GB Members: What's the Story?
Over the past few decades I've met many individual JWs, but I've always been curious about the GB members themselves and about service at Bethel. First, do GB members fraternize with regular rank and file members or do they only sell out each other? When I was a Methodist, it didn't take me long to figure out that our minister and his wife were frequently invited to dinner, but I never heard of him actually inviting members to his house for dinner. Then I noticed the same thing at my wife's church. Her priest and his wife never paid for a meal when going to a church dinner or lunch at local restaurants. So what of the VIPs in the society? When they visit, do people generally invite them for meals?
Also, do they tend to be generally humble or do they come across as intimidating? Are some especially beloved or respected? Are any despised? And at Bethel, do they interact well with the staff or are they not to be bothered?
I'm just curious because the only thing I hear about them is as a body. If I were a member who has had several interactions with a GB member, would I be out of line calling him and asking him to lunch? Are there any boundaries or are they just regular guys? (I can understand if you're an employee at Bethel that this might not be inappropriate, but if you're not, I wouldn't see any impropriety.)
Raymond Franz's "Crisis of Conscience" provides a firsthhand account of how the Governing Body (GB) operated and were viewed within the organization up to the early 1980s. In general, they were photgraphed infrequently and kept a low-key presence. Perhaps there were one or two exceptions. GB members Fred Franz (Ray Franz's uncle) and Ted Jaracz were well known, strong personalities that did not baulk at the limelight. That said, in retrospect they now appear relatively retiring, given how prominent the current GB are.
There is an impression that the current GB are not that directly accesible to rank and file JWs but are featured regularly on jw.org. I had heard that, when they "appear" at JW conventions, they have "minders" who monitor how closely they mingle with ordinary JWs.
Surprisingly for a religion that has scorned the giving "attention" to fellow human beings (epsecially within the churches of Christendom), Facebook shows that individual members of the Governing Body are prepared to have their photo taken with JWs who approach them - but I suspect this too is monitored.
It would not look good if it transpires that a member of the Governing Body unintentionally posed for a photo with an ex-JW who later posted it on Facebook.
JW organization has also stated that the GB have "helpers" who assist them in their role.
I'd be interested in hearing from others who have had close contact with any members of the GB.
The GB of late are seeming less and less humble all the time. It is clearly evident on the jewellery they wear on the broadcasts.
For the rebranding to succeed, the GB must enter the spotlight.
Downside: The GB are bat-shit crazy egomaniacal buffoons. Providing them the opportunity to be front and center has exposed this fact.
The R&F needed religious leaders, even though human leaders are naughty in JWism. The Corporate leaders could see this, hence the rebranding efforts.
Downside: The R&F are ignorant sycophants by the deliberate design of the WTBTS Corporate leaders. They want to adore the GB, place them on high, get their autographs and have them bless their babies.
WTBTS solution: Upcoming articles that downplay the Demi-God status of the GB, while chastising the R&F for behaving exactly as they have been programmed to behave for decades.
DD "You can't fix stupid." 😑
For the rebranding to succeed, the GB must enter the spotlight.
And so they have, with a vengeance. Just yesterday a "sister" was pontificating about how good it is that the GB has instituted JDubya Broadcasting (GBTV) where, "Every month we can see and hear the GB! Now we all can have a close personal relationship with them. Isn't that a loving provision for us to get to know them that they have made?"
I couldn't choke back the derisive snort of indignation. When asked why I replied, "Close personal relationship with them? That's a laugh. Just go up to one of them if you ever get the chance at a convention and call them by their first name and start telling them something very personal. You'll see in a hurry just how close and personal your relationship with them really is! They won't give a flip about you!"
Exactly. Shifting the blame on the rank and file. Then making it seem as if the rank and file are at fault for believing something different over the years.
I notice again a difference between U.S. and europeans. I guess if you would ask my parents who are the members of the GB they still would mention Schroeder or Barr. Here they are not focused on the GB ... Why this difference?
Cold steel - In answer to the question are they humble or intimidating? the culture of the organisation in its treatment of its members is evidently the same as it was when Ray Franz was disfellowshipped for eating a meal with a disassociated person. From what I recall in one of the editions of CoC, 2 elders travelled from somewhere in Europe to America to speak to the GB having read about ex GB members Ray Franz's story in Time magazine. The 2 elders simply wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on as they were stunned to hear such a thing happening to a GB member, one of the anointed. They also needed proof that the Time magazine article surely must have been sensationalist or simply wrong in what was written. The GB welcomed them in true Watchtower style! The 2 elders were treated in an unloving cold abrupt manner when they phoned Bethel and spoke to one particular GB member. Instead of acting in a Christ like manner and inviting the 2 elders up to Bethel to clear up their concerns, they were stonewalled by the GB and 'told' to put their questions/concerns in writing. This despite their pleas to meet with the GB. Wow to those who raise legitimate concerns with Gods chosen channel! Book of GB 5:16
I was able to spend some 1 on 1 time with Guy Pierce before he died. He was very busy, so I appreciated the time he took to talk with me. I resisted the urge to ask him some spot questions about some things that were disturbing me.
He quizzed me on some bible passages, which I enjoyed. But I remember one question about the meaning of a scripture in Romans. I told him from the context it was very easy to understand. He instead pulled out a 1974 or 1975 WT and said "that's what those scriptures say, but notice how the Watchtower explains this scripture. It's very important that we keep up with our current understanding of things, even if it's many years old."
That's when I realized that WT publications trump the bible.
The gb members probably avoid the r&f just because they know they are being examined under a microscope. But hey, what do you expect when you are the the only divine channel of communication on earth?
About other headship, I remember my mother dying over the chance of feeding the Circuit Overseers. She always put her name in to do this hospitality. From my experience in eating at the same table with these men, I remember a lot of reverence given to them, from other brothers we invited. I remember these bastards (Circuit Overseers) not even looking at us at our eyes when speaking to us, or just a spare glance here and there. They also were not interested in starting conversations, but would make outright publication references in correction of what anyone said. Also, Why the f@#$ do their wives try to imitate opera singers during the kingdom melodies.
P.S. I got chosen to go to field service with one of these idiots one time, It creeped me out. Thank goodness I did not get goosed.