Did Ray Franz manage to live out a comfortable retirement from the proceeds of his books.

by joe134cd 35 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • joe134cd
    I'm just curious if anybody knows. Firstly I don't take issue with the man making money from his books and if he was able to live comfortably from it then I say power to him. But what I'm wanting to know was just how successful was it and did it allow him to live out the remainder of his years in comfort e.g buy a house, eat good food etc. Anyone know.
  • The Rebel
    The Rebel

    Hi Joel,

    In my opinion the books more importantly for Ray than money gave self worth. ( In a way parallel to the sence of self worth he must have once felt being on the G.B) And of course a source of income from the publication of those books added a financial security.

    The Rebel.

  • nicolaou

    I highly doubt it. The books had a huge influence in a small arena; doubting Jehovah's Witnesses who had the nerve to read them.

    I borrowed mine from the public library and many bought second hand copies from eBay, I doubt Ray actually sold more than a few thousand copies.

    Like so many others though, I appreciate what he did.

  • joe134cd
    I to absolutely appreciate his hard work.
  • Simon

    I doubt he would have made much. The reality of book publishing is that only people who have huge bestsellers or multiple good-selling books make a lot - right at the top you have the J,K.Rowlings etc... who are selling hundreds of millions of copies.

    Once you get down into the very specific, vertical markets then it's unlikely you make a lot. Even technical programming books don't make a ton of money and they probably have more widespread appeal than ex-JWs - a small number of people who have left a small minor religion.

    I think the title of one of his books says it all - Crisis of Conscience. This to me was someone bothered about what he had once been involved with and wanting to set the record straight and share what he knew.

    I bought both his books and consider the outlay more than fair trade for the information I received and the peace of mind it helped knowing that it wasn't the truth or even the kindly organization they like to portray themselves as.

  • Londo111
    I hope so!
  • dozy

    I very much doubt it. He left the Society with very little and lived in a caravan , scratching out a hard living working in the fields being attacked by fire ants. These kind of books are hardly "best-sellers" - once the publishers and booksellers costs etc are taken into account , I would guess he would have made very little - at best maybe a few thousand dollars.

    Do bear in mind as well that Franz could have written a more salacious gossipy " warts and all " book - for example maybe giving further information on alleged homosexual GB members and Bethelites. Doubtless he would have sold many more copies , appealing to a much wider market and garnered more publicity. He chose not to do so - focusing on scholarly , doctrinal and organisational information. As a resource - the insight and life story of a former GB member - the two books are absolutely unique and totally invaluable.

  • mimimimi
    I thought that he and his wife depended on the help of an ex-JW who had a business and had done well for himself throughout the rest of their life. Being a part of and working for the Watchtower Society does not prepare one to support themselves after all.
  • Tenacious

    I highly doubt he made more than a few thousands after paying for publishing etc. When his second book was released, e-books were barely making a dent on the internet.

    His audience was very, very small compared to other genres and he knew this. Yet Ray went on ahead and published it. This, to me, speaks volumes in that he did it for those who were currently suffering, would suffer, and destined to suffer without having much a say (newborns, kids, preteens, etc.).

    Ray Franz has done more to ease the mental suffering of current and former Witnesses than all former member publications put together. Ray just had a rare view into the inner workings and he gave those to us in his brutally honest words. Although, I still believe he could have spewed some really juicy tidbits here and there and confirmed detrimental actions by other GB members and Bethelites, yet he chose not to and this reflects his goal and aim at trying to help the friends and teaching them about how one should truly adhere to Scripture and follow Christ in honor of God.

    My only wish, and boy how I wished it, was to speak to him personally. Even corresponding with him would have sufficed.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    I doubt he would have made much. The reality of book publishing is that only people who have huge bestsellers or multiple good-selling books make a lot - right at the top you have the J,K.Rowlings etc... who are selling hundreds of millions of copies.

    This is why college textbooks cost so much. Too specific of a readership to make a profit from, without charging an arm and a leg.

    P.S. Ray was a lovely man, I knew him for a little over a year shortly before everything that went down at Bethel. The tone of his books reflect his disappointment with the Watchtower Society rather than any resentment and dissent and they are a testament to his character and provide even more credibility to his situation.

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