We know that the doctrines of the WTS are made by a group of men born before the 1950s. Some were born before 1914. Here is an 2005 list of the GB - all bold are approximations
- John Barr - 92 - born 1912 - young adult (+ 20 yrs) 1932
- Carey Barber - 100 - born appox 1905 - young adult 1925
- Samuel Herd - 70 - 1935 - young adult 1945
- Geoffrey Jackson - 50 (new as of 8/25/05) 1955 - young adult 1975
- Theodore Jaracz - 80 - 1935 - young adult 1945
- Steven Lett - 56 - 1949 - young adult 1969
- Gerrit Lösch -63 - 1942 - young adult 1962
- Anthony Morris - 55 (new as of 8/25/05) - 1950 - young adult 1975
- Guy Pierce - 70- 1921 - young adult 1931
- Albert Schroeder - 94 - 1911 - young adult 1925
- David Splane - 61 - 1944 - young adult 1964
- Daniel Sydlik - 86 - 1919 - young adult 1939
Some of these men were alive and knew Rutherford. If the family was JWs then they may have grown up their entire lives in the WTS even though they were raised in a more modern world. The youngest two were around 20 years old in 1975.
We also know that many of the GB have been isolated from the real world while they live in their ivory WT. I suspect that most of their information about the real world outside of the WT walls comes from the media. And, we all know that the media reports on the worst things they can find. "News" is not news unless it is bad.
If people learned all they wanted to know about the world from a newspaper or TV and radio newscasts:
- what kind of world would they believe the world is?
- would their perception be biased to the extreme?
- would their perception of the world be accurate?
If the men on the GB were young adults when they entered Bethel:
- their personal experience of the world would be that of a world they knew as teens of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and possibly the 70s.
- if they were raised as JWs then they were isolated from the real world too
So here we have a group of old men who were influenced by the world around them before they entered Bethel decades ago - for most of them (7) were being influenced personally with a pre 1950s worldview because of their isolation. If any of them have the time to pick up a newspaper, or watch the news they will be getting an extremely negative perspective on the world. Even the younger ones who were young adults in the 60's and 70s would have gotten messages of love, sex, drugs and the decay of the world (and add in the threat of a "just around the corner" - end of the world JW belief if they were raised as JWs)
This group of men, who have been isolated from the world and make decisions and policies about the lives of JWs based on:
- personal experience about the world that goes back decades from what the world is like now
- a worldview that is based for the most part on the media who tends to focus on the bad things
- they need as an organization to appear to be up-to-date on the events of the world but for the most part have to rely on outsiders to tell them what the world is like
I have to wonder what the impact of this group of men have on the social development of JWs. This group of men raised with limited personal experience of the world in which they live, almost non-existent post secondary education, and with a strong agenda to control people would be very limited in their understanding of human development.
We also know that the mind control techniques used by the WTS to attain and maintain new recruits tends to discourages personal development. JWs are discouraged from post-secondary education, lmited by rules regarding socializing with non-JWs, and also limited even regarding what they are allowed to think.
Adolescents naturally go through a period of testing and separation from their parents. it is a process where they develop an identity that is apart from the family. They start the process where they will eventually become their own person, with their own set of beliefs, values and behaviors. JWs, especially those who go through their teens as a JW, don't go through this process. Not from their JW parents and most certainly not from "mother" WTS.
So what we have is a group of men who have been isolated from the real world for decades. Not only are they isolated from the real world but they are most often, especially the older ones, isolated from the average JW. The needs of the GB are taken care of. They don't have to worry who is paying the bills or whether they will have enough to eat or how they can save for a new suit. They are out of touch with the realities of life. And this is the group of men whose decide what is and isn't allowed for JWs.
Is it any wonder the average JW is little more than robotic? They are denied the necessary process of individuation. They are most simply 1 of many, a part of the whole, a mindless borg.
So once people leave the enclosure of the WTS they feel adrift. So much of their lives have been controlled. So much of their freedom of thought and expression has been stifled. And somehow, they need to find a way to adjust to living in the real world with few skills to be able to manage in a world they know little about.
It isn't surprising at all that so many people who leave go through a major rebellious stage as they try to discover who they are as people, as individuals. They need to develop new ways of thinking, how to trust, how to catch up with the rest of the world. They need to grow up - fast.
Before the advent of the internet, those who left had a really hard time catching up to the rest of the world. In fact, I suspect many more went back to mother, especially when they discovered they could not "fit" with the larger world around them.
For those who leave now, find their way to the internet, and to sites such as this one, that can give them information and support to develop the skills they need survive, and to thrive in the larger world around them the adjustment will be a bit easier. But it is still a process we all need to go through.
Feeling adrift, lost, confused, and behind the rest of the world is normal. Give yourself time to adjust. Life outside the WTS can be a lot better than the GB would ever dream of