I saw the second plane hit, but checking up on the WTS was the farthest thing from my mind.
I saw a Watchtower that gave an experience of how someone was impressed with the WTS. Also, Ciro Aulicino's talk makes references to the Bethel experience on 9/11/01 and the talk has been transcribed and exists in several places on the web. In each case they don't imply that there were more than a few dozen people actually helped. (At least they didn't pass out Watchtowers.)
Ciro, in fact, seems to be covering up for the lack of documented help by the WTS by implying there may have been more done but "we don't let our left hand know what our right hand is doing." I guess I might as well just quote the part:
So there are opportunities working and opening up for us. So we should take advantage of them. There are so many other things that we are dealing with, friends. But if you meet somebody who is a little regressive, just say, "We are doing everything we can." You can also tell the brothers, these people, say, "Look, we have provided support for the workers. We gave water. We sent tools. We had, uh, food when they came across the bridge. We provided something for them. And we even housed 50 of the victims in our home in New York." Let them know that. See, that they think we are not interested in the community. Of course we take an interest in the community. You are people we want to help, see. So if they know that, then that can be useful. And sometimes that will stop them in their track. "Well, how come you didn't print that?" "Well, like we said before, we don't let our right hand know what our left hand does. We just do, well, God sees our good works and we expect him to reward us." And somehow you can defuse a situation like that.
But remember, friends, right now it's going to be a time where we can do our good. There may be a time we may not be able to do much preaching. Who knows? But, uh, they may close in on us. It's going to be difficult. We have to stay very faithful, as we mentioned before. It is time to be very soberly assessing what God's organization has revealed to us.
We're glad to see that so many have suddenly started coming to the meetings again.
Ciro's dishonest use of statistics comes through loud and clear when he says:
But I know in New York it's been very traumatic. I went out in service the day, the wee, that Saturday after, and I just stood on the street. And as people walked by, all I said is, "You know, I'm hurting. I'm crying." And they turned and they looked and they says, "Well we are too." I said, "I lost 14 of my friends in that attack." "Oh, really?" Immediately they get on your side, see. So, when you talk to people and they start telling you about this, say, "Well we, we lost 14, too. We lost dear friends. Devoted brothers." Now one is known dead. Thirteen are missing. So we assume they're all gone. And, uh, some of them were elders in the Bronx I know. And it's been painful, you know. So try to get on the people's side. Let them see. Let them talk.
Ciro says to "say you lost 14 friends" to get them on your side when you are in field service. I doubt Ciro knew even one of them, so what are the chances that these folks listening to his talk in South Carolina knew any of them.
The previous comments about getting things from the commissary was a nice gesture, but they could have done much more -- even if just for Public Relations purposes. I actualy think the Bethelites would have been happy to give up lunch for them. Lunch was already on its way by the time most of the people got over the bridge. They had the ability to feed a couple thousand. And if some member of the GB had wanted to talk to them at the same time over the loudspeaker, it might have been crass, but even that would have been better than passing out just some food to only a few dozen out of a couple thousand. (100 years from now they could have printed the experience and claimed that 2,000 were fed with just a few loaves and fishes.)
I have heard that there was too much looking out the windows and some floors were asked to just get back to work. But I'd bet that this was very inconsistent. Besides, when something traumatic happens, they've learned in the past to shut down some of the more dangerous equipment for a while. There'd be less fingers and hands if they just put them all back on the lines immediately. Over the years, the factory overseers have learned a couple of things. (I hope.)