You must remember the times when JW were heavily persecuted and lengthy reports came out that 'strengthened' our faith. Regardless of the validity of those reports, something that recently came back to me was the recurring topic that "they kept beating me but I prayed and eventually I stopped feeling the pain. I knew Gawd gave me strength and saved me that day". Other religions have the 'near-death' experiences when someone has a great deal of trauma.
When I left the borg my ex-stepfather used these examples to try to get me back and I didn't have an answer other than 'made up stories' or overexagerated, it did occupy my mind for a while though as I want an explanation for everything and the JW's weren't the only ones reporting similar stories.
Now having been on the receiving end of that type of pain (voluntarily) last weekend, I experienced the same thing (I didn't actually pass out but it feels like it). It came to me that this phenomenon was similar to what I've read in my past JW life. It's called 'subspace'.
The intense pain (and pleasure) causes the system to flood with epinephrine, endorphins and the like hormones and chemicals that are a natural pain killer and it puts you in a trance-like state. I stopped feeling anything (my cuffs, the flogger, my nakedness, the body of a woman I hardly knew against mine) and blacked out my peripheral vision, I could hear and see what was going on as the woman I was with stopped the scene and kissed me. I felt almost an out-of-body experience as I moved to a nearby couch and started aftercare.
I mean, the people that got beat up didn't do so voluntarily and I don't condone it but calling it Gawd while there is a perfectly valid scientific explanation... misleading. So now that you know, you can explain this to those that come up with 'I felt Gawd'.