Out4Good opined, "In fact, they don't have any authority over you if you do. They only have the authority over you that YOU give them. Being dipped in a batch of tap water doesn't change that."
That is true in a theological sense, of course, because contracts with imaginary beings are non-binding, (I am an atheist) but over time the Watchtower Baptism has become an induction ceremony into a human private club.
In order to QUALIFY to be baptised, it was required that Watchtower acolytes answer 80 questions in front of an examination board of three elders. This was increased to 124 questions in 1983 and then reduced to 104 questions in 2005.
The Baptism Questions
Under Pastor C. T. Russell, baptism candidates consecrated themselves to the Lord only, and it was specifically noted that baptism was not to any particular sect.
"The questions usually put by Brother Russell when receiving candidates for water immersion took the form of:
(1) Have you repented of sin with such restitution as you are able, and are you trusting in the merit of Christ's sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins and the basis of your justification?
(2) Have you made a full consecration of yourself with all the powers that you possess--talent, money, time, influence--all to the Lord, to be used faithfully in His service, even unto death?
After public admission of these confessions, we acknowledge you as a member of the Household of Faith, and give to you as such the right hand of fellowship, not in the name of any sect or party or creed, but in the name of the Redeemer, our glorified Lord, and His faithful followers." -- What Pastor Russell Said pp.35-36
Later, two questions developed containing reference to the God the Father, Jesus the son, and the holy spirit, and The Watchtower continued to clarify that baptism is not in the name of any organization:
"A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit." -- Watchtower 1955 Jul 1 p.411
In 1966 emphasis of baptism shifted from Jesus to Jehovah:
"We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a very personal relationship between us and Jehovah." -- Watchtower 1966 Oct 1 pp.603-604
In 1985 however, a very significant change was introduced:
"At the close of the convention baptism talk, the baptism candidates will be in position to answer with depth of understanding and heartfelt appreciation two simple questions that serve to confirm that they recognize the implications of following Christ's example.
The first question is:
On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
The second is:
Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism." -- Watchtower 1985 Jun 1 p.30