13 am

    great video. was apostolic Pentecostal for over ten years. I still feel guilty when I cut/trim my hair.

  17. Beci Charles Posted on May 23, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    The world mission society church of God is a cult taking over now! Its awful and its breaking up families and marriages. There is a Korean lady that they worship as God. They conveniently read the Bible.

  18. (:Ryan P:) Posted on May 25, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Nop your wrong there is tons of evidence that proves the Book of Mormon and the LDS church is true. Commandments don't make religion a cult, there is no comparing witness to LDS, totally to different gospels LOL.

  19. letgouvgod Posted on July 31, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Good work here, I have been out since I rejected the anti – science aspect when I was 15. 42 now but wish I could free the family

  20. Bridgette's Broom Closet Posted on March 2, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I just watched the documentary about the Mormons.  As advertised, it was full of cringe-worthy moments for anyone familiar with the Witnesses.  I've been away from the JWs for 4 years now–and I am very struck by the degree of similarity between them and the Mormons.  The lost look in that boy's eyes–the veil you can watch descending over his eyes as his programming takes greater hold–it gave me the shudders.  I know that look–I saw it on many of the faces of young JWs. 
    Thank you for recommending this-well worth the look!

  21. Moonfire chan Posted on June 28, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    For those of you who are working towards waking someone from this cult, don't give up. Remember that you are doing something that is not only saving there life but the lives of others in the organization, because once enough people are deconverted the governing bodies will stop there ban on blood tranfusions.

  22. The Sounds of the Suburbs Posted on September 15, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Mormonism is not a cult. There is no shunning. There is no discouraging higher education. Members are free to determine their own status and participation within the community. My perception of JWs is much different.

  23. Michelle Aldis Posted on March 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    There are roughly twice as many Mormons as JWs (14.6m) but the Mormons missionary assignments are only 2 years and shunning isn't a thing. Sure, there are people who will get into disagreements with family members who they don't think are living upstanding moral lives but it isn't anything like shunning as there is always the possibility of clashing personalities working it out. It's not mandated to shun anyone and you can count on the support of your family in most cases even if you leave the church. Also, the door is always open if you want to return. I would draw some parallels with the marriage thing as Mormons do get married for eternity and it is likely not possible for a Mormon woman to be married for a second time in the temple no matter what happens to her first "celestial" marriage. But that's really the only parallel I can draw and not much of drawback if you end up not believing in the church's teachings. There is obviously some benefits to marrying within the religion but you aren't going to be under the same kind of pressure to as we're going to baptize you and seal you to your spouse and kids eventually anyway. :'D

  24. Kirtley Burggraf Posted on October 8, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Interesting approach, however, one must feign approval (at least, from the beginning) for Watchtower's doctrine and then try to expose it for the lie that it is later and at that point losing the trust of those that you are trying to help. Better to be up front from the beginning. (Just my opinion)

  25. ExJw Conniefucious Posted on June 11, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Excellent! Fantastic! Beeeeeautiful! I found this at exactly the right time in my process of deprogramming my daughter. Must have been Jehovah's hand! 😂