Your observations are correct. Guards WERE posted at Bethel to keep "outsiders" from coming on their premises after the 9-11 attacks. Bethel was placed in a state of complete lock-down. The information presented in the Awake! issue entitled "Courage in the Face of Disaster" on the cover is inaccurate. To say the least, the Governing Body did not display courage, but cowardice. The following is an email which was sent by a Bro. Navarro from Bethel, and which briefly appeared on a pro-JW web site, but was quickly removed within 48 hours. Fortunately, I retained the text. Here is Bro. Navarro's email, verbatim:
I just got this from Bro. Luis Navarro at bethel!
Dear Brother and Sisters,
It's 2:30 AM and the phone lines are now open around
here. Hopefully,you'll be able to get this message.
Pardon the "generic look" but I wanted to pass this
one as soon as possible I have a Manhattan view
from my office here in Brooklyn. I got to see
everything first hand. It was not pleasant. Bethel is
located across the East River from Manhattan
so any explosions and buildings collapsing did not
affect us but the smoke did. They evacuated the 360
Furman building after lunch because
the wind was blowing the smoke from the explosion
Here in the Factory, we shut off all ventilation,
presses, bindery, windows, etc. We all went to the
main lobby where the Bindery Overseer said a prayer.
We were then sent to the 90 Sands Dining room. I ended
with the security detail in one of the lobbies.
At lunch, Brother Losch, from the Governing Body,
reflecting that this disaster might be able to help
other be more receptive to the truth, read an
announcement from the Branch Committee. It basically
told us to be more conscious of security since the
police would be busy with the disaster. (We posted
extra watchman all over the place.) We were
"encouraged" to stay within the Bethel compound and
not venture to the meetings or territory.The
colloquial term the younger ones around here
Each body of elders then started contacting the
different ones in their book study groups, who in turn
contacted the presiding overseer who in then passed it
on to the assembly overseers, then the circuit
and then to Bethel. By 10:30 pm tonight, everyone from
my circuit (1 of several here in the city) was
accounted for. It took a long time because
all subways were shut down and everyone had to walk
over the bridges. Cell phones, pay phones and any
radio equipment were useless because the
main antenna system was on one of the twin towers.
Kids were not able to get home since the school would
not release them until the parents picked them up.
Meanwhile, the parents couldn't pick them up because
they too were stuck in the city. So, it was a rather
One family visiting Bethel was taking a tour. They
were staying at the World Trade Center Marriot and had
just gotten in early to tour when they saw the
explosion. They lost all their belongings in the
explosion but were alive. They were shaken up but
glad to be alive.
Bethel fed them and was later told, housed until
further notice. They told me that all the guests
visiting were invited to have a meal with the
Meanwhile, the MASSIVE exodus from Manhattan over the
Brooklyn Bridge was orderly and calm.
Tomorrow morning, no doubt we'll have a more accurate
report at Morning worship. I'll let you know of any
The best thing we can all do is pray to Jehovah and
help others appreciate in the field that the answer
to these problems is the kingdom and that it is NOT
as far away as some think.