What is life like for those in Bethel?
From everything I hear on here, hell.
For woman its cleaning toilets and making beds and for men working in the warehouse or labor duties. ie. kitchen duties or printing .
Now the GB members do nothing of the sort but dream up more bullshit to feed the flock, such as the world is coming to an end soon so work harder and longer it will appease Jehovah.
The GB men do a lot of conversing with WTS's lawyers and financial advisers, when they are not doing that they're out on the tennis courts or taking a swim in the pools.
I think the comments likely refer to the American Bethel, There are, of course, many national 'bethels' and life there may be quite different. Sometimes the unique characteristics of each 'bethel' are the result of jw life competing with a particular national culture and/or the personality of the Branch overseer and/or the branch committee. (uope those terms are still used - its a long time since I was involved) And, added to that mix there will be the personalities of each jw who signs up for bethel life. Some are more suited than others to a communal lifestyle.
When I was 'in' I was close to several members of the local bethel family, and I dont think that there was much friction in the Sydney bethel. Though, one non-bethel brother working (years ago) on the new Ingleburn facility, always referred to it as 'the funny farm.'
I think the wives of prominent Jws may have found it most difficult, as any bright woman would become frustrated at just being a cleaner or cook. One branch overseer who I recall as a particularly nice guy (Jon Wilson - now dead) assigned his wife to design something in the old Strathfield bethel. That caused a lot of murmering in the congregations, where males carefully guarded their 'privileges' and seldom allowed women any say in things like the paint color for the KH.
Right, some people do get good jobs in the writing department, translation, animation and photography, but by the sounds of it most men and women get stuck doing manual (or menial) labor that they're supposed to really appreciate 'cause it's for Jehovah.
It's worth mentioning that in countries on the global south the standard of living at Bethel is probably higher than elsewhere, which explains why people would want to work there. In The Proclaimers book they they published pictures of what baffles worldwide look like back then, some of them look kinda nice, especially for Africa and the Caribbean, where many people live in shantytowns or shacks.
It was pretty sweet when I was in the Canada Bethel and Wallkill in 2010.
Typical day: get up at 5:30 to shower and get ready for the day (I got up earlier so that my roommate had time to get ready before 7:00), then head over to the dining room for 6:50 to get ready for the 7:00 morning worship. Once morning worship and breakfast was done, I went back to my room to get changed for work - shipping department. Basically this was packaging the literature and stuff.
Went back to my room to change into my suit for the lunch (I think it was 12:00?), then back to my room to change back into my work clothes for 1:00 and resumed working until 4:00 I believe... And we couldn't leave a minute earlier! I remember working alongside a brother and him saying something like 'it feels so good to work right until 4:00' and even at the time I thought that was such an odd thing to say.
All the meals were provided for us, including supper which was around 5:00 or 6:00. Laundry was also done for us and we could have our clothes dry cleaned and ironed weekly (possibly twice weekly? I forget now)
I still remember my first week or two and the feeling that I wasn't supposed to be there. It was very orderly.
I liked being at Georgetown better than Wallkill since there was only like 450 ppl at Georgetown, rather than the 1500+ at Wallkill. Schedule was the same at both generally.
I did the night shift, 11:00pm-7:00am for 2 weeks at Wallkill. That sucked. I think we only got 30 min lunch break during that shift so by 6:30 I was a zombie awaiting the first shift to take over lol.
I was at the two locations combined for 3/4 months. Got kicked out due to my conduct.
I heard it’s rough for the pillows.
To be 100% honest I found it to be a great dream.
You wake up walk 5-10+ minute walk to a hot nice pre-cooked breakfast.
Then walk 10-15 minutes to work.
10-15 back to a nice lunch followed by a hard 10-15 minute commute back to work.
Same travel back to a room that has been cleaned somewhat for you.
With a nice easy walk to a hot free dinner.
Bag your laundry drop it off it is delivered fully folded to your front step. ( Same with dry cleaning).
With such little commute time. You have time that you can spend at the pool,sauna, gym , library, music area, sports fields etc. ( Canada Branch and I would say US branch).
All and all I have not people who in the past commented how they dont understand how local brothers and sisters could not keep up with meeting studies. They did not get it till leaving the branch.
Compared to the "rat race" most deal with on a daily basis it is an easy way of life.