So, my life as a JW has been cast, before I can speak or understand even one word. My folks relegated their parental authority to the WTS (they told me that, explicitly), and were just tickled pink to see me grow up in accordance with the expectations that they themselves had adopted: the end is near, there is no need to worry about anything in the future, but just to devote my life to the "cause of the truth."
But this is where the cognitive dissonance comes into play. They'd already seen, for themselves, the hypocrisy within the WTS, and, to add to that, they'd both come from other religions that they found equally disillusioning. Yet, they chose to turn a blind eye to all that, and embark upon rearing us boys (me and my two brothers) as good JWs.
Not seeing the big picture, I took this all in with total glee. I studied, and studied, and studied. I viewed every word in the Bible as absolute truth, and every word in the Watchtower as the absolute truth about the absolute truth.
And so I embarked upon a life of denial, as had been the heritage of my family.
I started giving talks in the TM school when I was 6. I got my own publisher's record card when I was 8. I was laying on the floor of the living room, reading a 1950s bound volume, while Mom was ironing some clothes. I burst out and said: "Mom, I want to go to Bethel!" She said: "Craig, that would be great; I'm proud of you."
And so it began: from that point on, everything I did, and every decision I made, was for that one and single purpose--to get to Bethel.
I was baptized at 10. By that time, I was a regular little Marjoe Gortner, ready willing and able to tell adults 8x my age why their beliefs were wrong, and why our (my) beliefs were right. Absolutely no equivocation, no hesitation, no second-guessing of any kind whatsoever. I had the TRUTH!!!!! and I was going to do everything within my power to share it with the whole world.
And always, my complete confidence in the WTS was involved...and, therefore, too, all the more reason to "hold firm" to my decision to get to Bethel.