A View From Inside the Watchtower, Continued: Apocalypse Not


“Orthocath” continues his story of life as a “Bethelite” in 1970s Brooklyn Heights here. In this installment, he tells of the passing of the fateful prediction for 1975, as well as of the acquisition of the Towers Hotel and the digging of a tunnel.

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  • nelson

    Oh Please…..As an atheist, I find this laughable in the extreme!

  • http://www.alternet.com Wake-up

    It’s very unfortunate that a cult chose a middle-class neighborhood to be it’s home base.

  • Ben

    A sidelight on the tunnel construction between the Towers Hotel and the Watchtower’s complex on Columbia Heights that might be of interest to Heights readers. In 1976, the construction foreman for the Towers remodeling project, Max Larsen, spoke to Bethel family members at Watchtower Farms about the tunnel construction. The tunnel connected 107 and 124 Columbia Heights, going under 119 Columbia Heights and under 86 Willow and then under Willow St. to the Towers building. As the crew (they used Witness volunteer workers) went under Willow they broached an old abandoned tunnel (apparently running along Willow St.). They had no idea what it was and construction stalled for a bit as they examined this ancient tunnel that went on and on. Fearing delays in construction if historical preservationists got wind of this discovery, the breach was quickly sealed and construction of the Watchtower’s tunnel to the Towers was completed. It is unknown what this other ancient tunnel actually was. I’d be curious if any readers here may know what it might have been?

  • nabeguy

    Underground railroad? I’ve heard stories that many Heights families were involved in harboring escaped slaves.

  • http://www.alternet.com Wake-up

    Yes, Henry Ward Beecher of the nearby Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims is said to have been involved in freeing slaves and an underground railroad.

  • the where

    there are no tunnels in the underground railroad.

  • John Wentling

    There’s a tunnel under the Plymouth Church that leads to the waterfront, which was used to transport and hide slaves.

    Exploring subterranean BH was one of the highlights of my youth.

  • http://loureads.com Lou

    Imagine if people who actually spent money in this neighborhood lived in those buildings… Are they ever moving out? I know they are selling some properties here and there…

  • hoppy

    I think the ancient tunnel is a secret portal into the mind of Paul Giamatti.

  • Andrew Porter

    The Witness guy who was in charge of the Towers renovation lived in my building for several years, and apparently the building was in really bad shape when they bought it. If they’d known how bad, they might not have purchased it. According to what I was told, there were areas in the fire stairs where the holes in the walls were so big you could stand on the stairs and put your hand outside the building. Also, all the structural steel had to be replaced, as it was rusted through in many places.

    At the time the Witnesses bought the Towers, they made an offer on the St. George Tower, but were turned down by the owners, the Drizzins.

    At one time I saw a tunnel under Pineapple Street sloping down toward the docks; don’t know how far it extended, nor if it’s still there.