Very interesting thread with excellent responses.
Question about JW and Brooklyn
Hi Eppie, though being a devout Witness for many years, I think that the devoutness, and zealousness was attributed to "group-think" peer pressure, and not go the feelings deep in my heart. When I stopped attending meetings it was becuase of the corruption and behavior of elders being directed by headquarters. When speaking out about it and being labeled "apostate" I really researched some of their doctrines and found that many were unscriptural and false. It is no longer a matter of being mad at the org, rather taking the time to stand back and see for myself how much I no longer agree with their teachings. Burdons have been lifted, and my faith has taken new direction.
I have to echo Liberty and recommend Ray Franz's Crisis of Conscience. That book gave me an valuable insight into the inner workings and politics of the Governing Body. I used to think that the GB was a group of devout scholarly men, doing painstaking research in the Bethel library, and then going before Jehovah in earnest prayer, in order to base their decisions on valid Biblical truths. Instead, CoC described your typical corporation board meeting where decisions are voted upon and consensus is often reached by political alliance of certain factions. What started out as a religious movement by Russell has become over many decades a dysfunctional conglomerate.
Do they realize what they are doing? I'm not sure. They may truly believe they are doing what is right. They may be as deluded as the average JW. They, for the most part, have spent many years being indoctrinated into the JWs before becoming part of the GB. They may have seen the discrepancies and the double standards, but chose to ignore them and perpetuate the status quo. They may truly feel they are being loyal to Jehovah in doing this. Ray Franz described his awakening as a GB member. He was tempted, sorely tempted, by all that he had attained in position and prestige. He described his comfortable living quarters, trips to all parts of the globe, and many other perks that he was privileged to. He described the weight of his decision to leave the GB, having to get a job, and go to work at an age when most people were retiring. He did leave though, because his conscience wouldn't let him continue to support a deteriorating organization that was no longer pure in their worship of God.