TBH the cong where I made my comeback and baptism(Wimbledon , London UK) did have a long history of problems up until about the time we returned(it was the cong from my birth). The CO assigned my father as the Secetary,Ted Sallows as the PO, John Morely as the SO, also 2 superstar MS's; Jeff Woodfield and Guy Sweeney were bought in as well, after the old BoE's were all removed. The place had a real buzz about it, and one of the very few good points about PO Sallows was his desire for a fast track way for brothers to go up the WT ladder quick,(brown nosing being a requirement) I thought I was on the way to being an MS as well, until that fateful time when my doubts began to surface,so on the whole the spirit within the cong was good, it was a kind of shining star within the Circuit, mainly the elders from our cong controlled all speaking assignments at the C/A, and most of the behind the scenes assignments as well. Luckily I was out within 5 years of being baptized and later DA'ed by the lies of Sallows and Morely, but those early days were kind of good in a way.
The Spirit of The Congregation
When your a kid your stuck..
You can`t drive..Your not going anywhere..
Now that I`m an Adult I don`t need to be where the action is..
If I want to go somewhere,I jump in the truck..
Did Hitler Elder win out?
"Hitler" always won out in our cong. too, it was his way or the "Highway"...
Rather sad, in a way... I knew him when he first came became a witness, as a convert, with an obvious need for power and control. It was evident then, that even his family members were afraid of him.
He took the ball and ran with it, in a relatively short time. Many petty rules we followed were based on his opinion alone.
For ex. he felt that if a TV movie said it was "edited for TV" then it wasn't fit for a JW to watch as it could still be an R rated movie in disguise. Just stupid things like that, like there was no way it could have maybe been edited for timing.
Many times I, and others, heard him, or a one of his family say... "Well, we're Jehovah's Witnesses", we're not sure what YOU are". So stupid.
It seemed he enjoyed making the r/f nervous by always "Cracking the Whip". The meeker brothers didn't stand a chance against him. To make matters worse, it seemed all the CO's loved him. Go figure.
I couldn't stand him, and he knew it... sometimes I wonder if that had a bearing on my spirituality. So glad I got out of there.
We had a Casper that was a CO from Maine.
If so, I never heard of him. I find it hard to remember any of my former CO's names. The only one I do remember for sure, was a Brother West. Loved him, he made every visit fun, and always included the children.
My first KH, in Myrtle Beach, SC was very rule-oriented. If the WT said it, it was LAW.
I recall a fellow brother who made a good life for himself, he had a Lexus, (his wife had a Jeep Wagoneer), owned his own home, had his own business, was a former Bethelite, his wife didn't work, but was a regular auxiliary pioneer and he was aMinisterial Servant. They dressed to the nines everytime they came to the KH and were both quite friendly with everyone. The Brother's wife cheated on him and left him (he was hardly ever home because he worked so much trying to fulfill his husbandly responsibilities) and because of that he slipped into a depression which finally ended in his suicide. The day he died, as the story goes, he served breakfast to some brothers who dropped by (non-elders) to check on him and then when they left, hung himself in his garage. His JW/Elder father found him. Because of the circumstances of his death, we were told from the platform that there would be no memorial service for him and it would be unseemly for anyone to attend his funeral. Nearly the entire congregation showed up anyway, to which we were all reproved for our showing love and support for this fine brother's family and paying tribute to his memory.
I have never read anywhere in the Bible where suicide is a sin. It may indeed be there, but I have never read it. I think YHWH, in his infinite kindness and understanding would forgive Errol and and show him the mercy and love the Elders failed to show him.
I knew another Brother in the same congregation who was a regular pioneer along with his wife. They struggled for a while financially but eventually made a life for themselves working for the local paper. They had an apartment that was given to them by the Brother's parents. He was also a Ministerial Servant. When Errol died (they were good friends), he began to question WT teachings, which ultimately led to him reading Crisis of Conscience and he became lax in field service and meeting attendance. He discussed his findings with his wife, who went to the Elders and was granted a divorce. There was no adultery on the Brother's part, yet the divorce was allowed and she was allowed to remarry. I had a discussion with an annointed brother concerning this and he felt as I did that she should have been disfellowshipped for her unscriptural divorce and the Elders either reproved and or removed from their positions for allowing such a blatant disregard for YHWH's Law.
Here's the weird part. If a married woman becomes a JW or a Sister marries a non-JW, they are told they should try to win the person over, to "win without a word" as it were. Or if a spouse is disfellowshipped for adultery, they should try to stick it out. BUT if it's apostasy, then they can have the divorce. NO WHERE have I read in the Bible that such a thing is permissable. In fact it says that the spouse would have to remain unmarried (if he/she leaves) until the other person commited adultery. As ONLY death or adultery breaks the marriage bonds. NOT apostasy.
The Caspers from Maine were twins. the CO portrayed himself as very serious. His favorite expression was "as it were". It drove me nuts. His brother was a big shot elder and seemed like a regular guy.
I grew up in a very family oriented one. it was hard for brothers to get privelges unless you were oriented towards a certain family.
when I married I went to a back woods one where you couldnt dress the same and dowdy sisters would counsel your sense of style. - the elders were decrepit and believed women shouldnt work, everyone got together for walks, and that kind of fellowship *Yawn*- everyone was a pioneer and there were a lot of 'divided households' wherein the elders took on the role of ordering the younger ones about.
then we moved. - this was a congregation that was much more 'lax' - if you missed a few meetings and then came to one, they would say 'havent you done well to get here' - this in turn made us draw the conclusion that if it was an achievement to get there, then the normality would be to stay at home.
eventually we moved back to my original one - the elder son of the number one family who would always say things like 'why arent you a pioneer' and they were all so proud when he was accepted on the circuit, and to give the memorial talk. not so proud however when he got found out for banging someone elses wife. - I feel sorry for his own wife who always wanted to be a COs wife. wasnt her fault.
that family dispersed, all of them went by the wayside, the result of over disciplining, the mum died and the dad moved away. all except the youngest son whos wife was in a bethel video and they showed it once at our KH with 'can you recognize anyone in this video'