I remember other kids getting treated better than me because both parents were "in the truth", and another mother with kids (and no husband in the cult) talking to my mom about how hurtful that is to her family. I remember my mom telling my brothers and I that my dad would die soon if he did not come to meetings. All of this . . . . by the ripe age of about 4. I could go on for days, and really should write a book.
Your account sounds similar to a book I read called "The Spanking Room: Child's Eye View of the Jehovah's Witnesses." A pastor at the church I currently attend lent me that book and I asked him about what time frame was that book based. Like what Blondie said, people viewed spanking differently back then than they do now.
Still, though, one of the reasons why my daughter does not attend the meetings with mom is because she says, "She spanks my butt."
I know my wife is nothing of the woman described in that book nor does she really believe in spanking save for last resort. However, that book did open my eyes to some things. One wonders how the kids my daughter's age manage to sit quietly at the hall for two hours. Well, let me at least say that now some of the draw and color in their chairs.
As for me, the reason why I thought of joining was because of their 'unity' in worship and their racial diversity. That along with their accurate answers regarding certain things in history made me think that they were sincere people trying to find real truth. Of course, their propaganda lulled me in too but in all that time I never fully bought into it.
Now I am not a witness nor have I ever been.