The WT "Big Four" - what a masterfully designed religious treadmill
Here's a funny story. When I was a newbie, I was so serious and straight about everything. One time, when I was going to miss book study, I called the conductor to let him know i wasn't going to be there. He just laughed and said "OK buddy, we'll see you next time". Over the years it fell off some, but not much. I enjoyed the meetings. The friendships and communal atmosphere kept me in long after I started feeling like not all was right in Watchtower World.
Hit and miss, more miss as the years went by. Sometimes the Awake! would have an interesting article or two, but the Watchtower seemed to get weirder and weirder ("you expect me to offer this to people?"), especially after 1995 and the generations thing. They seemed to get more repetitive and counsel-heavy. The ENDLESS counsel in the pubs and from the platform was a big part of my starting to chafe under the WT-yoke.
"Jehover, please forgive me for this that and the other...please help me with this and that problem...I'm sorry i fall so short in this and that way..." That's all my prayers ever consisted of. Kind of sickening, in retrospect, how much guilt and shame I suffered from and how much being in the WT reinforced those feelings.
"Hi, my name is Dan, we were offering these Bible-based (tm) magazines to you and your neighbors today. This issue of the Awake! is about police officers and how important they are in our society. Is that something you would be interested in reading?"
"Yeah, OK, I'm a police officer myself."
"Oh, I'm sure you'll enjoy the articles then. By the way, if you don't quit your job and join us, Jehovah is going to kill you at Armageddon."
I didn't go out in field service much.