There are many reasons why but I wonder if there could be a dominant mental mechanism at work?
I've done a bit of research and written this article on the subject.
The comparisons between Stockholm's syndrome and Jw behaviour are striking.
This was the response of a JW on another board who was debating the JW changes:
For me I found that while far from perfect, and while there are some things I dont fully understand, and a few I may not agree with, over all when I compared it to the other religions out here this was the closest thing to true worship of God that I have seen. And also for the years I spent away from it I could clearly see that my life, the way I lived it, and my mental, physical, & spiritual health was far better in it than out. Thus why I eventually made the decision to return. I now have a firmer faith in it, I believe it to be the truth. What if I got it wrong and this is all BS. Bottom line is my life is better because of it. And I have yet to find any better alternatives.
I found the article to be one of the best written explanations of why JWs are dangerous. It was nice to not see scriptures. A common sense approach.
I've stayed with men b/c Nothing better was around that minute. Entropy must develop.
A host of Witness beliefs are conducive to leading a moral life. The religion isn't all bad. Facing an unknown is very scary. I'm reading a book called Lonelienss that describes how loneliness wear and tears a person down over time. Our bodies are built to be in social networks. B/c of school, I had an outside life that flourished. There must be a genetic component to staying in the Witnesses. Some people are naturally adventurous while others are conformists.
It is strange b/c I was born with a body that wanted excitement and connection to the wide world. Being a Witness was sheer agony for me. It could be another person's cup of tea. The more one is a Witness, the more outside ties are cut off. I never had to face losing family or friends. My extended family's potential loss was threat enough.
FEAR...it's a perfect tactic. Preach "Gloom and Doom" to have them come into the organization, then do the SAME to keep them from leaving.
great thoughts on Stockholm syndrome well thought out and i would agree
>Some people are naturally adventurous while others are conformists.
This is key. Some may think the deciding factor is intelligence, but from my experience ones who leave for good tend to be less conformist.
Meanwhile, ones who value hierarchy, acceptance, tradition, etc. tend to stay.
A study in psychology, particularly the MBTI personality typing system, is revealing. It may be a generalization, but I find that those attracted to the JW religion tend to be SJs, a combination that stands for Sensing and Judging. A description for ESFJs (Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging) describes their traits:
ESFJs are most comfortable with structured environments. They're traditional, and prefer to do things in the established way, rather than venturing into unchartered territory. Their need for security drives their ready acceptance and adherence to the policies of the established system. This tendency may cause them to sometimes blindly accept rules without questioning or understanding them.
On the other end, I think intuitives (Ns) and perceiving types (Ps) tend to be open and questioning, which leads them to question and leave the JWs.
Maybe someone with more knowledge of the MBTI could weigh in, these are my perceptions from what I know about the system. [Note to those who may be SJs here, there are many factors that lead people to stay (the stockholm syndrome angle in the OP being one of many), so don't take my above observations as a blanket statement on SJs].
wouldn't it be interesting to have a psych survey of JWs?
like the article, makes sense.
as does what minds eye has to add...
there are most likely several main themes running in the JW personality. I expect that the same will be found in any member of cultish religions.
Strangely enough I used to have Muse's Stockholm Syndrome as the ringtone on my phone when I was exiting the cult!!
yeah that is plausible. Simply because I kind of did the same thing when I was just thinking about breaking free...I would start saying/thinking ""ah but they are not so bad, they have the most truth, their intensions are good, they are trying to protect us, they are doing good "" blah blah blah.
It is very sad.