Thanks Lee for that nice written review. I agree that the blood issue as well as many others are just there to create a "brand".
From the beginning the WT seemed hell-bent on distinguishing themselves from ANY other Christian group. It seems like they couldn't stand being classed with others, and so went way out of their way in a number of areas to set themselves apart from the doctrines handed down from the apostles.
It seems that the apostles saw it coming and warned us:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.