the good outweighs the bad. For the most part, and I would say upwards of 90% of what is taught and excercised is good.... is good spiritually, good for bonding families, good molding morals, and good at doing what is most important... strengthening your relationship with God.
I just want to go back to something you said, Saki (welcome!!).I think that most people can agree that structure and order is preferable to anarchy to begin with. And that all people who have ethical guidelines benefit in some way from them, whether Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, or other. This is no accident; I think it is a kind of grace of God to all.
But the inherent value of any religion lies in its statements of truth. And the WTS loudly and boldly claims that it alone is the truth. It is a strong claim! It really is either true or false, and the WTS seems to understand that point well by making such a claim. If it is true, then it can be tested honestly and fearlessly. The first to present his case seems right, until another comes forward and questions it. (That's Proverbs 18:17). It's okay to cross-examine if your real intent is to find the truth. And remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.
If you are searching--seriously--for truth, then you must not let anything or anyone get in your way. It is like taking a trip to a foreign land. And if you believe the Bible, it might help you to recall the verse that Jesus said that HE is the truth (John 6:14). And Peter replied to Jesus in John 6:68 "To WHOM shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life." (That is, it is NOT the WTS that has the words of eternal life---but JESUS alone.) To search for truth will lead you to Christ, not a publishing company, I am sure.
Regarding your uncertainty about this discussion board... keep in mind that the journey for each of us (believers and non-believers) still has many turns ahead, to further define us. The story isn't finished yet for us. IMO if you put your hand into God's (or even Jesus'), you are being granted a potentially newer and deeper faith in God--not the "spoon-fed" variety of faith in a monthly publication but men whose names you don't even know! Faith in God can be exhiliarating.
Lady Liberty: loved your posts!
(Glad that hummingbird hasn't flown either, btw. )
Never been a JW class