Fund Raising Slave Gangs
This is the Grizzly again, reminding ex-WCG members....remember those " Fund Raising " activities?
For those who don't know, even though Pasadena had millions of dollars in capital, if a local congregation needed money, they called on....who else?... Us lay-members to participate in evening work that paid a salary, which we turned ALL of over to the ministry for the local coffers.
The big one in our church area was the dreaded "Inventory" at the May D&F haberdashery chain of stores. It may seem odd to any folks under 40 years old reading this, but there was a time when people, not computers, did a once a year stock inventory at retail outlets.
Our local church would " volunteer " us to work for $ 5.00 an hour at inventory ( which was actually working FREE since the money automatically went to the church, we never saw a cent of it ).
So after a grueling day at our regular jobs, we had the pleasure for a full week of driving right to the store, starting at 6:00 P.M., and working 'till midnight or one o' clock. And every year before inventory week, the Pastor would remind us how "God will be watching your attitude and performance as you work, you are submitting to God's government by doing this service for us."
The worst here in Denver, though was " Woodcutting at Mrs. _________ 's property ". There was an elderly lady who owned property up in the Colorado Rockies near the town of Evergreen. The local church would sell firewood at such and such price per " cord " of wood, and bring mega-bucks into the coffer.
Who cut and loaded the lumber? Us working men of WCG, of course! Sunday, 4:45 A.M. a line of cars with bleary-eyed men leaving their families at home during a WCG man's only free day, Sunday, would be pulling onto Mrs. _________ 's property to get a start at dawn. Pastor rank ministers would of course be on hand to ramrod the workers, and to sniff for the slightest evidence of a "bad attitude".
We were broken into groups for the work, some cutting, some pulling the logs to the trimming area (since I'm a Grizzly, I always was put in pull-gang with other poor saps who were brawny like me), some trimming the logs into firewood size, and some loading onto trucks.
Start at 5:00 A.M., work non-stop till noon, one hour for lunch, and then back to it until DARK! Anyone leaving before dark was duly noted, and received a lecture about "Satan's way of GET," which anyone wanting to be with their loved ones on wood cutting Sundays was surely guilty of!
I know this next item seems bizarre but one Sunday morning I was stopped at a traffic light at 6th Avenue West, which a route to the mountains branches into. I was heading back home after helping a friend with some yard work or something.
Anyway, a man GETS OUT of the car ahead of me and approaches. It was one of the prominent deacons in the church area. He comes right to the window, and says "Follow me, Rick, I'm just heading up to the wood-cutting." I said " sorry, ___________, but I'm going back home to eat and rest, got a big day at work tomorrow ".
The man's jaw dropped! Suddenly car horns blared, and he had to run back and get in his car, as the light had changed. He roars off in smoking tires, and for the longest time after that this man would TOTALLY ignore me at services or anywhere else.
Back with more stories later, the Grizzly
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