Of course, in line with Xanthippe, religions generally do mean agreeing to accept a set of belief and rules. So if you are going to join one, and if you are up to speed with the fact that in most cases this is what a religion entails, it does seem ridiculous to attach oneself with harsh demands as we did when becoming JWs.
Some of this was hidden from us who were not born in, like myself. They are not as forthcoming as they should have been now that I look back. And other times they were acting on the ignorance that came from them being cut off from education and proper analytical thinking. I can't say I know what it is for someone who is born in. In such a case you might not know where the "lies we don't tell others" begin and "the way we explain it to outsiders" gets officially marked off.
And, while I've heard that saying this causes brain freeze to JWs and even some exJWs, I belong to a religious tradition that believes that beliefs are insufficient and irrelevant.
This does not mean that we don't have convictions, beliefs, faith, etc. All people have convictions, even faith in their stand that all religion is malarkey. But believing something or not believing is mainly something you do with the mind. Those higher concepts of doctrinal catechesis and arguments why such beliefs cannot be real or reasonable are mostly only things you can argue about. Most of can't really prove what we believe or don't believe. We think we can, and whether religious or non-religious we can spend a lot of time--wasting a lot of time--arguing that what we think, the intangible convictions of our mind whether religious or against relgion, have some sort of power, value, and means to make us more than what we really are...perhaps even elevate us above those who don't subscribe to our convictions.
And yet most of us, especially when put to the test or when things get rough, will excuse ourselves of having to follow what we believe. There may be no atheists in fox holes, but the guy next to him praying his rosary has got a gun and will use it despite what the Ten Commandments say.
The problem with Jehovah's Witnesses is that they teach us that what concepts we adhere to, most of them intangible, are important. We came to believe that a small amount of doubt can ruin these beliefs. If there is a God, how is your mere mental acknowledgment of God's existence relevant? If an atheist acts with more love and fights more injustice than you the believer, didn't the atheist do a better job of bringing God into the world? But for his disbelief the atheist gets destroyed or goes to hell? Nonsense.
Beliefs are a starting point, but they are irrelevant to actions. What you do, how you act, defines what you really are, what you really believe. Fighting amongst ourselves that we are somehow more enlightened due to what we believe or don't doesn't amount to much.
You can argue that if there was a God there wouldn't be suffering in the world, but then you prove that you choose to waste your time blaming an intangible belief and arguing against it instead of using your own power and ability to bring relief from that suffering. Says a lot about us in comparison to a God that supposedly doesn't exist when we do that. Our actions are what really matter.
Then again, so does the appearance of a Kingdom Hall. If this is Jehovah's one true religion, why Kingdom Halls? They always gave me the creeps and I had to constantly be compartmentalizing my mind screaming at me that "this is the type of building a cult would meet in."