... I'm usually one who responds to topics that interest me. Yesterday, I wanted to respond to certain posts, but needed to step back and wait until things became more clear to me. I didn't use an attention grabbing subject line for this post [e.g., something referring to Raymond Franz, Bill Bowen, Silentlambs] since my purpose was basically to express my feelings, whether or not anyone wanted to read them or respond to them.
I watched with bewilderment the recent accusations flung against Raymond Franz and the comments made by some supporting the accusations both here and on the yahoogroups email list. Deep within my "gut" I felt there was something wrong about the accusations. I couldn't find the support for them in what was presented by some in print. Since leaving the JWs I pay attention to my "inner voice". If something bothers me, I do not hold on to it with hope that my inner feelings are wrong. I spent far too many years in the JWs hoping that my inner voice was wrong. My inner voice said something was seriously wrong with this attack on Raymond.
I have never communicated with Raymond. In fact, I suspect he wouldn't approve of me since I am a gay man and I understand he is basically a conservative Christian. Yet, it was his fully documented books written without hate or an "axe to grind" that removed the "scales from my eyes" regarding the Organization. His books made it easy for me to disassociate without lingering fears that I was leaving "God's Organization on Earth".
I was one of the 125 that gladly marched with Silentlambs on September 27, 2002. When I heard of the planned march in the UK, I was seriously considering going. However, now with this recent sudden attack on Raymond and the subsequent apology [at least that was one good thing about this recent tirade of trashings], my confidence in the group is seriously shaken. It reminds me of "Dallas" with Bobby's death being only a dream --- "Ray's bad/Ray's good". Now, I don't know if any statement made on behalf of the Silentlambs is factual or a sudden brain fart which just smells up the place. The flip-flop of "bad Ray/good Ray" reminds me of the JW "tacking" logic of "new light", which basically is a series of 180 degree reversals of viewpoint repeated ad nauseum. Again, I believe the apology, while doing a "flip-flop", is good and welcomed. But, when will the next "flip-flop" occur?
I do support the principle of bringing out the dark secrets of the JW hierarchy to public view. I am sympathetic with those who've been the subject of child abuse as I know of one young woman personally who was sexually abused and of another who was physically abused within their respective congregations. But, I can only align myself with a group that conducts itself in a dignified manner. This recent outburst was not dignified.
Regretfully, I am going to pull away from the efforts of Silentlambs at bringing to light the JWs heinous crimes of repeatedly hiding child abuse. Anyway, they won't miss me that much as I've only done a few email postings on Yahoo Groups and attended tha march. It's also not that I am supporting the JWs, far from it. Rather, I inwardly now question supposed child abuse "facts" that are presented. The JWs have made an art of presenting "facts" to prove their various stances. However, the "facts" are often out of context or from authors of dubious authority. As a result, the underlying discomfort level with this recent attack on Raymond now casts doubt in my mind regarding future pronouncements.
I hope that Silentlambs continues to be able to expose the wrongs of The Society. I hope that they are successful in getting those who are guilty brought to legal action. I also hope that future thoughts/views/feelings are more carefully weighed before printing them. Otherwise, other supporters might also "jump ship".
John W Wirtanen