The best ex-JW books - and what made them unique...

by cedars 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat

    Oh for a bit of light relief the ex-JW memoir I Was a Teenage Jehovah's Witness is hilarious. Especially the passage about the "evil slave" class.

  • Fernando

    Ray Franz was real good at compiling encyclopedias. This was his strength. He left a great legacy. Encyclopedias are invaluable sources of reference.

    Many have benefited from Ray articulating and explaining what they were seeing and feeling themselves but possibly struggling to verbalise. This has been tremendously therapeutic and validating to many. The world is a much better place for priceless books like his, and the courage and self-sacrifice behind them.

    However the message can certainly get lost in 400-700 odd pages of details, and we're potentially right back where we started.

    Ray really intimately understood the "gospel of grace" versus Pharisaic religious "legalism" but overwhelms his audience with so much detail that it seems few if any are able to really get it as in heart-to-heart.

    Ray I believe would turn in his grave if he could see how many he has helped leave the Watchtower versus how few he has helped find the real Jesus and the real message about him. I can just see him revising his message: "please don't leave the Watchtower until you have found Jesus!" In other words: "please really understand ISOCF first before reading COC".

    I'm a voracious reader. Unfortunately I personally really need to scan-read tens of thousands of books every month. The only way I can do this is if they are in an electronic library. Google is my very best friend, along with unbelievably the Watchtower library search engine. Together they have enabled me to compress 60,000 years of old style printed book research into just 6 years of electronic research.

    I am not able to commit to (the comparatively huge waste of time) reading 700 pages in one single book. I need the gist of it. A very accurate summary.

    If a picture paints a thousand words, so does a diagram, for me at least.

    Maybe someone might one day produce such a series of summaries of Ray's books: 1-page, 10-pages, 100-pages.

    Just my personal perspective, experience and ten cents worth...

  • GromitSK

    You scan-read tens of thousands of books a month?

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    A highly personalized biographical account, though out of print for some time, is Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's "Visions of Glory."

  • Fernando

    Hey GromitSK!

    Sorry, I haven't explained very well.

    I may be interested to learn what others have written on say for example "synoptic philosophy" or "synoptic philosophy of the highest order".

    Taking the example of "synoptic philosophy", if we ignore database indexing, Google will in theory, or effectively "read" several billion pages (which includes several million books or book reviews) searching for the word "synoptic" and record of the pages it has found it on. Then Google will repeat the process for the word "philosophy". Then Google will repeat the process and only return the pages where both words are found next to each other. Three passes through several billion pages. This is something no human could do in a single lifetime since there are only 2.2 billion seconds in 70 years. We could not even COUNT a billion pages in a lifetime, let alone READ through them even just once.

    In my research (synoptic philosophy and sociology of health, spirituality and religion) I am trying to pick up, connect and correlate as many major dots (points of light) as possible from the entire body of knowledge accessible via the internet. Thanks to powerful tools such as the internet and Google, an amazing picture is beginning to emerge across a space-time divide that was previously impossible to cross by manually reading printed books alone.

    I estimate that we are now able to effectively "read" 10,000 times faster than before the internet. We can see and embrace a much bigger picture much quicker than before. Consequently it is becoming more difficult for religionists such as the Watchtower to hold ordinary people captive with their inane propaganda and dogma.

  • GromitSK

    Ah! Thanks Fernando. I understand what you mean. I don't pretend to understand what you are trying to achieve. Thanks for explaining though.

  • Phizzy

    A book I read some years ago, which is available as a download if memory serves, is "Millions now living will never die" by Alan Rogerson.

    He and his family were JW's here in the U.K , doing parts on the Circuit Assemblies etc, he went to Uni and learned critical thinking skills, and left. He writes the book in a dispassionate way ,so it might well give you an idea of how you wish to present yours.

    I think he wrote it in the late fifties or early sixties, the JW's around my way used to steal it from libraries as it was seen as "dangerous".

  • transhuman68

    Some of these are good:

    'The Inside Story of Jehovah's Witnesses' is a good read.

  • James Brown
    James Brown

    I read 30 years a Watchtower Slave. I read it 30 years ago.

    It was probably a different organization back then. The information would be up to 60 years old.

    There has been lots of new light since then.

    I did read both of Franz's books "Crissis of Concience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom".

  • tornapart

    I found this an enjoyable online read...

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