I found this post on Channel C and thought I'd share it with those of you who are interested.
Happy New Year to all of you!
"The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size." --- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Posted by GregStafford on Thu - Jan 2 - 01:01am:
In Reply to: Stafford's status with Watchtower Org? posted by RichS45 on Wed - Jan 1 - 2:33pm:
First off, if you are the same Rich who emailed me recently, I promise to write back soon. I try to get to my emails in the order that I receive them and I'm a bit backed up right now. (As I'm sure most of us are!)
I am unaware of any official response from the brothers at Bethel, but some of my former JW apologist friends have not received my book with open arms. It's interesting, as I've told several other people, some of my Witness friends who I thought would be open-minded and at least give the material a fair and balanced reading did not, while many Witnesses who I thought would be closed to some of the material were surprisingly open about it, even expressing similar views to me in private! (Just goes to show you how easily we can misread people!)
However, one person in particular, Hal Flemings, has emailed many Witnesses and given them negative and slanted information about what I wrote. From the emails I have been given, it's as if Hal never even read the entire book. I have offered an open discussion of the issues with Flemings, and we exchanged a couple of emails, but he has been silent for several months since I last wrote to him about issues concerning our organization as a whole and the blood policy in particular. But just last week I found out that Flemings will not be inviting me or one other brother to an annual Witness gathering where scholarly material is exchanged, and he is now organizing this coming year's meeting around topics having to do with my book. I find it very disturbing that he will not respond to me directly, yet he will organize private discussions about the same topics when I am not there to offer a reply or balance out the discussion. I am very disappointed in the Flemings-type people in our organization, people who could be forces for positive change but who instead choose to defend the traditions of the organization in what appears to me to be an act of self-preservation. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that others in the organization will stand up for what's right when the circumstances are right.
There are other events that have recently taken place that only a few others know about and that I am not prepared to make public, but as events unfold we'll see what transpires and if there is something meaningful to relate I will be sure to share it with those who are interested. Having said that, I have not been disfellowshipped nor have I disassociated myself from the organization.
I have reason to believe that at one time Jehovah did in fact use this organization to highlight important truths in his Word, such as his name and identity, but that somewhere along the line the organization was taken over by men who do not have as their primary goal the revealing of Bible truth in a Christ-like manner. I believe that, as has happened with so many other well-intentioned Christian groups (even many first century followers of Christ), imperfection and sin have been allowed to grow unchecked and ultimately they have infected the organization so that it has run far off course. If it is Jehovah's will to remove those in the organization who are allowing false teachings and heavy-handed governance of his people to flourish then I will be on the look for the changes. In the meantime I will continue speaking out against that which tarnishes God's name and Word and let matters run their course. If Jehovah establishes some other group that can carry on the work of proclaiming his name and kingdom apart from false teachings and destructive policies, then I will look for it. Otherwise I, like so many others of the past and present, will remain content with the truths of God's Word as he has preserved them, sharing them with whoever wants to hear them.
In this light, I plan on moving forward with my studies and I will continue to present what I hope will be considered balanced and accurate research on important topics relevant to the Watchtower Society and Bible studies in general. I will be releasing a book devoted to the history, translation and meaning of John 8:58 later this year, and there is already an outline being worked up for a book dedicated to the Watchtower's blood policy problem. This second book could very well be ready by the end of this year or the beginning of 2004.