JWStruggle post: Bethel Layoffs Reveal a Kingdom without Clothes

by Londo111 79 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Legacy

    Hi All,

    I'm new to this site. Use to go on the AllExperts site...too much fighting...Everybody can't be right. First let me say, I was just baptised. I came into the org. with my eyes wide open. I saw who witnesses were as soon as I stepped in the door..oh yes, at first I use to clutch my pearls but I recognized that witnesses which I am one now are just folks..Oh, yes they will say they are not perfect, my my answer to them is..Oh, are you a better imperfect person than the rest of the world ? I knew they didn't walk on water. The problem is that they think the world doesn't see their imperfections bcuz they are out in service. I did alot of research on them. They are no worse or better than any religion. The Org. is a structured enviroment of which some may need...some folks just don't have any balance in life & can't run their life, so they have to be told. Anyway. I read many sites about witnesses, child abuse, scandals, Bethel Layoffs..where does this information come from? It's never in the NYT, WSJ, Daily News, etc. Major publications why isn't it common knowledge? Why is there no one in my KH that knows about these things. Is the WT PR that good, they seem to be better at keeping secrets than our CIA. IF this is true re: Bethel Layoff, it's sad. But even the bible says...count the cost of your desicions. When we go to the conventionso or assemblies we are told to simplify our lives, maybe consider being a full time pioneer. Well before you do that, you must count the cost..make plans, don't just leave your job & expect others to take care of you. In this economy today, who can afford to not count the cost. The average family has just enough to live on for their own families...many don't have xtra & the ones that do, they are not telling. I hear many witnesses say, things are so expensive now...but if you visit most of them they own their own home or apartment & the places are beautiful..So it comes down to folks have money for what they want. Don't talk about gas, they'll always say, Aw, gas is soo expensive, well, let's be honest, the lest expensive thing on a car is the gas...you can get $5.00 worth of gas & go about your business...anything else on the car is most of the time over $100, so gas isn't the biggest problem. I see witnesses as just plain cheap, but the money saved on worldly things, like holidays should leave some extra money in the kitty, I asked a sister once, when she was complaining about something costing too much, so that you don't celebrate holidays & don't give into worldly possessions, what do you think that you are not supposed to pay for anything. You have $$ that the world doesn't have. She had to agree. I know I'm going on & on, but just wanted to say again, I feel sorry for the Bethel layoffs..."Welcome to the Real World". I hope many of them have counted their cost & have some savings put aside. Even in the bible it says, Those who do not work will not eat. Let's be kind in thought to them because among them are some who are innocent & just didn't know any better. Why they didn't see the writing on the wall, well, who knows. As many witnesses do, stick their head in the sand. I know many things about the Org. & about many different witnesses. I decided to get baptized anyway...because forewarned is fore armed. It's like you know your hubby is lazy or maybe a drinker, but you decided to stay, so when he doesn't work or comes home drunk...you are not surprised. I feel the same way about the ORG. As long as man is in the mix, you can't be surprised at what goes on.

    Be Well,


  • Londo111

    Welcome, Legacy.

    Major publications really just don't care about JWs. On the order of things, they are a small group. I would be suprised for their to be media coverage about these Bethel layoffs. Of course, when I was in, the huge round a few years ago was common knowledge among JWs.

    There has been national media coverage about child abuse and other scandles. A British newspoker broke the story about the UN NGO story in 2001. Then there was the Dateline special. And a few years later, NBC aired news of the millions of dollars in settlements.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but it used to be a very important point stressed to us bethelites. We were a bethel FAMILY. Sydlik and others of GB 1.0 really knew how to stress that. When there were scandals in bethel, we were reminded that a family doesn't air its dirty laundry in public. And I vividly remember Sydlik telling us that bethel needs "lifers" and that it was a privilege for the bethel family to take care of its older members.

    That certainly changed as more of GB 1.0 died, leaving Jaracz as a late survivor, and the addition of GB 2.0. There were a few different things that brought Sydlik's promise of "taking care of family" to an end. Food and housing weren't huge expenses (particularly since the food was getting worse and bethel had no hesitation about cramming as many newboys in a room as would fit). However, one unavoidable statistic was that bethel would be facing a boom of retirement age bethelites. Previously, they only had a couple dozen elderly that needed attention. That could easily mushroom into hundreds needing attention. That leads to the second problem--healthcare expenses. The medical needs of the elderly were increasing, and I knew several in bethel that had to be treated for cancer. Bethel had to pay for often very expensive treatments. When a bethelite turned up with cancer, they couldn't just kick them to the curb. But I found that bethel would kick to the curb others with health problems they'd developed while in bethel. The third problem was liability. If you do a search on "Jordan Johnson" you'll find the case where WT had to pay $1.5M in a settlement involving a bethelite on the way to the meeting. Suddenly, GB 2.0 realized that all this "family" was now a big liability, expense, risk. Obviously, Jehovah wasn't powerful enough to fix cancer, prevent aging, or stop accidents.

    As already mentioned, members of the bethel "family" ranged from completely worthless jerks to some really wonderful people. But I should mention... DON'T CONFUSE BETHELITES WITH CIRCUIT OVERSEERS! Particularly when the travelling overseers came to Patterson for their "special" school, we realized what pathetic crybabies most of them were. At least in my experience, my bethel career had been all about sacrifice: hard work all day, everyday, often with overtime, duties that came after work and over weekends, a room that was to be ready for inspection at any moment, and much of our "time off" was to be used in "congregation activities." Then these COs, DOs and their wives come in and can barely stand to have to work a half day, expect to have special dietary needs met, etc. I met a few CO wives that were actually honest and admitted how easy they really had it: free car, expenses paid by congregations, plus allowance from branch, plus green handshakes, Mondays off, and at the School for Travelling Overseers they learned even more tricks for getting paperwork done faster, not answering their phones outside of "business hours," etc. If you haven't gotten the picture yet, most of us bethelites had a special disdain for lazy-assed travelling overseers.

    As also already mentioned, bethel is a cult inside a cult. I heavier dose of mind control goes on there. I somehow managed to ignore a lot of the dumb sh!t that happened there. But it was eye-opening for me to see "family" that had been in bethel over a decade that were put out, and this was before the real layoffs began. I realized that at least one of my friends that was sent out had marketable skills, but what about me? And when someone was leaving bethel, everyone gave them the story that Jehovah would bless them and they would do just great in their new congregation, etc. I knew some that did fine after they left, but I knew others that really had it tough. That reality was hard for me to ignore.

    When I left, I was needing medical treatment, but had no insurance, no unemployment benefits, and almost no money. Fortunately for me, at least I had family... a real family not a fake "bethel family" or "congregation family". Adjusting to the real world was tough in the sense that I had no "connections", was financially broke, had no real record of my experience and work history that bethel would confirm (other than that I was there). Despite the reassurances that Jehovah would take care of me, I had a rough journey coming to realize that the only one that would take care of me was me.

  • LongHairGal


    You are very fortunate in that you got out at a relatively young age and can do something with your life and it is good that you had a "real" family to fall back on. And, you are absolutely correct that ultimately the only person looking out for you is YOU. It has always been this way in the REAL world. Well, maybe a relative or two might mean well, but it's really up to you.

    Regarding those lazy, entitled traveling overseers that you mention and their spoiled wives: I saw their attitude and had no use for them. I wouldn't spit on them if they were dying of thirst.

    What happens if their free-ride comes to a screeching halt?? I wouldn't want to be anywhere near them!

  • Vidiot
    LongHairGal - "What happens if their free-ride comes to a screeching halt?"

    Why else do you think they're using increasingly extreme and threatening rhetoric lately?

    Whether they're conscious of it or not, they're afraid their "free ride" is coming to a screeching halt.

    (Justifiably, IMO.)

  • Vidiot
    Legacy - "Is the WT PR that good?"


    They just have the policy of axing the whistleblowers before they could do any significant damage.

    Although that seems to be turning around and biting them on the ass, lately.

    Legacy - "They seem to be better at keeping secrets than our CIA."


    Up until now, the rest of the world simply hasn't given a shit.

    Although that seems to be turning around, too (but not in a way the WTS would prefer).

  • steve2

    Legacy welcome. You have taken at least the first two steps towards leaving the organization - you've got baptized (an essential first step in moving beyond the honeymoon stage) and you've posted here. Congratulations!

    You clearly possess an active thinking brain - which is very promising. Somethings sit well with you about the witnesses, other things don't. Perfect. You have realized they are pretty much like everyone else - a realization that many,many ex-JWs- let alone active JWs - never have.

    I'd predict it would be very very hard for you to remain in the organization with such a brain. But miracles do happen. You could trudge to your local kingdom hall until the day you die, happy that you have chosen to belong to this particular organization. In that regard, you have exercised your perfect right.

    It is good, however, to consider this: Active engagement in the JW organization works best if the ability to think and question is regularly stifled - all the better when the individual does that themselves.

    As others have said, JWs are small potatoes in the world of media reporting. As with all small insular groups, JWs evaluate themselves as way more significant in the scheme of things than others would ever do.

    Sometimes JW scandals/controversies are reported by major newsmedia. For example, currently on this forum there is an active topic on a scandal in Britain that has generated a lot of posts. I do not know how to include a link to that thread - perhaps someone else can assist?

  • Londo111
  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Legacy, the WT is a LOT worse than many religions.

  • LisaRose

    Legacy if you are newly baptised and think you know all there is to know about the dubs, well you have some surprises in store. I was in for thirty years and was still shocked at what I found about about the religion I thought I knew. If it works for you, that is your choice, but before you spend any more time in this organization you owe it to yourself to do a little research and find out what you got yourself into. The Watchtower says not to come to web sites like this, why do you think that is? You don't need to learn it from here or JWFacts.com, but it's a good starting place. Verify everything using neutral sources. Unlike the Borg, we are not afraid of what you may find on the internet.

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