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.