Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The JFJ Class System

When I entered the JFJ Branch, my Branch leader sat me down the first day, and explained to me "The Rules."

It was made clear to me that I no longer had rights and was the lowest of the lows in the Branch.

I was reduced to the status of scullery maid now.

I was expected to obey my trainer and others who were directed to supervise me without question.

I was not allowed to speak to the Branch leader directly -- I had to go through my trainer first. (I remember being discussed about while I was in the room like I was a dog.)

I was told to clean the bathrooms, wash the dishes, make coffee, and fetch.

Yes, within the Branch, the Branch leader was King, but he too, I observed was reduced to a low status in Executory.

Within JFJ, there were classes or castes. The vocational staff seemed to have more status than the administrative staff. Jews had more status than Gentiles. Volunteers didn't know it, but their status was lower than paid staff. Co-laborers seemed to know they were there to serve, but weren't on the same level as paid staff. Wives and families of Senior Staff did not mix with those below them.

At the top, of course, were those in leadership. They had it made. But, within leadership, there was also knowledge of who had more power. Of course, the Executive Director had total control and could on a whim take all the status someone had built up away with one blow.


Anonymous said...

No Lies in this one. I had the same kind of experience. I was forced to stay up until 3:00 AM or even later days on end, printing "pre-evangelism pamphlets" (aka: broadsides) on an archaic printing maching from the 1930's, which worked hardly ever and had to be readjusted constantly. And this was after a full days work in a week of normal 70+ hours of working.

I was told it was a 'test' of my loyalty to Jews for Jesus (told this by my branch leader).

A few days later I heard him on the phone with Brickner, the Executive Director, updating Brickner on my 'loyalty.' It was Brickner who had told the branch leader to treat me like that.

Anonymous said...

Don't imagine those in "leadership" had it made. I understand that status and security was very fragile. One branch leader I knew once called me in tears because his loyalty was being questioned by He Who Must Be Obeyed. How delightful. Maybe things are better now.

Anonymous said...

I was given the status of "Toilet Scrubber." If I didn't scrub those toilets clean and if they didn't sparkle, I was told to do it again and again until I got it right. Why do I have a vague memory of being told to get on my knees and scrub the bathroom and kitchen floors of the JFJ Branch office with a toothbrush?

Anonymous said...

Once a staffer attains the inner circle, he is now fully sold on the miltaristic culture. I'd say, "that's interesting" but actually, it is how things work in the world.

Once you've become cast in the image of Moishe, you are ready to "lead" in the proscribed JFJ fashion.

Anonymous said...

The previous comment said, "Once you've become cast in the image of Moishe, you are ready to 'lead' in the proscribed JFJ fashion." I wish it were "the proscribed fashion," for the term "proscribed" means stigmatized and disallowed. You meant "the prescribed fashion."

Happy to be your grammar police. Call me Grammar [or is it Gramma?]

Anonymous said...

I am wondering when someone is going to mention (I guess I am the one mentioning, so how about, expoud upon) Jews for Jesus' liberal use of the book , "Rules for Radicals"? Since so much of the culture of Jews for Jesus is based on the principles found in the book, it definitely was a major contributor to the Jews for Jesus class system.

Anonymous said...

Definitely Mark 10:35-45 turned on its head. Someone reported to me that at Fuller Seminary, where the senior missionaries were put through a JfJ designed program, that the issue of JfJ's policies being out of sync with what Jesus taught, and Brickner's response was something to the effect that Jesus didn't have to do the work that Jews for Jesus did, therefore his words didn't apply.
Not only would Jesus not understand the hard work of the organization, but pastors wouldn't understand either. Missionaries were discouraged from talking to their pastors about the abuse those missionaries suffered because the pastors didn't understand. Rosen went so far as to say that pastors are lazy, reinforcing the reasons why pastors wouldn't understand as well as playing to superiority of the missionary.

Anonymous said...

How does "Rules for Radicals" relate to the JFJ class system?

Anonymous said...

As a Gentile wife and JFJ vocational staff member, I was required to turn in a monthly "witnessing report." However, I noticed that the only ones that were ever published in the JFJ newsletter were those of the Jewish missionaries.