Watchtower publications often encouraged new readers to keep their minds open and ask the Witnesses firsthand about any questions they might have rather than seeking answers from secondhand sources. Ask us, don't ask others because you will never know how reliable their answers are.
Fair enough, I suppose. It's just so hypocritical then for the same publications to vilify others and not encourage readers to ask those "others" firsthand.
Over time, this double standard has grown in proportion to ruling out any permissible discussion beyond what is officially printed in the publications.
Regarding silentlambs allegations that Ray Franz tried to minimize the extent of child abuse reported to Head Quarters, he did not. He simply answered callers questions about what he himself knew from his time at Head Quarters. He was upfront about what he had contributed by way of writings to the organization, was candid about his own conscience in having been a part of the "voice" of the organization and genuinely believed that the level of reported child abuse in the organization was probably no different from any other religious organization. Remember he left in the early 1980s - awareness of child abuse within religious organizations has grown exponentially since then. This is not to excuse his refusal to align himself with silentlambs. Ray was reluctant to align himself with many ex-witnesses, especially if they were part of a movement against the organization. His decision should have been respected. He was not trying to hide anything nor keeping quiet because he was the author of the 2 witness rule -which is utter rubbish.
silentlambs went down significantly in my estimation when it began to formally - and with dubious intention - publicize its haught "concerns" about Ray Franz and their hubristic expectations that he not answer callers questions if his answers disagreed with silentlambs views. Upon pain of what? More mudslinging?
Fact is, if you're "famous" enough, everypne will want a piece of your arse; and if you decline their overtures, they'll perceive you as an obstructive and questionable individual.
For God's sake, at the time silentlambs started pressuring him, he was already in his late 70s! It is to Ray's credit that he never once retaliated in print or tried to defend himself against their subtle mud-slinging posturing.