sysctl.conf is not loaded by 'sysctl --system'
As described in the sysctl man page, /etc/sysctl.conf should be loaded by running 'sysctl --system':
Load settings from all system configuration files.
This patch seems to have broken that, by loading it only in the case of an *error* from stat() on /etc/sysctl.conf, rather than success.
See the new line 643 in that patch.