No expense spared: Governing Body members DO fly business class
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When it comes the the Governing Body's travel arrangements, only the best is good enough

When it comes the the Governing Body’s travel arrangements, only the best is good enough

Earlier today, JWsurvey was contacted by an airline employee based at a major European airport who was willing to give a remarkable insight into the lavish lifestyle of Governing Body members.

Though this won’t come as a surprise to many, it turns out GB members DO travel business class at the expense of ordinary Witnesses.

Our contact, who I will call Paula, is a recently-awakened Jehovah’s Witness. For the purpose of protecting her identity and shielding her from punitive action we are withholding a number of key details. However, I can confirm JWsurvey has received proof corroborating Paula’s story.

Paula had an unexpected encounter with a Governing Body member while he was on a stop-over to a destination in Africa. She immediately recognised the GB member when he asked her when boarding would commence.

Noticing that the GB member was flying business class, Paula couldn’t resist checking his flight details on the airport system to see how much his ticket had cost. It turns out he and his wife were flying for approximately $4,500 each for a combined cost of $9,000 – all of which will have come straight out of contributions for the “worldwide work.”

Paula has disclosed the destination the GB member was flying to, and suggested an economy ticket on the same route with the same airline would cost around $1000. I have checked the airline’s website when preparing this article and, indeed, a single economy ticket to the same location from New York (flying in September) can cost as little as $930.92.

It would be fair to conclude from this story that, for the sake of their own comfort, Governing Body members are routinely travelling at quadruple what the cost would be if they were to demonstrate the humility and self-sacrifice they demand of rank and file Witnesses.

And you can be sure that, when it comes to deciding on whether the “faithful and discreet slave” should fly business class rather than economy, even if this means dipping deeper into dedicated funds, the final decision rests with the very ones who stand to benefit from the more lavish, exorbitant option.

Watchtower released a cartoon encouraging children to part with their ice cream money to bolster organization funds

Watchtower released a cartoon encouraging children to part with their ice cream money to bolster organization funds

 

So far there have been two instances of a Governing Body member, i.e. Stephen Lett, pleading for more contributions on JW Broadcasting to assist with Watchtower’s “projicks.” A Caleb-and-Sophia cartoon has even been produced encouraging young children to part with their ice cream money for the sake of “kingdom interests.”

Hard-working Witnesses the world over are, it seems, being taken for fools. They would do well to contemplate whether they really want to keep sending donations when these are being so readily squandered by a group of men who are happy to pick the pockets of children (and people who they have mostly deprived of a decent education) just so they can stretch their legs at 30,000 feet.

 

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272 Responses to No expense spared: Governing Body members DO fly business class

  1. Kat says:

    Not surprised at all, it is a business after all.

    • dee2 says:

      Is it just me or are *Moonwalker’s* and *bringbackthebeard’s* posts actually insults cloaked in passive aggressive comments?

  2. Twmack says:

    @GEM. I agree with your recollections of D,G, he was
    a very likeable guy, and you’re right about his JW family
    background. I believe it went back before the gramophone era,
    and he also told us of his experiences of going around his
    his home town Liverpool in the sound car.

    I can’t say if he’s still around. I do know though that he has
    a nephew, a C,O, who is alive & kicking , also called D,G,
    and a friendly man and good teacher.

    Bright guys, I feel they must have plenty of reservations
    about the Org, after seeing all the so called “Adjustments”
    to the “Truth” and how they’re chasing their tail trying to
    keep the generation teaching afloat. Maybe they’re just
    hanging on in there. It’s hard to quit when you’ve invested
    a life time in something. Best wishes T

    • GEM says:

      Wow..thankyou TW

      That was my recollection exactly…I guess the D.G I knew must be 70+ now. I don’t feel that is right to print his words to me…save to say that the guy (and I guess the family) had DEEP insight.

      Thank you for making my day.

      All the best G

  3. Twmack says:

    @GEM, Just a brief comment on D,G. The first time I
    met him was when he came to our cong, as a CO.
    I was 26 at the time and he was older than me.

    I’m now 85, so the odds of David still being around are
    not looking too good, hope I’m wrong. / Lloyd, thanks
    for the leeway.

  4. dee2 says:

    John Doe,

    Maybe you should ask the Watchtower if the GB members fly business class and then present us with concrete evidence straight from “the horse’s mouth”.

    Looking forward to this.
    Regards.

    • dee2 says:

      And John Doe,

      while you’re at it, also ask the Watchtower for audited financial statements from their beginning until now.

      Regards.

  5. John Redwood says:

    John Doe

    We investigated this report before publishing the article, and have confirmed the veracity of this story. However we will not reveal the source, the airport, the destination country and other private details as this would jeopardize the employment of the agent who reported this to us.

    Please note that we welcome comments such as yours from all of our readers, including Watchtower representatives. Our email address is public, and the Watchtower Public Information Office is welcome to contact us at any time, either by email or by posting a reply to this or any other article. We would greatly welcome their response.

    We know that Watchtower is aware of this site, and they are free to comment. Their lack of response is most revealing

    Sincerely

    JR

    • dee2 says:

      John Doe,

      You could simply help yourself by asking the Watchtower if the GB members fly business class and then present us with concrete evidence straight from “the horse’s mouth”.

    • John Redwood says:

      John Doe

      As we have pointed out in prior comments, revealing further information with or without redactions will immediately compromise our source. It would not be ethical to do so.

      You stated “you want to keep anything you say secret for yourself.” – to what are you referring? Feel free to provide examples. Our research has been accurate, and whenever possible we supply physical documentation to support our articles. We are interested in truth, and whether you believe it or not, evidence is surfacing worldwide to support our articles and research. Are we saying that this business class article is the leading breaking news story of the week? Absolutely not. It is however accurate, and it correctly identifies the practices of the JW Governing Body, who traverse the world dozens of times per year at the expense of the flock, while wearing expensive suits, watches, and pinky rings. The truth is, many Witnesses simply don’t care, or have never really thought about the extraordinary expenses incurred by this organization. Perhaps it would be easier to excuse if this religion was a charitable organization, but it is not. They provide absolutely zero public services. They do not fee the hungry, they do not shelter the poor. They do not reach out to aid anyone unless that person swears allegiance to the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was deeply involved for 46 years – I know this for a fact. I also know that most Witnesses are good people.

      It is to those good people that we reach out.

      • Markie says:

        They don’t wear expensive suits. If you look at them and how they fit, it’s quite obvious they are cheap suits. Their ties look like they are from the 90s. As for Hurds watch it looks like a Rolex but I haven’t actually seen any pictures that proves it is. I would say the jackass is wearing an Invicta watch. And do they all fly business class? We really don’t know. Maybe a rich JW bought the ticket for for this GB traveling to Africa. We actually have no idea who paid for the ticket, do we? If we all want to be sincere and honest we must say we don’t know who paid for the ticket but but more then likely the Watchtower probavly did. I do believe the only perk the GB gets is expensive travel. None of them have mansions or big 401k plans. They are all going to die broke!

        • John Redwood says:

          Markie

          I will leave the judgment on clothing to those who know better than I do – but I know that some of those suits are quite expensive, and others are not. As for the watches, I have never once stated that Herd wore a Rolex, or that Jackson wore an Apple Gold watch. There are those who are quite certain that they are real, and others who are skeptical. The real issue here is not whether the watches and the pinky rings, etc are real, the question is what kid of appearance are they presenting? If Herd was humble and meek, he would not be wearing such eye-catching jewelry. Same with Jackson. Same with Morris. Same for all of them.

          As for the tickets – while we will not reveal the source, the airline, or any other detailed information, we did release the cost because we confirmed that it was paid for, and I can tell you from experience that Watchtower has a travel desk in Brooklyn which makes all arrangements for the Governing Body, Branch Committee members, missionaries, and so forth. Their practice is to pay for these tickets, not to farm out their purchase to other individuals. I am very familiar with travel arrangements made for foreign missionaries, for example. Every 5 years the travel desk pays for the tickets for every missionary couple returning for an international assembly. I have seen these tickets and their cost, and trust me when I tell you they are quite expensive. Of course, missionaries do not fly business class – it’s back of the bus for them.

          So while it is certainly possible for a 3rd party to pay for tickets for a GB member, and to pay for the luxury of business class, what we want the public to know is that it is the general practice of the organization to purchase all tickets though their established travel desk, and it is becoming clear that more than one Governing Body member has been flying in luxury. What they do in the future may change, and perhaps public pressure will affect their decisions moving forward.

          As for the perks- well I can tell you that life in Brooklyn (and Warwick) is not so bad. I have personally spent many nights in many different Brooklyn properties owned by Watchtower, from the Sands building to the Columbia Heights residence buildings, all the way to private residences in Patterson. Just a few years ago I stayed in the personal room of one of the Governing Body members (his room when he comes to Patterson). It was a very nice 2 room suite with spacious bedroom and living room, large walk in closet, and disappointingly small kitchenette. You are correct – they do not have mansions, but the monetary equivalent of their rooms, all expense paid vacations, travel, food, health care, and lifetime appointment are all perks worth more than most of us will ever have.

          Will they all die broke? Well don’t be so sure. Ray Franz left for reasons of conscience, and he effectively died broke. But the faithful GB members aren’t out on the street just yet. Religion is still a good business, as this article points out. Hopefully it will be a wake-up call to those still trapped within

          JR

      • Freed Mason says:

        @JR

        I totally agree, what is this organisation’s exact FUNCTION?

        We are insulting God’s and our own intelligence if we believe that he would only broker a deal with a tiny group of US based men to outsource his communication, judgments and future plans for the entire human population of mankind.

        In my mind this organisation serves NO FUNCTION for mankind except as a GRAVY TRAIN for the top 7 employees!

      • chantal says:

        @John Redwood,
        I agree with the Travel Desk arrangement for big corporations. I was once in charge of making mostly airline, and some lodging accomodations, for big business executives (which of course the GB qualify in definition). It is a routine, BUSY business, and no time for using airline miles, and reservations are made at the absolute discretion of the executive. And in most cases, the airline miles ARE GIVEN THE ACTUAL PASSENGER, to be used for their personal use. Double dipping??

    • factsnotfiction says:

      @John Doe

      Surely you cannot be ignorant of the fact that Journalists often expose apparent wrong doing without exposing their sources, as to do so would put lives at risk or in this case livelihood. Your comments make no sense. You happily accept the ‘drivel’ put out by watchtower on a weekly bases without questioning it but you want to question this piece of information? Why? If you have doubts you are free to contact WT yourself and ask them if it is true or not! Ask what their policy is as to purchasing Airline tickets for GB members. If they are an open and honest organization, they will tell you. If it was in the UK you could use a freedom of information request which they are bound by law to respond to. And as this is an open forum WT are free to respond. I am sorry Joe but you have no argument unless you have evidence to the contrary.

      • Eric Arthur Blair says:

        @Factsnotfiction

        Well said!

        Add to that Watchtower’s response to child abuse and their membership to the UN – their denials and attempts to suppress any discussion on such subjects. They go to supreme courts and human rights courts to protect their own freedoms but then suppress those same freedoms in the congregation. This forum represents freedom of expression, the kind that Watchtower denies its adherents, and the site’s articles in general have been a credible source of information, so it has a good track record there. Watchtower is a credible source of disinformation and outright lies and deceptions.

        And while Watchtower declares its “legal victories” through its information channels, it tries to suppress knowledge of all the other legal battles it is involved in. My wife and I are now faded, but we are being told by her family to “pray for the brothers in Russia!” Give me a break, pray for the abuse victims instead.

    • Governing body says:

      “Their lack of response is most revealing” ??? As an Elder in USA, I can report to you that John Doe is our official response.

      He should be disfellowshipped for reading articles on “apostate” websites, but since he is in defense mode, it’s ok.

      Jwsurvey – if you think GB flying on business class is luxury, wait until you see what’s happening in branches in developing world. No oversize and complete freedom. That’s why we are consolidating/ merging many branches to have some control over this. Stating 2016, many of this branches now have all new branch member with the older crews re-assigned to special pioneer status in their home country of origin

      • John Redwood says:

        Governing Body

        I welcome your comments, but they are somewhat cryptic. In what way is the John Doe response “our official response?” Obviously it is not a literal official response, as Watchtower does not and has never communicated in this manner. Secondly it is clear he is responding as a lone wolf, evidenced by his uncorrected spelling and grammar. You state that “it’s ok” because he is in defense mode, but this is completely opposed to the direction from the Watchtower organization. Witnesses are directed to not respond to any negative media attention, no matter how tempting, or how justified they feel in defending the organization. Even the US Branch media department overseers will not respond to accusations against the organization, except in rare circumstances where they feel they have no choice but to make a statement in light of global scrutiny or scandal. (As an example, their response to the United Nations UN Scandal.)

        As for your comment on the downsizing of branches, I do not completely disagree with your statements regarding the need to reign in branches which were becoming difficult to control. Clearly the rapid expansion in the past few decades had taken its toll on the organization and its ability to monitor the day to day activities of these branch offices. However as we know, there was an underlying financial element to this downsizing as well, in part due to the reduction in printing needs, and the ability of centralized branches to manage those countries assigned to them. South America is a great example of this.

        Hopefully you understand the real meaning behind this article. Organizations often lose sight of their mission, and slowly but surely there are signs which indicate either a loss of control, or a disregard for the feelings of rank and file members of the flock. When you are under the control of such an organization (as I was for 46 years,) you can easily fail to see the forest through the trees, and you can excuse policies and conduct simply because you wholeheartedly trust that organization. It’s like being a Boston Red Sox baseball fan your entire life, and hearing other people criticize the Red Sox, or announce that the Yankees are a better team. It goes against every fiber of your being and is repulsive to you, regardless of whether the Yankees are a better team or not. In psychology this is called cognitive dissonance. It is painful to learn that unnecessary luxuries are being purchased for the benefit of senior Watchtower officials, when poverty stricken Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide often lack basic necessities. A Kingdom Hall in Africa can be build for as little as $3,000 US, which is less than the cost of one business class ticket from New York to Africa.

        I know that our readers understand this point. While it might seem to be a drop in the bucket, or insignificant to some, the misappropriation of funds for a personal luxury is the diametric opposite of the goals of a charitable organization.

        JR

    • MJ Bachman says:

      Your comment is unrevealing as well. Providing you with additional information about sources need not be responded to either. The gb only presents one side to everything but in your twarped reasoning you ask us to present facts to you? Im sure jwsurvey has facts and sources unlike the gb who deem themselves capable of interpreting the mind of a god (arrogance). You always use this statement “it is impossible to prove a negative” but do you understand that this statement is itself a negative?

  6. Doc Obvious says:

    The May 2016 Watchtower magazine has an article on page 3 titled, “Settle Differences in a Spirit of Love”. The article, which has no author, states that differences should be settled in love.

    When an article such as this does not detail is when a difference between 2 persons end up being illegal activity on one of the parties. For example, when a child is abducted from a home without the consent of the father or the mother. Or, when there is child sexual abuse that occurs inside or outside of a congregation by an elder or ministerial servant.

    This is when a lawyer needs to be consulted immediately. Not the Elders. Not the Circuit Overseer. Not a Ministerial Servant. A lawyer. Do not go to the Elders. Elders and Watchtower will drag their feet on this matter. They will stall. Especially when Watchtower ends up being legally responsible for the matter eventually.

    One of the main reasons, why the Child Sexual Abuse issue is so bad is that brothers or sisters implemented these rules in the magazines and ended up empty handed. In most cases, they were left with the advice from Elders, “Leave it in Jehovah’s hands”. Or, the other statement, “Jehovah will take care of it in the new system”. These blatant irresponsible statements goes no where.

    All these statements state is the following, “The Watchtower society is not responsible for anything and if we go to court we will try to have this matter covered up by the First Amendment”. This will only cause you to be angry, depressed, or suicidal. These statements are superficial and yield no direct results. The best course of conduct is to pursue it in the court system.

    If people who are victims of child abuse went to the authorities and consulted a lawyer in the first place, the more transparent the problem would be in the Judicial System’s eyes. Waiting 30 plus years just causes more problems.

    All this article does is diffuse in people the willingness to go to the court system to handle differences. Especially when those differences are legal ones.

  7. Twmack says:

    It’s always preferable to be able to name a source,
    but sometimes the whistleblower has to remain
    anonymous for fear of retaliation.

    The law allows journalists to protect their source,
    otherwise important information of public interest
    would never come to light. We rely on journalistic
    integrity in such cases.

    Honest reporters will always print a retraction for
    info, which is later found to be wrong. This is the
    standard that JWsurvey holds to.

    This benchmark is not adhered to by WT, writers.
    Biologist Rama Singh, is still waiting, after over a
    year, for a written retraction. After being blatantly
    mis-quoted in the Awake Magazine.

    One learns over time which sources to trust.

    • Outandabout says:

      John Doe…..you’re clutching at straws, man. Are you here in defense of journalistic integrity or vainly defending Watchtower crimes?

      “Pardon me Sir, your delusion and desperation is showing”

      • Eric Arthur Blair says:

        I think one of the issues here John is that some people will never be satisfied either way. Even if Lloyd could produce a photograph of the ticket or passenger list, others would just say that it’s been doctored or photoshopped. I guess what many here are saying is that this account rings true given Watchtower’s track record (have you investigated their UN links yet, or the whole child abuse saga?) whereas Lloyd has been a trustworthy source in exposing Wstchtower. And in the past Lloyd has demonstrated that he is reluctant to repeat or publish something without evidence based on hearsay, but in this case the sources wishes need to be respected. And what are we to make of Watchtower’s many cherry picked examples of modern faith in the pages of their magazines and yearbooks, such as when a pioneer has an $80 bill but no money, and then the money miraculously appears from somewhere. Where’s the proof there? (And what are all the other pioneers who prayed and were ignored to make of such examples of “faith”?) Where So I guess it’s a question of who you trust?

        I personally think this article’s claims are minor in light of Watchtower’s indefensible position in protecting pedophiles, exploiting its followers (like the work horse in Animal Farm) and their track record as false teachers and false prophets (all of which you can read about and discuss on this site but won’t be able to read in Watchtower publications or discuss at the Kingdom Hall.) Nonetheless, it does add something to the Watchtower narrative and generates discussion. I personally have seen anecdotal evidence that the Governing Body and its helpers do not live the simple life that Jesus did, and have much to gain by perpetuating their lies, whilst simultaneously pointing the finger at everybody else.

    • John Redwood says:

      This is very well said, and it is why JW Survey has “our Promise” posted on the front page, which states: “Is there something incorrect or unfactual on this website? If so, please let us know and we will correct it.”

      This is the highest level of integrity we can achieve. If we are wrong – we will admit to it.

      2nd point – in fairness to the Watchtower organization, there have been a few cases where they have published an apology for a mis-quotation. Of course this is extremely rare. One example is the February 8th 1988 Awake! magazine, page 28. Dr Vinson Synan wrote to the organization, stating that he had been “grossly misquoted” in the April 8th 1987 issue of Awake! The Awake! “editor” responded by admitting that they made an error by incorrectly attributing a quote from another author to Dr. Synan, and misrepresented Synan’s position. Awake then justified their position on the subject of speaking in tongues.

      The practice of responding to readers has long disappeared from this organization’s magazines, and the writing and research has descended to the point where they have been able to mis-quote and mis-represent numerous authors and scientists, with no accountability or integrity. If forced, they will quietly change the electronic copies of articles online, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are none the wiser.

      You might argue that since they were previously attempting to correct errors, they should absolutely know better, and allow themselves to be corrected. Instead, sites like JW Survey and JW Facts are forced to do this for them

      JR

      • John Redwood says:

        John Doe

        I think you are very confused. Not only did I not mention a biologist, I never stated that an author may have “regretted what he said.” I suspect you are mistaking my comments for someone else’s, and distorting and confusing them with the Rama Singh story. You should research more deeply before making such statements. Perhaps you should consider printing a retraction 🙂

        JR

        • Outandabout says:

          John Doe…..give me incontrovertible proof that will stand up in a court of law that the Watchtower is Gods chosen organisation and I will give you prove to you this article is correct.

        • Holy Connoli says:

          To John Doe: Give me any proof they are Gods organization that he chose out of all religions I 1918/1919 as they claim. My wife likes to say well, we are the only ones preaching the kingdo worldwide so there is the proof she says! I say Really? You guys are preaching the WRONG kingdom bc you claim it was set up in 1914 invisibly and j
          Jesus was installed at that time. We all know that is FAKE and never happened and that the entire basis of 1914 is based on the wrong date of 607 BCE which all scholars and reigipous historians do not agree with. Even the WT knows the years is wrong. So if you are preaching the wrong Kingdom you are giving false hope right? is that what God wants his “ORG” to do?

        • dee2 says:

          Holy C,

          I recall being given a copy of the publication: GOD’S KINGDOM OF A THOUSAND YEARS HAS BEGUN ITS RULE, by a JW some time ago.
          Perhaps you may recall this publication as well.

          So, if God’ Kingdom of 1000 years began its rule in 1914 then either:

          – there are 898 years to date left for God’s kingdom to rule (2016 minus 1914) with the past 102 years showing that God hasn’t done anything much for mankind;

          – OR God’s kingdom in fact rules for more than 1000 years: 1914 to the date of the start of the actual Millennium plus the actual Millennium itself.

          • John Redwood says:

            Dee2

            Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that the 1000 year reign began at the end of the 6000 years of man’s existence on Earth, not in 1914. Remember, to JWs, God’s Kingdom, and the 1000 year reign are 2 different things. They teach that the 2520 year period of non-kingdom rule began in 607 BCE and ended in 1914 with the enthronement and invisible presence of Christ on Earth. The 1000 year reign was the kickoff to the “new system” of things which followed Armageddon.

            Because they taught that 1975 was the end of 6000 years of man’s existence, and they believed the creative days to be 7000 years long, it made sense to them that the 1000 year reign of Christ would be the final 1000 years of God’s “rest” day, the 7th day. This is why 1975 was such a big deal for JWs – it was not simply then end of 6000 years, it MUST mark the end of the world as we know it since there is no gap between the 6000 and 1000 year periods.

            Insanity copyright Fred Franz

            JR

        • ScotWm says:

          John Redwood said: “Because they taught that 1975 was the end of 6000 years of man’s existence, and they believed the creative days to be 7000 years long, it made sense to them that the 1000 year reign of Christ would be the final 1000 years of God’s “rest” day, the 7th day.”

          The Watchtower time line states that Adam was created in the autumn of 4026 BCE and he then named all of the land animals. Since there are millions of species, this naming process must have have taken a long time. It was only after all of the animals were named that Eve was created.

          After Eve was created, the sixth day ended, ushering in the seventh day, which has not yet ended. While the Watchtower timeline shows 1975 to be the end of 6000 years of man’s existance, this does not necessarily mark the 6000th year of the seventh day.

          The time period between the creation of Adam and the end of the sixth day is an unknown entity. Watchtower prophets can still claim that we have been living since 1975 in the time frame that elapsed between the creation of Adam and the end of the sixth day.mm

          • John Redwood says:

            ScotWN

            You are correct about the Adam/Eve gap theory. Most Witnesses have no clue that the organization (under oracle Fred Franz) attempted to explain this gap as the reason 1975 did not transpire as originally thought. Thus, 1975 was effectively extended indefinitely. With the aging and ultimate death of Franz in 1992, any mention of this eventually vanished. Focus was shifted to the generation theory, as the organization had no choice but to explain why those alive in 1914 were dying, but the Great Tribulation was clearly not happening.

            This information will be the subject of a future article on 4026.

            As for your comment on current claims of Watchtower prophets, I am not so sure you will find any recent WT sources backing this up. However they absolutely hold firm to the 4026 date for the creation of Adam, which will ultimately be one of the daggers revealing the complete lack of harmony between accurate science and the Watchtower’s unyielding position on their biblical timeline

            JR

        • Winston Smith says:

          And, as I have mentioned in other posts, Russell had this date as 100 years earlier, around 4126 BC. Thus he had everything set to coincide with his 1874 chronology. As I recall, the wording in the book Life Everlasting of 1966, written by FW Franz, indicated that new light caused them to reject older theories about the date of Adam’s creation and that was when they proposed the 4026 date. JR, I think that flip flop on dates would be worth sharing in a future article. Let me know if you need me to look up the references for it. I have the sources saved in my library.

          WS

        • ScotWm says:

          Regarding John Redwood’s comment regarding the time gap between the creation of Adam and the end of the 6th day:

          I am looking forward to your “4026 BCE” article. It appears that a few thousand (or million) beagats were not recorded in the old testament.

          And you’re right about current Watchtower speculators no longer using the Adam and Eve “gap” theory to explain away the failed 1975 prophecy. The asinine overlapping generation teaching has filled in the gap.

      • Caroline says:

        John Doe: One of the reasons why I don’t want to be associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses is because I don’t want to belong to a religion where I have to be afraid of using my real name to make comments on a web site like this. Why aren’t you using your real name? Is it because you are afraid of being disfellowshiped for “associating” with “apostates”? How can you defend an organization where you have to be afraid of identifying yourself for “defending” your religion?

        • M Saurus says:

          Ditto. John Doe is NOT a faithful “witness” if he is on this site reading and/or commenting. The rule is not “you can go on the site to defend the org”. The rule is “you are forbidden to go on the site”.

          So, JD – you might as well be honest and leave the org right now. Get the shunning started. Because you have sinned by being here….

  8. Big B says:

    @ John Doe:

    Since you are a Jehovah’s Witness or a Watchtower apologist, why are you even commenting on this “apostate” web site?

    Should the ‘unfaithful and indiscreet’ slave, whom you obviously adore, ever find out that you’ve been here, well its the ‘backroom’ for you buster.

    You however, would be correct in assuming that the majority of us don’t contribute to the Watchtower as I personally find them to be a repulsive, repressive, hypocritical, pedophile protecting cult worthy of nothing more than a curt dismissal of their ministry, their version of Christianity and their so called ‘spirit inspired’ understanding of the Bible.

    Ask yourself this, if you dare:
    If Jehovah is infallible and his spirit imitating from Him is also infallible, then why do the ‘unfaithful and indiscreet’ slave have to make adjustments to their doctrine passing it off as NEW LIGHT?

    The answer is quite plain namely, they are not influenced by holy spirit, never have been and never will be. The only spirit they are ‘inspired’ by is the spirit of JIM BEAM or JACK DANIELS.
    They are just ‘guessing’ and messing with your head and life.

    So may I suggest to you and your ilk to do some research into your beliefs before ‘throwing stones’ here. Otherwise you will be like so many other Witnesses, dying disappointed, disillusioned, and disgusted without seeing anything for your work but the inside of your eyeballs.

  9. John Deere says:

    As I said before, Jackson more than likely was wearing an apple watch and Herd was wearing a Rolex. But that proves nothing. You have to realize Witnesses give them these items. When tablets first came on the scene I know of a witness who owned an electronic store. He took Herd there, opened the door and told him to take whatever he wants. When I was a menial little nothing of a laundry boy at Bethel, barely been there 2 years, I was given “green handshakes”, and treated to fancy meals all the time. Some bethelites home congregations put there money to together and bought new permanent bethelites cars so they’d have oen before they left. Bethelites, governing body on down HAVE NO MONEY. Witnesses know this so they GIVE them stuff. If I was treated like I was of course Herd is going to have a Rolex.

    • JBob says:

      I agree with that comment regarding “gifts” John Deere. I think there are bigger issues than the price and class of air travel. I mean I could use this as an example in the overall context of how much money this “religion” rakes in from sincere persons. But, some counter clerk pulling a paid ticket stub which will not show the name on card and card number of the person paying is a ‘slow news day’.

  10. Markie says:

    Some have said that the GB should be humble and Christ like etc. If they were humble and Christ like they never would have made it to the top of the organization. The very fact that they made it to the top shows that they are not humble. I do believe that most of them appear to be filled with self importance.
    I keep hearing that Herd has a Rolex, but has anyone actually ever seen it up close to be able to tell what kind of watch it really is? I don’t think so.

    • John Deere says:

      Yes I’ve seen them up close. They all have nice stuff. But so did Jesus pr else the Roman soldiers wouldn’t of cast lots over his clothes.

      • dee2 says:

        @John Deere,

        Was Jesus’ garment that the Roman soldiers are said to have cast lots for, a valuable robe?
        I’ve read nothing in the Bible which indicates that Jesus wore rich clothing.

        • Anonymous says:

          @dee I think you just answered your own question. Soldiers were allocated a salary for their duties, for them to dicker over who got the robe seems to indicate it was a garment beyond their ordinary salary. Plus, Judas made an issue of the fine oils used to bathe Jesus’ feet and on and on.

          Not saying having a business class ticket, Rolex, or platinum card equates one to Jesus.. frequent flyer points, another option by upgrading into business class.

          Let’s supposition that these were gifts to a GB person, should they refuse it and “hurt feelings” of the giver so in typical human manner, they leave vowing never to give or embarrass themselves again?

          This is why clergy in other sects use a uniform to avoid distinctions in wealth. Many large size businesses have policies limiting the amount and size of gifts accepted by corporate associates to avoid the appearance of impropriety–the quid pro quo factor.

          And, as others noted, it’s the “stumbling others” factor when some one bashing me over the head for eking out a living comes flip-flopping across the stage flashing a new gold tooth and a Rolex.

          • dee2 says:

            @Anonymous:

            This is the answer which I provided to my question – this answer was posted below:

            As far as I know, the Bible states nothing about the quality of the clothing which Jesus wore.

            The only garment I know of which Jesus wore, which could be considered rich clothing, was the “purple robe”, according to Mark’s gospel (Mark 15:16 – 25) or the “scarlet robe”, according to Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 27:27-35), which was put on Jesus by the Roman soldiers, as a way of mocking him for being the “King of the Jews”. Purple dyed material was extremely expensive and reserved for royalty during those times. It wasn’t just the fabric – it was purple, a color that was produced with very rare and expensive dye made from a specific species of shellfish (murex). It was a very expensive garment.

            The soldiers then promptly took this robe off Jesus before sending him for crucifixion. They dressed Jesus in his own clothes before they led him out to crucify him. Jesus wasn’t wearing this purple/scarlet robe when he was crucified, and the soldiers never cast lots for it. They cast lots for Jesus’ own clothes: Mark 15:16 – 25; Matthew 27:27-35.

            If there was any quality/valuable garment to cast lots for, it certainly would have been the purple/scarlet robe provided by the Romans – by all indications, Jesus’ own garments were inferior to this purple/scarlet robe.

            Also, the question has been asked as to why would the Roman soldiers want Jesus’ blood soaked torn clothes?

            If Jesus was scourged as part of the crucifixion process and then his clothes were once again placed on his wounded bloody body (Matthew 27:26, 31; Mark 15:15, 20, John 19:1) why would the soldiers want to divide up these blood soaked garments? Indeed, if the scourging continued along the route to the crucifixion, Jesus’ clothing would be nothing but bloody rags of no value to the soldiers.

  11. Tara says:

    I think most have missed the point about the clothes and watches, the pinky rings etc. It doesn’t matter if they are made on a 3D printer or bought at a dollar store and painted to look genuine. The point is they are wearing said item in public view. If I had struggled to put together the money to attend a convention, pay for a hotel, feed the kids, try to buy three nice outfits… probably from value village or such like and then got to see the GB on stage flashing what appeared to be a Rolex etc etc then I would possibly feel deflated and annoyed. Sure, everyone wants to look good but these men should be practicing what they preach about ‘showy display of ones means of life’. They should be taking the lead in showing humility in front of their ‘adoring fans’. I don’t care if the things are not real they wear them as if they are and that is just as bad. I am sure the props used in movies are not real but they look real and lead the viewers to believe that the sparkly things are real. Rant over.

    • rob says:

      You are so correct in your comments.

      Every assembly I attended echoed the same remarks from the platform – do not be showy – do not be materialistic – live a humble life –

      What do the GB do? Well apparently they fly first class. And even if the ticket was purchased as a gift for them – shouldn’t they practice what they preach and cash it in and put the difference between the economy fare and the business class ticket in the donation box?

      This religion is all about appearances. Its a phony facade because not being outwardly materialistic and putting on a showy display obviously only applies to the rank and file. The GB are above and beyond – their lifestyle and their ever changing doctrine is not to be questioned apparently.

  12. Winston Smith says:

    Many of the comments here seem like moot points to me. Is it a Rolex or isn’t it? Did the org pay for the business class ticket or did someone else pay for it? All of these points are minor nuances and I see no point in arguing about them.

    Here is the bottom line: the higher ups in the JW org are getting access to some of the finer things in life. They get them in exchange for their work: making failed predictions, making intrusive rules, promoting the refusal of medical care, harboring child molesters, and encouraging the shunning of family members. That’s what they sell. And the rank and file just buy it up one way or another.

    WS

    • M Saurus says:

      Yes, and it is especially noteworthy that they are asking the rank and file to do without and send their savings to them. Children’s ice cream money FFS. It is despicable.

      • Big B says:

        @ M Saurus;

        Agree wholeheartedly, they haven’t learned a darn thing since the 1975 debacle. Everyone selling homes, putting off operations, getting married, starting families, etc. Do without NOW for the ‘real life to come’. “Door to door in ’74 to be alive in ’75” was the mantra at that time.

        Forty-one years have passed and I wonder where all of these friends of ’75 are now; still in the ‘TRUTH’, still knocking on doors per bono with a message nobody wants to hear or believes, still hoping to cheat death because the ‘New System is just around the corner’?

        Do you want my ice cream money, how about my social security you blood suckers? Come and take it you Adventist pedophile protecting charlatans!

      • Ejecting to Sanity says:

        Exactly..and how many of you, during your study before Baptism, were told that the fact that WTwould never need to ask for money was absolute proof of Jah’s blessing on the ‘organization’. We were! Wonder what our ‘teacher’ thinks now. So glad to be rid of the gut ache that life with all that cognitive dissonance creates!

  13. dee2 says:

    @John Deere:

    Was Jesus’ garment that the Roman soldiers are said to have cast lots for, a valuable robe?
    I’ve read nothing in the Bible which indicates that Jesus wore rich clothing.

    • Sarah says:

      Jesus had a good outer garment, made without seams if I remember correctly. He also had costly oil poured all over him by a grateful woman. But that’s all Jesus had. He had no home of his own to ‘lay his head’. He got hungry at times.

      If a person is rich, then so be it and we are not supposed to be envious. But I did find it hard to swallow the travel in business class by people who have taken an oath of poverty. Then asking for ice cream money! I had no trouble believing the story, John. Please keep up the articles. It’ll keep WT on their toes.

    • Sarah says:

      Sorry, got it wrong. John19:23. It was the inner garment woven from the top throughout its length.

      • dee2 says:

        As far as I know, the Bible states nothing about the quality of the clothing which Jesus wore.

        The only garment I know of which Jesus wore, which could be considered rich clothing, was the “purple robe”, according to Mark’s gospel (Mark 15:16 – 25) or the “scarlet robe”, according to Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 27:27-35), which was put on Jesus by the Roman soldiers, as a way of mocking him for being the “King of the Jews”. Purple dyed material was extremely expensive and reserved for royalty during those times. It wasn’t just the fabric – it was purple, a color that was produced with very rare and expensive dye made from a specific species of shellfish (murex). It was a very expensive garment.

        The soldiers then promptly took this robe off Jesus before sending him for crucifixion. They dressed Jesus in his own clothes before they led him out to crucify him. Jesus wasn’t wearing this purple/scarlet robe when he was crucified, and the soldiers never cast lots for it. They cast lots for Jesus’ own clothes: Mark 15:16 – 25; Matthew 27:27-35.

        If there was any quality/valuable garment to cast lots for, it certainly would have been the purple/scarlet robe provided by the Romans – by all indications, Jesus’ own garments were inferior to this purple/scarlet robe.

        Also, the question has been asked as to why would the Roman soldiers want Jesus’ blood soaked torn clothes?

        If Jesus was scourged as part of the crucifixion process and then his clothes were once again placed on his wounded bloody body (Matthew 27:26, 31; Mark 15:15, 20, John 19:1) why would the soldiers want to divide up these blood soaked garments? Indeed, if the scourging continued along the route to the crucifixion, Jesus’ clothing would be nothing but bloody rags of no value to the soldiers.

        • twistedsister69 says:

          Good point. Just watch “Passion of the Christ”. Not for the faint of heart. 😉
          P.S. No offense to anyone – Certainly appreciate your research and intentions, but I personally couldn’t give 2 hoots what kind of robes Jesus wore. It may have some relevance, but not a whole lot, in dealing with this 21st century Internet-age cult.

          • twistedsister69 says:

            OK. Gotta share this one. The “blood” comment reminded me of something that crossed my mind the other day. In the famous “10 Commandments” story of the O.T., the Hebrews were told to sprinkle lamb’s blood on their doorposts so the “angel of death” would not come in and slay their firstborn. Why was that necessary? Could the “angel of death” seriously not tell the difference between Hebrews and Egyptians? I mean, they didn’t even live in the same areas, FCS. WTF??? Sounds like the “angel of death” was a little slow, or hadn’t been keeping up with current events. Maybe Yahweh should have picked another “man” for the job! LMFAO

          • JBob says:

            twistedsister69 – imho, it wasn’t whether one was Egyptian or Hebrew. Thus, not about ethnicity. Some Egyptians and others not born of Hebrews also left with the Hebrews, converting to the RELIGION of Judaism, thus becoming Jews, or the “residents”–‘ger’. And, later of course, the step leading to Ethiopian Jews.

        • JBob says:

          I disagree that the soldiers placing a robe of dubious color onto Jesus had anything to do with his wearing robes of lesser quality–it was a mockery of the allegations that he is “King of the Jews,” thus impostor robes of royal hue. Going back to the statement at Luke 7:34, “a friend of tax collectors” (guys who handled and had money due to bribes and so forth), it seemed to indicate Jesus was not living a spartan or stoic lifestyle, even if nomadic.

          • dee2 says:

            Interesting point JBob.

            Indeed, the robe which was placed on Jesus could have been a “robe of dubious color” or an “impostor robe of royal hue” if the point of being dressed in purple was to suggest royalty for the purposes of mockery, after all, the Romans were insulting Jesus and mocking him as “King of the Jews” – crown of thorns is as much the “royal crown” as the “robe of dubious color”/ “impostor robe of royal hue” is as much the “royal robe”.

            But Luke 23:11 is very definite about the quality of the robe which was placed on Jesus:

            “Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an ELEGANT ROBE, they sent him back to Pilate” (emphasis mine).

            Whereas Matthew, Mark and John only mention the colour of the robe and state nothing about it’s quality, Luke is silent about the colour but speaks to its quality: “an ELEGANT ROBE”.

            The point still stands that the Bible states nothing about the quality/value of clothing worn by Jesus. But Luke’s account would suggest that Jesus’ clothing was inferior to this “ELEGANT ROBE”.

            Also, the question as to why the Roman soldiers would want Jesus’ bloodied, sweaty and torn clothes is of interest given the scourging to which Jesus was subjected prior to his crucifixion. Is it that even bloody and messed up clothing still had value? Maybe the soldiers hoped that they would manage to wash the blood out of the fabric once they went home so they could flip the garment and get some easy cash?

          • dee2 says:

            @JBob:

            “…..robe of dubious color…..”

            The dubiousness of the colour is perhaps seen in the discrepancy of the colour reported by the Gospel accounts – according to Mark, which is the oldest account, the robe’s colour was purple, John agrees with Mark; according to Matthew however, the colour was scarlet.

            Perhaps Mark claimed purple for dramatic purposes as that colour-word would be appropriate for the occasion; but realizing the unlikelihood of that, Matthew steps it down to scarlet and Luke decided to not mention the colour, since there was no agreement between the two earlier Gospels.

  14. John Redwood says:

    Gone4good

    it seems you did not check the photo used for this article. It is a photo of Emirates Airlines Business class, and does indeed represent the luxury of international business class travel. Suggesting that its use is a “cheap propaganda trick” using “fevered speculation” reveals that you are conflicted about the author, Lloyd Evans. While on the one hand you praise him for his generosity and heart, you simultaneously criticize the article without just cause.

    I can assure you that the information in the article is accurate, and that we have no intention of publishing propaganda or engaging in tabloid journalism. As an editor of this site, I was involved in the vetting process and would have influenced the pulling of this article if I believed any of the information to be inaccurate.

    As they say, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Trust me when I tell you we will not publish fiction

    JR

  15. twistedsister69 says:

    I would like to reinforce the comments already made RE: what difference does it make WHERE or how the GB get all their “goodies” and privileges (i.e. business class international travel). OK, even if they truly do have “no money” (and really, no one is qualified to make such a claim, since no one knows FOR SURE – I personally may have been born at night, but I wasn’t born LAST night lol), and they get the all the goodies and the “green handshakes” from other JWs … WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??? They’re still PARASITES, sponging off other people’s labor, and giving nothing but grief, misery, and heartache in return. I’ve known of Bethelites who routinely went on looong trips (Asia, South America) once or twice a year, paid for by some generous JW benefactor, while others in the same congregation were struggling just to pay the mortgage and feed their children.

  16. FullyAwake says:

    The counter on the front page of this website regarding the San Diego Superior Court daily penalty of $4,000 is a complete waste of funds and donated funds. I wonder how big that penalty will get before they cave, if they ever cave with the documents.

    So far, it equals nearly 25 business class flights. This is also a huge load of Ice Cream from the kiddies.

  17. FullyAwake says:

    The counter on the front page of this website regarding the San Diego Superior Court daily penalty of $4,000 is a complete waste of funds and donated funds. I wonder how big that penalty will get before they cave, if they ever cave with the documents.

    So far, it equals nearly 25 business class flights. This also equals A huge amount of Ice Cream money from the kiddies.

  18. PaxRomana says:

    Your average Witness is fortunate to have a few hundred dollars in their bank account at any given time. We are now generations deep in a philosophy that secular education is discouraged. This has left adult Witnesses in a position where they struggle to maintain meaningful employment, if they can find employment. They are told to trust in Jehovah and sacrifice is part of the program. Fair enough, until the Watchtower goes on a campaign asking (begging) for funds from the same uneducated masses that cannot find meaningful employment in many cases.

    My heart breaks for these folks, many of them well intentioned and good hearted people. Flying business class is a dream for them. But in contrast, most are humble enough not to fly in luxury at the expense of their brothers and sisters.

    For Watchtower apologists, please take this to heart. Rank and file JWs are not the concern. The concern is an increasingly authoritarian organization that demands resources from the very members they have limited in their ability to generate resources. Please give that some thought.

    • JBob says:

      @Pax – I concur with your feelings here.

      Even when people are irked at the Robert Tilton’s of the world, the issue is not that they have wealth, but how they obtained it–through unscrupulous and deceptive practices. Duping persons into thinking they are giving their money over to “godly cause” when it results their prayer request in a dumpster and the funds given to lock box processing.

      Watchtower may not have a lock box processor, yet, but it’s fairly the same. Questions go into the HQ policy grinder, or restricted to those allowed during the appointed study times, and donations to the “contributions coffers”.

      Watchtower made it seem so simple and easy. Come become one of us, follow these simple instructions (not so simple), then when it’s time you get to fly to Paradise with no bags allowed. Time for departure? Uhmmmm… a little delay but the flight will be ready in another 30 minutes. One hour later, we are waiting for flight in from ___ to provide equipment, and that flight is running behind. So, when will “THIS PLANE” be ready? What’s the delay? Why can’t we take this plane that’s at this gate?? Although, planes are planes and they are interchangeable, THIS FLIGHT will require THAT PLANE which arrives. What time is that? Only a few more minutes, sir, and thank you for your patience.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I have been made aware that YOUR PLANE has arrived, but we will need to make some adjustments, again, since it has made its presence at another gate. Please follow the attendant to gate ____ where additional instructions will be provided for THIS FLIGHT.

      Ladies and Gentlemen due to a mechanical issue we will have a delay of 30 minutes…..

      True story, it happened to me. Original equipment had issues, arriving equipment had issues, so wait for additional equipment to arrive which also had issues. The airline was not forthcoming with details on the issues, so customer service rating for that airline–zero, if not negative.

      • Big B says:

        @ J Bob:

        Great story and the application to the WTBTS failed predictions of Armageddon’s eminent arrival and ‘flight’ to the New System was right on the mark!

        That’s one plane that will never land or depart because it doesn’t exist. Best to take another flight somewhere (anywhere) as the WTBTS airline is a loser.

  19. JBob says:

    **yawn**!!!

    @John Doe – I agree with your critical thinking here. “Paula” would only be able to detect that the ticket price paid was USD4500 each. It doesn’t indicate whether this was a “gift” by an elite JW and not taken from Watchtower “contributions” or dividend earnings. After all, there are elite JW members who have money–wealth–and think of donating flight tickets, buying Rolexes, top-flight suits, or wherever for a GB member. Quid pro quo still reigns.

    And, on some airlines business class is second to “first class,” but for most airlines it is now equal to the amenities found in First Class.

    Now, as several new YouTube channels are highlighting, the Watchtower is a business enterprise, first, and a religion, second, if at all. M-o-n-e-y. So, if their leaders are flying business class, it fits the role. And, flying business class is certainly less expensive than the way the GB and others once traveled using chartered jets (and not those dinky little Lears or Gulfstreams, big jumbo jets like the ones some world-class entertainers own, or like the Trump jumbo).

    Just because the Watchtower is organized as a “not-for-profit” corporation doesn’t mean, they operate “in the red.” There are scores of non-JW/Watchtower foundations, charities, corporations, enterprises, mutual benefit societies, etc that are also structured as not-for-profit, but these non-JW entities can squeeze blood and money out of a turnip. Likewise, the Watchtower can shake gold out of a withered up drunkard or drug-addled junkie.

    But, having added several puzzle pieces over the last few weeks, I have a new take on some aspects of what I experienced way back those 20+ years ago before walking out. Some JW’s will state they have support of elders who came to the hospital when they were having their surgery, or whatever crisis, etc. Strange, I think, when elders seemed incapable of summing a bit of empathy for human issues and offering advice other than the canned answers found in literature or the policy manual. And, there is the answer–the policy manual.

    Elders are like corporate managers–they are there to ensure that the strategy is fulfilled, that the objectives are met, and the policies steering the mass of associates toward the enterprise goals are followed to the letter. Thus, the elder is there by your hospital bed to ensure compliance. The elder is there at your little soiree to ensure policy compliance. The elder is there at your wedding to ensure policy compliance. The elder is there at your Memorial (or funeral) to ensure compliance. And, the elder is there sometimes to ensure funds are collected to be forwarded onto HQ. Some managers/elders are better at wrapping policy and compliance monitoring in the costume of human kindness and sincerity than others.

    Dogma is only critical as it affects the hierarchy of obedience. Changes that boot out 200-300 people a year, even thousands, don’t matter. After all, that’s why you’re working feverishly to recruit new folks to replace the burned-out and awakened ones. You are disposable and replaceable, even if you’re at Bethel or a circuit rider. Let the scam roll on.

    But, JW’s believe in God–and, don’t they care that this flip-flopping can damage people’s confidence in God?

    Keep in mind that Charles Russell had become an atheist at one point; once an atheist, always one, I believe. You may flex agnostic but hard reasoning stays with you. So, Russell having sold out everything to follow Barbour and his failure seems to have decided to make lemonade out of his box of fruitcake beliefs and sell it from a roadside stand. As proof, there are a string of odd offerings for donations that litter the pages of the 1800-1920 Watchtowers and Golden Ages–from Miracle Wheat to the electrostatic devices.

    Someone was there to buy it.

    And, as IRS 503c structures, and as a religion (the IRS classifies as a church, even Islam mosques and synagogues), the Watchtower is not obligated to file tax forms with US government authorities. Contrary to some misguided beliefs, the government doesn’t have these 503c corporations on a leash or under control. Far from it, these religious 503c’s are given First Amendment rights and are excluded from requirements for not-religion 503c’s such as filing income taxes, financial statements, and some Congressional legal requirements are often filtered and phrased to accommodate the First Amendment provisions.

    However, there is one issue that can make trouble for a 503c, and that is how are the “directors” and leadership compensation and perks determined. If the Board members also serve as leaders/managers and executives, and determine the perks and compensations received, the “arms-length” guide is not being followed. And, that’s why it’s complicated and murky, since the GB also serve as corporate directors in all entities. They could possibly have lost tax-exempt status years ago if there’s documentation someone can smuggle out.

    Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APb1RpfjCrA
    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-are-nonprofits-finances-public-information-28028.html
    https://www.501c3.org/nonprofit-executive-compensation/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_the_United_States
    https://www.aclu.org/your-right-religious-freedom
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

  20. Harry Cadanza says:

    I never knew this before. I think it’s interesting so I want to share this info with you.
    Wikipedia, Ben Homer
    Ben Homer’s most well known works are “Sentimental Journey” (1944), “Bizet Has His Day” (1945) (a jazz arrangement of Georges Bizet’s “Farandole” from L’Arlésienne-Suite), “Shoot the Sherbet to Me Herbert” (1939) “Joltin’ Joe Di Maggio” (1941) and “Mexican Hat Dance” (1941) he was a staff composer for dance band leader Les Brown in 1940. During his career he went on to arrange for the orchestras of Les Brown, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Jimmy Dorsey, and also for films, records and television In the early 1950s he gave up his musical career to become a minister with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses he composed, “Keep Your Eyes on The Prize.”

  21. GEM says:

    @ Pax Romana: Spot on observations and thank you Cedars for this thought provoking article.

    I was a keen Teen that abandoned a fantastic education, jumping one year at Grammar School to join the Pioneer ranks at the age of 16 in the early Seventies. Caught up in the Watchtower Hubris of the time.

    I managed c. 6 years as a Regular and c. 4 years in Bethel before the effects of what I witnessed and experience saw me “step down” and finally walk out of the Kingdom Hall. My Field service figures were around 30 – 40 per month even then. The District Overseer gave a pre Circuit Assembly talk to our congregation, on the merits of securing an education to at least A level (UK) and preparing ourselves with Practical skills to assist us in future life. This was delivered after the Elders assigned him to me, as I was very low and disillusioned after my experiences at Bethel.

    I am not sure what I expected there really. Certainly, I did not expect asceticism. Pioneering had taught me to be frugal. My diet was poor, my clothing was always neat, but not designer. I even had items out of the Clothing bin at Bethel, and gave no concern that some other Brother within the family had donated them. Likewise I did not expect hand outs from others, and was shocked when I gave my first Public Talk outside of my own Congregation and was offered money by the Elders for my efforts. I accepted only a sum to cover the cost of fuel to drive there in my beaten up DAF (a sewing machine with a chassis donated to me by my Jewish ex-boss).

    I just thought that was the general mentality, with the “family” supporting itself so that we could serve the Brothers and Sisters and devote ourselves to intense devotion and training to be Ministers of God. Building a Theocracy, was my sole focus.

    It took a very short while after my induction into the Bethel family before the “Rose tinted” glasses began to crack.

    Frankly, with the except of a few Outstanding Spiritual men (Thank you TwMack) what I found was an Elitist Meritocracy sucking up to the Wealthy and creating a mock Plutocracy. It began to make me feel sick in the pit of my stomach and we were living like Royals whilst the majority of our dear Brothers and Sisters were struggling in the main to keep life and limb together.

    It reminded me of Leviticus 3:16-17 and I Corinthians 4: 7-8.

    The Elite feed off the fat, the tasty stuff that is meant for Jehovah alone, and right to the Stinking top they already rule as Kings without us.

    I could add, not a few, examples of the almost “Caste” system that exists in this Printing and Publishing Corporation…. No part of the Kingdom arrangement as I knew and understood it before they morphed the Baptismal vows to ensure a vice like grip of fear by a pledge of allegiance to the “Spirit directed Organisation” and set themselves up as the Earthly part.

    • dee2 says:

      GEM:

      Your Bethel experience sounds like the live version of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM.

    • Markie says:

      I know have mentioned this many times but I am so glad I didn’t listen to the bs about higher education and got myself a few degrees. I have paid a price at the hall for this but it was well worth it. Two of my children have advanced degrees and my last one is still in high school but he will secretly go to school like my other son and daughter.
      I think most JWs don’t have the capacity to go so they use the edict about higher education as an excuse. I tell younger ones to get there education just don’t mention it at the hall it’s nobodies business and no where in the bible is it mentioned that higher education is wrong.

      • fallingangel75 says:

        Markie, when you say most don’t have the capacity to go, do you mean mental, financial, or both?

        • Markie says:

          More in the mental sense. The just don’t have the will power to accomplish something hard that takes years to do. And some just don’t like having to think.

      • M Saurus says:

        Do you see how wrong this is? “Secretly” go to school? Seriously? Please raise your kids to hold their heads up high and tell these fanatics to bugger off.

        And if you mean financial “capacity” – there are student loans available to anyone who wants one.

        • Markie says:

          Its just easier to keep it a secret. Like how some of the elders keep their drinking problems a secret or their wife’s vices a secret. But I do believe it is wrong for the GB to say going to college is wrong. Its not mentioned anywhere in the bible so they are putting a burden on the brothers and sisters.

          • dee2 says:

            Strange how these elders and eldresses are able to keep their vices secret despite the Bible’s assurances:

            ***Hebrews 4:13***
            “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

            ***Jeremiah 17:10***
            “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

            ***Proverbs 5:21***
            “For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.”

            ***Psalm 139:1-4***
            “You have searched me, Lord,
            and you know me.
            You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
            You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
            Before a word is on my tongue
            you, Lord, know it completely.”

          • Linda Hartnup says:

            I also have often thought, regarding education, that not all the doors we knock at will be opened by uneducated simpletons! Therefore shouldn’t we be able to speak with them on a level that will give some credence to our message?.

        • M Saurus says:

          Of course it’s easier to keep it a secret. But DON’T do it! Your children need to be taught to do the right thing EVEN IF IT IS DIFFICULT. Stop the maddening charade!

          • Marki says:

            You sound like an elder. What you think is right may not necessarily be right for me and my family.

          • M Saurus says:

            Sorry, not sorry. I can’t think of any reason why being secretive or dishonest about whether you are attending college or not would be the “right” thing for anyone’s family.

            I think you are afraid of the org, which is understandable, but I think you’d be surprised that your children are probably NOT afraid and are only keeping it a secret because of the perceived affect “coming out” would have on you.

    • JBob says:

      Check out this YouTube channel, TwMack and GEM, I think you’ll find a kindred spirit..

      http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwCQrHWh41iYHKdDc88EnWQ

  22. John says:

    did not read all comments here, but I myself simply would never fly economy after reaching a certain management level – so irrespective of my deep contempt for Watchtower and their miserable and dishonest, poor teachings I understand their managers prefer that minimum level … regards from an ex presiding “overseer”

  23. Mike says:

    Looks like the branch members are reading this website. Last Sunday at the RC a prominent bethel speaker mentioned out of the blue ‘ We fly a lot and sometimes we get upgraded to business class and still pay for an economy ticket ‘ . Isn’t this a coincidence.

    • M Saurus says:

      Well, if they are reading here (or having an underling reading and reporting) – I hope they realize that people are on to them now and that it’s just a matter of time before the “rank and file” ask for some explanations. The older “friends” are getting senile and dying. The younger cult members are not going to stand for this nonsense.

    • JBob says:

      Major corporations and enterprises hire reputation monitoring services, so no one person has to read postings, but references to WSoc get flagged and the reputation monitoring service reports whether negative or positive, and can supply details.

      Start a website named ihate____.org and odds are in a few days any copyright violations will be reported or negative comments refuted.

      Reps matter in terms of earnings and/or customer perspectives.

    • John says:

      oh man, I may pay business and get first and this is what I expect – just was invited to give a presentation (not religious nor on any sad cult like WT or Islam) which requires a 12 – 13 hrs flight – if I don’t get TOP flight conditions I simply will not go 🙂

    • Jaime says:

      ‘We fly a lot and sometimes we get upgraded to business class’ is highly suspicious now a days. I do not fly a ton, but my partner has up to a couple years ago. In the 90s and maybe up to 2003ish one could get upgraded if you were a frequent flyer with a special notation like ‘silver’ or something. HOWEVER, we have noted that NO ONE just gets upgraded without paying anymore, and there can be empty seats in first/business class. They will endlessly advertise the perks of first/business class before and during boarding, hoping to sell some of those seats. It used to be that they would fill them with their good customers, but we have not seen that in AT LEAST a decade. Not once. Liar liar pants on fire prominent d wad. Most JWs don’t travel much at all, and would believe this jerk, as they would have heard the stories of people getting upgraded, but that’s history in my experience. Anyone else have similar experience or have you been upgraded WITHOUT paying whether it was money or miles? Thank you and thank you to the person that blew the whistle!

  24. Doc Obvious says:

    When the Prophet Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar about the interpretation of his dreams, how many different interpretations did Daniel give to him?

    Daniel only gave one interpretation for each dream, did he not? Secondary question, did each of the interpretations come true? Yes, indeed.

    Tertiary question, did Daniel have to keep band-aiding his prophesies? No. Daniel was right on the first try.

    Now, how many times Watchtower Bible and Tract Society interpreted the “this generation” statement Jesus stated to his followers?

    See the difference? True prophets get it right the first time. False prophets have to keep band-aiding broken prophecies.

    Why do JW’s keep financing False prophets when they keep getting it wrong?

    • Big B says:

      @ Doc Obvious:

      To answer your question; “Why do JW’s keep financing False prophets when they keep getting it wrong” its because they (JW’s), as a class of people, are uneducated,gullible/credulous (read stupid). The rank and file have their heads firmly up their behinds and blindly follow whatever dogma comes from the ‘unfaithful and indiscreet’ slave.

      Once they (rand and file) inform themselves by researching what they receive from the Society, thus pulling their head out of their behinds and stop breathing the poisonous purple fumes of indoctrination they receive at their meetings, then there maybe hope.

      I know that is the case for most JW’s because I had my head firmly planted in my behind for over 50 years; breathing those purple poisons of indoctrination.

      However, to be fair, a lot has changed in this organization since the debacle of ’75 and few people can recall how different the org. was. The changes have been gradual. This organization has gotten more intrusive into peoples lives, and more paranoid as this assembly clearly shows.

      • JBob says:

        Every fiber is screaming at this point, “I was not stupid!!” Gullible maybe, but as we have discussed the Watchtower runs a slick con game–part mind-control, but it was heavily an information control game propagating undue influence, as described here.

        I, and JW’s, were trained to find “weak points”–that emotional strain or stress factor that took down your usual guard of reasoning and skepticism. For those born to JW parents, it was “peer pressure” of a socially acceptable form–emotional appeals, always courting JW’s but never committing, etc. Once hooked, the difficulties and doubts were turned into “you’re needing to study more,” or “Satan is trying to tempt you” [some would even scour the house for objects that might be demon familiars–gateways for Satan and “the boys”].

        Given the penalties and stresses of waking up, many opted for the “blue pill”. I know some had the August 15, 1968 Watchtower (1975 strongly suggested as the end) tucked away until the “witch hunts of the 1980’s” and increased demands for “loyalty” equated the GB to the role of Mediator for the “other sheep” and the Watchtower/JW communities as = J* G*d.

        • Winston Smith says:

          JBob,
          I agree with your comment. As a fifth-generation born-in, I was wrapped in a cocoon of lies from day one. And those lies had been told to my parents and my parents parents, etc. At some point we became adept at telling the lies to ourselves when doubts would creep in. Even when I was a teenager and simply didn’t want to do it (the religion, that is) the thought that it wasn’t true never entered my mind. The lies included the fact that we were some special group with special knowledge and the fear that Satan was out to get us and such.

          It took many years for me to develop my powers of reason and critical thinking skills to finally see through the fascade. It was definitely a gradual process.

          WS

  25. John Redwood says:

    To JW Survey reader Ej

    You have already had your opportunity to voice your opinion on this article, and you have already used the term “puff piece” at least once, so there is nothing accomplished by disparaging not only the article, but by criticizing other JW Survey readers, which you have attempted to do. We are sorry that you feel so strongly that the article stirs up emotion, and that you feel the article is not based on fact. However we stand by the accuracy of the article and we make no apologies for protecting our source. If you feel that there is an error, your are welcome to investigate the matter and publish your results. In then end, the editorial team is trusted by thousands of readers across the globe, and we have every intention of maintaining that trust by delivering factual and relevant information, in addition to our personal opinions on matters related to the JW Organization. You are under no obligation to agree with our conclusions, nor is there any such expectation. Good luck with your own research.

    JR

  26. Cedars says:

    It seems there is an individual somewhere out there who has such a lonely, uneventful existence that the only way he/she can acquire a glimmer of enjoyment is to repeatedly try posting on this article to spawn the notion that I will be putting proceeds from my future book sales into some charitable fund for exJWs.

    I will be doing no such thing, nor is there any requirement (or indeed precedent) for me to expend years’ worth of time and energy in my activism (including hours at my desk away from my family) for free – especially since the body of my work already available, extending as far back as 2011, is available free of charge here and on my YouTube channel (and always will be if I have any say in it).

    Nor can it be suggested that writing a book about one’s experience as a JW is an effort at self-aggrandisement, unless you want to level the same charge at the likes of Ray Franz, Scott Terry or Don Cameron. (I have noticed that many trolls and haters who level abuse at me rarely hold all exJW activists to the same standards.)

    Speaking of Franz, in case anyone is under any illusions as to my ill-fated attempt to give away a copy of Crisis of Conscience as part of a competition on my YouTube channel, and the ridiculous, manufactured controversy arising from this, orchestrated by a determined core of evangelical/regressive activists, here is a handy summary for the uninitiated: https://www.reddit.com/r/exjw/comments/42tiif/a_word_on_crisis_of_conscience_copyright_and_ray/

    If you happen to have the misfortune of being the sad individual who is making these posts, know that they will be removed as soon as you post them – regardless of the fact that you are fanatical enough to keep switching your IP address. And while I have your attention, I strongly suggest you find something (or someone) more fruitful and productive to obsess over.

    • JBob says:

      Individuals seeking to read scarce edition books can resort to an age old practice: 1) find a library, 2) do a catalog search for the book, 3) if not present, request the book be loaned from a correspondent library hosting the volume.

      What happens after one has a real copy in their hands, I can’t advise.

      If the book is not hosted in a public library, check with your local college campuses; if you have access to a military post library, check their.

      An option for checking whether a book is carried in a local library is to Google the title, then select “Books”, then on the left-hand side choose “Find in a Library”.

  27. ActigallUr says:

    Back in 2012 I met NJ Gov Chris Christy on a plane. Where was this guy sitting? In the economy seat next to my wife and son.

    I never knew that a man like that would fly economy but he said, hey, I’m saving money, just like everybody else.

    And yet, these fat Governing Body turds require first or business class?

    You can see the difference in their character— haughty, power hungry and disgusting.

  28. Aaron Gallegos says:

    How about just asking them (GB) if they fly first class?

    The problem is you cannot ask them an question that makes them feel uncomfortable. They will give a look of hate and ignore you and make you feel stupid. You can also lose privileges pretty fast and lose your reputation.

    Not even Circuit Overseers are allowed to ask them these type of questions as we will be looked upon with disdain and be sent home to get a real life and actually work for a living instead of enjoying the benefits of freeloading off the brothers. My wife comes from a financially stable family but my brother does not. He’s also a circuit overseer for now.

    Hope this helps
    Aaron Gallegos
    Spanish Circuit Overseer in NE USA

  29. New and Improved says:

    If I didn’t know any better, I would say that if you talk to John Doe, you are talking to the Watchtower and Track Society. He is giving the same flippant answers as some of the answers given during the trials in Europe concerning the child molestation scandals. I have a feeling that many “witnesses” have come to this sight and questioned them and now they have to monitor this sight for damage control. However, the truth will be revealed rather they want it to be or not. You can’t keep your lifestyles cloaked forever. The Watchtower Society is the best ran business in that their unpaid employees are so brainwashed into thinking that they will be disfellowshipped, shunned, cut off from their families. They can’t stay away from the sights that spill the beans on this organization any longer because there are more Jehovah’s Witnesses on Facebook and Instagram watching and listening that they are bound to learn the truth about this organization. God forbid if they realize what truly makes a religion a cult, and that is ADDED TEXT. This society have more added text to the Bible with all their bible aids than any other religion. The more text, the more man inserts of his sinful self, thus, the reason for “New Light” on a regular. This is just my opinion, because I have been on both sides. I was a little girl with questions who grew up to be a woman with Guts enough to finally do my own research on this organization.

  30. smithawakens says:

    The is organization is run like a multinational corporation with different classes of travel.Do the rank and file bethelites get to travel to other countries too?

  31. Niels Lundgreen says:

    For me; once I found Jesus I found out I got everything. So, no matter what, discussion or who said this and that, Jesus was my answer. He is alive as ever and if you just call his name you will find an answer to all questions. Nobody has copyright on Jesus and nobody are his special or any group more special than the other group. We are all special to him; we are “the saved ones” and he takes care of us all every day. I gladly give my Jesus to all of you to find peace and comfort. So, here we are – all of us in front of Jesus; together with Jesus and that is what Jesus came for and gave to all of us. Here I will just give you from my heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZuxWHUdtLo

    Critics of Watchtower Organisation? I was there but now I am with Jesus. Everyone are welcome.
    God bless you all.

  32. Rick Wilson says:

    I find is interesting that the WTBT Society never admits to their massive net worth in Cash and Assets!
    There in the Hundreds of Millions and its going in Places and Luxuries you dont want to know! Everything they say is a lie and my Grandfather was with Judge Rutherford and also knew Bro. Knorr and saw the Canadian Lawyer Glen Howe many times in Toronto! All of them “Spun a Web” that just didnt make sense to me and finally in 74……..I simply dropped out quietly quickly and have lived a happy and fruitful life away from the nasty drama in the Kingdom Halls and the Witnesses…..their like little old women….all of them…watching each other…..it is a sad drama and look here….its 2016????? Where is Armageddon??? As my Father said and I NEVER FORGOT…..the Jehovahs Witnesses Story “Doesnt Change”….but the “Dates Do!”……..kinda makes one think eh? How true!

  33. CGaly says:

    It is news to learn that GB travels business class, but it has not been shown that GB actually pays for the flight with WT funds and in fact is flying on WT business.

    GB could be going on a personal trip paid for by a JW with funds not coming from WT. Or, GB is going on WT business but trip is paid for by a JW. JW can give gifts to GB if they want. Whatever the case, the post is interesting. Thanks for the info.

  34. CGaly says:

    I was walking down a street one day and was approached by a Gypsy standing in front of her shop. She proposed to tell me my fortune. My response to her was this: “If you can foresee the future, what are you doing here paying expensive rent?”