This is a very profound discussion, paulapollos. I totally identify with your statements on the average Witness. I don't think Witnesses are intentionally selfish, but really, one elder I knew gave a comment that told it like it is: "Would we really be serving Jehovah if we weren't offered the chance to live forever? Sure, that would be a noble gesture, but..." He indicated that obviously the answer was no. Which undercuts the very core doctrine of 'sovereignty and man's integrity'. Supposedly Satan makes the accusation that we serve God only for what we get from him. But isn't that what we're doing? We're serving him because we want to live forever, right? And obviously, nobody wants to be killed by God, right? So whether because it's by the threat of force, or belief in the paradise, or maybe even genuine love for God, we're still out to save our own skins, like it or not.
And I certainly recognized even when I was a true believer that Jehovah, the God in the Bible, was ruthless. He ordered grisly deaths for men, women and children, destroyed entire cities, nations all because they were living in the wrong spot. And the assumption I gathered from my own study of WT literature was, "Well, if you disobey us, he'll kill you, too. Just like he did them." I had trouble praying to that God and believing that he cared in the slightest way about me. I always pictured him as he is in the publications, on a throne, unapproachable, immune to the cries of millions and millions of suffering people, interested only in proving a point about his name, no matter the cost to mankind.
But that's just my opinion. Anyway, I'm sorry you had to go through such an experience. Love for real truth is something that is sadly missing in the organization. It is very true that people are content to let someone else do the thinking and research for them and blindly trust the results. Bible reading is encouraged, but coming to any conclusion that's not in a Watchtower publication is strictly forbidden, no matter what you may read in the scriptures. That alone encourages people to have a veil covering their hearts, as Paul said.
It's always good to have those who are morally upright who take a stand, like yourself. Unimpeachable testimony for the Bible's truth is a real treasure. I hope the Lord Jesus will be with you in these tough times.