Leo Greenlees - shuffled to Toronto Bethel - anyone know for how long?

by berrygerry 3 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • berrygerry

    It would seem logical that Greenlees was shuffled to Toronto to allow for a settling period.

    Anyone know for how long he was there - or any other info?

  • blondie
  • Balaamsass2

    Thanks Blondie.

  • fulltimestudent

    This thread sparked a memory.

    If Greenlees was 'exiled' to the Canadian branch, then there is a bizarre twist.

    According to another freemind's post, Greenlees had once been a 'companion' of Percy Chapman, the former Canadian Branch Overseer, who was "done" by Nathan Knorr for homosexuality.

    Perhaps they spent their declining years in each other's arms. What a merciful and loving arrangement by the Yahweh/Jesus Combo god.

    Or, maybe not- perhaps my romantic imagination is getting carried away.

    Nathan and Percy at Yankee Stadium in 1958. His last performance on the platform of power. By the time of the next assembly rounds, Percy was 'toast.' If this informant is correct, Nathan mercifully allowed Percy to remain at the Branch Office as a cleaner.

    Oh! " How have the mighty ones fallen, And the weapons of war (sexual love) perished."

    Even among those men who found each other's love more wonderful than the love from women. 2 Samuel 1:26,27.


    Anyway, here's the freemind's post:

    Tales from Toronto Bethel

    At one time I thought that perhaps I was the only gay Jehovah's Witness in Canada, perhaps the world. This was not unusual, as most gay/lesbian Jehovah's Witnesses feel the same way. There is a conspiracy of silence on the subject, since these things were "not to be even mentioned" by a good Christian.

    Percy Chapman and his companion Leo Greenlees were sent by Rutherford from London Bethel in 1936 to replace the rebel Canadian Branch Overseer, Walter Salter, who had started up his own group over the "elected elders" debacle. Percy was a mesmerizing public speaker of the old school (no voice amplification required) and with his Lancashire lilt of voice and large frame reminded me of Winston Churchill, flapping jowls and all. I can still remember the reverberating vibrato of his voice warning of the "vile depths of the abominations" and since I knew that homosexuality was "an abomination unto the lord" wondered if that was what he was referring to. It was not until later that I began to suspect the administration at Bethel was mainly gay.

    Poor Leo Greenlees, Percy's close companion for three decades even when at London Bethel, had to find himself a new room-mate. Leo was a cheerful, likable fellow, with his thick Scottish brogue and also an electrifying public speaker. He was very open about his homosexuality to those few good-looking young brothers like those he would meet at one of the summer resorts in Haliburton run by Jehovah's Witnesses (later bequeathed to the Watchtower Society). I got to know Leo a little better when he was assigned to be congregation overseer at the Kingdom Hall I attended as a teenager during the early sixties in Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto. He would bring along another bethel boy, Lorne Bridle, who was very good looking and charming. After a failed marriage to a young pioneer sister, he eventually committed suicide. I often wondered what tortured state of mind led him to that - but so often the fate of closeted gays in the Watchtower society!

    Reference: http://www.freeminds.org/history/percychapman.htm

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