Why do witnesses HAVE to use only hotels on the list for the conventions?

by truthseeker 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • undercover
    Do they still open up all the bars?

    The last convention that I went to out of town we got lucky and got to stay at the nicest hotel on the "list". An old historical hotel on a hill with a grand ballroom and expansive lobby and a lobby bar tucked in the corner. I had already started my slow slide out of the "truth" and was excited about being able to find some seclusion away from the JW masses in the bar late at night. Boy, was I wrong. What a party. The JWs packed that place full each night, slamming back the drinks, getting drunk, loud and obnoxious. They kept it packed until the bar closed. So much for getting a good nights sleep so as to be fresh and alert at the convention the next morning. Had a good time though.

  • Undecided

    Garybuss, I remember those days well. We always stayed in private rooms at conventions. We had no problems though. I was put in charge of the rooming at a circuit assembly when I was eighteen, right after my dad died. I hated the job but there were no problems that I heard of from the ones who stayed in the homes. We would go into the rooms and check them out before we agreed to use them. We met some really nice worldly people this way. I wonder how they reconciled this with not associating with worldly people?

    Ken P.

  • Stealth

    This issue was my first defiant act against the WT. I would not go to the hotels on their list.

    I tried to use the WT hotel list a few times, here were my issues.

    The Elders would call ahead and get large blocks of rooms in the one hotel directly across the street from the convention. If I called this hotel when getting home from the Service meeting, they were always out of rooms. But, somehow all the JW elete family and friends seemed to not have any problem getting in.

    I ended up in some flea bag infested dump that was run by a family of filthy middle eastern third world imagrants. Hey, it was cleaner than our brothers had in Afghanistan, so why should I complain.

    The last time, I used the WT recommended room, I need two connecting rooms or a suite. We paid more and got the suite. Check in was a nightmare, people could hardly speek english. The place is overrun with JWs, never any ice in the machines, the ones that even worked at all. Then, at bed time, we try and pull out the sofa sleeper and we can't get it to pull out. I call down to the desk and the tell me that they wired it shut. WTF? You sold me a room that could sleep 6, now they tell me they wired their crappy beds shut. I try to find the manager Abu and he is MIA, suddenly there is no one in the hotel that can handle a customer service issue. Come to find out later the manager was there, but just didn't want to deal with the issue because he sold every room the the Watchtower.

    That was it for me, after that, I took care of my own reservations. We went out to eat with friends after we woke from all the clapping after the final prayer. After a nice dinner we went back to the hotel of MY choice, had the whole pool and bar to ourselves.

    The WT should stick to their core buisness, printing, and get out of the travel buisness, because they SUCK AT IT!


  • undercover

    You guys that were talking about the old rooming arrangement:

    Tell me if I'm remembering this right...when I was a very young kid, I seem to remember going door to door with my parents asking if people wanted to "put up" delegates for the upcoming assembly. It seems like that first all the local JWs that had spare rooms or beds were filled up and then we canvassed the area to get outsiders to house the rest.

    Going back to the original question. JWs are "encouraged" to use the hotel list because the WTS has more bargaining power with the hotels if they can promise the hotel that they will fill them up. They can also get some comp rooms that will be used to hold the Bethel biggies for free. It's not really that big of a deal. It does save some people a few bucks, especially people who can't afford to haul 4 or more kids to a big city and keep them in a hotel for several days.

    My own personal prejudice against the practice is that my standards may be higher than the WTS standards. A lot of the hotels on the list are sub-par hotels that I wouldn't pay to stay in at any other time, why should I pay them anything now? When they first started the system, there were nice hotels on the list and everybody fought to get in them. I remember calling the hotel that I wanted from a car phone during the meeting to make sure I got a good room. I had friends who had Tuesday meetings call me and tell me the list on Wednesday and I'd call then, before our congregation was even read the list. I've noticed, up until a couple of years ago when I left anyway, that the hotels on the list are not as nice as they once were. If I were to go to an out-of-town convention now, I'd definitely pick a hotel of my own.

    The one other thing that rings of conspiracy is that by playing up the rooming arrangement, announcing the list at the hall, giving talks on following the WTS direction aka harping on only using the approved hotels, it instills a sense of "having" to go to the convention. It makes it an all important event, one that must be attended. In short, more people attend, fill up the rooms and give money in the contribution boxes on site. In the veil of "providing" for the friends, they are actually insuring better attendance and more money intake.

  • garybuss

    We requested rooms in private homes from the public for "delegates". I went to a LOT of conventions and I never once went as a delegate. I went as an unpaid worker and as a donator, but never as a delegate. Who were the delegates? How did one get to be a delegate?

  • garybuss

    Ken, I only ever stayed in a private home that once and it was bad. I remember staying in a hotel in Kansas City in July without air conditioning in 1960. No air, no fans, it was the pits. The ball park there was not in the best neighborhood and Witness people were getting mugged at night on their way to their cars parked 5 blocks away in dark lots. It all sucked!

    It was all for nothing. Everything they preached at those conventions in 1960 has been changed a couple times since. Nothing good was really accomplished by it all.

  • TheListener

    You're not only told what hotels to call, but when to call. Starting a couple of years ago the society decided that too many of us were calling after the meeting. So now the instructions are to wait for the next business day. CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL.

    It's almost as if they want to see how much control they have.

    No talk so far this year (at least not in the KM insert) about bringing your own lunch. Perhaps they'll send another special letter.

    I know this was discussed last year, but can you believe the letter actually quoted Eccl 3:1 to show that this included a time to bring one's own lunch? I'm not sure which was worse, hearing it or having to nod my head in agreement with everyone else like some fantastic scriptural lesson was just imparted.

  • garybuss

    Most (maybe all) successful businesses have pretty tight control over their employees. The Jehovah Witless meetings are just check in for instructions for the unpaid distributors of religious literature produced by Watch Tower INC Publishing. Witnesses are just unpaid employees of the publishing company. The Baptism is their hiring. The unbaptized publisher status is a new employee probation period. The disfellowshipping is just a firing of an employee.

    Some businesses micro manage. The Watch Tower is one of those. The Witness people are stupid enough to submit to it all. I was the most stupid of all. I deserve what I got.

    The Watch Tower is kind of the Mafia of religion. It's a cross between the Mafia and Jonestown. It's a place where mean people boss stupid people.

  • RunningMan

    The society definitely gets some free rooms out of the deal. This is not unusual. When a group books a large block of rooms, it is common for the organizer to get free rooms, or discounted rates, or a kick back.

    I know for a fact that free rooms are sometimes acquired, because I stayed in one in 1979. The discounted rates are obvious. But, I have always wondered if they shake down the hotels for kickbacks. It could certainly be done, and I wouldn't put it past them, but I don't know for sure....

  • mkr32208

    I have a hard time making anything DISHONEST out of this most travel companies do the same think... What I have a hard time with is the COMPLETE and TOTAL stupidiy of the whole situation! To get their "deals" They have to commit to a certain amount of rooms to insure that the have enough people they ALWAYS underbook the rooms so there are never enough!!! never never ever enough! Stupid F*CKS how hard is it to figure "Lets see we have 9500 people coming for this assembly lets book 1200 rooms surely some of these people will have to bunk together how much money could they have being janitors..." I also love the service meeting part where they tell you not to do anything against the rules but then read between the lines its ok!

    ie don't have food in your room- arrive really early to catch all the songs and crap and don't leave for lunch... so where 's lunch coming from? well make some sandwiches in your room... but you said... nevermind...

    ie don't exceed the maximum occupancy for the room... but there are no rooms left... well see if you can room with ___... ok me and my wife and our two kids with that couple and their two kids... eight people in one room... well just don't tell anyone... ok yeah sure... idiots


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