Dear Wounded Pilgrim,
A would-be Assembly reformer I talked to a while back couldn't understand why I thought he needed to sit under instruction before he sought to lead his group onto reformation from the scourge of Geftakyism. His response was, "Can't the Holy Spirit lead us?"
True reformation is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit, but how does the Holy Spirit accomplish this task? Rom 12:1 tells us to be "transformed in the spirit of our minds" (the key word is "mind").
There is a false kind of elitist spirituality that believes that thinking is opposed to the Spirit. "Oh, there's a kind of thinking that goes into the process", they may say, "but it is a 'spiritual perspective' versus a carnal view."
However, a carnal view is just reasoning from self-centered sinful desires, and a spiritual view pursues God's will as it is clearly revealed in scripture (nothing that requires a special revelation in prayer).
The Assembly was steeped in the elitist spirituality that I mention above ("The Lord showed me this, and the Lord showed me that"). You would think with all this individual insight being received in the Assembly there would be anarchy, but there was a twist that GG added, which was that his revelations trumped everyone else's; thus our thinking was forced into deceptive patterns through years of GG indoctrination.
To know the leading of the Holy Spirit we must first understand that we have been deceived through the acceptance of these erroneous patterns of thought. This is why reformation of the old system is impossible, as the whole basis is faulty.
Why is that? If I have the Bible and the Spirit, are they not enough? The JW's have the Bible and think they have the Spirit. The Mormons think the same thing. And the "Jesus Only" Pentecostal Church thinks the Holy Spirit and the Bible are teaching them, but they are in error. It would be folly to try and reform the JW's from inside, because only a total repudiation of their teaching can lead to a mind that would be receptive to a different way of viewing things.
As ex-Assemblyites, there is so much that must be altered in our thinking. There was false understanding of how we hear God's voice through the Word, how one understands the struggle with sin in the Christian life, the proper boundaries between others, etc.
The idea that after 20 years plus of indoctrination somebody can pick out what is baby or bath water from the Assembly distortion would be similar to "do it yourself" brain surgery blind folded. This is why God has gifted the church with teachers. Read them, listen to them, and then pray and study the Word for a fresh perspective.