(3) Frankly , most JWs are almost completely disinterested in doctrine and the history of the WTS , which most "apostate" sites focus on. For them , it is a way of life and such matters are only of a vague academic interest and any objections are easily explained away.
I think this is truer than I ever realized.
There are a handful of wannabe "Bible scholars" who are really into the doctrine, and a handful of "true believers" who keep up-to-date doctrinally. These folks are the most likely to become apostate, because they actually pay attention to what the WTS says.
I was one of them as a kid. I struggled to understand and I wanted to believe. When it failed to make sense, I couldn't help myself but point out the inconsistencies.
I think these are the types most likely to be "spiritually endangered" by sites like this. They're more likely to do independent research on doctrinal topics to satisfy their intellectual curiosity and spiritual thirst. And they're the ones the WTS really doesn't want to lose, because they produce results in the ministry and do a lot of the work. They're the active, faithful "sheep." That's why the WTS is so afraid of the internet.
But over time--and after talking to a number of "former" JWs who claim to "still believe it's the Truth" or who think that "JWs are closer to the truth than anyone else"--I suspect that the vast majority of the rank-and-file aren't disturbed by the doctrinal changes and "new light" that makes me so crazy. It's not just that they don't notice; it that they don't care. As long as the Society assures them that they're on the right side, they don't even think about the details.
I'd certainly put my mother in that category. She prides herself on her "Bible knowledge," but she can't go beyond a few basic texts. She can't explain, from the Bible, why she believes what she does. She just knows she does.
My über-JW aunt, on the other hand, prides herself on her Bible knowledge. I actually think her belief in the "Truth" is not as strong as my mothers, because she expects it to make sense. If she ever gets on a site like this one and stays long enough to have some of her beliefs challenged, she probably won't be able to bear the cognitive dissonance.
Perhaps it's just that you have to be "cognitive" before you can have "cognitive dissonance."
In a nutshell, though, I think the guys Dozy's quoting in the original post are half-right. The number of people leaving probably hasn't changed much. But as other posters have pointed out that former JWs who find these sites may be less likely to go back, and new studies who find these sites are less likely to continue. I also think that people who expect logic and scholarship from the WT (and some do!) who "stumble" onto these sites will quickly become ex-JWs--and they will fall into the category of "apostates" as far as the WTS is concerned.
That's why they're concerned. They don't worry about DF'ing for fornication and smoking. They worry about apostates, because that's where the threat to their power comes from.