I'm sure some of you chuckled when you read the topic, or wondered if this was sarcasm, but I'm being serious. Yes, Witnesses number less than one in a thousand, but that's still millions of people. People like you and me! I'm not saying that JWs are highly effective, as in "having a high conversion rate", but merely pointing to the fact that they still make converts, after decades of saying the end was near, and putting all sorts of weird requirements on people like door-to-door preaching, giving talks, and not taking blood. Why would anyone find this appealing enough to join? And yet we believed, at one time, and some of us loved our beliefs! Maybe for catharsis' sake, especially for those who converted rather than being born-in, it's worth listing some reasons why Witnesses have such an appealing message for some listeners.
It seems to me that it's all about presentation. Jehovah's Witnesses:
- Are confident in their message. When was the last time that a random religious person confidently spoke of their beliefs as absolute "truth"? There must be something to it, to make them so certain!
- Are clean-cut and seem to have their lives together. "What do they have that I'm missing?" It's not apparent at first that the Witness is projecting this sort of appearance as a necessity, to make their work more effective and to convince themselves that they're happy. JWs put a lot of energy into maintaining this facade.
- Earnestly want you to share their beliefs. We've all met someone who might be right about an issue, but they make it hard for us to want to agree with them because they laugh when we haven't heard of their favorite kind of music or they "can't believe" we're still eating that food that's bad for us. JWs really want others to agree with their beliefs because it's faith-strengthening for themselves, and they're taught to be humble and approachable, so they don't hold their "superior" Bible knowledge over others' heads and are eager to share it.
- Have literature! When was the last time you asked someone about their lifestyle, and they had a booklet ready to hand to you that explains it all with citations (scriptural backup, in this case)? They could also walk you through many of their beliefs from memory. For an intellectually-oriented spiritual person, this is way more appealing than the response an ordinary parishioner can give about their church's beliefs. There's a whole lot of information to process at once, which is impressive and a bit overwhelming for a potential skeptic.
Does anyone want to add anything to the list?
Edit: Apologies, I didn't mean to be in this forum when I created the topic!