Here is the way I look at it. Directed and Inspired are two different words. (the following definition come from Merriam Webster online
direct - 1 a obsolete : to write (a letter) to a person b : to mark with the name and address of the intended recipient c : to impart orally d : to adapt in expression so as to have particular applicability <arguments directed at the emotions>
2 a : to regulate the activities or course of b : to carry out the organizing, energizing, and supervising of <direct a project> c : to dominate and determine the course of d : to train and lead performances of <direct a movie>
3 : to cause to turn, move, or point undeviatingly or to follow a straight course <X-rays directed through the body>
4 : to point, extend, or project in a specified line or course <direct the nozzle down>
5 : to request or enjoin with authority <the judge directed the jury to acquit>
6 : to show or point out the way for <signs directing us to the entrance>
Inspire - 1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspirationb : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on <was particularly inspired by the Romanticists> c : to spur on : IMPEL, MOTIVATE <threats don't necessarily inspire people to work> d : AFFECT <seeing the old room again inspired him with nostalgia>
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic: to infuse (as life) by breathing
3 a : to communicate to an agent supernaturally b : to draw forth or bring out <thoughts inspired by a visit to the cathedral>
4 : INHALE 1
5 a : BRING ABOUT, OCCASION <the book was inspired by his travels in the Far East> b : INCITE
6 : to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another
When the watchtower speaks of not being inspired, they mean that an angel doesn't bring new revelation to them like the ancient writers of the bible. This would make them modern day prophets if a angel did speak with them (in a conventional sense of the word; bringing new revelations from God as the Mormons claim). If God put the thoughts in their heads for them to write down, that would also make them spirit inspired, modern day prophets of God. The only caveat to being a modern day prophet is that if anything proved to be false, it would show them up to be false prophets.
The watchtower can claim spirit direction two primary way as far as I can see. One is by following the direction from the bible which has claims spirit inspiration (2 Tim 3:16) In following the direction from the bible, they can say they are spirit directed. Example: the bible says don't kill and they follow that direction and don't kill, therefore they are spirit directed.
There are certain problems with this approach. Using this argument, I can also claim that I am spirit directed (as well as many religions including the Moonies) because I follow the direction of the bible on not killing. The second problem with this approach involves interpretation of a scripture. One religious group can interpret a scripture one way while another religious group can interpret it another way, both claiming spirit direction but in opposite directions (such as the blood issue). And sometimes we can see a particular group interpret something different ways over a time period. (flip-flopping as in organ transplants).
A second way that the society claims spirit direction is that of angels interceding in their affairs, such as court victories, how the resources are used, appointment of elders and general running the organization. This comes from Acts 8:26 where a angel directed Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch or when the angel directed Peter to preach to the gentile Cornelius. The problem with this is that they admit that an angel doesn't talk with them. We also see that in the case of Jesus Cano, Leo Greenslee, appointment of corrupt brothers and so on, there was no angel interceding by revealing the corruption even when it was going on under their nose for years. They had to go by visual evidence (not invisible evidence like angels whispering in their ears) and word of mouth like everyone else (the Police and the courts find the invisible evidence unreliable )
Bear in mind though, when Jehovah gave the warning about false prophets, he didn't make the distinction as to whether someone was spirit directed or spirit inspired. A false prophecy is a false prophecy.
If I left out anything significant, please add to his post.
It is important to have his clear in your head because too many friends have this quasi-inspired view in their heads and it sort of confuses a lot of people and emotionally holds them to captive to the bOrg.
So what it comes down to is whether or not you think the religion teaches truth and also its past and current fruitage. (both of which are interesting topics)
thecarpenter of the spirited directed class