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


I'll add my voice- this thread is great.

I wasted 8 years at Bethel too, but it wasn't really a waste.  Because you meet people who are good people, you see the reality of some people, you loose respect for some of the offices and vices of the org, and you grow.

The people Cabeen, Randy and others talk about were long gone or legends by the time I got there.  I always wondered what happened to Lang- I saw his signature on many a memo and wondered what happened.  The reality behind some of the gentle, kindly old men who are so revered now is quite incredible.  Some of the quotes here of things said by Rusk, Campbell, and others show why, really, they are at the center of the org now.  They are being rewarded for their "loyalty"

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

I never was able to break free from the "production Mode" and the Institutional mode. Before going to Bethel, I approached thing and handled things differently but in Bethel you get into a bethel way of living and working, as Randy put it also Adrenaline.

A friend is someone that is loyal to YOU, not to the government or an organization. Fellows in the wts are not truly friends. It was a lot of fun meeting bros from all over the US and working and socializing together in the Bethel enviroment but they are not real friends.

I think that working for the wts has enriched my life in a unique way that I would not have experienced elsewhere. Living in Betlhe was not easy, under a lot of pressure and it was just hard but looking back at them days I do not regret it ;I have good memeories. Thts how Ifeel about it.

A lot Bhelites are angry but there were good moments too.

IP: aNc6bRHrG8KyJCaN
wschroederRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Personally, I did not suffer greatly in my Bethel experience, although there were some rough patches. Greg had gone ahead by a few years and prepared a house for me. I was already considered a token Bethelite because of frequent visits on weekends (yes, I could afford to fly up for the weekend and buy all the beer). As Greg mentioned, Bert Schroeder accepted him as a second son, and I also benefited by simple proximity besides being a namesake.

Back in Missouri, I was sick of pioneering and was totally depressed, even though my business was doing quite well. I was beginning to tire of my pioneer partners in the congregation and was ready for a complete overhaul emotionally/intellectually/spiritually. Bethel was perfect for me. New York was energetic and I was soon accepted into a group of liberal intellectuals/scholars right from the start.

My newboy instructor was R. Lengtat. Because of Greg, RL later let me participate in a bible study in his room which included my brother and his roommate. He was always wary of me because of my newfound enthusiasm for fresh ideas, which he thought would find their way back to himself through the wrong channels.

I was actually reading the Bible for the first time in my life and now the questions started. I was a raised a JW and had never deliberately read whole books of the Bible. Every new Bethelite is required to read the Bible cover to cover in his first year. This requirement would be the start of some eye-opening information and would soon change my world view as a JW. Did I mention I was developing a collection of Bible commentaries by worldly authors? My biggest supplier of these books was Ciro Alicino. But not too much time would pass when being a liberal thinking JW was not fun any more. There were the thought police, and then the requirements of the religion were becoming difficult to manage with my new beliefs about christianity. I was beginning a non-doctrinal phase.

I finally left Bethel and my next move to becoming an inactive and invisible JW was not a difficult decision, and actually not too hard to do living in NYC. A couple address changes and you're free of the elder calls/visits. Now all the impositions of guilt by others would go away.... and they did.

Warren

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FishermanRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Who is the barber?


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

You said:

"Greg had gone ahead by a few years and prepared a house for me."

That sounds a bit too Christlike for me. [lol] "In your brother's house were mini mansions, otherwise I would have told you." (John 14:2, The Misapplied Translation)

You added: "I was already considered a token Bethelite because of frequent visits on weekends (yes, I could afford to fly up for the weekend and buy all the beer)."

And that 5 gallon bottle of Chivas or Seagrams (only partially disguised under a lampshade) sure was popular in a 4-man Towers corner room. (That's a lamp to get "lit" by.) As I recall, 3 people finished 5 gallons in the 4 weeks we spent in Europe. I hope they shared with their neighbors. Those guys would have gladly run a still to make their own Bethyl alcohol.

Greg
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IT SupportRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Can you guys confirm (or otherwise!) a story we London Bethelites heard in the 70s about "big, bad Brooklyn" ...

If a guy with more seniority than you was in competition with you for a promotion (or perhaps just a different job), one way to 'clear your path' would be to stash a Playboy magazine in his locker and get one of your pals to report him to his overseer. And voila, he's no longer in the running ...

We heard this was a fairly common practise over there.

 

IP: TEIIqoKvy2Zeux+a
Tom CabeenRe: Re: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate book
IT Support,

No, what I was told happened when that sort of stuff was found is that the contraband material would be confiscated, passed around among the Factory Committee and other overseers above my level. (Nothing like that ever crossed my desk, I know that much.) They would thoroughly review it to make sure it was "really" bad, then they would carefully file it away as "evidence", in case it was ever needed in the future for disciplinary purposes. At least that is what I was told by my friends in Service. Really! (I doubt that they would mislead me about so serious a matter!)

In all seriousness, to my knowledge, that never happened in the Pressroom during the years I was there, (1969-1980) nor did I ever hear about it as any kind of practice. Maybe it happened once or twice. Perhaps that kind of thing was more likely to happen in Service, Writing or the GB offices, where competence wasn't as easy to determine prior to promotion as it was in the "blue collar" departments, who knows?

Another story: One night, after 11PM, I was on my way home from a meeting, and Doc Dixon (whom I knew pretty well) was standing at the 124 Columbia Hts elevator. "Will you please come with me, Tom?" he said. "I need some help." We took the elevator to the third floor, where the Infirmary was, and where old guys were moved to live out their last years. He took me into the men's room. Adelle Ledley (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) who was a nurse, joined us there. She had been on duty that night. One of the old guys (who shall remain nameless) had died and was lying on the floor of a bathroom stall. The doc and I picked him up and carried him to a gurney which Adelle had brought into the hallway. Later, when they cleaned out his room, I heard that they found some girly magazines between his mattress and box springs. I imagine they were also confiscated by the Bethel office. What they did with them after that is anybody's guess.

:-)

Tom
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GamalielRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Something like that happened to me ... I think.

When I started dating my wife-to-be, I moved into her congregation (while I was still at Bethel) where there was a "Bethel elder"/"Cong elder" (Elder X) originally from a Midwest congregation that was not far from "back home". There had been recent discussions of "elderhood" although I was an MS and had told them I would turn it down. I was beginning to think that even that responsibility was too dangerous. I had regularly been giving hour talks, and was often invited to give talks in other congregations around the city. I was told that this didn't sit well with this local Bethel Elder X.

C*ro Aul*cin*, a fairly liberal thinker at the time, got word to me that this brother X was out to get me. The thinking was that he (X) might be asked to leave Bethel soon due to his wife's health problems and he desperately wanted to bag an apostate to earn potential "spirituality" points to win his request for them to stay. This same story got back to me from another Bethel elder in the Home Office who had also "turned in" Warren, although I later heard that this other brother apologized because he had thought he was doing it for Warren's good.

I started getting unexpected and not-so-friendly visitors from Bethel for my hour talks (including a Circuit Overseer who "happened to have some time" on an off-week, a brother from Writing, but not one of my friends). I also started getting assignments every single week on the Service Meeting, twice my allowance of TMS instruction talks, and was often asked to fill in for many impromptu talks of this sort. If there was any talk on the subject of "Organization" I would get it (and these were getting common in 1980/1). I guess if someone suspects you are an apostate, the best way to catch you is to make sure you have infected the whole congregation first. Collateral damage.

I knew some sisters from the elder's home congregation. One of those sisters sent me 4 little booklets that were anti-JW in the extreme, but mostly on account of Trinity and Hellfire doctrinal differences, and several problems the author had with Russell and Rutherford chronology and Watchtower history. The sister said that these were from a Bible study and they thought I would have better resources for answering the questions. I did respond, but it was very easy for me to support the Watchtower view of Trinity and Hellfire, because I didn't believe in either of these doctrines, and I could give the usual line about imperfections and mistakes being rather meaningless because, after all, it's Bible we should follow, not men. I knew better than to admit to actually reading these booklets, but it seemed extremely odd that someone would think to send "apostate" material to 124 Columbia Heights in 1980.

No one asked me about the booklets, but I had immediately passed them to my soon-to-be wife. She was a "Pioneer" but already a liberal, non-conformist. So I'll never know if a housekeeper or Bethel spy had already searched for them. In early 1980 nothing would have surprised me!

Greg
IP: FzBjwoF/S1GMs6es by Gamaliel: Correct formatting
wschroederRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!
Who is the barber?

Can't name the barber.... sorry. There was at least one gay bethelite clearance event that took its toll on the factory barber shop personnel one year. Apparently, the dismissed group was large enough to warrant a cozy manly talk by Dan Sydlik (he always came across as the bethel stud, the robust man with the beautiful young wife) to several hundred of us about the dangers of giving backrubs and how it leads to intimate same sex relationships.

Obviously, the bethel elders listened to the testimony of the recently dismissed backrub party crowd, and with their combined wisdom figured out that masturbation and backrubs can lead to homosexuality. Bethel brothers be forewarned.... it can happen to you!

Warren
IP: e1oZfNUYxqp+5joa
crazyblondebRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

wschroeder-

you have a PM.

cbb

IP: y1V4pFZpFRDEe2Vs
IT SupportRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Tom,

Thanks!

Perhaps that kind of thing was more likely to happen in Service, Writing or the GB offices, where competence wasn't as easy to determine prior to promotion as it was in the "blue collar" departments, who knows?

Yea, most likely the Executive Offices ... <lol>

To be honest, I forgot to mention that I'd only heard of it happening in the Computer Department, but that it did happen there fairly often. I was told by a guy in Computing called Kelly Gillespie who, I think, moved between Brooklyn and the Farm. I think he left some time in the late 70s or early 80s. I've no idea whether he's still a JW.

And that's a really sorry story of a sad, lonely old man; the poor guy probably realized he'd forgotten his magazines but tried to finish the job without it ...

Though still a loyal dub, I never had any doubts I did the right thing leaving after my four years were done.

Greg,

Fascinating story, thanks. The Gestapo could have learned a few tricks from the GB!

 

IP: TEIIqoKvy2Zeux+a
DogpatchRe: Warren Schroeder from Bethel on Freddy, Kline and the apostate books!

Cab sez,

Later, when they cleaned out his room, I heard that they found some girly magazines between his mattress and box springs. I imagine they were also confiscated by the Bethel office. What they did with them after that is anybody's guess.

M. Miyamoto worked in the infirmary when she got married and first came in with her husband Ron, who was also one of the elders in our congregation. They were from Hawaii. Marion used to tell stories of the older ones in Bethel and the crazy stuff they would be caught doing, like taking the flowers out of vases, drinking the water and putting the flowers back in. One VIP well-known died and his stuff was examined and he had a baby diaper and bottle stashed away! I won't EVEN give the name.  :-))

Randy

 

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