Andersonsinfo question: Who wrote them?

by TheOldHippie 77 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Narkissos


    Sorry for the repetition, a valid search function is sorely missing. Otoh it's always interesting to see how a "true" story evolves in the retelling. What you caught was probably the first one (I hardly ever thought about that episode before I found myself on an exJW board), and I did recollect a few details since, especially when I did find the Watchtower issue again on the CD-Rom (but unfortunately didn't take not of it, and can't search it now! It was a study article from late 84 or early 85, with "organization" in the title).

    The "discharge" was specifically from the Watchtower magazine indeed. I was summoned before the Branch Committee which had suddenly found out that my French "style" was too literary and not "literal" enough for the Watchtower (I had been translating it for several years). So I was assigned to Awake! and continued on the Aid book with whatever time was left. Even when I resigned from Bethel about 6 months later, I was asked to stay until the end of 85 (I actually left on December 15) because they needed it.

  • AndersonsInfo

    Room 215: For the most part the Aid book lives on in the form of the Insight volumes, but with those beautiful special color features added. Inasmuch as disagreement with Ray's interpretation of some major beliefs became the issue for his removal, his research on these topics as found in Aid was revised. Example: topic, "Chronology." This subject was I think the main bone of contention. The discussions related to Assyria and Babylon were changed. Some other pages on this topic containing Ray's research were completely deleted. Sub-topic, Ptolemy's Canon, I think was removed. There were some revisions to "Kingdom of God" and another important topic which I can't think of at this moment. It might be related to the Creative Days, but I'm just not sure without research and I just don't have the time for it. I bet the information is somewhere on the web.

  • Narkissos

    Additional thought: if anyone has the separate volumes of the Aid book in French (Auxiliaire pour une meilleure intelligence de la Bible) published in the early 80s (I didn't keep any of them unfortunately), they are a direct witness to the corrections made immediately after Ray Franz's leave, and prior to the new developments which resulted in the Insight book (a "missing link" in English literature).

  • slimboyfat

    Well I know my wife's Oma has the separate Aid volumes in German, about seven in total. I wonder where they fit into the various revisions. I think I'll pass on the mischievous temptation to reveal she may be in possession of something called a "missing link" though.

    I remembered reading your story a couple of times before. But I found that instance using advanced google search.

    I put into the domain slot and "FWF" into the search and these are the results:

    I think it's a pretty good search facility if you want to try to track something down on this site. The other time(s) you mentioned the story you probably did not use the FWF abbreviation or else it would have appeared in the search results too.

  • donuthole


    I really find what you have presented in the various threads to be rather fascinating. I had questions that I would appreciate your thoughts on.

    In your Bethel and Writing Dept. experience, how would you characterize how "new light" was developed and presented? Did this come exclusively from Governing Body members and "anointed" ones? Did this come as the result of Bible study or more as response to theological or organizational problems that developed over time? How comfortable would an average member of the Writing Dept have in presenting what they thought might be "new light"?

    Was anyone in the Writing Dept. engaged in what the Society might characterize as "independent study", that is studying or reading the Bible outside the Organizational framework? Ray Franz comments that Bethel had a fully stocked library of various Bible commentaries, during your time in the Writing Dept. did you observe these were used much? Equally, how much would you characterize that the Watchtower indexes and other publications were used? For mere speculation, if the GB ordered that a commentary on the letters of Paul be developed for an upcoming District Convention, how would you guess that the Writing Dept. would write this book? Would they read the Bible and write down their thoughts? Would they consult "worldly" commentaries? Would they look up related passages in the Indexes and rewrite what the Society has published in the past?

    How were ideas for articles developed? In looking at the CD-ROM it appears that some articles and themes come in cycles, would you say that Writing dept tends to recycle old articles for new WT's?

    When you were in Writing Dept. could you give an estimate of staff size and then a rough guess of how many members were generational Witnesses verses those who came in from other religious backgrounds? How good would you consider the Writing Dept.'s knowledge of the Societies past teachings, such as those from the Rutherford-era or from Russell's Studies in the Scriptures? Was old literature ever read in research or study or did it tend to be more ornamental like in KH libraries?

    I believe Ray Franz relates that his uncle Fred Franz was seen as somewhat as an "oracle" and was the final word on matters of JW theology. I read that you suspect that Fred Franz may have ghostwritten some of Rutherford's books and WT articles. With the death of Fred Franz did you observe that anyone at Bethel stepped up to fill his shoes in these areas -- that is, as theologian and Bible scholar, and ultimate authority in matters of JW doctrine?

    Thanks very much,


  • AndersonsInfo

    Anthony (donuthole), I'll definitely answer your excellent questions, but give me some time as I have other things to finish first.


  • BonaFide

    Thank you Barbara for your extremely interesting comments on who actually wrote the Society's publications. It's strange to see names next to the titles.

    I remember brother Pevy, he came and gave a talk in Woodland Hills when I was a teenager, and then I saw him sometimes in Bethel, seemed like a low-key guy to me. He livened up a lot when a tour came from the Phillipines, he seemed pretty fluent in Tagalog.

    One thing I would like to say about being in Bethel is that there is a huge generation gap between those in the Writing and Service and Engineering Departments, and the rest of the Bethelites. Us younger dudes hardly sat in the dining rooms with the older bro's, we wanted to relax at the table at lunch. Most of my Bethelite friends avoided that dining room in the 30 building. It was way more fun in the Bossert, or even in 90 Sands.

    And in the car going to the meetings, we didn't like going too much with some of the older ones, they were too strict for us. At Watchtower Farms I rode with the B Building Home Overseer, Joel Vozzo. Nice guy I though, his wife talked a lot about how they have to "adjust" to Bethel even though they have been there for years.


  • donuthole


    Thank you. I know I asked quite a bit. I look forward to your responses.


  • daniel-p

    The only book that ever really spoke to me was Commentary on James. It came as no surprise to find out that the one who worked on that was Ray Franz, and that the book is discontinued and not looked at as a legitimate reference by the GB.

  • Quandary

    Dan P-

    Interestingly, last autumn my cong was host for the CA. During his Tuesday night talk the DO referenced "Commentary on James". I was totally shocked! It is also on the latest CD rom.


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