Like Reopened Mind said Steve Hassan's " Combatting Cult Mind Control " & " Releasing the Bonds- Empowering People to Think for Themselves " - both books really helped me to be open minded and escape the JW cult mind control. Also these books assisted me to lose any fear or guilt I had as a witness because I realized that I was just being abused and manipulated by a deceitful tricky organization the WT society . Now I've been the happiest ever in the last 7 years out of the witnesses
Observation -- Posters Don't Seem Clueless
Your getting involved with this cult quite closely parallels mine;
- a teenager in the late 1960s / early 1970s, impressed with how "Bible Prophecy" appeared to be acting out in "World Conditions" etc. etc. etc.!
However, the penny started to drop when all this did not continue on as it was supposed to;
- then the penny definitely hit the deck with a crash once I learned that this outfit had done the same things over and over in the past; and with similar results! (i.e. they were False Prophets, pure and simple!).
From that point onwards, I just could no longer keep up the pretence - after finding myself in the position of having to try and defend that which was indefensible.
Yep it was forced on me as a 13 year old when my mom became a baptized witness. Yay me. No more cheerleading, birthdays, holidays and had no more association with my friends. I was forced to attend the meetings, go out in service and smile (or get smacked in the face) and hang out with the kids in the hall. Fun times. I just tried to survive from that point on and regrettably got baptized. As an adult I know that I would never choose the JW religion especially with how they view/treat women. I cannot even comprehend how my mom was attracted to the religion. The only thing I can think is that she was vulnerable and was having marital problems with my alcoholic dad.
I was born in, in 1950. Looking back, the most intelligent ones were in the main, the born- in ones.
Not blowing my own trumpet with that comment, but I think ,even in those pre-internet days converts that stayed came from the less educated and often less intelligent, although I can think of many exceptions to that, I think it is generally true.
Mostly the intelligent converts did not stay long, there are exceptions again of course.
Intelligence has little to do with being trapped by belief, or faith if you like, many top brains are still in some religion.
True education has a lot to do with it, if you read widely enough you will see the problems wth a religion/cult, but once you are trapped in the JW/WT cult they keep you as far away from true education as they possibly can.
there are certain things you just normally never question:
for example, you would never question those who raised you are your biological parents, unless !!! something happening from outside makes you question....for example that your mother was unfaithful, or that your father came to know your mother when you were already born etc...
among those things as a born in is the claim, that WTS is Gods only org. Unless something "outside" happens, you never question this. You may realize some things do not fit, but in your mind you make them fit, and explain them away, since you have no doubt in WTS being Gods channel.
According to my observations (please take it at what it is, a single viewpoint) it even seems that those born-ins with a higher IQ even seem to resist doubts or problems more than others, since they find ways, to explain away many failures of the WTS and to excel in being an apologist.
I don't think it is a matter of intelligence but rather if a person has thinking ability. If a person has the ability to think for their own then when they read the ridiculous crap in the publications it just does not make sense. It could be that alot know it is crap but it is just must easier to go own not thinking for themselves. As they say ignorance is bliss.
Let's see... I was born in... baptized at 16... regular auxiliary pioneered for over a year... ministerial servant at 19...
my father told me the end was so close I would never graduate high school... that was over 20 years ago...
research says that C.T. Russell thought the end would come in 1874... J.F. Rutherford said King David would live in his house in 1925... the Society later pointed to 1975 as the end...
pretty soon you add it all up and realize it's just plain bullsh*t...
Another thing Hassan's books show clearly is that being intelligent is no defense against cult indoctrination methods because those methods are designed to convince a recruit psychologically, not intellectually. But when one knows the game they're playing, indoctrination is far less likely to succeed.
You don't have to be dumb to join a cult. But you do have to remain willfully ignorant to stay in one. If one is unwilling to learn how the cult is controlling him, I don't believe he can ever be fully free.
As the months passed, I realized that I could no longer live a lie. In the words of a song, I had ‘come to doubt all that I once held as true.’ I had to face the reality that I would not be able to keep up the pretence that I loved Jehovah or even believed He existed. I could not look forward to the destruction of most of humanity to make way for a new world for me and other chosen ones, thinking we were more deserving of life than others.
Even if such a God existed, I would rather die than be a part of such a monstrous plan. I was out of sync with the other members and it showed. I found myself irritated by the amount of pretence that so many members engage in to toe the party line. I could see clearly behind the curtain and realized there was no Wizard of Oz, just old men pushing buttons and hoping they would not be caught out.
I was born in. While my emotional stability was severely stunted, I never bought 95% of the dogma.
I knew I was going to leave by the time I was 14 (I was baptized at 9), only went to occasional meetings by about 18, and stopped all participation by say 22 or so.
Higher education doesn't answer questions like "what's the purpose of life?, why we suffer etc?"
I would disagree. A liberal arts education, or taking philosophy courses, will give you so much more than any one religion.