"If I wasn't born a JW, I would never have become one."
From when I was a teenager, i openly said I wouldn't have been a JW if I wasn't raised one. I didn't say this or mean it in a rebellious or hostile way-- just the preaching/door knocking work and the message wouldn't have appealed to me. I always thought, 'we each are born in to our own truth' as in the religion of ones parents is always the 'right' religion.
I think this thread applies to a majority of born-ins on here.
2nd Gen here. Me and all my siblings (and our spouses) have all openly said in the past that we'd never have become JWs on our own, and that the only reason we were today is because our parents joined. This even applies to my sibling who's been serving in a full-time assignment for decades.
Wow...strange to step back as an adult and think about that.
I felt exactly the same way. When I was at a low point in my life where I felt the organization/Jegoober was too demanding and didn't love us, I thought to myself how I wish I was never born into the religion, even if it were true (as I still believed at the time), so that I could die but be resurrected in the "new world" because I never got to know "the truth". It was a bad time, but ultimately it made me realize this cult is really a cult. I never regretted anything more than getting baptized at age 11. The vast majority of my problems are linked with my family's involvement with this cult. It would fulfill me to see JWism fail.
All of the above shows why the Borg is pushing the baptisms of children.
Before long we'll be having ''infant'' baptisms just like in most mainstream churches.
I've pondered this question a number of times. Surprisingly, I think I might have.
Here's why. Back when I was in my late teens and early 20's and I was questioning/seeking (late 70's & early 80's), JWs seemed more normal and they seemed to make sense. They could answer most of my questions (but not the really big ones). I had friends who went to church and literally didn't even know what the books of the Bible were. I also observed church on TV, and what I saw was a shallow, phony, money-grabbing joke. This put me in the frame of mind to accept JWs. They seemed to really study the Bible; they weren't "churchy".
Also, I loved the idea of a paradise earth wherein there would be no more suffering and injustice. The JWs back then seemed more intelligent and knowledgeable, the literature seemed deeper and more scholarly, and the org seemed more serious and dignified. Information about the real history of JWs was not readily available.
So, again, I might have become one if the right person had made contact with me and there had been enough normal, stable, intelligent people in the congregation I was exposed to.
However, things are far different now. There is no way I would become one now if I were being exposed to them for the first time.
I really do not think they would have converted me, I was born-in, so that is why I was one. 5 times a week indoctrination sessions tend to sway the young mind.
My natural self likes to enjoy life, to live, laugh (a lot) and to love, all things either proscribed or frowned upon by the cult.
I am also a natural rebel, so when anyone tells me I should do something, my first thought is "Why ?".
The time it took for me to fully wake up was a combination of circumstances, the early indoctrination, being in a very liberal Congregation where my obvious rejection of WT silliness was accepted, and even by some Elders encouraged, and other things.
I had left before I realised that I would never have made a convert, but I am sure that is true.
With the present climate, the Internet etc, I am surprised they make even a single convert.
I was a 3rd generation born in. I always knew I never would be a JW if I hadn't been born into it and for that I was "grateful" to my family. I was always told I was too independent and I knew if I had grown up any other way and witnesses came knocking, I wouldn't have had the desire to conform. Now I'm pissed off and depressed that my childhood wasn't as fulfilling as it could have been, especially in regards to never getting to fully form friendships with genuinely nice people at school/work. So many of them are still great friends to this day. Meanwhile, I'm now being shunned by most of my family and all of my friends. Trying to adjust to a new social norm is proving to be a mentally debilitating task.
I have said that to people I've known, "If it wasn't for my parents being JW's, I never would've become one." In my case I planned on never getting baptized. It never appealed to me. Yet, in an effort to escape my family life, I decided to get married. My dad wouldn't come to the wedding unless it was at the KH. It couldn't be at the KH if I wasn't baptized. So, feeling blackmailed, I got baptized. Crazy thing is, I wanted to call off the wedding because I didn't really love him, but my mom made me feel so guilty about making my ex feel bad that I went through with it.
My mom is still trying to make me feeling guilty about not going to meetings. She keeps telling me, "You KNOW its the truth." And in my mind I say, "No, I don't and never did know or feel it was the truth." It wouldn't do any good to argue with her, as SHE feels she knows everything.