Quote: "Many Witnesses in my opinion know nothing about the religion. They don’t understand the history, the doctrines or the Bible."
That's my impression also. Over the years I was associated with some 10 congregations and formed the view that less than 20% of witnesses really knew much more than the basics. The majority may have been able to turn up a few texts in the bible to prove something, but a deeper discussion would have seen them at a loss. Being a good witness was a matter of having a good memory.
Quote: "Am I the only idiot here that converted when I was about 20 years old ? True at that time I was in a vulnerable state and a co-worker shared some scriptures with me and gave me some literature ."
NO! You're not the only one. I think I was about 17 and probably could be described as vulnerable. This was the early 1950's. WW2 was not that far past, and Europe was still struggling. A movie (of all things-grin) had an affect on me, It was called , "The Boy With Green Hair," about a kid who's hair turned green and would stay green until the world tried to be peaceful.
I was also a bit of a fan of Dame Mary Gilmore, who could ask some penetrating questions, like: "If there is a god, who will he take to to heaven, the war hero bomber pilot who dropped bombs on innocent civilians and killed many, or the civilians that he killed?" In spite of being a bit studious, no-one had taught me critical thinking skills, and I wasn't smart enough to work it out for myself. I'd become something of a pacifist and when the Korean war started i wanted to refuse the draft that the Menzies' government started. As I tried to work out what I could do, the JW's became news because of their stand against military service. So I went up to one on the street (doing magazine work as it was called then) had a chat, he invited me to the PT next day. So I cut short my customary sunday sailing, and went to the talk. Ted Jarascz gave the talk, so I got intro'ed to him though I thought he was not impressed by my colorful shirt or fashionable buzz cut hair. So I kept going, went to court as a conscientious objector, but the magistrate ruled that I did not have a conscience. Since the Society would gave no advice on what to do, a group of us (i.e. JW kids) decided to obey the direction to report, but refused to obey military orders. That seemed to cause some indecision in Canberra as they took a few weeks to come up with a way to handle us, which in the end boiled down to taking us to another magistrates's court finding us guilty of something and handing us over to the army to be jailed for the two years we should have served in the army.
The army bureaucracy decided I had not had a proper medical so had me examined by an army Dr, who asked me what it was all about and made his own decision that I was right and the army wrong and exempted me. Luck was on my side because I was still a dumb kid who lucked in on that day. Took me near 40 bloody years to wake up to what a bloody fool i'd been, I read and re-read some of the stuff that Freddy F. had written in the red book (I think the title was, Life Everlasting in the freedom of the Sons of God, thought about all the "Ifs" that Freddy discussed and concluded that 1975 was a bit iffy.
I became even more convinced when (about August/September of 1976) Nathan K and Freddy spoke to the Sydney elders at the Greenacre Assembly Hall. Nathan was fighting the cancer that eventually killed him and likely hoping that Freddie was right and 1975 would see the end. But Nathan got straight to the point and said to us that there was not enough time left in 1975 for all the things that Freddy said would happen, to actually happen (implying that they'd been wrong to peddle 1975) and gave Freddy a hard look as he said it. The talk left me wondering, that if old YHWH guided the decisions of the WTS and the JWs, how the bloody hell had he guided them to this point? Freddy got up to try and explain, but nothing he said to me made sense any more.
Then the next year, the WTS sent Doug. Held out to Aust, to rouse us all up by saying that the big A could still be 18 years away. I stuck around for another 15 years before getting booted out, which led to my wife saying she was in spiritual danger and needed to divorce me.
So there it is - I can only excuse myself by stating the obvious, What a bloody fool I'd been.