A Concerned Elder Speaks

by Franklin Massey 110 Replies latest jw friends

  • Franklin Massey
    Franklin Massey

    A lot of talk has centered around information dispensed at the recent KM schools. Many brothers feel there is a "tightening up" taking place. I had a recent experience that you may find interesting.

    After the meeting I was working with our CoBE on some congregation tasks when out of nowhere he said, "Have you looked up any extra information about higher education since the KM school?" I hadn't. I had been through all of the recently published info within the last year and I heard enough at the school to get the strong point they were trying to make. I have kept my stronger opinions about this matter to myself (except for on this board). I asked why he wondered if I had done more research. "Well, Me and Bro. Otherelder have been talking and we feel like the Society is reversing their stand on college." This was a bold statement coming from this brother's mouth. He is very by-the-book, has a wonderful family, lives simply, and is quite prominent in our circuit. I played it cool and simply agreed that the lanuage was rather heavy at KM school. He looked stressed and discouraged. He said, "I never thought I would be deleted from my position as elder for something like this." I told him not too be too dramatic just yet. He replied, "You heard what they said. 'If an elder sends his child to college his position could be called into question!' We've been making plans for our kids to attend college for years now." This brother is a very hard worker but has never attended any schooling further than High School. His line of work has been affected by the economy and things have been difficult for some time now. He and his wife want to make sure that their kids don't have to carry the burden of struggling to make ends meet. He believes that in the long run, they will be better equipped to function spiritually if they don't have the anxiety of just scraping by hanging over their heads for most of their adult life. He continued, "Bro. Otherelder is concerned too. He was going to take some classes to get some specialized training so he can find better work." Bro. Otherelder is another faithful man in the congregation. Lately, he has been trying to assist in taking care of some ailing family members, which costs more money than he has right now. Now, he too is afraid to get the additional training he needs to help provide for his family. The CoBE said, "He and I have gone through the info in the WT library and we thought we were doing everything within the suggested boundaries. But at the KM school, they were making it sound like college should not be an option that an elder would consider for his family. They threw out these crazy statistics to try to back up their point but I don't care what anyone says; You can find, and keep, a better job if you have a degree." The more he spoke, the more freely I could speak. We agreed that the instruction at the KM school on college seemed unfair. We agreed that what was said at the school was not in accord with what the WT has put in print and distributed to the masses. I told him that if we were concerned, others are too and that time will tell if this matters is clarified. The thing that surprised me was, as much as this brother loves being an elder, he was willing to sacrifice his position for the sake of his family's well being. He was allowing himself to make an informed decision, independent of the controlling grip of the Society. I have always loved this brother but after this, my respect for him grew to a new level.

  • snowbird

    Good for him!

    I hope others will follow suit.

    Bastards! (WT)


  • stuckinamovement

    This is one of the reasons I gave for stepping down recently. I feel strongly that I need to do what is right for my family. I never went to college and the lack of a degree will limit my advancement and perhaps job security. Like any parent I want my children to have more opportunity than I did.

    I actually brought this up in a BOE meeting asking the other brothers about the hardline stance. All agreed that the direction has changed and that it will be a challenge to apply. There are several elders in my hall who will have their qualifications reassessed. I anticipate at the next CO visit there will be follow up on how to do this. Also generally after KM school is finished, the branch will send a "recap" letter to the BOE's.

    The net affect is there will be fewer qualified men who are able to serve. It is extremely ironic that in an organization that prides itself on educational programs that education is demonized.


  • Red Piller
    Red Piller

    During the MS school, on a 15 minute break, we were discussing the talk on college. A few of the MS's flat out said that their job situation would be better if they went to college and that they wish they went.

  • sd-7

    Interesting. I think that most sincere Witnesses would be disturbed by such a hardline stance on this issue, which has repeatedly been stated is a matter of conscience by the Society. The assemblies typically take potshots at higher education through much of the program, but taking it to this level really is something else. I doubt it'll make this particular elder wake up, per se, but it could be the raindrop that begins the storm, if not for him, maybe for others.


  • Ding

    Amazing how the WTS micromanages the lives of JWs -- to the detriment of themselves and their children.

    Interesting that they are losing elders over this.

    Must be these elders aren't buying in to the WTS' condemnation of college.

  • baltar447

    It's complete bullshit. It's like they WANT fewer elders and servants. Complete idiocy.

  • wannabefree

    Thanks for sharing, hopefully a lot of elders are thinking about this.

    The thing about this is, only the elders have first hand knowledge of this. The majority of JW's go on, accept the shifts in attitude provided in the mags, often missing them all together. We know about it, but try to bring the point out to the R&F ... for the most part, they won't believe you if you aren't an elder or will question how you got the information and your motives. Disagreeing with the this organization puts one in a precarious situation, you have to be very careful how you leak it.

  • journey-on

    They will probably make it seem like yet another test of faith. Remember, "he that endures to the end will be saved." And more than not will buy into it for yet ANOTHER generation.

  • yourmomma

    From what Franklin has posted it seemed like they are telling the elders at km school that any college is not allowed. Are they becoming more extreme? I thought the latest was no 4 year university, or living on campus, etc. But now it seems like its any college, even making people fearful of taking extra classes.

    the watchtower is not run by smart men. they are in desperate need of elders, and they are so unreasonable that they are even pushing away faithful people who actually like being JW's who follow all the rules.


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