I believe you are right, it can be spiritually damaging, especially for those who do not realize the danger. I wish I’d had all the information before getting baptized, but I was young and naïve, and those were the days before the internet.
I did have opportunities to listen, but I closed my ears and ran away from them. I remember somebody telling me that JWs once believed God lived on Alcyone. I basically said that was nonsense and “You are thinking of the Mormons”. I’d a friend look up a Ray Franz video on my computer, which I stumbled upon when checking my internet history. Unfortunately, he also looked up gay porn, and since I’m straight, and back then somewhat homophobic, I overreacted and basically told him if he didn’t approach the elders I would. My ears were closed.
I do believe Jesus was indicating not to fingerpoint, our primary focus should keeping on ourselves in line.
For instance, I rarely drink and then only in small quantities. The last time I did was at a church I visited that served real wine for communion. So I don’t have a problem in the area of drunkenness. However, there are other areas of my life where I am not so perfect. A person who has a problem with alcohol may exceed me in areas that I struggle with.
Therefore, if I would severely pronounce judgement, then it would likely have a bearing on how I am judged in regard my own weaknesses. On the other hand, if I endeavor to be understanding and merciful, then I would be accorded the same understanding and mercy. If I concentrate on the good in others, then the good will be focused on in me.
Otherwise, it’s a slippery slope into becoming like the Westboro folks. Of course, there I just made a judgment of sorts. Perhaps it is to cease judging in the Absolute sense, rather than the Relative sense. For instance, judging in the Absolute sense, we might say things like, “You’ve no relationship with God. You’ve a bad heart.” How would we know? It is beyond our ability to determine.
Jesus also said, “Stop being anxious”, but we all are relatively anxious from time to time. I t is something to continually strive for...to reduce our anxiety and to not let it absolutely consume us. Sometimes we NEED to be anxious and attend to certain matters. Similarly, perhaps we can learn to reduce our judgemental natures, but use good discernment to avoid situations that can be damaging.