Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
It was a cool and crisp October evening and I was on my way to get some pizza at a local restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. I had just left 124 Columbia Heights and was walking down the street towards the Towers Hotel when at least two guys jumped me from behind. We fought and I got the short end of the stick although I did drag the guys attacking me for about a block until my pants ripped which made me think the guy had a knife. I gave them all the money I had on me at the time. ($7.00) and the next thing I remember is being assisted up from off the other side of the street by the Bethel doctor. (I cannot remember his name but we used to call him "Fingers" because his hands and fingers were so big and this made a certain part of our annual physical quite uncomfortable.)
They quickly brought me into the infirmary at Bethel and the doctor said that I had a concussion. I think one of the guys had something in his hand as he wailed on my head while we were scuffling down the street. I do remember having a terrible headache that lasted for about three days. The guys on security came into the room once the doctor was done and asked me questions and quickly received word from above that I should report the attack and mugging to the local police. So, a few minutes later some police officers were in the infirmary. They were clearly impressed by the place and had no idea that the JWs had such things in their buildings. They asked me to go to their precinct the next day and look at photos since the neighborhood was being terrorized by these guys and I appeared to me the first one to have gotten a decent look at them.
So, the next day I went to the local precinct and sat there until the detectives had time to deal with me. I looked at pictures after pictures but no one looked familiar at all. I was there for a good 6 hours or so and they asked me to come back the next day to look at more pictures.
When I got back to Bethel, there was note that I was to report to Ralph Walls' office at 360 Furman. I worked in the Paint and Scaffold crew and Ralph was the bldg overseer at the 360 Furman and a member of the Factory Committee I believe. I went over there and spoke with Ralph and there was another guy there whose name escapes me. I think the other guy was my Overseer's Overseer.
In any case, Ralph's message to me was that they were concerned that it was a gang that was targeting the Bethelites and others in the neighborhood. Evidently, a sister had had her purse snatched a few days before I was mugged. He told me that he "was not telling me what to do" but that he was concerned that if this gang found out that a Bethelite could identify them then the Society's properties might get targeted and that they could not guarantee my safety. We spoke for a while but it was soon made clear to me, that if i did not drop the whole looking at pictures to see if I could ID the culprits thing, that my life at Bethel would be made difficult. (And, believe me, by this time I was not about to do anything that would make my Bethel experience anymore irritating as it was irritating enough by then.) So, I never went back to the police precinct to look at pictures.
What did ultimately happen after this, however, was that Bethel started their own bus service between the Factory, 360 Furman, and the Squibb Bldg for those who worked late in the evenings.
Not long after this, a friend of mine from home came to visit Bethel and went on the tour. He said, that he found the tour interesting but very troubling because he could see that Bethel seems to place more emphasis on their properties (such as the presses, bldgs, etc) than on their people. It was at this point that I really started having issues with things...........This JW from home had no idea how true that was.
Wow.... I think Zeugma is now indelibly edited into that cavity in the right side of my head. Just need a few more things to keep filling it in.
Speaking of Potassium, weren't they the descendents of Potassius.... or was that the Potassiad? How's my greek?
So Just What is Potassium Nitrate aka Salt Peter?
The chemical compound potassium nitrate is a naturally occurring mineral source of nitrogen. It is a nitrate with chemical formula KNO3.
Its common names include saltpetre (from Medieval Latin sal petrae: "stone salt" or possibly "salt of Petra"), American English saltpeter, Chilean saltpetre, Nitrate of potash and nitre. The name saltpeter is also applied to sodium nitrate
Potassium nitrate is also used as a fertilizer, as a model rocket propellant, and in several fireworks such as smoke bombs, in which a mixture with sugar produces a smoke cloud of 600 times their own volume. In the process of food preservation, potassium nitrate is a common ingredient of salted meat.
In England, the privilege of manufacturing explosives had been in the hands of the family of John Evelyn, the celebrated diarist, as a crown monopoly since before 1588.
A popular misconception is that potassium nitrate is an anaphrodisiac and was added to food in all-male institutions. In fact however, StraightDope.com reports that potassium nitrate has no such effect in humans.
I heard a story that the society supposedly had a computer system that could translate any publication (including the bible) into any language desired, by itself. As someone with some knowledge of linguistics, I know that translating any text is impossible without human input, so this story is definitely questionable. Supposedly, this system was bought by IBM for a undisclosed amount, which sounds like another untruth.
Have any former Bethelites heard this story?
MEPS ... ?
I heard a story that the society supposedly had a computer system that could translate any publication (including the bible) into any language desired, by itself.
You're probably thinking of MEPS, a type-setting program. It could easily switch from one language to another when setting the type (i.e., the layout) for a printed page.
Obviously, setting the format for a printed page in 2 different languages is enormously different than translating between 2 languages.
However, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a JW talk about "MEPS, the program that translates the Watchtower into dozens of languages", I'd be buying Microsoft from Bill Gates.
The Society did a rather poor job of communicating just exactly what the program did, and JWs heard what they wanted to hear.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Don't spread it around, but I have it on pretty good authority that the WTS actually did produce a functional Universal Translator down in John Kurzen's office in the Carpenter Shop. However, they ended up selling the rights to make them to Gene Roddenberry, who made extensive use of them on the Enterprise. You probably didn't realize that all those guys on Star Trek were actually speaking their native tongues, which was then translated on the fly into English by the device they bought from the WTS. The Society had to sell it because, although it was quite good at translating Klingon, it tended to overheat badly when translating Watchtower articles. They briefly tried to use it to translate Bethel Office memos into Newboyspeak, but again it tended to overheat. The last straw was when one of the UTs blew up trying to translate John Booth's morning text comments into English. Since they couldn't use it themselves, the only thing left to do was to sell it to Gene. Too bad, after all the work Dean Songer put into it.
Dean Songer was my overseer in proofreading. He advised me that Bethel comes before the congregation, but it was too late. Foreign language congregations do not allow for anything less than 110%.
What congregations were you in? I started out in Queens Spanish (with Ray Franz and Rene Vazquez), then Greenpoint Spanish (with Gerry Vega), then Newark French (with John and Barb Bechtle, Vaughn & Sharon Buntain, Dave & Sally Giltinan, and briefly Leo Greenlees). After I became Pressroom Overseer, we moved back into Jackson Heights, with Fred & April Fredean and Joel & Mary Adams.