Do you or did you experience too much intrusion into your personal life by the elders in your congregation?
Many people don't like hearing the experiences that I had with elders from when I was a kid to when I faded. They were never good experiences. Pretty much everything that is wrong in the world to me was represented by the congregation elders I knew.
- isms - I met (not in any particular order) racists, classicists, misogynists, homophobic, xenophobes, and sizeists elders
- idiots with power - there were quite a few dumb ass elders who just had the intelligence of a potato chip. Some of those loved the attention they were getting and were abusing their power and their position.
- bullshitters - right out of the top of my head I heard a few ridiculous and downright stupid stories, like the one where one JW was preaching and got shot in the head and the bullet bounced, and similar bullshit.
- dirty politics - pretty much all the shit that we see happening in the conservative Republican congress in USA, at a minor scale, I lived in the congregations, the same political infighting and dysfunction.
- double lives - I have shared a few times that I got sexually involved with an elder who later was in the JC that formed to discuss "my" (read "their") problem with me being gay. I also knew of a couple of them with drinking problems, being wife beaters, child molesters and with gambling problems. I almost forgot, I know of an elder who was a cross-dresser.
- Mental health issues - now that I better understand certain things, I know that there were a few elders who were not all there. I can attest of at least one who in fact, ended under psychiatric treatment for grandiose delusions.
When it came to being intrusive, many just felt entitled to come in and out of people's personal matters without a problem, and expecting people being ok with that, feeling entitled to having a saying in people's personal lives.
Granted, at the end I was just doing whatever the fuck I wanted to do and that wasn't settling well with those repressed, jealous people, especially the elders. But I never saw and met any elder who was a good role model or honest. Of all the people in authority I knew as a JW, I can only talk about one CO who seemed genuinely loving and doing his job as a CO. One, out of 23 years of dealing with that organization.