Every now and then, my wife will talk about how things are not making sense within the org. I usually just dismiss it as her playing mind games with me. For example, she would ask why there are so many branches being closed or why so many congregations are being merged. I would just smile and tell her that growth is virtually non-existent in many parts of the world and that there is no need for so many branches and congregations. I usually just leave it at that, a vanilla and non-apostate response.
Yesterday was different. I came home from work and almost immediately, she started talking about how former Bethelites are coming back disgruntled and how pioneers are dismayed because no one is helping them within the congregation. I explained that there isn’t a need for so many Bethelites now because of technology and the internet. You don’t need hundreds of people running printing presses anymore. (Note how I avoided an apostate response. I just used simple reasoning.)
She also said that many witnesses are upset about the various mergers and dissolutions of circuits and congregations and are having a hard time adjusting. (This is the point where I tested the waters a bit with her.) I asked her how can the org say that there is so much growth when circuits and congregations are being merged and dissolved? When was the last time a new kingdom hall was built within a 50 mile radius of our home? I told her that I would have much more respect for the org if they were just straight with the witnesses and said that we are doing this to save resources. Nope. The org treats the witnesses like they are ignorant and don’t have access to information.
She wasn’t done. She talked about the child abuse issues and the “two witness rule”. My head was spinning! I told her that they are not going to change that rule because they would set themselves up for even more lawsuits, in my opinion.
We talked for several more minutes and ended with us hugging (something that we hardly ever do). As I walked up the stairs I said jokingly, “let me know if they ask you to get on a bus to Jonestown, I mean Warwick!” She responded (perhaps jokingly), “you’re an apostate!”
I guess I have some more work to do!