Bill Bowen's Comments on Ray Franz

by silentlambs 181 Replies latest jw friends

  • VeniceIT
    One thing you don't understand is that in large organizations much negative information is filtered out and never reaches the top.

    Then were did he get the information from his books?

    I'm not trying to attack Ray, but some of the things he has said have distrubed me and I'm not simply refering to the post he made. I'm also thinking of the 3 days in which we visited with him and Cynthia and discussed several issues. Ray also denied and claimed to have no knowledge of there being any 'homosexual' problems back at bethel at all. He would not discuss it further. It was very strange because just recently we'd heard stories from Reinhardt (sp?) in his own home tell us stories of what it was like to be a single brother in Bethel at that time. He even warned one young boy you seemed rather fragil to 'get out of here before you become someones boyfriend', the young brother did take his advice and leave bethel. Reinhardt and Ray were very close at Bethel, and it was a problem that many bethelites knew about. I knew of it when I was just a mere publisher. Also his good friend Peter Jacobson told me and several others personally of the converstaions he'd had with the branch overseers in the UK about Chitty when he was there, and how he had to have his own shower and couldn't shower with the other men. It was pretty comon knowledge in the bethel there, he asked them why the sent him to NY to be on the GB and they said well they're all anointed and they requested him, who are we to say anything.

    I've also talked personally to a couple that were in Greenleas cong before he went to bethel and they all knew of his 'tendencies' it was not hushed up nearly as much as I would think the abuse could have been and yet Ray didn't know anything about this either??? Then how did he know about any of the scandles he wrote about?

    Also he defend the so called 'two witness' policy in the Bible, saying that the WTS has twisted it. If it hurts people, especially children then it can't be right.


  • Makena1

    I really hesitated before jumping into this thread, and my next sentence is pure conjecture.

    Ven - (really nice meeting you and your mother last summer) - perhaps Ray hedged a bit on commenting regarding the sexual goings on at Bethel because he did not want to have what he said put in a public forum like this, or possibly be misquoted. An ex-JW version of the old "theocratic warfare"? JMO of course.

    Here is another angle - from the "demonizing" Ray has been given by the JW rank and file, would his coming out and offering any words of support for Silent Lambs helped or hurt the cause? Other than possibly supplying Bill Bowen some inside information that he still might have access to, I think if Ray came out in the press and thrown his support behind SL it may have caused some JW's sympathetic to SL to reconsider. Again, just a thought. I have not had a chance to catch up on all of this.

    Finally, where can I find the post that Ray Franz made?

    All best,


  • Joyzabel
  • waiting

    Hey Venice & Larc,

    As admitted to Amazing about a week ago - and a seeming 1,000 pages of posts ago - I'm stumped by this situation.

    Yes, as Larc brought up, before even the mid 80's - the general, accepted, knowledge about child molestation, rape, beatings of females & males - just wasn't talked about.........but damn, it happened. I strongly believe the *higher up* persons knew - they basically turned their heads a lot. Catholic Church has been shuttling priests for decades. Doctors know damned well what causes the scars, bruises, etc. Police know. Social force was put into action - and the general populace began to accept that it really happened regularily.

    It snowballed - and now *higher ups* & professionals know - and are under penalty to report. Not so easy to sweep it under the rug. I can understand someone - of the general populace - not knowing, at all.

    But a CO/DO isn't of the "general populace". He is the Middle Man. He deals with A LOT of congregations - not just 1 to 6. He knows secrets, and he knows what the WT wants him to do with those secrets. He is assigned to keep the peace - and the reputation of the WTBTS.

    When I was confronted with knowledge of my own child's abuse, I was visited by several CO's over the next years (I was difficult) and then a meeting with the DO, CO, PO and City Overseer. (I was continuing to be difficult.) They DID keep me in line....finally. And they ALL told me "This is such a rare event." Only after coming on the internet did I find out they were lying to me, imho.

    I can't find the post from Maximus where he stated how many pedophiles he had come across in his years of being CO/DO. It was in a thread where some of us were saying how many each of us knew. I was sure it was in Amazing's pedophile poll - but don't see it there. Most of us knew from 1 to 10. Maximus' number known was appalling. At least 40....if not much higher. On many of his posts, he spoke about comforting victims, the idiocy of untrained elders, etc.

    Perhaps Max was in the trenches with his people and Franz was not so inclined? Perhaps just different styles of men? Don't know. But their recalled experiences - as both being CO/DO management in same time frame - dealing with the rape of children is totally different. Totally.

    You will find that Ray will simply not discuss anything that even borders on titillation; that's a personal boundary he has drawn. Let me be quick to note this is not some kind of supercilious condescension; it's just not the way Ray is wired. Call him a gentleman, or Christian to a fault, that's just the way he is.

    So we all know Howard Zenke, eh? He's now a fixture closing on 50 years, I believe, so we may have several generations here.

    Let me repeat Joel's observation, which I underscore mightily based on my own many decades of oversight. I've been "father confessor" to many such individuals as Joel describes above, for whom I have a great deal of affection. Some have been able to sort out their feelings successfully, a few with help have accepted their nature, others still struggle with needless guilt that no one on earth has so far been able to assuage. ...

    The name, BTW, is Kalandros. Nick. I've heard all SORTS of stories of things that occurred without anyone saying a word, during the night, "sleeping." Funny that kind of nonsense was accepted from males, but pity the poor female who did not SCREAM loud enough. Catamites for God, so that someone might not have to leave His house, Beth-El. - maximus

    Ray Franz won't be reading this site. Write him.

    The mob here can turn on a dime, and often does. You can and will get attacked for raising an eyebrow --- that the reader can't even see!

    Jim Penton has no stomach for the board either. I understand that fully.

    No lectures in response, please. - max

    ::much like a tyrnanical alcoholic with his family

    Victor, you have put your finger on the precise model of the Bethel family today whether Patterson or Brooklyn, starting with the alcoholic Judge! That's the dirty little secret.

    No one knew whether s/he would be hit or hugged. Knorr fostered this attitude, and it's been perfected into an art form. It's still the culture of the dysfunctional family that has become the abusive, dysfunctional organization. Those in the field like COs and DOs build their own resentments from the floggings they get, and on goes the dysfunction pervasively. Denial? It's the hallmark, as is repression.

    You and I both could tell some stories. And I will one of these days. - max

    This is what happens almost every time the issue of molestation is deeply discussed - it goes on forever, along with the good points and the hurting. I think one reason is that there are so many secondary issues which are thrown in.

    In the final analysis - we just don't know truly what it was like for Franz & Max as CO/DO - then GB. Then to become "commoners" like the rest of us.

    Perhaps Franz, Penton, & COJ never actually heard of a child being molested, or of an adult who had ever been molested as a child in all those combined years - totaling many decades, in three different countries. And Max knew of an enormous amount, including child suicides. Stranger things have happened.

    I sat at a lunch table in HS with the same 10-/12 girls for several years (1966-68). Typical teens (17&18). After revisiting 25 yrs later, 4 of us had been raped repeatedly by family members & dates. Two of the mothers knew it was happening (one of them admitted to that). None of us ever told anyone during those years. We were all alone.


    Edited by - waiting on 29 October 2002 18:46:46

  • larc

    Venice, if you recall the content of Ray's two books, he talked about scandals that he both knew about and could document. It appears that the main subjects that the GB discussed were policy changes, policy differences between countries, and financial matters. Again, I believe Ray and Jim when they say that it did not come to their attention. I also believe Ray when he said that he did not intend the two witness rule to be applied to something like pedophelia. I also believe that if elders could squelch a case at the local level, they did so. I believe that if the Circuit Overseer could stop it at that level, they did so. I believe that if the District Overseer could stop it at that level, he did so. I believe that if a rare case got to Bethel, it stopped at a lower level and did not reach the governing body. I have seen this same kind of process work in the corporate evironment. Ven, if you chose to doubt Ray and Jim, I don't think I will be able to change your mind. Now, regarding scandals at Bethel, I would assume that Ray heard about them. However, I don't believe he would put anything in print that was heresay and gossip. Now, many have made accusations about immoral behavior at Bethel, and they may be correct. I notice, though, that no one has written a National Inquirer type of book about this. Why not, do you think? In fact, Ven, why don't you write one?

  • VeniceIT

    hahahhaha I'm sure I could sell a ton of copies *note to self*. But with the amount of money I'd have to pay for and editor I'd barely breake even.

    Ven - (really nice meeting you and your mother last summer) - perhaps Ray hedged a bit on commenting regarding the sexual goings on at Bethel because he did not want to have what he said put in a public forum like this, or possibly be misquoted. An ex-JW version of the old "theocratic warfare"? JMO of course.

    I just want to mention that this was a private dinner we were having with Ray and Cynthia, just my family at their home. We discussed all sorts of matters. At that time I was only just starting to post on H2O and I don't think Ray was aware of this at all, so I don't see how the above situation could really apply. It's not like I'd emailed or called him about a certain topic and he'd be leary we were just haveing a friendly dicussion where they reveiled that many bethelites celebrated their B days esp the older ones.

    Now, regarding scandals at Bethel, I would assume that Ray heard about them. However, I don't believe he would put anything in print that was heresay and gossip.

    I'm not talking about putting these in print, I'm talking about simply acknowledgeing this during a private dinner at their house. We were just out of the org, had heard stories from his friends personally and wanted his take on it. That's all, we weren't gonna write about it, or publish it or say 'Ray said yada yada yada' and that was not even the issue. He did not want to acknowledge it, like if he didn't it wouldn't have happend or something, it was very strange his whole presence changed with that and there was a bit of an ackward silence like, ok now what do we talk about. But he did deny that there was ever an issue. He could have simply said 'yes I've heard rumored there was a problem but don't know the specifics' that at least would have been easier to understand. I guess I'm just confuesed.


  • IslandWoman


    I would imagine that Ray Franz has been fielding questions about the inner workings and secrets of Bethel since he left! Good grief, the guy may just get bombarded by the same questions over and over. He may feel a reluctance to promote discussions about the dirt found in Bethel, preferring to keep the conversations on a higher ground.

    He may also keep his more candid comments to those whom he trusts.

    I think if any one of us had our lives as open to scrutiny as he does, we too would fail the test of always saying and doing what others think we should say and do.

    I do feel a little uncomfortable with accepting the hospitality of Ray Franz and his wife and then later reporting to a discussion board what was said, especially in order to depict the man in a negative way.


  • DannyBear


    Sometimes IW you make all the sense in the world! This is one of those occasions.


  • Joyzabel

    Island Woman, please e-mail me, yours is locked.

  • jst2laws


    Please check your email.


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