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

by AllTimeJeff 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • John Doe
    John Doe

    I've refrained from commenting on Ray Franz. Yes, I enjoyed his book and appreciated his experiences, but I think he would not be comfortable with people making a big deal about him. As such, I am making a conscious choice to honor what I believe his wishes to be.

    I wish his wife and family peace.

  • JeffT

    I was already in the middle of the mental process of leaving the Watctower in the spring of 1988 when I first picked up CoC. It was a remarkable aid to focusing my mind on the faults of the WTBS and why I needed to leave it. I think Ray did a tremendous service in shining some light into the dark corners of a world few people even visit, let alone understand. For that I honor him, and I respect his courage in standing up for what he believed to be the right thing.

    But follow him? I never thought that he was trying to lead anybody anywhere.

  • etna

    I was out of the religon when I read his 2 books and I wrote to him and he kindly replied. I thought, back in the 80's that he must have done some terrible things to leave the organization. Thankfully I realise that he was just a humble, decent christian (in the real sense of the word). I am saddened about his death and his books will be a reference for me forever.


  • ziddina

    Thank goodness! I found this thread again!!! Thanks for posting this, Jeff!! [marking for future reference...]

  • JimmyPage

    Before reading Ray's books I still had some fear in the back of my mind that maybe the Watchtower really was God's organization. It was necessary for Franz to loose that hold on me by deconstructing WT doctrine subject by subject. The chapter on the history of the borg's false expectations was the key one for me personally.

    Reading those books freed me to consider the Bible from a more traditional Christian standpoint. For a while, like Ray, I felt it was necessary to focus my life more on Jesus Christ.

    Examining the Bible honestly without WT glasses, however, made me ultimately realize that the "Good Book" was just another religious mythology.

    Even though reading Ray's books often made me angry at the WT, I never felt like Ray himself was anything but a humble and loving person. His books are indispensable for me.

  • ziddina

    (tugging the thread slightly off-topic for a second; I'll put it back when I'm done...)

    As Drew Sagan said, "Outside of this basic controversy, however, I feel that there is a need for more research about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Research geared towards developing a theoretical understanding of the movement (through the disciplines such as the sociology of religion, millenarianism, etc.), rather than weighing the claims of the organizations leadership would probably reveal some interesting things about the impacts new religious movements like JWs are having on society. Research about Jehovah's Witnesses is very different from research aiming to validate or discredit a religions claims. I believe that more of the former is needed, and that there is already enough of the latter to go around...."

    I agree completely. I would like to add research in the fields of psychology/psychiatry to the list; the information presented in the very few studies that have been done on the mental health of Jehovah's Witnesses has shown some tantalizing indications of increased depression, schizophrenia, and suicide among them. I would especially like to see more studies done to determine whether there is a significant connection between being a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia...

    But to speak of Ray Franz...

    Even though I discovered, very early in my existence as a JW child, that I had problems with the veracity and logic of believing that the god of the bible was the original, supreme deity over the planet...

    Reading Ray Franz' book, "Crisis of Conscience", was an eye-opener, not only for the things which he revealed, but for the manner in which he revealed them. As others have stated, he was not bitter, not vindictive, not angry, not ferocious - which actually disappointed me a bit...

    But his calm, slightly sad way of describing the inner workings of the WTBTS was far more effective than any virulent attacks... He had a valid basis for such attacks, but he refrained from doing so...

    He was a far better person than I could have been under such circumstances...

    I do miss him, even tho I never had the chance to email him, meet him, or talk to him...


  • hamsterbait

    Raymond Victor Franz had the courage to stand up and say "NO!!"

    He did what he HAD to do. Thats why his book is a crisis of conscience.

    I suspect that more and more of the younger inmates of the borg are seeing how much of the power and control is based on fear.

    His second book in search of christian freedom addressed this issue too.

    His efforts were never in vain.

    He confirmed the fears I had. Like Mrs Jones says. he helped me to see i was not evil alone or mad.

    If he is taking the Big Sleep, he is at rest. If integrity gets a reward in the hereafter, surely he will be having a very happy psrty right now.


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