I was a Bethelite in London for many years then got reassigned to the field and then went on BRD from the start of Chelmsford right upto covid.
During my years at the branch I was sometimes asked to be on a team who went to homes donated to the branch when some older one died.
this happenes an awful lot, everything is left to the branch in the will. The unbelieving family is furious they didn’t get left anything and sometimes they tried to get their elderly relatives possessions and there was a legal battle
but in the end a team of us would go and empty the property and another team would clean it up and put it on the market to sell it for the worldwide work.
all the possessions were sorted into trash or possibly valuable
the things we thought were possibly valuable were sent to the investment department which at the time was run by Brother Peter Bullock.
he was an expert in gold, silver and diamonds. Another brother was expert in fine art, but Peter was expert with expensive watches and jewellery.
he had a large vault safe which we used to joke about because there was millions of pounds worth of gold and diamonds, Rolex and expensive paintings donated.
he would periodically sell bits to local Jewish dealers and an interesting fact is one of the Jewish dealers he sold to became the buyer of Watchtower house on the Ridgeway.
anyway after I left the branch I remained friends with Peter we often used to watch movies together and he would often offer me a glass of fine whiskey
mhe was always immaculately well dressed obviously came from money and was personally very wealthy himself.
his wife left him years before and his only son died of an overdose in mysterious circumstances and he was with him holding his hand when he died
ever since he seemed to be self medicating with whiskey which seemed to be quite common in the branch especially bottles of spirits lots of sisters like their gin of an evening
in Peters case it wasn’t only the evening and it was basically from morning worship all day. It became obvious and he was even driving down the road to Waitrose where all those in the branch used to go coming back with bags of bottles
it got to the point where the brothers confiscated his car as there was some doubt if he was driving sober or not
but then he got an old person’s electric buggy and used to go down to Waitrose to load up on whiskey with that. They couldn’t really confiscate that and often would be obvious he was under the influence
this went on for years and it got to the point of him being announced he was no longer a JW
the interesting thing is this all came to a head about the time of bottle gate as a similar thing was happening to Tony Morris the third
he was very unhappy about the situation especially as what was going on across the pond with Tony who is about the same age
end of the story is Peter was kicked out of Bethel even at his age and frail state and now I hear he died a lonely bitter old soul
very sad story
Now some younger brothers are in charge of the vault full of gold and jewels donated and they work in close proximity to the investment department who are buying stocks and shares with all the donations