A Responsible Discussion on Ray Franz's Role in the Lives of Former JW's

by AllTimeJeff 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    People who assume there are those who "follow Ray Franz" are often those who can't imagine life without following SOMEONE. They either STILL follow the GB/FDS/Borg or they follow some other religious CREED. What they don't seem to get is that Ray was all about FREEDOM and the value in NOT FOLLOWING ANY MAN or group of men; he was about finding YOUR OWN personal relationship with Christ. It is difficult for these folks to realize that most of those who respect Ray so much do it in large part precisely because HE DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE FOLLOWERS.

  • cyberjesus

    Ray Franz influenced the lives of most people who were in the organization after 1980. Even if they dont know it. Changes in procedure, the new light on how to treat DAs was I think influenced by his dealings with Peter Gregerson, and many articles of the WT and awake were out of fear of him and what he represented.

    Thanks to him I am out. Otherwise I would be right now reading my Watchtower magazine instead. I couldnt be more thankful. I wanted to visit him and asked him about it but I guess he was just to sick and too tired. I did write to him though.

    I dont think he had "followers" and anyone making such accusations is just out of ignorance. Nobody here is giving him anything other than respect to his life and what he represents.

    Sometimes people are just angry and look for any reason to direct it to others.

    We can only try to follow his example and let everybody we can know that the Jehovahs Witnesses religion is a hoax and a Mind Control Cult.

  • Lozhasleft

    I'm not making him an 'idol'... I dont want to worship him in any way at all...I just want to pay my respects to a man that wrote about the way he found things on the GB and sought to change them because it was all wrong....all credit to him...

    Loz x

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I was, inadvertantly, a follower of the Governing Body. I never intended that. I wanted to follow God's lead, and believed the GB had his ear.

    That said: I think it is easier to be a 'follower' than what we want to admit at times. We seem to retain a certain amount of 'herd mentality' left over from our evolution perhaps. And though I have never intended to 'follow' Ray Franz, it may be possible that part of my heart and brain did so for a time. After all, once I exited the Jw herd, it was probable, that I would look about for another herd to attach to, for protection. Additionally, in the months following exit from a high control religion, it is very difficult not to find someone, or something, to look to for leadership. Afterall, leaders/followers were all we had known for a lifetime.

    In my case, as I read CoC, I believe I did look past the writing, trying to determine if there was some particular religious 'herd' that Ray supported, or even one that he 'headed'. I came short of Raymond Franz becoming my idol, or even my leader, but there was a certain instinctive desire to find a direction that I thought he would approve, if he had known. It is only now, as I reflect, that I even realize this about that period of time.

    Raymond Franz was a hero. He was a sterling example of integrity to what he believed. He showed that it was possible to live a life outside the Jw herd, and to do so faithfully, and with determination that marks the power of human will. Ray had left. Ray had survived, even thrived on the outside. It was THAT example that spurred me on, telling me that I could also thrive after leaving.

    Ray proved to me what others have proven. Battered wives that strike out on their own and succeed. Rape victims that become survivors and community activists against criminal rape. Soldiers that cast aside pity for the opportunities open to them in spite of prothesis or wheelchairs or lack of sight. He imparted through his kind words Hope! That there was life after Jehovah's Witnesses had raped and plundered our minds. It was this hero that urged me forward, gave me the strength I needed to take back my life, spit in the eye of those who had stolen it in the first place.

    I don't idolize Ray. But I loved his courage. I learned how to be independent of "Jehovah's Organization" by his example.

    I once made arrangements with Ray to meet up in Florida at another xjw's home where he was visiting. Due to time and resource restrictions, I cancelled. I regret that. Perhaps in some ways though it is better that I didn't meet him in person [though I think I may have shaken his hand at a district convention once or twice]. He didn't want followers. I didn't want to be one. By meeting only over the internet, email and through his writings, was probably the best way for my advancement in the end.

    I am saddened by his passing. But honored to have crossed paths with him in this life.

    RIP Ray.



  • Finally-Free

    Throughout my life I noticed that people don't seem to give one another any credit for brains or decision making ability. It's always, "He's following so-and-so", "she's under so-and-so's influence". "The devil made him do it", "why are you listening to so-and-so", "so-and-so sucked him in", etc. People seem to be reluctant to put the responsibility for an action where it belongs. I left the JWs without anyone's prodding. My decision was mine alone.

    I'm not a follower, adherent, convert, or disciple of Ray or anyone else. Ray didn't knock on my door and shove his books down my throat. I made my own decision to research and leave the JWs, without any prompting from anyone. I appreciate the books that Ray Franz wrote. I didn't leave because of them; I didn't read them until after I DA'd, but it was nice to have some of my theories confirmed and to learn a few more things.

    I don't sense any "worshipful admiration" from anyone here. All I sense is the proper respect that is his due for his self sacrifice, work, and integrity.


  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    I left the JWs in 1973. I remember the name Franz. I remember there were 2 of them on the GB that was expanded in 1971. I remember Fred more.

    I have a cousin that was at Bethel between about 1975-1979. He knew Ray Franz. He thought very highly of him and respected him above others. I happened to be in Anderson, SC when the word went out that Ray Franz had been disfellowshipped. This is where all my JW relatives live and my cousin was now living there after returning from Bethel. My cousin came to the family home and told all of us what he had heard. He was very upset and shaken up by the news. I listened to him with interest.

    I remember when the book was published. I remember looking at it in a bookstore. I remember wishing that my father were still alive to read it. He needed that book. He wouldn't have felt so alone in his doubts and questions and realizations that he struggled with. My father had died in 1978. I wondered if my mother would ever read it. I felt triumphant in what I read. I hoped that the whole organization would soon crumble into the Hudson River.

    I only read the book in full 2 years ago after my mother's death. I am re-reading it now. I have great respect and admiration for Ray Franz and his book. But he is no leader of any group.

    I don't understand the anger of some. I'll pray for them.

    We can only try to follow his example and let everybody we can know that the Jehovahs Witnesses religion is a hoax and a Mind Control Cult.

    This is true. I'd like to do my part. I'm unsure how to do it.

  • flipper

    I appreciate deeply the information access to the inside REAL story about what happens inside the WT society walls which as a JW for 44 years - I never would have known about . He opened my eyes to the REAL truth of what was going on . Which enabled me to see the full picture. I thank Ray deeply for that. Although I didn't know him personally- from reading his books I certainly got an insight into his caring, sensitive, thoughtful and yet straightforward, honest , and a justice lover in him as a person.

    I've lost several close friends in death over the years who greatly inspired my life by the way they treated other people and the great example of human beings they were - it taught me life changing lessons which I've tried to implement in my own life in dealing with others in a positive way. I didn't " worship " these friends - but took the good life lessons they learned and put it into myself. I feel Ray had that effect inside me- though I never met him. I was honored to see him treat others with dignity and respect- even his detractors at the top of the WT society.

    I feel I somewhat came to know Ray through his writings- and IF we had met would have formed a good friendship. When people have touched our lives - the rest of our lives , even if they have died- we carry a little bit of them inside of us in our minds and heart - they never really left - the imprint stays within us. In a good way

  • Sapphy

    I could do a long and meaningful reply on exactly how Ray Franz' books helped me, but I think a simple tribute is best.

    He aided my mind to break free.

    My life is better because he lived.

  • restrangled

    I remember my father finding out about his book, ordering, and keeping it hidden as an elder.....Many years ago, before the internet. It changed my Father's world and mine later.

    I don't think Ray wound up being a big fan of these xjw sites. It wasn't his motive to discourage people still in or support the various extreme views.

    He wasn't bitter, he wasn't looking for justice. He was absolutely a god fearing soul and just wanted honesty.

    I am glad he didn't suffer too long. May he now have some peace.


  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    I can understand Ray not being a fan of these xJW web sites. But they have been a big help to me. You have to take what you need and leave the rest.

Share this