No. I will hold my grudge against the individuals who choose to obey cult leaders rather than listen to the common sense that every person should have. Each individual is responsible for his or her own actions. Trying to throw all the blame on the cult leaders is a cop out.
In my 20 year membership and 32 year acquaintance with Jehovah's Witnesses...
I guess you were lacking common sense for twenty years then...
What excuse do you have for allowing yourself to remain a JW for twenty years? You should have known better. Using your logic, that is.
...I suppose you've never said or heard someone say to a householder, "We're not here to convert you." If I'm not mistaken, this is even covered in the "Reasoning" book. JWs are mislead in some respects, but in others they are deliberate, willful liars.
I remember using that phrase myself...and everytime I used it, something gnawed at me deep inside...something trying to tell me something was wrong. I wasn't deliberately lying, I was using the tactics as taught to me at the Service Meeting. I thought I was doing what Jehovah wanted me to do. When I realized that something was wrong, I not only quit using that prhase, I quit going out in service. But like you, I was a baptized member for tweny years before I figured it out. What took me so long to figure it out?
Like I said before, I won't give all JWs a pass, some are willful, deliberate liars. Many others, the vast majority from my experience in dealing with them, are not "willful" or "deliberate" liars. They believe the "truth" because they've been either guilted into it or fear the results of not believing. In time, they come to believe because they want to believe, despite the evidence contrary. They make a great study in cognitive dissonance. As a general rule, they don't lack common sense nor are they stupid.
Jehovah's Witnesses, as individuals, are the most hateful people I've ever met, especially toward their own members. I've never seen people who took so much joy in verbally savaging one another behind each others backs. Afternoon soap operas are tame by comparison.
I can't dispute what you say you've experienced, but I've experienced both good and bad JWs, just like I've experienced good and bad in all other walks of life.
I refuse to lump all JWs into one single catagory of hateful, willful liars. I treat them on individual experiences I've had with them. Some are good, some are bad. Some are friends still to this very day. Some I don't trust nor respect. Some I totally ignore because of their hatefulness.
I refuse to treat JWs that I might meet on occasion like shit, as did the original poster of this thread did. Just because they're in a goofy religion doesn't give me permission to lie, cheat or treat them like shit. They're still human beings and until they give me reason to treat them otherwise, I'll give them the same common courtesy that I would give anyone else that I meet. Just being a JW is not enough reason to hate them or treat them badly.