Everybody loves Raymond

by Saintbertholdt 73 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Saintbertholdt

    Hi OnTheWayOut,

    I know this thread implies that Ray wasn't originally intent on helping people, but rather helping himself.

    No, what I'm saying is that he wanted to wake up JW's and help himself in the process. In other words his personal motive he hid from view.

    I agree with the rest of your post e.g. "if the G.B. wanted to sneak off...I would help them pack." except for "...he never created a following for himself." That is not true at all. He received thousands of pieces of correspondence and thank you letters, got invited to talks all over with the adulation which accompanies it and to this very day we all kneel at his statue. Well sometimes I take a wiz on statues.

  • Saintbertholdt

    Hi John Aquila and all who have responded,

    John you asked about what could Franz have gained by making a power play. He already was on the governing body after all.

    My answer is as follows: Just before Rutherford died he split the power of the Watchtower into a triumvirate: Knorr was the head with administrative power, Franz got theology and Covington legal.

    By the late 60's Covington was a washed up drunk and so after Knorr died in 77 all power now concentrated in Franz. Interestingly Knorr died two years after the failed 75 prediction just like Russell did in 1916 after the 1914 failure (For comparison see William Miller). I don't mention Rutherford because he made a special plea with the 1941 prediction: 'Save me Jehovah I'm dying of cancer' (That man had no shame). However Frederick Franz was actually fully responsible for the 75 prediction and he ended up with the Kingdom.

    I would argue that Raymond wanted to split the power up again so that he would get theology. His reasoning I think would be something like this: Well uncle you really botched things up with 1975 didn't you? Isn't it time somebody (a younger man) took over that knew what Christianity was actually all about? You might have been good back in the day, but after Knorr gave us free reign on research, we're (me and Dunlap) every bit as good at theology as you ever were. As a matter of fact we've surpassed you.

    Frederick's response: Oh really?

    Footnote: After Raymond left Watchtower HQ who did he give an interview to? The NY Eagle who was the traditional press foe of the Watchtower in NY? No, Time magazine. Raymond, you sly dog you.

  • B4Right
    In a business that is based on communication and the exchange of information authored by people in responsibility, all it takes is one mistake and then you have the finger pointing, the "hey I never said that", "I never gave made that statement" or something to that nature. You then decide to "CYA" cover your ass with ANY decisions being made, any directions given. Since Ray did not write down EVERY conversation and interaction we never know what lead him to "take good notes" from a point forward. Did he have interior motives? maybe - maybe not but where you could make global analysis of what he wrote, the important thing is that we all got a chance to see / peer into the GB world that is hidden and forever would be hidden from the eyes and ears of those outside the WT fortress command center, a world we would never had known or had a 1 and a million chance to ever know if it had not been for Raymond Franz.
  • TMS

    I definitely think Ray was involved in some sort of power struggle and lost

    It's possible to get sucked into such a struggle by simply expressing an alternate viewpoint. The less-than-well-intentioned "brothers" come at you with such force, vindictiveness and fake righteous indignation, that you feel compelled to "fight fire with fire." Not favoring a Kingdom Hall remodel, for example, quickly becomes "disrespect for a traveling overseer" or worse, the FDS.

    I appreciate the counterpoint on Ray even though I don't totally agree. I'm pretty certain he sweated getting his documents out of Brooklyn, though, as I would in that situation.

  • JWdaughter

    I never heard a peep about Greenlees until I got on this board. Either exposing or defending him without evidence would have been a legal disaster. Whatever else you think about Ray, he wasn't an idiot and he came out of the most LEGALISTIC organization on the face of the earth. Not to mention that it is pretty unethical to publicly ruin a man's reputation on hearsay. Kind of like "when did you stop beating your wife?" Guilty or innocent, he would have been putting something out there in the world that was not common knowlege or dealt with in the justice system. Apparently some 'talk' has outed Greenlees, but as I have seen things over the years, I haven't seen much other than rude comments about him being a pedophile. I have seen snarky remarks, but I would not repeat them to anyone because I don't repeat much in the way of snarky remarks.

    As for Ray having full documentation. . . it is kind of old school to keep important correspondence in a hard copy, but many of us who have gone through an estate or old business files know that it was a common thing to do. That he had his own copies might have a lot to do with the fact that he was in meetings where this stuff was discussed. That he took it with him. . . well, again, he was in a legalistic organization. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That he had copies of things that bothered him makes more sense, not less, especially when he was clearly troubled about things.

    Did he plan to write a book? Maybe! Were I still in, I have said it before, I just WISH I could have inside information to use against them. I WISH I could try to steer them in a better direction. I WISH I could hold on to (and expose!) things that might relieve the consciences of hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling with the idea of leaving "the truth" because they really don't have the information or maybe the intellect to pull together all the things that are not making sense to them. I WISH I could help as many people as Ray did.

    I know he didn't get rich from being an ex GB member and I have never sensed that he expected to. I think the man was operating with his conscience and I for one don't begrudge him that he used the tools available to him to help others. He burned those bridges and that was a lot braver than many here have been able to be- yet-but he gives hope to them because he didn't leave at the first hint of distress, either. But he LEFT. And so can all of us when we can get our courage bonded to our brains! It wasn't easy for even him. But he did it.

  • Wulf


    I disagree with your characterisation because my impression is Ray was already heavily involved in restructuring the org prior to 75. He didn't just wake up in 75 and say "I want control of the theology". By his own account in CoC, the GB was becoming more hardline; he had already essentially lost the power struggle, whatever it entailed. The shift to GB meant Freddy Franz has already been disempowered in a sense, anyways.

    IMO Ray portrays himself as fundamentally responsible for initiating the shift from Presidency to GB in CoC. Obviously there would have been many people pushing towards that at the same time, but it gets written down in CoC as if Ray "did the research" and then officially triggered it. The GB officially appears the same year Ray joined it - 1971.

    Your characterisation doesn't square with what Ray says in CoC. Ray was definitely a player, but my impression it was in the late 60s / early 70s. By the late 70s, the writing was on the wall and I don't think being the successor to his figurehead uncle meant anything. Plus you impugn a certain cravenness to his actions which I don't think is accurate; he could have easily towed the line if all he wanted was "the position".

  • Wulf

    By the late 60's Covington was a washed up drunk and so after Knorr died in 77 all power now concentrated in Franz.

    Not true - the Presidency was turned into a figurehead by the GB by that point. And who had played a major role in that?

  • Saintbertholdt

    Hi Wulf,

    He didn't just wake up in 75 and say "I want control of the theology"

    No I guess it would be from about 1 January 1976 until he lost the war in 1980.

    he had already essentially lost the power struggle, whatever it entailed.

    Well his struggle only really came to the fore from 1977 with the James book preparation.

    The shift to GB meant Freddy Franz has already been disempowered in a sense, anyways.

    One might have thought so with the committee splits in 1975 under Knorr but... the rule was also changed that now only a two thirds majority was needed in the GB to carry a motion where before it had to be unanimous. What about theological control? Was the governing body in fact steering things now? Fred Franz said to the entire Bethel family on 25 May 1980, that some "expected me to ignore the influence of world events in the light of Bible prophecy for the last 67 years, and to start over where we began 67 years ago." (Penton p.160) - I wonder was Frederick using the royal "we"? :)

    IMO Ray portrays himself as fundamentally responsible for initiating the shift from Presidency to GB in CoC...the Presidency was turned into a figurehead by the GB by that point. And who had played a major role in that?
    Interestingly enough there is an audio recording (1975 0906 talk with comments - post 1980) of Ray Franz where he agrees with Frederick on a talk he gave where Frederick actually argues against the idea of a Governing Body (obviously because he was next in line for presidency and did not like interference). From his comments on the recording Raymond obviously recanted from the idea of a controlling governing body. For uncle Frederick the two thirds rule meant a matter could now in fact be swayed more easily and theologically he was still firmly in control until the day he died. And that power is what Raymond wanted...Hence In search of Christian Freedom. That is what the organization would have turned into had Raymond had his way.
  • Wulf

    Hi SB,

    You're not really addressing my points. Ray was deeply involved in changing organisational structures (with resistance from Knorr and Freddie regarding the GB) at a very high level much earlier than 76. The struggle coming to the fore in 77 is simply a sign that the org had gone hardline and what Ray had hoped for was clearly not going to happen. It doesn't mean that's where the struggle started.

    And yes Ray eventually recanted from the idea of GB as part of recanting from the org as a whole. That doesn't change the fact he also helped implement it much earlier.

    I'm interested in the topics you're talking about but I find your interpretation unsatisfactory, even as the devil's advocate. With that I will bow out of the thread.

  • Saintbertholdt

    I'm sorry my rhetoric was not to your satisfaction.

    But then again what you are actually saying is that his struggle just took longer than I had imagined.

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