I generally felt the same as you did about those I attended meeting with and knew as a JW and I like you was a bit naive' about people and glossed over what was really going on behind the scenes. In time, I realized that I was projecting my own good will and good intent onto others and the feelings I had about my experiences were based in emotion and how I was seeing things. The lifelong relationships I had with people were really quite one sided.
Once you get serious about the holes you are seeing in the doctrines or want real answers to your questions and speak to anyone about them, you begin to realize that they too have the same questions and these questions scare them. These once lovely people take on a whole new demeanor once you go off the carefully crafted JW script that is dependent on everyone speaking their lines and moving as directed.
This reflects my own experience to the 'T'.
I was brought up in a non witness family, where gossip and speaking badly of others was the ultimate NO NO - so this isn't about me trying sound like a 'goody' - it was simply ingrained into me that judging others, talking behind people's backs etc was not on the agenda, ever.
The worst part was being 'a go to' for people wanting to download - so quickly did a need for a confidential chat turn into malice. Would steer the conversation back to talking in a positive way, but the damage was done - and sometimes in a group situation, I was not in a position to walk away, and I tended to crumple under the powerful personalities who wielded their own brand of authority, the elders wives, the elders themselves...
I was a convert - I can honestly say, over the years the 'poisonous' spirit that is often lurking in those congregated throngs worldwide convinced me that I could not bring anyone 'into the truth' from non JW friends or family - because then the 'game would be up'
Now when you get to that point - you know something is wrong, very wrong.
And it all trickles down from the top of the power pyramid.
Towards the end of my life with JWS, I realised I'd actually started picking up these bad ways, although I wouldn't initiate a gossip session, my shock reaction to hearing the hissing was getting dumbed down... I didn't want it anymore. Was so tired.