Why do so many refer to Elders as "window washers"?

by adjusted knowledge 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    There was a mix of professions with the elders I knew over the years. Some were window washers/janitors but also teachers, accountants and lawyers. I just thought those of the latter were hypocritical when they would tell you not to strive to get higher education and they themselves went to university.

  • adjusted knowledge
    adjusted knowledge

    Band on the Run

    My KH was populated by brothers who were not functionally literate.

    I suspect you may be of an older generation because I never experienced literacy issues in any congregation. Critical thinking or the lack of was the major issue in my observations. I do remember the brothers/sisters saying if you read four years of Awake! and Watchtower it was equivalent to a two year college degree. I wonder if this was just some localized opinion or if that was the feeling throughout the organization.

    I have grave doubts about lawyers from any decent law school being JWs.

    It's not too difficult to get a law degree now. There are several private colleges that will accept your money regardless of your LSAT scores or college gpa. This particular Elder got his degree from NSU, www.nova.edu/ . I'm not stating NOVA is subpar but it isn't a first tier college. I also know of a brother who received his law degree from Stetson in Florida. I agree these may not be considered decent law schools but they did pass the Florida Bar and are practicing lawyers. I wouldn't hire them.


    There were several other threads on this "window washer" topic recently (do a search and read many interesting comments). No slur on anybody who does this for a living.

    I neglected to use the search and will do as you suggest.


  • disposable hero of hypocrisy
    disposable hero of hypocrisy

    While all the above comments might well be true wherever YOU guys are, here in the UK it's not a nominal or symbolic thing at all. I'm one, 4 of the elders in my cong are, and in my city I would estimate between a quarter and a third of the elders are too.

    It's a real thing here, decent money to be made for little startup investment, with flexible hours. Great for coffee shops, I mean ministry...

  • jam

    I was a Elder and a window washer/janitor and half the brothers in

    my KH, (1970's-1980's...Making $25-$45 bucks an hr. was good

    money in those days...

  • Finkelstein

    Why do so many refer to Elders as "window washers"?

    I don't think its so much of elders being poorly educated people but the majority of JWS who may have lived through the end of the system hype of the 60's and 70's ,

    where many JWS teens didn't bother to pursue higher education or even a high school diploma due the corrupt fear mongering of the WTS., this goes for females as well.

  • Focus

    Why do so many refer to Elders as "window washers"?

    Because they were.

    The ones who weren't roofer's assistants or car-wash boys, that is.



    ("Phlogiston" Class)

  • Oubliette
    Lesson 12: Caleb and Sophia Visit Bethel

    Here's a fun clip from the video at :25"

    WW JW

    That's right little Caleb, you take a GOOD, LONG LOOK at that Bethelite window washer.

    That will probably be your vocation too since there's no way in hell you're going to college!

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    I agree with those who describe the use of this expression as being more in the symbolic category than anything else; and that it is used to represent the generally unskilled or semi-skilled occupations that JWs are found to be employed in. In other words, as with the elders, so with the rank and file -courtesy of the WTS's anti education stance.

    Of all the elders that I ever knew, none were window washers by occupation. There were a number who did general cleaning (i.e. janitorial) work, including, but not limited to, windows. A few held carpet cleaning franchises, and the JWs in general did seem to be a little over-represented in pest control work. Also, there was a trend in the 1970s and 80s for JWs to be employed as school caretakers (which, to be sure, would have included a fair share of window cleaning!). Other than that, there were retired farmers (with more money than the bull could $h#t, but to be fair, I never heard any of them give a talk about materialism!); there were also carpenters, plasterers, truck drivers, factory hands, labourers, timber workers, electricity meter readers, orchard hands, boilermakers, plus a few who were best described as "Jacks of all Trades, but Masters of None".

    Very, very few of the JWs I ever knew had university degrees - one Ministerial Servant was a doctor, another an electrical engineer (his father, an elder, somehow remained one, despite sending his son to university), and a third was a civil engineer (whom the building committee was quick to grab hold of whenever there was a Kingdom Hall or Assembly Hall project coming up).

    None of the elders I ever knew had a university degree, and as others here have pointed out already,were singularly unqualified to deal with many of the people problems that they encounter - such as my daughter's attempted suicide back in 1998. (By the time the office cleaner, boilermaker and labourer who comprised the JC had finished with her, the miracle is my daughter did not then go out and finish the job!)


  • prologos

    A tabulation of the level of education of the GB members would show what?

    G. Loesch: a well trained waiter? on level with a famous paper hanger of his nationality. Can lead, to great and not so good things.

Share this