Was Ray Franz Playing The Long Game?

by rory-ks 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • rory-ks

    I'm just making my way through Crisis Of Conscience for the second time and once again I am struck by the presentation of such detailed records. Letters are shown in full - copies of letters from the Branch, and to the Branch. Reports are quoted vebatim. Comments made during meetings are reported on - and so on, and so on.

    Either Raymond Franz was a compulsive record keeper, or he made a point of making a copy of anything that he felt was potentially incriminating. This could be construed as the actions of a man who knew what he was planning to do.

    This is not necessarily a criticism. Most people who leave the Organisation would say that it was something that happened ove many years. The seeds of doubt are planted some time back and gradually it grows in to full-blown disbelief. Perhaps this was the case with Raymond. The number of men who are appointed as elders only for that to be the catalyst for change - because seeing the inner workings of the congregation is the last straw - is probably quite high. Maybe we struggle with misgivings but we believe we can affect things from the inside, only to find we have simply been installed as a small cog in a vast infernal machine. Perhaps that was the case with Ray Franz, only in his case it was the top-most "body of elders".

    He thought he could be of great use on the inside, but only succeeded in having his faith dashed all the more so. He was on the writing committee, and I can't help but think whenever he quotes a controversial article from any time between 1972 and 1980, "Yeah, but you probably wrote that one." Was he taking the opportunity to insert words which he could later use against the Organisation?

    I'm not by any means suggesting he was doing all this maliciously, but I do wonder how deep his scepticism went.

    Any thoughts?

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    I just assumed it was with Ray as with business tycoons and political leaders: they all keep a personal archive.

    And Ray probably made some copies from the WT archives before he resigned.

  • Finkelstein

    He probably researched himslef the old WTS literature and privately consoled within himself that the organization was founded upon more on hype, ignorance and speculation intentionally to promote the proliferation of literature. He was perhaps secretly in a Crisis of Conscience for some time before breaking away from the Org.

  • Landy

    Also I think in the days before email memos and letters were routinely kept in files as records - so yes it's likely he kept access to them.

  • Perry

    As I understand it, Ray Franz was a primary Watchtower researcher, having written the first WTBS biblical encyclopedia - Aid to Bible Understanding.

    He was probably a prolific notetaker and documentor for a number of reasons, not the least of which was his personality type.

  • slimboyfat

    Who has Raymond Franz's archive now?

    Let's hope not the same people who have utterly failed to keep his books in print.

  • westiebilly11

    Ray Franz seems to have been a genuine man who painstakingly took the effort to verify truth and factual accounts of what happened....Love reading his books....

  • Magnum

    It all seems perfectly normal to me. I think it would have been the same with me if I had been in his position. As a completely devoted JW elder, I was extremely frustrated with various things (poor writing in publications, doctrine, org problems, etc.) for years, and I kept detailed notes (most of which I still have) about problems, and I made copies of supporting documentation (most of which I still have).

    At the time, I still believed JWdom was the one and only chosen organization of the one and only true god. My goal was to try to help the org - to make corrections, to try remedy problems. However, I finally found out TTATT.

    So the fact that I had (still have) all those notes and copies of documents doesn't mean that I was planning to turn against or take some kind of action against the org at the time I made them.

  • scratchme1010

    Was Ray Franz Playing The Long Game?

    That sounds obscene.

  • AllTimeJeff

    It's always a fun pass time to wonder about things like that. I generally take him at his word from CoC.

    I don't think he was playing a long game. I think he pushed in 1979 real hard, was found out, and was pushed out in 1980. The GB of the time was probably naive to not think Ray Franz would have documents with him. Remember, at first, he wasn't disfellowshipped. He was shipped down to Alabama and disfellowshipped a year later.

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