Your experience took me down memory lane. I was there for four years. The (last) table head that I had was a jerk. At first I though he was ok but as time went on I realized he was a control freak. He demanded that you ask permission to leave the table early. Most of the table heads were lifers and had no real life outside of Bethel. After 1 1/2 years at this table he had the nerve to tell the rest of the people at the table not to speak to me, as I had anounced that I would be leaving Bethel, after four years, to take care of my mother. He said that I was not one of "them" any more. So for one (last) week I sat there in silence and then quietly left the last day, not one word to those I sat next to for 1 1/2 years! I often reflect back on that experience with amazement of the mind control so many people were under. There conduct flys in the face of a normal well adjusted person. I ,like DanP, could fill your ears full of all kinds of wacky things and people at the table. I was there during the '75 blow up. All most of the people talked about at the table that year was the "date".
PS: Don't feel sorry for me about that experience as it was the begining of my deprograming and lead me on the way to freedom!