Yea what Vidiot said! Amen!
Yea what Vidiot said! Amen!
In the late 1950's when I was 16 I read Eric Hoffer's The True Believer. While Hoffer never mentioned the JW's or WTBTS what he says fit most mass movements be it religious or political. I was able to identify the failings of the JW's and left the organization for good at 22.
So with a few strokes of his pen he was perfectly describing the dogma and political governing of the WTBTS:
All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. ...by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. ...To rely on the evidence of senses and of reason is heresy and treason.
It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible.
Here, as elsewhere, the technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure. (p. 54)
Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable - it deliberately makes it so. It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral.
All mass movements rank obedience with the highest virtues and put it on a level with faith.
I was already out (in body at least) when Franz was disfellowshipped, and only heard about that second hand from my first wife (who is still in) so the answer is no. But having read it ten years ago, I know that if I had known of its existence back in the 80s it would have saved me about 15 years of pain.
Great responses! Poor Ray was demonized by the Organization and NEVER acted “unchristian “ in return. Ray Franz was the real deal.
I was already well into my ‘fade’ when I read Crisis of Conscience..However, it did really seal the deal in my mind that the JW religion was like a corrupt little dictatorship and I was glad I left!
Yes, he helped confirm my doubts. Does anyone one here know someone who has read COC and remained a faithful witness?
Confusedandangry : Does anyone one here know someone who has read COC and remained a faithful witness?
Oh yes he did. We were absolutely baffled by corrupt elders in our congregation so we moved to another congregation and were treated badly by those elders.
We went to the library and were looking in the religious section so I guess we were ready for answers because that's not something we'd done before.
There on the shelf was Crisis of Conscience, we read it until the small hours and then we knew the whole organization was corrupt. We left a few months later. That guy has helped so many people.
This was in '89 not long after the whole big US apostate scandal which we later learned was about Ray Franz and the others. We were so grateful he didn't just go off and live his life, which he could have done, but he helped us leave too.
Without a doubt.
I've read a big portion of his CoC - it did explain some things, but I can't say it was of a big help for my waking up process. There's no bigger enemy for the WT than they themselves together with their policies and idiots serving as elders.