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Dear brothers and sisters:

My family and some friends will be in April in the NY area visiting our headquarters. Does anyone know if it is possible to visit the Mount Ebo video production facility? There is no way through jw.org. Any information will be welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Correct, A/V services (located at Mount Ebo, 7 KMs south of Patterson bethel) is not for touring.


Tours used to be grand things; in 2006 there were 2 tours just in Brooklyn, plus Jersey City Assembly Hall, plus Wallkill, plus Patterson. And small groups could even sleep at Patterson just by filling out a small form (like a hotel booking). Each was about 1.5 - 2.5 hours!


But those days are long gone. Now Bethels are being built in such a way that most of the touring is self-guided exhibits. A year before Brooklyn closed we got to tour it one last time, rather than the two separate 2-hours-long Bethel tours (around four hours total), it had been shortened to 45 min guided touring. This allows the Bethelites who remain (remember they shrunk the bethel families in size a couple years ago?) to spend less time away from their duties.


Even Warwick now offers almost entirely self-guided tours in the form of 3 exhibits. In addition, you can (from the basement level) walk outside into one of these 4 turnstile-like lines which form for the 15 min guided tour. This tour consists of walking about 15-20 feet, stopping, and then your "guide" shows you some plastic photo cards and tells you about the lake (visible from where you stand). After he/she shows you the pictures, you can ask him/her any questions, and then you walk a few feet back to the door. And that's the entire guided tour--the only guided tour at World HQ involves standing in one place for the entire 15 mins!


Basically, you really go for the exhibits- these are the props, audio recordings, and physical and digital displays, set up in rooms where you are directed from one to the next--and you are given 3 hours total to do not only all three of these but also the guided tour. They also give you a card which "grants you access" to each of these exhibits. You're not supposed to try and go back into any again after you've been through one. Although technically, once you come back through the gates in the lobby, you're no longer "tracked" for time; you can (but not necessarily encouraged) to loiter in the lobby where there is some seating. There's also a patio, accessed via a stair case located between the visitor parking garage and main doors, which is specifically for visitors to use for things such as eating lunch, taking a moment outside, recouping before or after your timeslot, etc.


Perhaps I'll make a map later.

Edited by Brandon
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