After reading experiences and correspondence that some have posted on this site I think it might be a good idea to share what has been somewhat effective in conversations with entrenched JW family and friends.
When I was just "waking up" my mind was so occupied with the things I learned that I paid little attention to how I presented my point of view to JW's. I often employed the "shot-gun" approach using the research I unveiled along with a healthy dose of outrage. Since then I've learned to tone down a bit and concentrate on getting through to the people I speak with rather than defending my choice.
W hen I faded, my experience went a little like this: I finally decided to explore those little nagging voices that told me something just wasn't right about the Society's teachings. I couldn't believe what I was learning - really. In the beginning I had this incredible distrust of anything that didn't complement my belief set. For example, I saw quotes in older watchtowers that showed the society making outlandish predictions on all sorts of dates. I read excerpts from Russell's old books that sounded like it came from a comic book. Over time though I realized that everything I read was actually true. The Society had so many whacky teachings that nobody would have to fabricate stories. The Society's own writings are such an awful embarrassment that I could hardly bite my tongue. Doomsday in 1914, 1925, 1941 and 1975, the Electronic Biola Machine, calculating dates from pyramid measurements, demonic vaccinations and on and on. The one thing that had the most impact on me though was reading the book Crisis of Conscience by former Governing Body member Raymond Franze. Without a doubt it showed the human origin of this religious system. There's no way I would continue to piss away my life in this controlling religion.
S o as I began to step away I faced a barrage from JW's especially those of my family. The entire system of fear, guilt, and pressure was being applied in full force. It makes a person very defensive. However in light of what I learned there's no way I could succumb to this pressure. Instead I unloaded all my research and sometimes added a healthy dose of sarcasm when berated. When the light is shined on the Society's teachings they are ridiculous....and when challenged I gave it right back with ample ridicule. Who in their right mind could continue to cling to this crack-pot belief system after having heard everything I learned?
What I noticed, to my utter surprise, was that my friends and family were not impressed by what I discovered. Instead they reverted to the standard defense mechanisms I recognized from when I was "in". Nothing seemed to penetrate. I found this very perplexing especially since I was someone they considered close to them.
Since then I've tried to understand what makes JW's cling to their illogical belief system even when faced with compelling evidence.
The Watchtower Society has a tough job to do. The New Testament gives no credence to a large intermediary organization that Christians must funnel their worship and activities through in order to be acceptable to God. Yet this is exactly what the Watchtower Society has become. Their entire existence depends on JW's relinquishing their individuality to the Society's cause in order to save themselves and others from impending doom.
How do they do it? Stay tuned for part 2....