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As a Witness - What did you Notice in How Elders Got Appointed ?

    M flipper posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:14:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 10427 of 17191
    Joined 3/7/2007

    I found it amazing being raised in the witnesses to see exactly WHO got appointed sometimes as an elder. It seemed that the criteria in my opinion had more to do with getting 10 hours a month in field service, answering at meetings, carrying microphones as a Ministerial Servant, or handling the magazine or literature counter ! In doing these " functions " and attending meetings on a regular basis - a man was thought to be considered " spiritually strong " and qualify to be an elder and serve on judicial committees judging people's personal problems.

    Many times no thought was given to whether or not the guy was a loving husband to his wife in the home, or was he kind to his children at home ? Did he put on " one face " at the Kingdom Hall - and another personality in the homelife ? I observed MANY times that a temperamental jerk ended up getting appointed as elder - when he had no business telling people HOW to run their lives- as he was unable to run his OWN life !

    When Timothy said an overseer should be " irreprehensible, sound in mind " I wonder if he meant appointing as an elder someone who had a past criminal child molester record - yet repented ( allegedly ) after becoming a baptized Jehovah's Witness ? Or when he stated an overseer should be " a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having children in subjection with all seriousness " did he mean to keep a heavy hand on his wife and children ? Controlling their every action ? What to watch on T.V. What clothes to wear ? The wife and children being expected to remain quiet while the alleged " head of the house " pontificates his redundant stupendous wisdom of the ages ?

    A poster on the board told me an experience she knew about . This one elder served for years as an elders, neglecting his family - his 5 children and wife to carry out his " duties " in the congregation. As it worked out- all 5 of his children as they grew up resented him being so time consumed by the congregation- not ONE of the 5 remained a witness. They all left. He was abusive to his JW wife and in time they divorced. So what does this giant in alleged " spiritual men " do ? He meets a non-witness woman - drags her into the JW cult , she gets baptized then he marrys her ! Then my friend said that just recently he was re-appointed as an elder ! And his NEW wife has been really depressed for some time due to this guy reaching out again for eldership . To some men - being an elder ALWAYS took priority over being a good husband.

    So the point I'm making is there were MANY things which would get a man appointed as an elder - but being a good person in his home outside the congregation was really rather low on the list of qualifications - as compared to how many hours he spent in field service , talks at the kingdom hall, raising his hand answering at meetings , etc ! But the million $$$ question - Can you really tell how good and decent a human being is - by just performing " functions " or " duties " in a high control organization ?

    So what did all of YOU notice about how elders were appointed ? Did you see some be good company men at the kingdom hall, yet OUTSIDE and at home be anything BUT righteous ? As always- look forward to your takes and observations. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

    M OnTheWayOut posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:37:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 11582 of 18130
    Joined 9/8/2006

    Many times no thought was given to whether or not the guy was a loving husband to his wife in the home, or was he kind to his children at home ?

    Any complaints about him would keep him waiting another 6 months, but it was more important that not only he got 10 hours of recruiting and was regular at the meetings and the like, but that his wife and children were also there and did good with field recruiting.

    Regularity somehow equated to being on good terms with Holy Spirit and that qualified an inexperienced window washer to suddenly know how best to aid clinically depressed people and sit in judgement of fornicators and smokers.

    I didn't know it at the time, but I and another guy were appointed awfully early to elder in our cong. because we had been recruited by the glory-seeking pioneer elder that wanted credit for bringing not just men, but such spiritual men into the club. I had 6 years total in, the other guy had 7. When I moved from the southeast U.S. to the midwest, I pretty much learned that it is very rare to be appointed elder with less than 10 years in the org. I was appointed again because of the glowing recommendation- I was a total company man and I think they saw that I was "relaxing" by not being an elder.

    Luckily, between seeing favoritism among elders toward their family and friends and the 1995 big doctrine change, I stopped being a company man and started being kinder and gentler to any members.

    M 5thGeneration posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:43:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 1224 of 1126
    Joined 6/21/2005

    Best ass kisser to the "Good 'ol Boys Club" + field service report of around 20 hours plus = Elder.

    Quillsky posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:46:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 740 of 844
    Joined 12/22/2009

    To be appointed an elder one has to have a submissive JW wife on happy pills.

    Simon Morley posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:50:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 215 of 566
    Joined 9/26/2009

    Suck Up + Green Handshake (CO and DO to get the mention at the elder meeting) 1st and foremost. Nice wife and kids who comment, in TMS, help old sisters, etc are bonus points. Keeping your hours under the nat average is a good way to stay out of their radar.

    designs posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:53:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 2067 of 18338
    Joined 6/17/2009

    It was equal parts getting in our 10 hours, who you knew of the BOE, and whether the CO and DO liked you.

    M stillajwexelder posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 01:01:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 16942 of 16005
    Joined 2/24/2003

    Whose nose, tongue and lips are the brownest

    booby posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 01:15:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 598 of 967
    Joined 5/25/2005

    I was a brand new recruit in a congregation with not many "educated" ones, a rural area with many farmers and an older demographic. A young co jumped at the chance to get a younger brother helping out in the congregation. So at a young age and new in the truth I was given the privilege of being a "servant" in the congregation. I was used for/in a number of different positions including very quickly the theocratic school overseer. Jump ahead to when it was decided to re-jig the whole arrangement and bring in an arrangement of elders who were "appointed" through holy spirit. For those original elder positions what that amounted to was all who were servants sitting in a big circle and going from on brother to the next deciding if any would/should be excluded for any reason from a list that would be sent (in our case to Toronto) of ones that were approved locally for appointment in bethel. It is obvious that this arrangement had Jah's blessing when you look at the fine Christian progress that has resulted since that time. Yah right!!

    man in black posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 01:26:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 273 of 593
    Joined 3/10/2010

    "It's not what you know or what you do, it's who you know and what THEY do"

    I heard this years ago, ..

    The good old boys club personified .

    When jeff renfroe from Crystal lake, Illinois was appointed an elder I was speechless, this statement literally jumped off of the platform and hit me across the face.

    He is without any doubt the most headstrong, immature person I ever met, and yet he waltzes into the congregation,

    ( He couldn't become an elder from wherever he started,,,, never heard the whole story)

    becomes business partners with dave redmond the PO and the next co visit this guy was appointed an elder.

    Even now I hear stories about how his actions literally drive people away from the hall, and how the young people are learning very quickly how to lose respect for the elder arrangement.

    If God was really watching over the jw's this guy would not even be able to handle the microphones,

    ( and this is not just entirely my opinion, young people from the hall have been sharing stories with my non jw boys regarding this "spiritual train wreck of a man")

    M 144001 posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 02:10:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 1779 of 3011
    Joined 6/24/2002

    Those with the most poop on their noses were appointed as elders!

    F misguided posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 03:32:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 385 of 433
    Joined 5/29/2005

    When I met my 1st husband, a JW, his dad was an elder. Shortly before we were married it came out during one of his older brother's divorces, that he (his dad) had had a baby with his daughter. According to her (the daughter - and she's still JW, this began when she was about 4 years old, and continued until she got pregnant at 17) sometimes the abuse even happened in field service.

    He's not an elder now...but how the hell did a known pedophile get appointed to an elder in the 1st place if some holy spirit is working upon the organization....what a farce!

    Hadit posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 07:09:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 241 of 672
    Joined 4/27/2010

    Great points Flipper!

    I noticed that I wondered way too many times how most of them became elders (a few I knew were truly decent and loving people). Most lacked love, they lacked tact, they lacked skills, they didn't take care of their families, they treated their wives like servants and all their wives were alcoholics and taking medications for depression (no wonder!), they were egotistical, misogynistic and chauvanistic. Many of them creeped me out at the way they stared at the other sisters. I remember a sister telling me of an elder who approached her at the hall and was picking something out of his teeth and he said "Ya - I'm just picking the short and curlies out of my teeth" and then winked. PIG! Yes sir Holy Spirit appoints them!

    The whole thing is scary. So many people entrust their lives to these unqualified men who then take advantage of others. They are also privy many times to personal information about people in the hall which is very dangerous considering the history of some of these men.

    I knew of an elder who would seek out depressed sisters who had been abused and on medication and rape them. He would use the date rape drug many times on people as well. The whole thing was so disgusting that it's one of the things that jolted me awake. I just couldn't let it go and it didn't make sense to me that he gets away with this repeatedly from hall to hall. I asked questions but it got me nowhere! They hide and lie. So infuriating.

    Okay - talking about this guy is making me angry and upset so I'd better end my post!

    cantleave posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 07:56:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 3884 of 13044
    Joined 6/25/2009

    In my experience all aspects of the guy's life were looked at. Was his family exemplary ? Did his wife have a good field service record? Was he respected by other members of the congregation?

    The thing is, most of this was appearance, a facade could easily be projected when someone was "reaching out". Hours could be fudged, family members could be coaxed to answer up and the guy could suck up to the elders in order gain ratings in the popularity stakes.

    I remember being told when I was an MS that I wouldn't be considered for an elder unless my downstairs cloakroom (which has a WC in it)was kept tidy, as the group overseer often had trouble getting there to use the facilities, as there were always shoes and coats on the floor.

    When I was being considered for MS (in my early 20's) I was told nugget and I should be more serious minded as we occasionally chatted and laughed during the meetings (I was also criticised for my 1980's Perm - god I wish I had the hair to perm these days).

    M dozy posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 09:23:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 711 of 1488
    Joined 2/18/2006

    Above all factors , field service activity (or at least reported activity) was most important. I remember one brother who was on the list of possible ms making the fatal mistake of going on holiday the month before the visit so his hours for that month were low - on this basis alone he wasn't appointed as he didn't get enough votes. If he had fudged his report and put down 10 hours he would have been appointed.

    The prospective ms / elder's family is a factor but that depends on the make up of the existing elders. If there are a few of them who have children who aren't JWs and/or have depressed wives then they will tend not to regard this as a factor and the other elders might be fearful of bringing it up as a potential disqualification.

    How they look after their "department" is important as it shows them being tested as to fitness. If they look after the mags / accounts / literature well & brown nose to the relevant elder then it goes down well. Any evidence of any "attitude" is a killer. One brother made the mistake of telling our arrogant service overseer that a particular street had already been worked the previous week in front of the other JWs at a field service group - even though he was right , this was brought up as evidence that the brother had a bad and unsubmissive attitude so he wasn't appointed.

    COs do push for appointments ( some more than others) and it certainly looks good for the BOE to appoint brothers as it gives the impression that the congregation is strong and that young brothers are being encouraged to "reach out". But essentially it is a political decision and something of a lottery. Holy spirit has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    NowAndThen posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 09:46:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 11 of 45
    Joined 8/2/2010

    Holy Spirit's got little or nothing to do with it. Field service report does. Giving long-winded talks does. Pretending you're holier than the friends does. Keeping a tight lid on your family to the point of crushing every desire for anything but JWdom does. Wearing a plastic smile and looking unusually stern when commenting during WT study does. Criticising the "spiritually weak" and condemning "worldliness" does.

    It's a little bit of the "theocratic" game. Play it right, and you're on your way to the top in no time.

    Been there, done that.

    Bonnie_Clyde posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:33:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 1474 of 1754
    Joined 8/9/2003

    "When it was decided to re-jig the whole arrangement and bring in an arrangement of elders who were "appointed" through holy spirit. For those original elder positions what that amounted to was all who were servants sitting in a big circle and going from on brother to the next deciding if any would/should be excluded for any reason from a list that would be sent (in our case to Toronto) of ones that were approved locally for appointment in bethel."

    Booby - that's exactly how Clyde described it when they changed to the elder arrangement (about 1972). Although he was in line to be almost the top dog, he decided right then that he didn't want to be an elder. He shocked everybody because at the time being appointed an elder was a coveted position. I remember being disappointed myself. Clyde did accept the position of MS for a few years before his fade.

    Bonnie

    Bonnie_Clyde posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:33:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 1475 of 1754
    Joined 8/9/2003

    "When it was decided to re-jig the whole arrangement and bring in an arrangement of elders who were "appointed" through holy spirit. For those original elder positions what that amounted to was all who were servants sitting in a big circle and going from on brother to the next deciding if any would/should be excluded for any reason from a list that would be sent (in our case to Toronto) of ones that were approved locally for appointment in bethel."

    Booby - that's exactly how Clyde described it when they changed to the elder arrangement (about 1972). Although he was in line to be almost the top dog, he decided right then that he didn't want to be an elder. He shocked everybody because at the time being appointed an elder was a coveted position. I remember being disappointed myself. Clyde did accept the position of MS for a few years before his fade.

    Bonnie

    F blondie posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:37:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 30522 of 37119
    Joined 5/28/2001

    I was told by several elders that 2 factors were involved, had they been raised in a good jw family and their fathers, uncles, etc., were elders in the congregation, this meant that the candidate was better known than someone who just came in from the outside and had not relatives in.

    Having the CO's support is good. I saw brothers take off the week of the CO's visit and auxiliary pioneer. Supporting elders would make sure their candidate was in the same car group as the CO.

    Candidates would also be scheduled to give a talk on the school, #1 or #4.

    Definitely a case of who you know not what you know. After all, CO influence contributed greatly to Timothy's appointment as an elder, right?

    Mattieu posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 12:38:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 318 of 513
    Joined 4/9/2009

    All the above comments are true, esp the ones concerning brown nosing and family connections. Overall, here in Oz, the situation is as Man in Black stated - a boys club mentality!

    booby posted Tue, 17 Aug 2010 15:42:00 GMT(8/17/2010)

    Post 599 of 967
    Joined 5/25/2005

    I would just like to add one contrasting comment. Just as Clyde of Bonnie _ Clyde made a decision that removed himself from the running shows that not all had arrived at that "prized position" by ass kissing etc. I know that many and in my experience most ended up as elders because they felt it was a "duty" that should be accepted if presented. I also know of ones who held out for as long as they could put up with the derision of other elders innuendo that they were just lazy. Many bodies of elders are always looking for new candidates so as to lighten their own load so to speak. I know that in my own case each assignment was accepted with reluctance and more because I couldn't say no then because I was looking for some kind of glory. Most of being an elder is more a royal pain in the ass then some kind of glory ride.

    Having said that I realize that there is that segment that desire and love that position, and they are the ones that are usually the real "pain in the ass" egomaniacs of the elder world I think.

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