I am convinced that Jehovah's Witnesses are under constant brainwashing. In analyzing my behavior within the sect or cult, as well as observation of other members, I can say with much certainty that they are fully indoctrinated in such a way that their brains are literally disabled when it comes to using powers of reasoning or critical thinking skills. They seldom carefully analyze their beliefs or put into question why they believe in something. If they do, they will evade being impartial in considering the evidence objectively. They will not do a thorough investigation with credible or neutral sources because they are not allowed to investigate freely. In their research, they will avoid any sources that are not acceptable because of the prejudice or negative criteria established by the sect, or simply because it does not favor their ideas. They are constantly manipulated by emotions and feelings as they are conditioned to respond to stimuli that is not based on the power to think critically. Rather, they are conditioned and rewarded with stimuli that makes them feel good to believe in something, even if the basis for believing is not very clear; it is as if their brains are paralyzed to the extent that they are guided by way of feelings and let the cult cloud their worldviews and decisions. Believing in something even with doubts and no real foundation is rewarded by feeling good, where as in questioning, where someone can use critical thinking, which involves impartially investigating to find and correlate data that will not always support a theory or belief is penalized.
Jehovah's Witnesses will struggle to do any critical thinking or to question anything because that is considered to be defiant, and that implies wanting to be independent. That in turn imparts a feeling of guilt in wanting to revolt from authority and brings up questions about the humility that is expected of the servants of God. They are accustomed to using faulty circular reasoning and inconsistent information provided by the highest authority, which is the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" that usually twists, takes information out of context and manipulates references to their convenience. By relying on this misleading authority, their ‘logic’ is used erratically and it leads nowhere other than to support their established beliefs. Their arguments will always defend the doctrines imposed by the Watchtower.
If at any moment a member can begin to think on his/her own in an unbiased manner, perhaps questioning any belief or doctrine, a mental block of self-defense to induce guilt and fear is triggered. This starts a chain reaction for the brain to be turned off in order to avoid any questioning. It is really a very basic formula. They have been, literally programmed, like a machine to stop working when something is considered a threat to their survival. The routine is simple, induce emotions like fear, such as the fear of Armageddon, and being ex-communicated (disfellowedshipped) and turn off any critical thinking skills. The brains are indirectly programmed to protect the identity created by the Watchtower (ie, the identity that requires self-sacrifice, a submissive mentality without questioning). Even if the victims are in doubt of any given doctrine or belief, they feel obligated to comply to the cult authority at all cost. They subconsciously use their cognitive dissonance to justify believing in something even when their rational mind senses two perceptions of reality. The cult mind control shuts down the real perception and imposes the cult's perception as that is being rewarded from within the group.
Emotions are basic survival instincts to set priorities according to the degree that something could pose a threat to the life of a person. Fear is a form of self defense mechanism in order to avoid hazards that can cause death. Fear is exploited by cults as an ideal mechanism to subjugate and manipulate the victims. Anything that might endanger their survival is a higher priority. Anything that causes fear will be avoided at all costs. This fear may be real or artificial. A person or an entity can create an artificial fear that can make people act irrational, driven entirely by emotions. That is why the cult brings attention to the concept of "spiritual consciousness" to create a protection mechanism against all ideas that can be considered as an external threat. This acts to protect and enhance mental triggers such as guilt and fear, as a way to reject any ideas or beliefs that can threaten the cult identity. It also urges the victim to fight against the instincts that each human being posses.
These defense mechanisms installed in the minds of the victims act as a "Trojan horse" in their brain. They enter the consciousness of the victim in an innocent way, the ‘knowledge’ is considered of divine source, from the Bible and God Himself. Furthermore, the instruction provided is praised as helpful principles to improve the lives of individuals, which in fact can have a positive effect as way to provide a basic level of education for the person, but at the cost of giving up individual independence and the ability to think for themselves. Clearly, the cult interprets and manipulates the teachings and in a sagacious way, not only enters in the consciousness of the bible student, but also in the mind. The victims are often vulnerable people, fragile, idealistic, perhaps looking for a mission or purpose in life. In many cases people who have already hit bottom of the pit by addictions or instability in life due to abuse or trauma, or life experiences. Wanting to fill basic needs, like being part of something, to belong to a group, the sectarian teachings by the cult become something attractive. Thus, the victim is 'bombarded' with love to a degree that makes him/her feel very special. Little by little he is taught by a periodic bible study the importance of adapting to the person of God, to put on the new personality, or reborn, be humble and submit to God. The new bible student is taught that Satan means "adversary," or being "rebellious. " It emphasizes the teaching of not trusting yourself. They repeat over and over how Satan was an angel himself in the beginning, but he wanted to be independent from God, and that is how he became the devil. Therefore, it is wrong to question, investigate other sources, or to desire independence. You have to be subjected, to adhere to God's standards that are enforced and interpreted only by the authority of God on earth; of course, this applies only the Watchtower Society, which acts as the faithful and discreet slave mentioned in the Bible, according to them. The recruit must be loyal to God, through their organization. This is how the strategy of manipulation by the religious organization known as Jehovah's Witnesses or Watchtower (as the legal entity) can be summarized.
This trojan horse acts as a "firewall" or defensive barrier that blocks access to the gates that communicate with the rational brain. This virus installed unethically eliminates any external threat to the doctrines imposed by the cult. This illustration may be the best way to understand the effect they have on the ability to think on a person. They use coercive persuasion or thought control to manipulate a person’s way of being. The cult destroys the ability to trust your own belief system and urge you fight your own powers of reasoning.
Often, the Watchtower emphasizes the teaching not to trust in the heart because it is based on emotions. Ironically though, they frequently appeal to the emotions with their teachings based on fear; such as constantly admonish "to be in good standing in order to survive the end of this worldly system of things" coming very soon. They say the heart is treacherous, "you cannot trust it." In reality, the cult wants to get rid of thoughts of the person, the individuality, the ability to think for yourself and make it look like emotions from heart.
From personal experience and seeing many seeing others who have managed to escape a cult, a major jolt in life of a person is required in order to restart or trigger re-activation of the brain to start thinking again. It requires a big event in personal life in order to begin to question the belief system with logic and objective research using all sources without prejudice. You have to start from scratch. This is the only way to remove the security barrier imposed by the mind control that could allow the brain to start working again.
With no ability to do any critical thinking, or independent power of reason, any explanation from the Watchtower will be enough to accept their teachings and doctrines, it does not have to make sense (for example, "blood fractions", "the overlap of generation", “disfellowship policy”,etc. ) It only has to make one feel good, be a source comfort, to strengthen the faith or give hope for the future. As bad or wrong as it may be, it simply does not matter, because it is blind faith, which provides for the basic human needs to belong to a group, fellowship, and give hope in a harsh and cruel world. This is the case for the vast majority of witnesses, they continue without thinking. It rewards not to question, not to investigate, not using the powers of the brain. It encourages behavior of submission, accepting without question; this is the only acceptable way to gain status and have a sense of belonging and to continue to advance within the sect. This is the only way to gain power and authority where others can serve oneself in an elevated position. It only demands loyalty to the authority of this cult.
This sectarian mindset or cult mind control has everything to do with denying yourself as an individual who has free will, to get rid of personal identity. That explains why birthdays are not allowed, anything that exalts individualism, the feeling of independence, or self-indulgence is forbidden (e.g., masturbation, etc.) The importance of the collective, the group, the leadership is always what stands out and given importance. It is always about the great fellowship around the world, God’s chosen people on earth and never about what the individual thinks or represents. The cult victims only have to follow what is dictated from the cult leadership.
This is how I can examine the mind control exercised by the cult and how they have managed to have so much control over millions of people who blindly submit themselves through such manipulative methods, which has a tremendous detriment to their individuality. Based on the analysis above, we can say with confidence that the Trojan Horse is what they call 'the truth.'