Need some research help

by JeffT 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • JeffT

    So I'm working on another (fictional) book project and I need some historical help. I came into the Borg in 1973, just as they were starting the new elder arrangement. I know that before that there was a Presiding Overseer who (as I understand it) ran the show. What other positions were there, and how did things run generally? My book is a young adult fantasy set in the late sixties, one character is a JW and I like to get things right. Any insight or sources you can share will be much appreciated.

  • vienne

    The ruling elders were Congregation Servant [the boss], Assistant Congregation Servant [filled role similar to secretary], and Bible Study Servant [Promoted bible study activity]. They were the congregation committee supervising congregation functioning and 'judicial' matters.

    The assistant and bible study servant were called ministerial servants. Other ministerial servants were Literature Servant, magazine servant, accounts servant, book study conductors, watchtower conductor ministry school servant. In most congregations these positions were filled by people already appointed to another office. The Congregation Servant might also have the watchtower study. The assistant might also have the ministry school. Book study conductors usually had another office. This is, i believe, how things stood in 1971.

    Earlier eras had differing designations, though they performed the same work.

    The watchtower book Your Word is a Lamp to my Feet would help with this. It shouldn't be hard to find.

    Old Goat who sometimes posts here [he's 90 I think], was a Company Servant, the predecessor title for Congregation Servant. You might PM him if you need more information. But the 'service' booklets and books are mostly found online somewhere. Other than the Lamp book, these would be Preaching and Teaching, and the predecessor Organizational Instructions.

  • waton

    under the congregation servant (position for life) were servant positions (now ms) , literature servant, accounts servant , magazine servant , in very small congregations these were held by sisters even. other ???

    ps: vienne says it better and quicker

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    Young adult male JW, time: late 1960's.

    You didn't state which country or which state or if he is from a small town or a large city.

    Don't know how technical you want to be to flesh him out, but If he is in high school part of PE (Physical Education class) for young men in a large city, included military marching and drills. JW men at that time were not allowed to do that so some had the option to take an alternate PE class, one such would be Modern Dance. Yes. They danced with the ladies and were the strong arms to do all the lifts. They were quite popular with the girls in class but their male peers rather looked down at them as "poofs".

    Also, if he was reaching to soon be 18 years old, he needed a typed letter to be sent to his parole board, explaining that being an ordained minister, he was asking for a 4F (I believe that was the number and letter, best check on that info if you need it) as he was a conscience objector to war. And that brought all of it's own problems...

    I could tell you about a whole array of different brothers in the late 1960's.

    Does your character date? Go to parties? Dress stylish? Drive his own car? Have a part time job in guessing that he is still in high school?

    Do you want to know about the ones sent to prison and how some were sent up for 2 years and some for 5?

    Some pioneered, looked around, found a willing pioneer sister and married. He either stayed pioneering for deferment or she got pregnant.

    I know one who went to college because he always wanted to be in the medical field like his father. That kept him out of pioneering and going to prison.

    He is the only brother I knew of at that time that pursued an education and a career choice from my city area. He still went to the Hall, commented and gave student talks. In later years he helped make The Blood video for WT.

    Is your young man a good JW or... ?

    Hair length. Long hair was in. JW guys didn't want to stand out as military and so they did wear their hair a bit long only around the ears and their collar, long, as in touching, not hanging.

    I am curious what kind of a JW will you make him? I hope you make him wake up to TTATT, that would be totally outstanding! I also hope too, that he is smart, gets a scholarship, after that get the job/career that he wants, finds a lovely girl to make babies with and is now a happily retired grandfather, doing exactly what he wants and is master of his own life.

  • JeffT

    Lois, this character is female. The fact that she's JW is is peripheral to the plot. She, my lead character, and another young man discover they have supernatural powers. When her parents get wind of this they think she's demonized. I just want to make sure I get the JW related details right.

    The story takes place near Seattle.

  • freddo

    As you know a young adult JW in the late 1960's would be looking forward to 1975 and would not expect to have any career in this old system of things which would shortly end.

    If he was a keen JW he might have been a Regular Pioneer aiming to put 100 hours a month into field ministry or he might be a Vacation Pioneer (now auxiliary pioneer) aiming to put 75 hours in any given month.

    But Vienne says it best.

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    Do you intend to self publish or seek an agent? Back in the dim, now distant past I wrote a YA series which was published in the 1970s. I wonder if specifying a religion for your character is a good idea. Janet Reid takes questions from writers. She's an agent I trust. She has two blogs. Submit a question through her queryshark blog or directly to her email. Ask.

    The idea sounds good. I wish you success.

  • ElderEtta

    Hi Old Goat. Is this Janet Reed from near Providence Rhode Island in the late fifties. If so I dated her younger sister Joan in the late 50s one time

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    EE, No. Janet Reid, an agent with New Leaf Literary:

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    Oh good. She's female.

    Interesting plot twist...

    Not knowing how romantically involved she wants to be with her JW Seattle living boyfriend, she accepts a date and flys down to Los Angeles to meet a tall handsome JW brother. He has arranged a double date with a pioneer couple. It is such a beautiful day, they decide to drive down to Tijuana for dinner. Afterward, while driving outside the city for a more romantic view of the lights and moon on the water, a police car shows up with his lights going round, so they have to pull over to the side of the road. The policeman stops, and walks up to the car and motions the driver to roll down his window. As the driver rolls down his window, the policeman takes a minute to look into the back seat. At that moment, the pioneer driver, steps on the gas, and guns the motor out of there as though the devil himself were after them.

    The female never told that it was her psychic powers that made that car go like he** and the policeman not be able to find them.

    The End...

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