How Come So Many Bethelites Leave The Organization

by ilovemusik 18 Replies latest jw experiences

  • read good books
    read good books

    I left Bethel in the late seventies and was out of the 'truth' () by1980. I think it was the reaction of the GB after the end didn't come in 75, kind of a hoo hum like they weren't suprised, and then watching as Nathan Knorr dieing was so very upset and depressed hardly the reaction I would have expected from a man on his way to Jehovah's Kingdom. Also the cold political coup that took place while Knorr was on assingment away from Bethel, it was pulled of just like a political coup in some bananna republic, Knorr was out the GB was in and Knorr could not accept this kick in the butt. That along with the really odd streching of Bible Phrophecy to make everthing apply to the society, things like the greater Noah being Jehovah and then their was 'the great spiritual bird catcher' my Bethel Tuesday night book study partner and I gagged on that one. And the arrogance of many of the GB who clearly acted like they were superior to the rank and file. It was all toomuch and many other things that happened at Bethel that didn't make sense like the sometimes spoken prohibition that you should stay away from the old publications section of the Bethel library. The suicide there,the Bethel thieves, etc, etc.

  • under_believer

    I hate to question a newbie (hey welcome to the board, ilovemusik!) but are there really a lot of Bethelites that leave the organization? More or less by percentage than non-Bethelites? Just curious whether you know this for a fact or it's just a guess.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    How Come So Many Bethelites Leave The Organization

    More like... how come so many stay? Well we know the answer

    How come so many leave? Well we know the answer

    I was there for a decade. I loved it. I passed problems in bethel as imperfections. I never questioned doctrine until I left the comforts of Bethel. Key word: comforts. Its a comfortable place...why put things in jeopoardy???


    Its a comfortable place...why put things in jeopoardy???
    I agree and I think that many Bethelites see the "religion" for what it really is while there but why "bite the hand that feeds you" so to speak. Once you leave all bets are off. I was there for 3 yrs and I liked it, lots of good friends, nice area of Brooklyn... the drinking, hanging out Friday and Saturday nights watching TV and movies. Whats not to love if you are a young single guy. While there I saw and heard a lot of things coming out of bethel elders mouths that would have sent the average Joe JW reeling. But I also brushed it off as imperfection.

  • freedomloverr

    welcome to the board Ilovemusik.

    there is a poster named ithinkisee and he has quite a bit of his history down of bethel life for him and how it opened his eyes to what really happens within the org.

    you can search for him in the member directory and then search his topic history.

    hope you find answers to your questions here. I know I did!

  • ithinkisee

    My first year at Bethel I worked with security for the Annual Meeting. There were a couple hundred non-Bethelites that were given the privilege of Bethel rooms and SOciety-provided transportation to the Annual Meeting in Jersey City.

    I asked the overseer of our department what determined who got these special perks from teh Society. He looked around to make sure no one was looking, turned back to me, smiled and rubbed his thumb and fingers together (the international sign for MONEY), and said, "It's the big donaters that get the perks. The money makes the difference."

    Naturally that seemed odd to me.


    I marveled to another Bethelite how it was weird we got a new Creator book so soon after the Creation book. I was informed (again after looking around to make sure no one was listening) that the Society had to pump out a new book quickly because they were being threatened with lawsuits over misquoting secular authorities in the book.


    One time I was trying to make casual conversation with Karl Adams (who was also my School conductor) at lunch, I said, "So are you working on anything cool in the Writing Department?" To which he gave me a gentle but firm tongue lashing about how they never talk about anything before it is published. We basically sat in silence for the rest of the lunch. After reading Crisis of Conscience and learning about his seeming subtle support for Ray Franz, I now understand his bitterness.


    I said it to many of my friends long before I started questioning my beliefs, is that at Bethel it was ALL ABOUT who you KNOW. Many of the self-righteous people (like my first roommate) never got anywhere meekly following all the Bethel rules. By my shmoozing and through our Bethel underground I was on a first-name basis with brothers in Writing, Art, Service Department, Executive Assistants to the GB members, and so on.


    I was in Fred Franz's congregation (and was at Bethel the year he died and went to his memorial service). One time they brought him in after the meeting was over (because he mostly stayed in the infirmary). Everyone in the congregation rushed to surround him like he was Jesus and were reaching out to touch him. It was just eerie, the creature worship.


    Told by a brother in writing department under his breath, that they had a UN membership and would go to the UN to research - trying to identify the King of the North - and to listen in on meetings to see if anything would tip them off to the Great Tribulation.


    General obsession with money and position by almost all at Bethel - especially the higher-up ones.


    The Society's fascination with their buildings, and their constant bragging about them (anyone who has been on a Bethel tour knows what I am talking about)


    No one wanting to tell me what happened to Leo Greenlees. When I was a kid we used to make a game of knowing all the GB member's names, and Leo Greenlees wasn't there by the time I got to Bethel and there was no announcement about his death or anything.


    No one wanting to tell me why Fred Franz's brother - a GB member left Bethel. Someone finally grumbled something about his obsession with dates - but that was it.

    There were other things too ... if I remember more I'll post em.


  • hamsterbait

    Lee Ravyn, who used to post here said that when a bethelite committed suicide, she was approached by Sydlik, and told to perjure herself in the coroners court to cover up what had been going on.

    I can't find the post on this, but it was one of the terrible things that helped her see what the WT$ is really like.


  • under_believer

    ithinkisee, thanks for the snapshots. That was interesting reading.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    yes.. thanks ithinkisee

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