Why is there such a 'high turnover' within the Jehovahs Witnesses?
The real story became apparent after a couple of years. It's like peeling an onion one layer at a time. Everybody is very secretive and nobody there will level with you about what is wrong. You have to find out on your own, one rude awakening after another. I was on the fringes of the religion
That has most definitely been the experience many of us have had. I recall the days before the internet when I would watch elders on news reports or documentaries (eg suffer the little children) refuse to answer questions. They would walk past the journalists without saying a word. I always thought that very arrogant and bizarre. Cognitive dissonance allowed me to brush these thoughts aside by thinking 'oh ...they are not wanting to cast their pearls before swine' 🙄
I also felt I couldn't ask 'the why' questions, because of the group think culture within the organisation. Questioning the GB is tantamount to questioning God. To my shock and horror when the internet came along, I discovered that numerous individuals were disfellowshipped for questioning the teachings of the GB.
The secrecy of this organisation sickens me. The Australian royal commission truly exposed the secretive, deceptive nature of the organisation. Thank God for the age of the internet.
in my 60+ years most of the kids I grew up with in the 'truth' left. Only the ones who were climbing the theocratic ladder and came from well connected families stayed. As my own kids grew up almost all their friends in the congregation, including them, didn't stay. Born-ins are in it by default, as someone said above, and the pressure to conform and tow the line is so strong, there's no room to develop as a person. Everything is monitored, from the length of your skirt to your hairstyle. No wonder, the minute these kids get away from family they leave. It's only idiots like me, who were terrified into staying. I was too scared to say I didn't want it anymore because I didn't want God to kill me. Even until last May I was still locked into the fear.
I also knew many, many people who came in and went out. We had a brother once on the convention. He'd left his biker life - tattoos etc - to become a witness and was hailed as a success story. I knew him well. After about 5 years him and his family left.
If I sat down and tried to list all the people I knew that had left - born ins and converts - it would take forever. There has been so many.
It's a hard religion to be in and there is so much pressure to tick all the boxes or else. But then you get others that seemingly sail through life as a witness. The well connected people who often get away with all sorts.
Just wish I'd had the courage decades ago to say enough like my friends did.
In the 33 years I had being a JW convert and the six or so congregations I was involved in I could count on one hand the amount of people who came to a meeting through invitations that were regularly distributed in the community.
My father converted around a dozen or so people to the JW religion. None of them came from door to door work, something in which he partook with enthusiasm. 6 of his converts were workmates - all of them air traffic controllers at London's Heathrow. (if you've seen Pushing Tin you'll appreciate what a weird bunch they are) He had an extraordinary personality and could argue and reason anything so as it could be made to appear logical. Extremism masquerading as reasoned logic. At one time he decided to contact the disbelieving husbands of a number of sisters in his congregation and succeeded in bringing 4 or 5 husbands round to his beliefs. The others were fellows whom he'd meet in pubs and he'd witness to them over pints of Gold Label with a Southern Comfort chaser. He kept a tiny diary in which he'd record his hours, and every repeat discussion was logged as a return visit.
The aberrant behaviour of many a BoE is - I'm sure - a significant factor. Very few are in possession of people skills / emotional intelligence. Those who are tend to find a way of stepping down from the role.
If one were to point to central problem with the WTS/JWS is that there is pretentious commercialized fraud that is operating at the core of this religion and that is the corrupt maligning Watchtower Corporation.
I was just thinking to myself today about the book Mankind Search For God, I remembered a part in the book that talked those following the religions that our parents are involved in. So found the book and my memory serves me correctly. Check the scan below paragraph 8
The real problem they have now is the internet.People that find out whats really going on behind the scenes of the organization do talk and this has an ongoing negative affect which results in an effect and the problem the society has of more people leaving compounds leaving the GB with the question (what can we do about this)?Their stuffed.
New JW converts generally fall into 2 categories:
1. Those who are conned into believing JWs have ultimate Bible secrets. These typically burn out fast and are now less likely due to easy internet access. Those that last, drive the born-ins up a wall (which they can't admit). Most born-ins I know have a JW side that's paraded out when needed, but they're just like non-JWs when the pressure isn't on.
2. Those who seek support/benefits from an anyone-can-join group. They may have even been 'discouraged' from other churches after attending for a while. The JWs are a great way to get "insta-friends" if you can't get the real thing. I bet everyone can remember several "odd" people at their hall. Many born-ins just tolerate them for the sake of appearances/expectations.
The new converts are helping to drive out the born-ins.
Your father must have been an exceptional charismatic man who had good people skills to influence so many people to his cause.
However I would say such a person is the exception to the norm, the majority of JW`s in the many KH`s I attended never converted anyone to become a JW.
And some of the KH`s I attended had between 80 and 100+ publishers.
Thats just my experience of 33 years in the "struth"
I guess you could say I was in the first category as I was led to believe that the Witnesses had some special knowledge about the Bible. I was into end-times prophecy. Of course, in time, I learned that they knew nothing that the other religions didn't know.
As far as what you say about born-ins and their attitudes towards newer converts: you make it sound as if the newer people are trying their patience and they are "tolerating" them...While that may be somewhat true nowadays with all the homeless/disturbed types that have come into the JWs in recent years - that was not the case years ago.
There was a better class of people who came into the religion then: Responsible people and not crazies like now..It was my observation that back then the born-in Witnesses were socially stunted, weird and uneducated with the mentality of people in a small town who refuse to accept the newcomers and who suffered from serious envy over people who looked prosperous and had some education.