Witch Hunt at Bethel (1979-1980)

part II: Inquisition

When fatcats rule the show, they will determine what is "acceptable" and what is not. Their subjects may be ignored, beat to a pulp, or eaten for breakfast if they do not pass protocol.

One rule of thumb:

If you have differences in your beliefs about how the Bible is to be interpreted, keep it to yourself. Don't EVER talk about those opinions that differ from the Watchtower's, even to your own wife or kids. You will regret it. You will face,

the Customs Committee.



To avoid this unpleasant scenario, a fine suggestion was made by a member of the Governing Body at a special meeting of the Bethel Elders:


One wag present at the meeting even suggested that we all take an oath of loyalty to the organization! "Hmmm..... no, not at this time," said Bert.

More subtle ways of flushing the apostates provided morning entertainment.

Like, changing seating around at the Bethel tables. Those who were "loyal" were given the position of table heads. Other, more questionable characters, despite their decades of hard labor for peanuts, were to enjoy the subservient table positions. (Take my word for it, you had to be there to get this joke!)


But listening to rabid octogenarians rant and rave over the "apostates" at the breakfast table daily took its toll. Lose weight and puke, keep spare food in your drawer at work, or leave Bethel and get a REAL life.

We would survive, after all, we had

the Force


Conspiracy theories abounded in the "clarified air" of the Watchtower's Service Dept. Phone calls were tapped. Mail was intercepted. Special questions were formulated to ferret out those who would not bow down to the ORG.


No one was safe. Even your housekeeper could be an apostate!

The enemy could live on your own floor!


Certain books were suspected of contamination already, The Commentary on James, and Choosing the Best Way of Life, for they made no customary mention of class distinctions, so sacred to the old men for keeping everyone in their place. Their writers were soon disfellowshipped.


For Tom and Gloria Cabeen, it was a harrowing time.

But not without the joy of learning the Word of God afresh.


But for the remaining members of the Governing Body, a new diet was soon in store...


Dream on, oh men in your final days of glory.

They say it tastes like chicken.

Funny, it smells like fish!

This page is dedicated to Ed Dunlap, a fellow Okie who showed the greatest bravery of all in standing up to the Inquisition without giving in or showing a bad spirit. "Long live Okies!" (No, you idiot, it's supposed to be, "Long live Ed Dunlap!" and all those who stand up for the Word of God in the face of those who claim to be its exclusive guardians.)

May the force overcome them. 

back to Bethel pages. Thanks for sharing this little adventure with us.