While I was a Hoho, I often told people that I was of the religion and therefore wouldn't do this or that (where's that LLLLONNGGGG list!); even as a kid I believed that if I was ashamed of being a witness that Jesus would be ashamed of me, and so, I witnessed whenever appropriate. At work and at school, people almost always said something positive in return and I rarely, if ever, received criticism for it.
Now that I am Hoho no mo', when I speak of my evil JW past, I hear what people really think of them. Co-workers and clients have used words like antisocial, anti-government, toddler-spankers, masters of brainwashing, obsessive, exclusive, family-destroyers, ignorant, masogynists, uneducated. . .
Lessons: 1) I have learned that when I was a JW, people were just being nice, and so they said nice things. People are generally nice.
2) People are also generally Not Stupid and saw what a mess the JWs are long before I did.