Kep81:You've already made an important distinction, in that any publications are surely subordinate to the bible. Unfortunately most JWs can no longer make that distinction as they have been spoon-fed doctrines from the pages of the Watchtower. The appeal to reason uses extensive commentary from that magazine and a few prooftexts, rather than the true spirit of the word, which is freedom to the soul.
I openly confess that I have an axe to grind and you may take what I have to say with a big pinch of salt if you like. I was raised a JW, believed it fully, was zealous for it, loved "Jehovah", Pioneered, became an Elder and was being trained to become a Circuit Overseer. There are many others here that got further in the organization, and for longer, than I did. I still love God passionately, and have a real love and concern for JWs and especially exJWs, too.
If, at the end of the day, you decide to sign-up to the JWs then that's your decision. Being candid I wouldn't particularly like it because I believe I have an insight into what you'd be letting yourself in for, but I would still respect that decision.
Part of the difficulty with visiting people is that they live so far apart, and most often are still trying to deal with their own issues after leaving. Quite a few don't know what to believe anymore, and so rightly don't evangelise. I think they need according due respect for that righteous decision, too, don't you? After all, it's in keeping with James 3:1.
JWs would argue that asking apostate witnesses for advice would be like asking Judas for information on Jesus - unlikely to get an accurate picture.
Aye, you're right. That's how they have been taught to view it.
An exJW would view it that you are best hearing the pros and cons, rather that just a biased viewpoint (for or against).
An antiJW would view it that you are best asking the torn sheep how the wolf shepherds his flock