I gave a several talks in Gadsden Alabama USA during the 90's. Got to eat and chat with several elders who were in the know such as : Felix Parnell, Willie Anderson, Bobby Rogers, Earl Parnell, Theotis French, and Rob Dibble. All said they struggled with the decision of his DFing. "Ray Franz was a great person, but you can't set your own rules, and go against the Faithful Slave! As an Elder, you must be loyal to the Organization that Jehovah is using and not question the direction that the Faithful gives."
That is the collective thinking I got from these individuals. I never gave it much thought at the time because I was totally in, very active Elder and Regular Pioneer, totally consumed with towing the company line and I didn't want to hear anything negative about the Organization. Knowing what I know now, the conversation would have gone in a different direction.
One funny note I recall is a conversation with Annabel Anderson(Willie's wife). She told me about a Congregation picnic where Ray Franz attended and another publisher introduced her inactive husband who was wearing a beard. Annabel asked Ray privately what he thought about the man's beard, and Ray said :"I like it and see nothing wrong with!".
Annabel told me,"From that point on, I knew there was something wrong with him and it would be a matter of time before Jehovah will deal with him."
I wonder what she thinks now about beards from the 2016 Sept. WT?
Felix, Earl and Willie are dead now. I still see the others from time to time. Maybe I might get a chance to ask some better questions if given the opportunity.