One year ago Brother Ray Franz finished his earthly course. Hundreds of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been personally touched by this gentle brother who served Jehovah God and Jesus Christ zealously for so many years.

His writings still touch many. Millions of Witnesses unknowingly study his articles regularly, right off of the bound volumes in the Watchtower library, and especially in the many sections he wrote for the excellent Bible encyclopedia Insight on the Scriptures.

But the most significant of his writings are Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom. When he woke up to the truth about the truth, he struggled with and went through his crisis and told us about it in a candid, humble manner. His seminal works will be read and re-read by those struggling to make sense of the Watchtower Society and other high control groups for many years to come.
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A tribute to Ray Franz:


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Two elders that actually flew to meet Ray Franz and Peter Gregerson in 1981 when it all went down and called Bro Barr and Bro Swingle and begged them to meet with them.

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22 Comments on Remembering Ray Franz

  1. greybeard says:

    That you JJ for the video posts. I enjoyed them very much. Yes Ray will be missed. It is so sad he was treated the way he was. The second video, although very long, was real informative as to how the GB views themselves. Not even willing to talk to this brother. Insisting everything be put in writing. Recording calls then hunting these brothers down. Very sickening to say the least. Thanks again!

    Your brother in Christ,
    Greybeard

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  2. andrew says:

    I thought the second video though very long was quite interesting. These brothers had no agenda they were only after the truth in order to dispel what they thought at first were untruths in the TIME article.
    It shows, as most of us have found out, that when your search for truth starts to threaten the authority of the organization, it responds without mercy or remorse.

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  3. dlswingle says:

    I do not wish to defend the way L. A. Swingle responded to these two Witnesses. I never asked him about his relationship with Ray Franz; He certainly would have refused to talk about it.

    In the late 1970’s, Lyman’s two younger half-brothers (one of whom was my father) confronted him about the 1975 fiasco. His response was that the date was merely the idea of an individual… implying that the Society was not wholly responsible for all the sensationalism during the years leading up to 1975.

    Both of his half-brothers were Elders at the time and they rejected his explanation. They told him that even though an individual was responsible for the whole idea, it was still published through the Society’s literature, and therefore, the Society was culpable for the whole misleading blunder.

    I heard about their discussion first-hand from my father; at that time I was still a faithful Witness. Six or seven years later I found “Crisis of Conscience” in the Marriott Library at the U. o Utah. I was both thrilled and terrified to read it… sometime before I found and read the book, I had decided I could no longer accept Witness theology.

    Some of what Franz wrote about Swingle led me think that he was of the same opinion about the last days and the “Gentile Times” ending in 1914. He also told Franz that he should not resign, not give up. In spite of Swingle’s harsh treatment of these two brothers who sought an audience with him, I believe he was in a great deal of personal turmoil over the lynch mob mentality of the Governing Body and other zealots within the organization. We will never know whether he was of the same mind as those courageous men at Bethel who obeyed their own conscience. Franz told me in subsequent conversations that Swingle had known no other life except Bethel, and no doubt, this was an overriding factor in his compliance with the Society.

    I think it worthwhile to note that in spite of his sometimes intimidating words, Swingle was, at least for a time, a good friend and ally of Raymond Franz. His gruff exterior oftentimes belied his genuine compassion for others, including Franz.

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  4. andrew says:

    Thank you dlswingle for your unique viewpoint on the matter. In R. Franz’s books Swingle does come off as being more open minded than others.
    Thankfully Jesus, who reads hearts, will be the judge of all.

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  5. LonelySheep says:

    In my time I have experienced the bureaucratic nightmare and the willingness of elders to lie and dishonour themselves in front of God, just to save face. So, I can really relate to what these two former witnesses are saying and to use a phrase from the Society their story has the ‘ring of truth’.

    I am ashamed and disgusted to be a Jehovah’s Witness.

    Although associated with a congregation in my heart I am not a JW. I consider myself as a Christian and a Witness of Jehovah.

    Those charlatans who occupy the high ground with their manipulation and lies, I wish them two things. First, that they repent and forsake their elevated status. Second if they don’t, I look forward to the time they will have to eat dust just like their father the Devil.

    Come Lord Jesus, come quickly and rid us of these troublesome men, by the spirit of your mouth.

    BTW does anybody know what happened to these brothers? The video was made about 18yrs ago. I pray that they still have a love of God and have not returned to things they left behind.

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  6. LonelySheep says:

    This is the second time this has happened. I spend time posting a reply only for it to get lost in the ‘ether’.

    I just spent 15 mins responding to the second video, only for it to get lost.

    In short.. I ashamed to be called a JW.

    I wish for the GB to be revealed in all their ‘glory’ and for Jesus Christ to rid us of this cancer that has plagued us for so long.

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  7. JJ says:

    LS

    I feel a lot of what you are feeling. There are conflicts within me though sometimes, because on a *local* level things aren’t like that, at least where I am at. I have seen it a number of times over the years, yes- anyone that is a servant or an elder for any length of time will see things.

    But it’s pathetic that these brothers were not given any respect as fellow slaves and just rejected outright. Their story is another one of the monuments to what happened and testimony to our Heavenly father that not all of Jehovah’s Witnesses are like this.

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  8. Seeker says:

    It was Raymond Franz’s two books that really helped me to see through the falsity of the Organization.No diatribe,just plain, well documented facts written in a loving spirit.
    An elder told me that R.F. was disfellowshipped due to “immoral behavior,” but after reading his books,I knew he was truly an honest and moral person. A man of integrity.
    I thank Jehovah God for opening my eyes.

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  9. JWB says:

    I’ve prepared a leaflet which gives Ray’s written refutation of certain defamatory rumors spread about him:

    http://www.jwbaptism.talktalk.net/jwi/c.html

    (Please follow the above link to access the PDF file)

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  10. JWB says:

    Just a note on my reference above. I’ve had to rearrange my resource website as http://www.jwbaptism.talktalk.net, and so text reproductions relating to Ray Franz can be found at:

    http://jwbaptism-jwi.blogspot......franz.html

    and

    http://jwbaptism-jwi.blogspot......ipped.html

    Instead of leaflets, I’ve created image files that contain reproductions of the relevant pages referenced in those articles. These can be viewed from links found at:

    http://jwbaptism.blogspot.com/.....ation.html

    Another useful link to a February 22, 1982 Times magazine article, which some may find of interest, is:

    http://www.time.com/time/print.....67,00.html

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  11. Unchained says:

    Ray’s books opened my eyes to the deceptive,manipulative ways of the WT. ..how I wish I had read them much earlier,but I was too indoctrinated.
    I hope many more JWs get to read this priceless books.

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  12. jwtruth says:

    I know the blogger who created [name removed by admin].He is a control freak.I used to be his friend.I left the truth because of his miserable attitude.I am returning to the organisation now.Goodbye apostate sites!

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    • JJ says:

      And returning to the organization will accomplish what? Showing your devotion to your governing body masters has nothing to do with following Christ, who himself said that HE was “the truth” at John 14:6.

      At any rate, the person your refer to is not affiliated with this site, but I am sorry that he discouraged you from serving God. You also make reference to “apostate sites”…If you feel that this place is such a site, can you please explain your reasons for coming to this conclusion?

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  13. clueless says:

    Ray Franz was a [expletive removed by admin]. Enough said.

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    • JJ says:

      And you would know this about Ray Franz HOW Mr. “Clueless”?
      When you call someone a cuss word you must have strong feelings about the person, and hopefully a good reason for doing so.

      What are your reasons? If you have proof that he was please share it with us…

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  14. JJ says:

    It appears that “clueless” and “jwtruth” are one and the same person. Yet another JW Apologist that has trouble following his own governing body masters that have told him not to visit “dangerous” sites like this one!

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  15. Cheryl says:

    I was disfellowshipped 10 years ago on the grounds of immorality and immediately spiralled into depression. Believing that Jehovah had given up on me and losing friends and others whom I’d come to regard as my “family” was too much to bear. I went online to look for others in the same situation and Raymond Franz’s books were recommended reads. After reading Crisis of Conscience in its entirety, and skimming through In Search of Christian Freedom I felt able to make new friends (outside the organisation). This was something I was very reluctant to do, believing still that anyone outside the “organisation” to be under satan’s control. I have met some truly wonderful people and have a small group of friends who accept me for who I am, warts and all! However, I have met not one single person claiming to be christian who doesn’t belong to a similar “organisation”. Does anyone know of any sites online which I could visit and talk to fellow “free” christians? I am now re-reading In Search of….. (halfway thro’) and it is much more poignant having had a decade to settle after the confusion instilled by the WTS.

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    • Kristie says:

      Crisis of Conscience and videos of Ex JW’s on the John Ankerberg show helped me get out after 10 years. I detoured through ‘organized’ Christiandom for another 6 years or so. then being so disillusioned of it all nothing but research and study for about 15 years .. then praying and pleading with the Lord that he show me HIS truth or I was done I just couldn’t take not knowing what his word really said or meant any longer. then he led me to his truth through GRACE teachers like Les Feldick and Richard Jordan et al. I am so full of joy and thank the Lord every day that he led me to teachers that show you in very simple terms what God’s word says and means. It is a joy I can’t express for the bible to finally come alive to me and that I actually understand it. the truth .. the real truth certainly does make you free and if you be in Christ you are free indeed. lots of groups on facebook for grace (free christians) believers. come join us! I would certainly recommend http://www.lesfeldick.org http://www.forgottentruths.com http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org for starters. there is LIBERTY in CHRIST that those in organized religion just don’t understand .. we can never earn our salvation but they keep trying and I keep praying. if you care to converse reply with your email address and I will write to you. God Bless You.

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  16. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Dear Sister Cheryl, I am a “free” Christian, and no doubt you will find others here on this site! An elder recently described me as being in “no mans land”, being neither affiliated with JWs or with the other churches of Christendom. No mans land sounds pretty good don’t you think? We don’t need “men”…we only need Christ! I feel I have escaped to the mountainous region…..perhaps I have found Pella!! Anyway, welcome to the site!!

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  17. Bigthinker says:

    I think Jwtruth and clueless are the same person, probably the guy who took over the blog and is lying. I bet he or she still is a witness. I left a comment on the blog. Looks like one of his friends tried to protect him with his propaganda.

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  18. Dazed and Confused says:

    I was brought up as a JW (although was never baptised) and decided to leave the organisation in my late teens. I have never stopped searching for truth and meaning in my life and have never stopped believing in Jehovah’s great plan for this world or salvation through Jesus Christ. Now I feel I am at a crossroads where I would like to return to a (christian) flock, and be baptised in Jesus but not through the JW doctorine. I have been studying Church doctrines and bible prophecies and am stumped at which path to take. SDA & Christadelphian
    seem to have very strikingly similar doctrines to JW and are pacifist, but do use the Cross in their worship (which I am strongly opposed to due to its pre-Christian pagan use & ‘Though shall not make graven images’ commandment) and also SDA’s have the Trinity (which was never mentioned in the bible). I do however agree with the SDA’s that the Sabbath should be observed as Jehovah God commanded and blessed it, namely Sundown Fri-Sundown Sat. So where do I go? Or should I just repent and get a friend to baptise me? Then carry on studying the bible on my own ?

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