I was a regular pioneer back in the mid-90s. I'd graduated a year early from high school and spent what would have been my senior year in high school (which for many people is one of the best years in their lives) out in field service.
The regular pioneer troupe in my congregation was mostly a collection of psychologically disturbed individuals: vicious gossips, sexually-frustrated and incredibly insecure young men, a guy who was completely disconnected from reality and found ways to count time in creative ways (he said if your neighbors saw you wearing a tie it was a witness and therefore you could count your time), a known pervert who was likely a pedophile...you get the picture.
I'd often find myself waking up early in the morning, taking time to prepare for field service, getting ready and so on only to meet up with the troupe at a restaurant where they'd literally spend hours. It'd be 1:00 p.m. and I'd have zero time to show for it, but they didn't seem to care.
Finally I started pushing back against the waste of time and was told repeatedly in the most condescending way possible that I didn't understand how things worked. I hadn't been to the pioneer school like they had. If I had, I'd know that you didn't have to stop counting time just because you were at a restaurant, shopping or running errands. You see, they were provided information at the school that even elders didn't have.
Who was I to argue with them? After all, they'd been pioneers for years.
The day finally came for me to go to the school and I couldn't wait for all this unique super-secret knowledge. Well, to the surprise of no one who's reading this, the school was just a boring rehash of old watchtower study articles organized by subject, especially subjects dealing with field service. There was nothing top secret about it.
You'd think I'd be furious but I'd begun to figure it out by then. I still wasn't ready to reevaluate the religion altogether but I felt as if I'd been stuck in a particularly awful congregation and it was some trial I needed to endure.
Nope. Just a bunch of crazies across the board in that religion.
I don't miss any of that nonsense one bit.