35-year-old female in California here. Never a JW, but have had Bible studies and attended several meetings and even a convention once. I've always been agnostic with leanings toward the belief in some deity or other, although the more I learned from the JW's, the more I've learned to doubt, not just their teachings, but the fundamental teachings of all religions. Despite this, I find myself talking to "God" constantly (along with various deceased loved ones, but then who doesn't?).
I have a few friends who are in the org, including my sixty-something roommate who was recently "anointed." Interestingly enough, before she announced it earlier this year, I often thought about the 144,000 and firmly believed that if anyone alive today should be part of the remnant, it was my roommate, who is, aside from my late mother, the kindest, most compassionate and understanding person I have ever known. You would never guess her to be a JW.
Needless to say, when she announced her calling, I was stunned, but still not convinced. It's kind of difficult to take what she says seriously when she's one of those people who KNOWS the Illuminati are planning to decimate the population and take over what is left of the world, and are slowly killing us with everything from chem-trails and GMOs to vaccines and fluoride in the water. I personally don't know what to believe. I don't doubt that there are some groups out there deliberately trying to take over and/or destroy the planet, but I find it impossible to believe ALL of my roommate's conspiracy theories.
Over the years, she has said things to me that have me confused and/or worried. I don't like talking to her about these things when she brings them up, because they are disturbing and make me uncomfortable, so I thought I would post them here. Keep in mind that I have not attended any meetings in a while and never plan to become a JW, so I'm not completely up-to-date on current beliefs, although I do know all about blood, shunning, abuse scandals, etc..
About a year or two ago, I recall my roommate saying she believed the Great Tribulation had already begun. And just this evening, while we were talking about the possibility of us being spied on via our own smartphones, she went on to warn me that "someday they'll be coming" for her. At first I thought it was because of all her research and chatting online about the Illuminati, but she clarified that "they" would be coming to round up all JWs and put them in concentration camps just like in WWII. I think she meant the UN, as she has claimed before that the UN is going to ban religion.
Has anyone heard anything in their local kingdom hall to support these claims? I don't actually believe any of it; I'm merely curious as to what the general consensus is among JWs. The theory that the Watchtower is actually controlled by the Illuminati makes a lot of sense to me, though, but of course, I don't dare mention the possibility to my roommate, who would probably be the first to drink the Koolaid if and when the time comes.