I've been thinking about the recent developments in the UK following the "apostates = mentally diseased" article in the July 15th edition of the Watchtower. To provide a bit more background, a forum member named Amelia has recently had a meeting with UK police officers who subsequently took a copy of the article for their records. They agreed that the content could potentially incite people to hatred against disaffected Witnesses, and the copy is now on file with the UK police in case there are any future incidents of hateful acts against "apostates", including violence or even stalking.
I am working on a press release to make the public more aware of the idealogical oppression being meted out by the Society on those who oppose them, both inside and outside the organization. However, one or two of the comments I received as feedback have struck a nerve and forced me to reconsider my approach.
It is difficult to express to outsiders and media etc the sheer magnitude of the idealogical war that is being waged by the Society against "apostates" without having firm numbers at our disposal. No serious news agency will give this story more than a cursory glance unless they have reasonable information that the problem is genuinely affecting a significant number of people - otherwise it would just be seen as an "inconvenience" being suffered by an extremely small minority of maybe a few hundred or so.
My idea is this. What if every single "apostate" or reformist website were to carry a simple banner, where either disaffected witnesses or former witnesses could click through to a specially-designed website with an online survey that could be completed anonymously, giving very vague personal information purely regarding the country that the person comes from, their "status" (i.e. active / inactive / DF'd / DA'd), and a few non-compulsory questions to find out a bit about which WTS teachings disturb them, and how they are affected personally by them. The key objective of the survey would be to simply gather a number that is indicative of (1) how many INSIDE the organization are against the Society's teachings but afraid of speaking out, and (2) how many there are outside the organisation whose lives have been seriously impacted in a negative way by the teachings of the WTS, such as shunning etc. It would, of course, be a bonus to find out any additional information, but the survey would need to be as simple and inobtrusive as possible to avoid putting people off.
If and when the survey is launched we could carry out a web campaign to publicise the survey and get as many to fill it in as possible. For example, I have counted 887 members registered on JWnet. Each member could be sent a PM reminding them of the importance of filling in the survey, and in the PM they could be asked to point any friends/relatives in the direction of the survey.
Reformist websites (who would already be carrying a banner advertising the survey website) could be approached and asked to support the campaign in any way possible, by asking each of their members to fill in the survey. I notice there are already those who have launched email campaigns against known elder/publisher addresses etc - these avenues could also be used.
Once the campaign is finished, the results could be published with a full breakdown of the figures according to country, status of those surveyed, most disliked teachings etc. A formal report could be posted to the Governing Body to make them aware of how many WITHIN THEIR RANKS despise their teachings, and the figures acquired could be used in press releases in every country.
It may not bring the Society down, but it would atleast add some momentum to a cause most of us believe in, and it would help us to realise just how many of us there actually are.
Think about it, and give me your thoughts!
Obviously, if you think it's a good idea and you want to help make it happen, please PM me.