How many of you were bethelites?

by writerpen 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • writerpen

    I've been posting here since February now, and I'm just beginning to get familiar with alot of the posters. I've learned that I cannot rely on the profile picture, since they change often. So, now I focus on the screen name.

    Anyway, in an effort to be more aware of some of you, how many served at Bethel fulltime, and what was it like? Did you feel like a god when you would visit back home? Were you dead tired all the time? Did you witness sins within Bethel? Did you really have to be at the breakfast table at 7:00 a.m.? What did you think about sisters not having dish duty? Crap like that is what I'm interested in.

    There was a guy from my childhood town that served at Bethel and may still be there - Ed Vosh. Anyone know him?

  • jschwehm


    I served at Bethel from 1987 to 1988. We had to be at morning worship/breakfast at 7AM. I tell people that going to Bethel was very helpful in getting me to leave the JWs later. I was not there very long (thank God). I have some stories which I have told before.

    Here is my story if you are interested.

    Jeff S.

  • writerpen

    Jim, thanks for the pic. How neat.

    jschwehm - I'll link to you site tomorrow. I look forward to reading your story. I'm off to class now.


  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Who was giving the last rites in this photo or was Franz blessing you?

    Guest 77

  • SpiderMonkey

    I was at Brooklyn Bethel from late 90 to early 94, in the waiter dept. (I got to wash the dishes, LOL)... I have to say that I thought it was a blast, at least compared to "normal" JW life. I got to ditch meetings and field service whenever I felt like it; I didn't always feel tired but gave that impression whenever I just didn't feel like going (which was quite a bit). I saw lots of "sinning" in the form of drunkenness, but that was one of the things that was funnest for me there, once I came of age. And, like Jeff said, being at Bethel laid the groundwork for my leaving the dubs. Perhaps for a diff reason; I haven't read your story yet, Jeff... While I was at Bethel, away from family & home cong influences, I started to find myself; started to realize how basically unhappy and repressed my childhood had been. I started to become truly happy and aware of myself as a person, and it only took about a year of living in my hometown again to convince me that none of the dub stuff was for me.

  • gravedancer

    Freddy looks like he was full of spirit

  • joeshmoe

    I'm with SpiderMonkey on this one. I worked in the bindery for 5+ years ('94 - '01) and loved life at Bethel when compared to 'normal' witness life. Very spoiled and surrounded (for the most part) with real people who didn't put up a self-righteous front -- we'd curse, drink, and skip meetings and service when we felt like it. Sure, we were careful to look good when overseers or elders were looking, but that was really the extent of it.

    It's interesting though, that only a few months after I left there and returned to a 'normal' life, I could see just how messed up witness life was. I think I too grew up a little at Bethel. Enough to make my own decisions about right and wrong and not to worship some council of old men who meet every wednesday morning in secret. No thanks.

  • messenger

    A surprizing number leave the organization after coming home from bethel. Now the home office says when you leave you do not have the protective cover of holy spirit you have in the "house of God" and that when you leave unless you are very active you will get weak spiritually and leave. Of course I bought that and pioneered for four years. I went back to see an old friend a few years ago and had a picture of our "new" boy class. He started telling me the story of each one as he had kept up with all of them. In the group of 25 that came in together 21 had left the organization. Some had died, a couple were gay, but most just walked. It is a interesting stastic as bethel has a 25% turn over each year, if you were to say just 60% leave the organization in the first five years out, then that makes bethel one of the largest apostate organizations in the world. If bethel loses 1500 per year you could say conservatively that 800 leave the organization. How many do the apostates get annually? I think bethel has them all beat hands down. What is my point?

    If you are really pissed at the organization and really want to get them back,encourage all your witness friends to go to bethel. Beg them to go! Let thebethel magic do its work and soon they will be history.

    You know how it goes if you try to say one word about something negative that is totally truthful you get the line, "I will not stand you saying anything negative about the organization" the wall goes down and you are toast from that moment on. NO!!! instead say, " I really want to encourage you to simplify your life and serve Jehovah. Why not go to bethel? I will be glad to help you sell all your stuff and drive you up there! Now how can they shut down with that enouragement? When they call you, tell them to stay faithful to Jehovah and not question the nerd dickhead overseer who is driving them crazy. Tell them to "wait on Jehovah". When they see the GB are all senile and drolling on themselves with the other half not having enough brains to outfit a sparrow, say, how dare you question God's arrangement!!! It might take a couple of years, but soon they will be gettin the hell out of Dodge, and dump their little cult.

    So if you really want to get your JW family out of the organization, your best shot is getting them to go to bethel, at least then the odds are in your favor.

  • Reborn2002

    Wow jj!

    That's a cool pic!

    Few people can say they got so close to one of the "Gods" of JW-doctrine.

    My, my.. he does not look so Almighty and powerful there now does he?

    To be he just looks like a feeble, dying, old man.

    Freddie looked like his quality of life was already severely diminished by the time of that photo.

    As for you jj, proud of you that you lost weight! Hell, not having to sit 10 hours a week at 5 weekly meetings does not hurt!



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  • writerpen


    I really enjoyed your story. I'm so happy that you can take care of your family. Getting your Ph.D. must have been a great moment. Just this week, I started college and the moment I receive my degree will be the greatest moment for me. Of course, I plan to pursue a Masters after that.

    Thanks for the story.


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