I seem to remember something on the board about Leo Greenlees being removed from Bethel & the GB. Can anyone give me information about this. Is he still allive and where?
Leo Greenlees was on the gb when Ray Franz was and is now deceased.
I don't know about his being removed from Bethel.
Leo Greenlees was a member of the GB, elected as a director of the NY Society around 1965, and is rumoured to have been removed because of his sexuality (gay). A search of the 1997 WT CD-ROM makes no mention of him in any publications after 1984 when he spoke to a group of friends getting a preview of the program that would be held the following day for the graduating class of Gilead.
I have no information as to whether or not he is alive or dead or where he is living. Perhaps others can help?
It is my understanding that Brother Greenlees was never disfellowshipped from the organization, merely removed from the GB.
(Now that I'm thinking about it, there may be something further on http:\\www.freeminds.org if you search.)
Leo Greenlees was forced out of Bethel in 1984 for practicing pedophilia. Seems he was fooling around with a ten year old boy, got caught, and the parents complained to the Society. After a Governing Body session, Greenlees was told to get out. He ended up in some congregation and died a few years later, sometime in the late 1980s.
Ironically, the molested boy applied for Bethel service in the early 1990s, but was turned down because certain officials thought that he'd be too much of a source of information about Greenlees' perversion. No sense taking a chance on digging up that can of worms, eh?
The situation begs for clarification. Clearly, if Greenlees was caught molesting a young boy once, he must have done it before and must have molested plenty of other young boys over the years, because that's how molesters operate. The questions proliferate. Why didn't parents come forward before 1984? Why didn't elders who must have known something come forward and protect these children? Why did the GB not disfellowship Greenlees instead of simply removing him to some local congregation where he lived out his days unknown as a pervert? Clearly, Greenlees had committed fornication, so how did he get out of punishment for that?
These questions are extremely relevant to the current situation where the Society has been accused by William Bowen and plenty of victims of gross negligence and mishandling of child molestation. Is their negligence traceable simply to being overly focused on their 'preaching work'? Or does it have more sinister implications, such as a desire to cover up gross sexual immorality on the part of other Watchtower officials? I have little doubt that the coming Dateline TV program on JWs' mishandling of child molestation will provoke enough action by interested parties to shed more light on Greenlees and related things.
The Leo Greenlees incident is the epitome of how the WTS has typically handled pedophilia cases. They could have made an example of Greenlees for the the rank and file JW's, but no, they swept him under the carpet to save face. This is similar to what the RCC has done. Now, we know how the WTS feels about the RCC, don't we?
Here is an account of Leo Greenlees written by someone who knew him personally. I also personally know the author of this article and have every reason to believe it is 100% true.
"At one time I thought that perhaps I was the only gay Jehovah's Witness in Canada, perhaps the world. This was not unusual, as most gay/lesbian Jehovah's Witnesses feel the same way. There is a conspiracy of silence on the subject, since these things were "not to be even mentioned" by a good Christian.
Percy Chapman and his companion Leo Greenlees were sent by Rutherford from London Bethel in 1936 to replace the rebel Canadian Branch Overseer, Walter Salter, who had started up his own group over the "elected elders" debacle. Percy was a mesmerizing public speaker of the old school (no voice amplification required) and with his Lancashire lilt of voice reminded me of Winston Churchill, flapping jowls and all. I can still remember the reverberating vibrato of his voice warning of the "vile depths of the abominations" and since I knew that homosexuality was "an abomination unto the lord" wondered if that was what he was referring to. It was not until later that I began to suspect the administration at Bethel was mainly gay.
I remember the shock at a district assembly in 1959 at Halifax, Nova Scotia where Percy Chapman, then the branch overseer of Canada was to give the main talk. Suddenly who should appear to replace him, but Brother Knorr, the President from New York. Percy Chapman just disappeared from sight. Later we found out that Brother Knorr had removed all responsibilities from Percy but allowed him to remain at Bethel in Toronto as a janitor. The next shock was that Percy Chapman was forced to be married. Percy, following the Rutherford line, was totally anti- marriage and he made sure that none of the "Bethel boys" even contemplated the subject with very strict rules and early curfews. The only way a bethel boy could see another sister would be to go on a Bible study with her. My parents started studying in 1945 with a beautiful young pioneer sister named Joyce Randall and every week there would be a new Bethel boy accompanying her. She later was sent to Gilead and posted in Peru, totally isolated, only to be seduced by a latin lover. Of course she was disfellowshipped and sent home in disgrace. But my family did get to know a lot of Bethel boys. They were all young and handsome, hand-picked by Percy Chapman; there was even an elite group known as "Percy's boys" who would accompany him to expensive restaurants and bars and receive other favours. At the time, Bethel was on Irwin Avenue, now (although replaced by a condominium) in the centre of the gay district of Toronto. There was even a Kingdom Hall above "the Parkside", one of Toronto's few gay bars in the fifties and sixties.
Poor Leo Greenlees, Percy's close companion for three decades even when at London Bethel, had to find himself a new room-mate. Leo was a cheerful, likable fellow, with his thick Scottish brogue and also an electrifying public speaker. He was very open about his homosexuality to those few good-looking young brothers like those he would meet at one of the summer resorts in Haliburton run by Jehovah's Witnesses (later bequeathed to the Watchtower Society). I got to know Leo a little better when he was assigned to be congregation overseer at the Kingdom Hall I attended as a teenager during the early sixties in Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto. He would bring along another bethel boy, Lorne Bridle, who was very good looking and charming. After a failed marriage to a young pioneer sister, he eventually committed suicide. I often wondered what tortured state of mind led him to that - but so often the fate of closeted gays in the Watchtower society!
But Leo was soon to be promoted to Brooklyn Bethel, where he became the Treasurer of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and one of the elite governing body. He managed to escape the witch-hunt at Brooklyn Bethel in the early seventies when dozens of Bethel boys were disfellowshipped after learning of their midnight trysts in the sauna in Brooklyn bethel. There was for a short period in the late sixties and early seventies a marked liberalization of attitudes among the governing body. But this suddenly ended, culminating with a power struggle and the disfellowshipping of Raymond Franz, a member of the governing body who was a free-thinker and had written the "Truth" book and chaired the writing of the almost scholarly "Aid to Bible Understanding". Both books, interestingly have joined the list of publications that you would think never existed according to the Watchtower society, although the "Truth" book had the largest printing, next to the Bible, of any book in the world.
It as not until a few years ago that I learned Leo Greenlees had been found out and was removed from the Governing Body for being gay. The last I heard as that he was sent to San Diego where he died not too long ago. As far as I know he was never disfellowshipped, nor can I corroborate any real seductions. Another member of the GB, Chitty who was also removed from Brooklyn Bethel for the same reason and sent away to London, England, I understand."
Thanks for the added info on Leo Greenlees. I tried to post a reply to AlanF asking for proof of the details he gave us, but for some reason I was unable to post or access any of the topics again after I read it this morning. It was like my computor was frozen and stopped counting any new posts past 10:46 am. (I wish I knew why it does that-3 tims in the past month and half)
Anyway, I only wanted details, if possible, of where his facts came from since if I ever have the opportunity to discuss this with my still-active family, once the rest of the lid is off the whole pedophilia story for the general r&f who are kept in the dark, I want to be able to present provable facts. I don't want the issue to be disregarded by them as only heresay and gossip since some of the older members of my family and friends remember Percy and Leo and Chitty (being close to the Toronto Bethel) and would never believe these things without the info being sure.
Thanks again for your input.
I was sitting in Lower dinner that morning when the Bro Potzger the German member of the GB at that time who has since passed made the anoucnement to the bethel family
i recall his comments like they were yesterday'
"This is to inform the bethel family that Leo Greenless is no longer a member of the bethel family and THE MATTER IS CLOSED"
NOW IF there are any bethlites who were there that morning i'm sure they too can comment on the spirit that sweep thru the dining rooms that AM
after the prayer and on the way to work it was sorta of a sick feeling for no one really wanted to ask or say anything about it
so during the day no one one would really ask the question that was on the minds of everyone:
"What in the Hell happened" looking back now i can see clearly why
the fear that jw live under is much like that in all congo when someone is kicked out
no one wants to aske the ovious question
HadEnough, email me privately and I'll be happy to put you in touch with the author of the article.
Alan & Jim,
Really appreciate your posts on Greenlees. Thanks for taking the time of pulling it together. The two posts complement each other nicely.
JT, I forgot to add a "thanks" for giving the insights the Brooklyn boys felt when Greenlees was dropped from the GB.
--JAVA...counting time at the Coffee Shop
To Had Enough:
My information came from former Bethelites who were positions to know about this stuff. It isn't generally known among rank & file Bethelites. That's all I can reveal.
When I was at Bethel, I had heard about Greenlees and Chitty being gay from my bethel elder roommate. I had only been there maybe three months or so when he told me about it. I was shocked to say the least.
Also, if I am not mistaken Leo Greenlees lived in the New Orleans area not long after he was asked to leave Bethel.
Yep Jschwen is right.
I attended the Downtown Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in New Orleans, LA for about a yr or so before I moved away to the Wesbank of New Orleans. I was baptized in 1996 as a member of that congregation.
I remember the friends in that congregation talking about Bro. Greenlees. It was apparently where the Society had him relocated after his ouster from Bethel. He was known for his fatherly way of dealing with the brothers and his zealousness in the feild ministry. Street work was a big part of the ministry in that congregation's territory and the friend's marvelled at how he would boldly go up and talk to ppl instead of waiting for someone to pass close to him.
The former PO of the congregation once told me that he had gotten "caught up" in the Franz debacle, and apparantly that's what most of the friends thought about him. I doubt anyone down there in his new congregation new anything about him being gay. I know he died a few yrs before I joined that congregation but i don't know when. I also heard that shortly before he died, he had been reappointed an elder in that congregation, but again i don't know for certain how true that is, thoughi wouldn't put it past em.
"..... anyone who ignores everyday reality in order to live up to an ideal will soon discover he had been taught how to destroy himself, not how to preserve himself." The Prince. Niccolo Machiavelli.
Thank you for your response. I respect your position and the need for discretion. I'm sure more will be revealed as time goes on anyway, so my family is due for an eye-opening. At least for now, knowing these things actually happened in that ivory tower, paints a more believable picture of reality instead of the whitewash of spirit-directed holy men we've been handed. These men were fallible despite their claims of divine approval and I, for one, appreciate knowing the real truth. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.
Thanks for your offer. I've emailed you. Let me know if you didn't get it.
The situation begs for clarification. Clearly, if Greenlees was caught molesting a young boy once, he must have done it before and must have molested plenty of other young boys over the years, because that's how molesters operate. The questions proliferate. Why didn't parents come forward before 1984? Why didn't elders who must have known something come forward and protect these children? Why did the GB not disfellowship Greenlees instead of simply removing him to some local congregation where he lived out his days unknown as a pervert? Clearly, Greenlees had committed fornication, so how did he get out of punishment for that?That is not how all molesters operate. Some do. As with any other crime, there are differences in how the criminal operates. Perhaps he graduated from young bethel men over 18 to a young boy for the first time. Anything's possible with sex and/or deviates. But if there were other children, it doesn't seem that anyone has proof of them - yet.
I do not have the facts, but am only responding to your absolute post. You have eluded to having facts, but unwilling to put them forth. Unless you are in a position to publish your facts, it would seem prudent to not make specific charges against a dead man.
But molesting one boy does not make a long term child molester. He could have been long term, but not necessarily.
How did you get so smart? And how can I get smart like you?
: That is not how all molesters operate.
That's not what he said.
: That is not how all molesters operate. Some do.
Alright, I should have said "almost all". Statistically, molesters have been shown to molest something like 100 children over their lifetimes.
: As with any other crime, there are differences in how the criminal operates. Perhaps he graduated from young bethel men over 18 to a young boy for the first time. Anything's possible with sex and/or deviates.
Anything might be possible, but only a few things are true. In Greenlees' case, I've heard other stories from other people who complained about Greenlees' behavior. One man complained that he found Greenlees alone with his 8-year-old son with his hand on the kid's knee -- entirely inappropriate touching. Another complained to me of inappropriate touching of him and his brother when they were perhaps ten years old.
Given the above, the probability that Greenlees got caught on his first foray into pedophilia is zero.
Consider this, too: Suppose you were to call Bethel and ask to speak to someone about charges of sexual deviance against someone who is known to be above reproach in this regard, such as the recently deceased Lyman Swingle. They would tell you that the charge is ridiculous, and they would be confident that they were telling the truth. Try that with a known deviant like Leo Greenlees and you'll get an entirely different reaction -- "No comment." How do I know this? Because I've done it. I've also had offline discussions with certain current Bethel members who, while not directly admitting of Greenlees' deviance, could not bring themselves to lie to my face and deny it.
Perhaps it's time for me to post once again a list of online comments I've accumulated over the years.
: But if there were other children, it doesn't seem that anyone has proof of them - yet.
"Yet" is the operative word here. Again consider an important fact: people who are in positions to know the direct facts about Greenlees boil down to Governing Body members, certain trusted secretarial assistants, and a few others. However, the Bethel grapevine is often a reliable source of information, and Bethelites love to build up networks of 'confidants' who usually end up spilling all sorts of juicy gossip all around the place. But almost all of these people have a great deal to lose by letting this information get 'outside'. If it becomes known that they spilled the beans, they're history. If spilling the beans leads to serious consequences for the Watchtower organization, they themselves suffer some of those consequences. Therefore, only under unusual circumstances do these things come out. But if enough people become angry enough due to the upcoming Dateline program and the fallout that is sure to occur, some of them will surely tell their stories in public.
Were a Governing Body member subpoenaed in court to testify about Greenlees, they would almost certainly try to invoke ecclesiastical privilege in order to avoid testifying. They might even have to invoke the Fifth Amendment so as to avoid incriminating themselves in a cover-up of molestation or of failure to obey state reporting laws. I'm hoping that this will happen, and not a moment too soon!
: I do not have the facts, but am only responding to your absolute post. You have eluded to having facts, but unwilling to put them forth.
I can't because I have to protect my sources. Keep in mind that I was only making some comments here, not trying to establish an airtight case.
: Unless you are in a position to publish your facts, it would seem prudent to not make specific charges against a dead man.
I have enough facts, which I will certainly publish, which along with the private information I will not publish makes me completely confident of the charges. The Society has had ample opportunity, and will have further opportunity, to bring forth facts to defuse the charges that have been made to date. That they have not done so seems pretty good proof that they don't want to get involved in a public discussion of the details, any more than they want to publicly discuss any of their false teachings and stupid practices that they know they cannot defend.
: But molesting one boy does not make a long term child molester. He could have been long term, but not necessarily.
Right, but the other stories that surfaced over the years proves that he was.
Thanks for qualifying your statement. I appreciate it, as I'm sure Farkel does.
...Greenlees' behavior. One man complained that he found Greenlees alone with his 8-year-old son with his hand on the kid's knee -- entirely inappropriate touching. Another complained to me of inappropriate touching of him and his brother when they were perhaps ten years old.I'm sure there must be more to these accounts than is given here. The first does not constitute molestation, imho. Without the particulars of what is *inappropriate touching*, the other cannot be commented on either, at least by me.
Given the above, the probability that Greenlees got caught on his first foray into pedophilia is zero.Stories, accounts, truths, proven truths are all different things - which can all be the same - but not necessarily. The probability of Greenlees is probably closer to 95%. Zero, to the common man/woman, is perceived an absolute - molesters, unless proven, still have the probability factor of the unknown. Memory, even by several persons, is still considered by many professionals to not be absolute in truth or error. Even if it is the truth, not necessarily proveable.
Perhaps it's time for me to post once again a list of online comments I've accumulated over the years.I would look forward to reading your list.
Were a Governing Body member subpoenaed in court to testify about Greenlees, they would almost certainly try to invoke ecclesiastical privilege in order to avoid testifying. They might even have to invoke the Fifth Amendment so as to avoid incriminating themselves in a cover-up of molestation or of failure to obey state reporting laws.I agree with your speculation on the GB's actions. However, it would seem a lot would depend on where Greenlees resided and the laws of that state/country at that time.
: But molesting one boy does not make a long term child molester. He could have been long term, but not necessarily. - waitingNo, the other stories don't prove it - at least not here. The other stories lend credibility to your charges. I don't necessarily disagree with you - only on your absoluteness. I've found little in life that is absolute - especially when dealing with perceptions of *inappropriate actions* and memories, whether of children, adults, or the memories of adults who are remembering events of decades ago.
Right, but the other stories that surfaced over the years proves that he was.- AlanF
Don't get me wrong - if Greenlees did molest young boys - then let the facts come out. But facts, along with the truth, are hard to come by, particularily when dealing with memories. It may all be true, but unproveable. Thus, the little word - alledged - comes into play.
You've been at this longer than I have - at least in the WTBTS arena - I bow to your prowness on gathering information. However, I've dealt intimately with molesters my whole life, approximately a half dozen of them. They are the same, and quite varied at the same time. Much too easy to lump them and the way they operate - as dangerous as lumping victims/survivors into truth sayers or liars.
Most likely, the true picture lies somewhere within those parameters.
I, like many others, look forward to the Dateline program.