Raymond Franz, RIP

Raymond Franz
Raymond Victor Franz, 1922-2010

It was announced this morning (June 2nd) that Raymond Franz passed away due to a stroke injuries he suffered on May 30, 2010.

Mr. Franz was a much-loved and respected Christian all of his life. As active and dedicated Jehovah’s Witnesses, he and his wife served for over 40 years in various assignments, primarily in the Caribbean and at Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. He was a former missionary and member of the Watchtower Society’s Governing Body. Since the early 1980s, after leaders of the Watchtower Society excommunicated him, he lived privately and quietly in the southeastern United States.

Read More


The Watchtower redefines a “generation”

Before getting too far into this subject, I’d like to make a prediction:

Ten years from now, when you ask Jehovah’s Witnesses why the Watchtower changed its teachings about “this generation will not pass away” in April 2010, they will have no memory of the release of this “new light” – and many will simply deny that it ever happened.Generation Truth Book

Or, it is more than likely that there will be NEW “new light” released between now and then that will change the Watchtower’s teaching on this subject once again.

Back to the new “generation” teaching in just a moment, but first I want to remind my readers about a similar situation involving the Watchtower’s promotion of “1975” as the year that Armageddon would begin.

From late 1967 until the end of the year 1975, that’s all you heard from the Watchtower and Awake! It was the only thing that every Jehovah’s Witness you knew or met on the street wanted to talk about. “Stay alive till ’75!” was a common greeting among the Witnesses at meetings and conventions. Everyone – from Circuit Overseers to the late Fred Franz, (then the Vice-President of the Society) – urged rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses to set aside their plans and reschedule their lives for events that they were assured would come in 1975.

Witness families and individuals moved from their homes to “go where the need is greater.” Young people completely gave up their plans to go to college or to prepare for a career. Some canceled marriage plans, or put off having children, because they were so sure that Armageddon was coming by 1975. They heard comments like, “we’re not talking years, we’re talking months…” from high-ranking Watchtower leaders.  Comments and speculation about “1975” was a part of almost every Witness conversation.

When 1975 came and went and life went on pretty much as before, the Watchtower first denied that it had ever promoted that particular year as anything special. In fact, it actually accused the rank and file in local congregations of spreading that rumor and only imagining that the leadership in Bethel had promoted the idea – because it was they who wanted to believe that 1975 would see the start of Armageddon. The Governing Body claimed that the suggestion that 1975 was anything special never received any direct encouragement from the Watchtower Society.

Of course, everyone knew that was a lie, but like sheep, the rank and file simply accepted the responsibility for the failure of 1975 and then refused to challenge the Watchtower’s accusation that they had “run ahead of Jehovah.”

It took a few years, but the Watchtower eventually accepted some (but not all) of the responsibility for that false prophecy it had so eagerly promoted. The leadership still refused to make amends to all those faithful followers and their families who suffered by quitting good jobs or selling their homes at a discount. Nothing could be done for those who put off their personal plans for going to college, getting married, or having kids. I guess that as far as the Watchtower Society was concerned, that was just bad luck for them…

All along the Watchtower has continued to remind Jehovah’s Witnesses that “this generation (those that lived during 1914) would not pass” until all of their “end-of-this-system-of-things” prophecies were fulfilled.

In April (2010) that will all officially change – along with the Watchtower’s definition of the word “generation.”

Read More


Jehovah’s Witnesses and Bible Study

Bible Study ReferencesI must admit that during the thirteen years that I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I’d never read the Bible from cover to cover. Several years later, when I finally had the time and the desire to read the entire Bible, I did it twice in less than six months. That’s how I finally discovered what Bible study was all about and what the “holy book” really had to say.

When I was an active Jehovah’s Witness, I thought I knew how to study the Bible. I successfully studied with several potential converts that I’d met during my time in field service. I was also privileged to be appointed as a Tuesday night “book study conductor” for a brief time.

I found the use of concordances and reference books easy, allowing me to locate verses that I could use in field service, Theocratic Ministry School, and public talks. I soon made the study of the Bible’s history, historic events and characters my hobby. Even as a teenager, I had an excellent understanding of Witness theology and eschatology, making me quite an expert in biblical trivia.

Many years later, after I left the Organization and actually read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I came to the realization that until that time never really understood what was really in that book. I actually experienced an epiphany when I finally finished reading all the words and chapters in sequence from cover to cover.

I found a certain satisfaction in the straightforward reading of the Bible. My process of study didn’t involve jumping around, looking for scriptures to support a particular teaching (proof-texting). It was just a simple reading without any rules to follow or daily assigned texts to look up.

Read More


An Elder shares his honest opinions

By “Shadow Elder”

Before I express my opinion to the readers and contributors to this website (www.ex-jw.com), I would like to explain who I am and to present my bona fides as someone qualified to comment on this website and Jehovah’s Witnesses in general.

First of all, I am an active Jehovah’s Witness living just outside of New York City. Being a large metropolis, Watchtower shadow manNew York has many Kingdom Halls located within the city and several more in surrounding boroughs, counties, and suburbs. This puts me right next to the Brooklyn Bethel headquarters, in an area where Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite active and well represented in the local population. If you want to know what average Jehovah’s Witnesses are thinking, New York and New England would be a good place to start.

I am in my early 50s, married, with four adult sons. My wife and I own our home and I drive an older four-door Japanese sedan – a perfect car to use for field service. I work as a manager for a national company connected to the food services industry. I earn a decent salary, but we are far from being rich. We get by, but it can be very expensive living in a large city, even when your needs are modest.

I have been a Jehovah’s Witness for most of my life. My parents were Witnesses and remained faithful in the Truth until they passed away a few years ago. My father professed to be of the Anointed class – my mother did not. I have been selected as an elder and have held ministerial servant and overseer positions at several Kingdom Halls.

Now that I’ve explained who I am, I would like to share some of my observations and opinions, not only about this website and others, but also about the attitudes of many current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I think that the readers of this article should consider it to be a “come to Jesus moment” for all of us. Hopefully, when I’m finished we’ll all see the light, recognize the errors of our ways, and take a new approach to jumping in on the ongoing debates over the teachings and lifestyle of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Read More


The truth about JW “Bible Studies”

You hear a knock at your door. When you answer, you find one or more Jehovah’s Witnesses standing there.  Oh yes, you remember them; they were the nice people who you spoke to a couple of weeks ago when they came by and left a free Watchtower and Awake! magazine with you. You were polite to them during that visit, so they have marked your address down for a “go-back” (revisit).

“Hello. We just wanted to stop by and drop off the latest issues of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines for you to read,” says a JW. “There are some really good articles in them announcing God’s kingdom that will soon rule the Earth.”

You reach out to accept the magazines and thank them. The JW continues, “We’d very much like to offer you the opportunity to have a free weekly Bible study in your home. This will be your opportunity to learn about all the great things that are promised to mankind within our lifetimes. You do have a Bible don’t you?”

After confirming that you do have a Bible somewhere around the house, but admit that you have hardly ever read it, you think about it and then respond that having a Bible study might be a good thing.

Read More