Where I have known the person directly I can say 3. I've also known of an attempted suicide. Of those of heard about but didn't personally know, "4". 7 successful attempts and one attempted. That been said suicide in this country is very high.
If I became terminally ill, I would consider suicide. I could cut my life short and spare my family the burden of watching me die a slow death and possibly financial problems due to high medical cost. If I spare them from that outcome they could also have a windfall of life insurance. What difference does it make in the long run if I live an extra 6 months? We will all die and in 200 years no one on this planet will even know we existed. Has anyone else consider suicide for practical reasons?
If I had a terminal diagnosis, I would take control of the "when" in my own way. But I dont consider that suicide.
I have only known one JW personally that committed suicide. It was a woman and it was due to the pain caused by gossip.
Three. One a kind hearted pioneer woman, wife of a big shot POS elder who constantly criticized her in public, after he publicly scolded her for not saying enough good things about him on a circuit assembly interview. A second one, an elder who tried his level best to treat those in the congregation as a CHRISTIAN first and follow the Pharisaical JW hard-line second. The third, a somewhat shy, gullible teen-age daughter of a single JW mother the night she got DF'd for fornicating with the P.O's thirty something year old son who only got reproof.
I knew one young brother in his early 20's that committed suicide. I had heard he was struggling with depression and I suspect that he didn't want to be a JW any longer but he felt bad abandoning his mother. His other, older brothers had already left. I also suspect that the only help he got was some encouragement to try and do more as a JW. He did try, really. He was very popular even outside the JW community (over 1000 attended his funeral and many were not JW's).
It was also the most unusual JW funeral I have ever been to. In addition to the size of the crowd (standing room only, people outside in the parking lot - held at a funeral home) - the talk was totally off outline - they even played some of his recorded music (lots of crying form the young girls present).
I heard many years ago that a young man about my age who I had vaguely known as a teenager had shot himself. This was long after I had moved away, but I did remember him. His dad had been my optometrist since I was a child in grade school. The dad was also an elder, though not in my congregation. I don't know much more about it, but have heard it was related to alcohol and drugs. An affluent and supportive family doesn't mean a person won't have internal conflicts, and some folks are just overwhelmed by them. So sad...
The only other case I recall involved a very likable and meek man who had been a "Servant," a term preceding the elder arrangement, since the 50's or 60's. He had gone to the same high school as Elvis, though he was a year or two behind him. He claimed to have known Elvis then but was not a close associate. I've seen his high school yearbook and it confirms his claims.
Anyway, he seemed like a model Witness, though a bit timid and reserved and something of a hypochondriac. I was shocked when I was told he had died, and flabbergasted when I found out he had committed suicide. He had told his wife he didn't feel like going to the meeting that night, so she and a friend went on without him. When the wife returned home, she found him dead in his car in the garage with the motor running. He left a brief note apologizing ("Sorry this happened. I love you all"). An elder gave a memorial talk at a funeral home, and mentioned several times that suicide was not the "unforgivable sin," and that we shouldn't draw any conclusions because no one could know all the circumstances or what was going on in his head. Ok, fair enough.
Fast forward about 10 years... I hear from a very reliable source that what actually happened was that his wife had caught him in the act of molesting his young granddaughter and was going to turn him in to the police the next morning. She had given him that evening to prepare himself and get his affairs in order. Since he was already dead, she never reported it to the elders or the police. But she confided in some of her closest friends, and that's how I got the story, albeit with one degree of separation. Very few know even this much about what happened. And I doubt anyone but the wife knows the whole story, even now. Again, a very sad tale.
One morning, my sister woke up, had breakfast and got ready for the day. Instead of driving to work, she decided to drive elsewhere. Elsewhere being the Coronado Bridge. After parking at its highest point. She opened the driver side door, unbuckled her seat belt, and jumped 200 feet into the Coronado Bay.
I never saw her again.
One lady mid 40s and single. All she really wanted was a family. She came from an uber family and going off the reservation for a mate wasn't an option.
I guess when that last egg dried up and she realized she wasted her entire life being an unpaid telemarketer.
Well. I guess we all know how it ended.
I’ve heard of a few that killed themselves in nearby congs. There was one that I new personally, he was a kind and considerate young brother that always had a smile on his face but the truth was harsh on him. I also have 2 friends that attempted to end their own lives. Both have now overcome their depression and found happiness having left this destructive cult.
I know of one elder who committed suicide a few years back + a recent (attempted) with firearm that now has him drinking his meals for the rest of his life.
Most level headed folks will tell you that "this happens everywhere". OK then.....what makes this religion so special then?
And if its not special, set apart, elevated, the only true, the way, the truth......then what is it?