When men were made Elders, did you notice their personality change?

by carvin 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • carvin

    I thought about this after reading Flippers thread about how Elders are appointed. Great thread by the way.

    I can recall many times when guys were made Elders, and sometimes even made MS that their personility would change almost over night. I knew many nice, kind, elders and MS but many especially newly appionted ones would be, at times, just difficult to be around. As one example my dad- I saw him change from a easy going, loving person who would say greetings to total strangers, help out people he didn't know if they needed it. To a person who would refuse to spit on you if you were a non-witness and on fire. About one month after my dad wasmade elder both my B.I.L. and S.I.L. said, in seperate conversations, that my dad had changed to a much more harsh person, and very judge mental.

    The story goes much deeper than that but you get the idea. Is this just an off the wall experience or did others see the same things?


  • JWoods

    It was even worse when they used to have the "rotation of elders" back in the 70s - when many of the new elders were rotated into presiding overseer, they really got the bighead.

    We used to call this mental state the "napoleonic hitlers" behind their back.

  • Soldier77

    I've seen this happen more than once.

    I had a great 'friend' at one time, was a loving, caring, worked his ass off in the KH and serving the org. When he got promoted to Elderâ„¢, it all went to shit. We no longer live near each other so we only email back and forth. Well, within 2 weeks after he got appointed, he sent me this nasty, hateful, "you're not doing enough for Jehovah" letter. I was like WTF? Where did that come from? I wrote him back a 2 sentence email back stating that I am sorry I lost my 'friend' but it is good to see the true person finally come out, which is not a kind person. Haven't heard from him since... that was 2 1/2 years ago.

  • blondie

    There is another point of view, I saw kind men made elders and then kicked by the older elders when they would show that kindness; or verbally abused at elders meetings when they would take a personal interest in families and individuals; told there was not enough time to do that; or that they made the other elders look bad; or they were getting too familiar with the sisters, although these kind ones were never alone with them.

    I can remember one elder took the time to spend some time d2d with each person in his group and was raked over the coals for that because the b/s in the other groups wondered why their conductor did not do the same.

  • Heartofaboy

    ABSOLUTELY they change!!

    I've seen men change from being approachable MS's to unapproachable 'far too busy' elders over & over again.

    And that's just the problem the BORG keeps them so busy they have no time to be Christ like.

    Some become so un-Christ like that they become harsh & judgmental using the meetings to tear the audience down rather than build up. You know the sort of thing, " Oh no-one knows the answer heh? If you had pre-studied for the meeting brothers every hand should be up" or " How can you call yourselves Jehovah's Witnesses's if you don't WITNESS!!!"

    Some men should NEVER be elders it is beyond their capability & the congregation suffers all the time they are in authority...........I've seen it happen in my congregation.

  • undercover

    Some changed, some didn't.

    I knew a few truly good men who were elders. They did the best they could. They wanted to help, not rule. In the end though, they usually got trampled by other elders that liked the power and exerted it.

    I knew a few real asshole elders. They lorded it over everyone, they insisted on ruling instead of sheparding. As I type this I can think of a few that stood out as the worst kind of spiritual leaders.

    And then there were the majority in the middle that were pretty much like the rest of us.... worn to a frazzle from trying to keep up with meetings/service/family and then they had to deal with more chores and meetings and needy ones in the congregation.

    I recently saw some elders about my age that I hadn't seen in a while and it was interesting to see how they had aged and looked old and haggard. I know I'm no spring chicken but know that I don't look that worn out. They think "the old world" is wearing them out when actually it's their lifestyle trying to attain to some level of righteousness that is impossible and it's showing as they get older.

  • VampireDCLXV

    You don't even have to become an elder for it to do things to you. I saw the "changes" when my brother-in-law became a MS. He was lot more easy going than he is now. He has become much more judgemental, self-righteous and even more easily offended than before.

    My sister just had a baby with him a year ago and I fear for the future of both my sister and the child, especially if he does move on to becoming an elder.

    I fear the possibility that my BIL might get sucked into being so busy that he neglects his family.

    I fear the possibilty that he'll become a heartless tyrant towards my sister, his son and others.

    I fear what becoming an elder might do to him yet.

    I fear what might happen to my sister's marriage one day.

    It breaks my heart.


  • Lozhasleft

    How to wreck a good man with one little appointment....

    Loz x

  • IsaacJ22

    I've seen some cases like Blondie described. There was one Elder in particular at my old congregation who truly seemed to give a darn, but he was constantly berated by the other Elders and even censored by the Presiding Overseer (who I was studying with at the time). He was the only one who took much interest in my situation, as the first Elder I was studying with was the congregations #1 bully and he kept ordering me and others around. I really think the guy had some sort of mental problem.

    I've seen this sort of thing from people who become managers, too. There's supposedly a lot of junk and paperwork that goes with being an Elder. And there's the stress of the added duties. Some of it may be that pressure leaking through, just as it does with so-called "worldly" supervisors on the job. Of course, Elders are supposed to be there to serve the congregation rather than lording it over the flock, but I digress. Ultimately, it's easier to abuse your authority than it is to be humble. Even while you're telling others to be more humble. Many an Elder at my old congregation would quote the line about double honor at every single talk they gave!

    Power corrupts. That's the bottom line, I think.

  • WTWizard

    I think becoming a hounder (officially) makes them think they now have the ability to hound people, where as before, they were among the hounded and trying to become official hounders. Then once they get that ability, they abuse it.

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