Of course there are exceptions to everything, this is strictly MY view and no judgments should be implied...
There are different levels of brought-in, starting with the varying ages of childhood, when the children’s parents are brought in. For the purposes of this, I am dealing with from teenage on up.
Brought in Witnesses are in a class unto themselves. Why do I say that? Lets look at what happened to them…
A Witness approached them, and something the Witness had to say struck a chord. Why? Usually the person being “brought in” was in a state that made them an easy target for the Witness doctrine. How could this be? How could a person willingly buy into something that would make them walk away from their family and friends? It’s nowhere near that simple. Of course I can only speak to the ones I observed in my 30 years in and around the truth, so this isn’t all-inclusive.
One common characteristic I remember is brought-ins always had other issues. Other issues being neglect from family, abuse, or in some cases decreased mental capacity or mental illness for one reason or another. Think about it, rarely did the Witness propaganda net a Doctor, College Graduate, Psychologist, Scholar, or Business Leader. Almost always it was someone with diminished hope for one reason or another. There is a reason; the doctrine simply will not stand up to the scrutiny brought on by persons with a certain degree of experience and/or intelligence.
So what happens? Lets take the young single mom or even teenager who was mistreated, and is now left alone to take care of him or herself and family if applicable. The Witnesses knock on the door. These people are nice, well groomed, well spoken, and seem so respectable and better off than perhaps she is. Her family doesn’t have a lot to do with her because she is more of a burden than they want to deal with, so she is happy to have someone around who seems to care to be friends. Not only that, but there is coming a time when she will never be hungry, or sick, and no one will ever take advantage of anyone else. Not only that, she can live with her children forever in a paradise earth! How fortunate we are to have such an opportunity!
Perhaps it is the man who finds himself alone with his life unfulfilled because of some bad decisions. His life is at a point where he has no one in it and he finds himself feeling more alone than he ever thought possible. The same thing happens, here are people who seem so happy, and want to tell him how to be that way! They tell him he can live forever and be eternally happy! What a joy that must be!
From here the story is always the same…they want to come visit once per week, and talk about the bible. The “return visit” is led to believe through time tested statements and leading questions that they are missing something (which they may well be), and according to the Witnesses it is God. So a “Bible Study” is started. In the first few weeks the set up begins. Not far into the current study guide statements are made about being no part of the world, and it is alluded to that people will tell them they are doing something wrong, and it is a sign they are on the right road, to eternal life without heartache of any kind, and Satan is angry and wants them back! Occasionally there are references to scripture, but there is only maybe one word of scripture read for every 50 to 100 of Society verbiage. And not too much further, the subject of the study turns to sharing knowledge of what they have learned, along with many doctrines that conflict with mainstream religions. Soon the “study” begins to adjust his life at the direction of the study book and encouragement of the pair of witnesses conducting the study program. Grooming changes, language changes, associations change. They begin to separate themselves from their family, especially after sharing their newfound source of happiness. As their family and former friends argue their points of how this religion can’t be right, “the study” becomes more and more isolated, and can only find comfort in Witnesses, who reassure them they are on the right path. During this time they attend a meeting and meet all of these people who are so happy to see them and hope they will come back. Pretty soon both in the study and in meetings they now attend regularly, they learn that “this means everlasting life, taking in knowledge of you” and that they MUST attend 5 meetings per week in order to fulfill their obligation to God! Also any living in their household should be following their lead!
Before long, all external association is severed. Worldly people are evil; they will only try to take your life from you because they are “lying in the power of the wicked one”. You learn you need to be out preaching as much as possible so people will know Jehovah’s name. Now even if you had other associations you wouldn’t have time for them, 5 hours of meetings per week, a couple of hours of preparation, driving to and from, plus a half day of field service and you’re tapped out, spending all of your time around Witnesses. As far as field service and talking to people, you have to let them know about Jehovah, and once they know you have to help them learn more because once they know (because you told them) they have to act on it our they will positively die! Imagine the bloodguilt you will have if you don’t walk the streets every Saturday at the least telling people about Jehovah, because they don’t know about him. Never mind that once they know about him (because of you) they have to act on it or they’re dead meat. You have to tell everyone or YOU WILL DIE and SO WILL YOUR KIDS if the end comes before they get baptized.
This brings us to the kids, because if you have them, they have to be taught. They have to know everything you know because one day they will have to make a decision of their own, and woe is you if they aren’t prepared. So now you have to make little Witnesses out of them. Little do you know you will be preparing them to remove themselves from your life should you ever learn you were wrong to follow this path.
So now, as a good little Unbaptized Publisher, you walk like a Witness, you talk like a Witness, and your 8-year-old kids talks like he is 20. Yea, they get beat up every day at school because they are freaks, but hey, that’s the way it is for God’s people. The time has come. The happiest moment of your life is about to pass. You stand in front of thousands of people and pledge your life to “God’s Earthly Organization” and get baptized. You willingly place your life and your decisions in the hands of a small group of Janitors, Carpenters, and Window Washers who are the only source from which the true will of God can come to you. Every decision you make from what you wear to who you talk to alone is now subject to their judgments. You will follow the herd, you will tell your children that they have no future in this world, and if you succeed, you are right, they won’t. Their future will consist of following the rules set forth but these men who view everyone as good for nothing slaves. Your children will learn that college is one step above worshipping Satan himself, and the only true path to happiness is pursuing “Theocratic Goals”.
Now, perhaps years in to the organization, children growing up and perhaps getting baptized, you realize something is wrong. You look around at the family you have chosen. You see the “fruits” displayed and perhaps just start to notice. It’s rotten. You have been rumored about and chastised and seen enough people lying and cheating on each other, or perhaps pedophiles raping their own children and getting away with it. You’ve seen the fake, tense smiles as someone says how happy they are to see you only to jam the knife in your back before the carpet even raises from where your shoe was.
You start to slip; the meetings hold no joy anymore. Despite the warnings and studies telling you that you must be at meetings you go less and less because you just can’t ignore it anymore. But you are now really alone. You have already established yourself as truly different to everyone you once knew, and you are now truly different forever. You believed you were part of something greater than yourself. You believed God was helping you through what you remember as your hardest times by bringing you these Witnesses. Now as you can’t stomach the lie any longer, you lose the new friends you had, people who once lit up as you entered the room no glare at you no matter where you are. Perhaps your own children look at the ground now and won’t speak to you.
As you begin to reclaim your life, perhaps hoping to fade away peacefully, that hope is ripped away as you are “caught”, and an announcement is made. You are “no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. From now on you are walking dead to a Jehovah’s Witness. Grandchildren are born without your knowledge, old friends die, and you learn of it years later.
Alone means something entirely new now. You don’t belong in “The World” now, nor do you belong with “The Witnesses”. Everything you knew was right…is now something you now know is wrong. “Right” is a distant mirage you hope to be able to see clearly one day.
This is why I post. This is why I type for hours and browse the topics and make phone calls when someone I know is obviously hurting. This is real, it’s as real as it gets. NO ONE deserves to feel alone. Remember the glares and the kind of alone you felt. Then…reach out to one of OUR brothers or sisters, whether on the board saying, “Welcome” to a newbie, or call a friend you found again, and steady them as they, too get to their feet. Even if it’s just a hello, we all know it helps to know you’re not alone. Then you can face The Organization and more importantly the mirror, and know they did not win, they did not take the one thing that makes us all great people.
Love for one another.