great read - thanks Randy.
The Story of Randall Watters part II - Trouble at Bethel
Your story brings back memories as I was also at Bethel at the same time that you were. Even recognize a number of people in the pictures from the press room.
Wow I wish I came upon this before, thank you Dogpatch for sharing! I so longed to go to Bethel it was my dream to be the best of the best. It's so interesting to see it on the inside. Oh and to meet the people that steered your life through the watchtower and awake how amazing. But then wow what a rude awaking you sure did have! That is crazy, I could hardly believe what I was reading but the detail and from what I have experienced personally, I can believe anything can happen this days. One thing that was pure geneous you said that will stick with me is those that manipulate...
I learned a lot about men and their power games from my time at Bethel. I learned that those who are seeking power will do anything to keep it, even sacrificing their common sense and the friendship of others. They will find ways to justify their actions through theological arguments. One thing should be clear if you study the history of the Watchtower Society: doctrine is irrelevant. It changes all the time, as the Governing Body rewrites their own history and rewrite themselves into the Bible, as if it was written to them and only them. You can study theology until you’re blue in the face. You can know the Bible word for word. But unless you understand how they manipulate it to their own ends, you will remain clueless as to how to counter them. They will laugh at you. If you learn to call their bluff and expose their methodology, they will not challenge you further. Like the Wizard of Oz caught performing behind the curtain, they will pull the fabric of deception back in place. Learn their techniques more than their theology.
I had a brief emaildiscussion with a exBrother and he also used the experience being like the Wizard of Oz caught performing behind the curtain. I will be interested in hearing more of your discussions from now on. I seemed to over look some on here because it's a hit and miss and flooded with alot of verity of people but I have your name now so I would love to hear more!
My father is one I fear that has the power of a manipulator; to rape and to be so abusive yet still be untouched by the disapline of Disfellowshipment astonishes me... he still claims he will be a good elder one day. I can't let it happen! My sister just got baptized last wk and I know she good person now but she is also very naive... same with my other siblings who are still living under my fathers roof, I feel in some way the need to protect them as their big sister. If I could educate myself and protect what I can I will scarifies my time to do so. I feel coming on this board has been the best decision I made. Thanks again for sharing your experience!
Randy, thank you so much for sharing your story. You have an insight on the Watchtower that many of us will never have (nor want to have first-hand). If you don't mind, I would like to copy your story for my own records, and maybe one day, get my Dad to read it.
Back in the mid-90s, my Father told me that he wanted to go to Bethel... but it never happened. I figured it was a couple of things:
1) He was too old (he was in his 60s).
2) His wife was too sick.
3) None of his children or other family (on his side) were JWs.
In 1975, I was 12 years old and our family was suffering the illness and eventual death of my maternal grandmother. So the whole Armageddon furor was somewhat secondary to what we were experiencing. Back then my Dad wasn't a JW and completely uninterested in anything religious. It was my Mom who insisted on the kids studying. I remember me and my classmates saying mock goodbyes to each other as the various different news agencies reported that Jehovah's Witnesses are calling for the end of the world in October of 1975. Needless to say, it never happened.
Cut off anything that feeds such doubts." —Watchtower, 2/1/96, p. 23-24
By 1979, I was 16 and was realizing that something wasn't right with this whole JW thing. I couldn't find in the Bible anything that said handing out Watchtower and Awake! magazines leads to eternal life. For me specifically, there was an article in a publication that said a wife has to subject herself to her husband. That coupled with the red "Your Youth" book had my ire up. Then my Mom announces, after 16 years of emphatically denying Evolution, that there might be something to it afterall. Huh? Even then my mind said "Truth doesn't change, Heaven." There were other issues too, especially my increasing disagreement with the Watchtower's interpretation of scripture.
I mentally 'cut of' the Watchtower and JWs at age 16; physically, at age 19 when I left home to go to College in the city. But when you have family who are in you are never free from this destructive organization. Our family has suffered much, especially after my parents became baptized JWs. There was a destinctive negative shift in their treatment of us and many family traditions were lost. I experienced behaviour that was in direct contrast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. This made me realize that JWs are NOT Christians but Jehovans.
Here we are now, in the year 2010. Armageddon has yet to materialize. My Mom has been gone now for over 8 years. My Dad is in his 80s and beginning to suffer from age related issues. I am much more knowledgable thanks to all those who have had the courage to step forward and tell their stories. While I doubt my Father will ever leave the JWs, I hope that I can inform him of some of the real truth about the organization.
Thank you, again, Randy, for having the courage and taking the time to help others. I look forward to reading Part 3.
Good read randy
fascinating read, thankyou
Thanks for sharing.
I have always had a curiosity about the 'great apostacy at bethel.' Your story really fills in the gaps.
I will never forget (tho I don't know how the subject came up) when my table head richard devine told us about the 'great apostacy.' Whats funny is his story sinc's up with all the accounts I have read on here.
He never really trusted the young brothers, even instituting working on Saturdays a half-day just to insure the Bethelites did not have enough time to take a weekend vacation.
THIS is why I had to work that CRAPPY half day on sat's?!?
Wow great stuff! This from Karl Klien:
Stay away from deep Bible study to determine meanings of the scriptures.
I dont know whats worse the fact he said it or the fact 20 friggen years later they are still re-iterating it ( I do a killer klien impersonation by the way.)
I learned a lot about men and their power games from my time at Bethel. I learned that those who are seeking power will do anything to keep it, even sacrificing their common sense and the friendship of others. They will find ways to justify their actions through theological arguments. One thing should be clear if you study the history of the Watchtower Society: doctrine is irrelevant. It changes all the time, as the Governing Body rewrites their own history and rewrite themselves into the Bible, as if it was written to them and only them. You can study theology until you’re blue in the face. You can know the Bible word for word. But unless you understand how they manipulate it to their own ends, you will remain clueless as to how to counter them. They will laugh at you. If you learn to call their bluff and expose their methodology, they will not challenge more than their theology.
I wish I had learned that while there! Like Butterflyleia85 said: I so longed to go to Bethel it was my dream to be the best of the best. I thought I would be with the best and brightest of 'jehovah's' people and they could helped mold me to even greater levels...ah ah BULLSHYT! But to step away and to see the fine conditioning and manipulations they use is a wondrous eye opening experience.
Thanks for sharing looking foward to part 3.
Realizing that the motto on the Brooklyn Bethel:"Read God's Word the Bible Daily" is just a PR ploy is absolutely the damning to the WTS. When they have to campaign against Christian grace and freedom surely people will wake up.
I try whenever I can now to let others know that the reason I left the Witnesses is not because I don't love God--- I left because I do.
Great hearing your story.