Thank you for the warm welcomes, everyone! I forgot to mention this on my OP, but the friend of mine that originally invited me to my first congregation meeting is no longer a JW. Speak of irony! When she told me we talked on the phone for two hours about how abhorrent that cult is and how much happier we are. She quit months after she got baptized, too, where she was crying over the "greatest day of her life".
@zeb, Oh yeah, they'd blame every Christian doctrine they don't agree with on pagans. It was always historically inaccurate, too. When it comes to the Trinity, they said it was never a formal doctrine until Constantine converted to Christianity in the fourth century and the Roman Empire started liking Christianity. That's not true at all, historical records from the Church Fathers recognize that during the first century they worshipped Jesus and the Holy Spirit as God along with the Father. The use of the word Trinity was also first used in the second century. But nope, deny facts and blame everything on the pagans.
@KateWild, I hate that, too! I was talking to an ex-JW friend of mine that kept referring to them as "the truth" out of habit, and eventually I interrupted her and asked her, "Why do you keep calling it the truth? You and I both know it isn't." She laughed, agreed, and started calling it, "The lies." Lol.
@Ding, My latest interest is philosophy of language. I find myself always analyzing the ideology behind words, how certain terms and phrases are used to convey an underlying meaning. JW's have mastered this, most of them without realizing they're doing it, and it's fascinating, actually. Scary at the same time, but fascinating. I love studying cults and their varying techniques of brainwashing, conformity, and control. Language is the most powerful tool they have. It eerily represents a washed-down version of Newspeak.
@Pete Zahut (nice username btw), Well, where I live there's a high concentration of JW's and Mormons. With Mormons it makes sense, because wherever there's wealth there's Mormons, and my city is an upper-class area. Mormons own half of the businesses around here (no joke either). As far as JW's, that confuses me a little. There was a study on types of religious people with the highest amount of education, and Jews and born-again Christians ranked number one with JW's at the very bottom. Given that most of them never go back to college, you'd think they couldn't financially support themselves out where I live, but here they are in large numbers. So, just about everyone out where I live knows who JW's are. As far as the hate I'd hear, it was mainly just mockery of them in passing. Back when I lived out in Minnesota, I only heard of JW's existence twice in my life and knew literally of nothing out here. When I moved out here, I met several of them at my work and my co-workers would gossip about how brainwashed they are and how JW's are in a cult. Both of which is true.