LIFE CHANGING INVENTORY
COLORFUL & INFORMATIVE LISTINGS
Interestingly, while the word "beth-el" translates "house of god", it does not necessarily refer to a place of true worship or to the true God. Actually, the Canaanite city of Beth-el was known as a key center of false worship of false gods over many centuries. Connection with the Hebrew's worship of Jehovah in ancient Israel was scant at best. The vast majority of time, Beth-el was the center of false worship in opposition to Jehovah.
Not only does the WatchTower Society and its founder possess many secrets unknown to current Jehovah's Witnesses, but even "Brooklyn Bethel" itself has some secret "skeletons in the closet":
"I was 19 when I was chosen to serve at 124 Columbia Heights. My father ... had bought a Watchtower magazine on a street corner ... . [The seller] came to our house to conduct a home Bible study. My mother ... drank in the opaque, hallucinatory poetry of a religion drenched in apocalyptic images ... . My father asked impolite questions; soon we were calling him, in [Jehovah's] Witness parlance, " a goat, ..., an opposer". The world was divided into sheep and goats, and we were sheep; ... . I had a sanctioned reason to have contempt for my father, and I was supported in that contempt, that rich loathing, by my mother - he was an enemy of God. ...
"For three years I was a housekeeper in the mansion Henry Ward Beecher built for himself at 124 Columbia Heights on the Brooklyn waterfront. The man Sinclair Lewis called a combination of Saint Augustine, P.T. Barnum, and John Barrymore had moved from Indiana - for financial gain, it was said - and exercised his duties as pastor in Brooklyn for 43 years. ... John Brown's rifles were called "Beecher Bibles"; the flamboyant abolitionist-suffragist preacher thundered from the pulpit of nearby Plymouth Church. ...
"In 1871, Beecher was sued for adultery by his erstwhile friend ... [who was] active in Plymouth Church (which was later bought by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) ... , into which religion my ... mother plunged me when I was 9 years old). ...
"Henry Ward Beecher immersed himself in the great issues of the day. It was the distinguishing purpose of Charles Taze Russell ... to secede from the world, the great issues of the day meaning little to him except as he could mesh them with Bible prophecy. (Indeed, newspapers reported that on the night when Russell and his followers celebrated the death ... of Christ in 1878, he was found on Pittsburgh's Sixth Street Bridge dressed in a white gown waiting to be wafted to heaven.) But - while Beecher concerned himself with women's rights and the abolition of slavery ... Russell frenziedly consulted Bible prophecies and convoluted chronologies and the Great Pyramid ("God's Stone Witness") in order to determine the date of the end of the world ... there are parallels between the two men. Both married strong willed women and lived to regret it; both were sexually and sensationally peccant, as a result of which they found themselves in courts of law; both were charged with financial finagling. (In 1912 the national Presbyterian weekly called Russell 'the cleverest propagandist of the age, a man whom Mary Baker Eddy, Madame Blavatsky, ... , and Joseph Smith pale into puerile ineffectiveness.')
"In 1908 Mrs. Russell was granted a divorce. In 1909 she appealed for an increase in alimony, and Russell moved out of the jurisdiction of the Pittsburgh courts, transferred his assets to the Watch Tower Society, declared himself penniless, and moved his staff and his operations to Brooklyn to avoid being jailed for failure to pay alimony. ... So in 1909 Russell and his entourage ... purchased Beecher's 1868 Plymouth Church; he bought Beecher's four-story brownstone parsonage on Columbia Heights as well.
"(Fifteen years ago a nonagenarian Brooklyn Heights doctor, who had come to hear me lecture at the Montauk Club, told me that when he was a young practicing physician, Russell ... presented himself to him with syphilis. ...)
"At 124 Columbia Heights ... Sometimes one of the other girls visited me, and the conversation we had seemed charged and odd, I didn't understand why it made me uneasy: Brooke sat on a twin bed while I was making its mate and told me how women in jails played "boy and girl," husband and wife. ... One day I found in a waste-disposal room a whole cache of pornographic magazines and books on the third floor, where Bethel women and girls lived. ... Once in a while one of the "brothers" who worked in the offices would come and massage my back ... my skin felt like electricity. ...
"After several years of housekeeping at Bethel, I was reassigned by the President (Knorr) of the WatchTower Society to the proofreading department - a transfer, he let on (with some satisfaction), that was densely dangerous to my salvation, as, if I didn't watch it, I might begin to think I was equal to the men in the department ... "
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JW BOOKSTORE -- PAGE 19