I’m sure like many of you that use this forum I sometimes think back over the years as a JW and recall the funny, the strange and then the downright bizarre things that happened within the organisation.
I grew up and settled in a densely JW populated area of Manchester which was filled with the usual JW drama and nonsense.
If you were from the area and have any memories or stories please post them here.
One of the things I clearly recall (and I’m sure this wasn’t just a Manchester JW thing) was the massive drinking culture within the JW community. I didn’t really pick up on it until I started questioning things but looking back I can remember my parents taking about an elder in the hall that drank a can of beer before going to the Thursday meeting. One of his fellow elders brewed his own beer in a shed so he had a good supply on tap! And there were many occasions where JW parties turned wild once enough alcohol had been consumed.
One time that we had the C.O staying at our house he got back from the meeting before my family and he asked me to get him some of my dads beer from the fridge (must have been a tough meeting!).
Any parties that I went to, especially in one congregation I was in, were awash with alcohol. I clearly remember stopping in my tracks in shock at how many bottles of wine were at the ready at an older sisters house party.
The cong that I was an MS in was also quite accepting of binge drinking. Several of the elders and MS’s were fond of a drink or five and I never even tried to keep up with them. On several occasions at the Sunday morning meeting it wasn’t hard to tell which appointed men were still ‘filled with spirit’ from the night before!
There was an occasion where a pub in central Manchester had put a sign up saying ‘no Jehovah’s Witnesses allowed entry’ during convention time at the Manchester Arena. I think this was linked to a booze-fuelled fight between two or more witnesses immediately after the Saturday convention session. (Would love to hear more about this story if anyone knows about it).
i once approached the COTBOE and suggested that he arrange a local needs talk on a balanced view of alcohol. The reaction was dismissive. I don’t think he was a big drinker but I’m guessing he might not have got it past the other elders. Anyway, looking back there was probably a larger proportion of alcohol dependant witnesses than I realise. The more I research the organisation the more I find information on governing body members having alcohol at breakfast, Rutherford being a raging alcoholic and using dedicated contributions to smuggle booze from Canada during the prohibition era and there being a drinking culture reminiscent of the Steve Bruce era at United amongst the higher levels of JWdom.
A shout out to two of my old friend. JP who I think is still in (but hopefully will read this one day and leave the JWs). Remember the time we drove up to Accrington to that karaoke pub. You and your friends from Newcastle were absolutely steaming and I had to guide you all back to my car and get you home via a 2am stop at a kebab shop and the man assaulting a lamppost! Good times my friend! Hopefully we’ll meetup again some day.
And S! How could I forget the time we went to that great JW house party in the middle of Manchester during heavy snow! The party was excellent,hosts as hospitable as ever, enormous amounts of booze available and when I finally managed to prise you away at 2am and get you into my car you insisted on hanging out of the car window throwing snowballs from the moving car at scantily clad women whilst hurling abuse at anyone that would listen to you! What were you drinking that night my friend? Maybe not an episode to put on your elder cv! Seriously, I hope we meet again once the deception of the organisation reveals itself to you (maybe it already has?) and share a drink or two.
Well these were my thoughts for the day. I’m off to have a productive day whilst JWs listen to JW Sunday morning propaganda and trudge the streets counting hours. I may post more Manc musings in future. Would be good to hear your stories.