Ah! what wonderfull bullshit Christianity exposed us to. The number of actual martyrs in the early church is now thought to have been quite small. But it left a tradition within this religious philosophy beyond all reason. And funny enough, the number of 'compromisers' in the early church was quite high and led to large splits in the early church between those who wanted to forgive the compromisers and those who wanted to disfellowship them forever. Even Bishops found urgent business away from their homes and disappeared into the wide blue yonder and could not be found until they thought it was safe to return without danger.
And yet, on this flimsy foundation, our former loving brothers and sisters, could scare the living daylights out of us all. A bayside congregation in Melbourne put on a special SM, to "prepare" the congregation for the coming ( for certain) persecution.
The proper program starts in the usual tiresome way. Then there's a banging on the door. A servant gets up to check, and a voice booms, whose in charge here? The servant lackey comes and whispers to the Congregation servant (CS)*who goes to the door and goes outside with the "voice". The boring program is proceeding. The CS comes back into the hall and whispers to the ACS and the BSS and they go into a whispering huddle at the back of the hall. By now everyone's wondering what's up! Necks are craning! The committee disappears outside, and re-appear after a few minutes.
The CS walks to the platform and apologises to the brother speaking (by now, no-one's listening, anyway) and says to the congregation. "Please, listen carefully. The police are outside waiting with buses. The government has banned our organisation and we are all under arrest, and will be taken by bus to temporary camps. Will the group study conductors please come to the front? We have arranged with the police for you to stay together in your group. Study conductors, please care for your group carefully and try to stay in touch with the committee in future days. Now, Study conductors get your groups together and starting with XXX group proceed outside.
At which point, the deception was revealed. I don't know how many people had, by this time, pissed themselves or worse, but according to my friend who was in that congregation it was realistic.
Years later, the genius behind the masquerade was at it again, by now a CS (Circuit snake) he had a mock cell on the platform with a few imprisoned brothers awaiting execution. A beautiful blonde is placed in the cell, supposedly to tempt the brothers into compromise and freedom. The usual testing questions were then put to the audience. I recall it clearly, as afterward in a group conversation, one young brother supposedly awaiting execution, said: "If this had been real, I think I would've had a go at the blonde, and died happy."
I guess by now he is also an ex-jw.
* its pre-elder arrangement.