Prompted by the thread started by Wha Happened (http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/scandals/179005/1/A-good-friend-of-mine-was-dfd-this-week), I thought I would introduce myself and tell my story.
I am Frank Kavelin. My wife Barbara and I were recently disfellowshipped for apostasy. Long before we became inactive, I was mentioned in one thread and was the subject of another thread. I was the elder who was quoted in the Los Angeles Times defending an article that appeared in the 1987 Watchtower dealing with doctor/patient privacy issues. (http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/beliefs/107603/1/A-Time-to-Speak-When-with-scans). I am also the brother who was seriously injured in the Santa Monica Farmers Market tragedy of 2002.
My parents became Witnesses in the early 1950s. My father, Al Kavelin, who had been a successful bandleader in the 1930s and 40s, was, by the 1950s, struggling to support his family. I have three sisters, so there were six of us altogether. One day, while my father was networking in Hollywood, he ran in to Henry Russell who had formerly headed up the music department at NBC, West Coast. My father asked Henry why he was no longer at NBC and Henry replied that he had a better job. It was hard to imagine that there could be a better job than the one Henry had, so my father’s curiosity moved him to inquire further. Henry’s answer was, “I’m working for Jehovah.” Although my father had a sense of where the conversation was going, he asked, “Who is Jehovah?” Henry knew my father was the son of a rabbi, and so chastised him for asking such a question. At this point, my father wanted to end the conversation and said, “We’ll have to talk about it some time.” Henry replied, “Alright, when?” Outmaneuvered, my father invited Henry for dinner the following Wednesday evening. Henry arrived at about 6:00 p.m., and after a marathon debate, left at approximately 6:00 a.m. the next morning. These all-night sessions continued for the better part of two years. Based on these discussions and my father’s independent research, he became convinced that what Henry was sharing was The Truth.
My father was baptized, and, close to a year later, so was my mother. News that a former bandleader and his wife who had formerly been a fashion model had become Witnesses spread in the Witness community. Bonnie Boyd Heath included my parents in her list of “Celebrity” Witnesses. Over the years, my parents’ generosity and hospitality earned them many Witness friends including a good number of the leadership, most especially Ted and Melita Jaracz. My father served as an elder for many years. He was quite visible in the Witness community because he conducted the orchestra at the large district conventions in Los Angeles. (Remember how much more of an event those occasions were before the Jaraczic “streamlining”?) My mother survived him by 23 years and was greatly loved and respected.