Hello Believer and welcome from a fellow believer and member of the "nones".
I was introduced to the liberating gospel message (or word) whilst still in the Watchtower as a 3rd generation born-in.
I was deeply moved and knew immediately that I had to pursue this message which had clearly been hidden from us by religion.
I received the free gift of faith (intuition) exactly as in Rom 10:16,17.
I do believe religion by design steals our faith and salvation.
The Watchtower is only a gross caricature of this phenomenon which may be rather more muted and less obvious in more moderate groups that focus somewhat more on the gospel (although still countermanding it by mixing in religious elements such as legalism, moralism, ethnocentrism, gnosticism, clericalism, magisterium, liturgy and the like).