Could The Society Dump Circuit Overseers?

by metatron 14 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • metatron

    As with the above post in the "scandals" section, I have wondered for some years if the Watchtower could be forced to get rid of Circuit


    The problem is that these itinerant Enforcers are a direct link in liability to Watchtower Headquarters, as a hierarchy is. Whatever they do,

    or ignore, or whomever they hit with their cars - can lead to the Society's "deep pockets". While the Catholic Church has tons of cash to

    cover such disasters, I doubt that the Society can sustain such damage.

    Nor are lawsuits the only problem. These guys could drain medical/pension expenses from the Society as well, depending on what the

    Watchtower is forced to support them with, as hirelings.

    I think that the German branch wanted to experiment with younger brothers - from the MTS school to try and keep congregations in line

    but that didn't work out.

    Perhaps part time C.O's/elders would be cheaper and safer for the money grubbing Theocrats to work with.


  • zeroday

    I doubt that would ever happen. CO's are the only avenue of direct control the Society has with the congregations. As far as libility they have plenty of insurance to cover such things. Even the Catholic church relied on insurance to cover some of the costs of lawsuits.

  • blondie

    And if they dump the COs, who will watch the disobedient, passive-aggressive elders? Will they do as they did in the past, appoint one man to be the only contact with headquarters and have the other elders got through him?

    The WTS has to have spies to keep an eye on the elders.


  • Scully
    Whatever they do, or ignore, or whomever they hit with their cars - can lead to the Society's "deep pockets".

    I wonder if this is why the COs who visit the local congregations always seem to hook in to other car groups when they go in service. If Brother Joe Blow gets into a car accident while in service, he has insurance, and bears whatever responsibility is his for the accident. If the high and mighty CO gets into a car accident while in service, on assignment from the WTS, the WTS can be sued for vicarious liability.

    So much for the you-brothers-know-your-service-territory-so-much-better-than-I-do routine. I'm sure the congregations appreciate it too when the CO submits his receipts for fuel to be reimbursed.

  • fullofdoubtnow

    It's an interesting thought, met

    They seem to be in a real cost - cutting mode at present, and co' s are a big drain on resources, so I suppose they might think about making some cutbacks.

    In this country, kh attendance has been falling for years, so I guess they could combine some congregations, which could lead to less co's. Maybe in time, they will stop replacing the ones that retire, but I can't see them ever completely stopping the co work altogether.

  • DanTheMan

    I don't see how they could keep the congs as uniform as they are now without the CO arrangement. I think them dropping it would result in strong elders or elder triumvirates having much more power in their respective congregations. So congs would become more church-like. Which, in my mind, would be a good thing, especially since elders are generally more liberal than CO's, so this would mean more freedom for individual JW's.

  • slimboyfat

    Did you know that all the regional leadership in the Mormon Church works voluntarily? Only at the very very highest echelons of the Church do they get any stipend.

    I think part-time volunteer CO's is an astute prediction.


  • blondie

    The WTS already has a version of that called the "substitute CO." Usually local brothers who were once in the circuit work or missionary work (Gilead training). They tend to live within easier driving distance of the congregations and have flexible work schedules.

    They tend to cover when the COs are conducting pioneer school, on vacation, or getting their annual indoctrination at Patterson. I can see that being extended. I think the circuit I'm by has 3 brothers who are trained to do this.


  • garybuss

    I think the Society transferred financial responsibility for the circuit servants incrementally to the congregations over the last few years. Here the Jehovah's Witness groups constructed a brand new Kingdom Hall with 40 year shingles, and a parsonage attached. I heard the parsonage was used by the circuit servant.
    A year or so ago the Society started billing congregations for the out of pocket expenses of the circuit servant and his wife, expenses like car purchase, travel expenses, and health insurance.
    The billing was done by means of a pushed through resolution and guess who shows up to see that the congregations keep their commitments . . .
    The Society doesn't have a dog in that fight. The circuit servants are a part of the top level fundraising plan.
    But I'd have bet anything they'd never quit invoicing for literature shipped, and that's exactly what they did. So my opinion and a quarter might get ya a sugar coated gum ball.

  • Scully

    They could phase it out slowly over a few years.

    Currently there are two week-long visits annually per congregation.

    Step 1: Make one week-long visit to each congregation, and one week-long visit split between two neighbouring congregations. Remind publishers that this is a sign of phenomenal growth in the organization. Combine elders meetings and field service arrangements on the "double up week", but have separate public talks for each the congregation. Call it Simplification™.

    Step 2: Make the double-up CO visit the norm.

    Step 3: Merge congregations as they get smaller. Call it Simplification™.

    Step 4: Reduce the length of the CO visits to 3 days. Call it Simplification™.

    Step 5: Extend the length of time between CO visits to 8 months instead of 6 months, to accommodate for Phenomenal Growth™.

    Step 6: Start the double-up visit routine again.

    Step 7: Merge congregations as they get smaller. Call it Simplification™.

    Step 8: Modify the length of CO visits again: One visit for 3 days, another 2-day visit just for Saturday Field Service and the Sunday Public Talk.

    Step 9: Change Circuit Assembly and Special Assembly Day scheduling: One two-day Circuit Assembly, with two Special Assembly Days spread over the year.

    Step 10: Simplify™ further by increasing the length of time between CO visits to 9 months instead of 8.

    Step 11: Add one more Special Assembly Day to the roster - to cut down on the amount of travelling required by the CO.

    Step 12: Eliminate CO visits all together and replace them with Special Assembly Days, with concurrent Special Assembly Week activities by all the congregations in the Circuit.

    Once you reach the 12th step, you can virtually eliminate COs all together and have the DOs take over the duties of the CO.

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