Way back in the 70s around the time when the elders arrangement was new I recall a particular CO who tried to replace all the circuit arrangement with young pioneers, in fact he tried to infest all of circuit with youth. My father in law was removed by this person from his circuit position and that added to the complete disdain even contempt my fil had for him. My fil was one of a small group that had formed congregation , built the KH with their own funds and where very loyal to the organisation, never commenting or expressing dissent in any form. However at an elders meeting he exploded when the CO said the KH was built with dedicated funds and belonged to society. Pre '97 it technically belonged to local committee. Well CO expounded on idea we should get hall replaced and share with another cong so money could go to Mill Hill. As I say Fred ( not his name) exploded at all this and gave the CO a dressing down to beat all dressing downs. Not exact words but essential he he said, This Hall was built by blood sweat and tears of a few who gave their savings to construct it, at a time you were in nappies. When you have grown in experience and not education we will listen to you, but not now, move on with your outline, we will have NO discussion on this and I am sure a show of hands of all the elders here will agree, every hand except CO went up. However my fil had not finished, Why do you presume to ask people about other people in your visit, what you may hear is gossip and I would know NO circuit servant ( servants then not overseers) worth his salt would do so. you will stop or I will stop you. Stunned silence. Elders wanted to clap. That circuit servant was as good as gold ever since. You could push my fil so far and no further. Remembered when writing that the circuit servant was called that so word overseer above should be replaced.
vaguely recall Branch servant was Pryce Hughes a good friend of my fil and his father who went back decades,, so fil no fear of speaking out. Old timers knew bethel when it was a shop then a building in Doughty st, London.
Today he would be removed immediately, long gone old timers with experience under their fingernails and a new breed of "professional" elders in charge.
Even then CS saw money dancing before him and dreamed I expect of writing to Mill Hill enclosing a cheque for sale of KH, scoring brownie points.
Sadly at turn of century cong had built up scores of thousands for a motor refit job, however cong merged then and guess where money went, not to new enlarged KH but to society, thieves now and always have been. Sadly fil long dead, no promised Paradise for him and mil, and I know of no elders with that freedom of speech.