The next test for the
friends was about something totally unexpected, which was the departure from
the country. This was something that was always considered a personal matter
and the decisions and trips from the first ones that left, mostly the elite
were accepted without much criticism. Now all of a sudden, friends in the
congregations started questioning the loyalty and faith of those that were
planning to leave; for some this was a lack of confidence in Jehovah and for the
ones with service privileges it was considered an abandonment of the flock.
Thing got so bad, that
the Branch decided to meddle in this matter. By this time the Branch Overseer
Brother Del Rio who was a nice man, maybe in his high 30s, professing to be anointed
and in reality too holy and naive to be a real benefit to the flock. The real
power behind him were some of his assistants, one of them in particular a DO by
the name of Santiago Cueto became a thorn for all those planning to leave the
country, the standard conclusion for this talks was “remember that the Devil
knows how to speak English too”.
I will get back to
Cueto in a second but I must tell what happened with the Branch intervention,
they decided that any brother who had presented his papers to leave the country
was unfit for privileges and all those in this category were immediately removed.
These resulted in the drainage of the little brain power that was left,
presenting to leave the country and leaving were two different things and it
was a process that could take years to be completed. These brothers were
penalized just to placate the gossip and envy of those that didn’t have a
chance to leave.
I must tell you that
eventually all of these individuals that were criticizing the departures came
to the States including Brother del Rio and all of his helpers. Santiago Cueto
was a different deal, he had a very high opinion of himself and on one occasion
when he was routinely detained by the police, he decided to impress the authorities
with his knowledge and verbiage; he was identified as a “big fish” and got
special treatment. His home was raided and they got a whole bunch of records
that were not supposed to be there, he created a serious danger for the
The Government was
harsh with him, he was sentenced to ten years in prison; no reduction for good behavior
was given to him and he completed his sentence, shortly after that he departed
for the “home of the English speaking Satan” and the last time that I hear from
him he was in Florida partaking from the emblems, I don’t know if he still
alive; for me he was a modern Uzziah.
Good for now.