Phoebe: "They are all fairly young people, 40ish and under. They weren't around for 1975 and most of them have not had one obstacle in their lives to overcome. I'm wondering what they'll feel like in 20/30 years when the end hasn't come and they are scraping by. I was them once...I thought the end was imminent. I didn't worry about tomorrow. You give up everything and then they tell you it was your fault you did that and NOW the end is imminent and so the cycle goes on, wasting the lives of generation after generation. This religion is cruel."
Amen, sista! Suppose they're 40; then they were born in '77. That means that not only do they not remember all the 1975 stuff; they're probably not even aware of the 1994 ("generation" expiring") issue.
And I'm a living example of what it's like 30 years later with no end as promised. I scrape buy working a hard job with no retirement prospects. The religion is, as you said, cruel, and it's also cold, heartless, and perhaps even evil.
"Then they tell you it was your fault you did that." Yeah, my mother told me that what I did (giving up everything for JWdom) is what I chose to do. I told her that I did choose to do it, but I did so based on what she and the religion taught me.
I used this illustration: Suppose your doctor tells you that you have a bad problem with your right arm and that if you don't get it amputated, you probably won't live but about six months, but if you do get it amputated, you'll live out a normal lifespan. You choose to get your arm amputated. Later, you find out there was nothing wrong with your arm, so you go to the doctor and tell him that you had your arm cut off based on what he told you and that he was wrong. He tells you that what you did was what you chose to do - that you chose to have your arm cut off.
Well, yes, you made the decision. But you didn't just want to have your arm cut off. You did it because he told you that your life was at stake if you didn't.
So, just as I wouldn't cut my arm off without good reason, I wouldn't choose to sacrifice my life without good reason. I didn't do it just because I wanted do. I did it because I was taught the end of the whole world was coming any minute.