Simon, OnTheWayOut, paradisebeauty …..
It seems many could not digest the equal pay (practiced in Bethel) as a good thing—some even called it communism. In fact, this aspect as the good point is from a bethelite who has a glorious past career as a Prime Minister of a country. He was brought to the Bethel as his wife had an exceptional talent Bethel was in badly need of. They agreed to serve in Bethel without taking any pay (what they call monthly allowance or PEA) as they were materially very rich. Once I got a chance to work with him closely during a District Convention, and I invited the couple to my house for a meal which they gladly accepted. When I asked him what he liked the most in Bethel, he said “the equal pay.” Remember, he has multiple Doctorate in subjects such as Political Science, Economics .. and is an ex-PM.
One can dismiss this calling it as the aspect of failed communism. This is like calling a nutritious and fruit bearing tree good-for-nothing just because it could not with stand an avalanche. Communism could not withstand the overwhelming and hostile environment around it. So what? Now I have my own personal and intimate circumstances to back up my stand. I had a very nice and peaceful atmosphere at home when my wife and I were working as employees who could afford a decent luxurious life-style. Then my wife started her own business with some people working under her. This gave her huge income. Gradually, she began to view me as good-for-nothing (while I am still the same old loving husband who still earns the same income working as a Chartered Accountant in an MNC). This I have noticed in my family also with my fleshly sisters and brothers. When they earn money using other human beings as mere machinery, that same attitude becomes dominant even towards their close relatives. I also know from my friends who are Chartered Accountants for other companies how private companies make money robbing the Governments.
[Like you, I too do not approve the expensive wrist watches ... and other gadgets the GB members have. It is better they renounce such things if sense of propriety rules them. That is for them to do. But it is understandable that a few witnesses behave like blind devotees of the paganism who believe that they will get special blessings from God if they gift out expensive things to persons such as GB, BC, Elders ...]