RK: The elder body decided to reject the Branch's letter
You have to obey, they don't. Nice. There's a word for that: hypocrisy!
(BTW, the elders in your hall are spineless idiots).
RK: I realized I could be labeled an apostate for expressing a viewpoint which had been published in the Watchtower
Yes, and let's be absolutely clear on this. The label of "apostasy" is a convenient way to demonize anyone that disagrees with the control structure and hierarchy of the group. It has nothing at all to do with doctrine. That is just a ruse.
RK: This illustrates the destructive effect oppressive religious cults have on the thinking and reasoning abilities of their adherents
Um, yeah! Cult 101: Thinking is not allowed. Independent Thought and Critical Thinking are specifically the most serious of all "crimes" in a cult.
Take note of the wide range of actual crimes a person can commit and be "forgiven" by the elders. This one is unforgivable.