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Seeker4Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!


Does anyone else, in the midst of these really angry ex-JW comments and the responses, find it sort of hilarious that our main advertiser on this thread is the International Muslim Marriage Site?

God, I'm sick of constantly angry people. Yeah, the world is a rough and tumble place. That's the given. That's where we all start. Some of us get really fucked over on top of that, and some worse than others. I decided a long time ago I wasn't gonna let that write the story of my life.

I decided I WAS gonna write as much of that story as I could. I decided I was gonna laugh and smile and not be pissed off as much as I possibly could. Right now in my life, I'm about one fucking flat tire away from losing my home and more.

But I still laugh everytime I see that Muslim ad. I will only let my circumstances fuck me over so far.

Thanks Tom and wschroeder and Randy. Great thread

S4

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PoztateRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
You two should probably have followed your first instincts and not read the thread, considering how it seemed to hit such an angry, raw nerve. I'm not sure what's going on here, but a bunch of old friends sharing stories from their lives is not exactly a racist, woman hating plot.

S4
    Seeker...I agree with you. This was just a trip down memory lane. I enjoyed it. It is obvious that the scars are not healed yet with Skally and Snowbird and they could not see this thread was not an attack on them or their feelings. I wish them well as they continue to heal from the WT's influence and urge them not to view threads in the meantime that would cause them distress.
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GamalielRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
I forgot that incident Franz told about Robert Lang.

There is a similar story that my brother Warren let me know about back around 1980. A JW couple who were good friends of Warren's from a local Brooklyn congregation were upset about a judicial incident that affected them. The wife is a registered nurse and helped care for an elderly brother who was about 90, maybe 91. This old brother, born around 1890 had been an active JW perhaps as far back as Russell's colporteur days. He knew the doctrinal history of the JWs and he was beginning to express himself that the class distinctions set up by the Watchtower doctrine on "anointed" vs. "other sheep" was quite artificial.

This man, Percy Harding, was considered to be one of the "144,000", and was promptly disfellowshipped for apostasy. In some ways he was disfellowshipped for thinking it was OK to be honest in front of elders. But one of the elders judging him was the ever-so-sensitive xxxxx xxxxxxx from the Bethel Writing Department.

So Warren's friend's wife (and another sister providing care) were also forbidden from continuing to help this brother, who was beginning to have trouble walking up to second story brownstone apartment. He needed help getting groceries, preparing his food, cleaning, and other types of care. Having been a JW for nearly a century tends to isolate you from any friends and family outside the JWs so he was still fairly dependent on JWs, and it was a bit late in life to go out and make new friends. When Warren told us about this threat to disfellowship any JWs who tried to help him, my wife and I were happy to go over to visit Percy once a week, coming from Queens.

The man was amazingly sharp, and was happy to find someone who could speak to him about JW doctrine within his own context and references. On his own, he already had the outline of all the major things wrong with JW doctrines. And Percy understood where organizational policy in a religion overstepped the bounds of Christianity.

We kept up the visits, and a real friendship grew. Of course, I had it easy. We'd pick up some groceries on the way, then I sat there and discussed doctrine, while my wife helped out with cleaning, kitchen work and the like. But all of us felt upbuilt by the experience, and what a negative "witness" the organization gave of it's supposed "love". The JW organization proved itself to be a conscious-less, cold machine. That couple where the wife -- the nurse -- was threatened with disfellowshipping if she continued to help Percy, were helped out of the JW mind-trap by this same incident. And they are still excellent friends of Warren's. I last saw them visiting Warren in the hospital just a couple months ago.

Ray Franz also made regular contact with Percy and, of course, they understood very well what they each were going through. When Percy died a couple years later, it was not with bitterness against the JWs. Yet, it's hard to imagine just how much of this man's life had just been ripped out from under him. But his last few years were years of mutual encouragement and he enjoyed finally being able to share both his good JW memories, and the memories he previously could share with no one. (These included some very ambivalent feelings towards Rutherford, for example.)

I think I owe Warren some overdue thanks for introducing us to Percy!

Greg
IP: Cadn2v0+/j96n/t8 by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
wschroederRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Greg says: Betty Botter (aka GS) is my true literary hero. I like to repeat the following to myself (5 times, fast):

Betty Botter bought a bit of bitter butter. But, said Betty Botter, if I use this bitter butter, it will make my batter bitter. So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter and it made her batter better.



A true original I believe.
Sam and the savages is still one of my personal faves.

Too much factory air conditioning and UV Glass... I think. Back to the gatherer brother!


I will add some comments made earlier about the bindery basketball and softball teams. Actually, they were my 2 favorite sports, and being on the gatherer with some tall black brothers I was in good company for a lunchtime bball game. One of the overseers of the gatherer was Ollie. Intelligent (and he knew it) and a mouth that never quit, which made him irritating, if not obnoxious. We became good friends after a rough start with each other. Before court trashtalk found its way into sports, he had long before invented and perfected it.

Then there were the spanish-speaking brothers on the bindery floors. Their game was softball. Their overseer was a married brother, whose wife's brother was the soon to be infamous Drew Wasko. The overseer was built like a short football player and ran the NY Marathon each year in something like 3 hours.

While I was pretty good at the game of softball there was one brother, built low to the ground, who could pitch the fastest ball I'd ever seen. If you hit the ball, it was quite by accident I think.

All of this activity was usually a daily event at the factory in good weather. There were a couple concrete courts and a concrete ballfield between the factory buildings and the Fort Greene projects a few blocks away. Midwest whitebread soon learned the ways of city sports and quickly noted that there were no heroes sliding into home plate.

It was usually a big deal to skip lunch to play ball, since that was one of the better meals of the day, and then there was no more food until late afternoon. The evening meal was usually a bit boring for many reasons. So everyone had their tupperware which they begged into the hands of a buddy and stuff with goodies from the lunch tables. You were expected to reciprocate the favor at some point.... Bethelites never forget a favor owed.

As we were all monetarily poor at Bethel, the social interaction of Bethelites and shared resources is still a marvel when you think about it. It has to be one of the blessings of youth and survive on nothing.
IP: gnDvxJmECOHZd/Bw
DogpatchRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Love you Skally, don't hide yet.  :-))

I brag more than anyone about these old times. It was the underground, and we were the rebel forces. The evil Federation under Freddy must be stopped!

http://www.freeminds.org/space.htm

Hey, I gave up a hot girlfriend, a great job, drugs, booze and fast cars and worked 6 years for $14 a month to help these GB guys out with their big o' ORGANISASHUN but turns out they was jus in it fer themselves. So far be it from me to not let others know how much I love their style!!

Life is what you make it.Make a difference.

Randy

Armageddon Okies!

IP: HtcEwqUI1GKh65WV
FishermanRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Doctrinal issues and chronology didnt really bother me or affect my faith. People left Bethel  I observed because they had rather be doing something else or got angry. Sometimes a bro applied to have a siister come in after marriage and if they were denied, some brothers got angry and letft the org for that. Back in them days some bros postponed the marriage and later reapplied and I know of cases where the sis was later accpeted, but the wts later stopped that because it was not fair to the sister no postpone or call of a marriage.

Families back home, not cut out for an institutional way of life, or feeling that one did not get the recognition or job, or gettiing angry because of some injustice done.

In the world, one can fight back and compete somehow or find a short cut or ride or do things the easy way, not in the Bhouse, there, one was at the mercy of those who rule. I dont mean the Christ. I mean people that impose their will or their sense of justice or their way of doing things on you. In Bethel you just had to take it  and swallow

One can put up with things up to a certain point, but when a man gets fed up whether he is right or wrong, that is it, so bros leave bethel, and even the org, because there comes a point when one cannot tolerate something anymore no matter what the cost. And there are things that a person just cannot forgive. I do not mean that one cannot forgive a person who has done wrong,  one can but one cannot be able to forgive the wrong that was done without some justice, so people may leave bethel and may levave the org for these reasons  That is what I have obeserved and deduced from cases that I have seen.

It is a waste of time expressing a concern to the wts. They wil do whatever they want and thats that. One cannot express sincere views or feeling to other jws either without risk being reported  or being chastized, One has to be a hypocrite and say things that one does not belive or be counselled or ones spirituality being challenged.  Is that what Jesus Christ had in mind?

At least in this forum one can let off some steam and the wts can see how bros REALLY feel.

 

 

IP: aNc6bRHrG8KyJCaN
FishermanRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Randy,

I do not regret going to Bethel. Im glad I was a part of it a that I could contribute something,I did what I believd was the best that I coud do at that time. I remmeber that you were  an important bro and your contribution was valued. I do not feel that your work at bethel was a waste of time

I would never have gone to Bethel or endured what I did for money. I believed that I was doing it for Jehovah at that time. I believe that was your motive too. How we see things now, do not diminish the merits of our gift to God.

Randy, this website is also a valuable contribution in my opinion to truth and freedom. Without passing judgement on the wts, the forum is helpfull to jws to get a broader view on the way things really are. Also, active jws would not have considred hearing RFs side,and aproaching wts teachings and wts justice from  an analytical perspective. Also, without this website inactive jws have no way of knwing whats going on. One can express how one reaaly feels about or how one reaaly views jw policy or teaching. That is not possible in the congregation. Thanks

IP: aNc6bRHrG8KyJCaN
biff mcflyRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Tom or Randy,

Did either of you know Bob Mattson? He was the overseer when i worked in the pressroom in the late 80s? I heard he worked in the pressroom much earlier(1950s maybe?), left Bethel and came back to be the overseer after raising a family in Jersey. Later his son ..mark..returned to work there in the late 80s, but he also had been at Bethel in the early 70s I believe. They were both really nice men and I thought you might have known them from their earlier Bethel years.

Thanks,

Jim

IP: Wr4ajMI+bYvjmsuq
SatanusRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
The closest friendships/strongest bonds are made in institutional style life, or high stress environments, like war. It's why, after exiting, many of us have a hard time filling the gaps left by friends that we leave behind. Topics like this one recall the positives of that life. My opinion.

S
IP: RqerKL2f+RoSLMBB
AK - JeffRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

One thing has struck me with interest in regards this thread.

There seems to be two distinct classes of former Jw's apparent. Those who went. Those who didn't.

I didn't. 

I guess that I always knew, somewhere in the back of my sub-cognizant mind, that the "The Hub of Theocratic Activity" in Bethel was just a farce. Somehow, thru my 40 some years of Jwism, I never respected that place. I always thought of it as a 'sweat-shop'. I knew I could not ever kiss enough ass to be there. One tour of the place in 1973 made it absolutely clear that I could never go. I went back to see the 'farm' a few years later, and visited my old buddy Marvin Olson Jr. there. He looked like a zombie. He feigned happiness, but it showed through that he was just a cog in a gigantic wheel.

I'm glad I never went. Though it may have helped me leave a helluva lot sooner perhaps. Thanx gang for sharing these stories. They have reinforced that I made the right decision 35 years ago. Amen.

Jeff

IP: OBLYWjXFOPp6EsMw
Tom CabeenRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate book
Hey Jim,

You asked if I knew Bob Mattson. Yes. Bob had been at Bethel in the 1950s, in the Pressroom, left to have a family, then returned. He was my assistant during the last few months I was the Pressroom Overseer, and he took over my job as Pressroom Overseer after I left on July 15, 1980. I more or less trained Bob to run the Pressroom, but Bob had been a professional printer, so the only thing I needed to do was acquaint him with the guys and with the procedures I had put in place after Rich Wheelock went to the Factory Committee. I got along very well with Bob. He was easygoing and as you say, a genuine nice guy. But Bob was my dad's age, a different generation. So he and I did not share the same kind of camaraderie I did with the guys that had been through the big changes in the Pressroom and the organization, guys like Randy, Jim Petrie, Dana Primiano and other foremen, most of whom were of my generation. I also know both Bob's boys, as they had both been in the Pressroom. I knew Mark better than Paul.

Tom

IP: RGePx+0QYDiBojjY
MulanRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
 Franz concludes by stating that Robert Lang was for him "the kind of person he was, not because of the organization, but in spite of the organization."
Bob Lang married one of my childhood friends, and lives out here now.  He is still an active JW, but I know he is extremely liberal and fair and doesn't believe in going after the ones who leave.  He really is a good guy.  Everyone loves him because he is such a good man.  I am confident that if we saw him, he would greet us warmly, maybe even hug us.
IP: /rvxqkKVInLVH2rc
GamalielRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Warren,

Can't take credit (or blame) for "Betty Botter". There's even a version on Wikipedia. It was one of those many ditties you learn just to help you get through the long days pioneering in the "boondocks" where 2 of you sit in the car while the other two make a return visit lasting 2 hours. And then you remember that you need to bring magazines to someone on the other side of the county. Plenty of time to find spoonerisms in all the kingdom songs, learn "classical" harmonica with Iver Strandberg. And make up your own versions of the Watchtower and Awake.

You said: "Sam and the savages" is still one of your favorites. I performed that one at a Gilead student party and then one brother who knew some of my "parodies" wanted me to show my "fake" Awake! magazine covers. ("Awake?" -- by Pastor Bedtime) I had to refuse to show it until more people had left because ... well... you know, "Awake?: was bound to produce volumes of trouble in the wrong hands.

Poor old Drew. For all I know he might be a changed person and a contributor to this site by now, so I personally wouldn't tell about the more infamous of his youthful indiscretions. So -- YOU tell it!

It's true we were all monetarily poor at Bethel. But then, as you know, if you play your cards right, (I mean live cheaply enough) you can save up all those allowances for 3 years and travel to Europe for 4 weeks. (This assumes your brother sells his business, comes to Bethel, and travels with you in case you need a little extra spending money. Fortunately Dean Songer gave me some extra vacation days to spend in Europe if I would go to the Bethel Branch in Athens and help them set up some "pre-press" facilities. I'll bet you'll never forget ... what's-her-name ... that Greek sister who turned down the attention of several Bethelites at once while we were there. She sure turned the tables on the usual S.O.P. for male Bethelites. LOL.

Of course, I can't agree that they were ALL poor. Remember when Bert Schroeder told us we could tag along with them for part of the Europe trip? Our accomodations would have gone from "one-half star" hostels to "four-star" if we had taken him up on it.

Bro-for-real, Greg
IP: FzBjwoF/S1GMs6es by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
Tom CabeenRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate book
Hey Greg,

About the Bob Lang and Percy Harding stories, there were many similar stories at Bethel that I either heard or was involved with. Over time, they shaped my views of the WTS and what people like me could do to change things. For a long time, I was committed to trying to effect that change.

But when I finally became convinced that WT chronology was a complete fabrication (thank you Carl Olof), their whole theology, ecclesiology and interpretational scheme collapsed before me like a house of cards. I felt like someone who had, through extraordinary efforts, arrived late and managed to catch a train at the platform, got a great seat, sat down and was enjoying the ride, then slowly began to notice that the station names were not quite right, then finally became convinced that I was on the wrong train. When I came to that realization, I just wanted to get off. I wanted no revenge, I just wanted off. I didn't want to waste any more of my life there.

One of the stories I remember clearly involved a very nice young man in the Pressroom named Karl. He came from the Midwest, Michigan as I recall, and his family was very poor (they had no electricity in their house). He was a great guy, hard worker, honest as the day is long. I married Karl and his wife (meaning I conducted the ceremony) and I had great respect for them both. At that time, Bethelites earned vacation days one day at a time. Karl wanted to visit home on a particular week so that he could attend a Circuit Assembly and see his friends. He put in for a vacation and got turned down, so he came to me to see if there was something I could do. (The poor guy was going out to Michigan on the bus, and he needed a few days to get home, then to the assembly.) He was turned down because of a technicality. Follow closely here.

The problem was that by the time he wanted to leave, Karl would only have earned five days of vacation time. But we worked five and a half days per week, so he was one half day short for a full week. When he left, he wouldn't have enough vacation time to be on vacation Saturday morning. But he would earn the half day he needed when the week he was on ended.

Technically, however, he wouldn't earn the day until Saturday noon (at the end of the Bethel work week), so the half day he would then earn would not be usable until the next week. It was such a nitpicking technicality that when he told me about it, I just laughed. I thought he was joking. But when I saw that he was dead serious, I was outraged. I went up to Wheelock's office on the 8th floor and explained the situation. Wheelock lit into me for a long time, telling me how everyone wanted an exception, and rules were rules, etc. etc. etc. I told him that in view of Karl's situation, and his hard work and character, and the fact that he wanted to go when he did because of wanting to attend an assembly, I strongly recommended that they make an exception. It was such a nitpicking technicality, I said. Maybe it was the word "nitpicking". Or maybe it was the expression of disgust on my face. But it only made him more angry. I was in his office for quite a while. Needless to say, I didn't convince him to go to bat for Karl.

But I learned something from that situation about the possibilities of effecting any real change among the people who ran that place. With a heavy heart, I had to return and tell Karl that he had better make other plans.

Tom
IP: RGePx+0QYDiBojjY by Tom Cabeen: Correct formatting
by Tom Cabeen: Correct formatting
GamalielRe: Re: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate
Tom, I know that there were many more of these stories, too. But it was so unbalanced. The unfairness has always made me angry. Well, NOT ALWAYS, because I was also blinded by the "privilege" of getting the advantageous "long end" of the fairness stick. You had guys sweating it out between bells on some floors and then some floors where my roommate and I were doing exactly what we wanted to do - and it was easy work. I did artwork and graphics, and he came in to work in the new computer dept. (And did I mention, we both had air-conditioning.)

I was always allowed to take a walk back to 124 by just telling Bill Gehring I wanted a little extra time to talk to someone in 124. (Napolitano, Rusk, or Rinehart in Writing - or Bert Schroeder across the street from them. And they had no problem taking an hour to talk.) Bro and Sister Schroeder had set me up from day one at Bethel to be a friend of them and of their son, and invited me to parties in their room where he always managed to grab some great musical talent and served food that would have taken me several months to pay for. Schroeder even gave me access to his office while he wasn't there. He had a couple of "ego" research projects for me to work on, and he had some references in his office library for them. Of course, for a while, I thought this was a great privilege, but Napolitano and mostly Rinehart were the only ones who really understood what was behind my questioning of things I'd run across in research.

With them, you learned to develop almost a second language of speaking about things when you both knew what you meant, but without truly saying it in such a way that would cause trouble for yourself or the other person. After a while, one could use these same techniques to give a talk on 1914 or Organization and never say anything you truly felt was wrong. But then you'd realize that only your own wife or one or two members who were already clued in were really understanding what you were saying. I felt like I was in a strange world within a strange world. I look back, amazed at how long it really took to realize that the ENTIRE direction was wrong.

I like your train story, except that I can't believe I stayed on in the wrong direction for so many stops. It's like I was already explaining to others that these stops can't be right. But I wouldn't get off myself. I gave it an extra 2 years even after Bethel.

Greg
IP: FzBjwoF/S1GMs6es by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
DogpatchRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Cab sez,

But when I finally became convinced that WT chronology was a complete fabrication (thank you Carl Olof), their whole theology, ecclesiology and interpretational scheme collapsed before me like a house of cards. I felt like someone who had, through extraordinary efforts, arrived late and managed to catch a train at the platform, got a great seat, sat down and was enjoying the ride, then slowly began to notice that the station names were not quite right, then finally became convinced that I was on the wrong train. When I came to that realization, I just wanted to get off. I wanted no revenge, I just wanted off.

Priceless! That moment arrives when all that you have loved and hoped for suddelnly catches in your throat, threatening to explode your brain with all the frightening and horrific nightmares of this "not being the truth" that you thought you had so nicely resolved many years earlier. NOOOOoooo. !!

What a wretched feeling!! Your whole body shakes at the realization you have been duped.  Years of stupidity flash before your eyes. A primal feeling of having been somehow "raped" might overcome you. If you were already in a bad place emotionally, anger can well up and absolutely CONTROL you like a monster. (THINK "Willow" when she freaks out in her season six Buffy/Vampire years as a witch, destroying blindly in a rage, EVERYTHING formerly beautiful to her, without any remorse whatsover.)  I was lucky enough to be in a good frame of mind when it hit, THANKS TO Cab and all my other buds at Bethel, WHO SAVED MY ASS from God knows how many more years of stupidity. What a difference a few good friends make in your life.

I wanted off, too, even though I was at the peak of my career. I remember the day after I had had a long deadpan discussion about the whole AID book thing (with your unnerving "don't mean to kill you, but listen to this..." laugh injected halfway into the deadly details of who was about to get kicked out of Bethel and why - GOOD GOD that was scary but exciting!) and I was over by the Harris presses, walking over to my Hoe. And I though to myself, "You know, Randy, if this is all true, then it's really WORTH it! But if it's NOT true, it's really EVIL. I really scared myself on that one.

Bethel made life an adrenaline rush. I'm still a junkie.  :-))

I could look back and say, "It was all a waste," but the thousands of wonderful people I have met along the way laughs that bit of self-pity out the door.

You only live once. 

Randy

IP: HtcEwqUI1GKh65WV
DogpatchRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Satanus said,

The closest friendships/strongest bonds are made in institutional style life, or high stress environments, like war. It's why, after exiting, many of us have a hard time filling the gaps left by friends that we leave behind. Topics like this one recall the positives of that life. My opinion.

Amen, brutha!

seriously, friends have literally saved my life so many times. i am very private socially, but my friends are my life.

Randy

IP: HtcEwqUI1GKh65WV
still_in74Re: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

You go ahead and continue to revel in your jw days.  That is your right. 

you are absolutely intitled to your oppinion and feelings. We were/are all hurt by the WTS, including the many contributors to this thread.

As S4 stated, it was not the press room guys that wagged the org. These truly believed they were doing what was right, they were misguided the same way you were. But they saw it for what it was and left and endured the pain and consequences that resulted.

But think about this.... as we all strive to piece our lives back together and struggle with feelings of worthlesness and isolation, is it wrong to be able to look back on our lives and find the positive in our experiences? Do we not already struggle trying to find meaning in our life?

I for one believe that if we can find these gems, these "fun" times and good memories, then despite all the craziness in our lives we can somehow piece together a life that has some meaning.

IP: o5t9jj+OZTj1CtfQ
still_in74Re: Re: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
I am not an "ex Witness" any more than I am an "ex high school student".
awesome analogy! One of the best I've heard.
IP: o5t9jj+OZTj1CtfQ
Seeker4Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Some nice posts here.

Thinks still_in74 for your PM. Much appreciated.

Check out my post on the Anyone Know How to get a Book Published thread started by Awakened@Gilead.

S4
IP: NC58N6Kur91OD8GK