I'm not sure where this topic belongs. The Adult & Heated Debate category, maybe, or Jokes & Humour. Guess we'll see. I need to test an impression for reality, and no better place than this one.
Reading through a lot of the posts in here one comes to appreciate how screwed up the Watchtower is and how much it screws up people it touches. I'm noticing differences, though, depending on who the posters are and where they live. Some are screwed over more than others.
Allow me to couch this in terms of mentality and oppression. It seems to me the bethel mentality in the US is not the same as the bethel mentality in Canada. Close, but not the same. The US bethelite is more steeped in the culture because he's right there. The oppression exercised at the bethels is unequal. I'm willing to bet that US bethelites on visiting the Canadian facility would comment that the atmosphere is a little more relaxed. But the big differences are in the congregations. I shake my head at some of the shit happening to posters. Some of the stuff that's going on in some of the congs is really screwed up but there are others where things are more harmonious.
Ultimately, how an organisation or society (or Society) behaves is determined by its leadership. The Governing Body is steeped in the culture of the Society and it sets the standard within a perceived need to be consistent but continuously improving (at which, incidentally, it fails miserably). The DO's and CO's are charged with the responsibility for maintaining consistency and enforcing standards but the extent to which they succeed in their jobs is directly proportional to their ability to do it. In other words, it will be variable. Within the congs there are the bodies of elders which are a fairly recent innovation in Watchtower command and control structure. Some of the elders described on this forum go above and beyond in exercising their power and authority and it is in those congregations you will find the greatest oppression. In others you will find more harmony because their leadership is less psychotic or rigidly zealous.
I'm getting the impression that there are poisonous congs out there. More poisonous than normal, I mean. Many of the elders in the congs have limited education and leadership skills and this is borne out by what they do to put bread on the table. Where else do you find a janitor or window washer who has such power over the personal lives of people? I'm getting the impression that some of the elders excercise authority with ignorant, callous abandon while others are more circumspect and compassionate. I'm also getting the impression that the wives of elders, who seem to have some greater influence on the cultures of the Kingdom Halls, are equally as inconsistent in their relationships with people.
Am I off base? Are some places worse than others, or is the Watchtower poison all the same?