Was Ray Franz Playing The Long Game?

by rory-ks 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    Actually, Ray was considered to have da'd himself when he had dinner with a da'd jw, Peter Gregorson. Interestingly Cynthia, Ray's wife was not considered da'd for doing the same thing that evening.

    Many elders, etc., learned the hard way to CYA by documenting things after having been knifed in the back by fellow elders.

  • Vanderhoven7

    I believe Franz was playing for the long eternal game...and in my books he won.

  • LongHairGal


    You are right about his meticulous document keeping. As others have said: who knows if this was because it was job related or he SAW what happened to other JWs who had false witness against them, been misquoted, etc.

    I always did wonder if he would have left the Jehovah's Witness religion if he were not actually disfellowshipped. I wonder if he would have stayed and been one of the "conscious class" hoping things would get better. We will never know.

  • blondie

    Technically he was not disfellowshipped and that is from Ray's own mouth. He was considered having da'd himself by the WTS and that is how it was put down officially. DAing yourself is considered worse putting yourself in the "apostate" category rather than guilty of one sin like immorality.

    Ray always believed the best of people even if they did not share his beliefs.

  • Ucantnome

    i remember when i read his books feeling this almost euphoria and sadness at the same time. what took him so long he was on the governing body.

  • talesin

    To me, Ray Franz seemed to be genuine, and as an uneducated man, used his natural logic. He saw the corruption; he saw the crazy - in his own relative. The book, CofC, is dry and poorly written, but shows an earnest man's attempt (and he succeeds) to expose the fraud of an organization that he once believed in.

    I don't feel he was playing any game; he was more of a naif, and just telling the truth as he saw it. He did what he felt was right, that's all.

    x tal

  • biblexaminer

    This is an interesting thread. And so many posters have excellent input.

    I would like to add my thoughts.

    I believe Ray was studious in his work and a super duper records keeper. I am quite certain that he did not plan to do things the way they played out.

    I base this on the content of the letters he wrote to me. I corresponded with him over several years. During that time, I got to know him a little better.

    I told Ray about the things I was doing locally in opposition to Watchtower, and surprisingly, he questioned these actions. He said "why would you want to do that?"

    His response tells me that he most certainly did not 'plan over an extended period to amass large quantities of information to build a massive case against Watchtower'.

    At the end, he added the UN affair to his book, although it had nothing to do with his personal "Crisis of Conscience". Before I sent Ray the copy of the original letter from the UN that appears in the final edition, I first questioned him on it.

    What goes around, comes around.

  • careful

    rory, it's coincidental that last week I took out my 1st ed. hard copy of CofC from my storage boxes in a closet and also began rereading it after 30+ years. I've got a 4th ed. electronic version, so I thought it would be doubly good to see how I would react now to his book and my marginal comments made in it from so many years ago, and to compare how the book changed as it has gone thru its revisions. I've only had the time to go thru a few chapters, but it has been revealing on several fronts.

    As to your question, I remember that, as you said about others, it took me many years to deal with my increasing doubts as I witnessed the organization's internal corruption that I saw while rising within it (indeed your "catalyst for change"—nice phrase). I had filing cabinets filled with pre-electronic files of papers, and a large library of non-organizational books and WT publications. I felt it was necessary to have as much info as I could available to me so I could learn as many of the facts as possible and therefore make an informed decision about my future (of course, I've jettisoned much of it over the years, but I still have a fraction of it). So as others have already expressed above, I do not find it at all odd that RF kept documents and records long in advance. In fact, I would expect that.

    Unlike RF, I realized that trying to change things from the inside was futile and likely suicidal, so I gradually and carefully bailed in a well planned way before issues would come to a head. In Ray's situation, that was not possible since he'd served on the GB. Fading was not an option in his case. For him, it was more like having become a "made man" in the Mafia: no one can leave (the GB) like he did without a hit being put out on him.

  • AllTimeJeff

    I bow to Blondie's comments. However the Borg documented it for thier delusional file, they were looking to be rid of him.

    I was a child when it all went down but I remember it well in the congregation I was in. I personally doubt that he had much to spur this on other than it was in front of him at the time, and like many, he was just trying to be helpful and make sense of it all while it was happening

  • blondie

    AllTimeJeff and others who did not know Ray personally, you had to be at the dinner table as Cynthia placed the food on the table and some new ex-jw asked abut their WTS "status" She said she was at the same meal with Ray with the da'd brother. But only Ray was labeled da'd, making him kryptonite for "faithful" jws. But nothing was ever done officially to Cynthia who was able to easily associate with her jw family and friends. Ray continued to have close contact with jws not ready to leave. Letters, phone calls, and e-mails to Ray daily. I know an active jw who worked on their vehicles for free.

    Being da'd woke up Ray to the finality of changing the WTS. But he wanted so share what he had learned the hard way to make it easier for others like me to wake up.

Share this