I noted this very thing when the new Assembly Hall in my area was dedicated three years ago. The dedication 'ceremony' was by invite-only. If I remember correctly, only those JWs who had been baptized at least 20 years were invited-to the exclusion of all others. And, in that group, there were obvious (but unstated) sub-categories, because I knew some JWs who have been faithful, baptized JWs for 50 years who didn't make the list.
What is maddening about this is: ALL the JWs in the various circuits throughout the State were held up for the money that paid for the Assembly Hall (or, as I now call it, the "Ass Hall"). Yet, only a few "elite" JWs were allowed to attend the dedication by special invite. The overt message was painfully clear- that class distinctions in the org., not only exist, but are alive and well.
To your point, Raymond, I think this new arrangement for the Annual Meeting has everything to do with creating a greater delineation between the "haves" and the "have nots" within the organization. It more deeply entrenches the feelings of loyalty to the governing body in those individuals who already have a strong inclination, and need, toward creature worship, while culling the herd of those JWs who do not fit that mold.
I think it's probably beyond dispute that the WT closely monitors sites like this one to determine what the 'hot' issues are for current and ex-JWs. Class distinctions within the organization is at the top of the list. Many are bothered by the glaring distinction between the "anointed" and the rank and file. Now, there is a clearer distinction in the anointed class itself- the "faithful and discreet slave", exclusively the Governing Body- and all the rest, the "mentally unbalanced" also-rans of the 12,000 plus partakers.
Now, a greater distinction is being made among the rank and file. You're either in the "in" group-the strongest supporters/worshippers of the governing body- or, you're in the "out" group, those that have the audacity to desire to follow only Christ and the Bible while rejecting the vapid, and increasingly absurd, self-aggrandizing claims of the GB. The Organization leaders are letting you know where you stand with this new arrangement. Those invited to the Annual Meeting can now pat each other on the back and reassure one another of how special they are, while at the same time marginalizing those not in attendance as "amharets"- dirt. It worked for the Pharisees- why not for uber JWs ?