There are many terms used at Bethel that might sound foreign to normal people. There are many words or terms used at Bethel that are unique only to their organization. Here are just a few of them.
“A Jack” This is someone who is a slacker or just lazy.
“A pot licker” This term has been used for many years but its connotation is unclear. It is basically used the same as the term “A Jack.”
“New Boy” This is someone who just got to Bethel and doesn’t know the ropes.
“G Job” This would be any work done outside of Bethel for monetary gain.
“Gleaning” This is a term that many of the sisters use to refer to the gathering of leftover food from the dining room, after a meal is over.
“Hopper shopper” These are people who get most of their garments out of the cloths hoppers that hold the donated clothing.
“Mugger money” This is supposed to be the cash you keep somewhere on your person in case you are ever mugged. The reason for this money is to prevent you from being beaten up. The mugger or assailants have gone through a lot of trouble to rob you. You will really piss them off if you don’t have anything to give them. They will be convinced you are holding out on them and they will proceed to beat the shit out of you. Because, after all who walks around New York City with no money on them?
“Burn out or tour speed” This is a term the workers would refer to when it was appropriate to work at a much faster pace than normal. Many times this activity was incorporated when people were coming through on a tour. We would work extra fast so as to impress them.
“Short time” Someone who left Bethel early, before their tour of duty was up.
“Morning Worship” This is done every morning, except Sunday. This is the activity of discussing the “Daily Text”. The Bethel family would listen and watch six brothers or sisters as they would give their comments about a scripture that was picked out of the “Year Book” for that day.
“Service talk” This is usually given to you by an overseer or Bethel elder. However any fellow brother at Bethel could give you this talk if he is an S R. This talk is usually conducted in a back room somewhere. This talk will be administered if it seems you have stepped out of line, or somehow you have broken one of many written or unwritten laws at Bethel. These talks are not done usually for serious offences. That would require a judicial committee. Even if you did nothing wrong don’t try and defend yourself. The person giving you the “Service talk” doesn’t want his mind confused by any facts. “The old Indian Navaho” trick is best applied here. Sometimes you might receive a job change after your service talk.
“S R” This is someone who is self-righteous or a super Zealot. This person thinks of himself as the right hand of god. This is why there is a bumper sticker that states. “Please god protect me from your people.”
“Bad attitude or B A” This is someone who is on the opposite end of being self-righteous. This person has some doubts about Bethel and the Bethel system. He may decide to verbalize these thoughts to others. If this attitude is noted he may receive a “Service Talk.”
“Company man or suit” This is someone who is staying pass his commitment and loves Bethel and wants to make Bethel his career. The new future leaders of the organization
“Having someone for breakfast” This can be done when someone leaves Bethel in disgrace, or has been kicked out for some transgression. The “governing body” will inform the Bethel family of this person sins, sometimes in graphic details.
“The family” These are Jehovah’s Witnesses who are called Bethelities, the workers at the world headquarters.
“Family night” They didn’t have this when I was at Bethel. This is when the Bethel Family would volunteer or take turns getting up on a stage. They can perform skits, sing or tell jokes. Of course this is highly regulated.
“G B” or governing body.” These are the supreme leaders of the organization. They are usually ten to fifteen members in number. There numbers very a lot because they are old company men that keep dying off.
“The shaft” This is an object that can be inserted into someone’s rear end. This can happen if you are reassigned to new work assignment. However, your new job isn’t as prestigious as your previous job is. Not only is it not prestigious, it could be so physically demanding you think you are going to die. You are obviously not moving up in the company ladder. You are now going in the opposite direction. “The Shaft “is usually inserted when they want you to leave Bethel. However instead of asking you to leave, they figure they can take advantage of you for a while before you break down or just give up. For example when I was at Bethel, Ciro Aulcino who had a very prestigious job in the writing department, got a job change to the hand bindery in the factory. He went from writing the articles in the Watch Tower and Awake to pasting song books together in the hand bindery. Of course this new job is still considered “A privilege of service” by the Bethel overseers. However, after being there for over twenty years was this really the case? These same overseers will tell you there is no such thing as “The Shaft” at Bethel. This is obviously is not true. Just ask Ciro or Fred Barnes or hundreds of other brothers who have experienced “The Shaft” at Bethel first hand. Since Bethel is just like any other organization that is run by politics “The Shaft” is used liberally for any that don’t fit in with the powers that be.
“A privilege of service.” This is how Bethel Elders will describe any job assigned to you, no matter how lowly or demeaning it might seem to be. It is your privilege and honor to work on this job assignment. However there is a catch. This same job or “privilege of service” could be considered to be a punishment for you or other people. This is the case, if they reassign you to a shitty job because of some minor infraction. Then at this point in time your new “Privilege of service” has now turned into what is commonly known as “The shaft” at Bethel.
These are important terms people should know about when they first come to Bethel. Sadly most people find out about these terms the hard way. Maybe they should have a complete discloser for the new boys about these important items in their “Dwelling together in peace and unity” booklet.