Whatever Happened to the District Overseers? Who Took Over their Responsibilities?
When I was in, during the 1970s, I would see circuit overseers twice a year. I think there were two occasions when I saw a district overseer give a talk at the hall. I know that the D.Os. were eliminated as part of a streamlining process but who the Hades has taken on their responsibilities? The C.Os. beneath them? The zone overseers above them?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Whatever Happened to the District Overseers?
I know that the D.Os. were eliminated as part of a streamlining process
They`re Enjoying the WBT$ Retirement Plan..
2 parts to that question:
a) what happened to the people? have not seen one of them since. perhaps they live in better places than me, affordable only with tax free green handshakes?
b) what happened to the supervising of circuit overseers? they are now more centrally trained. who knows how they are monitored?
WOW !! So no more DO's! Just wish my mother was alive to see all the changes in the Borg, just wonder how she would defend them, like she always tried to do when I pointed out to her the Borg is nothing but a cult.
Even without DOs there have to be ways to check up on the COs to make sure they toe the line. Of course the BOEs could always rat them out, if they were brave enough to contact Bethel directly.
Lately in my area there are several substitute COs. These are the overzealous guys who graduated from BSCC or SKE and make substitute visits to congregations on their own dime. They often tag along with the paid CO for "training". They could also rat out a wayward CO.
Then there are the representatives that are sent from Bethel to give talks at Circuit Assemblies. Of course they have to submit a written report about their spy trip, in which they can also report any missteps the CO might have taken, and of course would be quick to point out any failure to follow the countless rules to the letter.
Why pay for DOs when there are plenty of guys who will spy for free, and Bethelites that will do so at no extra charge, except for travel expenses to an assembly hall?
It would be a good question to ask them, or their wives: "You always had the help of the DO before, who assists you now?" do congregations "rate" you?
The DO arrangement was scrapped as circuits were no longer grouped into districts. All the DO's (unless anyone was above the age limit of 70) went down and became CO's. Except that, these ex-DO's came under the unofficial category of 'Experienced CO's". Currently the ex-DO's are doing the following work:
- Head and supervise all the special committees formed by the branch to investigate high level wrongdoings.
- Serve as Branch representatives for Shepherding the CO's.
- Go as CO's to other countries to congregations of the same language
- Serve as Instructors for all the various schools
All current CO's are rated by the Branch Representative.
Apparently DOs weren't really necessary, so Watchtower abolished them.
But I think the Society will suffer from unintended consequences by abolishing district overseers. DOs didn't really do anything much useful in and of themselves. But I do think the position of DO performed one incredibly important function: if offered all circuit overseers the prospect of promotion to an easier and more prestigious role in the organisation. Even if most COs never became DOs, the idea that one day they might was probably a good incentive for many DOs. With the role of DO abolished there is really not much if any scope for COs to get "promoted" in the organisation, I think this will make the position of CO far less attractive and can't be good for morale.
In the UK under the so-called "Britain" branch there were about 8 Districts, I think - certainly no more than 10 if you include Ireland (Eire) the middle east and the outlying islands of the old empire.
In 2014 when the DO's were given the boot it was also the no-one over age 70 rule brought in so this is what happened.
About 6 or 7 DO's were over 70 and so used/sidelined as Drearyweather said. A couple of younger ones - (there was a "brother" Black - self important piece of work - who became a run of the mill CO - might be approaching 70 soon so good riddance there) also (Steven Clarke - one the few nice guys with a nice wife who was "only" in his 50's. I think he is a CO now.)
The DO used to shadow the CO twice a year (remember the DO/CO joint visits?) and now this is done by either a Branch Rep - we had a branch committee member shadow an "experienced CO" in 2015. Or an "experienced CO" will shadow a less experienced CO.
A note on "sub" CO's:-
They aren't subject to the 70 year old rule. So a booted "over 70" CO can sometimes be used in this role if he has been booted to the curb as a "special pioneer" and they don't want his sorry ass in Bethel and have dropped him in on some unsuspecting congregation as a CoBE or somesuch!