Living down here in the backwoods of Alabama, we were privy to very little of what was going on in the Watchtower world. Most of us never heard about the shake-up at headquarters during the 1980s. I read and dismissed the Time article about Ray Franz, although I heard and dismissed whispers from one local elder about “certain apostate happenings up there in Gadsden.”
I knew that he was a nephew of Fred Franz. One time I went up to Tuscaloosa to hear Ray speak, and I knew that a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses thought the world of that uncle of his. What I didn’t know at the time was the extent to which Fred Franz had promoted 1975 as “the end of a system of things.” [watch video at end of article] Fred was also instrumental in driving his nephew out of the Watchtower Society’s headquarters.
I learned all of that from reading Ray’s book, Crisis of Conscience. I also learned about the Malawi/Mexico conundrum, the alternative military service fiasco, and the non-allowable bedroom intimacies debacle.