"It's hard for me to give up the assembly because I've already invested a lot of time and energy in the Assembly."
Dear Wounded Pilgrim,
The controls that kept us in the Assembly were not based on logic, but emotion. These controls were not all negative, and in the case of the leaders own treatment by superiors rarely negative. It is a very good feeling to be accepted and admired by others. We might say we served there as "unto the Lord", but none of us have pure motives. This means that when we heard the "amens" as we preached or prayed it met an emotional need. When GG/brethren complimented our message, or contribution, the slap on the back felt good.
The opening of our eyes often took a negative experience, when the group withdrew their acceptance. With me it was a series of these experiences that slowly caused me to critically examine my involvement, and as you said, this took time. I had to be literally kicked out before I would take a look at these things honestly and critically.
When someone from outside the group questioned a teaching or practice, we reacted in defense of our own emotional investment in the group. The more our investment in time, and intensity of our commitment to the group, the more we had to lose. It became easier to "stuff down" questions we had and to rationalize them away.
Facing the emptiness we feel by being outside the acceptance of the group, the shared purpose, the mutual affection, the emotional uplift of group euphoria through heightened ecstatic moments, etc. -- all become a huge barrier to dealing with these doubts we may have.
There are still those who just can't accept that their involvement was not what the Lord wanted. In a desire to rescue some equity regarding their past participation they seek to defend aspects of the group. To defend GG is impossible now, so they adopt the attitude that, "GG was wrong, but the assembly teaching and practice was correct."
The only way to describe this is to see that their defense is emotional and there is no logic that will persuade them. The unfortunate result of those who continue in this course is that Satan takes advantage of this to not only deepen their deception, but uses them to bite the heels of those seeking deliverance and recovery from their past involvement in the Assembly.
Time can be a friend to those who are willing to lose their Assembly emotional equity, but an enemy to those who choose to protect it. Since the unveiling of GG's true character it should be a quick process for those involved to understand that the character of the minister does have an effect on the nature of the ministry, and that the two cannot be separated.