Bethel Guest Log

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This is a guest book for former Bethelites, in any part of the world. Please leave your name and hopefully some way that others can contact you. Example that I recently received that prompted this list:

"My name is STEVE WATTERS. I served at Bethel from 1973 to 1976. Believe it or not I recognize your picture, and served you meals. I was a waiter and steward of the upper dining room. Also served breakfast to the night crews on third shift for about a year. I am finally free and now serve my God with a clear understanding of Grace.  With brotherly affection, Steve." (Steve forgot to leave an email.) 

We'd like to hear from former workers from the Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn NY and elsewhere around the globe. If you do not fit this description, or your post is vulgar, your post will be deleted. A warm welcome to my brothers around the world!  -- Randy Watters

NOTE: AS OF 4/12/05 YOUR POSTS WILL NOT APPEAR HERE BUT WILL BE REVIEWED BEFORE POSTING, DUE TO URL SPAMMERS. Send comment here.


Comments

Greetings from Randy Watters, served at Bethel in the pressroom 3-6 from 1974-1980. Please tell us who you are, email or, and how you have been doing since you left any of the Watchtower Bethels around the world! randy@freeminds.org Free Minds, Inc. PO Box 3818 Manhattan Beach CA 90266


Remote User:

Comments

My name is Vinnie!!!!! I was at Bethel from 1990-1991. I worked in the laundry dept. My nickname was hOocH. Wait a second . . . Is this an "apostate" site? Can I get in trouble for posting here? Oh crap . . .

vmontoya@bigfoot.com


Remote User:

Comments

HI! I am Gayle (Minette) Smythe. I was at Bethel '69-'74 My brother, Bill Minette was at Bethel '67-'71. Another brother, David Minette was at Bethel in the '70s. My sister, Debbie Barr, was there also '74 to late '70's. We're all out very happily. Amazing, we all went out around the same time with our different experiences. Our dad was probably one of the strongest JWs, raising us strictly in it,however, he is proudly  disfellowshipped for apostasy.


Remote User:

Comments

Raised in the "truth"; I was at Bethel from 1986 to 1988. "Left" Bethel, stayed in Brooklyn as a Pioneer for a few years, and just walked away from it all in 1993. Freedom of thought, expression, and a true use of my "conscience" is a wonderful thing! Currently live in Westchester County, New York - though I have plans to move back to Manhattan, where I work. My work e-mail: michael.sidoti@mla.org

At Bethel, people knew me as "Joel" Sidoti - now I am Michael. Thanks!

-Michael


Remote User:

Comments

Hi I'm Ernie Watts. I lived in the Towers and worked in the Home Repair shop in the mid 70's.Debbie Barr's name sounds familiar, she could of been my house keeper. I live in Tennessee now. emwatts@bellsouth.net


Remote User:

Comments

I served in Bethel from 1984-88. I worked in purchasing.


Remote User:

Comments

My name is Dave Brown. I worked at Brooklyn Bethel from Sept of 1973 to Feb of 1975 and then transferred to WT Farms until Feb of 1976. My Brooklyn assignment was in the bindery with a several month stint on the night shift. At WT Farms I worked in the magazine department (subscriptions, graphotype, addressograph). Had some great times and some great friends but found a more sure source of spiritual light. Dave Brown DTBrown@aol.com


Remote User:

Comments

Hi guys 'n girls, I served in the British Bethel 1978 - 1982. The bullying lies and deceit eventually got to me and I left, pioneered for a short while afterwards and one day literally walked out of the Kingdom Hall and didn't return.

It hurt for a long time, I missed what I thought were my friends. Yet, still I feel a comeraderie with those who were "real human beings". I think all the honest hearted ones bailed out.....but what potential there could have been for a strong forward moving Christian congregation. 'Fraid the WTS is now too tainted with sticky commercial fingers.....the Spirit has gone and the stock brokers have taken over....it is commercial, wordly wise and devoid of any human feeling. That makes me very sad at heart. God bless


Remote User:

Comments

Daniel from Sweden. During 1992 I served at the Swedish Bethel in Arboga, and 1993 at Bethel in Selters, Germany. I was working with the new constructions being made at these Bethels, but during the time in Germany I got sick of it all and left for Frankfurt. Later on I got disfellowshipped for apostasy, actually for comments made on the internet... :-)

Anyhow, I am a TRUELY happy and free atheist today, and just feels sad for the fact that thousands of persons are loosing their individuality to become a part of Bethel "families" around the world. Oops, I said "the world", forgot, they are not a part of it, hmmm, hehe...


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, December 04, 2000
Time:
09:02:15 AM

Comments

Hi-

My name is Jeff Schwehm. I served at Bethel in Brooklyn from 1987 to 1988. I worked on the paint and scaffold crew. I eventually went to college after leaving Bethel and now I teach chemistry at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska (www.cune.edu) If any of you would like to correspond with me feel free to e-mail me at jschwehm@seward.cune.edu

Jeff S.


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, December 04, 2000
Time:
01:42:37 PM

Comments

Tom Cabeen. Brooklyn Bethel 1968-1980: Kitchen Nov 1968-July 1969; Pressroom July 1969-July 1980 (Pressroom Overseer ~1977-1980). Met Randy Watters 1974, life went haywire! Too many hard questions! Congregations: Queens Spanish 1969-1970, Greenpoint Spanish 1970-1974, Newark French 1974-1978 Jackson Heights 1979-1980 Now living in Connecticut. email: tcabeen@javanet.com


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, December 07, 2000
Time:
05:54:11 PM

Comments

Hi Brothers & Sisters, I have never served at Bethel, but I was a JW for nearly 20 years. with my wife and four children. Praise God, we found out in 1981 that the Jesus of the WT was not as great as the Jesus of the Bible.

I am now 50 years old and enjoy serving our Heavenly Father in a way not tainted by the teachings of WT Society. This is also the case for the other members our family. For example, our eldest son Barry, 25 yrs. of age, is a youth pastor in a Christian Church in Lisbon, Portugal, and works, with his wife Raquel, in the interest of the young people under their care.

As My wife came from a JW family here in Ireland, we had to suffer total family rejection by her parents, of not only us, but our children as well. For many years we had bitter hearts against anything to do with WT Society, but then we were shown by the Holy Spirit that Jesus died for them as he died for us.

Just pray for them that our Heavenly Father will hear their knocking and touch their hearts in the most beautiful way.

In His Wonderful Name,

Colm Henry, 6. Willow Court, Mount Arbour, Limerick, IRELAND.

Phone :00353 61 303056 E Mail: chenry @iolfree.ie 08. Dec'2000


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, December 08, 2000
Time:
05:47:14 PM

Comments

I served at Brooklyn Bethel from 1963-1967. I was in Brooklyn for about 3months and then got transferred to the Kingdom Farm in South Lansing, NY near Ithaca. I took care of the pigs and worked in the slaughter house and went to the Ithaca Cong.I was on the societies speaking list. I left to get married and received an assignment as Cong. Overseer and Special Pioneer in Franklinvill, NY. We then moved to Ellwood City, PA and I served as the Presiding Overseer there. Then we moved to Wheeling, WV, where I served as an Elder and was used as an Instructor for the Kingdom Ministry School for Elders. I had a bout with depression and stepped down from being an Elder. Aftter that I was treated like I had the plague. Many of those who I thought were my friends no longer had much to say. I divorced my wife of 25 years and was disfellowshipped and after two years was glad to be re-instated. Things were ok for a little while and then I hit bottom due to depression. I tried to commit suicide three times. I still believe many of the real truths of the Bible, but am now having a hard time with some of the structure of the Society and cannot go along with it. I have not been to a meeting in about 4 months and no one has came to see me or call. I now live alone. I have no friends, as all of my friends were witnesses. I am seperated from my second wife due to the bad treatment I have received from her and my stepchildren who are in the truth. I have so much hurt in my heart and feel so very lonely. How does one go about re-connecting with what they call the World? If you would like to correspond, my e-mail address is ColerainRJB@msn.com. Thanks for listening. RJB


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, December 09, 2000
Time:
06:25:35 AM

Comments

My name is Carol Dreher, my husband's name is Erich

We were at WT Farm from Jan. 1982 to April 1984

cdreher@ptd.net


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, December 13, 2000
Time:
03:14:49 PM

Comments

Hi all,

I was at Brooklyn 1981 through 1983.

Peace.

Steve Ferriss circle@ntplx.net


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, December 25, 2000
Time:
10:41:08 PM

Comments

Hello. My name is Michael Welte I was in Bethel in from 1973 to 1977. It was a powerful experience learning to discern the thoughts of God and the thoughts from men. Life is a journey and I still travel its paths seeking to know the greater truths. I am forever thank-full to all the people that I came to know at Bethel it was through them that I found the cause and effect of being a truth seeker. Feel free to contact me at MRW43@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, December 31, 2000
Time:
01:11:11 PM

Comments

dennis holland 221 hinkleyville road spencerport new york 14559 dhgreentree @aol.com i served at bethel for 3 yrs from 1973 to 1976 really. i worked in the factory on a elevator in bldg 3 I AM STILL HAUNTED BY THE WITNESSES


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, January 10, 2001
Time:
04:16:45 PM

Comments

does anyone now what happened to Bill Beckman who was overseer of room assighments. He was there around 1973on. Contact DHgreentree@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, January 13, 2001
Time:
07:42:03 AM

Comments

Hi

My name is Brett Young. I served at Bethel in South Africa for three years working on Construction. I left in 1992. If anyone out there knows where I can get a hold of Jane Turner, PLEASE email me or ask Jane to do so. My email addy is mgddisco2000@hotmail.com If anyone else knows me or would like to chat email me! I would LOVE to share a few stories with you! I have quite a few juicy ones for you!! LOL


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, January 16, 2001
Time:
04:27:48 AM

Comments

I served in bethel in London 1998-1999

I am still pioneering and enjoy it.


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, January 16, 2001
Time:
09:32:46 PM

Comments

Bob Witty. Bethel 1969 to 1974. Chile 1974 to 1979. Worked in factory electric shop. Wired new MAN presses, troubleshooting in press room and bindery.

bobwitty@home.com


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Time:
04:10:23 PM

Comments

I am a current JW, although inactive, but I would like to get in contact with former members in order to know how to leave the org, because people say in the internet it takes much longer than I may think....thanks to all of you MY REAL BROTHERS andrespvcl@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, January 18, 2001
Time:
03:03:40 AM

Comments

I met and fell in love with Cédric Griffith in 1990, he was disfellowshiped along with Johnny Pedigrue around the early 90s after leaving Brooklyn Bethel. Does anyone know where they are : email to ledixhuit@yahoo.com.

Thank you.


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, January 21, 2001
Time:
11:00:27 PM

Comments

Hi, Bill Carson here--served 74-76 on the seventh floor. We were ALWAYS above you guys. I was a press operator. I have mixed feelings on some of what I have read on your website. I am disfellowshipped, but deservedly so in this case. I do not think my years at Bethel were wasted, however. I'm a better person for it...

icdlfn2@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, January 28, 2001
Time:
06:37:15 PM

Comments

My name is Steve I did not serve at Bethel but i did get the grand tour of the lavish hotels and all of the WT buildings in NY and at the farm. I am still astonished at the money they have and dumbfounded when they bash other religions for their holdings. I was a witness for 10 years and disassociated myself after seeing the most disgusting display of back-biting, lying and dismembering of families i have ever seen. I was going thru a very heavy crisis in my life and the elders would bang on my door, literally bang and then phone my house when i did not answer and then return minutes later and bang even harder. Naugatuck,Ct. congregation has been so pathetic its hard to believe. They ignored my plea for help and instead planted another member from the congregation to befriend us and then report all of our activities to the elders. This member finally had a crisis of conscience and told us of this disgusting scheme. I immediately disassociated myself and now see some of my best friends totally ignore me because the watchtower tells them to. Go figure.


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, February 07, 2001
Time:
10:04:56 AM

Comments

I was at Bethel (75-78)I worked in the kitchen with Otto Zilke.(anyone know him?)John Booth used to come by alot.Don Krebs, etc.But my last message was deleted off this board.Why?I said I was at Bethel in that one too.Is the bible banned at this site? How strange!Just for mentioning a few scriptures.I dont belong to any church of man.I got nothin to sell.Why are the managers of this site haters of the Word of God? He is Jesus Christ. Or is it something else? Write and tell me Randy yhvb@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, February 09, 2001
Time:
03:24:05 PM

Comments

Hi i am disfellowshiped for my neg behavior... i was at watchtower farms...74 and 75...loved it...best experence of my life without a doubt except for my two kids births...i belive it is the truth and that those in the society are God's chosen people ... i saw too much good and too much wonderful work there ...for top to bottom ... from the ones who had the heavey responsibility...to the little ones like me...we all worked hard...together...May Jehovah's name be praised..on earth as it is in heaven! He knows what He is doing i just need to trust him...i hope to be back in the truth one day...hopefull soon..of course every time i start making progress ...everything gets all screwed up...but hopefull i will overcome those fears and trust Jehovah more to a finall outcome of being an approved memeber of his congergation again..." a day in your camp is better than a thousand else where...! yuma1655@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Time:
09:03:19 AM

Comments

Does anyone know about: David Linden, Keith Darling or Jr. Strickland?

What about Steve Jankovich who was a circuit overseeer in the 50's? Thanks!

granny2@alltel.net


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, February 19, 2001
Time:
10:48:25 AM

Comments

Hello! I'm Jason Evans, originally from Georgia now in Seattle, worked in Brooklyn Bethel's sweat shops (literally) from 1990-1993. I worked in the Job Press with some incredible people, and I sincerely hope their lives are giving them all they want, no matter if they're still JW's or not. Please contact me if you remember me. Email is jevansinseattle@home.com or nwgayxjw@yahoo.com

Take care all!


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
Time:
05:01:48 PM

Comments

Hi, I served at Bethel from '72 to '76. I served in the press room. I was in brooklyn for most of '73 and was transfered to Watchtower farms to run one of the magazine presses. I would like to give my name but am afraid of the WTBTS gestapo. Although I am not DF, my family is very much programed by WTBTS. So to keep my life simple I live in a closet. I deprogramed myself about 15 years ago. I read Ray's book and everything fell in place. I no longer can can accept the opinion of the WTBS as an article of religious faith, and will not be held as a spiritual hostage. Remember- a religion that has all the answers allows no questions. If you would like to E-mail me my address is Mann377@lycos.com. I would like to talk to former press operators (come on you potlickers)


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Time:
09:28:14 PM

Comments

I wasn't at Bethel, but my congregation on Long Island had alot of Bethelites. (I lived in Valley Stream;was a witness from 73-81) Does anyone remember John Kurzen (who passed away in the late 70's)? Wondering if anyone knows what happened to his wife, Jessie. John was responsible for inventing that record player used by the witnesses in their door to door work in the 30's or 40's. He was probably the sweetest, smartest and most humble person I ever had the privilege of knowing. I've always wondered what he really believed, in his heart, about the organization.(He was raised as a "Bible Student",way back to the days of Rutherford. His parents may have even been associated with Russell.) Some other Bethelites I knew really well (they were more my age) were Rob & Ruth Lawrence; Bobby Batcko & John Wischuck (he was older than me). I also have a nephew who currently is at the farm(which I know only because the rest of my family have never been witnesses, so my brother is allowed to speak to them)...his (my nephew's)name is Jared Csernica. He was about 5 yrs old in 1981, which is the year I disassociated myself & was DF'ed; so he's never been allowed to speak to me since then. My name is Christine Csernica, but was known by my former married name of Chris Boeck during my years as a JW. I currently live in Colorado. Hope to hear from someone who recognizes any of the names I've mentioned. My e-mail is Wiseone733@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, March 24, 2001
Time:
04:45:50 AM

Comments

Hello. I hope this page can help me. My ex-husband is a J.W., and I am not and do not wish to be. We are divorced, and he is raising my children, on his time anyway, as J.W.'s. He is planning a trip to Bethel New York this summer, with them. In the past, he has talked about taking them to live at Bethel in New York. I am afraid he might take them and not return. I don't know much about Bethel New York, and of course, you can't find out anything unless you're "one of them". I don't know how realistic my fear is. Maybe it is, in fact, just a visit. Or maybe he plans to kidnap them and I need to get a restraining order in place right now. Please, any information anyone can share would be greatly appreciated. Strahub@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, April 18, 2001
Time:
08:08:46 PM

Comments

Hello Mr. Watters. I was wandering if you knew Dan Parke when you was in bethel(mid 70's). He later married a sister from tennessee and eventualy moved out here in west texas. He is a tough son of a bitch, nobody likes him in the congragation or in this small town. He is always boasting about his four year stit at Bethal how it carved him into the elder he is today. I was wondering if you can e-mail me and tell me what he was like in Bethal. He has a big nose if that would jog your memory. He has this habit of judging people (no holds barred) whether they're overweight, from California, they have a job as a garbageman or they own their own business that doesn't contradict any of the bibles teachings. I have known him for close to ten years and seen him personally run off pioneers, elders, or anyone that he sees as as doing something beneath his dignity. I have heard him give talks on personal needs of the congragation and manipulating scriptures to sound like any overweight people in the congragation should be ashamed of how they look to the world. He even made some sisters feel that they should step aside as pioneers. I'm disfellowshiped now from something I knew was wrong, but I did it as a means to get out from under his manipulative behaviore. It was so much of a relief when I heard the elder announce to the congragation that I have been disfellowshiped. When I cried it was tears of joy. But I know in my heart that this is not where I want to be and I have mixed feelings about going back to the mental slavery of one man, Dan Parke. Maybe you can help me understand him what he was like back then in Bethatl jrtex_us@hotmail.com


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, May 05, 2001
Time:
11:45:31 PM

Comments

I was a ministerial servant when I visited bethel, we had friends there, I was raised a jw so it was a dream come true when I was able to visit bethel. little did I know it would be a nightmare. I couldn't beleive what I saw, our friend was a table head for meal time. I was shocked when I saw the way the brothers treated those boys at lunch time. our friends asked us to go eat with them so we excitedly accepted. a loud bell went off and people were actually running towards the lunchroom like the place was on fire!! I asked our friends about this, they said you only get 30 min. to eat AND BE BACK TO WORK!! then came the food people running around with big bowls of food throwing them on the table me and my wife were in shock. what the hell is going on, I thought, then to top it all off I saw guys at our table waving at my friend I asked him why they were waving he said they had to ask him permission to leave! what I said, its a part of there training. training for what, I thought my wife nudged me so I dropped it. we then took a tour of the place. WHAT a JOKE!! WE WEREN'T allowed to take pictures all the doors to all the rooms were closed we walked down hallways. this was the big tour I looked forward to all my life? WHAT a JOKE!! we then walked by SIDLIC's office everyone got excited one of the governing body. everyone asked to meet him but our guide said, he was busy. I couldn't take it I knocked on the door to the shock of our party. I heard a loud RUDE voice yell "who is it" not ready for such an outburst all I could think of to say was "one of Jehovahs Witnesses" he opened the door about 3 inches what do you want he said we just wanted to say hi. thank you he said and then grabbed the tour guide into his office and scold him I know this because when he came out I asked him what Sidlic said, all he said was it didn't go well. I was P.O.ed I traveled 1000 miles to visit this most holy place only to be treated like an outcast. who in the hell did this guy think he was? I was born a jw I had dedicated my whole life to this organization being told by my parents that they were god almighty. we then had to meet our friends for dinner the same crap hapenned again that happened at lunch when the meal was over i saw a young man waving his hand again at my friend to get permission to leave I couldn't take it anymore I then raised my hand and asked permission to leave my friend laughed and said I didn't have to ask permission to leave because I was a guest. I said no not anymore and we left. we then spent the rest of our vacation doing ENJOYABLE things in New York. however this did have a good ending within a year I stepped down as a M.S.

KUZINRUSSELL@AOL.COM


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, May 12, 2001
Time:
05:06:33 AM

Comments

Hello there. My name Andrew and I did my time at the Australia Bethel. I started there in 1986 and did three years, leaving in 1989. I did lots of cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. I met and made some good friends, made some even stronger enemies and brewed up a very heady brew of scepticism with a dash of (gasp!) independent thinking! Well it's all over now and whilst it's tough starting again, at times the freedom is intoxicating. Regards Andrew (werdnat@hotmail.com)


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, May 29, 2001
Time:
11:59:47 AM

Comments

I am Robert Downing I was a graduate of the 35th Class of Gilead (the last at the farm). I live in Cleveland Ohio. I served in the Luanshya Northern Rhodesia Bethel in 1960-61 and several stints at the Kitwe Bethel. I was a missionary in Ndola N.R. Brfoken Hill (Now Kabwe) and in Livingstone. I served in the English speaking circuit as Circuit Servant, and filled in as a District Servant several times in the African districts. Came back to the states (after 10 years) and was an Elder in the Cleveland Area, until I gave the body of elders a "You cant fire me, I quit" letter In october 1981. I am now some what of a Gay Activist. And live a good life where there is no "gnashing of teeth as I was lead to think there might be.


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, June 10, 2001
Time:
12:07:12 AM

Comments

My name is Richard Murray. I was at Bethel from 1968 through 1971. Upon arriving I realized the lack of Christianity in the operation. I used to work on a printing press and used to think about how all magazines, books and bibles were paid for in advance by the Witnesses, and what a financial windfall this must be for the "organization". Not to mention all of their real estate holdings throughout the world, etc. I left the organization mentally while at Bethel. I left completely in 1984.

The young people who were at Bethel when I was there are not young anymore. I know that most of them were sincere and hard working people. I hope that their lives have provided them some real happiness since their exposure to Satan's Brooklyn Chapter of Hell.

My wife, three children and I attend a nice Presbyterian Church now. The kids love God and I enjoy watching them grow up normally instead of the way I was raised as a Witness. Contact me, if you knew me at RRich49@mediaone.net.


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, June 15, 2001
Time:
11:25:33 AM

Comments

"My name is José María el Tempranillo. I served at Bethel in Spain from 1981 to 1996. In other moment i would write about Bethel in Spain. Now I would like to know about personal experiences of those that have spend their lives in the full time ministry, losing their natural perspectives of paternity or maternity. Because, I think that is not necessary to lost this wonderful gift from God just for the convenience of a human structure. The same labor could do by volunteers during a short period of time... perhaps two three years. It is cruel to private a lot of women of the priviledge of maternity... somenthing natural. With love, José María. email: josemariaeltempranillo@yahoo.es


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, June 17, 2001
Time:
09:09:46 PM

Comments

I graduated from the 35th class of Gilead (1960). Assigned at Brooklyn Bethel for a few weeks, workng in several printing departments. Accompanied Jack Redford to the Philippine branch. I set up the first printing operation there. I have worked with many fine brothers in the faith. And I recognize that Satan has been the key to many of the problems of the WT. The WT is Satan's target. The Governing Body and elders have put forth good efforts but like all that fall short of perfection, they have sinned, some to a greater degree willfully. I pray for them and hope they can be honest and "individually" correct their ways. The first step to this is recognizing the only one Jehovah has given to represent the truth: Jesus Christ. All other man made organizations are only "arrangements" and I have disassociated myself from them. But to my God Jehovah and His son Jesus, I have continued my dedication. I have been shunned for this. Many innocent ones wrongly follow the WT "organization" and will find mercy. I served in many ways in Utah after returning to US. The watchman in the WT need to wakeup, it's not too late. Randy Watters has done the right thing to report and watch the activity of the WT. Thanks. Phil Benson <petro777@webtv.net>


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Time:
08:45:52 PM

Comments

My Name is Mark Nathan, And was in BETHEL From 1963 to 1967.My email address is Markonbay@aol.com. I am so curious about the guys who were there that I knew and left the Watchtower.


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Time:
01:45:52 PM

Comments

Hello,

Great job keeping this site up and running. My name is Philip Dickson and I served in Brooklyn Bethel from 86-87. Worked in the Mail department (Building 2 tenth floor). I recently received an email from a fellow Bethel Buddy and it prompted me to look for more. I left organization in 88 and have never looked back (well not too hard hehe). I am thankful for the opportunity of meeting so many fine and wonderful people as a child and teen in the organization. However I saw a few too many things that just did not make sense and so I choose to leave. I love my life now and would not change anything about it. I feel my relationship with God is stronger now than ever even though I do not attend any church regularly. Being in the organization was good in many ways in my youth but upon entering manhood I began to realize it was not an organization I wanted to be a part of all my life. I cherish the friends and good times I had while in. I welcome any of you to please contact me so that we can shoot the breeze and catch up. I now live in Arlington, Texas. I would love to hear from others that I served with back in the 80's. Brings back many good and funny memories. You can find some recent Pics of me at http://photos.yahoo.com/dicksonphoto Please drop me an email if you recognize my ugly face. texasphilter@yahoo.com.

I hope you all find that special thing that makes each of us happy. I know that I have found happiness now and have made other very wonderful and special friends. I welcome you to contact me and maybe we can even squeeze in 18 holes on the course. If you plan on contacting me to encourage me to re-enter the organization, I ask that you think twice and not offer the invitation. I will admit it was good that I was in as a child ( it helped keep me out of trouble and gave some great experiences, although I wish I could have played football and other sports) but now as an adult I no longer need that protection. Good luck to you who are searching for the answer to life's hard questions. Please remember that we gave of ourselves (going door to door) so I suggest that you get involved with your community and volunteer your time. It helps fill the gap left by field service and is a good way to meet nice people and make new friends (friends loyal to you and not to some big shot elder). This is what life is all about.


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, August 13, 2001
Time:
01:18:00 PM

Comments

Hi, my name is Greg Jeffrey. I was at Brooklyn Bethel between 1982 and 1985. I worked in the Home Paint Shop. Besides working in the home, I got to work on renovation projects at the assembly halls in Brooklyn and Jersey City ("the Stanley") when the Society purchased them.

I can say both positive and negative things about my experiences in Bethel (...and in "The Organization," for that matter...I disassociated myself a couple of years ago...). Though I am no longer a Witness (by choice), it would be unfair and untruthful for me to say that nothing good came from my years as one. I left voluntarily because I'm gay and could no longer live a double life.

All that being said... if anyone remembers me from those days at Bethel, and is willing to try to contact me, please do so. (Even if you don't know me, but would like to reach out to me, please go ahead.) I'd love to hear from you! E-mail me at: gjeffrey213@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, October 14, 2001
Time:
07:34:23 PM

Comments

Hi "potlickers", Paul Blizard here, Brooklyn Bethel '73-'76 Shipping Dept (Squibb) Freight elevevator operator (Squibb) Night shift Bindery and finally Towers Hotel construction. Looking for any of my buddies who have left the "witchtower" and have found freedom. Oh...I forgot my "G-job." I worked at Rovnack's Princess Manor in Queens as a waiter. (back then I couldn't afford my beer on the $14.00 per month allowance!)

Website: www.watchthetower.com


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, October 25, 2001
Time:
08:50:41 AM

Comments

Hi, I served in Brooklyn from 1988-1996. I suffered a work related injury that was not permanent. I enjoyed Bethel tremendously. However they asked me to leave after the injury. I felt very rejected and hurt. Since then, it has been very very hard for me to let go of the hurt and pain that being asked to leave caused my wife and me. Mostly me. I am still serving Jehovah. However I do not trust anyone who puts emphasis on "titles". It would be so nice just to have a letter of apology or follow up on how I am doing since that situation changed my life. I am no longer serving and struggle just to keep my head above water. sincerely, an ex bethelite


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, November 02, 2001
Time:
08:48:13 PM

Comments

My name is Frank Toth. I was a member of the Brooklyn Bethel "family" from 1958 to 1985 and of the Canada Bethel "family" from 1985 to 1994 (when I left JWs). This was briefly interrupted in 1969 when my now deceased wife Dianne and I were assigned as special pioneers in Wisconsin for about two years. I now live in Canada not far from the huge Bethel estate located in Georgetown, Ontario. (fjtoth@canada.com)


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, November 03, 2001
Time:
08:08:11 PM

Comments

Hola Saludos a todos no soy una persona que haya estado en Bethel pero me gusta leer sobre los ex-testigos de Jehova pero en mi desconocimiento de su creencia noto algo raro que todos critican a la WT pero ninguno dice la razón de su salidad verdadera todos se escudan en que cambiaron su forma de pensar. Hasta e leeido de que ingresan a otras religiones sectarias comó por Ej. la presviteriana y ahora estan más contento acaso de esa creencia no salio Charles T. Russell, Bueno estoy viendo mucha gente heridad pero no fisicamente si no espiritualmente,veo aqui el juego de la Politica que cuando un miembro es marginado por sus lideres lamentablemente no habla bién de estos si no que se aparta de todo miembro de su ex-colectividad y hasta forman su propio partido pero aunque el caso de ustedes no es terrenal si no espiritual, no se aparta de este Ej. Recordando las palabras del maestro de maestro el Sr. Jesus menciona que conoceran la verdad y la verdad la los hara libre !Bueno? si ustedes que sirvieron a Jehova por tanto tiempo y estan tan perdidos emocionalmente que se puede esperar de nosotros las personas que no servimos a Dios, Llegaremos a hacernos incredulos, Entonces las demas religiones que concemos aqui en ocidente todas son iguales execto con alguna variante teologica, pero igual de desordenados en sus cultos alborotosos y Yo he leeido que Dios es un Dios de orden y de paz todas esas religiones catolicas,protestante,evangelicas todas hacen lo que le da la gana pueden ir a la guerra y matarce y con eso le sirven a la patria. Oye Dios dice No Mataras y Ama a tu Projimo comó a ti mismo bueno tenemos el Ej...hoy dia en Irlanda del Norte entre Catolicos y Protestantes que ironia verdad en mi país cuando las Iglesias protestantes ó evangelicas y catolicas ó cristianas hacen un culto en un estadio o coliseo al otro dia tal parece que no estaban reunidos personas que adoran a Dios por lo sucio y la basura que dejan estas llamados cristianos en estas facilidades.Si estos son adoradores de Dios el dice por sus frutos los conoceras y estos no son nada positivos, puesto que Jesus era organizado y limpio verdad o me equivoco,pues si estos siguen a Jesus comó su Ej...no lo demuestran con su conducta tengo conocidos cristianos que su conciencia esta envotada no tienen filo por que si usted se lleva algo de su trabajo esta robando y ellos no les importa y eso que la palabra dice no Robaras, Bueno que entonces queda para el hombre que no tiene a Jehova Dios en su vida cuándo lee tantas cosas en el Internet de tanto Ex-Testigo de Jehova hablando mal de la sociedad WT y del cuerpo gobernante. En algo si estoy de acuerdo con ustedes ex-testigos, Que la palabra de Dios no es exclusiva de nadie y el Espiritud Santo de Jehova no es exclusivo de nadie Dios en su Amor nos dio la libertad de escojer y esto incluye el libre pensamiento comó se le va a prohibir a una persona a leer la palabra de Dios cuando toda escritura es inspirada por Dios y provechosa en todo momento puesto que es la unica forma escrita que tenemos de conocer su proposito. Y todos sabemos que Jesus vino a esta tierra a darse comó un sacrificio perfecto por toda la raza humana y por eso somos libres para leer por nosotros mismos las escrituras y poder conocer del plan divino que Dios tiene con la humanidad, Acaso el mismo Jesus dijo Esto significa vida eterna el que adquierán, conocimiento de ti el unico Dios verdadero, entonces comó es la unica forma pues leyendo la Biblia que Inspirada para el humilde de corazón y no para los Intelectuales que piensan que se lo saben todo. Y tan pronto estos humildes tuvieron este conocimiento de la boca de Jesus los envio a predicar por toda la tierra habitada y les dijo que les dejaria un Ayudante el Espiriud Santo que este le haria recordar todas las cosas que el les enseño y por eso le hablarian a reyes y Jefes y lideres de Naciones por que Jehova es más grande que Ellos y le daria su Espiritud Santo para hacerle recordar las enseñanza de su Hijo.Bueno a qui me despido y le digo hasta luego este es mi E-Mail sr_bolero@hotmail.com Apresiados Saludos para el Sr. Randall Watters disculpe mi Atrevimiento y mi Ignorancia quedo de Ustedes Cordiamente José Hernández desde Puerto Rico. GRACIAS!


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, November 11, 2001
Time:
01:22:28 PM

Comments

Wanted a few good turkeys, potlickers need not apply

Right, I too was once a new boy! But one advantage was that I had been living in New York City since 1959. Name and Rank - Dominique Repolt - 8th floor Bindery. 

Poor John Adams, looking back I think he lost his bet. I broke the rule and dated a girl when I had still two years of service to go before making parole. Yes John, I am still married to that same 1st girl friend and we have added two children to the fold. Would you believe my son just turned 19 and this year celebrate our 26 years of marriage.

I have but one wish, but that every man find such a good wonderful person, friend and wife.

My bethelite years spanning from July 23 1971 to July 23, 1975, On walking out I had survived as the place was being turned inside out.

Good early advice I got for a former bethelite - Keep your eyes, ears open and mouth shut. Kinda like milatary don't tell, don't ask, just watch out.

I got to meet some of the finest, Timothy Galfas, Ulysees Glass, Raymond Franz, Dan Sydlick, Thom and Gloria Cabeen, Thomas Cecil, Drew Wasko, Fred Fredean, Karl Adams,and Roy Bartoff just to name a few. John Bechtel, my roommate I was to learn later became a mayor somewhere in Ohio. Poor Barbara, she ended up with less than what she deserved. Last heard that John had left her behind with 3 children. My heart goes out to her even today.

Another gold rule I was given - Don't be late or miss breakfast. Sunnyside up eggs (boing, boing) and white sauce gray train. Man did that stuff remind me of vomit. But I got to eat it and learned to accept it. What's the matter boy, don't you like stuffed peppers? Your mama aint here to cook for you this is wholesome food. Although my folks lived in the city I rarely went back to see them but maybe twice over 4 years.

I was soon assigned to the French Congregation in Newark New Jersey and commuted there 3 or 4 times a week. A busy schedule it was, entrance school, meeting attendance, watchtower study, talks, assignments whatever. After 2 years I was ready to leave.

But I met up with a french girl on a tour visiting from France and before long she moved to America and lived in Brooklyn Heights. It was there that I caught up with my appetite. I stuck out the ride and finally on August 3, 1975 we got married at the Bethel Kingdom Hall, Timothy Galfas gave the talk.

Well I've since turned 50 on September 13, and a lot of things have changed since there. So if you still believe in Jehovah, Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, your doing well. Better yet if your still reading the bible in maintaining an accurate knowledge.

But if your interested in hearing more, I have many stories to relate. Including the dramatic birth of my son which left me single handly fighting back both the Flushing Hospital, Doctors and Queen's district Court. I took a bath, lost my case and got slapped with the charge of child abuse. Fortunate that I got to keep my son. My call for help was never answered and I am ashamed to say that one individual that I called was what he remains today a bethelite and congregation elder. Ouch, yes that did hurt and left a deep emotional scar.

The rest is submerged in both time and events.

I have come to know personally of much hurt in the process and of the many that like myself are yet dealing with both the complexities of what we commonly refer as the truth. Unrelentless and merciless persecution it might well be. Far more difficult to endure than physical persecution. As our mental, emotionally, and spiritual sands are attacked and carried away by waves driven by tides. Today, my beach is small and bare. Day by day I am exherting and panting to shore up my little dunes.

For me too life is a constant struggle. Even more as I have become a handicapped person.

The end it is alright. Each must pull his own weight through thick and thin with or without dependance on any society, organization, Governing body, Elders and/or whatever. There is no free lunch nor free ride. Longing forthat glorious day that still escape us.

And if at the end of the narrow road I loose my life either way will I have come to experience permanent relief from many agonies.

May you have peace in your life!

Sincerely, Dominique Repolt

ADDED NOTE 8/13/07:

Dominique's brother writes: "Sadly, my dear brother passed away in Dec '03 with the local elders in the Crofton MD congregation refusing to give the funeral talk, and at the funeral home at that, not the Kingdom Hall.  Their decision was based primarily on what my brother wrote in that aforementioned letter in addition to the fact that he long stopped attending the local meetings.  I couldn't believe it!"


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, November 15, 2001
Time:
09:23:37 AM

Comments

Hi: I'm a former Bethel Elder, but I didn't get disfellowshipped when I left Bethel. [Oh . . . you meant BROOKLYN Bethel? My bag1 ;~)]

Seriously, I didn't get accepted at Bethel when I applied, in 1968. They told me I needed to pioneer for a while, first. Then my pioneer applicaiton was turned down, because I had a job that worked nights and caused me to miss ONE MEETING a week. Ironically, I figured working nights would leave me PLENTY of time to pio, during the day. Silly me!

So, since I couldn't pioneer . . .

Anyhow, in 1974 God set me free from the b'ORG; and about a month after I accepted Christ I joined Bethel: the Bethel Baptist Institutional Church in Jacksonville, FL.

I actually just wrote this note to commend you, Randy, on this powerful site. I discovered it in 1998, and have been a fan ever since.

Keep up the good work Rev. Raymond Allan Johnson http://www.xjw-central.com


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
Time:
02:56:18 PM

Comments

I served from May 1, 2001 to May 7, 2001 I left when I was unable to get re-assigned from what I called under my breath "Shit duty" I was told I would have to perform this "duty" but I thought I'd take a chance being since I was in construction.

To no avail.

I had read very little of C of C before I left for Bethel. This obviously did not help me with my humbleness towards this type of work.

I new I had disgraced myself, but more importantly my congregation. I was privately reproved for being uncooperative and having a bad attitude per the letter from the society that was partially read to me.

To make a long story short, I finished C of C and here I am!

A tax paying, law abiding, non-murdering, non-adulterating, non-drunkard, APOSTATE.

I made my mother proud!

Peter Rappa peter_rappa@tachen.com


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, December 09, 2001
Time:
07:50:49 PM

Comments

Although I was never a Bethelite, I too was raised in the "truth" and would like to quickly share my thoughts. I have skimemd through various posts here in this forum, and have read about individuals being denied the right to play sports etc etc. I would like to recount my own...I was raised as a JW and standing aver a foot taller than everybody else growing up, I had a natural, albeit awkward talent for basketball. I can recall having fun, playing anyone that dared face me, only to dunk over them with fury. Throughout my late high school years, a brother by the name of Mark McCallum wanted to, and started "studying" with me. It was more like the two of us talking about life and just conversing about things in general and him putting the WTS perspective out there for me. At this point in my life, I was near completion of high school and was heading south to an American school for a full basketball scholarhship. I remember how Mr. McCallum had tried to persuade me to forego that route and avoid that stuff at all costs. He claimed my playing would open me up to thing like drug addiction, "loose women" (as he put it), and all the "evil temptations". This was back in the summer of 1995. It it stands, I ended up playing 2 years down at the pennsylvania school (that gave me the scholarship), then moved back home and played b-ball for 2 community colleges before I was done my education. During that time, I had the misfortune of having 4 friends pass away on me in a 2 year period and my parents had gotten divorced. It is now December 2001, and although I never made it pro, let me tell you that going down and experiencing the time i had in pennsylvania made me who i am today. I have a great education (did it on my own), an amazing job, a wonderful girlfriend of 2.5 years, and a bright future ahead of me. And not only did I do this all on my own, but the truth never factored into anything I did once. I came out on top because I was willing to make sacrifices and was smart and lucky enough to make the right choices. If there are any current or ex-JW's out there that are reading this, I encourage you to pursue your dreams and follow your heart. Not everyone who plays sports is headed down the path of destruction. If anyone has similar stories or would like to share, contact me at bigcanada@sympatico.ca

By the way, I just recently found out about freeminds.org and this is the most wonderful thing that could have happened to anyone that has been or currently is associated with "the truth". I hope everyone has found what they are looking for. Big Canada


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, December 21, 2001
Time:
08:45:32 PM

Comments

"served" at Bethel as one of the thirteen married couples in 1971 and 72. Worked under Tom Cabeen in the pressroom. Harry Peloyan was in our congregation at Brooklyn Center. Drew Wasco worked on our bindery line. Drove a 56 Chevy from CA around the city. Interesting education for a young couple. We were Chuck & Marilyn Turner. Really enjoyed Ray's text comments. Only sane thing we heard while we were there.....


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, December 24, 2001
Time:
02:09:33 PM

Comments

My name is John Clark. I served at Bethel Farms from 1974-1977. I worked primarily in the the graphotype and addressograph depts. I have some fond and not so fond memories from Bethel.I left under the auspices of marrying a jw girl. I soon left but it still "haunts" me today.It took me years to recover from the several years of "brainwashing" as a JW. Anyway, in regards to bethel: I do not remember alot of the names. I do rememeber names such as Randy Hornauher (sp?), Randy Tyler from TX, Bernie (?) from Ohio, Steve Wren from Ohio.If you remember me or just want to share memories from the Farms feel free to e-mail me at lawyer@ohiohills.com.


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, December 27, 2001
Time:
05:10:44 PM

Comments

Hello Brothers and Sisters,I found a great web site that makes everything clear for us www.Quotes.JehovahsWitnesses.com I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, January 17, 2002
Time:
04:55:46 PM

Comments

I am currently still in Bethel but hope to be leaving soon. I thought that working here would be a real spiritual experience, but instead it is just a drudge with all the attitudes and politics of a regular job and without the money to compensate for it.


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, January 17, 2002
Time:
04:55:59 PM

Comments

I am currently still in Bethel but hope to be leaving soon. I thought that working here would be a real spiritual experience, but instead it is just a drudge with all the attitudes and politics of a regular job and without the money to compensate for it.


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, January 20, 2002
Time:
11:01:35 PM

Comments

My name is Nils Jansma. My wife, Sherry, and I were invited to Bethel as members of the family in the spring of 1966. I was called back to work on the new factory and residence buildings which were to be constructed over the next three years. We left in 1971. Sherry started out working as a housekeeper and ended up at the factory in subscriptions. During her “spare” time, she played the role of Debbie Summers in the Society’s weekly radio program and was involved in recording dramas. I worked on the new buildings as a line and grade surveyor. Due to the fact that I was a member of the surveyor’s Union and officially worked for Turner Construction Company (my wages all went to the Society), I was the only Bethelite who ever went on STRIKE with the Society’s approval. Because we knew Ray and Cynthia Franz, we read Crisis of Conscience when it first came out. However, it still took about four years before Sherry and I made the transition complete by being baptized into Christ. Though we are still working as hard as ever for the Lord, we are enjoying it much more. Promoting Jehovah’s Grace (underserved kindness) toward all makes service a joy rather than a never-can-do-enough burden. nils@jansma.ws


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, March 02, 2002
Time:
11:01:30 AM

Comments

Well after 52 years I finally made it out!!!

 "Free at last! free at last! free at last! My name is Keith Casarona I served at N.Y.bethel 1970-1974. I know you guys are laughing your heads off!!! no one thought I'd make my 4 years, after all I coined the 2 phrase "I'm serving 1-4 for impersonating a minister" and "I want to stay at bethel forever, or four years which ever comes first!" I guess I'm just a slow learner-hah! For me I just did the math. One witness for every 1000 people on the earth! I'd go to assemblies an see 10,000 people there, and think if this 10,000 were to symbolize the world's population then only 10 people would be saved, wow! God can save only 1/10 of 1 percent-- not very powerful for, and all powerful God, and if you had the misfortune to be born in the world you had only a 1/10 of one percent chance to be saved at the big war between God and man! If 70-80% of all witness's who are "lucky" enough to come out of a witness's womb, were to stay witness? wow! How fortune I'm. Now  I have almost a 80% chance of survival, I guess God just loves me more (800 times more)then the average poor schmuck!

But what really did it for me was 9/11/01. I get this phone call at 6:00 a.m. from a friend in Seattle WA. " Keith turn on your T.V. this is the beginning of the end, this is what God is getting ready to do to the world of mankind!" WOW! he was right I was part of an organization that was looking forward to the death & destruction of people, you know the 999 out of 1,000 people, but that's their problem if they had the misfortune to be born in China, or any other place the "good news?" didn't"t get to,isn't it? I saw those people running for their lives with blood running down their faces,and at that moment made the decision not to worship the angry God of the Watchtower who could do this, after all I was raised to be a passivist! I was a pioneer & conscience objector during the Vietnam war. How odd I was not willing to get into a fist fight, let alone take another life, but I was worshipping a God who could! I was the passivist ( no regrets) he wasn't!!! I could forgive, he couldn't He could kill & maim, I couldn't. In my heart I knew in fact He has the power to save everyone!!! Not just a very, very small group of spiritual elitist. That being the case, after 52 years of believing the lie. I turned my letter of disassociation on 9/18/01.

 I'm at newboy499@hotmail.com


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, March 15, 2002
Time:
07:20:08 AM

Comments

Hello all, I am Deboragh Lewis, I never served at Bethal anywhere but I was a Regular Pioneer for a time, here in England. Only actually knew one person who went to Bethal, Mill Hill, London, Mark Ford where is he now? I wonder. I've only just found freeminds.org today and it is the best thing ever. For some time I had been doubting why I left the JW's I thought it was just an excuse. Well now I know there was alot wrong and I could see it and whenever I asked an elder or other to explain it was met with just platitudes that were supposed to keep me in place. I could see that there were things wrong with the chronology of the JW's it just didn't add up, and with all the 1914 stuff, "this generation" etc. I am free now and glad of it, I got a life. Any one want to contact me DebsLLewis@aol.com all are welcome.


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, March 30, 2002
Time:
08:14:24 AM

Comments

My name is David Watson I served at Bethel from 1974 to 1978 any one at that time might remember me my e mail address is fancyfeet@wfeca.net


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, April 06, 2002
Time:
09:23:04 PM

Comments

Hello , Buongiorno Mi chiamo Andrej TACIAK. Aiutate mi trovare indirizzo postale E-mail se possibile di James Taciak .Il mio indirizzo e cigno@mail.lt


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, April 22, 2002
Time:
06:59:38 AM

Comments

DOES any of you remember DAN BELL from Glendale, CAL. that was there in the late 70's----hope he is out of ORG now QUEENIE / queenapostate@webtv.net (((()))))


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, April 29, 2002
Time:
05:32:21 PM

Comments

Mike Adams here: I enjoyed my work at Brooklyn Bethel, Mountain Farm and W.T. Farm 1974 to 1979...worked with Steve Watters and so many others, ...remember one big factory worker giving me some static at the table I was waiting on so I dumped the full gallon of milk on his head and cooled him off quick! Also worked nights as walking watchman, and days as Moving & Maintenance Crewman, our crew consisted of seven guys all named "mike"...One poor watchman wasn't watching and stepped into an open elevator shaft down at the Squibb bldg...used to snowboard from 124 down to Squibb and at night almost ran down a couple of governing body members in the hallway from 124 to 107 on those furniture coasters...also made trash runs with "Marcus Stapletonius" and if anyone remembers the wierd sounds of loud toilet flushing and laughter emanating from somewhere in the towers at night, that was me and mike presutti, the dual-headed 'Phantom of the Towers' playing with recordings and loudspeakers out the windows. We later moved from the 5th floor to the 7th and a better view. Sure missed our housekeeper on 5. Any one remember who took ALL my hawaiian print shirts in the laundry? Hope the turkey got full use out of 'em--they were each tailor made as a gift from my mom, one-of-a-kind materials. Any cotton-pickin', finger-licken', chicken-pluckin' apple pickers remember when I was assistant Mountain Farm overseer? What about you cotton-pickin', finger-licken', chicken-pluckin' potlikkers? Steaming pots, pans and milk cans, hunting deer, raccoons, snakes + fishing (in addition to your congregation assignments, meetings and text comments, return visits, etc.? Whatever happened to Tyler Paiva? He was a worker...I left in '79 to marry a girl from my congregation in N.J. We pioneered 2 years then served as missionaries in Samoa. In 1986 I killed our fellow missionaries Ed & Cath and served over 14 years in prison...released in the 15th year. Still disfellowshipped and wife asking for divorce after 17 years...its been 23 years now and I haven't finished the papers...always busy in Samoa keeping the Airport and power plants clean...mike_adams@hawaii.com


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Time:
06:48:08 AM

Comments

Does anyone remember a Jeff Kelley(Kelly) that went to Bethel around 83, the last time i talked to him was around 87, for all i know, he's still there. Tall guy with red hair and glasses. He was from Kentucky. Write me at Aprepair@bellsouth.net


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Time:
01:31:56 PM

Comments

Bruce Welborn I was at bethel from 1975-1976 I have good memories of my time there, but it kind of opened my eyes to the hypocrisy of the orginization. I am now happily disassociated


Remote User:
Date:
Friday, May 24, 2002
Time:
12:40:46 AM

Comments

NIGERIA DON ENTER HEREOOO.

IKEJA@YAHOO.COM


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, May 30, 2002
Time:
09:21:41 AM

Comments

I left...in 1987, Barbara Nelson from Connecticut. Dated "Bethel Boys," the last one was Bill Blatzheim (not sure of spelling anymore)...before that I knew a Leroy Oaks or Oakes and Darryl from somewhere out west. I now work for Law Enforcement, something I could not have done before 1987...had to attend college late in life, to hold a decent job. My ex-husband was not disfellow- shipped, though a habitual adulterer, "because he could get away with it." I am still single, and finished raising my 20-year old..now living in South Florida...still a non-JW because I could not live with the double standard anymore.....would like to hear from ex-JW's in S. FL my e-mail: mectry@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, June 03, 2002
Time:
10:48:52 PM

Comments

I never worked at Bethel but I did visit there in 1986 and wonder if anyone in NY Bethel remembers the fiasco it caused.

It was Bill Cetnar who took me there, and he was supposed to stay out of the way so I could have a peaceful vist .... but someone soon worked out I had been seen talking to him. So a hunt was on for our party and finally they caught up with me. I was able to talk my way into staying on the tour because, although I didn't lie, I didn't give the whole truth either.

It was interesting the difference in how I was treated though when they didn't know what my status really was.

So, anyone remember the hastle back there in October 1986?

Jan.g@bigpond.net.au


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Time:
07:30:42 AM

Comments

I'm looking for a former Bethelite named Brian Hill, from the Morrow congregation in Atlanta. He was there from '89 to I think '91 or so. He moved to Washington state and we lost touch, but I know he's been out of the borg for a while. danbhada@aol.com, thanks for keeping this site up.


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Time:
08:36:44 PM

Comments

Hello. My name is Claude Kenneson. I wasn't at Brooklyn Bethel for long--from the end of 1965 to the beginning of 1966 (about six months all total). But everything seemed to happen during that period: water shortage, a number of strikes, the first blackout and a blizzard. The blackout caused quite a stir at Bethel (the fear of the unknown--were we about to be attacked? Was this a precursor of Armageddon?) Of course, the famous question afterwards was "Where were you when the lights went out?" Personally, I was in the Bethel Library and couldn't see a thing until someone came up with a flashlight to lead us out. What a pretty sight it was outdoors, however. The only light that shone was the full moon--God's light. I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Also, I recall attending an "impromtu" assembly at Yankee Stadium because some missionary brother who had recently been released from Chinese prison was scheduled to speak. The name George King comes to mind????

While there I performed menial tasks, including window cleaning, which I despised. I have a fear of heights, so you can imagine what I felt--even if it was cleaning from the inside, one had to climb on the window's edge, although strapped. Another "fun" job was being on the receiving end of the hot dishes coming out of the dish washer.

While at Bethel, I came across some "evil slave" material (in all places--the library). I can't even recall today what that literature consisted of. I had doubts all along--but this just solidified them. I remember boarding the elevator a few times when Fred Franz was aboard. I also remember George Couch. His position probably was Bethel Servant??? Don't remember the names of any of the rank and file.

As soon as I left Bethel, the W.T. wasted no time in notifying my local draft board. But it still did not rescind my conscientious objector classification. Nor did the Tower waste time contacting my local congregation. I was soon disfellowshipped for apostasy because I returned to the Catholic Church, from whence I came.

 

My e-mail address is: ckenneson@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Monday, July 22, 2002
Time:
04:35:00 PM

Comments

Hello everyone. I was at bethel from 93-96. I left of my own free will, which no one could figure out. I actually started smoking pot at bethel!!! There were rashes of thieves homosexuals, and drunks there. I dated a different girl practically every month. I was on the tour route, and had a pretty good line for the cuities that walked by. I mean i was prime rib wasnt I. I worked in the printing department, and we even thought were were the best there. I mean WE were printing the words on the bible. Anyway, like i said i left bethel of my own free will. I didnt see myself staying there forever, and knew i shouldnt strive for something i didnt want. I really wanted to get married. Yep I was still a virgin. But i did not want a wife at bethel. All those other horny single guys looking at my wife was not my idea of fun. So home i went. life was hard for years until in 98 i was disfellowshipped. In so many ways i was mad. But i couldnt blame god or the orginazation, because the things i did were scripturally wrong. Four years later, actuall just a few weeks ago i was reinstated. There are so many things one can say about going thru the "world". I had friends and lovers that i trusted more than my own parents. They even rarely spoke to me, probably because i called them a few times even from prison!! Yikes. I was raised better than that. Anyway those of the "world" that i trusted eventually stabbed me in the back. i started a construction business only to have my best friend and partner stole enuf from the business that we couldnt pay the taxes. I never dated a girl that i didnt feel had alterior methods. I have been on both sides of the fence. I have been very concerned with my life for about the past year. I do believe in god and figure i have to do something about it. Sure i am mad at a lot of my "brothers" but they will not affect my relationship with god. I have made a lot of mistakes, but trying to disprove god, or deny the best way to imperfectly serve him, would be useless. I would loose hope, and I would be a weak man with no hope. I am glad i left bethel, but i wish i would have went with the right understanding and heartfelt motivations. contact me at jstein4507@yahoo.com


Remote User:
Date:
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Time:
06:32:06 AM

Comments

GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!! Sorry Randy, but they must be a JW seeing how they're encouraged to NOT go to school.


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, August 01, 2002
Time:
05:04:23 AM

Comments

Dear Sirs, I need to contact some bethelite or ex-bethelite that was member of the orchestra that played at the WBBR radio station, also any member of the orchestra that recorded any ot the songbook and, also any person who has been connected with the redaction of any of these songbooks.

Yours Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas maplaza@bicat.csic.es


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, August 03, 2002
Time:
11:54:11 PM

Comments

ive been reading some of the comments on this bethelite section some good some bad some downright weird ,if your not happy in the jws just leave and get a life


Remote User:
Date:
Saturday, August 17, 2002
Time:
05:11:42 AM

Comments

Greetings: My name is Chuck Turner and my wife, Marilyn and I served at Bethel as one of the twelve married couples they brought in back in 1971. Tom Cabeen was my overseer in the pressroom during part of our stay. He made a great Apostle Paul. What a voice! I'll never forget Wesley Bopp playing tricks on the "newboys" by faking a page with a homemade megaphone. Or, Jaime Rodriguez trying to explain what Chuck Turner is in Spanish. We never did figure that out. But now my youngest son majored in Spanish and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He now serves in the Peace Corps. Hopefully, he is doing something to benefit humanity. I think so. At twenty five, he has the same attitude we did back in those days. Hi Randy! Good health to you.


Remote User:
Date:
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Time:
04:39:28 AM

Comments

I grew up with DAN BELL as a JW KID in Glendale, Californina==I know he would remember ME--I am someone you can not forget... Last I knew he was still a JW (and very adept with the HAM RADIO) been a while though---if you are still a JW Danny please come out and join with Bill AND SILENTLAMBS when they march on BETHEL..you are way to intellengent to remain A active JW..A slave as at it were BUT YOU got the guts DANNY BELL and I am here 4 YOU and BILL of SILENTLAMBS is too...PEACE QUEENIE aka LNDA LOU KERSEY and family


Remote User:
Date:
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Time:
01:52:46 PM

Comments

Hello,

Were do I begin? I guess I will start at the begining, you can all say I was born into the organization. My dear mother was a christian woman who tauht us children to fall in love with Jehovah and all his wonder, my mother used the Jehovah witness liturature to instruct us, but also used the bible in her instruction. I believe in 1970-1975 it was still allowed to use the bible as well. To make a very long story short my entire family has be destroyed by the Jehovahs Witness organization, still today the scares of yesteryear are apparent throughout my family. My mother was desfellowshiped in 1975 on what I've learned today were groundless accusations, no drukennes, no adultry, and no theivery. Something that in my heart I believe she has never truly recovered from. I haven't been a member of the organization since 1979 as well as my brother, my sister is still a very active member. And In true organizational fashion the divison of family is stronger than ever. Something that I learned the very next day after my mothers disfellowship when the night before she was publically executed and the very next day the brothers and sisters were in our home subversing the rest of us to the views of the organization. Mother was not greater than the watchtower bible and track society.

Today I have made my peace, I love Jehovah god and all that is good in his teachings. His holy spirit is a wonder when the heart is broken and the mind is in termoil. In reading his word and constant prayer all who believe in him will find peace. 

Thank you all,

Mira,

sogrub@aol.com


Remote User:
Date:
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Time:
08:46:30 AM

Comments

People!!!!!!!!!

Which one una deh? All dis big talk-talk, une no know say Bethel na privilege? Efryt'ing I read for here na so-so complaint. Make una go sidon for ground-o. Efense'f, make una go find better work to do. If for dem Amerika people no get nat'ing to do, for we obodo Afrika, we get plenty work-o and we no get food for belley. Me se'f, I been love Bethel well well; I been chop good food sotey my belley full. Den, I gif fine-fine talk for assembly. No be say life been good all de time, but me I no fit complain like all una dem.

I don carry my own go-o. I t'hroway salute-o.

ex-Nigerian bethelite, missing the good food, the air conditioning - and some of the Jezebels!!!SMACKKKKKKKK.

 


Date:
26 Apr 2003
Time:
08:08:30
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Loren Mooney. I was at Bethel from September 1960 to early 1965. My last few years were in the job press department. Left to get married and was a Special Pioneer for two years in West Virginia. After another eight years as an elder I left the witnesses in the fall of 1975. Following a divorce and eventual remarriage I am not a Roman Catholic Deacon in Maryland. If any body recognizes my name I would be glad to hear from you. My e-mail is lmooney@hereintown.net


Date:
26 Apr 2003
Time:
08:36:35
Remote User:

Comments

After reading your comments Mr rjb it made me cry please contact me at asclytemnestra@cs.com I tried your email address not valid.....jan 

 


Date:
12 Jun 2003
Time:
21:06:37
Remote User:

Comments

Hi, Mark Johnson here. I was at Bethel from Feb 1974 to July 1977. Worked in bindery; night shift for about a year; mostly on embossers. Anyone who knows what ever became of Michael Smoot? I'd like to hear about him; he was a quite a character. Have been out of the JWs since early 80's. Have learned and lived a lot since then. Very happy now in Northern California; have ten year old twin boys who have been a great joy. Would be happy to hear from those who I worked with at Bethel. Best wishes to you all. mark@desertbirds.com


Date:
17 Jun 2003
Time:
03:51:15
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Charlie Wood. I served at Brooklyn Bethel and the Jackson Heights congregation from 1975 to 1982. I worked in Shrinkwrap, bookbindery, proofreading, invoicing and then as a data processing computer programmer up until the time I left. I left the organization in 1984 and am very happy now enjoying life and work these past 20 years near Boston. I would however enjoy hearing from anyone who remembers me. I can be reached by e-mailing: cwood6@hotmail.com.


Date:
17 Jun 2003
Time:
08:07:53
Remote User:

Comments

Greetings from Bob Pavlick of Bridgeport, CT., served at Bethel in the bindery, sewing books 1967-69. I was asked to leave in 1969 during the "purge" of gay Bethelites, even though I was cellibate, but implicated by association with friends who were "outed" and disfellowshipped. I was later disfelloshipped for "apostacy" in that I refused to accept the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society as the sold "Voice of God" on earth. I would like very much to catch up with old friends from those days. I can be reached at <<PavlickB@aol.com>>.


Date:
30 Jun 2003
Time:
09:29:39
Remote User:

Comments

Hello Everyone, Great site Randy and just wanted to update my posting. I get emails from ex-JW’s from all over the world because of my original posting back in 2001. I make an effort to reply to everyone of them with words of encouragement. I understand that the first 6 months is the hardest after one leaves and any word of encouragement goes a long way. Thank you for this opportunity Randy. Since my last post I have been blessed with a wonderful son (now 9 months old) and great prosperity. Went to technical school back in 95 (IT related) and that job allowed me to travel to many parts of the world working on computer systems in Airports throughout Europe, Middle East and North/South America. I left this job and started teaching classes on computer networking, computer network security and computer repair. One of my computer customers invited me to learn their business (a transportation broker). Since then I now do both types of work but am finding myself doing more with the brokerage business now than with IT. I just formed my own Corporation this month (June 03) and business is going great. I strongly suggest to all readers to go to school (no matter how old you are, I was 34 when I took my first class) and get your degree. Even though you may not need it for your career (I don’t). I made the decision to obtain my degree and am now close to completing the Associates portion of it (with a 4.0 I might add). Should be able to have the BBS complete in about 24-30 more months. Yeeehaw!! This experience has been so wonderful and I am very excited to learn all of the things about so many subjects that I never knew. Am mulling over adding an MBA, but no decision on this one yet. I am still looking for a few fellow Bethel buddies that were good friends. If anyone knows Frank Schramel (from Da Ridder, LA born in Heulm, Germany) or Ted Garner (from Heber Springs, Arkansas) or anyone who worked in the mailing department Building 2 tenth floor or former room mates in Standish 10th floor, please shoot me an email. I think of you guys often and hope you are all well. I also think about the many fine folks in my congregation in NY Flatbush. I also have fond memories of locals like Jack Horton in Dallas (great man) and Tom Johnson (great guy too). I hope they all are doing well. Enough for now. I hope all of you find true peace and security (no pun intended lol) and keep your spirits up. Will copy and past original post below that contains my email address. Original post follows: Great job keeping this site up and running. My name is Philip Dickson and I served in Brooklyn Bethel from 86-87. Worked in the Mail department (Building 2 tenth floor). I recently received an email from a fellow Bethel Buddy and it prompted me to look for more. I left organization in 88 and have never looked back (well not too hard hehe). I am thankful for the opportunity of meeting so many fine and wonderful people as a child and teen in the organization. However I saw a few too many things that just did not make sense and so I choose to leave. I love my life now and would not change anything about it. I feel my relationship with God is stronger now than ever even though I do not attend any church regularly. Being in the organization was good in many ways in my youth but upon entering manhood I began to realize it was not an organization I wanted to be a part of all my life. I cherish the friends and good times I had while in. I welcome any of you to please contact me so that we can shoot the breeze and catch up. I now live in Arlington, Texas. I would love to hear from others that I served with back in the 80's. Brings back many good and funny memories. You can find some recent Pics of me at http://photos.yahoo.com/dicksonphoto Please drop me an email if you recognize my ugly face. texasphilter@yahoo.com I hope you all find that special thing that makes each of us happy. I know that I have found happiness now and have made other very wonderful and special friends. I welcome you to contact me and maybe we can even squeeze in 18 holes on the course. If you plan on contacting me to encourage me to re-enter the organization, I ask that you think twice and not offer the invitation. I will admit it was good that I was in as a child ( it helped keep me out of trouble and gave some great experiences, although I wish I could have played football and other sports) but now as an adult I no longer need that protection. Good luck to you who are searching for the answer to life's hard questions. Please remember that we gave of ourselves (going door to door) so I suggest that you get involved with your community and volunteer your time. It helps fill the gap left by field service and is a good way to meet nice people and make new friends (friends loyal to you and not to some big shot elder). This is what life is all about.


Date:
12 Jul 2003
Time:
09:34:52
Remote User:

Comments

I am David Carmack. I served at Watchtower Farms from June 84- Dec. 86. I work in the Magazine Distubution Dept(bulk mailing). I would enjoy hearing from anyone serving during that time or others that worked in the department. whitewaterdave@hotmail.com


Date:
16 Jul 2003
Time:
15:21:39
Remote User:

Comments

I am also an ex-bethelite( are we EVER an ex?!). I was one if not the youngest bethelite in history. I was not quite 18 years old when I went to Watchtower Farms. I was there around 2 years. I had favorable experiences with the young people there. However, I soon realized that the religion was not what I had anticipated. I left....did different things....went to college...went to law school....am now a criminal defense attorney. I married a girl from around orange lake only to be disenchanted and divorced within a short time. Several years later, I am happily married with one son (9 years old). However, in the course of things, I have been disfellowshipped. My son and wife do not understand how any family can do this. Is anyone else feeling my pain? I have a successful career but yet feel I have been robbed of very much.More importantly, I believe my son has been deprived of much. For example, we recently went to New York. He was questioning me as to why I was taking more pictures of the "watchtower" building than I was of anything else on the double-decker bus tour. How do you explain that?! Please respond if you can relate to what I have been through. Sincerely, John Clark


Date:
20 Jul 2003
Time:
20:45:15
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Phillip Fromm. I was in Australia Bethel from 1997 to 2002. Started off cleaning as you do, worked in laundry, the infirmary and finnaly in Shipping in Export Dept. Got sick of the politics and double standards and the continual sucking up by everyone to those with power. The bible really has very litle to do with the organisation. In the end was aked to leave, wasn't dismissed or disfellowshipped, I just didn't tow the party line any more. Funny thing is they made the entire family resign their bethel vow, obedience, poverty allowance etc... so no one could sue them later. A week later there I was packing my bag, they were scared I would make them trouble and stir the pot. Has taken some time to uninstitutionalise myself and begin to repair my life apart from the Watchtower. email phillip.fromm@jcu.edu.au


Date:
31 Jul 2003
Time:
09:17:06
Remote User:

Comments

I knew Steve Watters when I was a young boy growing up in Port Clinton Ohio. I remember the party thrown for him when he went to Bethel and what a good example he was. I hope he reads this and provides an e-mail.


Date:
02 Aug 2003
Time:
17:00:04
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Bob Gearhart. I was at Brooklyn from 1976 thru 1979 (2/7 bindery and Ink room) I left the organization last December after toooo many "red flags". Was raised a witness,pioneered in Ky.& N.Carolina in the 80s. I'm in California now. Wife's still a JW, she filed for legal sep 3 months ago. My kids left the org. not long after I did, so the elders tried to DF me for 'infecting' the congregation. It is the hardest thing i've ever done... Lost my parents and 2 sisters to the organization but still have my kids. Thanks for being here, you're welcome at my campfire anytime. gymbob56@yahoo.com


Date:
04 Aug 2003
Time:
17:34:49
Remote User:

Comments

I was at Watchtower Farms around 1975-1977. I worked out on the farm and later in the subscription office. I also worked in the addressograph and graphotype room. I left approximately 20 years ago and am happier for it. Except.......I miss my family. They have disowned me with the exception of one sister. I do not want to use my name for fear it will cause my sister grief and possible "shunning' by our parents. If you were at Watchtower Farms during the above times please e-mail me at lawyer@ohiohills.com


Date:
05 Aug 2003
Time:
12:22:21
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Michele and I was a third generation witness.Although I never attended Bethel I certainly visited in more ways than one! I was a co writer of information for some articles for the Awake mag. I in my witness lifetime have served where the need was great, been a pioneer and also been df'd. I was a therapist for awhile for the witnesses and heard all the secrets from the top down.I can first hand express from personal experience the deceit & crimes in the Org. The society of bros. & sis. is permeated w/alcoholism,child molestation & abuse,gender identity issues, the addiction to power & the demoralization of the human spirit. Being a witness is living in the problem. Getting out is the first step towards living in the solution. I have recovered from the pain & grief of having been part of the "dark side" for over 40 yrs! I left the Org. almost 7yrs ago. Since I left I have experienced many spiritual awarenesses. Jehovah has indeed given me a "new pair of glasses". I have been made aware of the real sacred secrets hidden in the Bible that the witnesses can not know because the Truth is not in them. I have grown more spiritually since I have left and developed a one on one relationship with Jehovah. Can anyone tell me about Harry Peloyan? We worked with him on the articles. I do not believe he is at Brooklyn. Please contact me, michelelyon@comcast.net


Date:
07 Aug 2003
Time:
11:00:24
Remote User:

Comments

Hi! Does anyone know if Henry Caban is still serving in the Brooklyn Bethel? And what about Yashka Dolmo and her father, Candido Dolmo? They used to attend one of the Brooklyn congregations. Any info would be appreciated. Lost complete contact with them. E-mail at Aida.Moreno@charlottefl.com


Date:
25 Aug 2003
Time:
19:10:49
Remote User:

Comments

Served in Bethel as part of the "commuter bethelite" program. I was a pioneer in the lower east side of Manhattan who "commuted" daily to bethel. Met a lot of great folks there however the few bad ones I met really ruined the entire witness experience for me. In fact to this day if I ever run into one of those people I may choke them to death. Talk about back stabbing, politics and not trusting any one and then add racism into the mix and you better believe that after one year I left bethel and never looked back. Got disfellowshipped 2 years later and that was 13 years ago! My name is Freddy Perez and I served in the construction plumbing department at 360 Furman Street from 1987-1988. By the way anyone know what ever happened to Bob Riemer and Richard Koenig? mabstoa@frontiernet.net


Date:
26 Aug 2003
Time:
12:15:29
Remote User:

Comments

How many Bethel houses does the WTBTS own? Why did they name their houses Bethel when in Amos Jehovah condems Bethel?


Date:
08 Sep 2003
Time:
06:16:09
Remote User:

Comments

Hello, I came accross your site through a link on a French XJW forum to Dave's fascinating testimony. I became a "pioneer" in 1977, at the time of the broadest "openness" in the WT publications, and eventually became a member of the French Bethel (1981-85), where I spent most of my time translating "The Watchtower" and an emended "Aid to Bible Understanding". Although we had but faint and biased echoes of the Brooklyn crisis, I happened to follow a very similar course and was finally disfellowshipped for a Jesus-centered "apostasy" in 1986. Since then I studied theology and was involved in much Biblical work, while slowly drifting to a kind of personal "atheistic theology"... Only very recently I took time to visit some XJW sites on the web. Anyway, my time in the French Bethel was certainly a turning point as far as I'm concerned, and I'd certainly like to hear about old friends from there even if the chances are slim... Bye, Didier F. (Contact Randy to write to Didier)

 


Date:
10 Sep 2003
Time:
11:58:07
Remote User:

Comments

Hi, My name is Ron Owens. I never served at Bethel. But I did go there to visit once. I grew up as a JW and thought that only the most spiritual people ever even got to visit there let alone serve. Well, my wife (2nd Marriage), my son (previous marriage), and myself went to New York about 4 years ago, while there we thought we would visit headquarters. We went inside we were amazed at how outdated the decor was, how unhuman it appeared. We stood there in the lobby while looking at all of the blank faces. I approached what I thought was an information counter and asked a young man, is there any way we could take a tour of the facilities? He said no as they were closed then asked where are you from. I told him we were from WV and at that point he made the comment: And you came all that way for this? Well that did it for all three of us. Among other reasons we are no longer JW's. I am now happy to say that we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior and are born again Christians. Our experience as JW's is mostly filled with regrets and disappointments. Praise God that we escaped the walls of the Wathchtower. Ron


Date:
06 Oct 2003
Time:
09:35:15
Remote User:

Comments

John M. Tracy here. Ex Bethelite (Farmjack-field crops, Kingdom Farm-Big Farm-Mountain Farm, bale chucker, bodyshop laborer, Ex JW). Started noticing the politics and underhanded skullduggery goings on while there in 75-76. Went on the 1 year program. Was asked if I wanted to stay and said no. Couldn't take it anymore after a year and left of my own accord. Was treated like garbage by my home cong. because, I later found out, that most of them believed that "no one has a good reason to leave Bethel voluntarily" and that I must have been thrown out and just didn't tell anyone. Anyhow after years of being the victim of theft, criminal activity, observing coverups of child molestation and a host of other disgusting things, by my "brothers", then figuring out that the whole belief system was nothing but a cruel fairytale designed to control the members with fear and guilt, I quit. Of course "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave". So they gladly df'd me on my ex wife's made up storys. I immediately lost all of my family and "so called" friends in an instant. I've become something of an agnostic but, nonetheless, I've decided to live life and enjoy it, despite the clinging bagage I may never totally be rid of. I'm not interested in joining a different version of the JWs. As far as I'm concerned everybody can believe anything they want. It's ok as long as they don't hurt people. Oh dear, I guess that leaves out the JWs then doesn't it, eh? I'm looking for some of my old Bethel buds that may not be JWs anymore. Richard Robinson, (Hog House) Lonny Watters (Body shop), Gilbert Jimanez (Body Shop). All were at Watchtower Farms the same time I was 75-76. I've tried my dambdest to find them and am thwarted at every turn by every JW I ask. (must be a conspiracy, Hah!) Anyhow if anyone knows them or me for that matter, shoot me a note. JTracy3358@aol.com John M. Tracy TN


Date:
23 Oct 2003
Time:
20:21:47
Remote User:

Comments

Greetings everyone. I served at Watchtower Farms in the early to mid-90's. I must say, it was a good time for me overall (I enjoyed the association and the comraderie with other young brothers), but it opened my eyes to the organizational hypocrisy that was, and continues to be prevalent among JW's. I remained a faithful JW up until about a year ago when I started doubting the "Truth" very seriously. I didn't got straight to "apostate" literature and websites, but I decided to look at religion as a whole in an objective light. What I read, written by objective scholars, just blew me away. To simplify (perhaps overly) my thoughts that took place over several months, I realized for the first time in my life (I've been attending JW meetings my entire life with my family), that the belief system I held to dearly over my entire conscious life was just ANOTHER RELIGION with all of its doctrinal contradictions and politics among its membership. I mentally checked out then. I didn't disassociate myself because that will make my dealings with my family very difficult, although my immediate family now understands how I feel about the "Truth." I am free now to live my life the way I want to. I am no longer shackled to a man-made religion that passes itself as the sole representative of the Almighty God. I am truly enjoying this phase in my life. Like Randy, like he mentions in his Bethel memoirs, my time at Bethel was overall a pleasant one. I often think of the brothers I got to know during my time there: Rocky Howsden, Richard Vehar, the Grimsleys, Jim Rollmann, a bunch others too numerous to name. I am not quite ready to reveal my name here on a public website (again, family issues), but please be assured that my hearts are with you all who have taken the bold step of THINKING FOR YOURSELVES, and not giving up that BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to a man-made religious organization! Special thanks to Randy for expending his personal energy to helping others via this web site. Thanks a million!


Date:
29 Oct 2003
Time:
10:11:26
Remote User:

Comments

Hi, I am Rodrigo Pinto, I served in Bethel,in the computer department of Colombia Branch from 1987 to 1995, I was sent to WT Farms and Brooklyn for MEPS and PBX training. Since my family is from Spain, I live in Madrid and two years ago I talked to the elders and told them that I did not want to be a witness any longer, so I quited. After over 20 years of beeing a witness, now I do not even recognize the bible as a book from God. I already read Crisis of Concience by Ray Franz, and now I am reading The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. I someone has also read this book, please let me know your opinion. My e-mail. rodrigopinto@wanadoo.es


Date:
29 Oct 2003
Time:
22:34:02
Remote User:

Comments

I servered in bethel in 1986-87 , the carpenter shop ferman st. was a intresting tour of duty ...... i was a crazy one always having fun while it lasted ,, i like to meet up and talk to ex jw's from bethel.... living in so. cal and just doing my thing ......................................................... manny limon ( manny_e_limon@yahoo.com )


Date:
09 Nov 2003
Time:
18:32:34
Remote User:

Comments

Hey, I'm John Michael Tracy, ex JW, was at WT Farm, Kingdom Farm, Mountain Farm from 76-77. I posted quite a detailed note on this site a while ago because I'm looking for a couple of ex bethelite friends who may or may not be JWs anymore, Richard Robinson (hog house), Lonnie Waters (body shop), Gilbert Jimanez (body shop). My message is, for some reason, gone from the site. I hope this one stays. If you remember me and want to give me a shout, my email is JTracy3358@ao.com.


Date:
10 Nov 2003
Time:
01:41:19
Remote User:

Comments

Hello All! Very interesting posts. I finally found this site, and have enjoyed it very much. I was at Brooklyn Bethel in the late 70's as a housekeeper, and up till recently I considered it a privilege that I hadn't appreciated and certainly didn't deserve. Whatever! I'm still very glad for the opportunity to experience it. As housekeepers we worked alone all day, so I never had the fond memories of buddies that I worked with, but I do remember certain Bethelites who stood out in their kindness and evident compassion. I was rather touched by Randy's pictures of the boys he served with at Bethel. I thought I might recognize some of them, but I didn't. All the seemingly happy faces. The optimism of youth. And besides that, we believed we were in a very special place, performing a good service, making a worthwhile sacrifice. Volunteering is good for people, for the most part, so I'm glad for any volunteering I have done in my life, whether it be hospital work or other. I'm very fond of Marina Sydlik to this day and am very glad to have met Carey Barber, who, when he had a moment, was friendly and even warm at times. He ran after me to show me a photo once after I cleaned his office. Brother Klein used to sing in the stairwells; I believe I was told that he preferred to use the stairs rather than the elevator in spite of his age. I worked on the floor where Tom and Carol Combs and Brother and Sister Suiter lived, as well as a Brother named Max (I think), whose name I should remember, but can't at the moment; he had outstanding eyebrows. I seem to recall he twisted them up or something. He asked me once if I was throwing things "so early in the morning" because in my rush after breakfast I brought a pile of tupperware or some such containers up to my little cleaning closet at my assignment, and I dropped them all over the place. I hadn't thrown them, but my aggravated reaction might have given that impression if he came in at just the wrong moment. He was nice about it but they probably watched me for awhile after that :). Maybe not. I just recall that right after that Carol Combs started paying attention to me. I never was a calm person.... Anyhow, I felt there was a lovely peace there, except for the absurd bell system that demanded we be here or there at different times of the day. The man's comments on one of the postings here about his visit to Bethel were hilarious reminders of EXACTLY what it was like at meals, especially breakfast! We DID have to run to be on time! Herded like a bunch of wayward cattle. And usually when you were about halfway through w/ your meal, you had to jump up out of your seat so as to be standing for the "closing" prayer of thanks, then sit back down to finish or just hurry back to work if you were a factory worker who had to change back into his "factory" clothes. (Because they weren't allowed to show up for a meal in God's House with dirty work clothes on. And you didn't dare miss breakfast, or, first your "table head" would admonish you for your unspiritual and disobedient course, then, if you didn't improve, up the line of spiritual "authority" to correct your errant ways. You could lose "spiritual privileges" if you didn't attend all the extra arrangements for spiritual instruction that were required for Bethelites. I remember buying an opal from Leo Greenlees in his office when he returned from one of his trips to Australia. I thought it was odd that a member of the Governing Body was selling opals, but I wasn't about to miss out on a souvenir from one of the GB! I was surprised when I heard that both he and Bro. Chitty resigned from the Governing Body (in different years) and of course I asked why they left. Never got an answer, just something like "they weren't happy with the responsibility" or they "couldn't bear the load" or some such thing. Now I know why they left. Why weren't we told?? Interestingly, Bro. Chitty seemed pretty human at Bethel. I happened to meet him in the elevator one evening, and though I was rather "awestruck" at the glorious ones, still, I wanted to greet him and speak to him, so I asked him if he was on his way to his room for the evening. He seemed to say resignedly, "Oh, no, they wouldn't like that. We still have work to do." Another one I was overawed at meeting was Brother Friend one day in the tunnel. He was very sweet and seemed to me at the time to have one foot in heaven already. He commented that "his father's favorite color was blue" in that 'District Convention Drama' voice of his. Then I realized he meant his father, Jehovah. Anyway, just reminiscing about an extraordinary life experience. They were all just dear people, trying to do what they sincerely believed was right and wonderful. Just too bad about all the prophecies that didn't work out.... The latest thing in the micro-control that floors me is the command not to have "tail-gate" parties at the conventions! There is no food service at the conventions any more, not for years now, and we are "encouraged" not to leave the site for lunch, but to bring our food w/ us in order to "benefit from the association w/ our brothers". But to eat together in the parking lot w/ them, out of our vehicles "smacks of the world" and must be avoided. And when the big power crisis on the West Coast caused the hotels to feel the need to tack on a $2.00 surcharge for electricity, we wanted to be reasonable and pay it, but we were ORDERED not to pay it! ARE WE HUMANS OR ROBOTS? We're supposed to let our reasonableness be known, and our consciences made us feel like ungrateful imbeciles in front of the hotel personnel, after they slashed the room rates so much for us! Well, best wishes to all good people.


Date:
16 Nov 2003
Time:
12:03:57
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I've read and re-read many of the wonderful posts here and I have been helped greatly by many of the comments. Also ESPECIALLY HELPFUL AND ENLIGHTENING are the audio testimonies from Ed Dunlap and Jay Hess! Thank you Randy and others like you who have not given up on the stubborn ones of us who have been trapped in the darkness of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for so many decades, afraid to step out into the light of just plain truth, due to having been FORBIDDEN ON PAIN OF FIGURATIVE DEATH to read anything but Watchtower Lies (oops, I mean Literature). YHWH sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to teach and save all who would listen. He did not send a Gestapo-like ORGANIZATION OF MEN to do this.


Date:
20 Nov 2003
Time:
18:02:22
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test


Date:
21 Nov 2003
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13:10:53
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I was at Brooklyn Bethel at the same time as Larry and Jerry Marks - very nice brothers, though very different from each other in personality and style -and it has recently rung a bell in my head after learning all about what happened at Bethel around the time of the Franz Incident, that Jerry, who was a well loved and respected Bethel Elder, left Bethel around 1980 and was reported to have stopped attending meetings. Now I imagine that I understand why he was probably discouraged!! Had no idea till now. Very much wonder how he is now and what he's doing. Anyone know?


Date:
26 Nov 2003
Time:
07:10:16
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Steve & Joy Imhof Steve was at bethel, first time from 1967-1971, worked mainly in the machine shop. Then we returned together in 1975 and left in 1976 to have a family. Now we are wondering why we stayed in so long. :-( If you want to reconnect, contact us at imhoffamily@hotmail.com


Date:
27 Nov 2003
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14:11:25
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mugu ilove betelooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


Date:
29 Nov 2003
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19:30:22
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Steve Imhof, Brooklyn Bethel from 1967 to 1976 with a couple years out to get married, to Joy Imhof. Machine shop most of those years. Finally spoke up, went on TV and local news paper in Florida Panhandle exposing harmful molestation policy. Disfellowshipped for this as Apostates in Feb 20, 2003. Reach us at Jst2laws@hotmail.com or Joy2bfree@hotmail.com


Date:
03 Dec 2003
Time:
15:02:32
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My name is Jeremy I was at Patterson from 94-96.I was a waiter so everyone knew me.I was a pioneer and a M.S.I was so intimidated when I got there I thought that this was like going to God's house.I did my "newboy" training and I was then back with my roommates that I had never meet before.They invited me to go to a movie with them,I agreed.The next thing I know they are crackin a few beers open driving down the highway and cursing up a storm.This is not even 24hrs into being at Bethel.I didn't go to college but I drank like I did at Bethel.We did everything with girls we could except the one thing that would get us kicked out.It was wierd because there were the people doing the right thing but there was also this faction of guys and girls that were just there to have a good time.The best part was my parents are well off and they would send me money every month because "I was doing what was right."We played the system with the sick days and the vacation.I remember going to the city on a tuesday night for a concert knowing that I took a 1/2 day of vacation on wednesday and I would have to work after lunch.Well I did and I am sure I was still drunk.The funniest thing is that your whole life you are taught that you should NEVER miss a meeting.They forgot to tell you, that was the case only for the regular jw not the bethelite.We could miss meetings because we were working.So if you are cheap labor to the company they will come up with a loop-hole to ease your troubled mind.Well we soon found reasons to work late and the congregation was far enough away that we couldn't make it or we wanted to get a "good nights sleep" so we could be ready to work tomorrow.The same thing went for feild service you had to work weekends and then after the meeting on Sunday some family invited you over so that you could hook up with their daughter because we were the good guys.I went to less meeting and less field service in Bethel than ever before.I was just an underpaid employee of the WTBTS.Yet when I went back to my hometown,it was as if I had single-handedly defeated Satan myself.I was treated to wine women and song,and the "crack rock" of all Bethelites,Money!Yes you had to have money to survive.I also convinced my parents to bring my brand new Mustang convertable up to me (now maybe some of you know who I am now).So get this I am partying drinking living rent free and hour from the greatest city on the planet I have a sports car and all the money I want and I didn't have to go to meetings or go out in field-service. HMMM they didn't put that in the brochure.I say these things not to brag but just to let you all know that it is a business and the way they get there money is through BrainWashing.I can look upon it now as humorious but a few years ago when I had to leave my wife and was D'fd that was hard.I enjoy being free to speak my mind and free to think for myself.Good luck to all of you who are struggling with the after effects of this "religion".I just wish they had one of these boards for pioneers,I have some great stories about that.If you want to talk email me anytime jokler16@hotmail.com.Oh, by the way my ex was wonderful I just wish she was able to leave that religion I have never been happier with one person on this planet than her.She just had so wacko religious views and I had to live MY life.


Date:
19 Dec 2003
Time:
18:51:19
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Is Rheinhart Leingat still a jw. Does anyone know for a fact what is his status in the org> df, da, inact, or what? thanks,


Date:
20 Dec 2003
Time:
19:27:28
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My name is Cory Perry. I served at Bethel in 1995. I was an electrician and got sent home for a heart problem, which ended up resolving. I am now serving in my 4th year in the U.S. Navy as a Corpsman and am currently Stationed with the Marines. I returned a few months ago from the War in Iraq to my Wife and Child.


Date:
07 Jan 2004
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05:51:54
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good site.


Date:
15 Jan 2004
Time:
21:28:24
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i have worked at bethel 1975 to 1976 i have found them good kind and just; it is when i left to work at a government site i heard vulgar and saw injustice but never at bethel they live up to the bible teachings i am sorry to have left my e mail is terry_howe521@msn.com people really need to have an open mins and their bible


Date:
28 Jan 2004
Time:
10:58:43
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Steve Ferriss, Brooklyn Bethel early 1980s New e-mail address = ferriss@rocketmail.com


Date:
31 Jan 2004
Time:
16:02:10
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This is DOUG MORELAND. I was at Bethel from 1973-1980. I was fortunate to be a part of the French congregations so I got to know the Cabeens, the Franz's, Hamiltons, Dunlaps, etc. Great group of people. Started a Monday night BIBLE READING group with Mark Nevejans and Carl Johnston, in our rooms, that eventually grew to 20-30 people. Got investigated by a Bethel Committee. I left early 1980, went to Texas with Tony Robles (anybody know where he is? I heard he moved to California) then back to Detroit. Associated with a congregation for less than a year, just didn't see the point in it anymore, so stopped showing up. They stopped around for a while, then I moved, then that was that. If anybody from that time recognizes my name, drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you. dougmoreland1999@hotmail.com


Date:
03 Feb 2004
Time:
18:56:56
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Thanks for the comments Doug and Steve and others! In spite of the old farts we did have fun at Bethel! :-))


Date:
08 Feb 2004
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08:18:09
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My name is Larry Kimball, and I served at Bethel from 1962 to 1968, first as a waiter, then in the cleaning and pressing shop, and then in the service department working under Harley Miller. I am no longer active, but married for the 2nd time and living in the Lake Worth Florida area. Do any of you remember me?


Date:
11 Feb 2004
Time:
15:30:05
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I'm John M. Tracy. I am originally from Upstate New York, from the sticks and lived in the country most of my young life. I was assigned to work outside in field crops at WTF. In the winter when there was not too much to do in that department, I worked in the autobodyshop there. I was shipped between all of the farms back then, but mostly WTF and Kingdom Farm because that is where I grew up and new everybody up there. The only person I remember at Brooklyn was a guy from my old cong. in Marathon New York named. He looked kind of like a chipmunk. Don't know where he worked. When I left the farm and went back to my cong., I was treated like I had leprosy. I found out later that most of the people there thought that I was thrown out because "no one" leaves Bethel voluntarily if they are righteous, and "no one" leaves after a year. For some reason they didn't know or didn't want to know about the 1 year program. The chipmunk, on the other hand was a hero. He's still there for all I know. Before I went, there was a guy down there who I think left when Ray Franz did. He was a pioneeer in our cong. when I was still a kid. Life has been a nightmare beginning from when I started to figure out that something was not quite kosher with the Org. until I left and divorced my ex wife (a typical JW). After I'd had it with everything and everyone, I told her after 25 years of pure hell, that I wanted a divorce. I'd not been to meetings for probably 10 or 12 years. I went occasionally when my youngest son would give a talk and had to hold my breath then. I tried to ride the fence because I knew what was at stake, losing my entire family and everyone I ever knew as "friends". I never did anything wrong, I just worked, went fishing and hunting once in a while, worked on my GTO, and worked some more. I just wanted them to leave me alone. I never told anyone except my father (a JW elder) my opinions on the org.. He kind of ignored me. My wife accused me of having affairs our whole married life. I never did, wouldn't have known how if the opportunity was right in front of my nose. Occasionally the elders would mount an expedition to "encourage" me and come visit me on "shepherding" calls. I let them have it the last time they came. My sister was married to an ex Bethelite who cheated on her, raped and beat her. He was the elder's golfing buddy. My sister asked me for help. I almost killed the bastard when he threatened to kill me. The elders severely counceled me for being mean to him and causing he and my sister's break up. I told them that I wasn't responsible for it, but if I was, I was proud because it probably saved her life. He was never held accountable. They didn't have anything to do with me again until I left my wife. Over the years previous, I'd had JWs working for me in my business. Probably around 20 all told. All but 4 of them stole from me. I was counseled again and again to not be dogmatic about their thievery. I was going to have several of them charged with theft and embezzlement. I was severely counseled to not take my brothers to court or I'd be df'd for dragging JHVH's name through the mud. I remember once telling my father that I'd come to the conclusion that just about any JW would steal if given the chance. Of course he came up with all kinds of reasons that I was wrong (most notably Satan's influence) but I still believe it. He'd hate it when I'd say "well then the argument that the Devil made me do it is valid then?" I'd also say, "who's in running the org. then, Satan?" Those experiences were very hard blows to the head when it came to opening my eyes to what the org. was really about. I learned at the farm that politics ruled. I wanted nothing to do with them. I just did my job, worked my head off and played when I had time. I saw favors given to bethelites that had money, especially if their parents gave the Society lots of stuff. There was a guy who was at the farm before I got there and was there for many years after I left. My pioneer buddy from Upstate New York had gone to the farm a year before me on the 4 year program. He, (my ex bud, he's was dfd but is now back in and will have nothing to do with me) told me that his roommate had a stash of boxes of porn in their closet. He found it one day when he was looking for something and went to the farm overseer. Nothing was ever done and the guy was still there when my sister was at the farm years after I left. She and I were talking one day and she said this guy wanted her to ride to meetings with him and wouldn't leave her alone. When she told me his name, and it he was the same guy with the porn stash, I told her to stay as far away from him as she could, and I talked to a couple guys I knew there to keep an eye out for her, and to beat the hell out of him if he touched her. He didn't and she stayed away from him. The point was that since he was still there, after what I knew, which was probably nothing compared to reality, I figured something was rotten in Denmark. I knew of several gay boys who were allowed to stay for one reason or another. It was just the hypocrisy and seeing the politics that were practiced in my assigned cong. that started me thinking that something was not right there. Then the years of dealing with thieving JWs sent me over the edge. I was not interested in any other doctrines or versions of religion, I didn't want anything to do with any religion and still don't. I've come to the conclusion that my spirituality is my own business and it resides in a troutstream in the mountains. I don't care what other people believe, as long as they don't use it to hurt people. I also found out quite by accident that my ex wife was a porn queen before we were married, and tried her damndest to get me to sleep with her before we were married (I wouldn't and didn't). I had cut off our engagement because I had a feeling something wasn't right, but my Dad, (the king of bad decisions) encouraged me to marry her. I didn't know why until after she and I broke up 25 years later. My mother told me that my Dad thought that we'd done the nasty. What a stupid reason to marry someone. Anyhow I listened to his advice over my gut feeling and lived in hell for 25 years after that with someone who was not who she'd portrayed herself to be. I'd been riding my bike around our neighborhood, out in the country near our house when I stopped to fix my pedal or something. I spied one of those little story porn magazines down in a ditch. It was all wet, but I picked it up and looked at it. As I thumbed through it and saw a picture of my (then) wife and what looked like her sister, giving blow jobs to several guys. (What a strange coincidence) My jaw almost hit the ground. It was an old mag. and the picture was from the 70s. I met and married her in 77. I only knew her for 6 months before I married her. I'd always thought it strange that she seemed to have no past. She'd never talk about it or if she did, it was the same 4 or 5 stories. Her family always told the same ones. I could never get any answers or details so I just quit asking and chalked it up to the fact that none of them were sentimental about their past. When I showed her the picture and magazine, she just pooh poohed it and said "yeah right, that's me". I knew it was though. I hid the magazine and she somehow found it and disposed of it. Normally I would not have ever brought it up, but she's gone out of her way to destroy me. I was df'd for having an affiar that I never had, one that she'd completely made up. I told the elders to leave me alone and my private life was none of their business. They wouldn't leave me alone. I finally told them that any contact they made with me from a certain point on was only to be in writing. The next thing I heard was that I was df'd. None of them had the guts to tell me, they told my Mother and she told me. My ex told them that I'd been cheating on her our whole married life and they believed it. So did all the people who I thought were friends. It's ironic because I found out afterward that she'd cheated on me not only once, but several times. Not even counting her porn years. I decided that I was going to try and find the pictures of her even though I couldn't remember the name of the magazine. I thought they may show up on vintage porn websites. Well I never found the exact one I was looking for, but I found a different one that just about made me fall out of my chair. It had to have been taken 4 or 5 years before I met her. I met her when she was 23 and I was 20. I've told her elders about it and the affairs she's had. They didn't want to hear about it and didn't care. Neither does my family. I'm df'd she isn't, she goes to meetings, I don't and I'm apostate (thats what my brother tells everyone) so I guess that makes anything I say untrue. So after my ex and I broke up for good, I found a girl I'd known way back when I was at Kingdom Farm, who'd left the org. shortly after we lost contact way back then. She was a good friend back then and has become my best friend and soul mate now. If I hadn't found her, I'd be dead by now. I've lost my two kids, almost my entire family (two of my sisters and Mother refuse to treat me like I'm dead. My father two brothers and one other sister gladly do) and most all of the "friends" I thought I had. She's helped me to cope with losing everything I have plus helped me fight my losing battle against those bastards. I had to move out of the state of NC, after I'd built a good business for 12 years and just leave it. I couldn't take their pressure anymore. I had to see my JW fleshly brother at some of the accounts I had because I'd gotten him into them. He trashed me regularly to them and everyone we knew. The legal system there is no better and just helped her in her efforts to completely destroy me. I always have and always will pay my child support, even though they've poisoned his mind and he won't have anything to do with me. I'm "dangerous because I don't love JHVH". And if that weren’t enough, after I left her and started going over my business books, I found that there was hundreds of thousands of dollars missing and not accounted for over the past 6 or 8 years. She has always done the business books. When confronted with this and ordered to provide her financial records by the court, she refused, and still refuses and the court will not force her to provide them. Her elders could care less about it. I couldn't take it anymore. I'm a songwriter. I wrote a song after 9/11 (Give'm Hell U.S.A.) because that event so profoundly affected me. I had it pro demo'd. It's a patriotic song. Toby Keith almost picked it up, instead decided to record the one he wrote, "The Angry American". My ex bro in law elder, presiding overseer, heard it and told me he was ashamed that song came from my head. I had several arguments about it with him and he ended up telling me not to talk to him about anything but family matters ever again. My ex wife sided with him. I asked her why she didn't defend me. All she could say was "why should I". That was the straw that broke the camels back. I've come to the conclusion that I have to erase them from my life totally. They can't be changed. They are an inhuman and evil cult whos goal is to control or destroy families. It's been extremely hard because my ex has taken everything I've ever owned besides destroying my family, with the blessing of her JW friends and elders and most of my family. It all sickens me and I'd like for nothing better than to see that entire org. go down because of the lies and pain they've caused people. But it would be a waste of time, so I just want to build a new life and enjoy what's left of it and that's what I plan on doing. I have hooked up with a couple of people who were friends of mine that I'd lost contact with that were JWs last I knew, but I recently found out that they'd left the org. We have been "therapists" for each other. The baggage and brainwashing we have to overcome is something you can't explain to someone who's never been a JW. Like I said before, I did not leave the org. to trade it for another version of it. I have no religion and don't want any other one. It sickens me to see ex JWs get involved in just another version of the WTBTS because it's all a joke as far as I'm concerned. Looks like you've been able to cope and fight back. I hope what you are doing is putting a hurt on those despicable fools. In reality though, the only thing that will ever bring them down is for their money to be taken away. And I don't know if that is possible. John M. Tracy JTracy3358@aol.com


Date:
21 Feb 2004
Time:
16:47:04
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Larry Kimball again, I was at Brooklyn Bethel from 1962 -1968, does anyone remember the 'rooftop trio' Buzz Fowler, Bill Mitchell, and I don't remember who the 3rd guy was, stood up against the dining room wall during the Knorr verbal breakfast attack. I was there.


Date:
22 Feb 2004
Time:
15:27:04
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Regards from Leslie Endean, served at Bethel from 1969 to 1980. I was a housekeeper in the Columbia Hts bldg, and then on the Penthouse-13th floor across the street. Then I worked on the concordance and later was the librarian for the writing dept. Still remember Ulysses and Ann Gladd, Fred and April Fredean, Karl and Bobbie Adams, Tom and Gloria Cabeen. Yes, is Reinhardt Lengtat still at Bethel, did he go back after leaving? The "apostasy" crisis freed me from the JW indoctrination, and I left with Diane Beers, my roomate. She now works for the FBi in Phoenix. I went to college and just loved it--after being told when I was young that it would corrupt me morally etc. I am an assistant district attorney, married to a wonderful family practice doctor. Anyone know what happened to John and Stan Weigle? Really enjoyed this site. Anyone who remembers me, please feel free to write. lsingh@tularosa.net


Date:
22 Feb 2004
Time:
21:22:37
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Hello all. I was at Canadian Bethel in 97-99 and really tried to make a go of it. I loved my work and as I haven't made my final 'break', I won't give too many details. Suffice to say that Bethel was the catalyst to spend the last 5 yrs 'figuring things out' which I have recently come to appreciate for me means - leave it quick! I have until only recently been a good jw avoiding like the plague any 'apostate' sites, and info and so have come to my conclusions about the org mostly on my own - namely, some really good things, some despicable bad things, and definitely not God's channel on Earth today. Then, recently, I discovered jw-d and other sites, and everything I've 'figured out' coalesced into the real Truth, at least about the org. I got Crisis of Conscience from the library about 2 weeks ago and read it in 5 days and it was both a great and disturbing read. Especially because I was born into and raised a jw. I really believed all the teachings and arrived at Bethel without a clue as to the 'real' organization. I made several friends there and was not mistreated, however, seeing it as it is in my opinion, simply a man-made organization, helped start a process of moving away from the org. Also, coincidentally enough, the Bethel requirement to read the Bible from stem to stern in the first year triggered my decline in believing that this was God's present day organization, or in fact that he uses any organization. My wife and I are presently on the way out and are only too glad that we are united in this course and that our children are still very young - read: pre-jw indoctrination. No doubt we will be called out on our stand sooner or later, but I would be very pleased if some of our closer family could see the latest 'light getting brighter and brighter' from the volumes of info showing this jw show to be over. Back to my bethel experience, I hate to feel 'regret' for anything I've done in my past but would rather look for lessons learned and indeed both good and bad were to be had by this experience. The gradual process of deprogramming (still ongoing) from the wts is difficult and painful. God, more than once I've felt rage or sorrow at the real story behind this org and hope all will make their peace with their decisions to stay or go. Email to have positive discussion or fellowship at boarrogan@hotmail.com


Date:
23 Feb 2004
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03:42:28
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I just read comments from Leslie Endean. I remember you and for a short while worked with your roommate Diane Beers in the 6th floor pressroom proofreading office. I am happy to hear you both landed on your feet and I bet Diane was as shocked as I was to hear about Richard Wheelock's suicide a few years ago. My name is Charlie Wood and I was a Brooklyn Bethelite from 1975 thru 1982 you may remember me too. After leaving the data processing dept. I went into software development where I have remained ever since now a consultant in Boston. I was d/f'd in 1984 and do not miss the org and hypocrisy but do miss the friends from my pioneer and bethel service days. Glad to hear about both of you. My e-mail is cwood6@hotmail.com for anyone wanting to keep in touch.


Date:
03 Mar 2004
Time:
17:56:31
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hi im rachel from phil. im already a jw since 99. i want also to serve in bethel.but how? i dont know .waht is the qualifications on the bethel.but i hope someday that i will serve jehovah very much. im pilipino.thanks a lot.


Date:
06 Mar 2004
Time:
11:00:51
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I don't usually write to these kind of sites. But... You people need to recognize that sometimes thinking too freely can open your mind to all kinds of wayward thinking. I won't say who I am, but just know that I think that if you all did not think that this was the right religion then you wouldn't or shouldn't have stayed in it for so long. And those of you working at the Bethel facilities would never have gotten the chance to learn the things you learned at any other organization. You should be grateful for the free food, free housing in the one of the best Brooklyn Neighborhoods, and the free training you received. And you seem to forget about the free libraries, which holds not just "JW" literature, but any literature you would like to use to enhance your spiritual understandings. If you feel that these things were not useful or that you could not in some way apprecitate the time and MONEY given to train you people, than so be it. But, don't make it seem as though you were taken advantage of in some hard and fast way. One thing that I know that the witnesses do believe is that you do things by your choice and if you choose to live by the rules of every other human being on earth, good or bad than that is your choice. It's sites like these, where people pity themselves for making their own choices, and put down organizations that try their best at what they believe, that I pity. If this was any other religion, you wouldn't be so bitter. However, this should make others see how much this probably is the right way to go. Because, no other religion is talked about or chastise so much for believing what they believe.


Date:
09 Mar 2004
Time:
13:15:56
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My name is Diane Marei - my name when I was at Bethel was Diane Beers. I was there from 1970 to 1981 - worked at the Factory in the Proofreading Department. I now live in Phoenix and work for the FBI. You can contact me at dianemarei@hotmail.com


Date:
09 Mar 2004
Time:
14:03:01
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Diane (Beers) Marei again - Randy - I do remember you - thanks for doing this website - great idea - it's quite a blast from the past! Tom and Gloria Cabeen were good friends of mine - I had lost track of them, but have their e-mail now. Thanks again for getting us "all together" again!


Date:
17 Mar 2004
Time:
12:39:08
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Then, since we are so close to the "final" end, let them shun their devotion to Mammon.... as Jesus and the apostles did....get out of lucrative waterside properties in New York and throw the cash at those who need it in lands yet to hear the good news thoroughly... or, is it more double standards and slave beating. I was told by the Bethel Elder I worked with "I was all heavenly and no earthly good" ... he was right, because I gave up a mighty find education and career to chew the carrot at the end of their constantly beating stick. The WTS has fallen victim to the stock exchange and has left the real commission it undertook far far behind. Disillusioned of the United Kingdom. Get the "vessels for dishonourable use out" and return to theocracy and maybe many on the side lines will revitalise and return.


Date:
23 Mar 2004
Time:
19:43:38
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Randy: Thank you for providing this web site. However, isn't there anyone out there who was at Watchtower Farms @ 1974-1976? I remember the great baseball, basketball, and football games we had.


Date:
23 Mar 2004
Time:
20:18:07
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Dear Randy: Thank you for this site. Does anyone out there remember me? I was at Watchtower farms @ 1974-1976? I enjoyed playing sports at the farm. I was out on the farm at first, until they discovered I was a fast typist....then I was in graph-o-type. I typed over 1000 stencils a day for a few days in a row..and I was "promoted" to address-o-graph. Yuck!! They let 2 brothers go to different areas, so I took over both of their jobS. My overseer wanted me to get out the previous 2 peoples work and still participate in the congregation I was assigned to....like I had time...I remember he would yell at us and call us potlickers!! Yea...now that I'm older and a lot smarter.....I gotta a pot he can lick!! He's now probably some circuit overseer somewhere earning all that tax free money.... Poughkeepsie!!! I miss most of the people but not the indoctrination and grind. I also remember being re-assigned to a different roomate who I believe was making sexual advances to me....when I complained without implicating "R-----"(my roomate) I was severely chastised. I then began to step back and evaluate what the HELL I got myself into and whether the elders were looking out for my best interests.Obviously NOT!!! Therefore,,out of here!! Anyway if you remember the scrawny 130 lb. blond hair blue eyed graphotyper from Ohio... give me a shout at my e-mail.........lawyer@ohiohills.com


Date:
25 Mar 2004
Time:
18:50:02
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Hello! My name is Craig Knight. I never went to Bethel but prayed to God to lead me in the right direction. Should I get married or go to Bethel? Well, I guess God wasn't listening because I got married to a real fruitcake and left her and the jw mess after 16 years of hell. I'm writing to see if anyone knows the Minette family. I would really like to get in contact with them. Help! Free of all religion, Craig


Date:
24 May 2004
Time:
09:01:10
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Hello, I never served at Bethel but visited every summer as a child and into teen years as part of family vacations. We even had some brothers from Bethel come stay at our home and give talks at our local congregation. I was disfellowshipped back in 1994. I got baptized at the young age of 14 which was my biggest mistake. I still hold JW teachings true to my heart and I can't see myself joining a church, even though it has been 10 years. I know they aren't supposed to but many of the friends from the congregation still talk to me and give me a hug when they see me. I have had a hard time wrestling with life since I left he organization. They way in which I was disfellowshipped has prompted me not to return to the organization. I know it's wrong and I still harbor resentment to the way things happened that fateful day back in August, 1994. My Mom has since passed away and everyone showed love and support and helped me with that... up until the point when they elders looked over her program for the memorial service and told me that I couldn't have my name on the back of it because I was disfellowshipped. That got me so mad, I wanted to blow up. But I held my own and let everyone know that the programs could be picked up from my home and not at the Kingdom Hall. So if people were upset that they didn't get one, I politely let it be known why and went on about my business. I was raised as a Witness by both my Mother and Father. My Father ended up leaving because he didn't like the way the elders handled my situation. He was an elder himself and since he was my Father, he couldn't serve on the committee. My Mother got dissolusioned with the organization as well. Although she never left, and never got disfellowshipped, she became inactive. She went to the meetings occasionally. My Grandmother and Aunts and Uncles on my Mother's side of the family is still very active in the Organization. I only have 2 family members who shun me but it's amazing how that all that falls through when they need something (we live right next door to one another). Mainly, my reason for reaching out on this site is to ask questions and possibly get help from ex-JWs who aren't really apostates. I wonder if I'm the only one who has had really really hard times since I left? I yearn for extra help in this matter. Please contact me with your comments and suggestions. Thank you. Dana Warren 1400 McCollum Street Starke FL 32091 classa@safe-mail.net


Date:
28 May 2004
Time:
11:24:57
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Hi - My name is Steve Woodmansee. I was at Brooklyn Bethel from 1977 to 1978 (left right after my year was up!). My congo was Brooklyn Center (congo #1) and I lived briefly at 124, then the towers (lost that room on the first room bid), and ultimately down at the 58 building. Worked in the bindery on the nipper, smasher, gatherer and Minami sewing machines. (If all that terminology doesn't cross your eyes, nothing will!) I can be reached at stevew@socal.rr.com - Hi everyone!


Date:
02 Jun 2004
Time:
10:27:51
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Bruce Welborn I was at Bethel from 75-76 Was at dining room table with Debbie Barr, glad to hear she got out, she was nice. Harry Peloyan was table head, Dave Barr was foot. Worked in building 4 (warehouse), also in bulk wrap I am gladly out now


Date:
13 Jun 2004
Time:
21:04:35
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Hello. I post as "onacruse" on JWD. I was at Bethel 1969-1970...124, Mountain Farm. Left before my "4" Got a nice little letter from Knorr. Long story. Hello there, Steve! :) And hello to you too, Randy! Craig


Date:
02 Jul 2004
Time:
20:35:04
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Randy Watters hello from Randy M., I've never actually talked to you but we have many friends in common. Talk to Tom Cabeen about what I'm doing, P.S. You mispelled my name on the website its "MANGELS" you gotta get it right!!! (816) 7611327


Date:
06 Jul 2004
Time:
14:04:24
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My name is Michael McDougal and i worked at the Farms in wallkill for about a year and a half (2000-2001) in the dining room. some called me "DOOGIE". other called me "SIR"...no, wait...no one called me that... anyway, if you know who i am, my email is FUNSOFTON@YAHOO.COM.


Date:
06 Jul 2004
Time:
17:47:38
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Thank you for deleting my last post Randy. I was getting some people in my life who were using it against me. I can't identify myself openly because of all the usual reasons. But I will say that I was at Bethel 6 years, and they were good years. Ages 21 through 27 are usually good years to just about everyone. But they are nothing compared to the joy I feel at this moment. Freedom, there's nothing so liberating as freedom. (That's a saying I made up, though it m ight have been said before.) I finally went to college like I always wanted and I am overcoming many of the phobias instilled in me my whole life as a Witness. I just can't express how wonderful a feeling it is to be out from under that oppressive yoke. I didn't even know how oppressed I was until I was free. Now, I want to dedicate my life to freeing others as well. That sounds like what a witness would say, but it's true. I was never really too effective at preaching, maybe now that I have the facts and a clear picture of reality, I can really help set people's minds free. Thank you for all you do in the name of Christian Freedom. I am happier than I've ever been in my life, and I've actually experienced joy for the first time. I never even felt it before leaving that dungeon. If anyone wants to contact me they can go to Yahoo groups and look up Bundle of Twigs (no pun intended) and say something about JWs being intolerant and oppressive and I'll respond to it when I see it pop up. Oh, and I was at Watchtower Farms from '90 to '96. To the guy who posted last year who knew the Grimsleys, again, contact me via the Yahoo group.


Date:
21 Jul 2004
Time:
10:16:28
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Thanks for the comments my friends, Randy Watters here. Nice to hear from old friends and others I'd wish I'd known!


Date:
27 Jul 2004
Time:
16:00:09
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Hi everyone! Enjoyed N.Y. and the "home". Enjoyed Africa too and marrying Monique over there. But, best of all was leaving the "Tower" for Jesus Christ, who IS the head of His people. Not someone in some city of this planet earth. (Gal 5:1). Would like to contact any former roommates or girlfriends in Brooklyn, Ken Guindon, Bethel N.Y. 1963-1968 and 48th class of Gilead. email is irenee2@yahoo.com


Date:
26 Aug 2004
Time:
14:58:33
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I was a Jehovahs Witness for twenty years and become somewhat perplexed by the overly legalistic nature of The watchtower Organization. Did much research at Free Minds and came across the books, Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom by Ray Franz. Read each publication at least eight times. I was impressed by the clarity and objectivity of the way the information was presented.


Date:
26 Aug 2004
Time:
15:15:53
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Greetings to everyone and may our Heavenly Father and his Son Christ Jesus be with all of you. I was a Jehovahs Witness for twenty years and became disturbed by an over abundance of rules(laws) on every aspect of ones public and especially private life of the individual. Laws that are derived from interpretation of scripture by implied means, not clearly presented from Scripture. My personal rule is as follows: Unless an understanding on certain verses are clearly presented, no one should impose a law binding on other Christians with the end prospect resulting in Disfellowshipping. Read Crisis of Consciense and In Search of Christian Freedom at least eight times. Also have corresponded through letters and phone conversation several times with Raymond Franz. With Deep Respect, Love and Sincerity to all Lovers of the Bible. Bradley A. Mathews, Tel. # 610-330-6985; feel free and call for upbuilding conversation.


Date:
05 Sep 2004
Time:
13:13:56
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I never served in Bethel but I am looking for a friend who has. His name is Ray Mansfield from Levittown PA. I'm not sure if the years he served there. Late 80's maybe. Department unknown. email me if you are or know my mia friend.... seedsoflove2@yahoo.com Thanks


Date:
13 Sep 2004
Time:
00:34:33
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My name is Melissa Moan. Although I did not serve at Bethel I did visit there. I just wanted to thankyou for the information in you site. I left the organization a year ago because of politics at the bottom end of the organization. I was not able to live by these endless rules that I found to be contrary to the real message of Jesus. And even if I did follow all the rules, it was still schetchy whether I was approved by God. I recently decided to attend the First Baptist Church in my area. I have 3 small children and need a place to teach them about God and his son and his message and hope for all christians. Have you found a place to worship and associate? I sometimes still seem to hang on to a sense of "now I am joining Babylon the Great". I feel so welcome there though and I have never felt so happy inside. The organization did such a good job scaring christians into submission that even when you realize they are wrong it is so difficult to keep searching elsewhere without being scared. I have friends that have left the organization and they are doing nothing to build their faith and learn the truth. I am not sure if this letter means anything to you, but I would sure appreciate a few comments from you. I really am happy inside and feel the best about my relationship with Jesus, but my whole family are witnesses and they all believe I am mentally unstable and this is the explanation they have given every friend and relative with the organization for why I left. I wish so much that they could all open their eyes and finally see that they are miserable and judgemental because they are missing the message of being free in Christ. I love them all dearly and pray that either God will forgive them or he will help me to just understand how an organization can blind so many people and shatters families like this. This was all I had to say. Your friend in Christ, Melissa  moanzy2@telus.net


Date:
19 Sep 2004
Time:
10:05:41
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Dear Melissa: I too have left the WT movement. I feel closer to Christ in my heart because I TRUST IN HIM ALONE. I think the problem is that although a personal relationship with God and Christ are emphasised in most churches of Christendom and within the WT movement.... Few, truly develop this. My home is in the United Kingdom. I have only visited the States twice in my life. The first time was to the deep south where I gave a special talk to a congregation in Georgia, invited because I was serving in Bethel at the time. I can now stand back and look a bit more objectively, at the religious mud slinging that seems to occur here and especially in the States. I stayed in a home in an upmarket part of town with a Baptist minister in homes either side of me. At the time of visiting, the first black family had been baptised as JWs. The following weekend three burning crosses were erected in the KH yard... donated by the KKK. It turned out that out of the pulpit the two Baptist ministers I refer to were also the leaders of these hooded hoodlums. You talk of Love amongst them? I think Melissa... all people who love Christ... despite their religious slotting, will display the fruits of Christ. How can you condemn any religious organisation, on the basis of personal bad experience. If the love of Christ is in our hearts we will seek out our kindred spirits wherever they are. Draw close to your heavenly Father and by your love and devotion, show your children how to do the same. Best wishes, in the love of Christ Graham


Date:
20 Sep 2004
Time:
12:54:54
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I never have really told my story about my year at Bethel. I have expressed to many of you about my being raised as a witness, my entire goal during life was Bethel! Being I was born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan I grew up with dozens of Bethelites and it was something my parents groomed me to do. After graduating High School (just barely Kingdom Ministry was more important) I started pioneering and started doing menial jobs till my application was considered for Bethel. Imagine the joy I felt after a year of pioneering I was called to go to Bethel and hopefully Gilead was next!

Then the nightmare started. Being a Puerto Rican/Mexican I never felt at home in Bethel. In fact it took me many years of self analysis to realize that white people are not all devils. I hope none of you get offended because now I treat all people on an individual basis and not on the basis of a few racist I ran into in Bethel. In Bethel people are so much more concerned with titles and positions. After about six months I felt as if this was a job and not working for Jehovah. I worked in the construction plumbing department and we literally had millions of dollars of parts and a computer stock system that kept track of our inventory. All departments had top of the line equipment, a fleet of cars and trucks. During morning worship the constant repetitive numbers of reports throughout the world, more getting baptized, more magazines and books placed, it was like the movie 1984 with John Hurt! Another aspect that I found disturbing was the number of my good friends, 3 in one year (2 white, 1 Puerto Rican) who had nervous breakdowns. And this was just me! Nervous breakdowns came with being there. I think I may have not had one because I use to drink lots of beer on free time to wash away the pain. (There is a lot of alcoholism at Bethel.) Also the way people acted like when it came to leftovers after lunch and breakfast, it was the tupperware race, the minute the word amen was uttered it was a free for all to get leftovers.

In my department I worked in the warehouse filling orders and receiving from "worldly" companies to many projects we were responsible for. Including the Bossert Hotel, branches throughout the world, and local kingdom halls that Bethelites would work on at weekends. I use to wonder why we always use to send very expensive, complex parts to foreign branches in Third World countries. I thought we were "helping our brothers" in poorer countries. I later found out this was done so that import taxes won't have to be paid because the Watchtower Society is a religious organization! As I stated before in Bethel it was very important for people to achieve high status and titles and unlike worldly companies you had a series of "brownnosers" who did anything for a title. Being that I was raised in congregations in the New York area I knew many Bethel "heavies" those with many years and political pull. When I went to Bethel I thought I would have many friends, but none of these people who knew me from when I was baby helped me when a serious problem happened me. There was one man who moved up fast in our department who just did not like me, I guess because of racial reasons. He constantly was ratting me out for any thing wrong I may have done and I will admit being 18 I had a lot of energy and would horse around at times but I had excellent reviews concerning my work, I love to do work that meaningful and excites my mind.

I enjoyed listening to rap music so at times I would do raps with other younger guys. One day I was called into the office because one of my co workers joked about me getting baptized in the next summer convention, being one who could dish out jokes I could take them also, yet I was called into the office for not appreciating my baptism. I never ratted out the brother who started the joke either. So this one guy finally ratted me out for operating a piece of equipment after work hours (a forklift). I use to sometimes stay after work to finish orders and so forth. Because of this I was asked to leave Bethel despite my trying to have my Bethel Friends who knew me from a youth try to bail me out but nothing. My last day in bethel I worked late to finish any orders I had and when I was showering to change this guy who did not like me sexually attacked me in the shower, we were both alone in the locker room since it was late and it just seemed so strange that this man was constantly tailing me everyday, even in the shower! I wont get into any real details as to what occurred, nothing serious but at this point I was grateful that I was leaving this crazy place. But in my year there I saw all kinds of wierdos, lazy people, politicians, governing body members who looked like bums, homosexuals, people who cursed, everything.

After this I could not ever tell people that this was the truth. My Father on the other hand to this day thinks that I was wrong and thus told me that I must continue to Pioneer or leave the house and that's where I am today. It was a horrible time for me bethel and Gilead dreams shattered, my faith in something I spent 20 years in shattered, no support from anybody, in fact in my congregation there was the murmuring of me doing something wrong in Bethel. I found a lot of comfort in a song by the Beatles at this time, "Let it be". To add to all this depression a young lady that I was really interested in in my congregation was messing around with a non witness boy and I saw them together my last day at bethel while I was going home! At best during this time period I was suicidal myself. I think I drank a couple of forties that night! And thats Got my Forty homey story.


Date:
21 Sep 2004
Time:
22:08:13
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Howdy folks! My name is Bob Gearhart, I was at Bethel from 75-79, Bindery & Inkroom. Later pioneered in Ky. and N. Carolina, moved back to California in '86. Found the truth about "the truth" about 2000-2001 and DA'd myself, the wife left after 23 years because of it, but my 2 kids left with me...AND THEY WILL HAVE A GOOD LIFE AND A EDUCATION! Write if you want....gymbob56@yahoo.com


Date:
23 Sep 2004
Time:
17:32:46
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Here's a little history for ya. I had a plane fly over Dodger Stadium (this was 2 years after I left Bethel, and had already distributed 10,000 free copies of my tract, "What Happened at the World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Spring of 1980" all over the world). That's how my ministry got started. Several people called the hotline. The banner on the plane said, "1980 Bethel Shakeup - 310-546-2937" and it had the 1980 message. By the way, the tract is here: http://www.freeminds.org/history/whathapp.htm This was out a year before Ray Franz did his book, and so it was the first published record of an ex-Bethelite documenting what happened during the Franz incident: http://www.freeminds.org/bethel/incident.htm So there's a little history for ya! By the way, several families got out of the Jdubs from that airplane banner. They went to the bathroom and wrote down the number in secrecy. Over the next 1-6 years, some would call me and thank me for helping them get out. It had taken years for some of the seeds to work, or it just took them years to thank me. By the way, the Jdubs were really pissed, and they banned small planes from flying over Dodger Stadium! LOL Not bad for a $400 investment. I can see it now: Friends, PAY NO ATTENTION to the apostate plane flying overhead!! Cracks me up. Randy Watters http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/78640/1.ashx http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/78699/1.ashx


Date:
09 Oct 2004
Time:
21:22:24
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Hello, My name is Paula. I am from a very large family all raised JW's. Fortunately, we all left the JW's and found lives. Unfortunately, our years as JW's also split my family apart, in the end leaving many scars that just don't seem to heal. My brother, Gary Fisher, spend a few years at Bethel in the early 1960's. I am looking for anyone that might remember him there during that timeframe. Gary was my true "big brother" and I missed him terribly while he was gone. When he returned from Bethel, he was distant and never really came "home". He died a few years later, way too young, leaving behind so many mysteries, and children that never knew him as I did before he went to Bethel. As the years have passed, I think of him often and wonder what happened. I would love to hear from anyone that may have known him while he was there. All my Thanks, Paula email - scarletous@yahoo.com


Date:
24 Oct 2004
Time:
14:55:32
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My name is Steve Woodmansee; I was in Bethel from 1978 to 1979. I have been inactive since 1992 but am planning to submit a formal letter disassociating myself (already drafted) within the next couple of weeks. I'm gay, I came out in February of this year (2004) and so are several of my former Bethelite friends. Would love to reconnect if any of you are out there reading this!


Date:
26 Oct 2004
Time:
10:57:31
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Hi, Steve... ex-Bethelite (Europe) Cropleather@blueyonder.co.uk... if you want to cyberchat (p.s. 1978-1982... didn't quite do the four years, and left very disillusioned) Out, proud and partnered


Date:
26 Oct 2004
Time:
14:03:01
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I came to JW's after 25 years as a Catholic. I am still very active in here in Minnesota but am really struggling with what the WTBTS has taught. I can't leave. Please pray for me.


Date:
15 Nov 2004
Time:
09:42:43
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I serverd at bethel from 1969 - 1999 the best years of my life, the brothers were kind, and instrumental in my further spirituality, i beg all you who have left the truth to come back before it is to late - remember Jehovah forgives in a large way...


Date:
01 Dec 2004
Time:
03:45:12
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Hello Randy, I may or may not be a bethelite, elder, circuit overseer, unbaptized person, elder's wife, unbeliever, or a member of the governing body. I am just as good or as plain as you are. I am rejecting my rank because rank is not brotherhood and rank is not love. After reading the entire bethelite guestbook, a number of repetitive complaints have risen to the surface as potential truth. In my opinion, the religion known as jehovah's witnesses is currently highly rankist and unsafe for human habitation. Numerous jehovah's witnesses are on anti-depressants, have had nervous breakdowns, and some have committed suicide. Where is the brotherly love and tender affection? A disturbing trend among ex-Jehovah's Witnesses is this: the Disassociation Letter. The person gives their power over to the elders or society so they can be 'killed' out of the organization, because they've found no other way to escape the society's abuse. I wrote my letter and didn't send it. Love yourself because there's enough about you to love. Even when the ex-JW has left the diseased religion behind, the parasitic shepherding call is employed to attempt to control the person again. It happens periodically over six months. Is this love? Is this about making the truth your own? The Jehovah's Witness religion is quite friendly in the beginning. Yet make no mistake, it's eventual goal is to control individuals in an elaborate punishment/reward system. It's a fun game to play Jehovah's Witness as long as you obey. Once the host decides to become a member, he's fine for awhile. Let's say though, that he becomes somewhat inactive, stops going to meetings, has forbidden questions he asks, or chooses a new personal direction (hair length, or different choice of cloth to cover his body, etc.), the punishment gets cranked up. As a person said earlier, 'A religion with all of the answers allows no questions.' There is no way any of you are going to win this sick game, unless you climb and claw over your brother's bodies to be that governing body at the top of the pyramid. Sharp attacks on families, on free thoughts, free actions, and free time are common and ruthless. Controlling others in Bethel for low pay is an efficient way for the Society to maintain their real estate holdings. It's nothing personal. Gossip gives the gossiper a feeling of power, that's why they do it. They have little personality of their own so they pick on personality. People judge others in the jehovah's witness faith, especially when they can pin it on watchtower publication text. Forgive 77 times? People have trouble forgiving once. If you hate being judged, don't judge. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. Congregation elders must punish anyone who falls out of rank and file or face punishment themselves. They're just playing the same game you are, the same stupid game. Does this sound out of line with loving your neighbour as you love yourself? What about the Jehovah's Witness' brotherhood being relatively equal? Isn't the congregation just a group of brothers with relatively equal power? Sure you are. You're equal; go up on stage and say in the mike 'I love Jehovah.' Some of us have moved on into other faiths or not, and some have moved into other careers such as criminal defense attourney. We need to wake up. Cong! Cong! Cong! We need a new Cong! Family Reunion dinner. Bring someone you respect who is different from you, and just eat a meal together once a month at first. No topic of discussion,just eating and friendly talking. PS I'm not from Bethel. What is a potlicker? Has anyone else read Somebodies and Nobodies? I highly recommend that we all read it.


Date:
14 Dec 2004
Time:
15:00:28
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Heh Y'all. John (Chris) ********. Served WTF Kitchen Aug 1985 through Mar 1988. Pioneered afterward. Had to let the bastards go in 2001 when they switched from direct appointment of Elders by Holy Spirit to apostolic succession. (Remember branch commitees directly appointing elders within there respective countries.) They broke my connection to Jehovah so I re-established it myself. (In business this is called downsizing, cutting out the middlemen.) Prayed to Jehovah for wisdom and He taught me to read the NWT Interlinear Greek. Seems the text underneath the Greek does not match the one on the side. Learned what Jehovah's will is for MYSELF and now I attend a very healthy Bible based Christian church in Christiandom. Yeah it was scary and difficult but well worth it. Jesus Christ has bought with His blood and body my sins. I am free indeed! Just do it! It's worth it!


Date:
25 Dec 2004
Time:
21:08:29
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Have had at least 2 generations of our family serve in Bethel, plus thousands of dollars sent to this effort. Lou Stanley, Darrel Stanley 1930's to 40's? Nathen Stanely 70's - 80's? Interested to hear how money is spent. Not impressed, please fill me in. My mother has sent $100,00.00 earning 6 and 1/2 percent until she dies which is the minimum required by the government. She is 70. They keep all when she is gone. Any response apprecieated. please email aomeara @cfl.rr.com


Date:
29 Dec 2004
Time:
18:35:05
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i,m orignally from africa, ghana to be precise. i lived in london, england for 15 years and now living in usa for the past 7 years. i,ve been a witness for the past 30 years. when ray franz,s incidence occured i was just a young boy of 24 now a grown up. i only heard about his books and read them just last 2 years and now want to talk to him could provide me with his phone #? mine is773-561-7738. pl. note my wife complains of me bringing evil spirit to the house b,cause of the books. my name is robert quaye. thanks in advance my email is rquaye@hotmail.com


Date:
29 Dec 2004
Time:
18:35:42
Remote User:

Comments

i,m orignally from africa, ghana to be precise. i lived in london, england for 15 years and now living in usa for the past 7 years. i,ve been a witness for the past 30 years. when ray franz,s incidence occured i was just a young boy of 24 now a grown up. i only heard about his books and read them just last 2 years and now want to talk to him could provide me with his phone #? mine is773-561-7738. pl. note my wife complains of me bringing evil spirit to the house b,cause of the books. my name is robert quaye. thanks in advance my email is rquaye@hotmail.com


Date:
29 Dec 2004
Time:
19:21:47
Remote User:

Comments

Hi, I'm Dave Brown. Before I went to Brooklyn, I was involved with JW congregations in Garden Grove, California and Payette, Idaho. Started Bethel service in Sept of 73 (bindery) and then transferred to Watchtower Farms in Feb of 75 (worked mainly in subscriptions, graphotype & addressograph). Was involved with Brooklyn Heights Congregation and Middletown South. Married the next year to a pioneer in Ontario, Oregon. Later involved with congregations in Medford, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona. Voluntarily disassociated in August of 1980. My wife remained a JW for many years but she & I were re-married in a Christian Church for our 25th anniversary. Would love to hear from old acquaintances. email: dtbrown@aol.com


Date:
02 Jan 2005
Time:
19:49:03
Remote User:

Comments

Greetings to all Bethelites past and present; James Hughes Bethelite 1971-1975 Invited to help on Squibb building construction for one year stayed four years. Was shortly assined to press room and eventualy became press operator. Many names on this site I remember while at Bethel. If this is an apostate site, so be it, I am not afraid of any apostate. The TRUTH is larger than the UN issue, blood transfusions, or Randy Watters. My first two years I loved Bethel, my second two years I hated Bethel. I was glad to be there and know how the organization worked. I came into the TRUTH as a soldier in VietNam tought by a missionary. This opened many doors for me and I came to know many GB members. Fred Franz was a personal friend of mine and tought me much of basic christianity. The organization is changing, but the TRUTH does not change. Make firm your faith and stop whinning about the little things. James Hughes tobubba22@earthlink.net


Date:
17 Jan 2005
Time:
11:29:47
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Leanita Sowell Nedostup, from Memphis, Tn and various areas in Ohio. My brother, Frank Sowell was a former bethelite in 50's/60's. I worked there as a volunteer in the summer's of 62 and 63. I want to contact other former witnesses for correspondence. I lived in Brooklyn and knew many bethelites. My sister, Veleda, married Lee Barnett - 1955, who was a bethelite. They are still witnesses. I am not. I am a Christian believer. When the rumors spread, while I was still associated, in the early 80's about 'members of bethel writing dept, etc. being apostate ... I never believed it, I knew in my spirt it was a lie, tho it took many years before I read Ray Franz books about the real 'truth'. Please get in touch with me, even tho I know I am not actually a former member of Bethel, I have much to tell about 'experiences' w/ members. e-mail.. leanitanedostup@netzero.com ... Blessings to you and continue the good work of telling the actual TRUTH. In love, Leanita


Date:
26 Jan 2005
Time:
10:42:35
Remote User:

Comments

Hi Randy! My name is Felix Rivera-Perez. I served as a waiter at Patterson from April 1994 to September 1997. I was actually dismissed from Bethel and put on private reproof for engaging in beviour that had "homosexual tendencies". It was horrible meeting before three Bethel elders (one being my own overseer, whom you may know since he was serving in Brooklyn at the time you were) It's nice to see a site where ex-bethelites can get together. My email address is coqui_dude@hotmail.com. Also, if there is anyone who is an ex-bethelite and lives in NYC (i live in chelsea, go figure LOL) feel free to keep in touch Best Felix


Date:
30 Jan 2005
Time:
11:55:26
Remote User:

Comments

Hi my name is Danielle. I live in London,(England) I am only 15 so i'm not old enough to work at Bethel but when i'am older i would like to work in the kitchen cooking the meal for all the Brothers and Sister. And my mum said if i take hard enough i will be able to do ti on day. Talk to you all soon


Date:
06 Feb 2005
Time:
22:49:17
Remote User:

Comments

Time to add my two cents...I was raised a witness and spent 15 years at Brooklyn Bethel, 83-98.  They were mostly wonderful. I met thousands of terrific people at Bethel and throughout the world. Sure Bethel is strict and there are plenty of self-righteous career-climbers, but overall most Bethelites were great. Of course, I was never really committed to the truth, but enjoyed helping others and meeting cool people. I left because I always knew I was gay and it was getting more and more difficult to suppress myself. I also am not the king of self-sacrifice and all the meetings and field service took its toll. It took me a few years after Bethel to finally cut the cord and leave the organization. Some may take issue with me, but I really didn't want to disappoint anyone. Of course, I realized I needed to do what was best for me. Why do so many people say negative things about the Witnesses? To me, I learned many valuable things that made me a better person. I think all the fighters and complainers are the same people who complain about their boss, their job, their family, etc. People who just don't know how to get on with their lives. I am very happy living in California. I have a lot of great friends and enjoy my job. I still get to play softball, just in a gay league now. I wish all the old gang in Bethel and NYC the best. Roger brooklynsd@hotmail.com


Date:
07 Feb 2005
Time:
08:10:23
Remote User:

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Roger Brooklyns, what a good attitude you display. This attitude is good for you and will help you greatly throughout life. I feel just like you in many respects. Yes, there are plenty of wonderful people inside the WTBTS. Take good care of yourself and keep up the good attitude in life. DY


Date:
18 Feb 2005
Time:
19:08:51 
Remote User:

Comments

Hey: Was brought up as a JW (Birth 1978 - late 2000's on & off... who wants to be the first to offer me a RIP sign)... almost made my way to bethel but caught myself in time... as time progressed, I realized more and more that I could not do the religion (or its pre-requisites/requirements without being able to "life my life" per se). Though I saw many people living their lives in a wrong way and going to the kingdom hall, I could not be that type of person. So I stopped attending completely. One day an elder came and told me "your privalges have been suspended"... And there my friends went everything out the window. Since then I have attained a higher education, am doing pretty well, but feel a little bit "empty". Though I have tried to have "male" relationships, the religion keeps coming to mind and along with my JW mother dirty my conscience to the point where they did not last. Now that I am "out"; she (mom) is devastated, but I feel I need to live MY LIFE. We were always told "this is the truth". But I am 26 years old now and know that this is the truth, but not by much research. False religions are letting their true colors be shown (in the past and present terms). That "end of the system of things" event continues to come into my head. But I feel that as long as I am trying to do all I can to be happy and live life as much as I can with my relationship with god DIRECTLY, I may (we all may) make it with life. We can never lose hope since the organization is not perfect (even though it is guided by the holy spirit, it is still a non perfect world with non perfect humans making decisions as they feel "God" is asking them to). Anyway no poison here... LOL... I just hope that everyone keeps their beleifs open no matter how bad an experience they had, as the experiences I have had with my past brothers and sisters have been the best I have ever experienced! Something must be right in the organization! Anyway in NYC attended Westchester Spanish, Yauco Spanish (Puerto Rico) and a few others in NYC. If anyone wants to talk, or need non-biased advice, or if you think you know me, feel free to email me at boriquacutie69@yahoo.com ~Rob~


Date:
03 Mar 2005
Time:
20:52:15
Remote User:

Comments

Hey everyone. Intersting posts. Everyone's got a great story to tell! One BIG DIFFERENCE between myself and many other ex-JWs is that I no longer have any faith in the B'org or the Bible. I am also a former Bethelite (4 years at WTF in the early '90s) and life-long JW (out now, happily!). I must say that there are many good people in the JW org. I see them all as victims just like myself. I am still struggling (after being fully out for about 3 years) with reconciling my past and getting adjusted into "normal" living. I've been in therapy for about a year now and it's been really good. The effects are slow to realize but, hey, life is worth the effort! I am a WHOLE LOT happier because I am able to live my life to the fullest every single day and to be able to challenge myself and realize my full potential. Something the JWs will frown upon, because we're supposed to shun "selfish ambitions" but instead hand over our minds and lives to WT. One day this organization will be COMPLETELY EXPOSED for what it really is - a dangerous, mind-controlling cult.


Date:
19 Mar 2005
Time:
14:45:36
Remote User:

Comments

Hello all Tim Johnson here. Brooklyn Bethel from 1976 to 1978. Worked in the dining rooms as a waiter. Worst job I ever had in my life. When I asked for a reassignment I was told to work on my "spirituality". Was asked to leave when ny roomate found a Playboy magazine in my drawer. First of all what was he doing in my desk anyway. I really miss all the people that I knew there. Most of the people were really great. There were alot who thought they were reaLLY ALL THAT especially when it came to serving them their food. As a sheltered JW kid brought up to serve at the BIG HOUSE I was totally unprepared for living in NYC. I hated going door to door and having to go all the way to 95th and CPW for meetings. $14.00 a month did not make for much of a life. My JW parents believed that I had all I needed and not anything else.Thank goodness for others who would give us odd jobs and visitors who would send us money. I did have a geart time dating a sister out on the Island. We would have gotten married except I left the ORG. Once I left NY I was disillusioned and never regain the faith I had before I left. I tried to keep up but I no longer believed. Once my mother died I fell away fast. Spent many years lost in fear, drugs and booze. Always afraid that the next war ot eartquake was the end plus the guilt was enough to drive me to the brink of suicide. Finally saw the light and have a firm spiritual concious contact with God now. Got married and have a wonderful wife and 14 year old girl. Never could go back though. I tried once and awhile but it was not the same. I still keep in touch with my brother and some old JW friends. They all ask me why I left and when I tell them I no longer believe and wh I get not response. I think my brother and his family just can't get the courage to leave. If anybody knows what happened to BUD VIRE or HERMAN Mc Mickens or any of the 1976-1978 waiter crew let me know. By the way my roommates name was Charles Lemilluer from Kerrville Texas and Unice Louiseana. Whay would I remember that after all these years. Thanks for listening and for your help keeping me going early on in my JW recovery Randy. e-mail: roborally@verizon.net


Date:
22 Mar 2005
Time:
08:08:52
Remote User:

Comments

I won't use my name since I am still serving at HQ. Having been here for many years, I recognize many of the names on this site. Over the last few years and months several have left or are pursuing other activities. Many left frustrated, with a feeling of being 'laid off' and yet totally unprepared, uneducated, etc. for the outside world. I don't think I'll leave the TRUTH yet, but it is interesting to 'see' what's been going on - 'on the outside.' - CIAO!


Date:
22 Mar 2005
Time:
13:44:43
Remote User:

Comments

To CIAO March 22 from Bethel, While you are there take the time to go into the Gilead Library and read articles from all the older Watchtowers, it is Rutherford who really messed up the organization by turning all normal Christian things like the cross, wine nad bread, Jesus being the mediator for us all, etc. It is actually an "apostate" religion! Check out http://www.freeminds.org/history/whathapp.htm for my take on it. Randy


Date:
22 Mar 2005
Time:
15:20:42
Remote User:

Comments

Thanks for the comments Randy! By the way - CIAO means goodbye in Italian. Since, I've been here, I've had plenty of time to study (in depth!!!)the history of this organization. You are quite correct that certain men have influenced us - some for better, others for worse. However, I don't feel that the average Witness, in general, is out to get you. In fact, for the most part, we are overall a pretty decent bunch of folks - a bit quirky, but still decent. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some bad apples in the bunch - freaks, pervs, psychos, etc. But they exist in all organized groups - religious, secular, political, etc. For example, a detailed study of the US 'founding fathers' reveals a real looney bin. However, overall they did a pretty good job of getting something started. We are pretty much in the same boat: done some good, some bad, but hopefully in the end - we're winning points with the big guy upstairs! Will EVERY JW get life? I hope not! Will every apostate get destroyed? Be serious! God can't be that shallow -- He Created Everything (for HIS sake!) Just my two cents worth! (Oh Yeah, can somebody spot me a couple of pennies, I AM in full time service.) Hey You guys can't trace this IP address can you? Can you imagine how much trouble I will be in if they catch me on this site? CIAO! Afterall is said and done -- just try to be a


Date:
22 Mar 2005
Time:
20:11:16
Remote User:

Comments

I was at Bethel for 10 years. Does anyone know what happended to Sam? He was a barber in the office complex and had a very pretty wife, Judy. They are a black couple, probably in thier late 40's to early 50's. Just wondering about some of the GREAT people that I had the blessing of meeting while there.


Date:
23 Mar 2005
Time:
06:44:32
Remote User:

Comments

I really liked the analogy of the person that signs off "CIAO!". Very well said, and it's the reality of things within the WTBTS indeed. DY


Date:
23 Mar 2005
Time:
12:54:01
Remote User:

Comments

My name is Bruce Kelly. I was at Brooklyn in 1972, 73 &74. I was a temporary at Patterson and later a commuter Bethelite at WT Farms in the mid 90's. My email is bkconst@mhtc.net. I will try to answer all emails.


Date:
25 Mar 2005
Time:
09:02:36
Remote User:

Comments

Randy How can I get in touch with Tom Cabeen? I would love to give him some shit about how he used to come over to my press "HOE 10" and talk to me about my additude. Keith Casarona newboy499@hotmail.com


Date:
31 Mar 2005
Time:
07:20:00
Remote User:

Comments

My question for the 'ex's or 'apostates' is this: Why is everyone so intent on getting back at the organization? I don't discredit the pain that was experienced, but surely there must have been enough good times to keep you involved for so long. There are days when I am disgusted by this place and others where it simple doesn't get any better. Aren't most things in life that way? (i.e.: marriage, singleness, children, school, work?) What is it that keeps you from moving on with your lives? Honestly, WT & JWs are simply not for everybody! For others though, it fills emotional and spiritual voids. The pedophilia and other illegal, immoral stuff does need to be dealt with, but are not unique to nor endorsed by the group and the vast majority of JWs. As already stated, the average Witness is NOT a bad person, but in fact pretty decent. I guess my point is that I hate to see people get involved in anything that prevents them from fully enjoying the rest of their lives, whether they choose to stay or leave. For now I am enjoying Bethel until I leave, then without looking back I will enjoy whatever lies ahead. Best wishes to all of you - you deserve it because you were created in His image! - CIAO!


Date:
31 Mar 2005
Time:
10:07:12
Remote User:

Comments

Randy, i lived and worked at bethel for over 4 years. I did my best. Perhaps sometimes i tried too hard to work hard. I did what i was told. Did have some clashes with overseers (petty stuff). One of my roommates, Gene, was also an acquaintance before bethel. Gene and i pioneered together for a while. While Gene was my roommate, he told me he visited a gay bar (Gene was a drag queen before being converted). Gene was struggling with homosexual feelings, having a very hard time. There was a committee meeting. The elders spoke with me as i was his roommate and acquaintance for years. During and after the committee meeting the elders were telling me some of what was going on... why? At the time i thought they were being unusually "free" with info. They did not talk at length, but more than i would normally expect. After the meeting, the elders visited me in my room to inform me Gene had been disfellowshipped. At that point, i told them that Gene had spoken to me about the gay bar and that he didn't do anything physical. He had just been tempted by the atmosphere or mood. The elders agreed, saying that Gene was disfellowshipped because he "did not hate the gay lifestyle enough." I was stunned. The last time i saw gene alive was when he was being escorted out of bethel. I remember his expression. Some time later, Gene committed suicide. I went to Gene's funeral and couldn't tell his mother the truth. And i've had to live with the truth about Gene's death for many years. Randy, Gene didn't do anything physical? In such a situation, is it not true that "the committee cheated?" And an innocent (flawed, yet human) man died. Because of feelings. Where was god in all that, randy? Circulate the truth in this story far and wide, everywhere randy. To ex-jw websites and beyond to any and all gay/lesbian ones too. I wonder how many times something like that was done... and, as in Gene's case, covered-up. Ed. S.


Date:
31 Mar 2005
Time:
14:16:15
Remote User:

Comments

Ed S. here again: this incident typifies perfectly the attitude of the society, namely, the "it never happened" in such and such a way.... Ed. S.


Date:        04 May 2005
Time:        17:21:27
Remote User:

Comments:

Hi. my name is Felix.  wrote earlier in the year.

served in bethel from april 1994 to sept. 1997. 

if there are any here who are exbethelites and still live in the NYC area, feel free to email me at asheryossi@hotmail.com.  would be nice to have friends who share a common past and hang out. 

Best, Felix


Date:        04 May 2005
Time:        17:23:43
Remote User:

Comments:

Ed S.-totally get what you are saying.  something similar happened to me.  we should talk sometime.  my email is asheryossi@hotmail.com
 


Date:
01 Aug 2005
Time:
12:02:29
Remote User:

Comments

I served from 1990 to 1995 at Patterson,Ny while it was under construction. I left discouraged due to the fact that my roommate was molested by a local commuting elder. The elder was punished, but my roommate left Patterson disillusioned as well. While I was there they treated me well, i learned new job skills and learned how to deal with people. I ate quite well.


Hello to everyone! My name is Bobby A., and I was in Brooklyn Bethel from 1992-2000. I was first assigned to clean towers for a short time then was reassigned to the Brooklyn Infirmary, when I along with five other brothers took 24/7 care of the senior members of the governing body. Wherever they went we went, governing body meetings, regular meeting, shopping, special talks, field service, circuit assemblies, district conventions etc. People like Fred Franz, George Gangas, John Booth, Babette Herlinger, John Erichetti, Bob Hatzfeld, Quill Zook, Karl Klein, Monsell Hershey, Crystal Swingle, Dorothy Kramer, Milton Henschel, Unn Roundholm, Yvonne Jones, Brother and Sister Howlett and innumerable others.

I did that for the next 6 years until I was reassigned to executive offices down the hill for a couple of months. After that, I drove for the society to Patterson, Wallkill, and local shuttles. And yes I drove the "retarded bus". After that I got transferred to the home, where I did wallpaper, paint and plaster. And then finally was transferred to construction tile. It was there that I met my first boyfriend. Scandalous! Oh yes, no one could know but it was great. I like bethel for what it was but got tired of it after awhile. I'm in NYC and am with a support group for ex-JW's who are LGBT, www.acbnyc.com. We've had so many ex-bethelites come through the doors. And a couple of missionaries and former circuit overseers too. If you know me I would love to hear from you. Lots of stories to tell. Cya, Bobby A.

soyboy72@yahoo.com


 
Date:
17 Oct 2006
Time:
12:02:29
Remote User:

Comments

I pioneered after high school, which for me ended in '91
my dad was a surfer from Palos Verdes, moved to mammoth in the late 
60's to peace out with my mom..
they worked for the mountain & spent their time skiing & backpacking 
- until they got the good news
of the kingdom & then the good news of a child (me) they moved to 
bishop and my mom was pregnant
with me when my parents were baptized at Norco in '73,  my dad passed 
away from skin cancer in '81, the day before he would have been 35..
(2 much walking on water?) .. he was a great guy & wasn't looking to 
be appointed an elder in the late 70's but took his responsibilities
seriously when they appointed him. my mom was an artist who did 
pottery & ceramics, when my dad died she kinda went crazy, 2 kids!?! 
what to do? she got re-married & subsequently DF'd within just six 
weeks... it was a high- profile thing for a small town & my dad was 
such a hero that the local body of elders needed to 'make an example' 
of my mom & step dad, who was divorced, & from out of town & couldn't 
prove he was free to scripturally re-marry..  oh yeah, on their elder 
body was one of my dad's 'friends' who came over while he was 
paralyzed and dying and tried to 'comfort' my mother by making sexual 
advances towards her... but these were imperfect humans, and we 
worshiped a perfect organization, we didn't understand this was 
innately the problem...
     my mom seemed so strong & so loyal & we were eventually re-
instated.. stronger than ever.. 'we' - because the whole family was 
shunned, not just my parents, but an eight year old kid & his little 
sister who just lost their dad from a long drawn out disease .. it 
was bullshit, tears and emotional terrorism, I had to be strong for 
my mom  & we kinda made a pact to survive to the new system together 
to see my father again.. it wasn't really cool to mourn him..
        because it was like he was waiting for us already in 
paradise... so whatever, hook line and sinker, I swallowed it all, I 
was diligent, an extrovert who got his ass kicked regularly at school 
for being better than everyone else & not really caring about all the 
bad kids who would be destroyed at armageddon.. it was a vicious 
cycle.. but It didn't matter, I knew who I was, why I was right, & 
what I had to do.. it was all very simple.. and reasonable.. I had 
the scriptures to back it up.. good times.. my family moved to joshua 
tree around the time I started Jr high, and after high school 
graduation I started pioneering.. lots of reasons I guess, all of the 
reasons, any one of them..  it was a great option, I had a vw bus 
that always had room for beautiful sisters, long drives to rural 
territories off-road explorations, open days outside.. the 
satisfaction of certainties. and the risk of spiritual debates.. I 
really loved pioneering, shining as an illuminator, meeting crazy 
people & talking to them about their views of life & god, some pretty 
great discussions & arguments.. I loved patterns & was entertained by 
differing perspectives.. a lot of great conversations those days.. 
guess I always had a penchant for argument,  my step dad was joe- 
publisher & had a lot going on with his health, he didn't like how I 
could -'rationalize anything', but I thought I was smarter, smart 
enough to act the roll.. dumb enough to believe the act..
      a regular poster child of theocracy, I kept 'clean', self-
righteous, and busy, when I was appointed a servant it was almost 
proof that I had it all figured out.. about a year later my 
grandparents told me that if I took classes full time at the local 
college they'd pay for my tuition & car insurance, it didn't even 
matter what classes I took- so I talked to the elders about it & they 
decided if I would still be able to maintain my pioneer schedule & 
all my responsibilities in the hall, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad 
thing, some new light had just come out & they even helped by talking 
to the elders in the neighboring hall, so I could join their school 
and service meeting for the nights that I had schedule conflicts with 
my classes.. mainly I just took art classes & high math, I worked for 
the town photographer, so I enrolled in all the photo classes I could 
& did most of my prints in his darkroom. my photography teacher had a 
really objective way of looking at things that wasn't so matter of 
fact as informed, inquisitive, creative, and respectful which I 
really admired....  anyway a few years there &  when it was time for 
the next, applied to Bethel.. I was 21 & ready to be groomed for MTS 
& world travel... but what the hell, a few years at the big house 
seemed in order...
      so yeah.. brooklyn.. loved the city, and the celebrity of 
bethel life, my parents were proud, and I was having the time of my 
youth. I couldn't go wrong..
I cleaned toilets & showers for nearly a year & every now & then 
they'd throw me a bone & let me work in the photography department.. 
I worked hard & made good friends, but answered some of their 
questions too wrong or too honestly when they interviewed me for the 
photography department full time. I either came off as too passionate 
about photography, too humble, too proud? something too who knows, 
when they moved me instead to roofing I thought I was going to be 
disappointed, but it was great hard work.. The photography department 
ended up moving up to patterson with the art department that year, & 
I was thankful to be where I was. I worked my ass into great shape & 
didn't complain a bit when my immediate overseer miscalculated the 
measurements of the roof four times in a row..  I ended up spending 
most of that summer setting, moving, and re-placing seting moving and 
replacing the 100lb pavers above the office bldg with a 40 year old 
bethel elder from the art department who didn't want to move to 
patterson.. he was a genius, & never had to work hard physical labor, 
so they moved him to roofing to teach him a lesson, he stayed in 
brooklyn all right..   we joked about being punished together, but it 
was a good summer, after that they moved me to maintance & Dirk got a 
desk in the back of the vacant photo dept doing random 'paperwork' he 
explained to me the relationship between 'paperwork' and wiping your 
ass, they didn't have to be separate events.. he was a great brother 
but as iconoclastic as jesus, I learned a few years ago that he died 
one night in his sleep & when the housekeeper got to his door in the 
morning, she had a weird feeling so had the cleaning brothers go in 
and check it out.. who knows, I gave up being suspicious... the last 
year I was there, I figured I must have had as much freedom as there 
was to have at that place.. it was good, I bought a $300 car from a 
brother & made enough $ selling rides to pay my ticket to the 
hamptons & surf trips with a crew of kids from hawaii & california.. 
there are thousands of stories, but it was uroboros, and I watched 
too many people grow seriously depressed for lack of options & 
reason.. the final deal might have been a bethel video on grooming 
where there was an acceptable / un-acceptable lecture with 
accompanying photos of proper attire, it made no sense.. and it was 
just an example of everything that had stopped making sense, I 
couldn't figure out how I was living up to my dedication by buying 
into that shit, and I all but told my overseers as much..
          I left for a lot of reasons, none that I could easily 
quantify at the time, I was happy for the experiences, and happy to 
have them for myself, I wouldn't have been able to trust your 
venomous, demonic, lies otherwise. A few times, more than a few times 
actually.. I had conversations with really dumb people on my crew & 
I'd love to trap them in little games of logic, I'd explain to them 
that to be offended that I uttered the word "damn" for example 
indicated a belief in a false doctrine of hellfire & if in fact they 
did not believe in hell, neither should they be offended by an 
explicative who's etymology is rooted in a false concept of 
mainstream christendom.. it's amazing how quickly the frustrated 
resorted to name calling..  most of my overseers didn't seem much 
brighter, their ignorance and aversion to reason seemed like symptoms 
of a faulty social experiment.. I was there to learn, & I learned 
enough.. most of the heavies seemed very critical, & not in a loving 
or constructive way, not good shepherds.. It was time for me to move 
on & even though I wasn't sure what quite to do, I knew it was time 
to get out of her..  I couldn't 'prove' anything was wrong, I didn't 
have the desire to, I loved my brothers & the brotherhood & didn't 
want to tear down blah blah blah..  all the utopian ideals.. blah 
blah.. is this getting long?.. I don't remember my official excuse 
for leaving, but my oversight seemed relieved of another problem when 
I told them I was ready to go,
           I drove across the country summer of 97, borrowed some $ 
&  bought a small sailboat that I lived on in oceanside harbor while 
bartending at the yacht club & more community college, more art & 
photo.. but also world religion, & criticism.. started my 
subscription to the New Yorker, less & less interested in jumping 
through hoops in a nepotistic new congregation, I didn't have the 
patience to placate the suspicions ?? why had I taken so long to get 
settled in?? where had I been?? what was I drawing in those art 
classes?? I worked hard at school, made most meetings, taught myself 
to sail, built up a portfolio & moved to pasadena a few yrs later 2 
attend Art center College of Design where I got a scholarship to 
study photography..it was a big deal,  another Bethel experience, 
another cult with it's own vocabulary and ideology, but by it's own 
admission, a genius enemy in a cold institution that made small on 
big promises, but while it had this suspicious tendency to chew 
through the most interesting and creative people, in the process it 
brought and fused together some amazing minds, talents & ideas & 
questions, against it, through it?? I went crazy studying everything 
I could, loved it, film, media, public relations, propaganda, 
iconography, mythology, thousands of images from both sides of WWII 
poster & grafitii campaigns, advertising, modernism, post-modernism, 
critical thought, the more I studied design, the greater 
responsibility I felt as a designer of my own reality, a sensitivity 
to light brought me closer to the isochrones between time, 
perspective, enlightenment, zen, tao, ki, yhwh consciousness, 
awareness, love, and life..  the more I learned about the creative 
processes by participating in them,  the closer I came to 'I cause to 
become' .. the more I studied the techniques of behavioral 
manipulation through information control the less I needed watchtower 
answers to their own loaded questions..
yeah.. short version.. I tried going to a District convention with my 
mom a few years ago & got the heebeejeebees..  sometimes I really 
want to impute good motives to the work, but every time I pick up a 
watchtower magazine,  it gets harder to dismiss as benign..  & I 
understand that sigh jesus must have let out when he saw all these 
victims looking for a shepherd...
so yeah.. I forget about all that when I'm in the water.. so 
cathartic.. or on the motorcycle living each day forever at a 
time.....  ok .. that's it..
peace in the brotherhood of life
Ryan J
http://www.ryanjurisich.com/synthetico/

ryanjurisich @ sbcglobal.net

 


Date:
20 Nov 2006
Time:
12:02:29
Remote User:

Comments

I feel so much for most JWs on this blood issue! What a complication for most!  Most will not understand and "stuff it down" and hope they will never have to deal with it personally . .as I did in the early 60's when I was in my early teens.  I found it difficult then to accept that "Disfellowshipment" would be an issue to accept blood . . .but then, I went on.....I vacation pioneered throughout high school and then, after graduation, pioneered for five years and then to Bethel for five years.  I married there . . our "marryin' Sam" was Nathan Knorr - 3rd president of the WTS (I actually didn't want him to marry us in '73 - another story).I got pregnant, we left Bethel in '74,, I became a "Mom"!  Re-evaluation of my life, youth, Bethel world, the Governing Body and child-raising began.  I tell my children, they saved my life! (A longer story!  :))  My children's father (still a JW, I guess) and I divorced many years ago.  None of my five children are in the "Organization" and proudfully they have "Free Minds". 

 Anyway, I hope through this website and others, Randy's efforts, and your efforts, no matter how diversified, that we can spare others and help them to recover and move on more quickly than some of us.   

I do thank you all,

Gayle Minette McCurdy,

gaylenwphx@cox.net