Chapter 37 New Boy 50 years a Watchtower slave
Passing it down line
How did I rationalized everything I had experienced growing up and what I saw at Bethel? No one wants to believe their whole life is a lie. I couldn’t, so for many years I couldn’t connect the dots. I guess that’s not true, I didn’t want to connect the dots. All the little bits of information yes all the dots would have pointed me in only one direction the back of building four with Jimmy.
I was Scarlet O’Hare at the end of “Gone with the Wind” when she said. “I can’t think about that right now. In know I’ll think about that tomorrow after all tomorrow is another day!”
If you ever back a Jehovah’s Witness in a corner, when they even realize there is no sense to what they are doing, the will tell you one of two things “You must have faith” or “Jehovah will straighten it out someday.” That was the way I coped with the nasty stuff that happened to us.
Usually, most if not all of your family are Jehovah’s Witnesses plus all of your friends are for sure. There is no world but that world, their world. I wasn’t ready to leave the only world I knew. If I had connect the dots back then there would have been no place to go. To be on the outside and to lose the only life I had ever known for me would have put me on the couch looking at the 38 special on the coffee table. So, I stopped thinking about it. I couldn’t think about it. I was back on the bindery line mode. I was just trying to get through one day at a time.
There is a rope that pulls you in even tighter into the cement of their organization. It was one of the key ingredients that made a crazy old man name Charles with twelve followers in a basement in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania church turn into an organization of seven million people strong, worth billions dollars.
One person and twelve crazy followers can do quite a bit to change the world. Remember in 1923 the guy with the mustache in Munich Germany.
I didn’t know it at the time but the rope of bondage was actually an umbilical cord attached to my two children.
We had two new people who were in our charge to indoctrinate. As children these two people had no choice in the matter either. Just like my mother who never asked me what I thought of her new religion, my children would not have that option either. They could only make that decision to leave “The Borg” years later when it too would cost them everything.
Even if I didn’t take a lead in this active my wife surely would. At the time of their births, I was still a believer, so my path was clear. Seig Hiel, the beat goes on.
Now there would be one more meeting a week added to the five meetings we were already involved with, that meeting is called “The family home Bible study.” This weekly study was required to mold them to the will of the organization. To the will of the all-powerful god Jehovah. It was easy to do.
There would be only one world for my children the world we showed them. So of course they were eager to join the family. The family of millions of brothers and sisters all around the world. They soon became the righteous and zealous followers we wanted them to be.
Like me, there would be no school dances, no school sports and no school friends who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses. They too would be isolated for their protection and for the protection of the organization.
They both dropped out of high school, so they could be ”home” schooled. This was one way to keep them safe away from the contamination of “worldly” influences and desires.
It their teens they were both baptized. He had done our job they were now locked in. They both pioneered and went to pioneer school.
We even took them back to New York in 1997 to visit Bethel. In some sick way. I was hoping my son would want to go there too. You know, to make a man out of him, like it did me.
The kids of today are so much smarter than their parents. After he walked through the factory he knew it wouldn’t be a place for him. He said he couldn’t find one smiling face there.
We went through the new laundry and saw Peter Hollingsworth, twenty seven years and still working in the laundry.
We visited Daryl Christianson stuck in the Squibb building working by himself on a deserted floor. The only memory of me that he told my children about, was a time thirty years ago when my car was acting up. How I decided to turn the car around and go back to Bethel instead of going to the meeting. Yes, because of me he had missed a Watchtower study. He had never married and had been there over thirty years. I somethimes wondered if he ever masturbated.
We sat on Norm Brecky’s table for lunch and ate hamburgers. There wasn’t much conversation just like the old days. I wondered how many other suicides Norm had known about in twenty three years since I had been gone.
Finally we ended up at the Watchtower Farm. I had never been there before. Yes, four years at Bethel and never visited the farm even once. I told people, it would have been like showing a starving man a steak dinner. I knew if I had seen it back then, it just would made my stay in Brooklyn that much harder.
I tracked down Ester Lopez the old bat was still alive and at the farm. So I had her paged. I was standing there waiting for her with my family.
She walked into the lobby with a total look of surprise. “It’s you! It’s you!” She said.
“Yes, it’s me!” I walked right over to her and grabbed her hand and put it on my stomach. I had put on a few pounds since I left Bethel.
“You were wrong! I didn’t starve!”
I was wondering when you would put the next installment up. Thank you.
Children are the reason I started to wake up. I was never going to force my kids into anything but wanted them to make their own minds up. One of my children is atheist and the other one said he could tell what we were being taught at the KH was all BS even before he became a teenager.
I keep explaining to the grandparents who blame me for their disinterest that even if my children were to get baptised because they all want them to, it wouldn't save them if they were not doing it for Jehovah. They say he is the reader of hearts so if their heart is not in it or they do it so that they can get a drivers licence (in reference to the Tony Morris talk) then it would be for nothing.
They say Jehovah draws ones. How does that work if your parents are pushing you?
Thanks Keith good stuff, looking forward to your book !
Keep it up, I love to read about it!
ExBethelite Marcus Vaughn on you tube talks about how they keep you in a state of semi starvation at Bethel. Lads, some probably still finishing growth, working 12 hour days, charging to meetings, too, living on meagre rations and hoping for a top up on a Sunday from their cong famillies.
I believe him because the way he talks about food, constantly, With such love and relish, he's like someone who's just be released from a gulag!!
Food is abundant at Bethel, Marcus' talks a lot of BS.
Working hours are 8-12, 1.00-5.00. So do your math.
New boy, once again i share and see so much of myself in your experiances... thankfully i was so disillusioned by my time in brooklyn i discouraged my son fmbirth against going to bethel. I would overhear him from time to time telling other kids why he would never go.. small satisfaction on my part ;)
@diog- food is plentiful and its all you can eat. I was hungry at times because after the evening meal (5pm) you have to save food for a snack and i didnt often do that... but it wasnt bethels idea to starve you per say, just logistics of prep and cleaning. Cant serve food 24/7
See, I don't get this about the food situation. Newboy claims food was scarce, so does Marcus Vaughn. Then you have Morpheus (also a trusted source on here), claiming food was abundant.
So, who do you believe?
I honestly believe it's a bit of both. Allow me to explain. I think it comes down to the job you work, and the table you are assigned. How so?
If you have a labour intensive job, you need more calories to function vs a sedentary job sitting in the Writing Dept or similar. And depending on your table head and where you sit at the table, you could be left with next to nothing to eat!!!!! Lunch (at least at the old NY location) wasn't some sort of cafeteria buffet, though it SHOULD have been!!!!!! Your table head had to get the platter and give it to the waiter and go, "Please Sir, may we have some more???" And then you got some more chicken, maybe a breast, IF you were lucky and at the head of the table, not the foot.
So, if you worked bindery, had a room farthest away, sat at the foot of the table, you were starved to death!!! However, if you worked in the Administrative Office, had a closer room (less walking) and sat at the head of the table, you were juuuuuuust fine!
So the reality is (at the old Bethel anyway, not sure how the new HQ is) it was much like a Nazi Concentration Camp. It's who you knew, your circumstances, and sometimes just a lot of pure luck.
I believe Newboy. I believe _Morpheus, and for damn sure I believe Marcus Vaughn. Marcus being one of the newer ones having been let go within the last 2 years. Also, his experiences totally match other experiences I have heard come out of Bethel to a "T", so it's not "BS" or exaggerations. Bethel is a physical and spiritual prison.
Just my 2 cents: When I was at Watchtower Farms in the mid '70's there was plenty of food at breakfast and the noon meal. Supper was scant because it was usually leftovers.
There is prob a lot of truth in that, wing. I ate lunch at the bossert (this is when laundry was in furman st). Seating was “open” and we always had a “laundry” table (all sat together). We told the waiters in advance , every day, we were going to wear them out... i could see it being different in other dining rooms