The new Fred Franz?
Of course, no one could ever fully replace "our oracle for over 50 years" (Ray Franz quoting Karl Klein or someone else on the GB back in the days of GB I in CofC somewhere ), but I have to wonder just who on GB II has come to fill Fred Franz's shoes the most. It seems like it is David Splane. He appears to be in charge of the Writing Department, proposes and pushes thru the GB most of the doctrinal changes (he announces them so they're his baby), and like FF, fancies himself musically inclined. I've read here that various ones have said he was more studious than the average big shot elder when forum members knew him. That is isn't saying much, of course, in the Witness world, and I doubt he was the college dropout with some formal Greek under his belt that FF was.
In several ways he doesn't seem as bright at FF was. At least Splane doesn't think out the consequences of his doctrinal changes like FF did—not that FF wasn't also short-sighted, but he seemed at least somewhat better in this area. FF seemed more reluctant to change a doctrinal issue unless he could offer a replacement. Splane seems more eager to reject certain long-established doctrine/belief without offering much to replace the spurned interpretation. For example, there's the nebulous dismissal of type/anti-type, shadow-reality interpretations, which had a long respectable place in earliest Christianity.
My crazy interpretations can't be compared. I created the blood ban which produced an uproar in the community and many martyrs. It was a great marketing for our organization. The 1975 fiasco was also my special work.
Is he the one who makes all the funny faces?
I don't think the actual leaders of the WT/JW scam, those actually steering the ship, would encourage someone like FF by actually appointing him to a position where he could do damage.
Splane does not strike me as being a scholar, or of being nutty like Fred, so he is perhaps just a figurehead, with the main remit of making sure the outpourings don't sound too Looney.
Nineteenth Century religion had its last hurrah with the likes of Fred Franz and Herbert Armstrong. Their era has passed and it won't be back, at least in developed countries. The WT leadership doesn't really have a chance.
The internet will expose phonies like FF long before their insane brand of BS can become "doctrine". The younger "generation" is not as gullible as we were---thank dog!
no one could ever fully replace "our oracle for over 50 years"
I agree. The situation now will not allow for another Freddie-type figure. Fred's situation was unique. He lived at a time when he could read and study for hours at a time in isolation like some medieval monk and then appear and reveal his deep findings/insights largely unchallenged.
For one thing, the JW realm was more isolated and insulated from outside scrutiny then. Franz could write one of his "deep" books and JWs were awed by it as if it was beamed from Heaven. However, very few non-JWs ever saw it, and those who did and who criticized it had no good medium through which to communicate such a criticism. Also, the few JWs who felt that something was wrong had no effective way to find out that there were others like them and to communicate with such ones.
The internet and modern technology changed all that. Now, as soon as a new JW publication comes out, it's on the internet and immediately gets analyzed and criticized by many who have no fear or JWs and are not in the least intimidated by them or their GB.
Because of his oracle statue, it seems that even GB members were for the most part reluctant to challenge him. It's kind of like when a CO comes to a congregation, what he says usually is accepted unchallenged because of his position, even if some disagree or sense that something's wrong with what he says.
There were a number of factors that led to Fred's achieving the status of oracle within JWdom. He had some education, he evidently had some intellect, he lived at a time in history that was ripe for end-times prophecy, he was friends with Knorr, there was no internet, etc. The dynamics of the Knorr/Franz relationship contributed a lot. Knorr had power, but wasn't the scholarly type. He needed the nerdy Franz for that. Franz was perfect for the role. He was quieter, more private and socially awkward, nerdy, kind of odd, etc.; he just seemed to fit the description of what some picture when they think of oracles, gurus, geniuses, etc. Knorr and Franz needed each other; they complemented each other. Also, the power structure was different back then. At that time the Watchtower Society president was viewed as the boss. That was Knorr, but Franz was the oracle, and he had the backing of the boss, Knorr.
The power structure now is such that the president isn't even a member of the GB, and the last time I checked, was not even a partaker. Rule now is supposedly by the GB, who are all supposedly equal.
Time and internet exposure are more and more showing JW theology to be wrong, and JW history is being more exposed and analyzed than ever before. JWs will never again be able to teach the deeper, detailed, intricate stuff; they have to keep it simple now because they know they will torn to shreds if they try that deeper Franz -type stuff. The walls have come down; JWdom is no longer insulated and isolated from scrutiny and criticism.
Maybe one GB member will be a little stronger than the others; maybe there will be an alpha, but I just don't see how there could ever be another Freddie.
There are about 1300 mega churches in the USA (membership in individual church exceeds 2000). The largest is probably that of Joel Osteen. There's still televangelists galore. If there are that many gullible people who believe their pastor should be believed no matter what he says, there's room for someone to come along and replace Freddy.
But I don't think that "someone" is on the current GB. Give me a break - overlap generation. "Accept whatever we say even if it seems kind of goofy." (Paraphrase) "We aren't in money trouble, but we are in money trouble."
It is ripe for a hostile takeover likened to the one Joe Rutherford did. The next Freddy could come out after that happens.
Yes it's Splane, and he's a very poor imitation of Franz. There's no way in hell Freddy would have come up with the overlapping generations fiasco.
Amen. Splane sounds like he invented their fables itself.
The invention to put FF on the generation timeline is so humorous. And shameless also.
I watched Splane directing the AM choir and new that this man is thinking he is God sent.