"Reassignment" or Exile?

by Quendi 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Quendi

    Hello Friends,

    I know this has been brought up elsewhere, but I wanted to relate an experience a Witness friend shared with me only last night. I'd appreciate any additional details others may have on this topic.

    Many of us are aware that the WTS is "downsizing" its staff at branch offices around the world, including Brooklyn Bethel. Veteran workers who have served for decades in these locations are now being given "reassignments" as special pioneers in other places. The company line is that these are simply new theocratic appointments to serve where the need is greater. What is really happening, in the argot of the business world, is that these people are actually being laid off. As special pioneers, they would receive a small monthly stipend from the Society but no further assistance. They will be expected to make it on their own in the new "assignment".

    The case my Witness friend and I discussed last night involves a Bethel elder who has been in Brooklyn since 1975. He and his wife were given a special pioneer assignment in Georgia. What's so bad about that, you might ask? Well, this is not Georgia, USA. Instead, the new location is the Republic of Georgia in troubled Southwest Asia! The Republic of Georgia itself is hardly friendly territory. Witnesses are under the gun there for various reasons. The country itself is contending with not one, but two, secessionist movements and has teetered on the brink of civil war for several years.

    There's more. Neither this man nor his wife speak Russian or Georgian. So they don't know the national languages, know little or nothing about the region or its history, and both are approaching sixty years of age. Since they have served in Bethel for decades, they have no Social Security on which they can draw. They have no pension or retirement plan. They will not have access to any kind of free or reduced-cost medical care. The Society will not provide or give them any of these things. They'll be given a hug and a kiss, flown to Tblisi, Georgia's capital, and then cut loose. They'll have to rely on the local Witnesses for assistance in settling in, learning the languages, and other needs. My Witness friend says that knowing the husband as she does, he will probably accept this assignment as being a divine decree. She was absolutely appalled when I told her what the circumstances behind this "reassignment" really mean.

    I don't know which is worse: the callousness of the organization in exiling this couple and many others like them to places that are "out of sight and out of mind", or the mindset of this couple that can't see how they are being screwed. This is their reward for being loyal workers and giving a lifetime of service in Brooklyn! I'm not arguing against the need for staff reductions in various places with new equipment doing the work that used to require several humans. But even hardened corporate bean counters give laid off workers a severence package of at least several weeks' pay and temporary benefits while they look for a new job. The WTS can't be troubled. And it's not like it doesn't have the money to provide for these people, either. The pittance their monthly stipend represents will hardly be enough to provide the necessities.

    On the other hand, such treatment should open the eyes of its recipients. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be having that effect. They meekly submit to this kind of abuse. This situation is another proof for me that the WTS is as corrupt as the "world" it so loves to condemn. When my Witness friend told me she didn't have a word to describe what the Society was doing, I said, "I know one word that is perfect; and that word is EVIL." What do the rest of you think? Comment is certainly invited.


  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    Jehovah obviously, if not evidently, blessed this couple with the privilege of spreading the good news in a 3rd world country on the verge of civil war.

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    They meekly submit to this kind of abuse.

    From the info we've gotten on couples who've been "reassigned", many of them were very upset. I heard of one case where a brother died of a heart attack shortly after being given the news of their reassignment. Personnel actually asked the wife to go ahead and stay on at Bethel. How loving of them. Of those who are actually reassigned, they receive a monthly stipend of a few hundred dollars per person. So if they work part-time (which most do) and pioneer they're actually better off than when in Bethel. But of course they gave most of their earning years to WT which totally sucks.

  • sir82

    As special pioneers, they would receive a small monthly stipend from the Society but no further assistance.

    Not quite true, they also have free medical & dental coverage, as well as a small clothing allowance and reimbursement for gasoline spent on "theocratic" activities.

    But otherwise, yeah.

    What's really evil is when they dismiss Bethelites who have serious health issues. I know a couple where the wife developed lupus. A few months later, saynonara folks! Thanks for all the years of free labor! Hope the friends take care of you!

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    Sheesh Sir82, thats messed up. How does one go to sleep at night after doing something like that?

  • Quendi

    Thanks for the clarification, sir82, but how can they avail themselves of the "free medical & dental coverage as well as a small clothing allowance and reimbursement spent for gasoline on 'theocratic' activities" if they are in a foreign country? That might work in the West, but I doubt it has any practical effect if you are living elsewhere. In the U.S., gasoline is still fairly cheap, but that certainly isn't true in many other Western lands. And I don't see how this would help a special pioneer couple in the Republic of Georgia or some other third world country. That's what upset me the most about the particular case I highlighted. The Society didn't even have the decency to send this couple to seldom-worked territory Stateside. They could at least have done that. The experience cult classic shared actually made me sick to my stomach.


  • ziddina

    Monsters! Absolute MONSTERS!! The word "evil" isn't strong enough for such poisonous creeps!!

    And you can bet that the ones being sent away are those who didn't kiss-arse hard enough... Or those who were sincerely asking questions - or studying the bible in addition to the Watchtower publications...

  • GOrwell

    35-year old Bethelite veterans? That's pretty cold. Almost as cold as the Republic of Georgia will be in a few months. Now that's a retirement country I could sink my teeth into..

  • TheOldHippie

    "in the Republic of Georgia or some other third world country"

    The Republic of Georgia is not a third world country, it in all aspects is a part of Europe.

  • nugget

    Whether georgia is a third world country or not it is inappropriate to send an elderly couple so far away to a country they have no experience of and into an area with any unrest. It is shocking that they are being expected to do this. The society cares nothing for it's people otherwise there would be proper provision and care for such ones. They are nearing retirement and should be treated with dignity and gratitude. This sort of action can only shame the society further I am glad I am no part of it.

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