Yes yes yes indeed! I have lived in three very different areas of the country, been in 5 different congregations, and in both English and Spanish. I was born in the cancer, to a single mother - very devout, but she always had to work and never pio-sneered. Regardless of the area or the congregation, the one common denominator between all the KHs was the ubiquitousness of cliques. Single people hung out with single people, families and extended families stuck together and for them blood was always thicker than water. Married people hung out with married people. Teenagers hung out with teenagers...kids with kids...old spinsters with old spinsters and widows..and most important of all...PIONEERS WITH PIONEERS.
JW congs function like any other human community..There exists social stratification...your popularity and ability to garner friends is contigent upon your status. Only the social currency in the JW world is not fortune or fame..but your perceived "spirituality" and your position in the Watchtower's highly developed hiearchy.
Pioneers love to pride themselves on their "unique privilege". They look down their noses at everybody else who isn't a good enough Watchtower slave to be a pioneer. As a youth, I particularly couldn't stand all the dim-witted, unquestioning, just-out-of-high school, born-in JW youths who drooled all over themselves in self adoration, simply because they pioneered...driving around in the cars that their parents bought them..using their parents' money for gas and going out expenses, or shopping or vacations...while working part-time or not at all...and then posting on Facebook about how "true it is that Jehovah provides for us".
Pioneers form an elite class, and they tend to exclude others from their impenetrable circle of friends. Also, those with a lot of family members in the org have a good number of social connections through their relatives, which makes it easier for them to get into one of the many cliques. It also helps of course if you have money and tend to throw a lot of parties at your house.
It also helps if you are exceptionally good looking, as all the sex-deprived JW youth are the horniest and most fanatically eager to get married ASAP group of teens and young adults you'll ever come across...and despite all the lip-service paid to seeking out marriage mates based on their spiritual qualities and the person they are within..the reality is that both sexes are on the prowl for someone sexually attractive.
Loneliness and feeling like an "other" is what drove me to seriously start researching the WT's teachings and history..If I had been perfectly content, and if the JW community had truly been so welcoming and embracing and inclusive, then I would never have had an incentive to investigate the validity of my beliefs. I would wager that most people who end up on this board do so because they feel alienated..and they ARE NOT so content with the wonderful supercalifragilisticexpialidocious loving "brotherhood" of the JW world.
I went through one period in my life as a young teen (14-16) when I had two great friends. The three of us were absolutely inseperable. We loved each other and had the greatest of times together..Yet we were always ourselves amongst one another..In other words, away from the prying eyes of all the crazy judgemental JWs, we were different people. We watched Dave Chappelle, South Park, rated-R comedies, etc. We chased girls around like normal teenage boys. We talked about what interested us, and developed our own dictionary of inside-jokes and special words and cues. We weren't afraid to express how we truly felt about things or people.
Yet, my friends' parents were more uber-JWs than my mom was, and they would often try to curtail or sabotage our tight-knit friendship. Eventually, my friends got publically reproved for some nonsense, and the elders came to my house and basically told my mom that I shouldn't have any contact with my friends. That was the last of those friendships.
Subsequently, I was back to where I had been for the first 14 years of my life - completely and utterly alone..aside from all the "wonderful" friendships to be had with the "older" (read: geriatric) friends in the congregation.
When I moved yet again, I managed to wiggle my way into one of the cliques at my new hall..but when certain teenage romances blew up, and the dynamics of the group changed..I was again left on the outside looking in.
I then moved to the Spanish to try my luck in a different cultural environment..but never really made my way into any of the cliques, even though I was beloved by the older ones because of my comments and talks.
I didn't fit in this time because instead of being too poor, this time I was too rich for the Mexicans. I was also "white" even though I'm a Mexican-American, I was simply a guero or gringo because I am European looking and didn't grow up speaking Spanish. I was too smart for all the other mindless JW youth, and instead of going the usual JW post-high school course of pioneering and looking to get married as soon as possible..I decided I wanted to pursue an academic education and a satisifying secular career with options.
Needless to say..my goals, outlook, personality, and schedule did not coincide with most other JW youth..so the robotic youth of Watchtower world never allowed me into their inner circle of friends.
I had a lot of acquaintances and a lot of older ones who genuninely seemed to care about me, but I never had any true friends who I knew beyond a superficial level who ever really took the time to get to know me, or dedicate quality time to associating with me for anything other than Watchtower pursuits.
Toward the very end, there were some older ones who sensed how increasinlgy detached and lonely I must have been..and they tried inviting me over their house for youth "game nights", which consisted of watching one of the cheesy WT produced indoctrination videos, eating pizza with no alcohol, a lame G or PG rated movie, and possibly playing board games.
It just wasn't my idea of fun.