"You did what you knew and when you knew better, you stopped doing it."
While a fan of Maya's, I'm not sure these words have a FULL application in the classical sense.
For instance, a drug addict KNOWS BETTER way before he/she gets clean and sober.
A pedophile KNOWS BETTER, and may never stop.
A child abuser KNOWS BETTER, and later on when the child is grown and scarred, that parent suddenly "sees the light."
So there are many instances of people who "KNOW BETTER" and yes this does not change their actions.
I believe some of us didn't know any better because no one came along to define a better way.
The difference is, I don't believe it's anyone else's job but mine to define my better way. Now I'm not coming down hard on you because remember I did this shit for years, and didn't wake up until I was 25 and the house of cards fell entirely apart. I'm just willing to admit that from the time of majority (16) when I KNEW BETTER that this religion was full of shit, I should have WALKED, paid the temporary price and moved on with my life. My wake up call should have been all of the elders who met with me to actively discourage my college application process. My other clue should have been the threats in my household (JW elder father) that I would NOT be allowed to attend college and if I spoke about it I would be thrown out of the house.
So you see, I too had warning shots fired over my head and directly into my ass. My heart was telling me that it wasn't cool to be coerced into pioneering when what I really wanted was to attend the University of Hawaii (for god knows what reason!)
Were external factors to blame partially? Of course. Were there warnings? Of course.
We never had the blood transfusion fiasco or any other WT flaw thrown in our faces. The internet hasn't always been here, and even today many have no idea what it's all about.
When I was a teenager -- I saw books at TOPS supermarket in Auburn New York on Grant Ave and Genesee St..... "30 years a WT slave" and such. The shit was out there. I ignored it and you did too.
Live and learn, but you still gotta pay the piper Class