When I first left the Watchtower Organization in 2008, a flood of emotions came back to me. Betrayal, anger, resentment, deep depression from the relationships lost. Emotions seemed to guide my viewpoint of others as well. Why would people join the Watchtower in the first place? Are they really that "stupid"?
Well, it has been a long time since I left, and I have had more then enough time to reflect on what I think are the main draws of the Watchtower Society:
At its core, the Watchtower is a Man Centered religion. What I mean by this, is the theology really starts with mankind as the central aspect of everything. Salvation starts with mans effort, Jehovah reacts to circumstances created by mans will, the Watchtower is the central aspect to religious practice. Even though Jehovah is given lip service, practically speaking Man is central.
This serves as the foundation for why people stay in the Watchtower in the first place. Pride.... The Watchtower may not offer financial incentives, but it does offer power and influence over others. Elders are not seen as servants under others [which is biblical] they are seen as Masters OVER others. This type of model attracts a certain type of person to advance in the pyramid of power, namely "Yes men" not humble servants. Almost like attracting flies to rotten fruit.
The Watchtower's message is historically rooted in fear. The Very "Hell Doctrine" it criticizes from the Christian faith which is rooted in fear, the Watchtower uses the same technique to retain and maintain its own followers out of fear of absolute destruction.
This is why so many JW's have a problem telling us what they stand FOR. If you ask any average Joe on the street "What do Jehovah's WItnesses Believe?" YOu will not get an answer that talks about paradise earth, or Gods Kingdom much less a discussion of the 1914 doctrine. You will get answers that more or less tell us what they DONT believe [birthdays, holidays, flag salute, etc..]
If you think about War Strategies, leaders understand that fear can be an excellent emotional tool for conformity, but its major downside: It does not motivate in the long term. Using fear as a tool for manipulation is only effective in short periods of time. If abused, actually does the opposite effect and causes disloyalty.
Its of my opinion that the vast majority of Jehovah's Witness do not understand the "Why's" behind their faith. They do not understand the reasons why the Watchtower has authority.
Lets be honest, try asking a Jehovah's Witness to explain how the Governing Body was appointed over the domestics using Daniels Prophecy without referencing WT literature.... They would have a panic attack!
Many Jehovah's Witnesses are in the religion because they know nothing different. Which brings up another thing, many in the religion are not "Stupid" at all. in fact, there are very smart individuals inside. Whether its true or not makes no difference. The first thing I had to accept was that not many people care about "Truth" when presented with positions of power.
Think about the business world, many people will accept promotions in spite of their loyalty to the company itself. Because the opportunity presents itself with power and influence. This may explain why its so hard to convince people in the Watchtower of the fallacious nature of what they believe, because at the end of the day, this ISNT what keeps them there in the first place.
There are may other observations I have, but since this is a discussion thread, I want to hear your opinion...