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Jack Ryan

Ewart C. Chitty

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Jack Ryan -
JW Insider -
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1935

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Information regarding this former member of the Governing Body is hard to find. This is a snippet of some information found online about him:

I think in today's world the situation would have been handled differently since nowadays they have made a distinction between homosexual tendencies / thoughts and a "practicing homosexual".

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Governing Body member Ewart Chitty (born ca. 1898) resigned his position in 1979. He entered the London Bethel in 1921, began to work in "the office", and by 1938 held some sort of official position, as two 1938 Watchtowers have him reporting to J. F. Rutherford on the attendance of Bethel family members at the "family" study. By 1942 Chitty was the secretary of the International Bible Students Association (IBSA; the Society's British equivalent of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.). Somewhere along the line he was appointed as secretary-treasurer of the IBSA, which position he held until his appointment to the Governing Body in November 1974. After his 1979 resignation from the GB, Chitty remained in Brooklyn working in Writing Correspondence, so he was certainly in good standing. A 1981 Awake! article has Chitty making comments about people having lost their love of neighbor and God. Apparently by this time Chitty was drinking heavily, according to close acquaintances. Likely this contributed to his being dismissed from Brooklyn and reassigned to the London Bethel a few years later. There he worked at an assignment of little responsibility, but was appointed an elder in a local congregation. Chitty died about 1993.

As to Chitty's alleged homosexuality, the information I have is mixed. He certainly made some remarks in his 1963 life story in The Watchtower that leaned in this direction. By then he had roomed with the same man for 30 years and just about gushed when speaking about him. See the email comments below for one Brit's take on this. When in Brooklyn, Chitty seems to have preferred younger men as roommates. The actual charge brought to the GB against Chitty was made by a former roommate and involved some sort of inappropriate conduct. The GB concluded that Chitty had homosexual tendencies, whatever that means, and asked him to resign. Chitty could hardly do anything but comply with the rest of the GB's wishes, since his only alternative would have been to leave Bethel at age 81 and after being there for 58 years. It may well be that the GB didn't view Chitty as guilty of homosexual activity, since he remained a Bethel member in Brooklyn or London, but it may also be that they made a deal: Chitty would remain quiet about where "the dead bodies" were buried as long as the Society cared for him in his old age. Sounds like a good deal to me.

 

See also:

 

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On 3/12/2016 at 11:48 PM, Jack Ryan said:

By then he had roomed with the same man for 30 years and just about gushed when speaking about him.

"Then, too, I have had the same friend and roommate for the past thirty years or more, Brother Edgar Clay, whose life
story you may have already read; but now we share a lovely room, a most pleasant home with a fine view facing south, and
an extra window looking out to rising fields and trees and the setting sun in all its glory." WT Feb 15 1963.

You call that gushing?

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Outta Here said:

You call that gushing?

Definitely.....About the view xD

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3 hours ago, Outta Here said:

Brother Edgar Clay

As far as I could see, Ewart Chitty did not appear effeminate, but it was often said that Edgar Clay was effeminate in a way that kind of creeped out other Bethelites. This might just be prejudice talking as I never crossed paths with Edgar Clay. Someone told me that Bro Chitty went back to live with this same man after he was dismissed from Bethel and dismissed from the Governing Body. That rumor seems unlikely, but did concern me at the time when I first heard it. If anyone has ever heard anything to confirm or disconfirm this, it might be of interest for this particular topic. Perhaps Edgar Clay was not even alive after Chitty left?

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21 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Edgar Clay was effeminate in a way that kind of creeped out other Bethelites.

Yes, probably they were some of the more creepy Bethelites, of whom there were a few I met in the 70s.

My recollection of Edgar, who I met just after I was baptised, was of a rather friendly, polite, little, old gentleman. He had quite a soft voice and a rather eccentric way of speaking, almost like a stammer, and a bit of a twitchy eye, like a kind of squint that would intermittently assert itself. I suppose that might have made him a bit "unfashionable" along with his early '50s dress sense. I knew nothing then of his background, that he was one of the anointed, started his Bible study in 1914, Bethel from 1926 etc. 

In the ensuing years he visited us at home or we met up with him at Bethel when he keenly showed me round the various printing presses and how to operate the linotype press as in the photo. Jack Barr was working next to him at the time. He was anything but "creepy". In fact, he gave me a great deal of encouragement in my most formative years coming into Jehovah's organisation. I lost touch with him late '70s and actually do not know when he died. He was in his 80s when I last saw him.

I found out later that he was known by the brothers as one of the "three wise men" along with Pryce Hughes and Ewart Chitty because of the lead they took at Assemblies and Conventions during the 40s and 50s.

I knew him as an unassuming, kindly and encouraging gentleman, with one or two "minor" physical oddities that provided food for behind-the-back ridicule on the part of some Bethelite "creeps".

Edgar 5.jpg

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1 hour ago, Outta Here said:

He was anything but "creepy".

Thanks. I believe you. Should have known. I've heard rumors go wild before. Apostates who were dismissed in the Spring of 1980 were all suddenly supposed to have been homosexual swingers and wife-swappers. If there had been only 2 baby seals in an imaginary Bethel Zoo, I'm sure that eye-witnesses would seen them taking turns clubbing 50 of them.

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