by juni 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • juni

    Way back one man was the Presiding Overseer of the congregation.

    Then in the ' 70s they started the arrangement of the BODY OF ELDERS w/one being the PO.

    During this time they started w/the practice of rotating the entire BOE so that each member would be serving in a different capacity - theocratic ministry school overseer, field overseer, literature overseer, secretary, etc. thereby a different presiding overseer each year (if I remember the length of time right).

    Does anyone remember this? Does anyone know why they discontinued the rotation?

    Thank you for your answers.


  • fokyc

    When they rotated positions each elder had to learn something new. They made so many c**k u*s it was better to let one elder do one job for as long as possible.

    In general they still seem to make a terrible mess of anything they are given to do. Just a load of misfits I think.


  • restrangled

    I remember the rotation thing like yesterday. We had a very strong German who ran things like a Nazi in our hall for many, many years. After his wife died, he married a very young attractive sister in the circuit. He was also very wealthy and lived in the finest condo in the city of Chciago after his second marriage and his shifting out as the PO.

    At that assembly when it was announced, it was a huge change and my Father was made one of the Elders after that.

    I think the reason for the change is the men got too damn big for their britches, and had too much power and influence, much like the

    If they changed it back to one PO with no rotation I was not aware and it seems like a pretty stupid idea. Even our own Presidents are rotated out by term limits. It's the nature of the beast. Too much power, too much influence, etc.


  • fullofdoubtnow

    I can't remember this happening, I think they'd changed it just before I joined, but I have heard people talk about it.

    Maybe they did it for the sake of continuity, if they are clever enough to think of that.

  • blondie

    The rotation arrangement started with the elder arrangement. Most congregations had had a congregation servant usually a brother who had controlled the congregation for many years. By 1983, the power of these men had been cut. The WTS was more concerned that these men that this men were not obeying the WTS not that they were harming the rank and file

    1983 was the change.


    jv chap. 8 p. 106 Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975) ***

    The speaker also explained that beginning October 1, 1972, there would be a yearly rotating of chairmanship within each congregation’s body of elders. This arrangement was adjusted in 1983, when each body of elders was asked to recommend a presiding overseer who, after appointment by the Society, would serve for an indefinite period of time as the chairman of the body of elders.


  • bronzefist

    The one presiding overseer makes zero sense to me. I've only been around since 1988 and the P.O. controls the "life" of the congregation. He has it by the balls. Can't say if anything would change with a more "liberal" P.O.

  • Amazing


    There is one other item to rotation. The Society first ended the rotation of the entire BOE before ending the rotation of the PO. The official reason given for ending rotation of all positions is that some Elders were plainly not suited for certain things, like running the TM school, or Secretary. But, the Society felt that the PO should continue to rotate since it had been reduced to largely a figurehead position, with very few requirements. The idea was to keep one man from becomeing too powerful and influential as they were when we had Congregation Servants. But all that changed as Apostasy took root in the early 1980s. By 1983 the Society was trying to undue all the many changes introduced by Ray Franz and his associates, and they also wanted one long-time loyal point of contact at each Hall whom they could trust above all others. So, in 1983, they finally ended the PO rotation. Later, in 1985, the Secretary, who was receiving all the congregtion mail gave that privilege back to the PO, so that the PO was first to see any and all incoming mail. I was Secretary at the time, and losing the incoming mail pissed me off. But, I'll save that one for another day.

    Jim Whitney

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    Remember, the rotation included all assignments of the body of elders. This meant that every year there was some new dipstick trying to do a different job he was unqualified for. The frustration factor was incredible. We had one illiterate numbnuts who was compelled to conduct the TM School. What a disaster.

    Either way, its a human system that breeds tryants and saints. Too many tryants unfortunately.

    W.Once (of the used to be one of the saints class. )

  • blondie
    So, in 1985, they finally ended the PO rotation.

    So the Proclaimers book was incorrect when it said it ended in 1983? There is a KM reference as well of the rotation of the PO ending in 1983. I knew that the rotation of the other positions had ended before 1983 except for taking their turn rotating into the PO position, but did not bring that point since it was the PO rotation that was in question.


    km 7/83 p. 3 Announcements ***

    In congregations where the appointment of an elder to serve as presiding overseer for an indefinite period has not been made by September 1, 1983, the current presiding overseer may continue to serve temporarily until such appointment has been made.


  • willyloman

    In my memory, the rotation ended for all positions, including PO, at the same time. I could be wrong.

    I remember the "adjustment" clearly because I had just rotated into the position of PO in 1983 and was disappointed to lose the position before I could make what I perceived then to be important changes in the way the congo was run (the man who rotated into the position the year before was totally disorganized).

    But it was clear the rotation system wasn't working - we had guys conducting the school who couldn't read or communicate, and they were up there counseling people every week on their reading and speaking skills! We had secretaries who could not write a letter and didn't know how to file (or didn't bother). We had WT overseers who clearly hadn't read the article under discussion, or did not understand what it said.

    Ending the rotation was the only move the WTS could make. As someone said, above, they weren't too concerned about a permanent PO because the position was largely ceremonial, stripped of the power that the old Cong Servant had. But over time, the PO became a powerful position, one in which the holder of it set the tone for the entire BOE and the congo itself. There are many mean-spirited, egotistical PO's running congos now and it is nearly impossible to get rid of them unless the majority of the BOE forms a political action committee and takes him out.

    I saw all this and dreamt of reform. It was many years later when I realized the problems were systemic and beyond repair.

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