Attending My Father’s Funeral

When my father was diagnosed with cancer and it was clear he would die, I greatly feared having to attend his funeral. I knew what to expect from the discourse and how irritated it would make me. Even more difficult would be the shunning I would receive. I would be going back to the congregation I was raised in, but this time I would be considered “a notorious apostate.” I had read many experiences about the mistreatment of former Witnesses at funerals and how they were shunned or excluded from the proceedings.

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My Father’s Letter

My wife came through the sliding doors carrying a letter in her hand. “This just came for you. Looks like it’s from your father. It’s marked ‘Personal.’ I wonder why he would send you a letter like that?”

She was right. Dad never wrote letters to me or anyone. Mom did. He rarely called me on the phone. Mom did. This was totally out of character for him. Holding the envelope in my hand, my first thoughts were that maybe my mother was ill, or that Dad needed money, or he was trying to tell me something he found very uncomfortable discussing (like he was when he told me about “the birds and bees”). So I took a deep breath and opened the envelope…

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Brother Knorr, I’m leaving Bethel!

So, young Jehovah’s Witnesses, do you think in order to serve Jehovah that your best move is to volunteer for service at the Brooklyn Bethel or in Patterson, New York? Most young JWs think so and many do apply for Bethel service.

But is Bethel the “holy headquarters” of Jehovah’s Witnesses? What’s it really like to rub elbows with officers of the Watchtower Society and the Governing Body? Dick Kelly describes his brief time as a Bethel volunteer and his face-to-face encounter with the Society’s then president, Nathan H. Knorr. Dick will assure you that he’s not alone in what he saw and experienced while he was there. His take on life at Bethel will expose facts about what really went on that may shock readers who think that serving there is really about being surrounded by and working with “loving” and “spiritual” brothers and sisters.

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Hard Knocks

It happened over sixty years ago. And still, I hear those booming knocks at my front door. They weren’t ordinary knocks, as they set in motion a series of events that dramatically altered the rest of my life.

Before taking my afternoon naps, Mama would read a story from my favorite comic book. Her animated delivery of Little Lulu’s adventures, finagling her way into the boys-only club or Lulu’s imaginary tales of Old Witch Hazel was the best part of my nap time routine. On one particular day, I was awake in bed for a long time, thinking about Lulu and how she had out foxed Tubby and Iggy into getting them to admit her into their exclusive club.

I had just fallen asleep when I heard a hard “knock, knock, knock” at the front door. Knocks so loud, I heard them clearly from the far back bedroom of our newly built bungalow-style home in West Los Angeles. It was November 1947,

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