Dilbert's Principle Behind Selecting Elders
In a conversation I had with Karl Klein (Deceased GB) he said the initiation of the Elder arrangement in 1972 was flawed. He said it was a mutual admiration society.
I could write a book about what is wrong with the structure of the Watchtower Society. They have effectivley destroyed the possibility for significant change to occur. By weakening authority no one can initiate change. Committees are notorious for maintaining the status quo. The '72 change in congregations was a coup. I think Ray Franz was a cheerleader for that change. I would like to know more about how he was involved.
Another side effect of the '72 change was the sidelining of talented youth in the organization. The elder arrangement did away with talented young brothers being able to handle significant teaching responsibilities. Teaching is NOT something you just learn. Studies in psychology show that verbal abilities are part of a cluster of traits people are born with. If young people with these traits aren't used in the congregation they will most definitely turn to outlets in the world. That's why the quality of speakers at assemblies has gone to hell. They have alienated their talented youth. These talented youth were also leaders that young people looked to. Once you break the connection along the "age" line you are bound to lose your young people.
Hi Blondie: Yes, it fits well ... ... When I was first appointed an Elder and atteneded my first Elder's meeting, it was like walking into a room full of demons ... this just may be the start of a new series on Elder's meetings.
Proplog: Karl Klein finally succumbed to the mutual admiration society ... one time he burst into Dan Sydlik's office cheering for himself in great glee, with his arms extended saying, "I did it! I finally did it!!! I am now the Chairman of the Governing Body." As he said this, Dan's head sank down, as Tom Cabeen was standing there right behind Karl hearing the whole thing ... Karl turned around and simply said, "Oh."
I believe your account. I talked to Karl Klein while he was chairman of the GB. He said "I have the most important job on earth right now - yet It's not the same as before when Russelll, Rutheford & Knorr were in that position."
He referred to those brothers as "Giants". I asked him who killed the Giants? He didn't give me an answer. That was the year they announced they were going to quit rotating all of the brothers except the presiding overseer. I asked him why they can't have one presiding overseer, arguing that "ability to direct" is one of the gifts in men. If a brother has the gift of "direction" he ought to be busy directing. Of course he insisted that the "Society" had it all figured out correctly.
Klein was very smart but he was a "peacock" and loved status & wine. He would have made a good Senator.
When I served as an elder I was always disturbed by the often blatant hypocrisy displayed when considering others for recommendation as elders. On a number of occasions I had to speak out about judging others with a measuring line that many on the body would not measure up to.
Elder Never-Seen-Out-In-The-Ministry: How’s his field service?
Elder My-Wife’s-Never-Out-And-Is-A-Nervous-Wreck: How’s his family doing?
Elder Boring-Talks: I think he needs a little longer to work on his platform teaching.
Interestingly, in 1972 when the new elder arrangement came out, I was 20 years old and was immediately appointed a MS. However, I had been giving public talks since I was 18, was taking a congregation book study and had been assistant school servant.
The problem with today’s regime is that young talent is never given a chance. You have to be staid and stuck in your ways before you will ever be considered for any ‘privileges’. All the prime jobs have already been stitched up by the boring, uninspiring old bums.
I always thought it was strange that they voted on trivial stuff during the service meeting (like, what color to paint the foyer) and yet nobody ever had a say about who their elders should be. "Well that's because Jehovah chooses the elders through his Holy Spirit," I was told.
Then why did Jehovah choose so poorly? Don't get me wrong. I knew some really good nice people who happened to be elders, but I knew some real stinkers too. And some of these stinkers were elders and ministerial servants that Jehovah selected in spite of their being child molesters.
History has shown that the good ole boy network is one of the worst ways to choose your leaders, but that's what their Jehovah does!
I agree about alienating the youth. I started a savings account at age 6 to save up for a car to pioneer. Cashed it out when 16 and bought a car for that purpose 10 years later. I had already "vacation" pioneers numerous times and became a regular pioneer at 17, yet I was unqualified because of my age for responsible positions. I was always held back in school and then in the borg. I slowed down because what's the point? I eventually became a MS but not for long. I never was motivated to pormote "me" but it's insulting when you're held back only because of age.
Until the "elder" arrangement came about there were always some young brothers reaching out who had significant responsibility. This formed a chain of connectedness between the generations.
The first time I ever got drunk was when I was 16. I was a ministerial servant. They used to have servants meetings at the Congregation Overseers house. The Overseer had a job where he would get lots of gift bottles of alcoholic beverages.
The meeting was over. It was Friday night so he broke out the booze. Everyone there was a moderate drinker - but as the youngest at 16 I was a total novice. After a couple shots I was feelin' tooooo goood. They all thought it was funny. I didn't get any lectures on alcoholism, or underage drinking.
The Congregation Overseer was wise and respected and went on to be a Circuit Overseer. He died about 5 years ago.
That's the organization I grew up in. 1950-1960. Things took a turn for the worse when they started counting down to 1975. They felt they had to demonstrate their "purity". Today the organization is dysfunctional in other words "whacked".
: I could write a book about what is wrong with the structure of the Watchtower Society. They have effectivley destroyed the possibility for significant change to occur. By weakening authority no one can initiate change. Committees are notorious for maintaining the status quo. The '72 change in congregations was a coup.
Good observations, proplog2. Interestingly though, these days the organization is effectively run by one man -- Ted Jaracz. He's referred to in Bethel as "The Boss" because of his heavy handed manner. Unofficially he now wears the "mantle" once worn by Russell, Rutherford, Knorr and Fred Franz. This "mantle" is not something any Bethelite wants to acknowledge, but it's still very real, because the man who wears it is deferred to by everyone else in Bethel, including the rest of the Governing Body. Jaracz was already mostly in this position when the only man capable of challenging him died in 1998(?), Lloyd Barry. Barry's death, along with the events of 9/11 and the recent adverse publicity with respect to the Society's mishandling of child molestation cases, has allowed Jaracz to become the unchallenged master of the JW organization. Plenty of Bethelites hate the man, but suffer from the "don't touch the skirt of Jehovah's anointed" syndrome. All these things combine to produce the deadness of spirit and stagnation so evident in Watchtower doings. Nothing will change unless some major outside event forces it, or "King Saul" dies.
Interesting, Alan. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I am curious what your basis for that statement is. I can certainly confirm the part about many Bethelites disliking Jaracz, but I'm wondering what makes you say he's in control. Some of the recent trends (e.g. the Draw Close book) haven't seemed to me to smack very much of Jaracz.