Whilst I appreciate your points, JW's can be compared to more than just Evangelical Christians.
They could also be likened to Atheists, thus:
- They work for their living
- They try to take care of their health
- They try to show their children love, under the parameters that they can express it
- They eat, sleep, breathe
- The acknowledge various physical "authorities" in their lives
Would you say that Atheism might be a waystop for some exiting JW's??
Certainly, although not for the aforementioned reasons!
To which I would add two very obvious points:
1) no one alive has reached the end of his/her road yet;
2) the end of the road is not very likely to be anymore significant than any of the waystops...
I can only testify to what has been my experience thus far: from the JWs to a kind of (less and less) pietist and (more and more) critical Christianity down to a personal brand of post-Christianity, which includes atheism but is not a "rabid rationalism" (as you have probably gathered). I know of a few others who have walked a similar way.
I understand there is another pretty common pattern: out of the JWs to a complete rejection of religion, then into another religion because some genuine questions and needs have been left unsolved in the process.
The great thing on boards such as this one is that we are able to confront our experiences, from the point where we are standing, without implying that one is better than another.
Back to Sleepy's question, I tend to agree with several posters on this thread that the Christian ex-JWs are usually more visible to current JWs because they tend to be more militant. However this is not confirmed by my personal experience since my exit from JWs was also an exit from militantism. Even when I could call myself a Christian I wouldn't feel inclined to fight against the WTS to get people out of it. But that's just me...
This discussion about different ways reminds me of one intense period of my life: when I resigned from Bethel I was asked to stay there for another few months because there was a lot of work in the translation dept. I accepted. Among other things I was given the 1986 Yearbook to translate. This was, as always, a collection of stories and testimonies of people "divinely led" into and within "the Truth", who had their prayers answered and so on. I didn't doubt all of this back then. Yet I knew that I was on my way out, and I felt God (the very same God) was leading me out. I really could not understand why, and it was a very painful experience. Often I needed to stop and lock myself in the loo just to cry, breathe and pray: "God, I don't understand." Afterwards I thought that this experience was very helpful to me. You just don't understand anybody when you can look upon his/her experience and think: "he/she's mistaken, he/she'll realize later," or the like.