Let's not forget that the "bitter" ones almost certainly have good cause to be.
Why do ones that got out come back in?
Why do ones that have faded and been out for years return?
Mostly for reestablishing a relationship with their family members since the WTS blackmails an instructed separation between practicing JWS and not , even to separate and break up families if necessary, which it doesn't concern them.
Protection of their organization is what really counts.
Power corrupts as absolute power corrupts absolutely.
When you have been raised from birth in a cult, you are not given the right education to be able to survive in the outside world as you are kept away from it as much as possible. You are also taught not to trust which puts up a barrier that others can feel. They will then take against you because they sense you are different in some way and social interactions are difficult. I have had much hostility since I left from all kinds of people and its only now I am realizing that much of that is to do with the cult indoctrination. Sometimes this seems to confirm what the JWs teach about the world being a hostile place and there are times I am tempted to run back but then you will get abused in a different way but it is familiar.
There is little help for people who were raised within a cult and so many are trying to cope with a life outside and are having serious problems, some are even taking their own lives because they find it difficult to cope. Its terrible. :-(
There's a book titled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" where it explains why people go back to abusive religions/relationships. There's a certain comfort zone, they think their situation may be worse if they leave, they hope for an improvement. It's very common for this to happen wether you're s JW, Mormon, Catholic or of any religion who uses abuse to get control of the members.
Without reading the whole thread..this may have been covered. I knew a few born one that left in their teens..usually because their preferred lifestyle didn't match the cult requirements. ( Smoking..drugs..sex..etc ). When they get older.?married maybe..kids perhaps...then they feel the need to conform.
I also didn't read this long thread ( sorry) but would like to comment. My husband was not baptized but was raised in a JW family. Left as teen when smoking pot ( still not kicked out) then just stopped going to meeting s for close to 30 years. He never researched the JW, he was in limbo, until a major health event happened, he got married to me and we got pregnant ( major surprise as I was 43 and thought I was in menopause) all in the same year. That was so much emotion and life change for him I think he couldn't handle it.
That is when his mother asked him to go to meetings with her, and he did... the ball began rolling , fast. I was left trying to stop the ball while my father was going through brain surgeries, I was spending time there, plus had a young child, plus my husband's business was tanking, then Dad got cancer, more surgery . I was absent way more than was good during this time when he was jumping in to the borg with both feet.
So my husband went back to the "familiar" when he was overwhelmed. I feel that happens a WHOLE lot.
It was the Day after my Dad's funeral that was a turning point, though it was awful, really awful, it did begin a turn. We nearly divorced at that point, but after much therapy, and finally, now, finding the right therapist, we are getting back on track. We have a long way to go but at least we are heading in the right direction.