After being DA'd for two years, I felt it was my duty to attend the memorial talk for an elderly brother who I greatly respected over the years.
I was quite nervous going back to the KH and seeing everyone.
Well, my wife and I walked in, and most of the elders we saw just looked away, or acted like we were invisible. Several of our old friends winked, smiled, or waved secretly. The hall was full, and this elder named Jeff Renfroe placed us in the 2nd row from the front. .
During the talk I was just amazed how confined, and limited the jw way of thinking was. The speaker used the same scriptures used in these talks for over 30 years. The same examples as to why people die. Remember the example of the dented bread tin ? They updated it now to a computer virus, and how it transfers from one computer to another.
The life, family, and times of the person who died were reduced to a small introduction , the rest of the talk was an infomercial for promoting the jw mindset. It was a real eye-opener for me as to how confined witnesses are and how they are not allowed to think, or act on their own thoughts or feelings.
After the talk we were walking out, and I made a real effort to make eye contact with as many people as possible. Most just looked away, but many smiled.
I believe now that when a person leaves the jw religion on their own, and not doing anything that would have been a df'ing offense the congregation develops the thinking that the life of the person who left will just fall apart and it will just be a short time before that person comes crawling back the the kh asking for forgiveness.
Having gone back to the hall just supporting the family of the man who died actually made me feel good, and the way the elders looked at or ignored us I felt that they were nervous because we are still normal. And the people who ignored us more forcefully were the spiritual "men" who are guiding the congregation. I felt bad for many of the kids we knew, now they are teenagers and they seemed torn as to whether they should say something or not. Most just ended up looking away if their parents, or an elder were near,,,, I thought that was really sad that even children could not act on their own feelings.