As many on here have said, he is not doing the exjw community any favors (by the way I'm a jw). I can see how cult like many of the exjws are by their applauding comments, all in full sympathy (not on this forum) with him.
Don't confuse empathy and decent behavior toward someone who is in a hellish (self inflicted) situation, as the condoning wrongdoing.
I am neither a fan or a hater of L.E. and I in no way condone his personal bad behavior be it from years past or in more recent days. I have never met him nor have I met his wife or children or his in-laws and I have given him any money.
I don't view L.E. as a figurehead in the "XJW" Community because for me, (other than the handful of XJW's I know personally) the "XJW Community" primarily exists in cyberspace and in most ways that's part of its beauty and the reason for its success.
You can't officially join the XJW Community nor can you be officially kicked out of it or officially shunned by it. There is no leader, there is no higher authority, there are no doctrines, there is no dress code or approved list of topics or boundaries on what can be said so long as they comply with Youtube regulations.
No one in the XJW community has control over ones personal life and cannot decree that ones friends or family must abandon them because they've fallen out of favor with the community. If there were any of these things in the XJW Community, it would be a cult.
To me, L.E is simply a collector and bringer of information. An ordinary and flawed man who puts out some very informative YouTube videos and updates about a subject that I'm interested and about an organization I have been profoundly effected by.
I am free to watch these videos or to ignore them completely. I can listen to them at length or fast forward through them at will if he bores me or I don't like what he's saying. If I project my own good intentions, my own hopes and fears onto the person presenting these videos...that's on me. If I make him out to be more than a presenter of information...that's on me as well. If I believe there is some sort of implied relationship or obligation on his part, thats on me as well.
I know people who are profoundly disappointed when public figures fail, or when sports heroes turn out be less than heroic. Back when I was a JW, I had a JW friend who was a huge Elton John fan but somehow didn't know Elton is gay and was utterly disgusted when Elton "came out" publicly. My JW friend wanted nothing to do with this "sick pervert" so he got rid of all his music and his kids Lion King videos etc. Rather than give them away, he trashed them so no one else would be corrupted by this "sicko". He simply couldn't separate Elton's personal life, from the music he had been enjoying so much for years. He had some imaginary vision of who Elton was and had allowed him into his psyche and now he must be punished for failing to live up to the impossible standards he had projected onto him.
Even though as a JW I could understand his logic, this still seemed irrational and over the top. I couldn't understand why he had expected so much and why he could have such an extreme emotional reaction over the personal life of someone he had never met. Was there more to this...was he hiding something he didn't like about himself ? Was this some kind of smoke screen? Was this an attempt to somehow appear to be morally superior or more virtuous?
I'm feeling the same way lately in terms of the reaction from the "XJW Community" and the L.E. debacle. I fully understand why people would be shocked and saddened or even disappointed but the utter vitriol aimed toward him from people who were treated harshly themselves by their former "community", is quite puzzling. To me it borders on abuse and bullying and is engaging in the same behavior they're condemning L.E. of.
Concern for the JW Community an the L.E. Family:
If I am truly concerned for the JW Community I will behave with dignity and fairness regardless of what others do or say or what they may have done. This includes how I speak about the JW organization and it's members. I'll remember that there are those at this moment who are summoning up the courage to break away from the fear of the non JW world. I'm sure there have been many in recent days who've seen the hatred taking place and have been scared back into the imagined safety of the organization.
If I am truly concerned for the L.E. family, I won't call their Father/Husband horrible names (no matter how deserving). I won't ridicule his appearance, belittle his lifes work, make unfounded claims about his activities and I won't speculate on or exaggerate the extent of his personal wrongdoing. I won't presume to know what the best action for Mrs. E to take in terms of the future of their marriage and the future of their little family. I'll remember that this isn't a T.V show or a movie...these are real people.
As JW's we were led to believe that the world was watching us and everything we did was of universal importance. Everything was a test of our faith and loyalty. Jehovah himself was watching...Satan lay in waiting as Myriads of Angels looked on to see if we'd fall into his trap. Turns out no one was watching us and nothing we did mattered at all. What narcissists we were...it's laughable.
These days we're XJWs...and some would say we are even less significant than we were before. In the big scheme of things this current debacle is less than nothing and whatever the outcome, our personal lives won't change much one way or the other.
Not true for the L.E. family. How we behave and the words we choose here could make a difference in how things turn out for them. I'm guessing that most of us here want the best for these people and don't want to add fuel to the firestorm this must be for them right now.