I am almost as old as Farkel (= Methuselah) and remember the religion in the early 1950's. It was a strange cult even then, though as I knew nothing else I only recognise that fact with hindsight.
But the mood was so very different from today, we were a small band of people fighting against the predjudice and complacency of established religion, the religions which had supported , or even caused the World War just finished, the adherents of our religion did not support the war, we were for peace, and for God's Kingdom.
We worked as a small team to get places to worship in, we went from door to door despite the awesome number of doors that needed knocking on, and there was a tremendous Esprit de Corps.
That all gradually disappeared as time went on, the organization got bigger, as did individual congregations,and it got more impersonal.
I think there never was a good time to be in the religion, you always would have been vastly better off outside of it, but I think that there was more reason for many to join the religion back then, now you really need to be an oddball to get sucked in.