My Memories of Bethel in the Franz Era - part one

by Dogpatch 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • straightshooter

    Thanks for sharing your story. It was very enlightening.

  • Cadellin

    Randy, you're a gifted writer, engaging, conversational and never boring. I even read the parts about the MAN press. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and please, send installment #2!

  • somebody

    I thank you also, Randy, for sharing with us.

    I wish this could be made into a movie, your biography, in helping others. Not only becuase it would help probably THOUSANDS, but also in memory of Ray Franz, Dansk, and may others.

    At least I pray that you'll publish a book someday!

    I'm SO looking foreward to reading part 2, as others here are.

    And I'm sure that lurkers who are still "in" are too.

    Peace to you,




    Good stuff..I enjoyed it..Looking forward to more..

    Disneyland..KnotsBerry Farm?..

    I vacationed alot in your old neighbourhood,as a kid..

    ....................... ...OUTLAW

  • Poztate

    Thanks for the insight Randy......

  • mann377

    First let me say that I enjoyed your experience. As a fellow press operator I can feel your pain about the heat in the press room, the ink (I used to pick my nose at the end of the day and pull out gobs of ink not to mention the paper dust). I ran a magazine press. I would like for you to tell everone on this thread of Knorr's "new boy talk". Yikes!!!!! This is a big moment in ones Bethel experience.

    On a side note, do you remember Colin Lake (#4 man in the factory) running of with a Gilead sister? That was big news back then.

    One of these days I will spill the beans on what I know about a lot of people at Bethel.

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    Looking forward to it, Mann377.

  • Dogpatch

    Thanks guys!

    I actually liked Bethel for 5 of the 6 years I was there. Until the old men turned dirty.

    Next one coming up now.


  • zadok777

    In memory of Ray Franz and his help for many of us I will alway have a good feelings of my meeting Ray in the Factory and teaching him my job. For 2 days I worked with Ray until he moved on the next job in the factory. This was in the 60's, and he was attending the 10 month school in Brooklyn. At that time many Branch Servants were Brooklyn for special training...I was shocked when I heard he left Bethel and was disfellowshiped...I came to understand...When I read CoC and the Search book...Everything said these last few day only speaks of how he cared for people and his steadfastness for Jehovah God and what was right. We will remember such men...

    Mann377...We all have beans we can spill...The factory was hot in the summer...Plate making and Linotype on the 7th floor was Hot...Ink room on 5 was hot...Bindrey on 4 on the sewing machines or the packers was hot...The roller of magazines in the Sands building was hot...Oh now I remember there was no air anywhere so it was hot...Every go to the roof in stead of going back for lunch to get some sun so we can tan a little. So when we went back home on vacation we had a little color...

    Dogpatch...Carry on the work you been doing...And thanks for your help back in the Bethel ministries day..As some would say "You have a long way, Baby."

    thanks...and keep working...

    See all of you soon. Zadok 777

  • exwhyzee

    I remember you Randy but I was a lowly bindery worker working in building 2/7 LOL ! I sat at the "A" table where the GB rotated and did the morning text and comments from. (Heard some interesting stuff there) Russ Kurzen was our table head. Most everyone in the GB and their wives seemed pretty regular except for Marina Sidlig who was a terrible snob,(sorry) but it's true.

    I enjoyed my time there (because of the guys I made friends with) yet couldn't wait to leave. It was truly an altered state of reality. I still have dreadful dreams where I suddenly realize I have signed up for Bethel again and there's no way out of it. It's such a relief to wake up and find out I'm free. There was this whole political/rank/seniority thing going on there that was very puzzeling, I thought I was imagining it.

    I had my whole months pay stolen out of my room one time. I had gone directly to my room after lunch when our pay envelopes were handed out ($40 cash) I hid it in my bottom drawer under my things. I didn't have a room mate at the time. I'm pretty sure it was my housekeeper who took it as she and her husband always looked very uncomfortable when ever I happened upon them in the halls. Or the would suddenly look away if I saw them across the dining hall. I hadn't even suspected her until many months later while trying to understand what was making them act so oddly. I went to the Bethel office to ask for help as this was all the money I had in the world. They were very suspicious of me and even indicated that I might be lying so they only gave me enough to get a few subway tokens for the meetings. I was already poor but now I was totaly broke. I couldn't tell the family back home because my Dad wasn't a Witness and this would have been a big reproach on the organization I felt. I was so disillusioned, I had gone through public school and never had a thing happen to me and here I was at Bethel the world headquarters and my room had been robbed. I only had enough money to get to Sunday meetings and quit going in service and no one noticed. If the Congregation back home could see their bright and shining Bethel Boy now.

    I went back years later with my wife and sons. It gave me the creeps just being there. The familiar smells and the glazed over look on peoples faces I'd forgotten. Someone in the group we were in group said " I know this sounds really bad and unappreciatibe, but I'm sorry I don't want to spend anymore time here"

    Anyway I'm interested to hear more of your story and compare it to my memories. So far it's apples for apples.

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