BETHEL NEWS: Bethel Elder Arrangement to be dissolved as of Aug. 31, 2006

by Elsewhere 122 Replies latest jw friends

  • startingover


    The reason the Society got away with so many failures and changes in the past was because they used a series of eclipses. They would eclipse the last problem with something bigger and bolder. They were saved from doom from the failure of 1925 by the Prohibition campaign in the United States and then the Germany campaign in 1933 and the start of the war in Europe. The next big deal was always so big, the people forgot about the last failure.

    If you think about it, Witnesses have always united, prospered, and grown out of adversity and opposition. Since the 50's the Witnesses have sought legitimacy. Their last fight in the United States was the discontinuation of the military service draft. With that measure of legitimacy has come a loss of enemies and prosperity for the Witnesses. With the prosperity has come a loss of purpose.

    Jehovah's Witnesses is a group born and bred of controversy and strife. Real attacks from a visible enemy and living an unacceptable public life of controversy and strife united the Witness people and gave them a sense of comradery. Now the controversy has turned into indifference and the strife has turned into prosperity. Indifference and prosperity is too boring to fire up any enthusiasm or any real growth. Prosperity is turning into their biggest challenge ever.

    The "generation of 1914" change was the first real change after the start of the Internet. It's easy to see what the future holds for the group.

    IMO, the apostates and the internet have taken over the role of the opposition, and it's a powerful one to them You are right, the org. thrives on the idea that the whole world is out to get them. How delusional.

  • minimus

    My take: They usually do something like this first in bethel to set the example and then they implement something similar in the congregation. Do you remember when they made all the different Governing Body departments? How they had only 1 chairman per year that did not rotate?? Soon thereafter, the rotation of BOES stopped too. I think they will supply an army of scriptures to support their new reason to be appearing less involved with positions----all are brothers, no class distinctions, and then they will put a similar effect on the local congregations.

  • insearchoftruth

    What is the benefit of changing the arrangement like this?? I am not at all familiar with the present structure, so I don't really know what the effect could/would be.

  • upside/down

    Excellent point Min!


  • Elsewhere

    I have been communicating with the source who gave me this information and this person suspects that this change has nothing to do with business operations.

    Here is what my Bethel source suspects is going on: The Bethel Elder arrangement has always been the GBs way of controlling the people in Bethel. They are the "Internal Affairs" people... as someone else here put it, the Gestapo.

    The GB has run into a problem with this arrangement... the people at bethel have learned which Bethel Elders are the "hard asses" and which ones are not. Basically if someone wants to get away with something, they just aviod letting the hard ass see what they are doing. This created a major problem in that the "Internal Affairs / Gestapo" cannot see what is going on in many situations.

    The GB is responding to this problem by simply eliminating the formal Bethel Elder arrangement and putting their "Internal Affairs / Gestapo" in place in an informal manner... this way no one really knows who they are and therefore will not know who to be careful around. Imagine if the local JW congregation did not know who the elders were and that is what is being put into place in Bethel.

    Bottom line: The GB has been gradually loosing control of the "Bethel Family" so now they are getting rid of their visible "Internal Affairs / Gestapo" people and creating an invisible controlling force.

  • sir82

    Re: Elsewhere's post

    So, the "Gestapo" will still exist, but there will no longer be a recognizable "uniform" for its members. Virtually anyone could be an "informer" to the higher-ups.

    Brilliant! Morale at Bethel has plunged to an all-time low due to the downsizing. And how to the gerontocrats respond? Ratchet up the paranoia level!

    Has Inspector Clouseau been promoted to the Service Desk?

  • TheListener

    You might have it right Elsewhwere, but when you're at Bethel it doesn't take very long to know who the "hard asses" are and to steer clear of them. If your supervisor is a one it takes twice as much effort to stay out of trouble.

    The gossip grapevine in Bethel travels at the speed of light. If the GB use anyone in a bethel elder capacity, whether or not they have the actual title, it won't take long for the rest of the family to hear about it.

    Perhaps they feel that after so long a time there is a lot of dead wood in the bethel elder ranks. Instead of selectively asking some to step aside they just cancel the whole program. This way they can begin to unofficially use who they want to do whatever it is they deem necessary.

    Let's face it, the ones with real power and authority now are the "given ones." Everyone else is a second class citizen.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff
    7. Qualifications of all elders are found in 1 Timothy

    3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:2, 3, and in other scriptures.

    A Bethel elder not only meets the Scriptural qualifications

    for elders in a congregation, but does so in a fuller and

    more complete way, so that he is equipped to handle

    more exacting responsibilities in the realm of Bethel

    —Luke 12:48.

    So, the Bible's qualifications are not good enough now? Oh wait, they never used those anyway.


  • Cellist

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but they're still going to be in Bethel. (Aren't they?) Just minus the title. It sounds like a power restructure to me.

    I would still like to know why they're announcing this so far in advance. What I remember from reading WTS histories is that everybody would hear about this sort of thing the morning it went into effect.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Did someone say there was a letter to the congregations on this, or maybe to the branches? It would be great to see that. Or did I miss it?

    It's a big thread already.


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