What was it about Bethel that woke you up?

by cognisonance 95 Replies latest jw friends

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    One of my most scarcest experiences at Bethel was when they sent me alone to the worst part of Brooklyn at that time to get birth control pills. We had no family that would help up with money even though both sides of our family were in the "truth". And we just could not afford to buy the pill.

    I needed the pills not just for birth control but also for medical reason as the pill stopped the migraines that I would get and for another reason that was also quite serious and in fact a sister in the hall I went to since coming home died from because she would not talke the pill, so I need the pill for clear medical reasons. Bethel did not care and from what the rumor was one of the GB member did not like the pill and would not allow it at Brooklyn Bethel at that time at least in the ealry 90's. I heard the farm gave them out to the sisters with no problem.

    So to get permission to go to this clinic I had to call some very old brother in the service department (I think it was the service department has been so long now I cannot remember for sure) and ask if I could go. He would reluctantly say OK like he was doing me this huge favor, but that my husband could only drop me off and then my husband had to go back to bethel and wait for my call to come pick me up.

    The first time I went my husband dropped me off and left, like we were told we had to do. I went in and for some reason the clinic closed early that day and would not see me. I was near tear and told them I had an appointment and no one called me to let me know it had changed. I do not know if they had called Bethel and no one told me or what but the women was so rude to me. She told me that she HATED JW"S because we came in for the free pill, we were able to get them because of the vow of poverty we took and bethel gave us paper work to give to the clinic and the only reason we knew about this clinic was some sister at Bethel was like me and needed the pills and could not afford them and somehow she found this clinic and word spread through Bethel to us sisters. Basically it was welfare that we were getting while we were at Bethel.

    So here I was at this clinic and they would not even let me use the phone to call my husband but even if they did he was driving back to bethel and it was a 45 minute drive one way. So I had to wait outside for almost 2 hours. So I decided to go over to the Burger King across the street to wait and as I was walking a group of young guys came toward and one of them purposely slammed into me and said to the other lets mug her. I was dressed up and totally out of place there. I was so scarred they could have done anything to me and no one would have known. One of the others in the group made eye contact with me and he seemed to have some kind of soul and he told the other to just leave me alone.

    I went into the Burger King and it had three layers of glass between the teller and the customer. Even the bank I had worked at did not have that. I have never been so scarred in my life.

    After that there was another couple at Bethel and the husband said he did could care if Bethel kicked him out he would NEVER allow his wife to be alone there so this brother would take four or five of us sisters to the clinic and wait for us.

    Even now it makes me so hurt that they did that to us that they did not care about the women there.

    Satanus, we also went to the Canada Bethel to visit and the feeling I got was they felt sorry for us in Brooklyn. They were way more friendly and they seemed so much happier.


  • perfect1

    life is too short- ouch- yep thats an awful story- I find your hudbands obedience to leaving you there alone the msot awful out of all of it.

    Witnesses make themselves easy target for all sort fo violence, sadly.

    question- how many bethels are there. I was suprised to read there is one in Canada- I thought itwas just NY- arent those the world headquarters.

  • LongHairGal


    I had a similar experience in a place I worked where there was a long corridor. I waited to hold a heavy metal door for an arrogant older man. I got no thank you. I then said in a loud voice "next time it slams in your face".

    This behavior is probably to be expected when you have individuals who are "put on a pedestal" and should NOT be. Where is the mind of Christ in all this?

    No holy spirit in that place!

  • Quendi

    Bethel means “House of God”, but everything I have read on this thread makes me believe that “House of Horrors” would be a more appropriate name for the institution. It seems that the bad experiences weren’t confined to the world headquarters in New York but were to be had at other locations in the world. That points to a sick culture that has nothing to do with God’s spirit.


  • problemaddict


    What a great thread. I read ALL of it. Ok so I only served "temporarily". Thank goodness, so that I never had to go back. Had family in and friends. Some did great, some turned back. Here are my two stories.

    So first, I was sponsored by a family member for temporary service. We were picking fruit at the farm. I remember a similar door experience (funny that is a recurring theme), and when the guy walked through and didn't say thank you I made a joke out of it. I curtseyd (sp?), and said "your royal majesty....". It was hilarious. To this day I do that if I'm at the mall or wherever someone is rude like that. This dude tripped. He said "excuse me"....huffed back to me and asked me if he thought my sarcasm was appreciated by Jehovah. I said I don't supposed any more or less than rudeness. I tried to lighten him up and say we were even and smiled and all that. He asked me if I knew who he was, and I just responded that I knew what he wasn't.

    I guess he was in charge of the printing or some crap. I knew it wasn't for me at 19 when I did that.

    My friend (female), worked in housekeeping and had health problems. Lord help you if you ever had legit health problems at Bethel. Her husband had a special skill set, and that is the only reason they tolerated her. She actually was told by her overseer specifically, to "pay closer attention" to what was in the young boys rooms. Basically, privacy be damned, you go in there and look for stuff to keep them honest. She said that did not sit right with her, and she spoke to him about it. He let her have it. She just didn't do it and say she did. She is still very loyal to the organization, but does not have nice things to say about Bethel, other than some true friends she made while there.

    What a mess.

  • moshe

    I heard the greasy fried chicken backs they served in the dining room would wake the dead--

  • ziddina
  • ziddina

    Good freaking grief...

    I'm only on page 3... Reading about how the Bethel overseers tried to make you feel worthless while you were GIVING THEM FREE LABOR...

    Grrr! If anyone had tried to break ME, my response would have been, "So, you're rejecting MY free gift to "jehovah"? Well, I'm taking my gift and going back home!!"

  • Balaamsass

    ZID THANKS!!! I am dying!!! I knew the english sister, and only if he had met Chitty could the story be funnier!!

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    Thanks Zid for the links I just spent the last hour and a half reading Dave's posts what a story especially about Chitty. If only I had known about it all before Bethel what a difference it would have made.


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