In praise of Randall Watters
Net soup was the first JW info I got outside of the organisation and the quality of the news and info was significant.
ironic that the most moving story for me was that of Barbara Anderson. It changed my life!
Everyone here is doing a great job and to the founders of these sites ....we really are all indebted to you and your efforts.
“Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.” -- Ecclesiasticus 44:1
I suppose I am grateful that I didn't leave the WTB&TS in the mid-1970s because I was a fanboy of (name infamous apostate here), but because once out of my teens I found the religion less and less rational as it was also shown to be more and more hypocritical and dishonest. In my youth they told me what God's Righteous Organization would be like, then they showed me that they were not it.
I came along well after William J. Schnell, to whom I feel no obligation. In 1978 Barbara Grizzuti Harrison published "Visions of Glory," but I was already undergoing my personal metamorphosis into an apostate. Years later I realized that BGH and I were in attendance at the same NYC Polo Grounds assembly; for her it was a last look back at the ruins of -- no, not Jerusalem -- Babylon, and for me it was my final "WTF" series of cascading dissonance, my last JW Assembly. BGH and I were alo both native NuYawkers, so there was a sympatico I felt for her manner of expression and also the sentiments she expressed. I felt I knew her, but I never felt the need to seek her out until I learned that she was dying, and I felt obliged to thank her for her work. She was perfectly gracious and cannot ever fall from the pedestal I put her upon.
I spent years "in the wilderness" before I discovered JWD, and in those early days had great fun with some of the folks who came here to think and to have fun. I recall BBOY NEKO and NAEBLIS and MR. MOE and others who are no longer here. There were a few to whom I should have shown a bit more respect and to whom I ought to have listened a bit more carefully, but they also are gone now. There were mighty Viking scholars who were willing to "throw down" with anyone who thought that Watchtower chronology was even remotely correct. O those were some GOOD TIMES!
When the pedophilia scandal hit, it hit big, and it was GOOD to have a share in that fine work. Then the unbelievable UN scandal hit! Wow, wow, WOW!
Randy and FREEMINDS had a great impact and served so many good purposes, but Randy made some really bad personnel decisions and FREEMINDS fell into a virtual black hole. Combine that with the effects of "time and circumstance" and medical misadventures...
HEY! Weren't we all SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING YOUNGER BY NOW?
Whazzup wit dat?
I've lost friends to death, but I am not unique, you have too.
Where was I?
Wow! Just read down thru that entire previous thread........however many pages. WTF!!!!!! Crazy! I think declining health and feeling underappreciated really takes it's toll on older Apostates. They are finally cracking. I mean, I LOL'd when I saw one poster on here claim that they had never heard of Randy Walters. Man, that is WEAK by Apostate standards! But, time and unforeseen events befall us all, and blah, blah, blah. I'd heard and been expecting a REAL book from Barb Anderson as well, were the hell is it at? Instead, we are treated to Lloyd Evans 800 page autobiography with his big picture on it, and promoted readings and book signings. For HIS autobiography! (gag)
I'll pass on that, thanks! I swear, I can't wait for the next Ray Franz. (a true turncoat) That person with NEW information on the current scheming con-men can't come fast enough.
When I began my exit in 2000, Randy's FREEMINDS site was very valuable in helping me wake up. One of the best ex-JW sites on the net.
Thank you Randy for being one of the early trailblazers on exposing the WT on the internet!
I'm sure there were many apostates the preceded Randy that I have never known. Kudos to them for having true grit to see the WT for what it was and try to alert others mostly by holding up signs outside conventions in the pre-internet era.
Not from the generation of Randy and yet I got to meet him in Santa Monica three years ago in an independent theater that was showing the movie "Truth be told". After the movie ended, he was surrounded by lots of people interested in talking with him. He actually was more popular than the director of the movie, who also stayed after the movie. It was then that I realized that Randy was well known and respected.
Thank you Randy for being instrumental, just like Raymond Franz, in raising "apostates" of great caliber who have passed on TTATT to me and many others, thus diminishing the power of the cult leaders. The success that we "apostates" see in the latest declining numbers of the Watchtower is due to your hard work. Thank you sir!
The Freeminds site was instrumental for me too. I was an elder with no home internet back in those days. I sat in the Public Library transfixed having found that site. I felt a mixture of fear, that someone would see me, and guilt that I was consorting with the apostates.
However, my overall experience was liberation and comfort. I knew then that it was not just me, there were others who could see the same.. that was great !
I sincerely hope Randy's site survives and carries on. I owe the man a lot. There was a link from Freeminds to here . The rest is history.
... I mean, I LOL'd when I saw one poster on here claim that they had never heard of Randy Walters. Man, that is WEAK by Apostate standards! ... WingCommander
Sorry WingCommander, but I too had not heard of Randall Watters until just recently. How could I? It's only these past two years that I have been inactive and only the past 5 months that I have been looking at / participating on so called 'apostate websites'.
Having said the above, I am now beginning to understand and realise that Randall Watters is one of the original 'trail blazers' exposing a number of their erroneous teachings.
I certainly admire his work!
Several years ago I made a very small contribution to the FreeMinds website via Paypal.. In no time at all I received a very gracious 'thank you' email from Randy, which both surprised and impressed me (not surprised that he would say thank you, but surprised that I received it so quickly). I became immediately aware that he is first class all the way.
Over thirty here and remember the impact that Randy's Freeminds websibe and "net soup" had on me. I have the utmost respect for Randy and all he has done for the ex jw community. That respect has not waned and wish Randy all the best.
What you remember about someone doesn't tell you the quality of the person, it tells you the quality of your memory