Bethel Rules

by brotherdan 194 Replies latest jw experiences

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    I just say this thread. I was at Bethel from 91 to 94 in Brooklyn. It was the best of times and the worst of times. I agree with Bro Dan in that you met some very wonderful people who have suffered for what they truly believed in. There were some really kind people there but so many horrible ones also. Like cultclassic said you blame yourself when things go wrong.

    I was a married sister when we went and we were temps working on 90 Sands. I thought that they would put sisters in housekeeping and such but no I was in construction. I had never ran a table saw or lifted heavy stuff, I was expected to be able to life 90 pounds over my head in the work I was doing. It was truly a man's work that I was doing. My overseer told me all the time I was lazy and was only at Bethel for the free food and room. I was so hurt. Nothing I did was good enough for for my overseer. I remember before we could get into 90 Sands we were doing what ever needed to be done and once we went to the assembly hall to work, my overseer wanted me to go out on scaffolding four stories up, I am totally afraid of heights and the scaffolding was moving as it was not tied right. I was so freaked out I just froze oh my God did my overseer ream me out. What the heck was I doing at Bethel if I could not handle heights like that. I was just froze with fear finally he let me go back inside but he was soooooooooooo pissed at me. I could do nothing right.

    My overseer told me I was huge for a woman I am 5'6 and I weighed 125 but he said I was fat and could stand to bulk up.

    It was just like Bro Dan said too about dressing I had to wear a dress to morning worship, then change into work cloths then dress up for lunch then work cloths then dress up for gleaning then go home. I took about four or five showers a day.

    Oh also before we left to go to Bethel I asked the CO's wife what to bring as far as cloths and the one thing she said was to not brings jeans that sisters just do not wear them at Bethel. OH MY GOD was my overseer pissed he looked at me and said no CO's wife would ever tell you that what did you think you would wear to work in. I said slacks he was like not in construction and you should have known that you would be in construction. It was never mentioned NEVER to me but my overseer said I was lying.

    There were so many time I almost cut off a finger or worse the saw and such that I worked with and no training. My first week there my overseer did not know what to do with me so he had me spend three days sorting screws and nuts and bolts that had just been thrown in. I had everything marked and sorted so you could find things, I worked so hard on it. I was standing there after I had just got done and my overseer comes in upset at one of the brothers on the crew and says I need this screw and dumps all my work in this this bin, all my work for the three days was gone in two minutes. I was so hurt.

    I could never make my hard hat stay on as I had to work over my head and look up and my hat was always falling off, I was always being yelled at for that I was not respecting Jehovah. Oh and the summers and when they would paint and I had to put up the closet I had to stay with all the paint flumes, it was so horrible I would feel so sick, but it did not matter as I had to do a so many rooms a day or I got into trouble. We were there when they finally got the AC we could hardly afford it but after spending a day with paint flumes I would be so sick at night and having AC was wo wonderful.

    Oh and not showing in affection to your mate, I remember once leaving lunch and just pecking my husband on the check when I first got there, I mean I did not kiss him on the lips just a peck on the check as I left to go back to work oh my God I got into so much trouble over that.

    Yet all of this was so much better then pioneering. Pioneering was truly hell. I worked 30 plus hours a week and had to get 90 hours a month in when I pioneered with my husband being the only elder in the hall so he did not work hardly any, I made most of our income so he could devote his time to the hall. All the sisters who hated my guts but rode around in my car all day never giving me a cent for gas and none of them had to work. I passed out in service once on a Bible study while I was pioneering and the sister I was with let me crawl out on my hands and knees to the car alone never came and checked on me as she was inside and just heard me fall she thought she said that I might have fallen but OH WELL. Or the time I got talked because I fall asleep in service due to being so tired.

    No Bethel life was wonderful compared to pioneering at least I got to see my husband which I never did the first four years of our marriage.

    I hate this religion.


  • life is to short
    life is to short

    Sorry about my spelling I could not sleep and then I saw this tread, I am a horrible speller and I no that ticks off some but I just cannot get spell check to work on this, so sorry.

  • elderelite

    Wow. Life, that was CRAZY! I was there in 92-94. I'm sure we have met. I worked in laundry but delivered to all buildings, including 90 sands. I know the reality of what you say. I often joked it was like being hebrew slaves. Making bricks without the straw...

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Localized dress codes among the Bethels and buildings could be nutty. You could be in casual clothes during certain hours, but had to be formalized other hours. Jaracz was so crazy about obsessive rules on dress and grooming in the Brooklyn buildings that during most hours Bethelites wanting to go shopping (in casual clothes) would have to change into dress clothes to leave through the building lobbies (the only exits) and then have to find somewhere else to change into the casual clothes. Wanted to go for a jog on the bridge? There were restricted hours and locations where you could be in such non-sacred attire.

    For years, the sisters that cleaned the offices would wear slacks. No big deal. Until "the brothers" decided the sisters should be dressed like motel maids who are often required to wear skirts. Problem is, those maids typically work alone and out of view. The sisters were typically working in full view. Suddenly, gapping tops or hiking skirts was a modesty issue. Time for more rules. Next brothers in slacks would come around to take care of some of the required cleaning that required stepladders and such.

  • Joliette

    Bethel is hell on earth

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    I don't know if this falls under "rules" at all, but the constant renaming/reorganizing of the departments was crazy.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Some more memories brought up on the night watchmen thing I once switxhed with a friend of mine and than me and my roomate walked over to the factory him a vist.

    So there is a bridge that goes from one factory bldg to another on the 5th floor. Right at the end of this bridge was on of the keys you had to turn with the time clock. Also stacked up high was paper rolls used for the presses. So my roomate climbs atop one of these rolls and I crouch down behind one.

    Our friend comes across in his mindless haze of getting through this duty and turns his clock with the key. My roomate jumps down on top of him and I yell and grab him (he's a big guy you diddn't want to get to riled up.) Needless to say dude went on a profane laced tirade that had us all laughing our asses off!!!!!!

    Nuther stoopid rule...when I worked on the binders they has these rope carts for the ropes that were left from the bundles. For some reason I was going thru belts like crazy, so I decided to use the ropes to keep my pants up and save my belts. They gave a special floor talk saying it gives off an impression like we are poor wearing rope belts to the tours that came thru?!? Uh duh we were poor we made $90 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sherah

    Darth, sorry about your brokeness at Bethel. But your post was hilarious!

  • maninthemiddle


    So sad to hear your story. I hope you have now learned to not let other put you down, especially in the name of ay religion.

    I don't want to talk about someone I don't know, but I am concerened that your husband allowed other "brothers" to treat you like that.

    What was is reaction to this treatment at the time?

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    Elderelite you have a PM

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