simplification sucked the life out of Witness activities...
Just want to add my voice to the chorus: This is a significant post that, along with the comments in response, has created a landmark thread.
There is more truth here about the organization than you'll find in a year of public talks and WT "studies."
For years I worked behind the scenes at District Conventions for three or four weeks in a row every summer, gladly using up my vacation time to "serve" in this unique capacity. It was hard physical labor, and the days were often 12 hours long, or longer. We were all exhausted by the end of the second week, near collapse by the end of week three, and in those years when there was a Week 4, well, we somehow endured. But I wouldn't have traded it for anything. The feeling of belonging and comaraderie was intense, coupled with a strong sense that we were laboring under spiritual direction and drawing close to God. We were doing something really important. And we were "special."
This all went away with "simplification." I can still remember the first assembly I attended after the food service arrangement was dropped. I sat in the hot, stuffy auditorium and listened to the speakers as they droned on and on and thought, my God, how am I going to sit through this for four days! And how have all these people been doing it for years? I'd have traded four weeks on my feet for this in a hot second.
I supposed that's when I started to realize I was mostly there because I felt needed or thought I was doing something that was visibly making a difference in people's lives. Once I realized that was no longer true (if it ever was), I began to look more critically at everything else. I wish I could say I walked away right after that, but in fact it took me seven or eight more years.
So, yes, simplification was the death knell for the WTS. Further proof there is no divine direction at work in the JW organization.