(Again, this is from my 1983 copyright date "Crisis of Conscience"... Just in case some of you have a copy that has a later copyright date...)
The next points that Ray Franz makes, are extremely significant... [still on page 96...]
"But these brothers were by no means alone, for the discussions themselves clearly demonstrated that by far the majority of the [Governing] Body had done little else than read the material written. The subject was often one that had originated and developed in the mind of the writer without consultation with the [Governing] Body, even though it represented some "new" understanding of Scripture, and often the writer had then worked up all his arguments and put the material in final form without having talked things over, tested his thinking, with even one other person."
O - Kaaaay, does anyone else see a MAJOR problem in this??? This situation makes me wonder what the hierarchical structure was within the "Writing Department" - whether certain writers were chosen based upon their way with words, their ability to generate large volumes of text, their ability to create intricate, difficult-to-understand interpretations of Scripture??? They certainly weren't chosen based upon some qualification gained from a thorough education gained at a fully-accredited theological school... No ability to read, write, and speak Aramaic, or Greek... And NO "peer-review" process??? That is the VANGUARD of scientific progress!!! That, and replicable results!!!
Anyway, Ray Franz brings out these points... "The argumentation was frequently complex, involved, of a kind that no superficial reading could ever allow for sufficient analysis to test its validity and determine if it was Scripturally solid or just a case of 'acrobatical logic', a skillful juggling of texts that made them say something other than what they really said. Those who had only read the material usually voted in favor; those who had done extra study and research were those most likely to raise serious questions. ..."
"Acrobatical logic"... I like that term... Frightening that those who hadn't really reviewed the material to any great length were blindly approving of it...!! The "Sheeple" mentality starts at the top...
Ray Franz goes on to state [page 97] : "A second reason for lack of real Bible discussion, follows obviously...from the preceding one. ...most of the [Governing] Body were actually not that well versed in the Scriptures..." (!!!!!!!) "In my own case, ...I had been on such a "treadmill" of activity that I found little time for truly serious study. But I think the matter goes deeper than that. I believe that the feeling prevailed that such study and research were really not all that essential, that the policies and teachings of the organization - developed over many decades - were a reliable guide in themselves, so that, whatever motion might be made in the [Governing] Body, as long as it conformed satisfactorily to such traditional policy or teaching, it must be all right. ..."
I think that in those three paragraphs, Ray Franz lays his finger on the essence of the Watchtower Society's tendency to "flip-flop" on many of their "official Theocratic" positions... It sounds like some loose cannon - or loose cannons - in the Writing Department, attempt to impress their superiors with some complicated, new "understanding". Said "new understanding" comes up for review before the Governing Body. If this "new understanding" can be shown to have been a valid belief at some point in the Watchtower Society's past, the "new understanding" becomes (Ta - DAAAAA!!!) "NOOOO LITE!!"
Sheeesh... That's all I can stomach, for now... Zid