Why did I answer YES ?
Aspiring members really have NO choice about baptism; it is presented both cognitively and subconsciously as the next step, the move, the clincher, the way to show you are with the group, that you love Jehovah, you are making the right choice.
It is a great pressure on adults; the case, though, can be made that at some point they abandon the higher functions of their cognitive brain function (the one telling them to research every quote, to MAKE SURE).
But children, even up to the age of 20, have no such luxury. For their entire life they have been led to this moment, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. They MUST be baptized in order to survive Armageddon; a CO we had discussed those who were old enough to be baptized (no age was given) who were NOT baptized; what would happen to them at Armageddon? He drew a line across his throat. How would you like to be a 10 year old in that audience??
Witness are arrogant about "knowing" there is no Hell to suffer in after death. I submit that they don't need it; they have the threat of Armageddon for the unbaptized, and the very real Hell of disfellowshipping if you fall off track and don't know how to work the elders.
For me it was wanting to belong to a group somewhere that I had naively perceived to be genuinely spiritual but it turned out to be just a pseudospiritual surface.
I bought the Paradise Earth thing too, Free. I didn't much like the drawings in the mags and tracts because those seemed too perfect and cartoonish for real people, but I liked the idea that we were made to live on Earth, we seem to have a desire to go on living forever and, with the Paradise Earth carrot, we would. I never thought it would be as easy as the WTS made it out to be and I could never quite picture how it would work, but I was willing to suspend my doubts and believe. The death to all non-dubs part at the Big A really bugged me, but my hope was that the Society had got Jah's intent wrong and that only the very evil and wicked would be killed off. There's nothing like picking and choosing only the stuff you really like and trying to dismiss the bad stuff for keeping up your delusions.
There was no way I would have ever said "NO" to the baptismal questions. I'm too conventional and hate to make waves or draw attention to myself. The time to have said no had long passed for me. I needed to have refused the stupid Bible study to begin with.
one of the latest magazines (July 1st I think) actually mentions that parents don't force their kids to become JW
Lol - like it's going to cross the mind of an average teenager. In MY day, it was a competition to see who could get their kids Baptised the soonest (I believe, and have been told, one reason being to pass responsibility over the blood issue).
I have also JUST been told that JW kids are 'begging' their parents to get Baptised, but the parents are making them wait.
I was raised in it yet not babtised until 20 while engaged to a pioneer!
I didnt even know what the questions meant, I just knew I always heard people say yes, so as a good dub I followed suit.