Are There Many JWs That Have Actually Left?
I think the biggest changes I have seen over the years. When I was a late teenager most of my same age comrades in the hall left and then later about half came back. Ones that were DFD again a certain percentage came back and stayed. There was also a few new ones from the world that did join.
Now that there's the internet and YouTube, young ones are leaving and a lot less are returning. The ones that are DFD less are coming back and those that do more seem to fade away right after getting reinstated. And last but not least the only new ones I've seen come in from the world are either mental or in two cases husbands of a JWs that were old and bored with life that joined maybe because in old age wanted a hope of an after life or just plain bored at home.
in the end I think theres a lot more chaos in the cult more people just plain sick of stuff and leaving , kids leaving and not coming back , mostly no new ones joining and the apathy is huge. This cult is pretty much a dead man walking .
ps. Of the mental ones that joined they all left and of the two husbands one has already died. In a friends congregation, he told me in the 25 plus years he went not one new one ever joined. Plus two of his sisters going to another hall have stopped thier both in thier late 40s and 50s. So the older ones are leaving too, sick of the guilt and the pathetic lives they were force to live being JWs.
p.s.s. Over a the Reddit forum they are getting about a thousand newbies joining per month.
What CrazyGuy said. No new ones. No young ones, and born-in's are leaving in droves. Why do you think WT HQ all of a sudden has cartoons, comics, etc? Never would have happened 20, 30 years ago. And yeah, the Reddit forum is growing like crazy. Stories from the recently left every day. It's amazing to see the exodus, because you just know for every person posting their stories, there are 10x more lurking who don't post, or don't even know about these forums or subs.
I was in for nearly six decades, and as I cast my mind back, I am astounded at how many that I have known have left !
Yes, there are still many that I knew that still attend, most of them as old as me, or the offspring of same, but for a religion that claims to be "the truth" a huge number who have lived the life of the religion have left, because they found it wanting.
While many have left I think there are many more who fit the category of the "walking dead." They no longer believe but have nowhere else to go. It is one thing to learn you live in a cult. It is something totally different to get the courage to actually leave.
Too true 44m ! I wish I could get over to those folks that there is an endless number of places to go ! and nearly 100% of those choices are better than the JW Cult !
Jeez, the Mind Control they are under ! They are captive to the belief that swimming in a Cesspool, waiting for the promise of clear water to come, is better than a nice dip in a pure mountain lake right now.
"Swimming in a Cesspool", no wonder so many seem to be just "going through the motions" LOL
minimus - "Are there many JWs that have actually left?"
At this point, I suspect there are more that have left (physically or mentally) than have stayed.
How can you tell without having access to the "real" numbers:
1) Are young witnesses staying in the organization? Df'd, da'd, many inactive?
In my generation by our 30's 1/3 remained.
2) How many young male jws get baptized? If so, do they become helpers by doing sound, territory, etc.? Are they just playboys? How often has the WTS been telling males to "reach out"? Do they?
3) How many male regular pioneers are there? In my teenage years it was the time of the draft and Vietnam. There were at least 5 pioneers in the congregations I attended or visited that were draft age. Bethel was a big goal because as long as they were there, they were exempt. How many auxiliary pioneer.
4) Are brothers being appointed elders that weren't even sniffed at 5 or 10 years ago, alcoholic and wife beaters in my area suddenly were acceptable.
5) Is it hard to find males to do the lawn mowing and unbaptized boys are doing it or sisters?
6) Has the quality of public speakers sunk to a new low? I found that speakers came that needed to Work on a lot and people complained.
I'm sure I missed some you might have observed.
My daughter is in her mid 40s and she's found many of her old friends are out. They've connected by FB and other social media platforms. I'd say the majority are out but I wouldn't guess the percentage.
This is anecdotal of course, but my observation of born-in JWs is about a 1/3 retention rate. I grew up in a fairly large western U.S. city with a lot congregations. Within my generation X in that city, at least 3/4 are faded or df'd. Most have easily maintained relationships with still in family. Most of the congs in that city only had about 50% of their publishers living in their territory boundaries--so many people just attended where they wanted (even elders). So fading was pretty easily done and keeping track of of who was actually "in" was pretty loose.
Conversely, my husband grew up in a small Midwest town surrounded by rural farmland. Only one congregation within a radius of one hour drive. Very little movement in the area. Entire congregation are born ins. 3-4 generations in each family in the same congregation, so less people leave. Most are related to each other by blood or marriage, so the congregation and their family are kind of one in the same. And those who get df'd seem to return for reinstatement, probably because they are more anchored to the religion. Also, everybody knows everybody's business, so there isn't really the option of discreetly associating with faded or df'd family. Who knows how many are mentally out though.
Now we are in a different area than either of us grew up in, but it's a lot closer in JW practice to the area my husband grew up in. I have to say it has been both suffocating and eye-opening. I think it hastened my awakening to the TTATT. Growing up in a looser, more liberal JW world kept me loyal and believing WT was a reasonable religion.
Also, anecdotally, Generation X born in men in my area are not "reaching out". Positions are mostly held by baby boomers and old timers, with a few uber young men who still live at home. The family men keep responsibilities in cong minimal to none.
The three generations of the five that are still alive in my family have left to never return. I know of another family in our area four generations deep,ALL left, great grandma was first, I know of a third family also 4th or 5th gens and half have left. These are people I have known for many decades,with a deep "spiritual heritage" and active, especially older ones with many decades in. There are still some very sincere ones inside but strong cracks are forming. I personally feel that before long only the fringe complete culties will be left inside with a large group with PTRD ( post traumatic religious disorder) on the outside. May we all heal and help those who are recovering.