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.