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.