Homosexuality and Bethel

by Jim Dee 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jim Dee
    Jim Dee

    There is a lot of post about Gay men in Canada Bethel and how when Knorr came in he "booted out" 70 Gay men. Also stories about Brothers visiting "Massage Parlours"

    Is any of this true, is there proof and personal accounts?


  • Room 215
    Room 215


    I don't know about Canada, but when I was at Brooklyn Bethel, more than 40 were expelled in early summer 1969, I believe, under that allegation.

    When announced by Knorr at the breakfast table, it called to mind an earlier observation made just after I got there in 1965, by my table head Howard Zenke, that ``a lot of guys here are `light on their feet.'''

  • drahcir yarrum
    drahcir yarrum

    When I was at Brooklyn Bethel in the early 70's there was a purge of a number of gays. They were dismissed from Bethel and publicly ridiculed by Nathan Knorr. Most of the gays dismissed were low level workers, but I think there was at least one Bethel servant dismissed as well. They missed Leo Greenlees.

    I had a friend who worked in a restaurant on weekends in Brooklyn Heights and one night he started drinking with a couple of guys after hours, went back to their apartment, and apparently had sex with them. He went to Knorr and confessed his "sin" and they dismissed him immediately. Knorr had no tolerance for sexual activity by the bros.

    I do remember at the time, the Bethel higher ups didn't want any of these things to be communicated to the JW's back home, but of course they were.

    "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son." Dean Vernon Wormer, Faber College

  • drahcir yarrum
    drahcir yarrum

    Hey Room215,

    We were there at the same time. I was the one with the BA.

    "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son." Dean Vernon Wormer, Faber College

  • Room 215
    Room 215


    How about that?! If you had a GA, then THAT would really be sumpthin' !

  • Mum

    I hear that there is lots of homosexual activity in prisons.

    Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow. - Horace

    I have learned to live each day as it comes and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow. - Dorothy Dix

  • ISP

    Wonder where these gay brothers are...? Don't seem to have any on the board that were at Bethel?


  • WildHorses

    ISP, Joelbear served at Bethel.

    I don't want someone in my life I can live with. I want someone in my life I can't live without.
  • JWinSF
  • joelbear

    I was at Bethel for 7 months. I fell in love with another brother and he went to the elders. He didn't think they would dismiss me, he thought they would help me. He saw I was in a lot of pain, which I was, because I loved him so much and knew that it was not to be.

    I was dismissed on Christmas Day 1978. My judicial committee was very kind to me and actually battled with whether to dismiss me or not. When I honestly answered that I did purposely go to the factory showerroom to see naked men they decided that it would be unfair to allow me to stay at bethel both for the cleanliness of Bethel and for my own spiritual good.

    When I returned to my home congregation, I was greeted mostly with love. One elder was very mean to me, but he was outnumbered and I was quickly allowed full privileges and put on the Pioneer list after being home just 3 months. Several of the members of the congregation shunned me but they were in the minority. One sister complained to the elders that I had started crying out in service one day, but they ignored her. An extremely bad CO was very harsh to me on his visits to the congregation. He clearly disagreed with having a gay pioneer on his turf. His treatment along with family circumstances caused me to stop pioneering and leave home.

    When I moved to Jacksonville, I again fell in love with a young brother there. It was clear to him that I, in my fumbling way, had come on to him a couple of times. I found out later that he had asked the elders about it, but evidently they felt that I was trying to battle my feelings and that there was no need to go on a witch hunt after me.

    When I finally decided to leave the witnesses I went to Key West and had some sexual contact with a man there. When I went to the elders they again did everything to keep from disfellowshipping me. It was not until I made the firm statement that I intended to become a practicing homosexual that I was disfellowshipped.

    Blast me if you want. I've read your posts about how I will be hated and mocked if I decide to become a celibate witness again. Most of my friends knew I was gay when I was a witness before. While they certainly didn't respond to my awkward gay advances, they treated me as a friend and even showered with me after racquetball or tennis.

    I, of course, can't speak for all congregations and how all homosexuals have been treated. I know that I was never "marked" for it as long as I was celibate. Was I in the only two loving Witness congregations or was I simply irresistable because of my personal charm?

    Now, was I happy being celibate? No. Would I be celibate again if I felt that my ideal held any chance of being reality? Yes.


  • waiting

    Dear Joel,

    I didn't *blast* you for wanting to be a celibate Jehovah's Witness homosexual. I said that I didn't think that you're loving & living with another homosexual male - indeed, having much prior sex with him until you decided to become celibate - and stating that you would continue loving and living with the same homosexual male with no display of love or sex for the rest of both of your lives - would be a hard swallow for most elders.

    A woman would not be allowed to continue to live with her common-law husband - even if she refused to have sex with him. Why would it be any different for you?

    Being charmed by you doesn't enter into the picture, imho. Reality of the situation does.


  • JWinSF

    Hi Joel,

    Nice to see a posting from you. I'm in a bit of a fog here. I know that you want to go back to the JWs and have thought it out. So, there's nothing for me to add there. However, did I understand correctly from the prior post by "waiting" that you're going to still be living with a gay man although pledge to be celibate?

    If I'm incorrect, no problem, my mistaken understanding. However, if you are in fact going to live with another known gay man, please do keep in mind that according to the Elders manual, they won't allow that. It is a judicial committee matter. They specifically state that in the Elders Manual "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock", unit 5B, page 111:

    "What kind of evidence is acceptable?
    Strong circumstantial evidence, such as pregnancy or evi-
    dence (testified to by at least two witnesses) that the
    accused stayed all night in the same house with a person of
    the opposite sex (or in the same house with a known
    homosexual ) under improper circumstances, is acceptable. "

    Just providing this FYI.


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