I get where you're coming from OrphanCrow - I too imediately thought Swingle could have been going through some kind of neuro-degenerative process - but I attribute that to the kind of assessment work I do.
At the same time, it can be incredibly difficult being a new kid on the block and being exposed to the unusual behaviour of an identified GB member and not quite knowing what to make of it and how to respond. Then to subsequently be reprimanded for being "disrespectful" - that would be kind of deflating to say the least! Contrast that with brothers kindly providing education and modelling respect to the "offending" new brother, explaining to him why caution is preferable. It would have been a helpful rather than punishing experience.
Something to think about: If Swingle had not been a member of the GB and displayed the very same behaviour, would there have been a groundswell of respect at Bethel and understanding for him?