I love these type of threads.
I was serving in a foreign country as a young "need-greater" (which means my wife and I funded ourselves....quit our jobs.....big level of commitment). I had 19 bible studies and my wife 20. Sheesh.
I was learning a language, so i honestly got kind of bored and just wanted to communicate in english. I somehow stumbled upon a web site called "scriptural truths" which was ran apparently by some JW's. Also a forum called "touchstone". This was ran by an elder out of the UK. I loved that there were apologists defending the tenants of my faith, so i joined up. I was an active online JW apologist in the golden years of this (about 10 years ago or so). I met a LOT of brothers who were very intelligent, and put together decent defenses. (many of them are now out).
But in engaging with some apostates online, there was one in particular that while he could be a bit of an ass, I knew was telling the truth about his experience, and he ended up just kind of being for lack of a better term....NICE to me. It made me take into consideration some specific questions. The one that stuck?
It seemed grey. Our policy made no sense. If it WAS grey, then it should be a conscience matter......but it wasn't. So was their bloodguilt to go around?
I didn't care about the UN, old predictions, or what I regarded as conspiracy theories. Blood to me became the single most indefensible doctrine there was. When we returned from foreign service, we were rock stars. I was an idealist, and thought I could change things. I got frustrated because you know how that went. I made the classic mistakes by sharing my frustration, which led to inquiry, loss of friendships, my wife thinking I'm insane (she is out now as well), and more.
I am a firm believer that the best you can do to get through that wall in a JW's mind is to just loosen one brick. You have to do so gently. Once that brick is out, its up to them to poke around, look through to the other side, and see if there is anything that resonates with them. My wife got out. She didn't care about blood even though that is what I pushed on. For her it was shunning. My buddy got out. I pushed blood......for him it all started with 607.
Everyone has their brick.