Jehovah's Witnesses are known around the world for their high-profile identity as contrarians when it comes to many seemingly innocuous issues. They do not celebrate birthdays, salute the flag, vote, allow life-saving medical procedures or recognize the validity of anyone else's religious beliefs.
But, they didn't start out that way.
Back in the 1800's much speculation about the end of the world produced many crackpot ideas as to when the last judgement would occur. William Miller was one of these crackpots. His willy-nilly manipulations of bible verses into a bogus chronology drew in many curious minded and gullible believers. One of these was Charles Taze Russell. A successful men's clothing retailer, Russell pulled together every titillating and exotic idea he could pay for and shuffled the "proofs" into a series of books and writings (Studies in the Scriptures). The date certain of Christ's second coming was widely published. The date came and went uneventfully. To save face, Russell and others decided they had been right anyway; Christ had come invisibly.
A new date was set for 1914 for Armageddon to end the world as we know it. Instead, WWI appeared. Another explanation followed to shore up the faithful. Importantly, Russell was now explained to be the only person on Earth Christ was using to promote and publish his Kingdom Messege (Faithful and Discreet Slave) while ALL other religious views were identified as stemming from Satan.
It all went downhill from there as a series of Presidents of the Watchtower (magazine) Bible and Tract Society proceeded to reiterate new dates and certainty was at a premium.
Where is the bait and switch?
Potential converts are first sold the idea of, not heaven, but a New Earth in which to dwell as perfect human beings IF they survive the coming war of Armageddon, then they are fettered to an endless treadmill of peddling magazines and books from door to door with the ever-changing doctrines flowing from the Faithful and Discreet Slave, not Russell anymore but now a CLASS of persons who are really just the Governing Body of doctrine-authors.
The switch comes when the actual event of ARMAGEDDON is set to arrive, sending Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide into a flurry of activity preparing for the end. The coffers bulge with money from the sale of their printed materials until the date arrives and passes. Then, thousands of bewildered JW's fall into stunned passivity and disillusionment. Instead of living in a perfect Paradise they are switched to a hellish limbo of shunning. If they don't snap out of it they are labelled APOSTATES and not one of their previous friends, brothers, sisters or family is allowed (upon penalty of disfellowshipping) to speak to them.
In addition to this harsh and sadistic punishment any JW who reports child molestations or resorts to saving a family member's life with blood transfusions is likewise cutoff from the gleaming promise of perfection in Paradise. Bait and Switch is cruel and dishonest.
Jehovah's Witnesses sooner or later figure out that they are being sold a bill of goods. However, the price they would pay by leaving is so high many remain in place living a double life of pretend orthodoxy.
When the knock comes at your door and the smiling faces of two Jehovah's Witnesses offer you your prize of Everlasting Life on a Paradise Earth, just say "no". Ask them why Jehovah allows their religion to announce false prophetic statements in His Name. Then, close the door and consider yourself lucky not to be sucked in to a life of endless service and pressure having your loved ones held hostage by a few men in Brooklyn, New York.