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.










Further reading…

272 thoughts on “No expense spared: Governing Body members DO fly business class

  • July 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I’ve always been afraid of flying, but I’ve just realised that problem is solved. Just make sure I’m booked on the same flight as one of the GB and that plane will never crash with old ‘J’ keeping it up. I’d be able to sleep like a baby that’s just received a life saving blood transfusion. Yes!!!!! I’d be able to walk up to that GB member, congratulate him on his humility and slip a fiver for the worldwide work into his top pocket. Maybe even offer to buy him a Bloody Mary to help with the stress of it all.
    I wonder what Occupational Health and Safety think of this Corporation. What with an estimated 51,000 deaths since 1961, shouldn’t the place be shut down and a thorough investigation be undertaken? They’re obviously a dangerous crowd to be an ’employee’ of.

  • July 17, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    After observing the members of the GB when JW Broadcasting first started, with their suits and watches and pinky rings, things that would have been frowned up in my congregation, I am forever glad my contributions to the “world wide work” were far and few between (probably not even totaling $100 the entire time I was in). I wonder how they would react when confronted with Matthew 23:3B?

  • July 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    You can’t expect the chosen mouthpiece of the creator of the entire universe to sit amongst other peasants and nobodies, right?

  • July 18, 2016 at 12:11 am

    This is quite disturbing and disgusting. I know the kind of sacrifices people at my old congregation went to to donate generously, even my parents. It’s sickening to think this is what they’re spending it on. When people are giving up better living conditions (not luxurious, simply a little better) to give them that money, it just makes it all the more maddening.
    I really hope there’s a way to get this information to the rank and file, bound to open the eyes of many.

  • July 18, 2016 at 4:38 am

    The Kingdom “has come” or “is coming”:

    *** w64 4/15 p. 230 par. 3 What Will “God’s Kingdom Come” Mean to You? ***
    The words “God’s kingdom come” are based on the prayer addressed to God in heaven, namely, “Thy kingdom come.” Many persons do not notice the fact that this prayer was taught by an Asiatic. Among the three branches of the human race, the Japhetic, the Shemitic and the Hamitic, this Asiatic man was of the Shemitic branch. He traces his family line of descent back to Shem, the second of the three sons of Noah, from whom all mankind of today have descended. (Gen. 10:21; Luke 3:23-36) Among the many families of Shemites we find the family of Hebrews, Israelites or Jews. The Asiatic teacher of the prayer for God’s kingdom to come was such a Hebrew, Israelite or Jew. He was born in the town of Bethlehem in the Roman province of Judea almost two thousand years ago, in the same town where his famous ancestor had been born, David son of Jesse, who became king of Jerusalem.

  • July 18, 2016 at 5:03 am

    I’m a 1k frequent traveler and get business class upgrades all the time, even on international flights. The company only pays for an economy ticket. Could this be the case of these GB members?

    • July 18, 2016 at 5:19 am

      Again, the airport worker was able to check how much was paid for the ticket on the system.

      • July 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        Thanks for informing us on any of the findings. I suspected that the GB travels in business class. However proof would be nice untill then it is only hearsay.

      • July 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

        Dear Ej

        As an editor for JW Survey, I can assure you that our entire team reviewed the claims of the person who sent us this information. First of all, the claims are not outrageous or incredible, as we have received anecdotal information in the past regarding Governing Body members flying business class. However this information was concrete, as we were able to verify the identity of the individual making the claims along with the airport she works at, and the flight destination of the Governing Body member. This information matched up with the known travel plans of this GB member, which preceded his speech in the destination country.

        The reason we can’t publish more specific information is that the airline employee’s job would be in jeopardy. It would not be difficult to trace this airport and flight back to the individual who works for the airline.

        The real question you need to ask yourself is whether you would be personally affected by this information if you were convinced that it is true. Would you be deeply troubled by this excess in spending? If the answer is yes, then we can provide many other examples of excess in spending which is not in harmony with the message of Christianity.

        The real integrity here lies in the fact that we must protect our source at this time, as journalists are expected to do. In the future our source may be willing to divulge more information, or this article will likely flush out more cases which confirm Watchtower’s current travel arrangements for the Governing Body and other senior members of the organization.

        We fully stand behind our article as 100% accurate, and should anything we write ever turn out to be inaccurate, we will gladly publish a retraction. This is a higher standard than Watchtower will ever achieve.


        John Redwood

        • July 20, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          Absolutely, John.

          Who would risk the livelihood of an individual for the purposes of publishing their name and the airline where they work?

          Undoubtedly, the individual would lose their position and be ruined forever in finding anything else in that particular field.

          If that were done, no doubt it would be the last time anyone would stick their necks out to make information like this available to jwsurvery.org or anyone else.

          “…we must protect our source at this time, as journalists are expected to do”.

          Absolutely correct.

        • July 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

          So what you are saying, EJ, is that in this particular instance, the reporting on the site is only slightly better than that of Watchtower, who is well known for poor journalism, rarely citing sources, misquoting, etc.?

          Since under normal circumstances this site does provide specific references, and only in this case does not do so in order to protect the source, I am more inclined to believe them, as opposed to Watchtower who rarely provides appropriate citations for their work.


        • July 21, 2016 at 10:35 am


          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”.

          And while you’re at it, also ask the Watchtower for audited financial statements from their beginning until now and present these to us as well.

          Looking forward to this.

  • July 18, 2016 at 5:08 am

    This leaves no doubt in my mind that these men are not who they portray themselves to be, a ticket in economy would have proved otherwise.

    I wonder if a normal Bethelite also flies business class, I think not!!

    Unlike these jokers, Jesus was humble and set the example for all of us:

    God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
    1 Corinthians 1:28-29

    I guess there will be a lot of explaining to be done when they arrive in heaven.

    • July 18, 2016 at 6:11 am

      @ Freed Mason

      “I guess there will be a lot of explaining to be done when they arrive in heaven”.

      If any of these crooked pedophile protecting charlatans (because that’s what they truly are) find themselves in heaven to explain anything before Jehovah or Christ then there is absolutely no justice. Certainly Gehenna is where they should answer for their duplicitous conduct.

      These crooks have been lying to their flock for decades. About as bad as any T.V. evangelists I am familiar with. The seven delusional dwarfs are ‘first among equals’ and answerable to no one, period! From their U.N association until now these self-appointed, self righteous hypocrites are far above the rest of the congregation and nobody at Bethel has the fortitude to perform a coup (hostile takeover) or call them out!

      Only if the rank and file decides to leave their Halls and perform a secession owing to doctrinal and other differences (schism) will anything be positive be accomplished. Then the Kingdom Halls would have to be sold as there will be no members to support their upkeep.

      As far as these airline tickets go, this action is par for the course. Nothing is to good for the ‘faithful and discrete slave’ who, by the way unless we forget, have been appointed (self appointed) by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to feed the flock food (read ‘manure’) at the proper time. It’s the ‘mushroom treatment’ all over again.

      Many thanks to you Lloyd for keeping us informed.
      At least we can get the Truth about the TRUTH from this site. Thanks again.

      • August 14, 2016 at 1:56 am

        The trouble is that in their hearts and minds these hypocrites know that there is no god, no Armageddon and no heaven. They know that their well fed bodies will merely turn to dust upon their demise and so they are creating and enjoying their own little paradise on earth in the time that they have left.

  • July 18, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Surely you do not begrudge Christ’s “brothers” a little of luxury after all that they do? It takes them a great deal time to think of various ways to fleece the flock without being caught out too many times and preparing talks which cleverly show that they are God’s mouthpiece. Amos 3:7 ;-)

    • July 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

      They also have to extend their efforts to think up BS doctrinal changes like overlapping generations and such, as well as come up with new rules with which to burden the flock (Matt 11:29 versus 23:4), so they deserve some of the finer things


    • July 19, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Quite agree! Fleecing the flock is a hard, 24 hour, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, slog!

  • July 18, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Jesus arrived on a ass (donkey). Governing body arrives on First Class. Physical men and their royal ego’s. Another reason not to give donation money to this “religion”. Things are slowly coming out.

    • July 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Ass Class doesn’t exist! If it did, I am sure the Governing Body would opt for it!

  • July 18, 2016 at 6:37 am

    This comes as no surprise to me.They have been flying business class for years.Just think of the total amount.

  • July 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

    They may try to argue that due to health issues, they need the additional space and amnenities found in business class. But if that’s the case, then why not send some younger bethelite who can cram himself into a coach seat to handle these speaking engagements? Are they so full of themselves that they need to personally deliver these talks at international conventions? And why do their wives need to travel with them? Could they not stay at home? Business men travel all over the world everyday and seldom do their companies pay for their wives to travel with them.


  • July 18, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Now I am beginning to wonder what hotels the GB are staying in? Probably 5 Star.

    They are truly legends in their own minds.

  • July 18, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I could almost see TPT or “Big Eyes” Lett sitting on that airline cot, licking a complementary business class ice cream cone saying, “Thanks a lot kid!”

  • July 18, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Jws put out an article a while back entitled”Fleecing the flock” ,but they referred it to other religions. Talking bout” the pot calling the kettle black”. Hush your mouth!!!

  • July 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    As Moses says, the issue here is hypocrisy. The next time a JW refers to the opulence of the Church it may be good to share the facts of this article with him/her. Thanks Lloyd as ever for the research.

  • July 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

    A man in our territory wrote an irate letter to the
    society, complaining that his elderly wife with
    failing mental faculties had been talked into buying
    a subscription to the WT.

    Obviously, the best way to resolve this would have
    been, to cancel the subscription and refund the
    money, but this was not done.

    Instead, there was a letter in the congregation mail
    with instructions from the branch for an elder to
    visit the man and try to appease him.

    I went along with another bro, the man was still very
    angry and scornful especially as they hadn’t returned
    the money. But said they would pray for him.

    Just a small incident, but it does show where their
    main interests lie.

    • July 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I have been out/away for a while, some 2 years now. Is this experience older then that? I wasn’t aware you pay for a subscription.

      • July 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

        @ Bright Lightbulb;

        There hasn’t been a magazine subscription for the Watchtower & Awake magazines or a public subscription campaign for these journals for the better part of a decade.

        When we last offered either magazine it was for 6 months or a year and your goal was two subscriptions during the month long campaign. (Two campaigns every six months, one for the Watchtower and one for the Awake!)

        And yes, I wrote up my wife for six months and she wrote me up for six months so at least we could count one subscription each.

        However, back to your original query…
        km 7/04 p. 3 Question Box ***

        “The only subscriptions that the United States branch will maintain on file are for those who cannot be served by a congregation publisher through a magazine route. If the Congregation Service Committee submits a request for subscriptions for someone who cannot otherwise obtain them, the secretary should include a brief note verifying that this subscription request has been reviewed and approved by the Congregation Service Committee.”

        km 4/02 p. 7 Continue Benefiting From The Watchtower and Awake! ***

        “Those With Special Needs: If an individual displays genuine interest but lives in unassigned territory, an exception can be made to allow him to receive the magazines by mail subscription. If a person living in the congregation’s territory cannot be served by a magazine route but is sincerely interested in receiving the magazines, discuss the case with the Congregation Service Committee. If they approve, a subscription can be turned in for the interested person. The standard subscription forms (M-1 and M-101) may be used for this purpose.”


  • July 18, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Another brilliant scoop!

    Even though it can’t be proved, and has to be taken entirely on trust, I still think this is a great exposé. There are those who might say that you’re indulging in reckless propaganda, and ignoring the rules of natural justice, but I think you’re right to go with your hunch on this one. It might be a type of yellow journalism, but it is still a worthwhile tool in this ends-justifies-means war.

    Whilst I’m here, I would like to congratulate you on your forthcoming book and your intention to use a portion of the profits to set up a hardship fund for Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    I know you have been terribly maligned in the past, and I am sure there are a number of haters who will question your motives for writing this book. I can already hear the petty accusations of ‘vanity publishing’ and ‘lining his own pockets’.

    Fair play to you for taking a stand consistent with your own humanist principles. Setting up this fund proves that you aren’t simply in it for the money, and it will certainly help to neutralise that slur.

    I will happily contribute to this fund as soon as you announce a date for the book’s availability. I can hardly wait!

  • July 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    While I believe the story it would be great if full disclosure could be made. A picture and a price of the ticket would be all so great! :-) I would love to see it go viral and them find out what kind of explanation would be given to the flock.

  • July 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Plagiarism.There is another case of plagiarism in the book “you can live forever in paradise on earth”(1982).On p.152 there is a painting of a head of a frustrated woman, in the background is an angry young man.That “angry young man”is taken from a newsphoto.I have been trying to find it on the net.If I do I will send it to you.

  • July 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Also noticed, when many years ago the JWs had the home-based Tuesday Group, that oit was always the less well off members who hosted it, in tiny cramped claustrophobic rooms, hot and sweaty in our suits. Only ever held in the wealthier members bigger houses when the main host was away/ill. The elite didn’t want the hoi polloi sullying their spotless beige carpets of course. oh and the poorer hosts always lived in areas where car parking was scarce, narrow roads, so neighbour-parking issues arose. Likewise my elderly relative, when very ill, a JW foe decades, only ever gets calls from fellow poor OAP JWs, and the same for get well cards. the elders only show up when there may be a blood issue at the hospital or similar.

    • July 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for the post Bright Lightbulb! Definitely eye opening! When I finally left the org and summoned the courage to visit different churches I was shocked to learn that EVERYTHING I was told about “Christendom” was a total lie! Then I finally attended college I learned about the proper way to do research and cite your sources, and how easy it is to “bend” information to your prove your point especially if you do not cite sources properly and only use one source for your information. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: of course they never wanted us to do our own research outside of the WTS or go to college….duh! It’s all so clear now that sometimes its painful to think about.

  • July 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    At our last convention before quitting, we went to visit an old circuit overseer in one of the posh boxes at the football stadium. He introduced a brother who was with him, “This is the Arthur Negus of the Bethel”! “Yes”, he replied, (brandishing a rather nice wristwatch) “it is my job to sell all the estate assets, jewellery and antiques that are left to the society”. Nice one ‘Arthur’! Bet that bought a few plane tickets for the GB!
    They have gone down in the world a little bit. An elder, who was well in at Bethel some years ago, let it out that the GB travelled by Concorde on more than one occasion. We thought it rather extravagant at the time, but the blinkers were still on then. C’est la vie!

  • July 19, 2016 at 6:47 am

    That is dusgusting but also dishonest.
    If I had ever given a lot of money to this organisation and can prove it, I will find others in the same, see a lawyer and ask for my money back in reason of deception. Win for sure.
    I also think of jw broadcasting 5 with Sam Herd and a 20000 $ rollex. GB members are the true descendants of Rutherford.

  • July 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Yep, for years the money has just kept rolling in! The ones who have left their entire estates to Watchtower on their death, sometimes leaving offspring without a penny. All in the name of ‘God’.
    You have to agree, it’s clever, very clever. Give us your life, give us all your money – you may get a reward if you are REALLY good!
    As for the ‘anointed ones’, they can have it all now and in heaven!!!
    P.S. I forgot to mention that the real Arthur Negus (in my last post) was an antiques expert on a TV programme in Great Britain for many years.

    • July 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Yep, my father-in-law has given 10’s of thousands to the Borg. In the meantime my sister-in-law (his daughter) found herself homeless and we had to take her in. I guess 1 Timothy 5:8 doesn’t apply when it comes to giving money to the Borg. Good thing I disobeyed and went to college so I can support my extended family.


  • July 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Bright. Light Bulb. Thanks for your enquiry.
    Yes it’s an experience from way back, I left the
    org, in 1982.

    As a rule no literature was given away free, and it was
    always a feather in our cap if we could get a 6 months or a
    years subscription to the WT, rather than placing just a
    single copy. And we were always eager to share the
    experience with others at the KH.

  • July 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

    How is this news? They’re members of the board of a multimillion dollar company. That’s par for the course.

    • July 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      @ Charlie Tazer;

      Yep, “They’re members of the board of a multi-million dollar company”.

      A multi-million dollar ‘corporation’ with free labor and no stockholders. How convenient. Without stockholders to get paid dividends or vote on board members in the corporation, you can expect little change from current policy. Why? Because the Governing Body is self-perpetuating/promoting and votes its own members in.

      • July 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        And don’t forget: it’s all TAX FREE!!!


        • July 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

          @ W.S.

          Oops, sorry. An unfortunate but rectifiable oversight on my part.
          “Yes, it’s all TAX FREE”.

          As Oubliette loves to end her comments with, “Let’s review…It’s a CULT!”

  • July 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Any way to get this in Spanish?

  • July 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Watchtower, please do not talk about morals to me. When a religion that protects child sex abusers and tries to use “Freedom or Religion” as a basis to cover up these immoral acts, it is the religion that needs moral guidance, not me.

    The reason that more people are going towards atheism is that the young generation does not want to be bothered with hypocritical religions and their blatant disregard for human rights. The recent negative actions of religions also shows the young generation that religion is something you steer away from, not join.

    When religion does things that go against human rights, people flock to atheism and agnosticism. Today’s religions set a bad example and conflict with God’s commandments.

  • July 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Can someone post hidden camera to expose GB member feeling very comfortable in 1st Class while kids give them their ice cream money? Contact 60 Minutes TV Show! They need to confront them outside of Bethel after Breakfast, etc…

  • July 19, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Is it possible that someone else paid for ticket? I seem to remember that congregations who invite a bethelite to speak have to provide the air ticket.
    Perhaps someone told the GB member that they would pay the airfaire and wanted them to fly business class. And then sent the money for that specific purpose.
    Also, since the GB probably get lots of Green Handshakes, maybe they paid for the ticket themselves with money personally donated to them.

    • July 19, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      I would think that the African congregation he is visiting put up the money. They probably had to sell all their she goats. But think of the rich spiritual fest they had with his wonderful visit. I am sure he encouraged them to do even more.

      • July 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm

        “I’m sure he encouraged them to do even more.”

        Ha! Including donating! Next time he wants FIRST class!

    • July 19, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      To had -enough. Even if someone did pay for it wouldn’t the “Christian” thing to do is humble yourself and flu coach or economy and contribute the extra funds to the “World wide work” or perhaps feed the hungry and disadvantaged? Oh I forgot, the WT does not do that. They only take care of themselves personally and only in an extreme emergency do they help anyone else including JW’s.

      This is an ugly religion my friends. Full of hate and
      disjointed teachings filled with decades of errors and false prophecies. A religion that destroys families and friends and does or know the love of Jesus. Let’s review: It is a cult!

  • July 20, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Last night at my midweek meeting the local needs was on donations. It was clarified what the different donation boxes are used for i.e printing, refurbs, bethel,disaster relief, C.O car expenses etc(although flying business class was not mentioned at all) . All i could think of was this article and although annoyed i was mostly sad. I remember seeing a pioneer sister in her mid twenties putting coins in an envelope to donate, i remember how much she struggled financially to “put the kingdom first” . It certainly doesn’t seem as though the governing body is following Jesus lead, rather they seem fully entrenched in the world they hold their followers back from enjoying by putting their comforts first.

    • July 20, 2016 at 9:02 am

      I don’t know how people could be aware of this information (and other information about the org) and be able to sit through a meeting in good conscience.

      • July 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        @M Saurus, You don’t understand. It has nothing to do with good or bad conscience in the WAY you’re thinking of it. It takes a lot of love and a very unselfish person to go to meetings because of love for family. What you’re saying sounds very selfish to me. We do it to rescue our family and to protect them. In a way you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll do what ever it takes to rescue my family from this cult. Even go into a kingdom hall. You don’t need to question our motive for doing this. We’re not here to please you.
        Jim Jones Exerted ‘Total Mind Control’

        Jonestown survivor Leslie Wagner Wilson, now 55.

        “The church did many good deeds, but followers were never allowed to criticize Jones or talk to others outside the group.” “They signed contracts vowing their allegiance.” “It was a cult, total mind control,” said Wilson, who, as a teen, traveled the country recruiting members. “The church would humiliate you and take away any ego you had. Everything centered on the cause.” “My husband had moved up the ranks, and I had decided I didn’t want to do this anymore,” People cooperated and collaborated in the oppression, and victims were also the perpetrators.” In the end, 909 were either injected with or drank potassium cyanide mixed into a vat of punch and tranquilizers. Babies had poison squirted in their mouths with syringes. Wilson’s husband was found on a bed face-up back at the compound. “We don’t know what killed him,” she said. Wilson and others attend annual memorial services at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, where 407 Jonestown victims, mostly children, are buried in a mass grave. But on May 29, 2011, an estimated 150 survivors and relatives dedicated a monument to those who died. An interfaith group erected four granite plaques with the names of all 918 who died. Though controversial, the names of both Jones and Ryan appear on the list. The Jonestown memorial is at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, Calif. Wilson, now working in health care and the mother of three adult children, said she hopes each anniversary is a reminder to those who are too young to remember Jonestown to take heed. “We don’t want to see it repeated,” she said. But she understands the emotional draw of a Jonestown: “People want be loved,” she said. “And taken care of.” Now wary of organized religion, she finds solace in her faith: “I have found a higher power.” “Jim separated the nuclear family. The cause and he were center to everything, and so your family didn’t mean anything to you. It was the cause and him,” she explained. So, she joined a group of defectors, planning their escape she had no idea what was going to happen. The plan all along was to go to theU.S. Embassy, then return to get the others out. She dealt with survivor’s guilt.

        • July 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm

          I don’t see how you pretending to go along with it is saving your family from anything. I am not judging you, but I think you are perpetuating the problem, not solving it.

          Oh, and also saving yourself from shunning. You love your family so much you will “grudgingly” stay in a horrible cult for them, pretending to be a member. Well….

          If you ever decide to stop the charade and refuse to have your good name associated with this cult, do you think your beloved family members will shun you? Do they love YOU enough to ignore that rule and continue the “loving” relationship you now have? I don’t know them personally, but if they are like most JWs – the answer is NO. They will cut off all contact with you quicker than you can say “apostate”.

      • July 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        @ M Saurus;

        I personally would find it tough going to sit through the nonsense at any meeting or convention knowing what I know now.

        Pedophilia practicing pervert protecting is rampant to the point that no parent can protect their children from who they cannot identify.

        A twisted back-stabbing, grimacing group of ‘love bombing’ tattle-tails, unhappy with their own miserable lives, who find fault and evil in just about everything others find joy in. They rub their hands together in glee with every sad misfortune they hear or read in the newspapers because to them this shows how close Armageddon is.

        Yep, it’s a commin’! Forty-one years since 1975 and we’re “another day older and deeper in debt. Saint Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go; I owe my soul to the company store.” -Tennessee Ernie Ford 1955 ‘Sixteen Tons’

      • July 20, 2016 at 9:39 pm

        Another thought I have is this, JWs from the inside who are in good standing are the ones who have sent unreleased memos and videos to jwsurvey. We are necessary. We do it for the good of many, unselfishly, in order to help nieve ones. We are doing the right thing. We do it to help as many as we can. You don’t get it.

        • July 21, 2016 at 7:32 am

          @ Harry Cadanza

          If you’re implying that by sitting through hours of malarkey (because that is what it is) and nodding your head in agreement because “We do it for the good of many, unselfishly, in order to help naive ones. We are doing the right thing. We do it to help as many as we can”.

          Really? Then you are correct, I truly “don’t get it”. My opinion is this (and it is only my opinion); when you take a true stand (to thy own self be true) and leave the Kingdom Hall; that action in itself takes fortitude and truly makes an lasting impression on the ‘naive ones.’ Those who are truly your friends will inquire or contact you as to why you left. Making your meetings reinforces the ‘naive ones’ desire to stay the course, encouraging their belief (I think) that you too are a true believer and the propaganda preached from the platform is true.

          Only when the seats are empty will they question “what in the world is going on?” Perhaps they will even try and contact you; perhaps.

          That being said, who am I to judge your actions or reactions? Personally speaking, after 55 years of this nonsense I left and told them (the elders that visited me) why I had left. I received two “get well cards” imploring me to return but absolutely no inquiries as to why my family and I left.

          However, that’s me and how I handled my protest, by complete and total non support, non attendance and non affiliation. This action of mine is not meant to judge or implicate you. :)

          • July 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

            @Big B,
            At times I have entertained the thought, what if I were to go back and try to bring them down from the inside, but then I realize that I could not possibly stomach sitting there and listening to all the BS.

            I think some activists believe that the organization needs to reform, and thus by staying in they can aid it in that reform, and thus not go through the extremes of shunning. I think back to the American Revolution: some wanted complete independence from Great Britain, while others simply wanted reforms as to how the colonists were treated.

            I personally believe that the only way you can fully recover from the cult is a complete break, but as you mention above, to each his or her own.


        • July 21, 2016 at 10:03 am

          Sorry HC, I don’t buy it. If that reasoning lets you sleep at night then that’s fine.

          I personally think it’s just because you have “friends” and “family” you are not willing to give up.

          But, like I said, if it assuages your conscience to tell yourself you are staying in as a “spy” – good for you.

  • July 20, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Proof please ? Otherwise its tittle tattle ! Loyd

  • July 20, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Lloyd sorry

  • July 20, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I am of the opinion that even if the ticket was paid for by someone else, why would the GB not cash it in for an economy fare and put the difference in the donation box?

    They preach about giving and donating to the worldwide work – why would they not donate too, where possible?

    I believe that it boils down to: privilege and entitlement. In their eyes, the GB feels that they are living in a different stratosphere from the ordinary working class person and therefore they do not have to follow the rules that they impose upon the flock.

    The message from the GB is – Simplify, downsize, do not be materialistic and live a meager lifestyle.

    Instead, they have classified themselves as the faithful and discreet slave class, they fly first class, they are treated like royalty by the rank and file and they cannot be questioned. I guess the GB really have figured out how to be the one per centers.

    I gave up this religion for many reasons, but seeing this type of abuse of donations, really makes me realize that God cannot be a part of this religion.

    • July 20, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Well said. Are they men of God or men of Gold?


      • July 20, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        “In Gold we Trust”

  • July 20, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Give me proof !

    • July 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      What!?…you want proof? Your’e possibly a JW and you’re asking for proper proof of something before actually believing it?
      Go back to sleep.

  • July 20, 2016 at 9:25 am

    One of the biggest expenditures of any commercial
    Org, is the wages bill, hence they organise for
    efficiency to keep staff levels down.

    The JW org, has it set up so that they are not encumbered
    with paying paying out decent wages. So saving on labour
    is not a priority but saving on money is.

    On an elders course at Bethel, circa early 70s,
    our instructor, David Gibson, told the class.
    “The society doesn’t go for the most efficient way, but for
    the Cheapest.”

    another incident I remember from the same time was.
    At breakfast the branch overseer Wilf Gooch felt it
    necessary to explain why top brass from NY had stayed
    in hotels and not roomed at Bethel ( Must have been some
    murmuring .)

    Gooch said there was no room at Bethel. Well,I thought,
    there would have been room if they were packed 3 to a
    small unit, as we visiting students were.

    What comes across loud and clear is. Saving money
    applies only to the lower echelons.

  • July 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Granted, I can see why the older ones in there 80’s, like Heard or Lösch might need that comfort for long flights, but the younger ones should tough it out. If I can suffer watching my family getting murdered in front me for not buying a political party card, then you should be able to suffer, for the sake of the kingdom, flying economy for 18 to 20 hours.

    I remember when I was serving in Bethel, they wouldn’t even drive you to the airport, unless a bethel speaker was already going on “slave” business, because it was a waste of gas and kingdom funds. I guess on the night of the first “Lord’s evening meal”, Jesus cheated himself by telling his disciples to go find a tied up ass to ride on. He should’ve told them to go to Caesar’s Palace and grab Caesar’s very own chariot if this business class stuff is true. And if you ever served Bethel recently, you know how you can start to loathe food. I know they not bringing packaged Bethel food lunches on these flights either. I can only imagine Gerrit Lösch additional wine bill on long flights or any of then for that matter.

  • July 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    The afore mentioned David Gibson was considered by
    many, to be the best teacher at Bethel. But he would
    often come out with off the cuff statements.

    These were probably based on his own experience
    and his analysis of the orgs, methods, rather than from
    his official notes. These unscripted remarks became
    known as “Gibsonisms” a term used scornfully by some
    COs I knew, who were probably jealous of his ability and
    high regard.

    One of these Gibsonisms he came out with, which was
    very telling was in regard to reporting time spent in field
    service. It was he said, “Because people work better when
    they know their work will be checked.”

    I’m pretty sure that didn’t come from N,Y, but it “Was right
    on the money.” So to speak.

    • July 21, 2016 at 1:24 am

      @Tw: My Dad was in the Elder School (UK) in 1972 or there abouts (he was among the very first appointed in the new Elders arrangement).

      David Gibson was there when I did my Stretch, starting in 1978. I have to say I found him very human, very upbuilding (he said something incredible to me on my last day at Bethel). For me, he was top Notch and I often think of him with fondness.

      I believe he was from a large family, many of whom claimed to be of the Anointed. Correct me if I am wrong.

      Is he still around, and, what happened to him? Do you know?

      Best wishes

  • July 20, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    M’kay, going a little off topic here, but as long as we’re talking about despicable blood-sucking cults (and how to escape them), I feel compelled to share something I just stumbled on to. There’s this interesting fellow named Stefan Molyneux. He’s an Irish-born Canadian with a Master’s in history from the University of Toronto. He ran a software company with his brother in the 90’s. Since 2005, he’s had his own radio show called Freedomain Radio (FDR). I stumbled onto one of his (many) vids on YouTube, where he was discussing with a caller the INCREDIBLE influence our parents have on us. More powerful even than culture, politics, or religion. (Of course, anyone raised JW knows that their parental influence definitely = religious / cult influence.) I’m not aware that he was ever a JW, I don’t know much about his personal background, but he did state that he had spent $20,000 on therapy, and that it was ‘the best money he ever spent’. He and his wife have both “deFOO’d”. (FOO = Family Of Origin) In other words, they voluntarily cut the bonds with their families, due to whatever negative effects their families were having on their welfare. I can’t say exactly to what extent they took this. For anyone who’s interested, I’m including the link. If you don’t feel like ploughing through the whole thing (some of it is rather tedious), the real meat and potatoes begins at 1:02:00.

  • July 20, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Whoops, almost forgot …

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