This is me reading a letter Ray kindly sent to me in 2008 explaining why the Watchtower was not capable of reform. The letter is full of wisdom and is very informative.
Ray Franz - Why The Watchtower Cannot Reform
Oh Anna Maria that was beautiful. Rays letter was immensely touching. That stupid organisation had no idea what a treasure it lost. Even Negan, an anti-hero on the Walking Dead knows that “people are resources”, something the Watchtower is ignorant of, since the individual is nothing to them. Like the Catholic Church it’s a behemoth of a battleship that takes miles to turn around and there’s nothing the people at the helm can do to avoid crushing those in its path, even should it want to. The only thing to do is abandon ship and let it run aground itself, as it’s sure to do eventually.
I love your artwork, by the way. It’s very distinctive and I always know it’s yours. You’ve definitely found your own path when it comes to art, which isn’t easy!
Thank you very much Anna Marina for posting this wonderful insight from Ray Franz.
The use of the Catholic Church as an exemplar of the predicament within the Watchtower is most fitting. Clearly JW HQ have been emulating the authority and control methods which historically had propelled the RC Church to its dominant position.
There are so many profoundly good quotations relevant to the conditioning which members of religious authorities enforce, Davis speaks of the loss of autonomy of the believer, the cliches and avoidance of innovation. I thought the most striking was, "...hyperbole in favour of the established order and accepted doctrines". (Naturally this kind of strictly conservative language is dished out to keep the peasants down, so to speak and simultaneously enhance the authority of the religious leaders.)
Ray originally thought in terms of reform, as did Davis, however it must eventually be realised that there is no purpose in reforming a fundamentally flawed organ of society which only has the blind, self-interested objective of perpetuation--and in the case of JWs, all at the expense of its members lifeblood.
Hi Diogenesister - Ray showed such kindness in writing to me. You can see how he was trying to help me to understand. As I put that YouTube together, his words meant even more to me.
I am glad you like the artwork. It is born out of my incompetence (I can't draw very well) and reflects my keen desire to try and make what I'm saying easy to understand.
I actually learnt to read when I was unusually young, I learnt through Tintin books because if I couldn't understand the word, at least I could understand the picture in the story. I enjoyed the story so I persisted in trying to read the words.
Hi Half banana - I am delighted you enjoyed the YouTube. Ray picked out some brilliant quotes of Charles Davis didn't he. I have bought a couple of Charles Davis' books to see what else he said.
I love the way you describe the organization - yes all this is at the expense of members lifeblood. They are like vampires and its terrible. I never, nor would I ever have gone out on the ministry to trap people into a cult. I went out to take the words of Jesus Christ to those who wanted to listen because I had found them so beneficial. Since realising JWs are a cult I have gone back and apologised to calls. I know others who have done the same. Its an alternative version of pioneering :)
On the subject of vampires, I don't know if you know that Christabel was an early poem about vampires, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The name Christabel is from Chris and Abel - so the blood of Christ and Abel.
A while back I found this quote about Christabel, doorsteps and trust :/ What were we involved with?
Secondly, is that one of the attributes that became key to the definition of a vampire is the requirement that they be invited into a home before crossing the threshold. Although vampires did not yet have a notable presence in literature at the time of publication of “Christabel”, we can see some vital evolutionary steps in this text alone. One of the ways in which malevolent supernatural beings might generate trust between themselves and the one whose home they attempt to enter, is through enchantment.
AM, I am curious to know if you got any responses apologising to those you had witnessed to? What did they think to your change of loyalties?
I reckon any organisation can reform. All that’s required is the right incentive, such as running out of money. So there’s hope yet.
Hi Half Banana - not only have I got responses, they became friends and I still visit. The same is true of Christine who I also made a video of, she has kept up friendships with some she studied with.
One response in particular stands out to me. One of my calls said, "I used to explain to my family, she's the one who THINKS she's a Jehovah's Witness, but she's not really." Apparently she said that to them for years.
Another said, "well you were never like them." So you see, they have no sense that I have changed my loyalties, they just wonder what on earth made me imagine I was a Jehovah's Witness.
A fair few have come out of my ex-cong and we are all together scratching our heads at what we've been through. I reckon there a queue of others just lining up to come out and scratch their heads with us. :)
Hi Slimboyfat - would running out of money make a difference? Maybe but what do they need money for if they have mind control? They have land and labour. Also they shift money around. They could claim to have no money in one country and have loads in another. Ray said to me that it was wishful thinging to imagine they'd reform, if there was no sign they were doing so. I guess that's the key point - there is no sign of them doing so. Not as an organsation. Individuals may reform. But if the reform is honest, that is in line with Christian truth, they get kicked out because then they are at odds with the organisational structure which does not support Christian truth.
Charles Davis said the Catholic Church would need to change their identity to reform because the framwork was too rigid to allow proper reform.
Thx for this post, AM. I can empathize with you since it was only since after I left the org that I came to realize in a fuller manner how difficult it is for intelligent women to be in it. What a trial for you and for other women!
I generally agree that the WT org will not reform. I respect Ray Franz and his efforts, but I do have some disagreements with him. One is that there exists a single possibility for reform: only a massive crisis will ever cause real change in the org. I find it interesting that so far, at least since Rutherford's day, such a thing has not happened to them. Whether it will occur in the future or not, who knows?
Since I lived through the Ray Franz episode as an active Witness, your experience here is also educational for me as an example of someone discovering him after it was over. You did it without coming to forums like this one. That seems unusual.
Thanks for noticing that it is very difficult to be an intelligent woman or any woman in the JW religion.
I got out after the 1995 Generation teaching, disgusted with everything. I’m just glad I didn’t fall for their bullying and kept my job until Retirement. I don’t think the religion can reform either - but I’m done with it either way.
Well done, but this is not news for the majority of us.
It became very apparent to me - even before I faded - that if the WTS were to implement truly effective and legitimate reforms...
...they'd no longer be "Jehovah's Witnesses".
Looking back, I think that realization actually helped me fade.