Black Thursday September 1972
Knorr gathered all the bethel "Heavies" and GB to the KH in the 119 building. The Three Freds (circuit overseers) and about 50 brothers.....that’s right only 50. The other guys chickened out, they knew it was going to be a blood bath. I was there with 7 others from the Laundry.
It started out with Dan Smoally (not even 30 years old and partaking) telling about what Max Larson (head of the whole factory) told him "there was NO WAY he was one of the ANOINTED!" Max at the time was a member of the great crowd. I mean how could God pick him, some kid? When Max was there at Gods house for over 40 years? Sometimes I wonder how God picks those anointed guys anyway, God can be strange sometimes.
Well the stories of Bethel's Elders misconduct and abuse of power kept flowing.They were shaking the pillars of the organization! Knorr got MADER and MADER...........he would have loved to have killed us all, if he could have! Everyone knew these men were above the law. How dare we! Where the hell is JEHU, when you need him?
As Knorr when off on all of us. As he was ranting.................all of a sudden Fred Franz stood up and said "These men are appointed to their positions of (power) responsibility NOT because of their spiritual qualifications. BUT because of their secular abilities!" The room was silent.
Knorr said "We will LOOK into these matters".......................END OF MEETING.
So............................What happened? There was only ONE committee meeting. It was about my Laundry overseer, Ken Doweling .......They gave him a slap on the hand. He was moved out of the Laundry.......and by the time I left Bethel 2 years later, was promoted to where else, the Bethel office! Back in the most powerful office in the home.
He was "a company man" and "company men" always take care of their own......Just look at the elders in any KH.
They didn't kick the 3 Freds out (bad publicity and we know how the "brothers" hate publicity)..........instead they just make their lives living hell...........They even put Fred Barnes (in his 50's) on a "gather" a machine that even 19 year olds have a problem staying up with............He had a heart attack.......they were kind enough to take him off it.
The rest of us "Laundry boys"..........we were screwed! We had done the unforgivable, by binging up wrong doings of bethel overseers...Our Bethel careers were over. There was only one thing left to do, serve our time and get out.
I was sent to the bindery........It made the Laundry look like haven. They put me on a sewing machine. It was the night shift. A sewing machine, is a machine were you sit and sew signatures together in a flipping motion that you do 40,000-50,000 a day. After three months, I was put on a bindery line were you would stand, all day between 2 machines. You would take the book out of the "rounder" and put in the "back liner"----16,000 to 17,000 times a day. If you begged your line overseer .......he might give you a 10 min. break to go to the bathroom every four hours. They could have bought a machine to do the same thing but it only cost them $22 a month for a warm body to do the job.
The saying was "There is no shaft at bethel, every job is a privilege of service" There is another saying too “I don't care if you pee on me, but don't just call in WATER!”
One time an army general come through on a tour of the factory.........He was shaking his head. The tour guide said "I'm sure you could get your troops to do the same thing"..........He said " Are you kidding.. No way"