It seems to me, by observation, that young people who leave the organization have much greater odds of reintegration into society in general than do us 'old fogies'.
Yesterday I was privileged to officiate the wedding of my great niece, who is a former Jw, disfellowshipped in her teens. [I am legally ordained, though I am atheist.] Among the guests were at least 8 or 10 xjws, disfellowshipped mostly. [There was probably 150 people there, so although the xjw's were a minority, they were a sizable minority.] The bride is mid-twenties, and most of the people to whom I refer are in that group, although a few of us were older, including the father of the bride. During the reception I had opportunity to speak to several of these young people, and found those discussions pleasingly refreshing. Of course, as we all know, Jehovah's Witnesses are not particularly interested in cultivation of those whom they have excommunicated, so young people seem to migrate to each other and are very adept at making new friends outside the closed ranks of those they had known as Jw's.
I was pleased with the growth of my own personal opinions as I spoke with them. These were people whom I would have judged as 'worldly', perhaps even 'wicked' when I was a Jw. I found them filled with life, hope, and great character. I had known most of these people before, when they were witness kids and I was the self-righteous servant who looked down my nose at their conduct. Now I understand that they were just wishing to 'find themselves', and they found themselves outside the organization. But they did not find themselves 'looking in', as the idiom goes. They have found themselves looking up, looking forward, and looking far wiser in my eyes than I would have honestly expected.
There were in attendance at least three active Jw's that I know of also - although it would be argued that those people were certainly not considered 'stellar' Witnesses by any who know them, and they only attended because the bride was family. It is interesting to note that the only 'rude', 'unchristian', behavior I observed was by the Witnesses, who all know me as the lovable local apostate. They avoided eye contact with me, would not speak to me, and in one case a sister brushed right by me rudely letting all know that she would not stand in the same circle with me - though she never said a word, it was understood.
I have 'married' several Jw couples when I was a Jw. Since leaving I have now officiated at three weddings - two were religious affairs. This one was totally non-religious by request of the couple, which is just fine with me. [God, I hate offering all that scriptural advice and prayers when I don't even believe any god is listening.] The ceremony was perhaps 10 minutes long, a unity sand ceremony, spoken vows, ring exchange. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. I must say this was the best wedding I can recall.
But, the point I intended to make before I sidetracked myself was this: The Watchtower is driving it's youth away - not a new fact of course. These young people are better than survivors of a cult - they are living life with zest. They are good people who walk away wondering why they have been so mistreated. But unlike those of us who left much later in life, they are healing fast, learning to live, and they will spread the word about the horrors of the organization better than could be done with billboards and flyers. SO I SAY TO THOSE BROOKLYN BASTARDS - KEEP IT UP! YOU ARE DOING A GREATER FAVOR [along with some unfortunate pain] THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE!
I am encouraged. No 'nation', political or religious, can stand for long when it practices genocide of it's hopeful youthful element. It may endure a while so doing, but the eventuality is that it will fall into disrepair and be abandoned. My experience with a small handful of those who were thrown to the 'world' is that they will do just fine.
I think there is hope in this, but not for the Watchtower.