The Friday Column: The Annual Jehovah’s Witness Convention: a Pseudo-utopia
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Each year, lots of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world anticipate the convention season. It is a time of excitement as families set out to make plans for this annual gathering of like-minded people. For those who live far away from their designated convention arena, it is most exciting.  It is often the only vacation some families will have all year. Parents save their money for travel expenses while their young sons and daughters look forward to meeting other Jehovah’s Witness kids.

Older teens and those in their early twenties have a special plan for the convention: to meet the “one” who will become their spouse. It is hard to find a “suitable” boyfriend or girlfriend at the local Kingdom Hall, especially if there are more females than males, or vice-versa. In a lot of cases, parents have already decided who they have in mind for their daughter or son. In a way, the convention is one place where teens can be a little rebellious in between the morning and afternoon sessions. If they can break away from their parents, they can mingle in the main area outside the auditorium and hope to find a potential mate.

Elders anticipate this behavior, so they walk around carrying “Quiet please” and “Please be seated” signs. They don’t speak. They just carry the sign and make eye contact with whomever they believe is “loitering”. Unless you have to use the restroom, you had better be in your seat!

Most readers of this article have been to a Jehovah’s Witness convention. I recently found pictures from when I attended the “Divine Love” convention in 1979. My oldest brother and his wife were recently baptized. I was visiting them in Florida for the summer, so I went with them to the convention.

karenne-assembly

At the 1979 Divine Love Assembly

I remember being taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses are unlike any other group of people. I was told that, when you are among “Jehovah’s people”, no one is a stranger. You could be in need, anywhere in the world, and a Jehovah’s Witness would take you in. That is the feeling you are supposed to have at these annual conventions. They have even been referred to as a “family reunion” by some Jehovah’s Witnesses.

When I attended a convention in the late seventies and early eighties, I remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation. I was in my early teens and my brother (eight years older and married) let me have a bunch of tickets that could be exchanged for food. During the lunch break, he let me go to the concessions by myself to get lunch. He told me that, even though we were in a group of thousands of people, he felt safe letting me go off by myself because everyone in the building was a Jehovah’s Witness. I know he believed what he was saying because he was usually very protective of me. In any other circumstance, he would never let me go off by myself.

"Divine Love" District Assembly, 1979

“Divine Love” District Assembly, 1979

Through the years, I have been told, “One way you can be sure we are Jehovah’s people is that we are united in worship. Every congregation studies the same thing during the same week throughout the world.” As I got older, I learned that the Roman Catholic Church has been doing the same thing for many years. The RCC has a missal with a three-year cycle. Each year, the Vatican assigns a cycle (A, B or C) to the worldwide churches so that their masses don’t get repeated too often.

I stopped going to meetings and conventions when I was twenty-two. My Jehovah’s Witness brother had died when I was twenty (they considered him a “martyr”) and his wife had written a letter of disassociation a few years after he died. Thankfully, no one else in my family was baptized, so we didn’t have to deal with being shunned.

In 2015, I began to watch ex-JW videos and read ex-JW blogs. I know a few former Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I didn’t realize that an international community was online! Since I had been out for so long, I wanted to attend a convention to see how much had changed since I last attended one in the early eighties. My husband, who has never been to a Kingdom Hall, agreed to go with me.

We live in a state in the Midwest, but we are both originally from Connecticut. Since we have a “New England accent”, we sound like outsiders in the state where we live. We used that to our advantage. I didn’t want us to be treated like visitors at the convention. I didn’t want my husband to be “love bombed”. Rather, I wanted us to be treated like any other rank-and-file Witnesses. It was important to me that we get badges that listed our congregation on them so we could blend in.

When we approached the table to get a badge, the man said, “Which congregation are you from?” I said “Wallingford, Connecticut”.  He asked me to repeat myself about three times. We told him that we were traveling through the area on our way to Oregon and didn’t want to miss the convention. He said, “How do I know you are from a congregation in Connecticut?” I said, “You can call them.”, but he was busy and just handed me two badges.

badge-karen

JW Convention Badge, a sign of conformity

As we walked to the convention area to get seats, I looked around. The first thing I noticed was the lack of concession stands. There was no food anywhere! One of the things that I remembered from going to the conventions years earlier was the aroma of baked goods and hot dogs! I guess those days are gone.

While technology has made its way into the conventions, most things remain the same. Talks are scripted down to the most mundane levels. At one point during the Saturday that I attended the 2015 “Imitate Jesus” convention, a woman and her husband were ‘interviewed’. The man at the podium asked the woman how many children she had and what were their ages and names.

My husband noticed that she hesitated and looked at an index card before responding. He asked me, “Is this an actual couple or is this a fictional couple? Why would she need to look at an index card to remember the ages and names of her children?”

There were a few more talks that involved people being interviewed about their life experience. My husband and I wondered if all of the interviews were really just scripts written by the Writing Department in Brooklyn.

One talk was specifically geared toward women. The premise of the talk was to remind women that they are expected to be subservient to men… and to be grateful for the role that Jehovah has given them. In a pathetic attempt to make an analogy, the brother said, “Women, you are not a giraffe. You shouldn’t want to be a giraffe.” I was using my video camera at the time, so I recorded that ridiculous talk.

Click here for a clip from the ridiculous talk

Later, when my husband saw the baptismal candidates answer the questions, he had a good view of them and noticed how young most of them were. My husband has learned (through my online activism) about the implications of getting baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He knew my brother and how he died after refusing to receive blood. He knows about how Jehovah’s Witnesses shun those who are disfellowshipped or write a letter of disassociation. When he saw the young baptismal candidates go behind a curtain to get ready to be baptized, be became very upset and developed a migraine.

My husband said that he saw and heard enough for one day. We planned to attend the Sunday talks, but my husband changed his mind. The entire experience upset him.

I didn’t want to go the 2015 convention, but I knew that my husband would not be able to understand my activism if he didn’t experience the convention for himself. He saw for himself how obediently Jehovah’s Witnesses take in the messages, sing the songs and clap on queue. He said he felt like he walked into a Stepford Wives movie.

When he got the migraine, we had to leave. The program still had about an hour left, so there were only a few people in the parking lot. We noticed a man walk to his car, rip off his tie in one large gesture and throw it in the car. We made eye contact with him and waved. When I looked at the man, I was hoping that he was in the parking lot (instead of in the building listening to a talk) because he was on the verge of waking up.

I’ll never know.

 

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84 Responses to The Friday Column: The Annual Jehovah’s Witness Convention: a Pseudo-utopia

  1. rob says:

    When I was a witness teenager the top ten reasons to go to the assembly were:

    1. Find a prospective husband/wife
    2. Show off new clothes
    3. Talk about work and sports and school or job
    4. Reunite and talk with friends
    5. Eat the sandwiches and the pudding cups
    6. Watch the Drama
    7. Sleep during the afternoon sessions
    8. Make plans for dinner at a restaurant that evening
    9. Look to see where people are sitting to avoid boredom during the talks
    10. Watch the baptism candidates getting dipped.

    • Michele says:

      Haha this is so true!!

    • Minion says:

      Greetings to all:
      R,

      My top ten reasons – why I attended the assemblies:
      1. Find a prospective husband/wife
      2. Show off new clothes
      3. Talk about work and sports and school or job
      4. Reunite and talk with friends
      5. Eat the sandwiches and the pudding cups
      6. Watch the Drama
      7. Sleep during the afternoon sessions
      8. Make plans for dinner at a restaurant that evening
      9. Look to see where people are sitting to avoid boredom during the talks
      10. Watch the baptism candidates getting dipped.

      Great minds think a like.

      Peace out

      • Winston Smith says:

        I remember being bored out of my mind as a young child during the sessions. I found that if you started at the big overhead lights long enough they would start to change colors. I remember talking to another kid from my congregation and learning that he did the same thing. Probably wasn’t good for our eyes.

        I also recall some speakers had such a monotone voice it was perfect to drop off and nap.

        WS

  2. Jill Hileman says:

    I have to admit, reading this brought me back and made me feel an instant sense of exhaustion and despair as I did then. The cruelty heaped onto women as God’s will was debilitating, but I had no words for it back then because cognitive dissonance was *normal life*. A constant shade of depression was just another day of life “in this system”.

    There are no words for how grossly enslaving they are.

  3. Cherie says:

    I haven’t been to a convention since ’92, but I understand they have to pack their own food now. I thought I also heard that, with the exception of a few “international” conventions, the venues are smaller.

  4. Will says:

    My last convention was the 2014 international convention in N.J. 100 years of the kingdom–YAY!!! I was miserable. I was there with my wife and kids and I knew that would be my last one. A couple of months after that I stopped attending meetings. I love the “clap on queue” comment by your husband. I remember going the annual meeting or whatever meeting it was that Jehovah “gave us” the beautiful gray bibles and people clapping like seals. And I’m thinking that these people have no clue who wrote this bible and their qualifications. It’s amazing how reason kicks in when you are mentally out. Also, I was always so skeptical of these “experiences”. Their may be a shade of truth to some of them, but I’m sure it’s embellished so it could be more encouraging. Nice article!!!

  5. Sister drifter UK says:

    Twickenham assembly used to be very exciting because depending on where the flight path was for Heathrow meant you could look at aeroplanes going over.
    I went to Twickenham for decades- until Twickenham stopped.
    I have been a child, a teenager, on the look out for a husband, married, pregnant, a mother of children ( they loved the airplanes) and a widow -all acted out at Twickenham. Twickenham ended and I stopped.
    All those endless meaningless conversations with people you only see once a year –
    ‘Hello! (Kiss /hug) how are you?
    ‘I’m fine how are you ?’
    ‘I’m fine- where are you sitting?’
    ‘I’m in the west stand M16 where are you sitting?’
    ‘oh we are in the west stand too!’
    ‘Better sit down the music has started!’
    ‘lovely to see you’

    That’s it.
    That’s the extent of the conversation.
    Or maybe ‘just getting in the toilet queue’

    No real conversations and if you try and stop and talk you are moved on by some officious 15 year old who has just got baptised and thinks he is superior to all women.

    Actually Twickenham was like a big fashion parade .
    Always was.
    In my day you met under the lion if you were on the look out.
    Now they just walk round and round until they see someone they like the look of….

    If you are familiar with Twickenham then this will make sense.

    But I can also remember some very very happy times there doing pre convention work for weeks on end and there was time for conversation.

    • blushing ex elder says:

      I remember Twickenham well too. I was chairman for the opening session at my last convention before leaving. Every remark or comment made had to be read from the approved script, even how to thank the last speaker and ‘how encouraged we all must have been by his counsel’. I have never felt so uncomfortable saying anything in public as I did on that occasion. Regarding ‘experiences’ related, most are based on genuine events, but then the speaker rehearses with the one giving the experience to tell them what to highlight and what to say to reinforce the point of the item, to the point where they bear little resemblance to the spirit of what actually happened. They just become a vehicle for getting the pre approved message across. It was the whole ‘old boys club’ superiority atmosphere that really began to make me doubt the religion. If you knew the right people then you got assignments, became one of the gang. I’ll start to go totally off topic if I carry on…lol

      • ruthlee says:

        want to hear more from you blushing ex elder especially us in the Britain field at a venue not far from you cheers ruthlee

    • Johnship says:

      I was a gasfitter in the 70s so i volunteered to help out with the calor gas boilers they used to prepare meals drinks etc..true to form WT put me on painting signs! I went round to the calor gas store and saw a guy sticking a gas regulator that was leaking together with hermetite gasket cement. !!! I think thats when i started to distrust the people in charge..ha ha

  6. Big B says:

    Great article and a “blast from the past”,

    The last convention my family and I attended while fading was the “God’s Word is Truth” district convention.

    The Friday session that afternoon was the final straw of the bundle of nonsense that proverbially “broke the camels back.” That last talk, “Believe Inspired Truth Not Inspired Error”, had me hooked. Finally, I thought, the Society would confess their egregious doctrinal errors and set matters straight. Alas, it was not to be. Because I chose to pursue a higher education to better my families circumstances, I was labeled “a tool of the Devil”. I haven’t been back since, not to the Hall or the Circuit or District (Zone) “boreathons”.

    I do remember the big “Divine Will” International Convention in New York City. I was six at the time, huge eight day assembly (Sunday to Sunday) with morning, afternoon and evening sessions ending around 9 p.m. The sessions were punctuated with a light breakfast, lunch and dinner there at the assembly.

    Note: They stopped serving food due to problems with vendors wanting to open up their concession stands per contractual arrangement with the stadiums. Witness conventions serving their own food did not sit well with the concession owners.

    Anyway, good article and I enjoyed the reminisce down memory lane however, like they say “It was real and it was nice but it wasn’t real nice”. 🙂

  7. Marilyn White says:

    That was beautifully and accurately written. I escaped the cult when I was 15 but it’s had lifelong repercussions on my life. I’m so happy that you have found the strength to investigate the JW and find your way out of that very controlling and unhealthy organization. I hope you can find a way to enjoy the rest of your life. And remember, you are never alone…there are millions of us on the outside who understand and care.

  8. Nunya says:

    Wait that looks like the Bayfront Center! If so I was actually there. Small world. I was a good little youth running food around to the stands. My big treat was waking at the crack of dawn stocking stands with O.J. and grabbing a few that were still frozen since it was so early. What joy!!

    • Karen says:

      Nunya,
      Yes! It was the Bayfront Center. During the break between the morning and afternoon sessions, I was at the food stations. Maybe we walked right past one another.

      • John McCarthy says:

        OMG! That’s what I thought when I first looked at that picture. Many years ago, when first became an Elder, I gave my first circuit assembly talk at the Bayfront Center! Yeah, really small world. Hey, Nunya and Karen, we might actually know each other……scary thought huh!

        • Karen says:

          I was only visiting my brother in the summer time. I lived in Connecticut, so I wouldn’t have known anyone at the Bayfront Center assemblies. It’s still cool that some of you recognized the venue!

      • Nunya says:

        There is zero doubt. I can’t give too much away but my brothers and I were VERY integral to what was called “expediting” at the time. Every summer lived in that place for 4 weekends straight helping every district. Work 3 days sit one at each conv. until I had all 4 in. Anyway nice little flash back.

  9. Clay says:

    It sickens me to think I was apart of a organization that treats people this way with the shunning and gossiping. And they say there following Jesus!! What a crock

  10. Karen says:

    I haven’t written about it and don’t really talk about it, but my mother committed suicide in 2012. I found a letter she wrote to me (I found it in a suitcase, months after she died) in which she wrote that she was “afraid to live through the Great Tribulation” and that she missed my brother (who died as a result of Watchtower doctrine) and couldn’t go on. Someday, I’ll find the strength to write about it, but not yet. It took me 30 years to write about my brother’s death! (It is the Friday Column from February 12th).

  11. AussieneedingComfort says:

    Suicides….so terribly horrible. I know of two, one a young man aged 21 who shot himself in the head. He also had everything planned out, his own funeral, where he wanted to be buried, his will. Everything was a direct result of being raised a JW. Another was the mother of an ex-friend of mine. She lived with a violent abusive man for years and years. Constantly going to the Elders for help and always being told she wasn’t a good wife. When her husband retired, she hung herself in the garage leaving a note saying she could not face life with him home day after day. How many do you personally know of? Breaks my heart every time…Glad I found all of you here.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      As a Young new JW I also felt suicidal. Iwas bareley 20 years old and left all my friends I grew up and my “worldly” family. AFter a few dedicated years a s a JW I was not happy but very depressed. All the fun things I used to do were now banned by the BORG! No more sports.no more dancing, no more girl friends, no more going out to movies unless they were G rated, no more Xmas, No more bdays, no Mothers day, fathers day, 4th of july etc, The only way to happiness according tot eh Borg was More witnessing and going door-door and being a pioneer! THat was pretty much it. I would pray to God and ask forgivenss why I doubted the WT and why I was not happy and PLEASE make me happy Jehovah! Make me believe these whacky teachings, somehow it must be right? Yet I am miserable and in emotional pain. I had to admit my fater was right when he told me not to join the JW’s back in 1973 bc they don’t even go to college and you will be por all your life waiting for the end of the World to come! I felt suicidal. I was barley

  12. Peter the Digger says:

    This is exactly what I heard in a talk at a K Hall once….”I can tell a really good brother – he has shiny shoes”. (so never mind Bible knowledge, kindness, empathy, sociability – its the Dress and Grooming that really matters)

  13. Daniel Roberts says:

    My assigned district convention location was Norwich in the UK.
    Besides the mind numbing boredom experienced as a child during the epic length discourses delivered by some of the least charismatic speakers of all time, I do recall how, as a child, the whole 4 day experience was just about waiting for the DRAMA! The famous bible scenes ‘acted’ (Term used at its most loose) by a group of tiny figures in the middle of a Football pitch, dubbed over by the most corny of American dialogue. The exotic accents over the loudspeakers giving the enthralled audience a sense of ‘Hollywood’.
    The actors waving their arms in wild gestures – almost, but not entirely, in synch with the pre- recorded script.
    The voice of God in these dramas was occasionally present. A commanding if not slightly over theatrical vocal performance from a chap using the same sort of digital vocal effect as the Mysterons from Captain Scarlet.
    I grew up thinking Jehovah was an American.
    The other highlight as a child was the goose pimple raising round of applause following the baptism and the release of a new publication.
    How those moments made the numb buttocks and cramping backs (from being sat on the most evil seats in all of chair history) completely worth it.
    As I got older, the other thing to enjoy was checking out the attractive sisters and trying to catch the eye of, well, truth be told, ANY of them. ANYONE! Anyone?
    Nope. I guess my lack of good clothes and abundance of acne probably didn’t help matters. But there definitely was a real problem with cliques and division among the teens. The trendy youths, the elite, the purebloods if you will, and the mudbloods like me who didn’t get invited to be part of the convention social scene, or worse, got forced from it by the bully boys and girls.
    Then of course, the real drama would happen when the minibuses of demon possessed apostates would arrive swarming through the petrified looking Witnesses like deadly insects. Waving banners that had slogans scribed upon them by Satan himself. I couldn’t tell you what the slogans were. The power of JW indoctrination somehow made it impossible for me to understand basic English. My mind expertly fashioned by years of fear mongering to ‘see’ but ‘not see’ the depraved messages being waved around by the foam throthing minions of Nimrod. I’m fairly certain that they were all homosexual and dressed in extremely right trousers too.

    My most defining memory of a District convention though is a tragedy that happened to a young brother who was killed in a really awful and random traffic accident on the way back to his accommodation from the convention venue.
    I won’t post the details as it’s not my tragedy to disclose, but it was shocking, sudden and very violent. He was just a teenager.
    The convention program however, continued as scripted.

    • Tara says:

      Tisk tisk Daniel! Capt. Scarlet. The Mysterons and shame on you! Harry Potter hahahaha love it and love all of them 🙂 I’m a Mudblood!

      • Daniel Roberts says:

        Honestly Tara, if my convention was Hogwarts, then most of the youths were versions of Malfoy in Slythering with me being a definite Ron Weasly.
        And despite by my own admission being one of the mudbloods, there were youths even further down the class list than I was. Probably best described as ‘Dobby’s’. To be mocked, sneered at, bullied or just ignored by the elite Witness class.

        Oh yes. The elite witness class. All River Island and Next suits and dresses. Copious amounts of hair gel and aftershave. Hairspray and perfume in huge poisonous clouds destroying large areas of ozone. Desperately trying to control the hormones long enough to meet, date and marry as quickly as possible in order to prevent the otherwise inevitable act of fornication.

        Like you say;
        Feels good to be free.☺

        • ruthlee says:

          me too Daniel I a a pure mudblood and had years and years of being at the extreme end of elitism and shunning One day I WILL write the expose and I might even name the bitches . Ruthlee

          • Daniel Roberts says:

            I will name and shame one right now.
            Mari Grover.
            You horrible human.
            One of the reasons I left the cult was because I could not bear the thought of eternal life in a garden surrounded by people like you and your nasty husband.
            Perhaps I should be grateful to you for bullying me out of the paradise.
            Enjoy infinity. I hope it drags.

          • Tara says:

            Been in same KH for 12 years… one elders wife has only spoken to me about 5 times and that was either a ‘oh, hello’. or a ‘thank you’. because I forced her to say something in front of another witness. She is the most arrogant, stuck up bitch ever. Never knew what I did to upset her. Some of the sisters doubted what I was saying until they saw it themselves. Her husband used to be pleasant to me when I first arrived here… after a while he would run the other way. Elderette stopped him talking to me. I love the ‘christian’ cong. so much love.

    • Winston Smith says:

      I was once told (by someone from headquarters) that the voice of “GOD” was done by now-deceased governing body member, Dan Sydlik.

      WS

      • Daniel Roberts says:

        I wonder if he had help getting the voice right… A little holy spirit direction to help with enunciation and diction. Getting Jehovah ‘s voice just right. I wonder if he adopted the method actor approach and actually ‘became’ God throughout the recording sessions; Staying in character at all times. Bet he really got on the other GB chaps nerves.
        I wonder if Jehovah was up on his throne rolling his fiery eyes and saying to Jesus:
        ‘This guy is just hopeless. Doesn’t sound nothing like me does it! He’s just not nailing my awesomeness, y’know – I’m like, God n’stuff – is he’.

        I wonder if his wife asked him to ‘do the God voice’ on special occasions…

        • peggy says:

          Daniel, you made me laugh, too. Love a sense of humor. Just got a mental picture of the guy doing gods voice./ too funny.
          Peggy

          • Daniel Roberts says:

            Yeah.. the voice of God.
            Despite having been around for eternity, God heard and favoured the American accent, specifically with the Brooklyn twang, and chose to adopt that as his preferred way of speaking.

            Moses’ and Pharaoh’s voices are forever etched into my memory also.
            Moses sounded like a drunk German version of Yoda from Star Wars – (He was meant to sound like a Hebrew with a speech impediment) And Pharoah sounded like Samuel L Jackson doing an impression of the aforementioned Yoda. (They didn’t bother attempting an Egyptian accent).

    • Jaime says:

      Daniel,
      You made me laugh a couple times in your post, and then your reply to Tara. Thank you for laughing the first time at one of these ex-jw websites. The healing moves to another level…

      “I grew up thinking Jehovah was an American.” Ha Ha Ha!

      • Daniel Roberts says:

        Hey Jaime. Sometimes it’s good to focus on the more ridiculous aspects of the JW cult isn’t it. There is plenty to laugh at.
        In my district there was a trend amongst the teen brothers to grow sideburns. (It was the 90’s) There was several talks from various platforms including the district convention where the youths were warned against such Satanic styling as… sideburns. To be honest, considering the guilty youths were all around 14 to 17 years old, you could hardly describe the patchy bumfluff barely framing our spotty faces as ‘sideburns’ anyway. There wasn’t one decent pair of sideburns amongst the whole lot of us.
        There was even an elder in my congregation who carried a measuring ruler with him in order to monitor the length of our strips of face fluff.
        It was the cheek – fuzz equivalent of random drug testing for sports athletes and mma fighters.
        And if you did get busted by the face- follicle-facist and your facial feathers turned out to be too long, he would order you to shave them or else lose your privileges in the congregation.

        Yes. For some reason. The JW’S believe that the entity responsible for kick starting all of everything in the entire universe, the all powerful divine supreme creator who existed before existence, and who will exist even after existence ceases to exist.. and then some, this omnipotent force of jaw dropping awesomeness…. takes issue with teenage boys fizog fur.

        Now.. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like just the sort of God I’ve been looking for my whole life.

  14. Twmack says:

    8 day convention Wembly Stadium, 2 small children, girl
    aged 3, boy 5. Sessions finished 9 pm with instructions
    not to leave until the final prayer. The elite speakers from
    N,Y, had long since left for their 5 star accommodation.

    What a struggle finding our way across London late at night
    back to the digs. It was after midnight when we arrived the
    first night. The elderly couple we stayed with were very
    anxious and concerned especially for the children.

    The accommodation had previously been canvassed by
    local bros, 7 shillings and 6 pence a night was offered to the
    house holders. The London papers contrasted this paltry
    price to that of the top London Hotel where members of the
    gb, were staying.

    At our lodgings we had one bed for the 4 of us, my wife and
    I slept in the middle with a child on each side. It was very
    cramped and at some point in the night both children had
    fallen out of bed, We were all so tired that we were not aware.
    The children were still asleep on the floor the next morning

    2 final thoughts. I wonder why the gb, didn’t stay at the London
    Bethel and save the money for the “Vital Preaching Work?
    And then there’s the principle of “Not putting burdens on other
    peoples shoulders,”

    • Kate says:

      Do you remember what year this was? And do you remember which paper had the article that mentioned the contrast between lodgings for the rank and file and the GB? I would love to try to find it in the archives. Thanks

  15. Tara says:

    the conventions to me were an expense I could hardly afford. We went to Manchester and had to be up very early to catch the coach. Leaving the house to walk to the pick up point before the neighborhood was awake. then the tedious round up of everyone else… finally leaving the town an hour after we first got on the bus. If I could afford it we stayed in a local hotel – the highlight of the three days. If not we waited on the street for our bus, piled on and did a stop, start out of Manchester and eventually up the M6, tour the town again before being dropped off. walk home, empty the bags, make more sandwiches, say hi to the hubby, pack kids off to bed and then start over. It didn’t get much better here in Canada until the convention venue was moved to a local town. at least we were home within the hour. But the expense still ripped a hole in my pocket. New clothes, shoes, food, gas money, time off work. For what? to listen to the blaa, blaa, blaa get the new publications pretend to be excited. Thank goodness I have no plans to attend any more. Freedom is a wonderful thing.

  16. James Broughton says:

    Karen seems to have struck a chord with many readers. What a contrast to some of the Christian assemblies such as ‘Spring Harvest’ we have attended as a family in the UK, with meetings for all ages and abilities, uplifting worship and the opportunity to share experiences and meet new people.

  17. ruthlee says:

    Hi Karen put a couple of replies to other comments. Thanks for this hobble down memory lane . It really has struck a chord with a lot of us. I expect we could all write the book and some. The experiences would be a damn sight better than the spew from lala jdubs. This will be my first year of actively not attending. Have gotten away with a few escapes through ill health, but this year I have nothing wrong with me so i’m not going ha ha. As for suicides I reckon all of us have stories and friends . My husband lost his best friend and I survived two attempts with the above mentioned health probs. What a rotten track record this org is racking up. All in the name of god. Ummm who is kidding who. Long live that chocolate at the british assemblies and the rain along with stiff knees! ruthlee

  18. John Baptist says:

    I have been out since 1990 completely. And here we are 2016 and 102 years later from the 1914 doctrine date.
    I wonder how many older folks have faded away under the excuse of health issues etc. because they gave up on the supposed fulfillment of the original understanding of that date?
    I would be very discouraged over the whole thing for sure myself.
    If I read a watchtower or hear a talk it’s as if it was 26 years ago and I’m in a time capsule.
    Some folks I know actually feel traumatized by going to those assembly’s for some reason or another.
    To me it’s the same old song and dance when it comes to this religion and their ideologies.
    New food? What new food? Just the same garbage that they try to repackage unsuccessfully through their new light theories.

    It should really be, our predictions failed so we gotta come up with a new angle to keep it going or try to make it look fresh.
    So it goes on, the endless scripted talks that are indoctrinating the rank and file to keep them subservient to the watchtower propaganda.
    This religion exemplifies what a true religious cult looks like from the outside. It fits the BITE model on all points for qualifying to be a cult. ( Steve Hassan Cimbating cult mind control)

    • Johnship says:

      Ive been in since 1965 . I get panic attacks now if i do too long at assemblies manage to take wife to circuit assem but i dread the 3 day drudgery .ive told wife we will do fri and mon this year.im interested in the talks about shunning .ive told her if they dont anounce they are done with it .this will be my last district regional assem .

  19. Xena Porter says:

    Hi Loyd, Karen and everyone! May I please apologise for going off topic. Thanx so much for the support on my side. I am still very much “in,” I am an elder’s wife, served in bethel for 5years with my hubby, we were asked to leave because of my deppression. I pioneered straight from high school, marriage, bethel, depression, porverty, no education!!

    Anyway, now outside bethel I enrolled in college (I am a south African by the way). I am realy tired of this religion aka cult.. I am still hanging around I guess because of my husband, I love him soooo much and he loves me and treats me like a queen, we have been married for 8years now! But lately I am changing spiritually and hate this Org. My dear ‘sleeping’ hubby doesn’t want to hear anything negetive about this cult and his favourite “8 gang members in Brooklyn.” I have been labeled, “lost, distorted, blind, apostate, non-witness,” etc by him. He told the elders about my negativity and that he wishes to “step down.” Can anyone help me with this, would he be asked or expected to step down as an elder if I am not keeping up ‘spiritually?’ Please when answering bear in mind I have been slacking spiritually for the past 2 years solely because of my health (depression) meaning, on average I’m attending 4 meetings a month and report 2/3 hours a month.. I have only been questioning my beliefs lately(about 3 months). The blood thing is stressing me out and I am not signing my death sentence (that no blood card)! I feel bad for my husband.. I am in such a dilemma!!

    • Tara says:

      Oh Xena, my heart bleeds for you. I don’t know how to answer your questions so I will leave that up to the ex and current elders and or their wives on here. Just know that you are loved and welcomed among us. My very premature granddaughter has had to have a blood transfusion in her first few weeks of life and I can honestly say that I am glad her father is df’d and I stopped carrying the the ‘card’ many, many months ago. I was surprised to learn that my daughter hasn’t carried hers in year! It makes me wonder now how many others do not have theirs as, you put it, their death sentence, in their wallets. A really interesting point someone brought out regarding blood is that, although ‘we’ are allowed fractions we are not allowed to donate blood. So where do the fractions come from? Ah yes, we are hypocritically allowed to sponge off ‘worldly peoples blood’.

      I’m sorry I can offer you no help but I can offer you love and support 🙂

    • Charles Huff says:

      Born in?

      Listen, I don;t know you and will never judge you, but in MY opinion you are being abused.

      It’s abusive to ask honest questions and to be told they are evil.

      You married young? Like many JWs?

      Maybe your husband os for you, and maybe I’m full of hockey but you sound abused to me.

    • Andrew Haas says:

      Hi Xena, your story is heartbreaking but please remember that you are not alone. There are many in the Org that feel exactly like you. I wish I could do something. Would love to talk to you, see you, tell you that there is a life to be had outside the Organisation. That there are beautiful and decent people in the world. I am part of a Christian church and have never felt more at peace. You begin to see life differently. May I say though that you have made great progress so far. Be glad that you have come to the realisation that the “truth” is not the truth. There are so any witnesses who will never realise that. The no blood transfusion issue is a horrific thing to contemplate. I was an MS with three children and can tell you that if my children had needed blood, it would have destroyed me to submit or rebel. Either way I would have been broken. Many Witnesses sign the card and hope that they never have to face the decision in reality. My ex wife has had depression for many years and I have an understanding of what you may be going through. Your husband is torn between you and the Org. I think that stepping down is a great idea for him, so that he can support you in your struggle with depression. I hope that this is his motivation and not doing so because he feels unqualified. I don’t believe you are lost. I think you are on an amazing journey into a new life. It will have rough times along the way but worth the effort in the end. I’m sure that there would be some kind of support group in your locality that may be able to help. Friend request me on Facebook if you like and I will help as much as possible. My home state is Tasmania.

      • Xena Porter says:

        @Andrew Haas
        Thank u a lot for your kind words, that is just what I need now after all the negative energy @the Kingdom HELL.
        I am not a social network kind of girl, so I don’t have a facebook account. But I will definitely get one provided its extremely discreet and that I won’t be exposed, then will contact you then. Thanx for the offer by the way and to think that I was waiting for u all to die at Armageddon disgusts me.
        I am such a tender and sensitive person so after I got depression, I started to think deeply about the future of human kind, I just couldn’t rap it around my depressed soul to see massive dead bodies after Armageddon!
        I see that my time of posting these comments does not correspond with the time written on this blog.. (in south africa)?
        Thanx once again

      • Idontknowhatodo says:

        Dear Xena
        Let him step down…it will bring you immense freedom and a whole new perspective on your freedom of mind…take it from me…This is what happened in my case…56 and born into this religion…only 3 years in to my fading…my beautiful husband is still deep deep in…but no longer an elder being used as a tool by the GB… and I am able to carry on with my life with no fear of what they can do to him…let him step down…you would be doing him a favour.

        • Xena Porter says:

          @Idontknowhatodo

          Thank u for the heads up, that’s kind of a relief to hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak.
          Did’nt you feel guilty though @the time?
          That’s what I am struggling with, GUILT! My husband realy is on the ‘job’ purely to serve rather than the feeling of “privileges.” He is that rare elder, kind, understanding, and everyone loves him. And literally I know of a few who have asked him to be part of their judicial committees in the past, and they have personaly told me that. So you get the picture: loyal brother and loved elder and a Satanic wife!!! At least that’s how I feel.

          What has helped to put my guilt to the next level is the day he told me he wishes to step down, he said he’s doing it so “I could get what I alws wished for, so I could be happy and free” but in such a sarcastic and creepy way. So I am still waiting for the big day..

          • Idontknowhatodo says:

            Xena
            I may have felt guilty at fitst because my husband like yours is kind and loving and was an elder for all the right reasons he loved his spiritual brothers….howevrr I have also learned that it is not wrong to nurture yourself and that the most important thing is to free yourself from this organisation…in doing so you will also stop your husband from using his every breath and bone in service of prolonging its death throes…remember…he is serving a lie and as an elder promoting it… think of yourself for a while…its not evil and selfish as we have been constantly taught…its good and should nourish your relationship…my husband is lovely to me…he is kind and loving…no sarcastic words…no nastiness…no pressure…you may find if he steps down the pressure on him will be released and you may be suprised st the resulting change…look after yourself…put you first for a while…The guilt will not last and the mental freedom will be something you may not have experienced before… Im thinking of you…sending you good thoughts…you really are my sister.

          • Erik says:

            uh Xena! Facebook accounts ARE a great tool. Set your privacy controls so that your “Friends” list is private. Then ‘friend’ away. Use the Message box for private heart-to-hearts with certain others whom you feel are trustworthy. You need courage, but we need it for the rest of our lives too!! Your husband sounds like he’s trying to be a good person. However he may feel resentment at you for making his goals harder to meet. Just stay aware of that. Have your own goals.

    • Karen says:

      Xena, thank you for reading my article. I am sorry that you are going through this difficult time. However, I am happy that you are enrolled in college! Knowledge is power and once you learn, no one can take your knowledge away from you.

      I know you love your husband very much. It is evident by what you wrote in your comment. You also said that your husband loves you, too. I am sure he does, but you have every right to question what the JW Organization teaches (and how they act… you should not have been asked to leave Bethel for having depression).

      When you went to your husband and shared your doubts/concerns with him, he said that he didn’t want to hear anything negative about the religion (cult). Then, he went on to call you “lost”; “distorted”; “blind”; “apostate” and a “non-Witness”. When people are scared or confused, they resort to name-calling. I think your husband is confused/scared, which is why he has not responded well to your waking up. I don’t doubt his love for you.

      It is important for you to remember that your thoughts matter. He shouldn’t have gone to the elders with your concerns, although he probably felt obligated to do so. You are his wife and the conversations you have as husband and wife should be held in confidence. Just between you and him.

      To answer your question: if he is asked to step down (or chooses to step down) from his elder position, you are in NO way responsible for it. It is between him and the Organization. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. If your husband or anyone else tries to “pin the blame” on you, do not accept it.

      As an elder’s wife, do not let anyone tell you that you have to behave a certain way or be held to a higher standard in the congregation.

      It is OK that you have chosen to attend less meetings. It is OK that you are questioning your beliefs. The blood issue is very disturbing and it is completely normal that it scares you. You are absolutely right not to sign the Blood Card. My brother was one of Watchtower’s victims. I wrote about it here:
      http://jwsurvey.org/general-information/the-friday-column-the-blood-issue-and-leukemia-one-mans-story

      I know you feel bad for your husband. He is in a dilemma, but it is HIS dilemma. (You are not the cause of his dilemma.)

      It is good that you are able to write to people who know what you are going through. I have never been a Witness, but many of the people in this comment section have been.

      If you want to write to me one-to-one, you can reach me at: jwchoices@cox.net
      Sincerely,
      Karen

      • Xena Porter says:

        @Karen
        “As an elder’s wife, do not let anyone tell you that you have to behave a certain way or be held to a higher standard in the congregation.”
        Is it you Karen who is the sole channel of God or the GB? Lol, U seem to have read my heart. I have always felt like those indoctrinated wives in our cong are expecting me to behave a certain way since maybe I’m an ex bethelite elder’s wife, they have even gossiped about my “weakness.” But now I don’t care anymore, my health deteriorated around the time of the gossip mill and ended up attempting suicide 3 times!
        I am trying to see a therapist because I don’t want to go back to my old ways health wise (being suicidal) in case the gossip mill starts again, especially now that my husband has betrayed my trust by telling on me to the elders knowing how sensitive I am.
        Thank u so much for your support.

        • Karen says:

          Xena,
          I am glad to know that you are willing to see a therapist. Is there a social service agency that you can visit to get a list of therapists in your area? When the rumor mill starts up, please remember that these women have no hold over you. Their gossip and lies don’t define you. I know you feel betrayed by your husband running to the elders with the information you told your husband in confidence. When you are feeling down, try to remind yourself that there is a community of people here for you. Your life is precious.
          Karen

        • EDWARD GUZMAN says:

          you must have high self worth. all the money all the gold all the treasures of the world could not buy who and what you are. I also attempted suicide 3 times and failed. Till one day my mother called me and told me that there were many people who loved me. Whitney Houston sang ” learning to love your self is the greatest love of all”. there are many people who love and need you. Please receive from me brotherly love.

    • John Redwood says:

      Dear Xena

      We will reply offline and assist you privately. Thank you for reaching out 🙂

      John Redwood

    • Johnship says:

      Am same you not alone..ive never been an elder as i tried m servant and it gave me mental breakdown .that was in 70s have been on medication ever since.i would likevto just walk away but my wife still trusts the GB .so am fadeing .dont do anything now .tell the elders never again dont even mention reaching out. Am now 72 .still got my faith in jesus .but every day takes its toll .you are not alone sis ..

  20. Xena Porter says:

    @Tara
    oh wow thanx so much I honestly was not expecting that much support. Its lonely to be married to some one who is all “in” and u don’t believe ANY of the jw crap.. Thank u for being here for me so to speak.

    @Charles Huff
    I’d say I was kind of born in, my mom was baptized when I was 10 so I did experience a few Xmas, bdays, and new years b4 she was dipped. But I studied along with her and got baptized @13 years! Yes I married very young, @19. I pioneered while STILL in high school then continued after high school for a year then met my husband who was already in bethel, we got married then straight from honeymoon to bethel and slaved for 5years.

    I honestly don’t feel abused by him, he is very kind and tries to understand my illness. He has never physically, verbally tried anything to hurt me. But ever since I started to fall away from the “Truth” and started to question things like the org’s 10 year hypocrisy with the UN, the blood transfusions deadly nonsense, and the fact that I wasted my time by not pursuing education, he is not that kind when it comes to me missing meetings “for no good reason,” and the fact that i am “lazy” to share in the ministry. I told him that the Yoke is not supposed to be heavy but rather light and I personaly feel that the GB yoke is too much to bear.
    Our conversations especially about the GB alws end with us fighting, I am really tired, I am sorry to say I hate those men.
    Thanx so much guys for listening!!

    • Tara says:

      There are many here for you Xena. I check in each day for a moral boost. I have been in hospital for depression and attempted suicide. My husband – a non witness left me but thankfully I see it as dodging a bullet. Waking up to the truth about the truth was like having a huge screen pulled away. I started to see flaws in the doctrines straight away until I could no longer, in good conscience condone what was being said and done in Gods name. I read each day of people like yourself who have taken a step towards life. Just remember your husband is a grown man. He has the right to step down as an elder and as ‘head of the house’ that is his decision. I wouldn’t be drawn into any arguments about the 7 numpties in New York. Just tell him you love him very much but you need to be true to yourself. I told two of the elders that ‘visited’ me that it was my conscience, why I attended my df’d sons wedding. They couldn’t say anything to me because God gave me a conscience and the free will to use it. I no longer go to meetings and will not attend the convention again. nor will I attend the memorials from now on. I still have my faith in God but it is very different to the WT ideals. I have to find my own peace with God and it’s not at a KH. I have a little mantra that I use when I start to feel overwhelmed ‘It’s not good, or bad. It’s not right or wrong. It just is’.

  21. Dwayne Caron says:

    Karenne,
    Is there any chance that the picture of the 1979 “Divine Love” district convention was taken at Bayfront Stadium in St. Petersburg? If so, I was there.
    We used to come down from New Hampshire to visit my Grand Parents in Dunedin and take in the assembly. Strangely, as boring as the conventions were, I look back somewhat fondly at them. You couldn’t drag me there now but back in that era they had a certain charm. Got us out of the awful normal routine of being a witness.

    • Karen says:

      Dwayne,
      Yes, that picture was taken at the Bayfront Center. I was visiting my brother (in Clearwater Beach) for the summer and he was assigned to that convention location. I also enjoyed parts of the convention. I liked walking around between sessions and I liked watching the Drama and the costumes. During the talks, I just pretended to be taking notes… but I was really writing letters to my friends in CT.

  22. Sharon Christensen says:

    Hello, from Man. Canada…Love you all…and sooomuch appreciate all comments! Mad me smile…no matter where we arein world…coped as per usual…lites wise…went to assemblies for same reasons…we were a poor family to, so the assemblies were our only vacation…then rush back home cuz haying etc. had to be done on the farm, so then my poor father could go back to the bush work…never a rest for him. He too, would nod off cuz he was soo tired…Mom give him what for…so poor Father would learn to nod off, open eyed! :)). But several yrs before he passed away, he stopped going. He said they were getting far to modern for him. He was a humble, good person who loved Jehovah, but could see the hypocrisy in the Jw orgy…and how they were getting soo money hungry. Sorry about your loosing your brother Karen..I to lost brother in a logging accident, run ragged by trying to measure up in this organization that pushes it’s people to the limits, physically and mentally exhausted…having the flu on top of all…and could not get away fast enough from a falling tree he was working on. Sorry about your Mom to…I was a battered wife for 17yrs, 3 mos and 10 days…always told of what God expects of women…and never measureing up to the elders and my previous husbands expectations though I gave my all…and eventually went to the world for safety and help…and that is where my journey out of this wicked and harmful religion progressed further….except for nightmares that still bother me often even after several yrs of being away from JW.org…and my Dear Mother from time to time…reminding me to …return to “true”worship..I am free…feels good to be free from such a horrible controlling orgy…my heart is with all of those still leaving, may they have the strength and will power to do so, and in turn help others to do the same. Thanx once again…it was a joy and comfort to read all…all gives a person strength, and a sense of belonging to a precious group, who have sooo much incommon, no matter where we are in the world…once again…much love to all.

  23. Ocma says:

    I disliked the convention and special assembly days more than the 3 weekly meetings. You couldn’t pay me to go back. I haaaaated the drama. Here in New Zealand, the Bros and sisters have to lipsynch along to the American recording. It’s ridiculous. All the dramatic gesturing. The stage hands coming in while the dramatic music played so they could carry in a couch and carry off a rock.
    The only good thing was, our mum would buy lollies for us and share them out during the talks.
    The Napier Municipal Theatre had a coloured dome light in the ceiling, spent most my time staring at it waiting for it to change colour.
    As for the experiences, one young sister was interviewed for her bravery and loyalty to Jenovah, regarding a medical issue and her views on no blood. All lies. We knew her personally and knew that she had burst into tears and her mother had to speak to the dr for her.

  24. Jaime says:

    Thank you Karenne!
    Oh those signs! In the women’s stalls they always have one that says something like: DO NOT PLACE SANITARY NAPKINS IN THE TOILET. It is in the boldest font you can imagine, is about three inches tall, is about two feet wide and six inches tall, and is one foot away from your face. First of all, why use the words sanitary napkins? I hated that word in the 80s, and it was not even used back then. I realized last year this sign is another power trip for the leaders in many ways. First, “sanitary napkins” are o.k., so a girl might think tampons are not acceptable (omg, keep that hymen in tact!!!). Second, it is screaming at us. The sign is so large; how many menstruating women are legally blind needing this large sign? Third, it is patronizing, as if we do not know what to do in the restroom with our necessary products, and the largeness is insulting leaving us feeling a bit smaller. You all can probably think of more controlling aspects of this sign.

  25. Wip it says:

    In the southern hemisphere we have ours in Winter, flu season, i found out, that’s because they want the same time as the northern hemisphere, because that’s where WT is, it was also in a month where we had to pay rates, so always an expense, as the years rolled on we had more money so could afford to stay a bit longer in the city & have a bit of a holiday, now that’s changed because we go to the assembly hall, but now we can choose another month to go, (Trapped by Family) some of my best assemblies were when my young daughter was sick a few times & i would stay at the unit looking after her, she would sleep all day & i would just drink wine & watch the boats on the water, i said to friends that her being sick was a blessing, got to miss a few days here & there, what gets me is the days are way to long (torture) being their with young kids is a curse, & a complete waste of time.

  26. Starlight says:

    The daughter of the elder was disfellowshiped for immorality. Thanks for that detail but, Why were you disfellowshiped? If you can say why somebody else was disfellowshipEd, I believe you can say why you were disfelloshiped. It’s true that the bible doesn’t use the word “disfellowship”, but what is your interpretation of this bible verse: 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
    I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one.

    • Grace says:

      Starlight,

      Did you know that pre 1952, Jehovah’s Witnesses did NOT disfellowship as they taught that it was a pagan practice & criticised the Catholic Church for the very same thing. If you don’t believe me, read the 1947 Awake or go to JWfacts. Paul Grundy has a better rundown of the history & inception of the WT’s practice.

      As for that scripture, my interpretation would be; that it’s a personal choice to avoid association with someone like that. Not one that has been forced upon me by men who are not even going to give me the reason for the person’s disfellowshipping as it’s confidential. I’d prefer to make that decision for myself.

      As an example, one of my friends daughter was disfellowshipped after an incident between her & an Elders son. She came from a single mother household. They were both pretty good kids, (teenagers & dating). Well guess which one got disfellowshipped & it wasn’t the Elders son. It’s only that I was close to both mothers of the kids that I knew the story. I was very upset at the outcome so I didn’t shun the daughter.

  27. HSS says:

    I was always excited to go to the conventions. But not for the material.
    I went to conventions to:
    *Scope out the sisters and see how sexy they were dressed.
    *Flirt with sisters and other females who weren’t baptised yet.
    *Flirt with older unmarried/divorced sisters.
    *Collect sisters’ phone numbers/addresses.

  28. Cherie says:

    I just reread this article and listened to the clip from the talk. What do they have against giraffes? According to “What Animal Are You?” Giraffes are “graceful.” Graceful people “seek to make others feel like they’re the most important person with whom they can spend time, and always put the needs of others first. They live according to personal standards that are higher than any given code of conduct, and incorporate dignity, honor, and respect in extending grace to others—even when things have not gone their way.” The Quiz is based on the book “Surviving Your Serengeti” by Stefan Swanepoel. Take it at http://www.whatanimalami.com 🙂 Have fun.

  29. Gabrielle Guichard says:

    The second (and last) convention I went to was before 2000, I don’t remember the exact time. They officially said they were in favor of the death penalty (with a god who kills by the millions, not a surprise). So I asked an elder if a JW could be an executioner. Obviously he had not seen the thing from this point of view! I and my husband decided not to go further in our study of the bible.

  30. Julien says:

    I remember my mother inviting young brothers over for dinner. Turns out they where trying to marry me off so if some brother showed interest (aka: got caught by my mom’s hawk eye staring at me) she would invite them over for dinner. Since i had been raised to either go to bethel or become a missionary I really wasnt interested in getting married. But soon I found myself comparing my worldy high school male friends (which I didnt care one fig if I wasnt supposed to have them or not) with the brothers. All the brothers appeared to me boring intellectual drains. I also didnt like the idea of someone telling me what I should or should not do in bed with a husband. I also wasnt very interested in forever cleaning cooking and cleaning up after a husband. I may had been born into it but nothing they tried could kill my fiery personality (and yes they tried and tried and tried). I woke up shortly upin turning 18 and i just had had enough. I faked it for about an extra 18 months until i got my degree and got out. How did i get a degree well not on their dime. But it was encourage simply because my parents had an invested self interest. Around this time my mom had gotten sick and they needed me to work instead of going off to bethel. They wanted to ensure I wasnt bringing home slave wages. Unfortunately this just added to my resolution to leave since I never could never talk to them about anything. Ooops sorry for the long post. Its been over 25 years and ive never really talked to anyone about it.

  31. ronnyb says:

    I know im out of topic,but i have 2 questions if someone may. What the heck dies the B on Borg stand for,i know org is organization and does anyone have any info on the bethel layoffs? Thnx

    • Winston Smith says:

      The Borg are a fictional alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes.

      WS

  32. Grace says:

    ronnyb,

    I think the B on borg is a reference to star trek. The trek fans can explain more on that.

    The only Bethel layoffs that I know of, is here in Australia the Sydney Bethel has sent home around half of there staff. I’m not sure how many more have gone since I last heard that.

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