were you forced to join the (misery ) ministry school?

by headmath 32 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • kerc

    As much as I hated it sometimes, I gotta admit it helped me face relatively large groups of people effortlessly. Has helped me a lot when doing software project presentations!

  • juni

    The couple who studied w/us in 1970 had us going full throttle into everything. I feel the d to d helped me more than the school to overcome shyness and being able to speak in front of others.

    In the school, I was always concerned that I was up to par w/the school point I was supposed to be working on. I guess now they don't counsel you after your talks. That's good.


  • EyesOpened

    Hi all, first time I've replied to a post...

    some of your posts very funny, some really hit home regarding the undo pressure put on new ones or the JW children. The TMS is supposed to make ones better public readers or speakers or more adept in the field ministry. However, after decades of "schooling" - the TMS has turned into a forum to showcase the difference between "strong" dubs and "weak" dubs.

    I spent 5 years as the TMS overseer - and to be honest it was a joke. When I first rec'd the assignment it was because no one else wanted the job - so they gave it to me, the rookie Elder. I had been in the school since age 7 and was an over achiever - always loved the limelight and always put humor into my parts - stand up comedian type... anyway, that carried over nicely to the "show" I put on as the TMS overseer. I vowed to not make things so serious. I laughed on the platform, didn't berate the friends when they screwed up or stammered or did something that was against the "rules" in the guidebook. Thank god I stopped being the Overseer before the new guide book came along.

    JW's want their young ones to grow up so fast - and what better way to do that by putting a suit on them and giving them a briefcase and have them stand up in front of a 100 people and talk for 5 minutes. And then critique them publicly... gotta love the organization!

    When it came time to start the school, I had no clue what was going on - barely prepared, but to fake it was so easy - just use your JW'speak efficiently and tie everything into the ministry... and all the "sprititual giants" out in the audience will eat it up. When Sister Pioneer gave a talk, always say - "we can see she's no stranger to bible discussions..." or "We really appreciate Sister Pioneer's effective use of the bible and excellent viewpoint questions..." that always worked good...

    Bottom line: the school was okay if you wanted to get over fear of public speaking or reading, but after those butterflies go away - it is pretty much worthless - just another way to show up one another... get the accolades and attaboys for a good talk...



  • juni

    Good evening EO.

    So you were a Theocratic Ministry School Overseer. I was told that they no longer give counsel after your talk. Is that true? What is so different w/the new Guidebook?

    I remember being so diligent in working on my counsel point. After I read your "behind the scenes" story, I wished I would've just bowed out. What a waste of time.


  • Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    Good Girl or Bad Girl?

    Joined when I was a kid, was excited because it was "the thing to do" among my peers. It was definitely peer pressure. If you didn't join the school there was something seriously wrong with you.

    Once I went on a get-disciplined-by-JC's spree (df'd at 19, reinstated at 20, publicly reproved at 20, df'd at 21, reinstated at 23) I had such a "track record" that they wouldn't let me be on the school. I haven't given a talk since 2001. I used to be mad about it, but it was actually a blessing in disguise that they wouldn't let me be on it. I was less conspicuous that way.

    Bad Girl (apparently)

  • under_believer

    EO stated he got out before the new guidebook.
    I'm still going through the motions, though. Here are the major changes.
    1) Bible Reading is now just a Reading. No commentary is allowed, the material is just read and then the brother exits the stage. The Bible and also various Watchtower excerpts are used as material. The time is shortened to 4 minutes.
    2) Counsel points are still used. No negative counsel AT ALL can be mentioned by the school overseer, only positive counsel and explanations of the counsel points themselves. Negative or "constructive" criticism can still be given in private after the meeting. A student may have to work on a counsel point again. Each student is supposed to have their own book. There is a chart in it for the conductor to write marks and comments in.
    3) There is no more Written Review, it was changed to an Oral Review (just your standard Q&A.)
    4) They still do an Instruction Talk and a Bible Highlights, but these were both shortened to make room for a new part where a brother discusses a specific counsel point out of the school guidebook.
    5) There are certain talks that have an asterisk next to them in the KM. These talks are ONLY to be given by a brother, unlike before when #3 and #4 talks could always be assigned to a brother OR an sister.
    6) The guidebook itself is a larger book now (not one of the 192 pagers,) and is much slicker in presentation, with full colors and everything. It's hardbound and maroon. The counsel points and material have no doubt been revamped but I have not found time to analyze exactly how. It's essentially the same kind of content as the old one.

  • OpenFireGlass
    1) Bible Reading is now just a Reading. No commentary is allowed, the material is just read and then the brother exits the stage. The Bible and also various Watchtower excerpts are used as material. The time is shortened to 4 minutes.

    There's a good way to keep the young ones from researching anything

  • under_believer

    Meh, it's actually not sinister. It's supposed to be a super easy talk for beginners where they just have to read. Before with the Bible Reading you had to make up comments to go along with the presentation. This removes that burden. Not saying commentary or discussion isn't frowned upon, just that that isn't an example of it.

  • EyesOpened

    correct UnderBeliever...

    I stopped going to meetings last September - don't miss it at all! But, the new guidebook is a change in direction for the school. The "private" counsel ends up being a short one on one session with the overseer and he dates your book that you have completed that particular assignments focal point and then assigns your task for next time - more subtle "CONTROL" by the organization. Now you have replaced your counsel record slips W's, G's and I (improved) with the blessed sign off from the powerful TMS Overseer...

    The new book now has "exercises" that you go thru after you read the material - I have yet met anyone that completes those... There are also "approved" settings for the sisters - no more freedom to pick and choose your settings - which sometimes were the most enjoyable part of the sister's parts - in fact I wonder if any here can recall some memorable settings... the most cliche'd ones always include "in the car out in service" - where you set the chairs up side by side and one sister acts like she is driving the car... too funny!


  • penny2

    That brings back memories! I loved giving talks (being a bit of a showoff), loved being the centre of attention. I also enjoyed making arrangements to meet with other sisters beforehand - visiting people you'd not normally get to know. That made fading more difficult - there were so many people I loved.

    What I didn't like though, was seeing people so nervous, they shook and felt sick. Especially young ones - whether they were forced or not, they felt compelled.

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