Visiting Bethel (an old memory)
I was so excited about visiting Bethel. It was a dream come true. All my life I was told that I had to visit Bethel. So off I went with a group of friends. The New York skyline was amazing. Everything about New York lived up to what I've always heard.
My experience from the Bethel tour:.
Bethel was clean. I just didnt think there was anything extra special about it. The corporate office where I worked was clean too. It reminded me of a corporate office. It felt like a long job interview tour. I really don't remember much about it, the only thing that made an impression on me was lunch,
We ate lunch with the Bethel family. My friend said it was such an honor. She was related to the brother who was the table head. He was polite but dry as a piece of toast and had a look like " I don't give a damn". I don't remember anyone or anything from that lunch. Just the look on his face.
thats what i remember from my great trip to Bethel
Once we realize there's nothing inherently special about WT, we're on our way to freedom!
Blessings on your journey.
You didn't get infected with holy spirit?
Sounds very similar to my experience ( London Bethel ) when on holiday in London. My parents took me when I was about 15. It was a lovely day but we dressed up in our meeting suits to tour what is effectively a book publishing printing and distribution plant with some offices bolted on.
We had lunch which was a surreal experience - basically people stuffing themselves as quickly as possible in a weirdly formal corporate setting. It was hot and without thinking I took my jacket off but the head of the table said that wasn't allowed , so I put it back on , taking great care for the rest of the meal to not spill food on my suit.
We were supposed to be meeting at the table of an old friend of my fathers but he didn't turn up - it was a kind of "waiting for Godot" experience. (Later he phoned to apologise and said that he had been too busy to stop for lunch. ) People were coming in , scooping food into tupperware containers and bustling off. The Bethelites were superficially friendly in a somewhat officious manner - you were very much aware that they were busy working and didn't have much time for idle chat with people they didn't know.
The visit had been so hyped up by my parents as a kind of "going to Mecca" event but it was such a total anticlimax. I could sense the disappointment in my parents , but of course when we got home they were at pains to tell everyone in the congregation that going to Bethel was the "highlight of the holiday".
It just felt like a complete waste of a morning in a city with so many real sights to see- the one thing it did do was convince me that I never , ever wanted to work at Bethel. Sadly , the other thing it should have convinced me was that the whole JWs thing was just a religious book publishing company with unpaid labour , but I didn't finally get the message till 30 years later. :-(
I chauffeured my employer's wife into NYC years ago. She had some function at the UN and I thought it would be wonderful if I could see the World Headquarters on a Saturday afternoon. I parked the big Lincoln right in front of the door at Bethel and was told by the brother who sat at the desk, without his opening the door, that there were no more tours that day.
Then some brother who was cutting through the lobby took pity on the newbie and gave me a mini-tour. Kindness wins again! But Bethel itself was no big deal. One of the local elders just came back from a tour last month and he was bubbling over with joy and excitement about the place! I was a real buzz-killer when I said that I have no desire to go there.
When pregnant with our daughter, my neighbor and I took our 14 year old sons to NYC for a few days, saw the Broadway play "Beauty and the Beast", the Blue Man show etc... my JW mother in law excitedly said " oh did you go tour the Watchtower? I looked sideways at her and said , "well no, why would we do that"? She looked confused and said" but it's such a special place". I again said in a confused way, "We had no desire to visit there, and I'm sure the kids wouldn't want to. We did see the WT sign on the boat tour though." ( This is before I knew TTATT, I was ignorant then).
I was there in 1969 with a girl friend....she knew a young bro there...we were pioneers trolling for a nice mate....all I remember is their room and they had booze bottles which I thought badass of them...and they were telling us all the crazy rules of how to brush your teeth and bathroom sink etiquette which I found totally bizarre and ridiculous....and the factory tour was a total bore. I left thinking that was the last place I'd want to be stuck for 4 years....but all those young men.....uuuummmm......little did I know how defective most of them probably were. But not their fault entirely...the place was purported to be the highest eschalon a young man could reach for....
I never saw the bethel in New York but have been to the one in Canada dozens of times.
I remember one morning i had breakfast in Brooklyn bethel and I was collecting my food items on my tray, and i saw a big tray with what looked like pudding, so i took a big chunk. Only when i got to my table and noticed all the weird stares, did i realize i had taken a massive amount of butter. yes, they churned their own butter....just like the Amish.