Thanks Ruby. I appreciate hearing about your background. Our past and recent connections are important to how we make sense of what we've been through.
The 1994 research you cited deserves more of my attention. I had heard of it several years ago - I cannot remember the context - and found the conclusions fascinating but also frustrating in terms of questions I had about the cross-section of religious individuals involved in the study. It is my observation that untold numbers of people who leave religious groups, JWs or others, go through sometimes protracted periods of trying their level best to 'fit in' despite misgivings and really wanting the religion to be right. But eventually they come to the sad conclusion that, it is not do much they don't believe it but rather they cannot believe it. It is this tortured state that can affect individuals regardless of religious affiliation but its consequences will differ depending on the level of control the group has over responding to the individual's departure. That is the crucial variable that interests me.