They are truly becoming a bonafide CULT! I know they already were but this SEALS IT!
Becoming? Seals it? No, they already were a bonafide cult. Always have been. The religion that DFs and shuns people who wish to leave is enough to gain cult status. But add up all the other kookiness and history and it's obvious that it was a cult from the git-go. We were either unlucky enough to be born in it, or gullible enough to buy into it.
Semi-shunning of people who have HOBBIES, Or FOLLOW SPORTS?!!
They have always practiced what you call 'semi-shunning'. Anyone who doesn't fall in line and obey the directives is looked sideways at by the rest of the group. Even down to how you dress, how you wear your hair, what you drive, what you read, what you watch, what you listen to. Nothing really new in their MO; maybe just being a little more vocal about it in the mags is all.
Are they trying to set up two classes of witnesses, like a caste system?
Trying to set up? It's already there. Actually there's several classes of dubs. You got the GB, Jehovah's direct voice piece to the rest of the sheeple. There are DOs and COs who travel around soaking up the glory of the local dubs that suck up to them Then there are Bethelites. The very ground they walk is worshipped by the rank and file. On the local level, you've got elders, then pioneers/MSs and at the very bottom are the average rank and file publisher who is contantly harassed to do more, give more, pray more, etc. Each of those 'classes' being looked up to, or admired, by the ones below isn't accidental. It's set up that way. They use guilt to drive the rank and file to keep busy.