Speaking of scary nut jobs, don't forget Greenlees or Randall Davis...
Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Greenlees wasn't scary until after he was exposed, and he was scary for that alone. He was a pretty nice guy otherwise. Chitty was the same. Only scary later. :-))
Who is Randall Davis?
When I was first working in the Writing Dept. doing research for the Proclamer's book, Karl Adams asked me to find information about something in the first song book WT ever produced. At the time that songbook was not found in the Writing Dept. archives and Karl wanted to see a copy. So I decided to talk to Karl Klein who supposedly knew everything about all the song books and was involved in all the music produced by the WT. After I knocked on Karl's door, I heard his very gruff, annoyed voice tell me to come in. He was slouched over his desk reading something and said to me, without looking up, "What do you want?" I didn't feel especially welcomed. However, I noticed that his tie was hanging loosely around his neck and the top button of his shirt was unbuttoned. He looked very relaxed, but also very annoyed. I told him that Karl Adams wanted to see a copy of the first song book, and that we thought he, Klein, knew everything about the song books that's why I came to see him. Before I could say anything further, Klein sprang to his feet, quickly buttoned the top button of his shirt, tightened the neck of his tie, buttoned one button of his suit jacket, then discussed the subject at hand. To say the least, I thought his behavior was quite peculiar. BTW, he didn't know anything about the WT's first published song book. At the time, I thought he behaved quite child-like and it was obvious he wanted a certain kind of attention so badly. He cared nothing about showing good manners or being kind, until he found out the reason I came to see him and due to his starving ego, he put on a different face and became the professional, the "music" expert.
I'm enjoying Warren's experieces very much. His words bring back many memories. When I was assigned to the Writing Dept., I also had freedom to explore Bethel without getting that special look from overseers. It was great. I could even go outside and walk to a library or the Long Island Historical Society without permission.
Our son, Lance, worked in a Press Room running one of the big printing presses in Brooklyn when Warren was still there. It is possible that the small shards of glass Warren spoke of, fell into a press Lance was working on. If he wasn't shunning us, I would find out.
When Joe went to Bethel in the 1950s, he too was assigned to work in the Press Room for the whole time he was there until he left to marry me. Like Warren Schroeder, Joe has the stories to tell. One thing for sure, in Bethel the fun was found in the companionship of so many young people, who never ran out of good humor and bad jokes.
Is this Greg Shroeder's brother?
Greg used to participate in an XJW private mailing list years ago
Randall Davis was my second instructor in JW Overseer school in 1970. First instructor was Al Schroeder. I was temporary congregation overseer of a little western Oklahoma congregation in need. This two week school was held in the basement of a big kingdom Hall in Pittsburgh PA, because Bethel was crowded and just then I heard they were buying and renovating the Squibb buildings. Davis had this weirdly unctuous (you might say openly effiminate) speaking style - if you remember the guy Paul Lynde that used to be center square on the Hollywood Squares, you have Davis to the T. Including mannerisms that could only suggest openly "gay" to most people - but not obvious to me at the time because I was a good little 21 year old pioneer, and he was of the almighty Watchtower power elite. Schroeder was also a piece of work - very full of himself, and pretending to be extremely studious and knowledgeable on every little thing ever written in the watchtower. I asked him an honest question on the substitution of the name Jehovah all through the NWT, (in the new testament), and got told off about "going beyond the things written". I think he meant written in the Watchtower, not the Bible. I personally never met Greenlees, but my Dad had a real problem with him when he was up at Bethel Brooklyn for a week or so. My dad owned an industrial water treatment company and volunteered to help them with their boiler systems, heating water, etc. He and Greenlees got into something or other, and apparantly Greenlees just would not let go of it...just a little territorial thing, I believe...nothing about the later accusations about the boys.
Thanks Randy, and thank Warren for us. Great stuff.
Did either of you know Steve Lupo or Tim Lockhart from around this time?
Also, Jeffery, what a story! Having a granddaughter with Downs, this take on things is especially upsetting. What idiots some of these men were at times.
Greenlees came up and dedicated a hall I was in and helped build. He seemed OK. Now Carey Barber, there was an odd duck.
A few questions were asked which I can address here. There were plenty of overseers to manage the whereabouts of their workers. There were factory departments that some workers would obviously be out of place, like an inked-up, sleeveless, stud from the pressroom wandering the graphics department. You generally needed permission to leave your work area, and there was little to no time to even think and breathe past the productivity push on a machine. Yes, I am Greg's brother. He started at Bethel in 75 or 76 I believe, and left by 80, the year he married. Steve Lupo was my roommate for most of my stay at Bethel. We were in a 4-man room in the Towers. We had no problems missing the worst meal of the day, supper. Steve would always bring food to the room in the evenings.... the good food. He had a fixation on Pink Floyd and the new Wall album. Since I played guitar (also played in a great family night production) I knew all the songs. To this day I don't I would miss a note after nearly a 2 year daily brainwashing of the same music. Steve and I suffered the most when they clamped down on "satanic music". I think he got his "bad" albums back home. I wasn't so lucky. I hid my "blacklisted" (some specifically ID'd... like Led Zeppelin) under some things in my closet. They were fine there for a while until I got a letter in my room that stated that I still had music that was not approved. You see, all music albums were to be in the open, for whoever, to decide which ones should go. Then I knew there was no privacy in the Bethel rooms. Between housekeepers, spies, and service department police, the "while you were out" crews were plenty busy rummaging. Cheers, Warren
Welcome to JWD Warren. Hope you stick around. I hear you on the level of privacy at Bethel. I was only at Wallkill for a little over a year and while I was there I had an argument with a prick in my department. Later, I found out that my home overseer went through my stuff in my room to find out what influenced me to be so confrontational or whatever. Unbelievable. Of course, I was forced to throw out many books and video games they didn't like. They even called my brother up in another department and talked to him without even letting me know. But hey, what else do you expect when you're in the "Bethel Family" than to be treated like an 8-year-old.
I don't recall a flamboyant character like that :-)) Then again I spent most of my time inked up in the pressroom, as Warren said we dressed like that and terrorized others sometimes with ink.
I did not know Steve personally, though I think we met in a secret Bible Study at Cabeen's or something. Cabeen is a truly wicked apostate!
Carey was kinda lame, but nice.
Greetings Warren! 2008 is Bethel reunion year for JWD. Simon (host of this here board) is an honorary Bethelite apostate. (BA, for Bad Attitude)
check out his story so far at:
This is the best part about this forum. Hearing about all the scary nut-job governing body members. I wonder if the new guys are even worse. They probably are, now if only we can get some good stories about them.
I have a vague childhood memory of John Booth speaking at a circuit assembly. It wasn't an impressive talk, considering the only part I remember was him grumbling about junkfood and hotdogs.
As for Gangas, I remember a former Bethelite comparing him to Yoda from Star Wars.