I think the problem is, as before, how the AAWA is handling things and refusing to answer your critics makes things worse. Critics are not people out to get you, they are critical of something that you have done or given the appearance of doing and PR is the job of responding to address the criticisms.
This is the internet people, you can't just pretend that things didn't happen by deleting the comments! Especially not with a group that wants to claim to offer support and be open and honest. Never mind the issue of still putting people at risk.
Throw in refusal to now even have any dialog with people that they were keen to talk to when they wanted to announce and promote themselves and you are left with the appearance, whether accurate or not, that the group is acting in an arrogant way that just centers on their own appearance.
Really, being able to alianate so many of the ex JW community within just a few days of launch is quite an achievement. Yes, things are going on over the same thing but there is a REASON for that - it's because there are no answers forthcoming. Cedars could easily have posted on the thread that "hey, yes, I used a pseudonym for certain reasons but it's OK and all legit, we checked" and that would be it ... but he didn't. They could have shut the group when it was clear early on that there were problems ... but they didn't. They could have done lots of things that would have taken no time at all and there would have been no endless discussion and people would have said "great job guys". Instead, they spent their time deleting any comments off their blog that were critical and writing up a self-promoting PR piece that spun what had gone on.
It's not OUR fault that THEY have mishandled things! Are they also intending to become an Anti-JWN group now as well? Who's next? Reminds me so much of the jehadist types who turn on the population because they don't get the support that they imagine they deserve and demand.
As for other people with no ex JW background getting involved. Yeah, I can see one or two individuals but that is it. If the name was more generic and not so focused on being anti-WatchTower maybe .... but then why didn't those people get involved with existing counter-cult groups? Doesn't it work both ways? Is anyone here interested in joining an anti-Mormon or anti-Scientology group? Have you? Will you? Of course not ...
So aren't we all left with the feeling that after destroying the trust of the ex JW community they are now saying "well fuck you, we never wanted you people anyway, it's non-JWs that are going to help us, nah nah"? Does anyone really believe them?
As for the lawyer putting themselves at risk. That's crap. They do the paperwork and file it and could offer advice but the person signing their name on the paper is the one swearing that it is true. I don't know and care if it's legal or not but do wonder how much trust people can put in an organization run by someone that not only doesn't reveal their name but doesn't even want people to know what COUNTRY they are in. It's laughable to imagine that they wouldn't be sitting ducks in court. Just file against the president and win by default every time he fails to appear.