What I'm about to speak will not be popular among ex-JWs, even though this is board of "free speech". What I'm about to say, will no doubt be viewed quite irreverently by many here, who I say, have inadvertently created a sacred icon, perhaps, unknowingly. A sacred "icon" of their own making. But all I will speak, all of it, will be truth. Hard "truths" that some of us will not want to face. The stinging words will appear as the unholy desecration of an "symbol" of courage, who in actuality, is not. Some already know this. Others do not. However, the few that do know this, will get the point I am making and will understand what I'm trying to say, on this most Excellent Discussion Board of Simon's making..
THE RAYMOND V. FRANZ SAGA
Let's go back in the past, and look at the real facts here.
Now, when COJ sent his incredibly well researched, magnificently brilliant manuscripts (in my honest opinion) on August 1977 to Brooklyn Bethel, the powerfully revealing ones that R.V Franz himself said created such a stir among Bethel "Heavies" (Writing & Service Dept.), inadvertently they proved something not fully digested or comprehended up till then. Those "manuscripts" proved that JEHOVAH'S SPIRIT was not with "Bethel", and not with the WTS. But, Carl himself didn't fully realize this at that time. He didn't fully realize, or comprehend the "serious implications" and volatile "truths" borne forth in his "research". COJ was just trying to "effect change" in our viewpoint of what we taught as an organization. And that's it. And for those reasons, COJ wanted in the beginning, to STAY WITH THE ORGANIZATION, just like Bill Bowens. Yes, Bill Bowens has said many times, that after all is said and done, after the WTS corrected their child molestation problems, he simply wanted to stay with the JW Organization. And Carl said the same thing, even after sending the Treatise to Bethel. It was his hope (the same as B.B.) that the "brothers" would see the error of their way and humbly change.That was his sole purpose. That is all Carl wanted. He just wanted to cause REFORM, REFORM, REFORM, Change. The same as Bill Bowens. The same.
But as you recall, after COJ mailed in his Treatise, Albert S., Lyman S. and Dan. S. (the three "S" brothers) for instance knew exactly what his "findings" meant for the JW Organization, and knew exactly where this new information might lead. Yes, as members of the Governing Body, they knew full well, exactly what Carl's writings meant. But still, I don't think COJ himself, knew what the words on the paper, meant. But Bethel did. RV Franz knew what it meant. Especially after having written the "chronology" section in the "Aid Book". Essentially, unknowingly at that time, COJ was actually correcting RV Franz, in actuality. He was also correcting the "Governing Body" of JWs. A complete no-no. Something rarely if ever done by someone without "catching the ship...the disfellowship".
So, in 1977 everybody who was anybody, knew what this meant. RV Franz and the rest of the Governing Body, knew this Treatise, if it had gotten out among the brothers, would prove to be the ultimate "DEATH STROKE" of the JW Organization! The "Death Stroke" Treatise, is what it would have been called, if this "truth" Treatise should get out.
The WTS' "chronology" was wrong, and completely proven so by the lone man, CARL O. JONSSON, from Sweden! And that was a simple fact. Was Jehovah God correcting the entire JW Organization and its Governing Body, by way of this single man, COJ of Sweden? Hmmmmmm. Or, was it just positive proof that God really had nothing to do with JW's Organization, period.
A great dilemma for anyone who was exposed and properly understood what COJ had written.
If this "Treatise" could find its way to the masses, and they could properly comprehend and realize its importance to JW Doctrine, the Governing Body of JWs and all JWs worldwide, would be finished! It would be the end of the JW's organization visible credibility before others. It would also be a certain "death stroke" for any and all, thinking JWs. Then too, it would be a massive "mess" to try to explain any corrections of the 1914 teaching to the world at large, in field service, if the G.B. opted to make necessary changes in their "chronology" printed in their publications. So what should the "Society" do? Humbly change, accept correction? Or attack the messenger, malign his good name and finally murder him, which?
The Governing Body's decision would be, the solution they would predictably choose would be to "get rid" of this lone man, just as they said of Jesus. "Let one man die", for the good of the nation, they presumed. Let's keep the peace among the brotherhood. That would be their reason for doing this terrible thing in Jesus' day. And the same in our day. Let's "kill" COJ!
John 11:50 says,
"...you do not reason out that it is to your benefit for one man to die in behalf of the people and not for the whole nation to be destroyed."
Kill Jesus and save the nation. Doesn't that make sense?
So COJ has to go, but the JW organization will continue. It will continue with all of its lying chronology. But the nation continues.
This is how the Governing Body reasons. The Governing Body and the Sanhedrin of Jesus' day, were and are, the same in this respect. So COJ's influence must be contained. First try to "shut him up", and if that doesn't work, discredit him and finally kill him. ***That was a Governing Body Decision, WHILE RV Franz was on the Governing Body, *** although COJ was not officially disfellowshiped until 1982. Has this fact escaped our notice?
You want proof?
Case in point, this revealing statement from "The Gentile Times Reconsidered" (1986 edition) by Carl O. Jonsson:
"Early in August, 1978, Albert D. Schroeder, a member of the Governing Body, held a meeting in Europe with representatives from European Watchtower branch offices. At that meeting, he told the audience that there was a campaign going on both inside the movement and from outside to have the Society's 607 B.C.E. - 1914 C.E. chronology overthrown. The Society, however, had no intention of abandoning it, he stated."
He said the WTS had no intention of abandoning the "chronology". He spoke what the Governing Body had decided on the matter. He spoke this in 1978, one year after the Treatise of COJ had arrived at Bethel. So they had plenty of time to "study" it.
The publications continues:
"Three weeks later, on September 2, I was summoned to a hearing before two representatives of the Watchtower Society in Sweden. I was told that they had been COMMISSIONED BY THE SOCIETY'S BRANCH OFFICE to hold such a hearing because "the brothers" at the Brooklyn headquarters [where RV FRANZ lived] were deeply concerned about my treatise..."
The Governing Body was "deeply concerned about my treatise". What? The same Governing Body that RV Franz was on? You must be kidding! Now, how could such a statement be made, with the Governing Body NOT discussing the matter, I ask? Actually, everybody who was in the know, was talking about the Treatise through out the hallowed halls of Bethel. This was no secret. And this is a year later too, in 1978, after having plenty of time to "investigate" what the brother from Sweden was saying.
"...Partly as a result of this meeting, I resigned from my position as an elder in the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, explaining why in a lengthy letter to to my fellow elders. Soon it became widely known among my Witness brothers in different parts of Sweden that I had rejected the chronology of the Society. In the following months I and others who had questioned the Society's chronology began to be condemned privately as well as from the platforms of kingdom halls and at Witness assemblies or conventions. we were publicly defamed and characterized in the most negative terms as "rebellious," "presumptuous," "false prophets," "small prophets who work out their own little chronology," and "heretics." we were called "dangerous elements in the congregations," "evil slaves," "blasphemers," as well as "immoral, lawless ones." Privately, some of our Witness brothers, incuding a number of the Watchtower Society's travelling representatives, also intimated that we were "demon possessed," that we had "drenched the Society with criticism" and that we "should have been disfellowshipped long ago." These are just a few examples of the widespread defamation which has gone on ever since...In a letter to Albert Schroeder, dated December 6, 1978, I described the new turn of events, calling attention to the sad fact that although my treatise had been composed with the greatest thoughtfulness and sent to the Society in all sincerity, I had become the victim of backbiting, villification and character assassination... "-- See The Gentile Times Reconsidered (1986) pages 5, 6
Now, all of this happened in 1978, while RV Franz was a powerful member of the Governing Body. So all the while COJ was being barbequed, crucified by the "WTS", for teaching his wicked "little chronology", and the Governing Body on the rampage against him, where for God's sake was RV Franz, I ask you?
The facts reveal in August 1978, exactly one year after receiving "The Treatise" from COJ, the Governing Body's "official position" toward what Carl wrote, as revealed by Albert S , was what?
Total brutalization! Mindless slander. Smearing his reputation among the brothers. Malicious lying on him. Even though he pleaded, pleaded that what he wrote was in complete "sincerity" to help the JW brothers.
Now how are you going to get RV Franz "OFF THE HOOK", on the basis of that situation?
You can't. He was ON the Governing Body when all of this was going on. And he knew more about the false "chronology" than anyone else on the Governing Body at that time, since he had given the issues EXTENSIVE RESEARCH before hand. Perhaps, even more than the intellectually DISHONEST, incorrigibly dishonest, Fred Franz, his uncle. So he certainly "knew" the subject quite well. (Some say as early as 1969, RV Franz knew the 607 bce teaching was false!)
So, from my perspective, it doesn't matter if COJ "forgave" Raymond Franz or not for what happened in 1978. That's not my business. I'm only concerned with the facts. And the facts reveal RV Franz, as a member of the Governing Body of JWs, was a part of this "devastating situation" that permanently branded COJ of being an "apostate" against the Governing Body, and against ALL JWs worldwide. God is the witness, and that history of events cannot be erased by man, or the uninformed, misdirection of those who wish to glorify the ignominy of heartless men. I don't care how much you people (and COJ included) "like" RV Franz, since its not material nor relevant to God and Jesus Christ, from my perspective. Facts say RV Franz was a part of the persecution of COJ, period. And Ray will have to "live with the consequences" of his actions. Perhaps, his writing the 2 books was "his" way of clearing the slate. I don't know. If so, then fine. God is his final judge, not me and certainly not any on this discussion board.
But a fact is still a fact. We must not embellish our own unique "history" of events about the "glories of RV Franz", to make our point. We must just "call a spade a spade" and realistically face the facts as they have transpired in the past.
Fact: COJ's efforts, and NOT RV Franz's, proved something. COJ, the person, PROVED by his discoveries in his "Treatise" the truth that the Governing Body, and this worldwide organization, was truly not "spirit-motivated", "spirit-directed" at all. His "Treatise" proved the WTS was NOT the F&DS class and that there were no ANOINTED to be found among Jehovah's Witnesses, period. He proved that to me. And he proved it to countless other thinking individuals in numerous congregations of JWs worldwide.
COJ's writings PROVED that the Governing Body and 6 million JWs worldwide ARE NOT "spirit-motivated" and they are NOT a "spirit-directed" organization. That's a fact.
RV Franz must only admit in his 2 books, that if anything, for those 9 years he was a member of the Governing Body, the only thing he had accomplished ostensibly was to show for the most part, he was a PART of the "problem" in misleading people. He was a part of the problem, and NOT a part of the "solution". He was NOT a part of the "remedy" to correct the problem. His 2 books mainly show all of the "dirt" of the G.B. in running the organization. The pettiness of G.B. members and so on. And even that was "toned down" considerably in both of RV Franz's books. And I think for his sakes, thus understandably so.
Whereas, when we look back in the past, we must admit, COJ and Bill Bowens were a part of the "solution" to the problem. Even if JWs are not from God (and I still believe they are for "other" reasons), still these men accomplished much that they can be proud of before God and man. Yes, they helped me and countless others see the JW Organization, at this point and up to this point, is NOT "Spirit-Directed". And I and many others, needed to know this. And with that "knowledge," now, I need to find out why, these people are NOT "spirit-directed". They are either God abandoned, or He never was there in the first place. Either way, I need to know which is the correct answer. But at least I know the "real deal", because of Bill Bowen's work, his bravery, and his courage -- and Carl Jonnson's work, his bravery and courage. I know because of them, I say. Praise Jah for these brothers!
These "Jesus-like" men, wanted change, reform. They advocated "adjustment" and were unjustly VILLIFIED FOR IT. But, they stood their ground, against all odds, stood by themselves, and was "murdered", their reputation, their good name taken away, they were martyred like Jesus, for their stance.
You can never prove this to be true of the course RV Franz took, as revealed in his 2 books. Ray was an "escape" artist, trying his best to get the heck out of "Dodge City" before the real gun fight began. He was one who had the "knowledge" but did nothing with it.
So, in my mind when you say the name Raymond V. Franz even with all of his notoriety, you are saying one thing. But when you say COJ and BB, you are saying quite another, from a shall we say, "christian" point of view. From a Godly point of view.
Honestly, we have to admit when we look at the facts, there is no difference between the actual "works" of COJ and Bill Bowens. They both discovered flaw in JW organization policy and practice, doctrine. They were both brave men. Loyal to "truth" and "righteousness". And Jesus said we need to "seek first" both of those things. (Matt. 6:33)
History reveals Raymond V. Franz discovered serious flaws in the teaching of 1914 too. He discovered there was no historical support at all for the chronology teaching of 607. Still Ray went ahead and violated his conscience (thus the phrase "Crisis of Conscience, the title of his first book), and supercilliously wrote the "chronology" section in the "Aid Book", which mislead countless MILLIONS of JWs. That's the part he played in our spiritual growth. He, inadvertently crippled us. In 1971 when he and Reinhart L. and Edward D. finished the "Aid Book", Ray knew the brothers was wrong on their 1914 chronology, maybe as early as 1969. He had the facts then. But that's as far as it went. R.V. Franz heartlessly opted to do as sooooooooooo many JWs do when they see something wrong in the "organization" THAT THEY CAN'T EXPLAIN AWAY for some reason, they just "go along to get along". And thats what RV Franz did, back between the critical years of 1969-1971 when he finally completed his writing and findings of the "chronology" section of the "Aid Book" which misled many millions of innocent people who deserved better. Which meant, anyone from that time forward who opposed this faulty "chronology" would be summarily be invited to "catch the ship...the disfellowship".
But there is more for RV Franz. Back in August of 1977, six years after the "Aid book" was finished, back when COJ submitted his more extensive, clarifying information, Ray DEFINITELY knew the "chronology" section of the "Aid Book" was wrong by then. Now, all of sudden, RV Franz now has even more evidence, he has now the profound corroborating "evidence" COJ, in written form. And not only that, but RV Franz, by that time, a most prolific writer and outstanding member on the member of the Governing Body, now has the surprising support of both the entire Writing and Service Dept, all who read the "bombshell" treatise of Aug. 1977. The "bombshell", written by COJ, that Ray himself said, "created such a stir" within the hallowed walls of Bethel. Ray had that too to help him make a stand before the Governing Body, back in 1977. Did he do this?
So then, we must ask: where was RV FRANZ when Albert S. spoke his famous words in 1978 AGAINST COJ? Where was RV FRANZ then?
I don't doubt, these events and many others eventually led RV Franz to make his "decision" to leave the G.B. in March of 1980. I realize that. But, it would be close to another 3 years before any "action" on Ray's part. And his unique "solution" to the problem would simply be to quietly, leave Bethel, and quietly, find himself some "employment" where he could take care of HIMSELF and family, and that's it. No step, even at this time, to help the brothers, who are "left in the valley of danger" because of the treachery of the WTS. Yes, RV Franz had NO INTENTION, and that's no intention, to WRITE NO WONDERFUL BOOKS on the corruption of the G.B. at that time. And He admitted that himself. RV Franz wasn't thinking about helping nobody, while first in Gadsden, Ala. No, and even after that, as he stated in his books, he had NO such intentions at all of revealing the WTS corruption. If the G.B. would have left him alone, that would have been the end of it, and many of us, as the hapless "uninformed" would still be in the JW Organization, CALLING COJ an apostate!
So, unforeseen circumstances FORCED RV Franz to write his 2 wonderful books, and thus creating "Commentary Press", the publishing arm of many of the ex-JW books we now read today.
Because so far as RV Franz was concerned in 1980, if the WTS and G.B. would have left him alone, if he would have kept things quiet and on the "down low". No problem there.
Why? Because was still a baptized brother, still well-received and accepted as a "brother in good standing" who could have pioneered if he had wanted to, back in 1980. Remember, the G.B. offered him a "Special Pioneer" position (and his wife, complete with a little "check" you know) while he was among the brotherhood in Alabama. So then, everything that happened to Ray, was forced upon him too. When his "trouble" started came from things that he slipped and said while at Bethel. Also more trouble from eating a meal, with his disassociated "employer", the one who gives Ray money for work. They one who provided Ray with a "trailer" to live in. The one RV Franz was definitely LOYAL to P. Gregerson, in Gadsden, Ala. that's all I see in this man.
When we look at the facts, without all of this mythical embellishment of RV Franz's historic, triumphant leadership on the Governing Body between the years of 1971-1980, we do not see a "martyr", like BB or COJ, do we? Remember, if Raymond Franz had been as forthright and straightforward as E. Dunlap when confronted with their "transgressions" against the WTS, then, guess what -- Raymond V. Franz would have been DISFELLOWSHIPED WITH EDWARD DUNLAP! They would have "caught that ship" together. They would have went down together! Why didn't he stand with his faithful brother (E. Dunlap) and face the "consequences of hisr actions" and have their dual "executions" together. But the facts reveal he did no such thing, did he? Read his books and see. So, RV Franz, so UNLIKE brave, staunch E. Dunlap, Carl J., Bill B., simply valued staying in the organization of a more greater worth, and HYPOCRITICALLY keeping his "private beliefs" to himself (as many of you do on this discussion board) to be of greater importance, than in true Jesus-like-fashion standing for "principle", standing for "truth" and "righteousness" even if it means EXECUTION. Now many might not like that statement, but it is truth. And I say, all "evidence" found in RV Franz' own testimony of how the events transpired in 1980 at Brooklyn Bethel, all found in his books which eloquently tell the story. Case closed.
However, a much different story must be told, when history speaks about Bill Bowens, Edward Dunlap, Barbara Anderson, and Carl Olof Jonsson.
They all wanted change. They all invited the Governing Body to "review" their erroneous position and "do good" to their brothers in the faith, did they not? And they all fearlessly stood BEFORE the Governing Body, and advocated change. For that, all four (4) were all disfellowshiped, reputation maligned, and martyred for trying to HELP THE BROTHERS. They were "killed" for the cause of righteousness. Therefore, they were very "Jesus-like" in that they were both willing "martyrs" for the cause of right, in God's eyes. They gave the "fine public declaration" before Jesus and God Almighty. They were WICKEDLY sacrificed for the good of the "nation" as John 11:50 says. -- See also 1 Timothy 6:13.
As for RV Franz, at 80 years old, as he reflects upon his "legacy", he must remember, we all make our beds and have to lie in it one day. Inescapably, his "day" has come. He must remember, in good conscience when he accepted the RESPONSIBILITY to become a member of the Governing Body, he knew then he had better be prepared to live with the total consequences of his actions forever more. To be sure for any of us, to become a part of a policy-making body for an organization or group of people of more than 6 million, in which the critical decisions we reach could potentially have such devastating, catastrophic results to these same millions of people worldwide, is no small responsibility before God and man, is no small task to accept. Few will ever, have such a responsibility cast upon them. Few will ever has so much ACCCOUNTABILITY before God and man.
I will give RV Franz this, in 1980, perhaps he saw it was really time to "leave" Bethel and the Governing Body. I give Ray that. For that was a "good" decision on his part.
But, I give Bill Bowens, Carl O. Jonsson, Barbara Anderson, and the recently deceased Edward Dunlap, my award for true christian "bravery", down to their last drop of blood.
Edited by - bjc2012 on 25 October 2002 22:38:22