deleted to eliminate duplicate post
The Awake's Lying Image of Witnesses (Oct 22)
Adding to the anecdotal evidence from my viewpoint (nearly 30 years in, elder, five congos):
I found an old phone list in a bottom drawer when we were replacing some furniture. The "congregation phone list" (remember those?) was very precisely compiled, with the name of each family and their address and phone, followed by the first names of the father, then the mother, and then the children's names all in parentheses. This made it easy to count the number of kids. As I recall, there were nearly 50 and more than 30 of them had "disappeared" or in about half a dozen cases been DF'd. It's been six or seven years, so I don't remember all the numbers, but I did add it all up and came up with a "loss rate" of 63% (I still remember that because I've often used it in conversation).
What's interesting about this particular "control group" is:
1. This is a rather large number of children, compared to other congos
2. The congo was very "hospitable" and had a good reputation for doing things for the kids, i.e., lots of costume parties, skating parties, get togethers, softball and touch football games, etc.
3. A large number of the kids had "theocratic goals," as we used to say, in that they appeared to be "serious" about being JWs and applied "positive peer group pressure" on the others.
Despite all that, many of them drifted away in young adulthood. About six were DF'd, that I can remember, and only two subsequently got reinstated -- in both cases, neither ever did much after that (they got back in, I believe, so they could "fellowship" with their parents).
The most telling statistic -- if I had kept it -- would be this:
Of the 16 or 17 who stayed "in," only a handful are what you'd called hard-core dubs. Three went to Bethyl, but two came home in a hurry and one of those disappeared soon after while the other returnee went through a bad marriage and rarely comes to meetings any more. Most of the others are "hangers-on," doing the bare minimum to keep peace in the family.
I strongly suspect, based on my totally unscientific "review" of other congos in which I spent fewer years, that these statistics are fairly universal in the organization. In other words, the Witnesses lose about 2/3 of their "youths" and more than half of the rest are hanging on by their fingernails -- many of them would leave in a heartbeat if there not for the fear of losing contact with their families. This is evidenced by the fact that they are what the WTS calls "worldly" in their overall outlook; they think nothing of missing meetings, only partially attend conventions and assemblies, have "worldly" friends or spouses, and follow cultural trends (tattoos, multiple piercings are common). More importantly, they aren't in the religion for doctrinal reasons, it's purely a social club for them. This is a long way from the "fire resistant material" the old JW's claimed to be creating with their converts.