All excellent points. My father had a discussion regarding this very topic the other day. He is still considered an active JW, though I suspect he also may be considered "weak", though I most certainly disagree.
Anyway, he has been upset about the lack of love so many of us observed. My mother has been living with cancer for years now and people in the cong. just don't seem to care to keep in contact. The elders don't visit just to visit, it's always a "call". They've even mentioned his inactivity in the service through this and he is just aghast. "My wife has CANCER!" is what he wants to scream at them.
Anyhow, we start discussing things. I'm reticent to let him know just how much I really know. But we start talking about how we used to have get-togethers and how the brothers and sisters used to feel so much more close than they do now. He tells me what I already know, that they discourage large gatherings now. He says it's because there were problems with drinking and "wrong-doings" and that it wasn't just locally.
So I tell him that by them making such legislation, they are bottling up the brothers and sisters. People need an out. With all the stress that JWs are under, trying to make their time, constantly watching what they say and do, especially around other Witnesses, they need to have some way to relieve the pressure. They also need ways to make personal interconnections with others. Without such release mechanisms, the pressure becomes too much and when it does release, and it will, it will be much, much more severe than it would have been otherwise.
It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. I heard only agreement from my father.
They're killing themselves.