Richard S. Francis con Jehovah Lives in Brooklyn: Jehovah's Witnesses as a Model of Fundamentalism (English Edition)
The book Jehovah Lives in Brooklyn: Jehovah's Witnesses as a Model of Fundamentalism describes some of the odd beliefs of this cult, and also gives a psychosocial overview of its place in society, its meaning, and its results. It discusses the effects of cult-psychology on otherwise well-adjusted minds, and shows why even intelligent people can be vulnerable. A brief outline of the book is as follows:
Author's Preface: Alien Landscapes, Secret Societies
The "alien world-view" of the cult is examined, and discussion explains the view that "alienation" is a plus, a good thing. The cult appeals largely to the distraught, the young, minorities, and others who might be already confused and alienated. These unhappy people are special "target groups" for cult-conversion. The separation of members from usual society is a psychological tool used to cause members to identify with the inner cult-society, which is isolated and insulated from general society, and comes to see all outsiders as bad, ignorant, inferior, or unworthy.
Chapter 1/ We Are Not Everyday People: Hatred of the "Satanic" World
People need to feel special and superior, and this need is abused by drawing people into a world-hating and tightly-knit group who see themselves as the "chosen ones." Being "godly" makes the rest of the world, by contrast, appear "Satanic" or evil. "Everyone who is really good has already joined our group, or will soon do so. So, anyone who does not join is bad."
Chapter 2/ Strict Obedience to Jehovah: Avoiding "Evil Spirits" and Everybody Else
The world is unclean because it is ruled by Satan, who has a plethora of "evil spirits" who permeate every institution and mind outside the cult. This makes outsiders dangerous, since nothing is more dangerous than a demon, who might attack and even possess you. So, a gigantic, relentless fear of the world and of all non-members is the result.
Chapter 3/ Conversion and the Destructive Process of Personality Dismantling
Before a person can be truly "converted," her personality must be destroyed, dismantled, or erased. A number of seriously harmful techniques are used to "remold" a normal person into a cult-member, who will not only fight, but will die, for her religion. The cult then becomes the supreme good, if not the only good. Its teachings are holy and unquestionable.
Chapter 4/ Satan, Satan Everywhere: A Devil of a Story
To make sure that the member avoids all normal social pursuits, and all non-members as potential friends, she is terrified by warnings that Satan is interested in personally attacking and destroying her and her faith. The Lord of darkness will use apparently "innocent" things and people to do this; he is subtle, invisible, and experienced. One is never to assume that he is absent.
Chapter 5/ A "One of a Kind" Religion: Beliefs Designed to make JW's Feel Special
Some beliefs have nothing to do with religion or spirituality, but are embraced and adopted simply so that JW's can feel "special." These concepts make them feel different and unique. This appeals mainly to people who do not really stand out due to intelligence, passion, or giftedness. This appeals strongly to people who feel that they are personally ordinary or even worthless, and serves as "compensation" for low self-esteem. Housewives, farmers, and factory-workers become the "only enlightened" people, and the "saviors of the world."
Chapter 6/ You and Me Against the World
As the new member begins increasingly to be enfolded within the group, group-cohesion is increased until she feels that she could not function, or even survive with hope and meanin