never a jw , I reserved my comments for a later time after I read your entry (post #37) because I had to first figure out where you were coming from. I didn't want to lash out at you out of my personal pain and regret. I think your question is genuine, given your lack of understanding about how the WTBTS operates. In some ways, your question is painful to many of us that know firsthand how the organization works and manages to alienate people and devastate lives. I'm guessing you've glossed over some of the comments (I'm thinking of mine) regarding their sanctimonious attitudes. We've lived that, many of us who have had family members shun us and who have had every friend in the world (up to then) turn against us and abandon us. You can't seriously think that to be left out in an emotional desert would not affect people, even the strongest of us.
For Eric, it was more than he could handle. Some people are fragile that way. That doesn't take away from the blame the WTBTS has, and yes, every individual within their ranks involved, for taking part in the demise of a person by denying him or her of the human bond that we so desperately need. If you, as I understand it, have children that are JWs and are not in touch with you, imagine your whole world being alienated from you. It's not easy for some to rebuild a new world of friends and loved ones.
To answer your question directly, the WTBTS is responsible because they have instituted a policy that promotes pain and misery, that encourages family members and friends to abandon one another, that goes against Christ's principles to love even the worst amongst us, that uses cruel procedures to decapitate a body of relationships from its constituents; and they do it in order to punish, because that's how they've chosen to interpret the scriptures. It's just not right in so many ways.
What Eric did he did out of desperation. It's not the first time this has happened. The point is that many people don't have the fortitude that you may have. We should protect those that are the weakest amongst us. That's what Jesus would have done. But the WTBTS doesn't see it that way. Doesn't that make them responsible? If his wife left him it wasn't just because she was tired of him. Think about the counsel she received and the advice they gave her. If you have no clue about that, search this web site or just ask someone here for examples on how they operate.
Do I have to go on with every possibility of what Eric faced? Read his posts and maybe you'll learn something. There's no doubt in my mind that the policies of the WTBTS have caused untold pain and suffering, especially in this particular case. I could be more generic and mention the case about Malawi and Mexico, how some people were exposed to rape and death for not accepting a political membership card (Malawi) and others are allowed to bribe officials to get a military service card (Mexico) in order to continue as Witnesses. Yes, the blood on the WTBTS's hands will never coagulate.