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TrueTomHarley

Meeting the Circuit Overseer in the Parking Lot

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I could be in serious trouble. They just finished remodeling the Kingdom Hall, and there are two quarter walls, one left of stage and one right. Gulp. Will the brother start entering and exiting the platform via those quarter walls, just like I saw them do in the other congregation?

https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/forums/topic/79559-you-don’t-enter-stage-from-behind-the-quarter-walls/

The circuit overseer was visiting, so I started pumping him on it. “‘Don’t let the brothers walk behind the quarter wall to go on-stage,” I told him. I was not too insistent, one mustn’t overdo it on these things. I mean, I don’t want to be the brother who meets him in the parking lot to tell him that all the brothers are no good, and they aren’t loving at all, and they are deadwood in the ministry, and come to think of it, they don’t even like God, and so he, the circuit overseer, has a lot of work to do here, and he says “Yeah, I think I’ve found the problem already.”

I did about as much as I could. He seemed to be sympathetic. “Yeah, I know,” he said. “You see them, then you don’t as they walk behind the wall, and then you do as they emerge from the other side—it IS a little funny.” So I gave it a good try. But he was just biding his time to get away from me. He is not going to do anything at all, I don’t think, other than tell the brothers to go on the platform when it is their turn to speak. What does he care how they do it? It doesn’t bother HIM any one way of the other. It’s ME it’s driving nuts, and then he will say “Well, you were mostly there already.”

I have always tried to stack the deck. Those elders way back in the day would have a meeting coming up and I would pump various ones separately over  multitude of picayune things, so that one of them said at their meeting (as I was told later) “Wait a minute. Who’s running this congregation? You, me, or Tom Harley?”

But lo! A miracle has occurred. Never never never NEVER did I think I would EVER agree with @Jack Ryan. But I do on something. Jack Ryan! who if a Bethel brother so much as farts, he starts a derogatory thread on it. Jack Ryan! who has been known to start as many as a dozen critical threads in a single day. Jack Ryan! who I think regards himself as some sort of a secret agent/freedom fighter. What is it with this character?

Yet, I saw, yes—I witnessed it while visiting another congregation, brothers clapping after each and every exchange that took place up front, whether li8ve or on video, just the way Jack was complaining about. Suddenly he becomes as a prophet from on high. That too, drove me nuts!—all that clapping. You don’t clap over every single skit of one sister offering a tract to another, who, of course accepts it a just little too eagerly, it seems to me, from what I recall in the actual ministry. You clap spontaneously when something really knocks your socks off. You clap when a child or even anyone gives his or her first talk on the school. You clap when the spirit genuinely moves you, for anything. You clap after the public talk, even giving the speaker the benefit of the doubt if it wasn’t that—um—good. But you don’t clap for every minor exchange of trivial words! It only cheapens the times that there really is something to clap for.

I know where this comes from, just like I know where walking behind the quarter walls came from. Some pious brother doubtless wanted to “show appreciation” for everything under the sun and so started up the habit, thinking he was setting a ‘good example’ and that others would follow, and those others, not wanting to seem unappreciative, did follow, even some half-heartedly. 

However, it is possible that it is not the pious brother at all who is responsible, but rather the one who is too swayed by the new-agey mantra that you have to lavish praise on children non-stop just for showing up, for the sake of building self-esteem, and so they clap if a brother so much as clears his throat. I mean, don’t go pinning this one on “theocracy,” Jack—it could just as well be that trendy “world” that you are so enamored with.

This will not the easiest habit to break. I mean, you can hardly sit there and scowl, so as to provide the counter-example. The best strategy is just to contain it, as you might strive to do with a measles outbreak. Don’t send speakers to that congregation for awhile, until the illness passes. I doubt I can even enlist the circuit overseer in any serious capacity on this one. He will probably just roll his eyes when I meet him about it in the parking lot. C’mon, DO IT RIGHT, BROTHERS!

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The test of spontaneous clapping being a hypnotically induced Pavlovian response, or not .... is to show the two "Pillowgate" videos that were shown the Brothers and Sisters at Bethel .... the creepiest, most insane and cringeworthy videos ever created ... at the local Kingdom Hall, on a Sunday morning or afternoon  .... and see if everybody claps.

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12 minutes ago, Anna said:

I must admit, I agree with you. But then I wonder, maybe it's me who is seeing it "wrong". Attitude, after all, is everything... 

According to that theory, the Nazis were merely trying to bring the glories of German Civilization to the underprivileged of the world.

Attitude, after all, is everything ...  NOT.

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2 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

According to that theory, the Nazis were merely trying to bring the glories of German Civilization to the underprivileged of the world.

Well yes, I am sure that WAS actually the theory. In practice of course it turned nasty. Even then it's a matter of opinion for some. As you know, there are people who believe the Holocaust never happened. BUT there is an arbiter of all wrongs and rights and that is God of course. He is the only one who has the right and ability to designate between the two. We humans, although created in his image, can never perfectly match his standards. In my opinion, both videos were absolutely awful 🤮. But I wonder how the new Bethelites see it.  What if instead of sniggering about it among themselves, or making other disparaging remarks, they actually find it helpful?? Who knows??

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You are being kind, and generous, to the impervious.

Everyone of course, will have a different opinion.

Opinions without actual facts is the classic definition of stupid.

I just checked again, now.   Someone has re-posted the "Men's Version" of the video.   Here is the link.

 

The free program, Freemake Video Downloader, can be used to download it to your hard drive, should you want to do so, before it is gone, again.

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7 hours ago, Anna said:

I must admit, I agree with you. But then I wonder, maybe it's me who is seeing it "wrong". Attitude, after all, is everything...

It will not readily yield to change, if history is any guide. About the best I can hope for is some circuit overseer acting similarly as he did with another “crisis.” During a transitional lull from one main point to another, he will say that the expression “Now let us turn the platform over to the next speaker” is ridiculous because it evokes an image of turning the platform over. With that, I eventually heard the expression less, though it still pops up from time to time.

It is not easy to correct anyone on anything, especially on a triviality, though occasionally people jump instantly on the trivialities but ignore substantial things. Finding the right degree of emphasis is tough. One recipient will say “Thanks for the new RULE!” and his companion will say “Huh? Did you say something.”

There was a certain sister ages ago who enjoyed explaining things to others and eventually left the truth because not enough people listened to her. She had even begun to partake of the emblems. “What the Society is trying to tell us is....” she would often employ as a preamble. She is the inspiration (in this one regard only) for John Wheatandweeds, from Tom Irregardless and Me, who will not let the brothers go in field service in the morning because he insists as the conductor of rattling on and on about the day’s text, and he resists counsel  to shorten that part eventually to as short as 7 minutes, and he talks at such length, drawing out comments, that eventually nobody is in the mood to go out anymore. “What the Society is trying to tell us...” he responds to every bit of counsel on the subject. Finally, the Society interrupts him mid-sentence to say “We’re not trying to tell you anything—we’re telling you.” So he finally responds by getting everyone out the door in reasonably short order—not seven minutes, but neither seven years—however he makes up for it by chatting away in the parking lot.

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