In several congregations I attended many Elders were downright evil and flat out drunk with power.
Many times I personally knew of things done by them that would have been a disfellowshipping offense had they not been Elders. And even though many times these issues and spiritual atrocities were reported to the CO's and HQ they would many times (if not all the time), get off with a mere slap on the wrist or a forced apology.
Why do you believe Elders are so protected?
My theory is the authority integrity within the congregation. The NY maggots know that they need to keep the R&F in line and obedient. And if the local authority structure starts to falter this can have a detrimental effect on the individual members and the congregation as a whole. They don't want anyone going rogue so instead they forego imposing any real punishment at the expense of the affected members.
I've seen some real wallops which also helped me see that it wasn't what I thought it was.
Your experiences and thoughts?