Freddy Franz, One of the smartest men of his day????
He was smarter than any of the current GB, but that's not saying much
I heard he was dubbed the "oracle" by some other guy at Bethel.
Which struck me as a very strange nickname for a supposed "man of God."
Wow Barbara I've never heard the great "Oracle" refereed to as bluntly as that before, I was always perturbed by The Oracles great interest and almost obsession in visiting gay saunas in the New York area surrounded by "his boys"
Freddie, as others in Bethel used to call him, might have been somewhat smart (along with Charles Russell) but it was imagination that he excelled in.
Fred Franz was a VERY SMART man!
1. He never had to work at a real, secular job and compete in the job market to support himself.
2. He never had to pay an insurance bill, an electrical bill, a car payment or any other adult responsibilities.
3. He never went to bed hungry or cold since his religious followers paid for his food and shelter.
4. He never had to worry about paying for dental or medical care.
5. He got to travel the world on the publishers dime.
6. He cultivated an aura of mystery and spirituality that guaranteed no one would disagree with him.
7. He didn't have to pay a secular publishing house to print his idiotic ideas nor get turned down by one of them.
8. He got the personal satisfaction and ego boost of telling people how to live their lives without any censure.
9. He spoke before crowds of people, most of whom hung on his every word with awe and adoration.
Yes Frederick William Franz was a VERY,VERY,VERY SMART man. He got all of his physical and ego needs met on the backs of the common 'publisher' through their monetary contributions to the Jehovah's Witness religion. Was he intelligent? I haven't a clue. I never spoke with him while I was at Bethel.
🎤 He's a Lumber-Jack and he's OK! He sleeps all night and he works all day! He likes to sing and skip and run, he likes to press wild flowers! He puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars! 🎶
Yes, Freddie had a fabulous memory. When he was almost blind, I remember at a Gilead graduation, another of the GB walked him out on the stage to the microphone where he gave a long, long talk which contained many scriptures that he quoted from memory. We'd follow him along in the Bible and he never missed a word.
I spoke to Freddie a number of times in the mid 1980's before he went completely blind. He would walk to the office building from where he lived holding on to the arm of a young Bethelite to guide him and keep him stable and from tripping, etc. When I'd walk by him, he could make out that I was female and would begin to talk to me. Even In his old age, he was humorous and liked to joke around. He especially liked to tease me, although almost blind. If he could see, he probably wouldn't have wanted to tease me. ;-)
I never saw any genius in him, but in his old age I think he had lost the desire and probably the ability to discuss "the deeper things" of the Bible. Around 1990-91, when he was quite feeble and living on the Infirmary Floor in the Towers building where the medical staff could look after him, the Writing Dept. gave him a small tape-recording machine to keep him occupied and he'd record ideas for articles and talks. One of the staff told me nobody listened to his recordings, but erased the tape and gave it back to him. I felt sad for him back then.
Back in 1960, Joe and I were talking to Freddie at pre-convention work in Miami. Even then he wouldn't talk about any serious subject. He was a short man who at that time wore very wide, loud, eye-catching ties and enjoyed laughing at himself and his outlandish taste.
In 1966, in Mexico City at a convention, Freddie showed up on the platform wearing a very wide, black and silver sombrero just to get us all to laugh. We noticed during his convention talk, he never looked at any notes.
I do know that Freddie was his own man who did his own thing. I remember being told that he had a close friend in California that he'd visit on vacation almost every year when he was able to. The interesting thing about the man who he'd visit, a former wrestler, was that he was disfellowshipped but that didn't seem to matter to Freddie.
Indeed, if not the the smartest, Freddy Franz was the most foxy of the witnesses in Brooklyn. He could maintain a multinational corporation promoting and printing, for many decades, his eccentric and deceptive theological ideas, without assuming any responsibility. Remember that he was the theologian successor of Rutherford and Woodworth.
For instance, after the 1975 fiasco, the governing body did anything for condemning his stupid prophecy.
After the Woodworth's lunacy against vaccination, Franz won him by banning blood transfusions and all its fractions.
The Awake! editor back in 1992 told me that as far as he was concerned it appeared like the GB rewarded Freddie by making him president in 1977 two years after the 1975 fiasco which he was responsible for that cause 500,000 members to leave the JW organization.
So it would appear that Freddie wasn't the only one insane at WT headquarters.
When I first started studying in the late 1960's, the congregation servant's (that is what they were called then before the elder arrangement) wife who was a female tyrant said that Freddy was a Rhodes scholar and a Greek scholar. I guess as Jdubs we had our own form of hero worship no matter how much it was embellished.
Now I know it was a total crock of shit.