Yes I do still think like a JW, but that is simply because it is who I am. It is the culture I was born and raised with and I'd rather accept the good with the bad rather than convince myself it was all bad.
I believe religion can be a tool for good. I know that JW's on an individual level are simply people trying to be happy and productive. But their system of rules and regulations go so far past the level of reasonableness. This is why I think that so many witnesses suffer inside. It's because they feel obligated to say the company lines and put on a happy face, knowing that they're all hypocrites. Because we all are hypocrites in the end. None of us fully live up to the standards and principles we claim to personally cherish.
Being a JW, though, puts you in a box where you have to constantly preach and rationalize that you have the truth because of your way of life, not just the teachings. They start with the small petty stuff and start judging from there. They are just like the pharisees that strain the gnat but drink the camel. The elders are the catalyst to the unacknowledged consternation caused in the congregations. They'll lie for their stag club before they'll do what's right by their own "bible based" principles.
One elder even told me that when I started coming back to meetings, the elders had actually asked me THEN if I smoked weed and that I denied it. It was a total lie, but one that I'm sure covered his ass and the asses of his fellow assholes. I knew they were unaware of me smoking weed and I was going to keep it that way. I can only assume that he lied about confronting me, simply because they wanted a good reason to mark down in my notes why they were so hasty in my judgement.
It's not about protecting the "flock." Its about protecting their petty little kingdoms that they rule. They know that the records are private and only seen by elders, so they have no conscience when it comes to being duplicitous in those remarks. I'm sure if I asked to see what my file looked like I'd get crickets. Like I said already, they love the double honor but they hate the double judgment. So they do what any petty power mongering man would do, they just lie and get each others back.
I called an elder friend of mine and told him about it all. His advice, just go back to meetings and know Jehovah will take care of it. He also referenced a friend that was unjustly df'd for 3 years, but they kept going to meetings! Good for his friend, but I refuse to accept the hand of Jehovah they preach. If you are a person of good character, then you'll act on an injustice. Especially if that injustice is being carried out by the men who claim to be leaders and example makers. God judges us based off how we choose to respond to injustices, not how much "faith" we have in him to take care of it.
Just like Jesus said, if you see your brother naked and hungry, of what benefit is it to him so say be well fed and clothed. That's the response I got when I made a personal cry for help. That and "go back to meetings." They would rather individuals suffer alone without any friends or family for a year than counsel an elder. But I guess these guys probably don't have much else going on in life, so why would they want their soap opera to end?