Ray Franz - is he REALLY a hero?

by baltar447 50 Replies latest jw friends

  • baltar447

    On one hand, he's enlightnened many to the internal circle jerk that is the Governing Body (circa the 70s).

    BUT If there's one reason that can be pointed to for the JWs becoming full on cult, it's Ray Franz. Without him leaving in the manner he did, and stirring the pot, they might not have change the rule (retroatively I might add) on shunning of Disassociated ones. They specifically changed that so they could remove him and eliminate his influence.

    His actions single handedly have created the situation where we have to fade, evade, leave marriages, say goodbye to family, just because we don't buy the JW bullsh!t anymore.

    I don't know what he could have done differently, and YES, his inside info has helped many to leave, but BECAUSE of him the cost is very high.

  • LostGeneration

    They would have changed the rule on DAing anyway. Time WAS and IS the enemy of the false prophet. As time marched on and their prophecies failed, more would have DAd. The WT would have been forced to change the rule anyway, can't have smart people who left the cult talking to those still in and helping them realize they are being duped.

    And, he wasn't breaking the 'rules' at the time either! Can't fault him one bit for living his life, its always the WT that F's things up...

  • Paralipomenon

    I appreciate his contribution, but in the end he was just a man.

    My personal take is that he was neither good or bad. One one side he did leave and his books have helped expose the Governing Body in a way that would be impossible for anyone else.

    On the other hand, you don't get to be a member of the Governing Body by being a all-around nice guy. There are a lot of politics, back stabbing and palm greasing. Based on his own account the only reason he wrote the books was that they didn't honor their deal to leave him alone. Had they followed through, I don't doubt he would have lived out his days as a JW.

    Nobody is perfect, he has his strengths and flaws just like anyone else. I do however wonder about how his actions while a GB member influenced the WT's longevity. He was the one tha pushed for ultimate control to be removed from the position of President and given to the Governing Body. That created a quagmire where effecting real change is next to impossible, on the other hand, a future president might have been completely loony and sent the tower to an earlier grave.

    End of the day, his actions had a major impact on the Watchtoewr and Witnesses alike.

  • Fernando

    At the end of the day he found, accepted, pursued and promoted the "gospel of grace" and exposed its opposite namely legalism (and moralism) as apostasy.

    This is something anyone can do, and many exJWs have.

    How many?

    Possibly millions.

    The difference?

    In the end not too much really.

    He was human and likely went through many of the same process and phases millions of exJWs do: questions, research, doubt, uncertainty, shock, fear, horror, loss of identity, consolidation, peace and so on.

    True, Ray rose much higher and had more to lose than most of us by way of credibility, status, authority and power.

    He was also very good at explaining, and writing, at length and in great detail.

  • Phizzy

    I don't think that Ray can be blamed much for the hardening attitude of the G.B around the time of his leaving. I think that they were already aware that they had a major problem from the 1975 debacle and were aware that many JW's were taking a hard look at doctrine etc

    The GB of the time had two choices, be honest, like other cults have been since, and those cults lost many members, or they could tighten their control as most cults have done.

    The GB went for that route, and control has been tightening ever since.

    Ray was an honest, humble lovely man, he really did not fit in to what the Watchtower Cult was becoming.

  • pbrow

    I dont think you can blame cult like actions from a cult on a former member of the cult. The were already a full on cult and they proved themselves by doing everything they could to shut up one of their own high ranking members. The scientologists did the exact same thing with Mike Rinder. You cant blame Rinder for waking up and you cant blame Franz for waking up either.

    Rays actions were simply Ray being true to himself. The cult simply acted like any cult would. Thats what cults do. If I can help one person see the organization for what it is I am a happy man. Ray has helped tens of thousands, maybe even a million.

    I thank Ray for helping to open my eyes to this cult and showing me that personal freedom is infintely more important than tip toeing around an ideal so that I can keep a few "friends" or "family" members.


  • snare&racket

    I can't help but think that anyone that becomes a GB member has to turn a blind eye to serious wrongdoing at the top. He of course admitted as much in bis book. He ignored much for a long time, watched people suffer for a long time. He even had a hand to play in rules he knew hurt people.

    We have to remember Franz was 'anointed', he claimed god had personally communicsted to him that he was special, that he was going to heaven.

    This I can never respect.

    But I will always stand for someone who puts their conscience above all else. He gave it all up, became an enemy to the whole organisation, because he eventually had let to much go, he could not pretend, could not lie anymore. He stood by what he felt was true.

    This I do respect.

    It is a difficult question you ask. He had a part to play in me leaving, but being an atheist, I believe there was no god to tell him he was special or anointed.

    So I am left with just another religious man who tells untruths.

    Tough question.

  • designs

    Ray and Ed and several other central figures were the spark that set the fires in Wt.land after the failed 1975 fiasco. It was a powder keg ready to go off. The 1980s witch hunts showed the true character of the leaders.

    We all needed to see that happen in all its ugliness.

  • tim hooper
    tim hooper

    As I understand it, when the WT temporarily softened their stance on DF'ing back in the 70's, the article came from Ray. Here's the relevant part:

    WT 8-1-74:

    9 What, then, if a congregation elder were to meet up with a person who had been disfellowshiped, perhaps in the elder’s daily routine, on the street, in his secular work or similar activity? Would the elder be acting out of harmony with the congregation’s disfellowshiping action if he spoke to this one, urging him or her to ‘turn around’ and seek reconciliation again with his heavenly Father? Circumstances would govern. Of course, if the disfellowshiped one were following a course like those false teachers and propagandists described at 2 John 7-11, deliberately trying to influence others into false beliefs or immoral practices, the elder would want nothing to do with such a one. But not all who slip into a sinful way become ‘deceivers and antichrists.’ So, if that one is not of that class, would not Jehovah God’s own example allow for the elder to speak words exhorting the disfellowshiped one to seek to regain a good standing with God? Rather than being out of harmony with the disfellowshiping, by his words of exhortation the elder actually would show his support of such disfellowshiping action as having been right and needed.

    10 We may note, too, that at 1 Corinthians 5:11 the apostle warns against mixing in company with one who “is” a fornicator or practicer of some other kind of serious wrongdoing. What, however, of the one who has been disfellowshiped for being that kind of person but who thereafter, either at an early point or at a later point in time, gives consistent evidence of discontinuing such wrong practice, stopping it? Can it be said that he or she still “is” a fornicator or whatever type of wrongdoer such a one was that caused him or her to be as “leaven” toward the congregation?

    11 For example, a young person disfellowshiped for fornication may thereafter marry, raise a family and live a respectable life. Or one who was disfellowshiped for drunkenness may abandon such practice and, if drinking at all, may do so in moderation only. By such changes these individuals may now regain the respect of the community. Such ones may not yet have come and formally sought reinstatement by the congregation. Is there, however, not an evident difference between these and others who continue right on in the wrongdoing that brought their disfellowshiping? Those giving up the wrong practice may still manifest some appreciation for Christian truth, perhaps even defending the true Christian congregation when someone speaks evil against it. Should not such circumstances be given due weight and have an effect on our attitude as a congregation toward such ones?

  • Pistoff

    " Is there, however, not an evident difference between these and others who continue right on in the wrongdoing that brought their disfellowshiping? Those giving up the wrong practice may still manifest some appreciation for Christian truth, perhaps even defending the true Christian congregation when someone speaks evil against it. Should not such circumstances be given due weight and have an effect on our attitude as a congregation toward such ones?"

    The current WT never makes this distinction; all df'd are the same, whether it be the 17 year old who got felt up and didn't give the full details the first time around, or the 55 year old peeping tom who finally got caught: One size fits all, they are df'd, you are disloyal if you talk to them.

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