: ... one thing that I find very curious is the personalities of the GB members themselves. It seems as if most of the members here view all of the GB as being these vicious, money-grubbing, conceited, pedophile protecting, vile creatures interested in nothing but their own power. Just look at the thread about Milton Henshcel's death (sorry people, some of the comments were of horrendous taste and utterly immature).
It's true that a lot of people give that impression. While there is a certain amount of exaggeration in such characterizations, and sometimes a lot of it, there is some truth behind the accusations. Sometimes the accusations are more corporate than personal. The GB men preside over an organization that often seems to overstep the bounds of propriety to the extent that the GB men, if judging exactly the same conduct by the leaders of other religions, would condemn it in the strongest of terms. So, while these men appear to be personally fine, decent men, when it comes to their Watchtower corporation, they wink at or ignore conduct that they would condemn in any other organization. It is this hypocrisy that gets them accused of all manner of wrongdoing.
Let me give you an example from my own personal experience with GB member Albert Schroeder. I first met Schroeder around 1980, when he visited my parent's home on Long Island and I happened to be visting at the same time. I was in college at MIT taking engineering courses at the time, and was feeling mighty depressed at the Society's constant ranting against college-goers. I had often expressed my exasperation to my parents, and so they suggested that I and Schroeder chat a bit about it. To my great surprise, Schroeder told me that he had gone to college for mechanical engineering in the 1930s, but had opted out and gone to Bethel instead. The bottom line about my exasperation was that I shouldn't pay attention to the negativity in WTS publications but should do what was right for me. I was pretty happy with that for a time. During the next few years, especially after graduation, I realized that his advice was purely his personal opinion and had nothing to do with the reality that the Society was strongly discouraging JWs from doing precisely what Schroeder told me was perfectly fine. So the corporate hypocrisy was blatantly clear.
Many years later, I began seriously to research WTS publications and I found an incredible amount of misrepresentation, misleading and gross incompetence. I discussed small portions of this with my (as I ultimately realized, braindead) parents and, after some discussion with another highly respected relative, they arranged with Schroeder that I would call him on a Sunday in late November, 1993. I ended up talking with him for about 2 1/2 hours. I told him a number of things that surprised and even shocked him, about ridiculous material that appeared in WTS publications. For example, I told him that the Creation book contained a good deal of material borrowed, and even plagiarized, from the writings of the paranormalist writer Francis Hitching (who wrote books such as The Neck of the Giraffe and Dowsing: The Psi Connection). He asked me to send him some material that explained and proved my claims, and I offered to send him a lot more besides, so that he could evaluate it and decide what to do. I sent him about 50 pages worth of comments and photocopies. I told my parents about all this, and then waited. Come summer, 1994, I still hadn't heard from Schroeder, and my parents informed me that he was very busy with assembly arrangements and so forth. By August I was getting pretty antsy about not getting the promised reply, and so, after finding that I was to go on a business trip to New York in September, I called Schroeder and asked him what he was doing about replying to my material. He hemmed and hawed, and finally claimed that he hadn't had enough time to read it over. So I suggested that we meet in September and in the meantime he could fulfill his promise and deal with the material. He refused to meet with me, but said that I could call him at his office on Saturday morning (this proved to be about the middle of September). I called, and spoke to Schroeder for about 45 minutes. It turned out that he had read my material after all, but did not want to deal with any of it. I asked him why he refused to fulfill his promise to answer my questions. He said that the Society had better things to do with its time than answer the sort of questions I had posed. I immediately concluded that, since my questions were not only sincere, but that the lack of an answer proved that the Society was comprised of a bunch of gross liars and hypocrites, he simply did not want to deal with the facts, and so he was just as much a liar as the rest of them. At one point during this discussion I pointed out the passage in Luke 21:8, which condemns anyone who proclaims, "the time is at hand", and asked Schroeder how the Society escaped that condemnation. He hemmed and hawed, but I persisted. Finally he said something like, "You're not going to let this go until I answer you, are you!" I said no. He replied, "That scripture can't apply to us, because we're God's people!" I immediately thought that this was a fine illustration of the sort of Orwellian mindset the JWs were into, since they could condemn anyone else for violating the spirit of Luke 21:8, but they were self-blinded when it came to the scripture's clear application to themselves. This experience was the absolute final straw for me, in the sense that it made me realize with stunning clarity the hypocrisy and self-serving nature of the Watchtower Society and the men who run it, and that it was futile to think that mere logical discussion could affect them.
Another corporate breach of morality by the Governing Body men can be seen in how they handled the child molestation case of GB member Leo Greenlees in 1984. Various internet posters during the 1990s posted stories about Greenlees' apparent homosexuality, and his inappropriate behavior with young boys. I investigated and found that Greenlees was removed from the GB in late 1984 for molesting a 10 year old boy. The boy's parents brought charges against Greenlees to the Society. The GB formed a judicial committee, and unbelievably, found Greenlees repentant. They forced him to resign from the GB, but he ended up as a special pioneer in California and later, Louisiana. He died in the late 1980s in Louisiana. Now think about this: Greenlees had committed statutory rape of a young boy, and yet the GB never reported this to the appropriate secular authorities. Why not? Obviously because they wanted to keep the entire sorry episode under wraps, in order to "protect Jehovah's name". But whose name were they really protecting? God's? Not hardly. God's name is not besmirched by the sordid antics of a Leo Greenlees. They were protecting their own name, the name of the Jehovah's Witnesses religion and of the Watchtower Society. A more sorry example of corporate ass-covering would be hard to find.
: Funny thing is, I don't see that. I have had almost no personal experiences with any GB members, but I have read CoC, heard stories (some believable, some not), been at assemblies where I've heard them first-hand. It seems that most of them are genuine people who actually believe they are doing the right thing.
To a large extent, you're right. But think of the kind of self-deception that must go on for a person like Albert Schroeder to ignore fact after fact after fact, and moral breach after moral breach by prominent WTS officials like Leo Greenlees, and yet keep up the pretense that the JW organization is not only approved by, but actually directed, by God! These men may be genuine in a sense, but in another they are genuinely amoral, grossly incompetent as spiritual shepherds, and no more capable of giving proper Christian direction than is Saddam Hussein. Their decades of toadying Bethel service has seen to that.
: Cruzanheart (I believe) said they had personal experiences with Henschel and T. Jaracz as a child and wholeheartedly like the former and did not like the latter.
I've heard similar things about these men personally. I have yet to hear anything good about Jaracz, except perhaps that he's a true believer sort of fanatic who really believes the nonsense he spouts. He's about the only older GB member who has consistently gone out in personal field service over the years, which should tell you something about his level of committment, despite his insanity. But Jaracz is often called "The Boss" by Bethelites, and is feared by them. He has one personality for outsiders, and like Jekyl and Hyde, quite another for insiders. Today Jaracz is far and away the most powerful GB member, and has managed to get men to his liking appointed to the GB in recent years.