There is a tendency for those who are victims of power-mongers to over-generalize and demonize their predators. They have been burned; they are hurt and angry and want revenge. Obviously on a site like this there is a lot of hate and vitriol that will be said by one anonymous icon to another. And each person's experience will be different depending on many factors, not the least of which is one's sense of caring for other people. Personally, I was never treated badly by other elders, and there were few that I disliked. I look for the best in people; in my mind each person I meet starts off with $100 in my mind's bank. I like to give people the benefit of a doubt. When I came to Bethel I had 18 men that I trusted and put money in my mind bank in their trust. I know many JWs that go all their lives in the org with a positive experience, for the most part. Good for them, they are lucky. Just the same, there are many Scientologists who are good people. But they don't work like slaves inside the inner circle in the Sea Org or get beaten by David Miscavige in other hidden facilities of the headquarters, where the scene is much different. Those are the slaves who are beaten and punished and work for peanuts. So one side of an organization can be very different than the other side. Do you allow that as a possibility?
When you put a group of men in an institution like Bethel where a few become predators and develop a taste for power and control, it can get very ugly.... but sometimes that ugliness is hidden for a long time, so long as things are going swell for them and they get what they want. But if they feel their power is threatened, they can change into monsters. If I hadn't gone to Bethel I might not have seen or had that experience. Just like the average Scientologist has no idea what gross treatments are meted out in the Sea Org to those who do not conform to the egos of those in charge.
Bethel was fun for me until the power of the leaders was threatened. Then one by one they capitulated to the real bosses that felt threatened. Then they're not worth the money for a postage stamp in my mind. That's when I voted to leave, at the peak of my Bethel career, because I wasn't going to kiss their dirty asses.
I visited many congregations in the 200-mile radius of New England in a sort of circuit overseer position as a Bethel elder, and I saw the good and the bad. I personally feel they were mostly good guys. Hey, I was a good guy! :-))
When I left and later became a pastor and traveled a lot all over the world giving lectures in Japan, Australia, Mexico, etc. in many kinds of churches. I saw the same pattern. To me it is not so much the religion or its beliefs that make it so, it is the creeps who gravitate towards these institutions who are looking for power. I saw exactly the same thing in some churches. They invent new beliefs to match their hunger for control.
"Alice", if you're for real and not just a troll icon, you may very well have had years of positive experiences with elders in different congregations. Unfortunately, many of us here did not get to live in that dreamland, and were abused and treated horribly. All in the name of religion. Like I said, I was just lucky. Maybe you were, too.
But why the arrogance you are displaying here?
The truth will be shown when you either let your hair down and show your own vulnerabilities, or end up fitting Besty's "troll test" to the tee. Then you won't be worth 50 cents in anyone's mind.