For about a year and a half now I have been reading and enjoying your well written entries on these topics. I for one will greatly look forward to whatever you manage to run the publication gauntlet with. And as either an aspiring or a frustrated writer myself, I share your sense of dilemma about what to include or what to leave for another volume. Because you indeed have enough material for not one but several more. Slimboyfat and others are right about staying on target. But what is it?
While I have read some of your accounts of your experience with "conscientious objection", for lack of better ready term, I am not sure if that is the best way to introduce a larger reading public to the issues of being a Jehovah's Witness. I am inclined to think it might work better expanded in a second book, a subject that is touched on or introduced in a first.
Taking a position against state policy is a larger issue to the general public. There are pros and cons about pacifism and resistance to "police actions", "interventions" etc. And they still are with us today as similar foreign policy issues arise in a world that does not seem headed for Armageddon but maybe millenia more of what State Department analyst Fukyama once dismissed as "history".
So let me tell a related story with a different slant.
A few years younger than you, but during the same period, I stepped out of line in a different smaller way. While most of us high schoolers were from lower middle class homes, we were working our tails off to get through parochial school and into college. There were only two of us in the whole graduating class that "shoved" the idea and I was one of them. I enlisted into service instead - which left me four years to contemplate that decision too. ... It wasn't that bad. It just put me in a holding tank where I went down a career path unanticipated, tempered by the realization of my own immaturity. Never mind for now, what was my state of mind or rationale, save that somewhere I too was making a statement. It was individual.
Now beside the obvious contrast of conscientious objection or refusal to serve with going in as a "volunteer", there is something else afoot. I was already in an institution that was pervasive and manipulative. And I revolted against it. And then I seethed for four years realizing I had jumped from frying pan into a fire. Where school had thought literacy was critical thinking, the military thought of it as the ability to follow written orders - and especially if you were not an officer and hadn't gone to college.
Now my adolescent decision is not as interesting as yours, but it is individual. Yours was made in part for you by an institution I would have fled.
What the reader should wonder:
Why would that institution have such a hold on you?
Why is it such a flat earth society?
Why are its adherents so ready to squeeze their eyes tight shut about any contrary evidence to what is proclaimed from a printing plant located somewhere in Brooklyn?
What could be so menacing below a bunch of billboards viewed from the Staten Island Ferry?
Why would anyone subscribe to a theology and human hatred akin to that of an H. G. Lovecraft horror story?
You have the credentials of having put out for it with a prison term. You took very good notes on your circumstances and your manipulation. You have examined the psychology of it from both sides, plus the origins and history of it. What's more, I think what you have to tell the world is more than the repeated Pugachev cossack revolt line claiming, "If only we could get word to the Tsar or Tsarina..." Or the Trotskij in exile talking about how much better it would be had he been able to replace or liquidate a bunch of Stalins. Because the roots of this cult are deep in the American system. You've looked at it too.
The introduction should not be the details of your stand-in for Rutherford's successors, but why it was done or how could this institution have stood as a viable alternative to you or others spending lifetimes in its sway.
Now get to work!