I quit the Theocratic Ministry School
Now you know how the sisters feel! I always thought it was a bogus underhanded way for women to instruct men when we couldn't REALLY instruct men. It was a farce. I hated it.
millie210 - "I think it either means they dont care about people not in lockstep with the plan OR they are sick of it too and are more stuck than the students."
I suspect the latter over the former more and more, these days.
Very soon they will be "dropping in for a friendly chat" to find out WHY you gave up such "a privilege" and to ask THE QUESTION: "Do you think this is god's organization??"
Yes jwdaughter! I always felt is was unfair how much harder it was for the women...we had to make up some sort of 'setting' for this bizarre topic to be discussed, completely unreal. I used to freak out when I learned I had a talk...it would always ruin the weeks until it was over. The hardest part was always figuring out the ridiculous setting. Took me forever. Once that was done, writing the talk was relatively easy. Giving the talk was the best part...closest thing to being an actor that witnesses ever get...unless they have the connections to be in a drama. But the setting!!! It's funny men have to do that too now :) :) :). It was terribly sexist. Not that they still aren't sexist of course...but maybe just a miniscule degree less sexist.
Great blog. I too finally quit the school about a year ago. Joined it 13 years before that. I never wanted to join it, but the then school overseer then came up to my wife and I and asked us if he could put us on the school. My wife said yes but I didn't get a chance to say no before the overseer walked away, then I got my first talk slip...13 years later I finally got the courage to send the school overseer a txt saying I wanted to be taken off the school. His reply was "that's fine, can we meet up for a catchup". So we did, I was nervous not knowing what could happen. But it actually when very well, He only made a quick passing comment about dropping off the school. The rest of this catchup time (about 30min) was great, no religious (JW) topics were talked about. Now that a year has gone since ending the school, I couldn't be happier, a real weight off my shoulders. Ive learned my lesson, If only I had had this courage years earlier.
Congrats on your TMS graduation!
I remember when i held my last speech in the TMS. It was about 15 years ago. I had already resigned as an elder and the whole congregation looked upon me as a fader. The subject was The end is near and the faithful and discerning slave is now in charge to administer the possessions of god. At the end of the speech I made a comment on the fact that they called them the faithful slave since 1914 and still are doing so. I just said that they must do so otherwise they would not fulfill the scriptures… the bible says that if the slave doesn´t do so, he is not the good and faithful slave..
This made TMS elder immediately excommunicate me from the school that very evening.
Your comments: "Things changed whenever they went to strictly bible reading as opposed to the "introduction-bible reading-conclusion" format for the first student talk."
That occurred over 20 years ago when I was the TMS Overseer, and it was one of the things that propelled me out of the Borg. By then I was sick of the mind numbing, ever pervasive control, and the Dark Lords' instructions about the bible reading made me see red. There was no rational explanation for it other than control. It was a solution to a problem that didn't exist. I had several conversations with brain dead elders about it, with some suggesting that it was due to the talk going over time on a consistent basis (my response was to give them an extra minute or reduce the number of scriptures to read) or that some bros were providing too much of their own views which might run counter to the Dark Lords' or that the scriptures were sooooo very important they all must be read. Neither of these 'problems,' btw, were 'problems' at our hall or any other hall I knew of.
My comment was that we were supposed to be training speakers and preachers who could teach and motivate, and an organization that was so afraid of giving them a few seconds of analysis and commentary was awfully weak and pathetic. They just looked at me with impotent stupidity, while they were filing it away under "A."
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it bothered others.
I can't blame you for quitting. Even the Toastmasters organization has advanced levels for speakers!
The TMS rolls out, year after year, with scant regard for actual personal progress in speaking abilities. For speakers with abilities beyong the "norm" it has always been a stifling arrangement whereby the brother running it can develop clever ways to cut you down to size.
Let's hope your departure from the TMS will be the start of more good things for you!
I remember one time, I said "Genesis Chapter 2, verses 1 through 15 reads..." and then started into the reading. Guess what? I was counseled to just go into the reading without saying what I was about to read.
I always did that. And I hated it and complained with brothers did not tell the scripture they were reading. They said that the School Overseer stated what was to be read. But I never paid attention to the school overseer.