Interview with Mark Palo
 
Randy, I'm the little four eyed geek in the middle wearing the Circuit Assembly placard. In the Bronx we used to hold them at this place called Hunts Point Palace. It was a real speak easy during the prohibition days and owned by the mob. Many big name bands preformed there during between the 30s and 60s. My high school was right around corner and we used the place for graduation ceremonies.
  The other people in the photo are the Eisner family. John to my right was Dfed when he was around 19-20 and went on to become a big deal at Ohio State. The woman is the mother of the two boys, Grace Eisner, she was my moms Bible study and has since died. The blonde kid Is Robert Eisner. He was my best man in my marriage to my first wife. He was an extremely talented musician and I believe he played in the Societies orchestra on some of the music tapes. I have no clue as to his standing with the WT or as to his where abouts. We lost all contact when I moved from da Bronx. He was a funny kind of guy. Loved baseball and we played stickball till we dropped but there was something about him that I never fathomed. Maybe it was just the artistic side of him because he and I invented all kinds of things. We even built our own phone system between our houses using surplus military phones. In school we built a working example of sonar using a fish tank and spare electronics parts. Nearly burnt the school down. But the dang thing really worked. Peace, Marco
Current picture:

Randy, I sent you a recent  photo doctored up a bit. I have always dreamed of pitching for the Yankees so that explains the pix. I figure a little humor helps. Marco 
 

 

Telephone Interview with Mark Palo re: Leo Greenlees (former Governing Body member) (20 minutes)

Questions asked in above interview (outline):

1) When did your parents become JWs?     

Dad was born 1897 became JW in 1918,  Mother became JW in late 1920s ( not sure of exact B'day)

2) What was their roles in the Jws?     

Dad served at Bethel 13 yrs under Rutherford, Mom was Colporter with sisters in Michigan      Dad went to jail for draft along with Knorr and others.

3)   When where you born?      

1950 - only child

4)    Did your parents do any special work for the Society?       

They did a lot of translation of correspondence in the Finnish language to English and vice versa since they where both fluent in the language.

5)     When was this?       

50s-60s

6)     Where did they do this?        

Both at home and at Brooklyn Bethel.

7)     When they went to Bethel did you accompany them?        

Yes

8)     Could you tell us what happened when you where at Bethel?       

I was sexually molested by Leo Greenlees. I must state that until only recently I did not know the name of my molester. A friend  sent me some photos of him and Percy Chapman and others. When I saw his picture I froze because I immediately recognized his face. I later learned that I wasn't his only victim.

9)     Was there any other time you where molested?       

Yes, once at a JW picnic by an older boy who was the nephew of a brother at my KH.

10)   Did either of them get reported or in trouble.       

No, basically I was terrorized into silence. I came to believe it was my sin. Neither perpetrator ever answered for their acts.

11)   How has this affected you?        

For years I tried to bury it deep in my mind. I married my child hood sweet heart who ironically I had brought into the JWs. Through my bringing her in her whole family came into the JWs. Her sister is now married to Don Culp who is a DO. I worked hard at pre-assembly work and assemblies in the sound department. I designed and built a video switching and closed circuit TV  system for the large assemblies.  The molestations kept creeping back in my head and I started a love affair with the bottle. Eventually this led to problems at home and at the Hall. My ex was running to the elders about every little thing I did or said and I was rebelling against the unyielding attitude of the elders. I finally told  my story and was branded a liar. Then the elders tried to DF me on some trumped up charges. I then  disassociated myself because I wasn't going to lower myself to their level.          

   I lost a home, business, and a family and ended up homeless. If it hadn't been for a Catholic friend of mine I would have ended up in the street. That's how much my ex and the elders cared. I ended up in the ER where my heart stopped twice and I was clinically dead for 2 minutes but survived. This was due to my alcoholism, stress, poor physical condition and anxiety. But even after this horrible detox I kept drinking for about 3 months. This shows how strong an addiction can be. A doctor told me that if I kept on drinking I would be dead within a year. So I voluntarily entered another detox and this one took.  

Without the alcohol to self medicate I began to experience horrific nightmares, clinical depression, anxiety attacks, and extreme anger episodes. I eventually sought professional help. I have been in therapy for some years now and along with the proper medications it works. My therapist had directly linked my molestations and my upbringing in the JWs as the direct cause of my problems.

12) Where are you now?      

10 going on 11 years sober. I am in college and have made Phi Theta Kappa. I work at a substance abuse agency as the consumer advocate and was recently appointed to the agency's board of directors.  I also am involved in Upper Room Ministries which is a Ex-JW group whose aim is to assist people who have left or are considering leaving the WT by providing a safety net. I also sit on the Massachusetts Department of Health, Substance Abuse Consumer Panel. I am also Lowell's representative for the Mass. organization for Addiction Recovery.   

13) Do you ever look back or miss the JWs.         

Not once, not ever. They ruined my life for awhile but like the Phoenix I rose from the ashes.

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