The real story on why The Watchtower society lost a Kingdom hall in Bonham ,Texas.!

by koolaid-man 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • koolaid-man

    What happened in Bonham, Texas?: The body of elders and the majority of the congregation decided to leave the Watch Tower organization. And with that, they took the Kingdom Hall. The remaining JWs and the Society sued in court to recover the Kingdom Hall.

    Nathan Natas commented on this board in 2003 about Bonham............So everybody who was involved in this thing is now dead, or has had their tongues cut out, or for some other reason is entirely incapable of communicating. Or maybe there are no competent reporters in that area of the country who actually know how to string questions together to build a story? Or perhaps these so-called "apostates" are all either lepers or absolutely refuse to discuss their traumatic drama with anyone "from the outside."

    The story is still very fragmentary and incomplete. I'd like to know the who, what, where, when and how of the entire affair. How did the schism originate? What were the theological issues, if any? How long did this take to go from start to finish? How many people were affected? In what way? What are they doing now?

    The way the story is told so far, it's just like if I "told the story" of the bible by saying, "Some gal ate some fruit."

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is absolutely the most deadly-boring tale that could ever possibly be told. Maybe everyone who was involved is lacking the human gene that makes us want to tell our stories.

    I'm sure if we just ignore it or forget it long enough, it will fade from memory, just like the WTS leadership wishes it would.

    I find this mildly frustrating.Tony Jones, one of the original elders speaks up and tells what happened. Listen in to Six Screens call.......

  • blondie

    The Associated Press
    February 10, 1986, Monday, PM cycle HEADLINE:

    Local Church Wins Fight With National Office

    Members of a Jehovah's Witness congregation have declared victory in their legal fight with the denomination's national organization over ownership of a local church.

    Justice of the Peace Don Jones ruled that leaders of the national group, the Watchtower Society, unlawfully changed locks andtook over the church.
    The denomination, known for its door-to-door evangelism, has filed an an appeal of the ruling. The dispute centered on ownership of the Kingdom Hall and began last summer when Ralph Deal sent 14 letters to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in New York asking for answers to particular theological questions.

    Deal testified that when he persisted with his questions, the Watchtower Society sent a committee to Bonham on July 14 to choose new officers for the church. The group changed locks on the church after the new officers were chosen.

    Deal, along with Tony Jones, Wesley Ruddell and Tommy Johnson, were notified by letter that they had been "disfellowshipped"_ or dismissed for disciplinary reasons _ from the church. They filed suit to retain possession of Kingdom Hall.

    The title to the property is filed with the county under "Trustees of the Bonham Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses."
    After Friday's ruling, lawyer David Mercot, representing the local church, said he thinks other individuals and congregations dissatisfied with the Watchtower Society will be encouraged to stand up.

    "For 40 years or more, the Watchtower Society acted like the local congregations were their pawns while in public denying any hierarchy," Mercot said.

    The suit was filed because the local members were "rousted" from the church, Ruddell said. "We were intimidated to do exactly asthey said."
    Jehovah's Witnesses was founded by Charles T. Russell in 1884. The denomination is distinguished by its belief that only 144,000 people will go to heaven.

    Critics say defections from the denomination began after the world failed to end in 1975 as leaders had predicted. Other dates cited by church leaders included 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1938.

    Official spokesmen for the denomination have declined to answer questions about the case.

  • QuestioningEverything

    Thanks for the real story Blondie. It's very interesting to see how the WTBS get's rid of those that question their authority. I'd love to hear how those brothers are doing today. I hope they all stayed out of the organization.

  • Soldier77

    I love reading stories like this. I wish more would 'defect' and rebel against the Organization™.

  • Violia

    I'm listening to the six screens phone call now. A man named Frank Brown is talking about YHWH. If someone has heard this program, do they go on to talk about Bonham? Seems they have gotten off on something else.

  • crazyblondeb

    Is there a transcript of this show? I'm on dial up right now, and am having probs

    listening to it!

  • koolaid-man

    Fast forward ,some of these calls last for 6-8hours.

  • metatron

    I believe in this case the venal Watchtower lawyers argued that the Organization is dominated by a hierarchy - that there is a direct chain of command between the local congregations and Headquarters. Worth investigating in a lawsuit.....


  • TMS

    The newspaper article got the lawyer's name wrong. It was David Bercot, now a noted author of books about early Christianity. He has a website and can be reached via email. Bercot is also a lawyer specializing in Texas title searches. He is a former JW.


  • Violia

    That was a very interesting call. Tony Jones, (LMS) Ralph Deal (MIA) and Wessley Ruddell ( rip) are brave men. That is putting your money where your mouth is. Sounds like they may have ( in the end) lost the KH by default, ie the poor guys were just out gunned. WTS has all kinds of lawyers and they were 4 to begin with, then there were 3--men against a corporation run by lawyers.

    Tony mentioned at the end that there were some papers from a lawyer but they more or less ignored them, due to it sounds like growing weary /disinterest and lack of funds. The hall was sold and so someone did get the title away from our brave elders -who the judge said were the rightful owners.

    This was kept so quiet that even members of the cong- which btw was pretty small- did not know what was going on. Elders in the Dallas area knew b/c Deal was fairly well known and they traded speakers . I attended a meeting once at Bonham and recall the speaker going off topic and heavens, they used the Bible . I was floored and perked right up and listened.That happened once at a book study and I was so inspired, someone actually was using the Bible to answer questions. I joined right in, not b/c I was an apostate, but b/c they were actually using the Bible.

    I hope someone with an eye to a book wrtites this story. It's not be enough for an entire book, but would certainly be a chapter in kingdom hall takeovers, and other bizzare things that have happened in the org.

    LMS- last man standing

    MIA- missing in action

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