There was a morning worship a few days ago where the GB member spoke about false security. He stated that many people look to Social Security and pensions for their security and how unwise that is. I wonder what prompted his comments, perhaps the recession?
Now, we all understand that Bethelites do not have any social security, a pension plan, in fact they do not have health insurance. However, in the branch manual it illudes to the fact that after a member has served at Bethel over 5 years, he will be cared for. Also, that was a common thought among Bethelites over the years. However, we see that this has changed or was an unwritten myth all along.
I am trying to understand how Religious Orders have the ability to keep volunteers as full-time workers and not be considered employees. I could understand it better if they took care of people or volunteers properly. However, I have seen first hand over the years that they often send people away with very little assistance if they are sick. For example, I had a fellow worker that got some bleach in his eye while working and he was told to leave. The poor guy barely had two quarters to rub together. He was encouraged to go and seek help from his family.
I wonder if the Government allows Religious Orders to function in this manner, because they think that they will do the right thing for people in the name of God and Love. For instance, when the article was presented in the newspaper about Brenda Upton (the sister that sued the society after she was hurt there) it was implied that the judge felt as though the workers at Watchtower; performed tasks that would fall under an employment relationship.
Basicly, you work at the Branch for 20-30 years, all the time- nothing is paid into social security. If you get hurt or sick, they just let you go with little assistance. (You may get a measure of help if they allow you to Special Pioneer, however, they may decide to take you off that someday) ---So then they just expect you to go and get help from the state, especially if you can't work due to health reasons.
With the new developments in Spain, do you think that we might see changes here in the United States, in this regard? Where is the best place to write to or inquire for change about this matter? Would the Social Security Department be a good starting point? Does anyone have any solid experiences to share?
I know some may say, "well they chose to go there, and so they have to deal with it," however, I don't think that a lot of the 19 year olds that go there, know how it really works, because they only know what they read in the literature, different story.