Were / Are the Governing Body "Rock Stars"

by Number 6 22 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Number 6
    Number 6

    In 1976 when I was a young lad of 6, Fred Franz came to Glasgow and gave a talk in Govan a suburb on the South Side of the city (for those of you who dont know). Our congregation hired a bus to ferry us all to the hall and it was standing room only.

    Being only 6, I have only the vaguest of memories other than an old man shouting and bawling from the stage. But yes, I can claim to have seen JW "royalty" back in the day! This guy was someone who could claim to be there more or less at the beginning of the Russel and Rutherford era.

    Fast forward to the late 1980's. Our congregation in East Kilbride had and elder and his wife whose claim to fame was that the elders sister was married to Govening Body member Jack Barr.

    My memory isnt what it was but I was definitely hooked up with my girlfriend and future wife so it would be at least 1988 possibly even 1989 but certainly no later than that. Jack Barr and his wife were staying with our local elder as he was the star turn at that summers convention at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

    In advance of that convention, it was arranged that our cong hired a huge hall owned by the local council and Jack was scheduled to give a special talk the Sunday ahead of the convention.

    Well! Word got around that a rock star was amongst us and at that Sunday talk folks came from far and wide in Scotland to see one of Jesus "brothers". I was seated approx 3 rows from the front, and my overwhelming memory of that occassion is that everyone to a man just worshipped this man. He as to use my phrase above "JW royalty" or a rock star. One guy brought in a full video camera set up with lights and all the parephanalia that goes with it! It was big deal.

    Looking back over a distance of 30 years, I now realise he was just as ordinary as the rest of us.. but at the time I was seriously impressed.

    What are your experiences of this. When the Governing Body came to your covention and gave a talk: was there an awed hush over the crowd when they spoke? Or was your experience more ordinary?

  • tiki

    Yeah... Freddie was the rock star of the day. He used to pass out candy to the kids on his way to the platform. Then his talks...the big high pitched renditions of Isaiah....and the "New light"......the man was entertaining for sure.

  • neverendingjourney

    I went to an international convention in the mid 90s that was held at a big sports stadium. If memory serves, attendance was about 30,000.

    When a GB member would walk to the stage, and it was quite a hike because the stage was in the middle of the field, the entire stadium lit up with camera flashes. You could have easily mistaken the mood for that of a rock concert.

    In hindsight, it was pretty sad. They trotted out Carey Barber who was already half senile and he just droned on monotone and incoherently for 45 minutes at a time.



    Leo Greenless, W. Glen How, Nathan H. Knorr, Percy Chapman

    Governing Body member Leo K. Greenlees was forced to resign and leave Bethel in late 1984. Greenlees was allegedly convicted by the rest of the Governing Body of molesting a ten-year-old boy.

    Around 1978-79, my family and I went to a local High School auditorium in a suburb of Chicago to hear Governing Body member Leo Greenless give a talk and slide presentation. The auditorium was full of Jehovah's Witnesses who were going to meet the Jehovah's Witnesses version of the Pope. A slide presentation about the conditions of the world was presented. Very informative if you wore rose-colored glasses.

    After the ending prayer, long lines formed in the front of the auditorium to meet and greet the POPE. We waited in line and got to meet Mr. Greenless. ( Now I know how Catholics feel when they talk and touch the Pope) We were so excited to meet Mr. Greenless.

    Little did we know that Leo Greenless was living a secret life and that the Watchtower Society was just a human organization disguising themselves as God's earthly organization!

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    I was a back stage attendant when freddy came to give a talk. He shook hands with all us and you could just see that he was very glad we got to meet him. Worst part is i am told he was one of the more humble ones

  • Annamouse

    Just to demonstrate my naivety ...

    Back in the '80s when I was still in my teens and newly baptised, I had a bible study with a lady that refused to buy a "Live forever" book. Her reason was that she was interested in the bible but not in lining Franz's pockets.

    I assured her that the president was just a humble servant of Jehovah like the rest of us, That he had modest accommodation and a basic living allowance, same as all full time Bethelites did! I genuinely believed that.

    When I discovered this rockstar mentality and the behaviour and lifestyle to match, it was the beginning of the end for me. Jesus is described as "having nowhere to lie his head" and we read how he washed the feet of the disciples to teach them humility.

    I find it obscene.

  • silentbuddha

    When I was a sophomore in highschol my brother who was a bethelite called us and told us to get in the car and come to bethel ASAP. Apparently he spoke to someone and he was going to be able to get us in to see Feeddy Franz in the infirmary. He was real sick and there was talk that he wouldn't be around much longer.

    My parents got all dressed up and took a bunch of bibles hoping he would sign them. We got there and we waited in line for close to 2 hours.

    Everyone was crying... they came out his room looking like they found out their children had died. When we got our chance to go in my mother was trembling like a dope fiend. Everything he said they wrote down and she actually said when you get your reward please watch over our family..........................

    He actually signed her bible and she cried all the way home. My dad was just quiet and when we got home he said he has never experienced anything like this in his life.

    My birth felt so much less special.

  • ToesUp

    A family member once told us that he met Brother Knorr. He said that "he trembled when he met him." What? He's just a man. No....he's a "rock star."

  • Biahi

    Fred Frank gave a talk at our convention in 1976-after the 1975 failure. He shook his fist at the audience and said WE were at fault. I was only 16, and I remember thinking “you fucking liar.”

  • Ding

    And the WT claims JWs aren't following men...

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