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CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE PDF

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yesterday to copies of "Crisis of Conscience" in several languages and then deleted their I for one own a book version as well as ronaldweinland.info Crisis of Conscience is a biographical book by Raymond Franz, a former member of the . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. for those who've never read these incredible books by our friend ray franz.. here are links for both.. happy reading!.


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Editorial Reviews. Review. “The book goes far beyond recounting Franz's personal crisis. RAYMOND FRANZ. Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by the Watchtower Bible. 𝗣𝗗𝗙 | Objective: This paper examines the crisis of conscience as portrayed in the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. Conclusion: The.

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Abraham was given pause between the order and its ulti- God said, out on Highway Abraham may take him, down Highway As Kierkegaard wrote: is aware of consequences.

Oedipus is not. The challenge in the face of the most intense enucleation. The containing function of allegory was crises of conscience is to remain in the world of limits, unavailable for Oedipus. The story of Oedipus, of youth, duties, accountability.

As long as he is not late back for work. Freud referred to make no concessions. Is there such a between thought and deed — between inner fantasy and being within you of which you know nothing? But God. By imagining the most terrible act, and placing it in the absence of any mention of hostile feelings casts a culturally sanctioned zone such as a dream or a story or doubt on this perspective, which assumes some mecha- a song, we are helped not to enact it.

And in experienc- nism of disavowal. But obedience to what? No thought has God — Abraham does of course obey it. Cohen A. The myth of the Judeo-Christian tradition. New York: Harper and Row, Freud S. The interpretation of dreams. In Hutchins R. Brittanica great books. Piaget J. The moral judgment of the child. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, Munz P. Relationship and solitude. Disclosure The three Theban plays.

Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Classics, The author reports no conflict of interest and is alone responsible for the content and writing Group psychology and analysis of the ego. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, References McCarthy C. The road.

This book is about that kind of crisis, the way people are facing up to it and the effect on their lives. Admittedly, the story of the persons involved may have little of the high drama found in the heresy trial of a John Wycliffe, the intrigue of the international hunt for an elusive William Tyndale, or the horror of the burning at the stake of a Michael Servetus.

But their struggle and suffering are, in their own way, no less intense. Few of 1 them could say it as eloquently as Luther, yet they take very much the same stand he took when he said to the seventy men judging him: Unless I am convinced by the testimonies of the Scriptures or by evident reason for I believe neither pope nor councils alone, since it is manifest they have often erred and contradicted them- selves , I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is held captive by the word of God; and as it is neither safe nor right to act against conscience, I cannot and will not retract anything.

Here I stand; I cannot otherwise; God help me. I am sure, and there is evidence to show, that their experience is by no means unique, that there is a similar stirring of conscience among people of various faiths.

They face the same issue that Peter and John and men and women of later centuries confronted: the struggle to hold true to personal conscience in the face of pressure from religious authority. For many it is an emotional tug-of-war. At that kind of crossroads, decisions do not come easy. For if the numbers presently involved are comparatively small, the issues are not.

They are far-reaching questions that have brought men and women into similar crises of conscience again and again throughout history. At stake is the freedom to pursue spiritual truth untrammeled by arbitrary restrictions and the right to enjoy a personal relationship with God and his Son free from the subtle interposition of a priestly nature on the part of some human agency. Some find themselves suddenly severed from family relationships as a result of official religious action—cut off from parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, even from grand- parents or grandchildren.

They can no longer enjoy free association with longtime friends for whom they feel deep affection; such association would place those friends in jeopardy of the same official action. They witness the blackening of their own good name—one that it has taken them a lifetime to earn—and all that such name has stood for in the minds and hearts of those who knew them. They are thereby deprived of whatever good and rightful influence they might exercise on behalf of the very people they have known best in their community, in their country, in all the world.

Material losses, even physical mistreatment and abuse, can be easier to face than this.

Download Raymond Franz PDF Books Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom

What could move a person to risk such a loss? How many persons today would? There are, of course as there have always been , people who would risk any or all of these things because of stubborn pride, or to satisfy the desire for material gain, for power, prestige, promi- nence, or simply for fleshly pleasure.

But when the evidence reveals nothing indicating such aims, when in fact it shows that the men and women involved recognized that just the opposite of those goals was what they could expect—what then?

Besides those who were willing to face excommunication for the sake of conscience, what of the larger number, those who felt obliged to share in or support such excommunications, to allow the family circle to be broken, to terminate long-standing friendships? What convictions and reasonings motivated them? For the rest of their life their only friends have been among those of their religious community.

Some had built their whole life plans around the goals set before them by the organization, letting these control the amount of education they sought, the type of work they did, their decisions as to marriage, and whether they had children or re- mained childless. And now they have seen all this disappear, wiped out in a matter of a few hours. This is, I believe, one of the strange features of our time, that some of the most stringent measures to restrain expressions of personal conscience have come from religious groups once noted for the defense of freedom of conscience.

The examples of three men—each a religious instructor of note in his particular religion, with each situation coming to a culmi- nation in the same year—illustrate this: One, for more than a decade, wrote books and regularly gave lectures presenting views that struck at the very heart of the authority structure of his religion.

The third made no such public pronouncements. His only expressions of difference of viewpoint were confined to personal conversations with close friends. Yet the strictness of the official action taken toward each of these men by their respective religious organizations was in inverse proportion to the seriousness of their actions.

And the source of the greatest severity was the opposite of what one might expect. After ten years, his outspoken criticism, including his rejection of the doctrinal infallibility of the Pope and councils of bishops, was finally dealt with by the Vatican itself and, as of , the Vatican removed his official status as a Catholic theologian.

Even students for the priesthood attending his lectures are not subject to church discipline. Ford was granted six months leave of absence to prepare his defense and, in , was then met with by a hundred church representatives who spent some fifty hours hearing his testimony.

Church officials then decided to remove him from his teaching post and strip him of his ministerial status. But he was not disfellowshiped excommunicated though he has published his views and continues to speak about them in Adventist circles.

He expressed his difference of viewpoint on certain teachings only in private con- versation with friends of long standing. After over forty years of association, Dunlap was dismissed from his work and his home at the international headquar- ters and disfellowshiped from the organization.

Herein lies a paradox. They have heard of their uncompromising stand in refusing to accept blood transfusions, their refusal to salute any flag or similar emblem, their firm objection to performance of military service, their opposition to participation in any political activity or function. Those familiar with legal cases know that they have taken some fifty cases to the Supreme Court of the United States in defense of their freedom of conscience, including their right to carry their message to people of other beliefs even in the face of considerable opposition and objections.

In lands where constitutional liberties protect them, they are free to exercise such rights without hindrance. In other countries they have experienced severe persecution, arrests, jailing, mobbings, beatings, and official bans prohibiting their literature and preaching. How, then, is it the case that today any person among their members who voices a personal difference of viewpoint as to the teachings of the organization is almost certain to face judicial proceedings and, unless willing to retract, is liable for disfellow- shipment?

How do those carrying out those proceedings rationalize the apparent contradiction in position? Some may say that the issue is really not as simple as it is here presented, that there are other crucial matters involved. What of the need for religious unity and order? What of the need for protection against those who spread false, divisive and pernicious teachings? What of the need for proper respect for authority?

To ignore those factors would admittedly show an extreme, blindly unbalanced, attitude. Who can challenge the fact that freedom, misused, Price of Conscience 7 can lead to irresponsibility, disorder, and can end in confusion, even anarchy? Patience and tolerance likewise can become nothing more than an excuse for indecision, nonaction, a lowering of all standards.

Even love can become mere sentimentality, misguided emotion that neglects to do what is really needed, with cruel consequences. All this is true and is what those focus on who would impose restraints on personal conscience through religious authority. What happens when the desirable qualities of unity and order are substituted for by demands for institutionalized conformity and by legalistic regimentation? What results when proper respect for authority is converted into servility, unquestioning submission, an abandonment of personal responsibility before God to make decisions based on individual conscience?

Those questions must be considered if the issue is not to be distorted and misrepresented. What follows in this book illustrates in a very graphic way the effect these things have on human relation- ships, the unusual positions and actions persons will take who see only one side of the issue, the extremes to which they will go to uphold that side. The organizational character and spirit manifest in the s, continued essentially unchanged in thes, and remains the same in this year Perhaps the greatest value in seeing this is, I feel, that it can help us discern more clearly what the fundamental issues were in the days of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and understand why and how a tragic deviation from their teachings and example came, so subtly, with such relative ease, in so brief a span of time.

Of pdf crisis conscience

To search out the answers to the questions raised requires going beyond the individuals affected into the inner structure of a distinctive religious organization, into its system of teaching and control, discovering how the men who direct it arrive at their decisions and policies, and to some extent investigating its past history and origins. For I could even pray to be outcast from Christ myself for the sake of my brothers, my natural kinsfolk. W HAT has thus far been said gives, I believe, good reason for the writing of this book.

In lands where constitutional liberties protect them, they are free to exercise such rights without hindrance. In other countries they have experienced severe persecution, arrests, jailing, mobbings, beatings, and official bans prohibiting their literature and preaching. How, then, is it the case that today any person among their members who voices a personal difference of viewpoint as to the teachings of the organization is almost certain to face judicial proceedings and, unless willing to retract, is liable for disfellow- shipment?

How do those carrying out those proceedings rationalize the apparent contradiction in position? Some may say that the issue is really not as simple as it is here presented, that there are other crucial matters involved. What of the need for religious unity and order? What of the need for protection against those who spread false, divisive and pernicious teachings?

What of the need for proper respect for authority? To ignore those factors would admittedly show an extreme, blindly unbalanced, attitude. Patience and tolerance likewise can become nothing more than an excuse for indecision, nonaction, a lowering of all standards.

Even love can become mere sentimentality, misguided emotion that neglects to do what is really needed, with cruel consequences. All this is true and is what those focus on who would impose restraints on personal conscience through religious authority.

What happens when the desirable qualities of unity and order are substituted for by demands for institutionalized conformity and by legalistic regimentation? What results when proper respect for authority is converted into servility, unquestioning submission, an abandonment of personal responsibility before God to make decisions based on individual conscience?

Those questions must be considered if the issue is not to be distorted and misrepresented. What follows in this book illustrates in a very graphic way the effect these things have on human relation- ships, the unusual positions and actions persons will take who see only one side of the issue, the extremes to which they will go to uphold that side. The organizational character and spirit manifest in the s, continued essentially unchanged in thes, and remains the same in this year Perhaps the greatest value in seeing this is, I feel, that it can help us discern more clearly what the fundamental issues were in the days of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and understand why and how a tragic deviation from their teachings and example came, so subtly, with such relative ease, in so brief a span of time.

To search out the answers to the questions raised requires going beyond the individuals affected into the inner structure of a distinctive religious organization, into its system of teaching and control, discovering how the men who direct it arrive at their decisions and policies, and to some extent investigating its past history and origins.

I am speaking the truth as a Christian, and my own conscience, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, assures me it is no lie. For I could even pray to be outcast from Christ myself for the sake of my brothers, my natural kinsfolk.

W HAT has thus far been said gives, I believe, good reason for the writing of this book. The question may remain as to why I am the one writing it. One reason is my background and the perspective it gives. While others, many others, could say the same, it is unlikely that very many of them had the range of experience that happened to be my lot during those years.

The circumstances were seldom of my own making. The information was often totally unexpected, even disturbing. A final reason, resulting from the previous two, is that of conscience. What do you do when you see mounting evidence that people are being hurt, deeply hurt, with no real justification? What obligation does any of us have—before God and toward fellow humans—when he sees that information is withheld from people to whom it could be of the most serious consequence?

These were questions with which I struggled. What follows expands on these reasons. I am being very foolish, but it was you who drove me to it; my credentials should have come from you.

In no respect did I fall short of these superlative apostles, even if I am a nobody [even though I am nothing, New International Version]. My father and mother and three of my four grandparents were Witnesses, my father having been baptized in when the Wit- nesses were known simply as Bible Students.

I did not become an active Witness until I was sixteen in Serve God and Christ the King. Rutherford, the president of the Watch Tower Society, speak from London, England, by radiotelephone communication.

That appealed to me as a worthwhile principle to follow in life. I felt receptive to the facts he would present. World War II had not yet begun as of that year, but Nazism and Fascism were growing in power and posing an increasing threat to democratic lands.

Among major points emphasized in the Watch Tower president's talk were these: God has made it clearly to be seen by those who diligently seek the truth that religion is a form of worship but which denies the power of God and turns men away from God.

Religion and Christianity are therefore exactly opposite to each other. The answer is world war, famine, pestilence, distress of nations, and amongst other things mentioned the appearance of a monstrosity on the earth. The United States of America, once the bulwark of democracy, is all set to become part of the totalitarian rule. The totalitarian combine is going to get control of England and America.

You cannot prevent it. Do not try. They created in me an intensity of feeling, of near agitation, that I had not experienced before. Yet none of them today form part of Witness belief.

Of these he said: Credentials and Cause Joseph Rutherford spoke forcefully and with a distinctive cadence of great finality. I was deeply impressed with the importance of the organization as essential to salvation, also that the work of witnessing must take precedence over, or at least militate against, such personal interests as marriage and childbearing. That summer of our family went to Detroit, Michigan, to at- tend a major Witness convention.

A spirit of tense anticipation pre- vailed, a sense of being under siege. The trial ran five days and on the last day, after night had fallen, the jury brought in its verdict of guilty.

On leaving the courthouse, the defense attorney a Witness named Victor Schmidt and his wife were violently assaulted by a mob and were forced to walk, in a driving rain, the entire distance to the city limits.

Another Wit- ness had attempted this but only got a broken car window for his efforts. I felt all the more convinced of the rightness of my course with those who were quite evidently the true servants of God. With one exception, we all, men, women and children, were arrested and wound up in various jails, being locked up for one week until bail could be worked out.

Still in my teens, it was my first time at experiencing the feeling that comes. The photo above, from my personal files, shows the way Victor Schmidt looked after we brought him to his home and helped him from his bloodstained clothes. Some months later I was in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a superior court hearing involving the Connersville events. The local congregation asked him to speak to them one evening. During the course of his talk he began discussing the attitude of so many that the work of witnessing was nearing its end, just about finished.

I actually felt like going to him and urging caution lest his remarks get back to Brooklyn and be viewed as disloyal, as having a dissipating, undermining effect on the sense of extreme urgency that had developed. Although then in his late forties, my uncle was a relatively young man compared to Judge Rutherford and I found myself uncertain as to whether to accept his remarks as proper or discount them as the product of an independent, somewhat brash attitude.

Leaving home that year to become the partner of a young fellow Witness in the coal mining region of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, I found myself in an area where the threat of violence was faced almost on a daily basis. At times, upon reaching the last of such a section of houses, we could look back to the point where we had begun our calls and see men and boys excitedly running about gathering a mob.

More so than patriotic fervor, religious bigotry seemed to have been the force motivating the miners. I found that close-minded bigotry appalling then. I was happy to be part of an organization free from such intolerance.

The summer of came and, contrary to my expectation, I found myself attending another assembly, held in St. Louis, Missouri. I still remember seeing crowds gather around as Judge Rutherford was driven up to the assembly site in a large car with Hayden Covington and Vice President Nathan Knorr, both men of large build, standing on the running boards as bodyguards.

On the final day of the assembly, Rutherford had all the children from five to eighteen years of age seated before the platform. After his prepared speech, he talked to them extemporaneously. A tall man of usually stern appearance and stern tone, Rutherford now spoke with almost fatherly persuasion and recommended to these children that they put marriage out of their minds until the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful men and women of old who would soon be resurrected and would guide them in their selection of mates.

A free copy of a new book entitled Children was given each child. As a vehicle for developing the material, it presented a fictional young Witness couple, John and Eunice, who were engaged but who had decided to postpone their marriage until the arrival of the New Order so near at hand. In the book, John said to Eunice:. I was then nineteen, and today in my eighties I can still remem- ber the inner emotional stirrings, a strange mixture of agitation and depression, those expressions generated in me.

At my age back then, to be confronted with statements of that kind that, in essence, called upon me to make a decision and set aside interest in mar- riage for an indefinite time, had an unsettling effect.

I could per- haps appreciate better what young men contemplating entering the priesthood of Catholicism experience. As the September 15, , Watchtower magazine in describing the occasion later said:. Years later I learned that Judge Rutherford was at that point dying of cancer. He had been separated for many years from his wife, who was also a Witness and who lived as an invalid in California; his one son on reaching adulthood had shown no interest in the religion of his father. I have thought since that, had the couple in the book been real instead of fictional, their engagement period would have been rather long, in fact, would still be in effect.

All the young girls present at that assembly would be well past the childbearing age now, being at least in their late sixties or early seventies. Some of those who were then present as children, however, did loyally follow through on the counsel heard and remained single through what might be called their normal marriageable years on into bachelorhood and spinsterhood. It had no insulation whatsoever in the walls and our small coal stove held a fire for at most a few 11 See the Watchtower of September 15, , p.

Many wintry nights saw the water in the pail inside the trailer freeze over and it was not uncom- mon to awaken and then be unable to get back to sleep because of feet throbbing with pain from the cold. We could afford nothing better since, aside from our share of the contributions people gave for litera- ture, we each received as a monthly allowance from the Society a maximum of fifteen dollars.

My partner had an old car but we rarely had the money to put fuel in it. In this town, too, animosity flared. At one time or another young boys broke every window in the trailer. One night I returned home to find it thrown completely over on its side.

I again experienced arrest and spent a night in the local jail. The place literally crawled with bed bugs and, unable to bring myself to lie on the jail bunk, I spent the entire night sitting on an empty tin can someone had left in the cell.

Download Raymond Franz PDF Books Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom

In , an invitation came to attend a missionary school, the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, for a five-months course. I recall that the place gave me somewhat of a sense of unreality. San Diego was a nice city, the home was a fine, upper-class residence. But I could not see why the men I 13 The request form for this allowance had spaces to indicate what had been received from contributions for literature, what had been spent, and the difference.

Since at times the difference did not come quite to fifteen dollars, I felt the right thing to do was to ask for less. But this resulted in my consistently winding up short of funds and then requesting smaller and smaller amounts.

Thereafter I was assigned to the island of Puerto Rico viewed as still within the U. The policy was: Loss of singleness means loss of assignment.

(PDF) On the Crisis of ronaldweinland.info | Bruce Lachter - ronaldweinland.info

Bouts with dysentery, then a paratyphoid infection with its intense spasms of in- testinal pain and passage of stools of blood, and later a case of in- fectious hepatitis did nothing to help.

I worked in the office right through the cases of dysentery and paratyphoid infection and was off only one week as a result of the hepatitis, though I felt so weak I could hardly climb the stairs to the office. After eight years the combined strain brought me near to a nervous breakdown. Upon writing the president, I was relieved of my Branch respon- sibilities I had not requested this and was given the option of re- turning to the States to do traveling work there.

I asked to be allowed instead to remain in my assignment in Puerto Rico and was trans- ferred to another town. Though the town, Aguadilla, was one for which I felt no attraction, I had requested it since it seemed the need was greater there.

Within a year or so I was assigned to do traveling work, visiting congregations in the island and in the neighboring Virgin Islands lying to the east of Puerto Rico. The purpose was primarily to smuggle in copies of Watch Tower litera- ture. Knowing that people who incurred his disfavor had a way of simply disappearing, I accepted the assignment with a measure of appre- hension.

Then in all the American missionaries of the Witnesses were expelled from the Dominican Republic in the wake of a wave of violent persecution, many local Witnesses being brutally beaten and imprisoned. The Society asked me to go in and check on the conditions of the native Dominican Witnesses. I had been in just shortly before to 17 Though of medium height, my average weight while in the Caribbean was only pounds 53 kilos.

See photo on page I could place several magazines around my body beneath a double set of undershirts and also slip an opened, page book inside my shorts and still look normal. The only problem was that while seated on the plane the corners of the opened book cut into my thighs causing some discomfort. When he found out what my mission actually was, the interview ended fairly soon.

It apparently created a favorable impression, nonetheless, since some time later the ban was lifted for a period of about a year and then was reimposed. As we learned from a source close to him, this adverse publicity enraged Trujillo. Feeling like a marked man, I recall that my first night at a hotel in Ciudad Trujillo I was given a room on the ground floor with French win- dows right next to the bed.

My sense of real danger was strong enough to move me to rig up the appearance of a form on the bed while I slept on the floor behind it. Again, however, I was able to make it in and out without incident and made other trips in the following years. Later the Society changed its policy on marriage and, thirteen years after ar- riving in Puerto Rico and now ap- proaching 37 years of age, I married. Cynthia, my wife, joined me in travel- ing work.

We lived with the people we served, sharing their little homes, sometimes with running water and elec- tricity, sometimes not; sometimes with a measure of privacy, often with very little. Only a few months after our mar- riage, while serving in the small island of Tortola my wife fell ill with a severe case of gastroenteritis, evidently from bad water or tainted food. The home we were staying in belonged to a fine West Indian couple with lovable children.

Unfortunately the house they were renting was overrun with roaches, a creature that inspires near panic in my wife. At night we regularly checked our bed for any roaches before letting the mosquito netting down.

I quickly let it down, for the box was alive with what looked to be hundreds of small roaches and I feared the spray could send them ev- erywhere.

Of conscience pdf crisis

For added measure a large rat each night entered the kitchen next to our room and next to the only bathroom , its size being enough to make the tins of food on the shelves move. In these circumstances my wife now began to experience the gastroenteritis, developing extreme diarrhea and regular vomiting. Late that night it began again and this, coupled with the constant diarrhea, brought Cynthia to the point of dehydration.

I ran about a mile in the dark to rouse the doctor from sleep and we carried her in his jeep to a little clinic. Her veins had nearly collapsed and the nurses tried again and again be- fore they could finally insert a needle to administer saline solution. She was able to leave a few days afterward but her health was never quite the same. A later parasite infection whipworm added to the problem. We continued in traveling work until and then were trans- ferred to the neighboring Dominican Republic.

The dictator Trujillo had been assassinated shortly before our arrival. During our nearly five years there, we saw the fall of four separate governments and in April of experienced a war that centered around the capital where we were located. Most Americans and other foreign residents fled the country. Nights were filled with the crack of hundreds of rifles, the rattle of machine guns, the boom of bazookas and other heavier weap- ons.

Lulls came in the fighting during the day and we were able to get outside and carry on some activ- ity, though sometimes almost pinned down by the eruption of gunfire. To this day I Army tank across street from missionary home. We prove we are servants of God by great fortitude in times of suffering: In the words that follow, he makes no mention of his speeches, gives no figures of great audiences he addressed, cites no examples of organizational feats in building up large numbers of believers.

The record is simply set out for the reader to decide upon its relative worth, particularly as regards assessing the validity and integrity of the information supplied in the rest of this publication. What I saw, heard and experienced during the next fifteen years had a great impact on me. Whether the reaction of the reader will coincide with mine, I have no way of knowing, but one thing is certain and that is that no one could understand what brought me to a crisis situation without knowing these developments.

The proverb is apt: Though doubtless this would have been viewed as an honor by others, I frankly had no interest in leaving the. Its permanent effect on me may have been due to an earlier, childhood case of scarlet fever. Speaking to Brother Knorr in his office I explained how much I enjoyed my current assignment, enjoyed the people, enjoyed the work. This apparently was viewed as a lack of appre- ciation for the opportunity offered; he seemed visibly offended.

I then told him I simply had wanted him to know my feelings, my love for missionary activity, and that I would accept the change of assignment. A few months after our arrival and after I had done some work in writing, President Knorr showed me into an office containing a table piled high with stacks of typed papers and asked me to undertake the development of a Bible dictionary.

The papers were the result of assignments that had been parceled out to men around the world. Few of the men had writing experience and fewer still had either the ex- perience, the time or the library facilities for doing research. I believe it can be conservatively said that at least ninety percent of the submitted material was not used. Others shared intermittently for varying periods but the five persons mentioned carried the project through until the 1,page reference work, called Aid to Bible Under- standing, was completed five years later.

It was not intended the way we understood it but that undoubtedly was fortuitous. Insight on the Scriptures a two-volume set with very minor revisions, replaced Aid in By just restating what was in the particular Bible verses relating to a subject, with very little additional clarification, there would be only a minimal amount of time needed for research. We misunderstood him to mean that we should strive always to present what the Bible actually said rather than feel obliged to present things the way the Watch Tower publications presented them.

A considerably different kind of publication resulted than would otherwise have been the case. Our research often revealed differences. On a number of oc- casions I went to his office to inquire about points. Since they were the product of scholars of other religions, however, I had not given much importance to them and, along with others in the department, felt some hesitancy, even distrust, as to using them.

I was impressed even more so by the fact that, though some were written as early as the eighteenth century, the information was generally very worthwhile and accurate.

It was not that I felt these commentaries to be without error by any means; but the good certainly seemed to outweigh the occasional points I felt to be mistaken. I began to appreciate more than ever before how vitally important context was in discerning the meaning of any part of Scripture, and that realization seemed to be true of others of the group who were working regularly on the Aid project.

We also came to realize the need to let the Bible define its own terms rather than simply taking some previously held view or letting an English dictionary definition control.

We began to make greater use of the Hebrew and Greek lexicons in the Bethel library, and concordances that were based on the original language words rather than on English translations. It was an education and it was also very humbling, for we came to appreciate that our understanding of Scripture was far less than we had thought, that we were not the advanced Bible scholars we thought we were.

The two courses at Gilead School I had attended were so tightly programmed that they gave little time for meditation, for unhurried investigation and analysis. Having now both time and access to the extra Bible helps, the lexicons, commentaries, Hebrew and Greek concordances, and so forth, was an aid. But above all it was seeing the need always to let the context guide, always to let the Scriptures themselves control, that made the major difference. I could see why those one-hundred and two-hundred-year-old commentaries in our Bethel library were com- paratively timeless in their value.

The very fact of their verse-by-verse approach more or less obliged them to stay within the contextual mean- ing and thereby considerably restricted them from taking excursions into sectarian views or interpretative flights of fancy. The picture here drawn is remarkably distorted to create a false impression.

In reality, the Aid book project was neither initiated by nor super- vised by any Governing Body of that time, but by the Watch Tower corporation president, Nathan Knorr.

And though he initi- ated the project, any actual direction by him was a very detached and limited one, since any real direction was done through Karl Adams, the overseer of the Writing Department. Knorr neither developed the list of subjects to be included in the book nor supervised the assigning of them nor their development. All assignments of subjects were originated by and made by Karl Adams.

Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz eventually read some of the finished ar- ticles, but Knorr left it up to Karl Adams to select whatever articles Karl felt they ought to read.

These were remarkably Karl Adams few. I was not then a member of the Governing Body and what developed was not the result of guidance by any Governing Body, nor even by Karl Adams. My uncle, Fred Franz, had some input, but only as a result of my personal initiative, and his subse- quent actions seemed almost a denial of that input. It was quite evi- dent that the result of my research was something unexpected, even viewed as not particularly desirable, by either Nathan Knorr or Fred Franz.

They are represented as men who were only interested in conducting meetings and giving talks. It is never mentioned that the Watch Tower president, Judge Ruther- ford, followed exactly that same course. The explanation given was that his responsi- bilities did not allow for him to share in the door-to-door activity.

His response took me by surprise. In future days I was to remind him of these statements on more than one occasion during Governing Body sessions. Admittedly, that conversation strongly affected my approach to Scripture. I deeply appreciated the integrity toward Scrip- tural truth his remarks indicated.

That made his later reaction to the final results all the more puzzling, disturbing. It changes a lot of things. The first editions had read: But from this paragraph and the start of the following one, the reader would understand that the articles led to a willing and al- most immediate decision to bring everything into conformity to the Scriptural arrangement pointed to.

What actually did happen? Does this mean we have to change everything at this late date? I felt obliged to go to his room one evening to inquire about it. He confirmed that he felt no need to make ad- justments. Knowing that the Aid book was to be released to the broth- ers in completed form that summer at the District Assemblies, I asked what effect he thought it would have on them to read the evidence that there were bodies of elders in the first-century con- gregation, that all elders served as overseers, and then to find out that we had no intention of following this Scriptural example?

I expressed deep concern that this setting aside of the Scriptural precedent could be very unsettling to the brothers.

Holding to his position, he related how brothers of earlier decades had reasoned that, since Christ had taken Kingdom power in , there could rightly be changes in the way things were administered on earth. He added that he had believed and still believed that Christ Jesus would direct and administer the affairs of his servants earthwide by the use of, or through the office of, just a single individual, and that this would be the case until the New Or- der came.

The tenor of these expressions seemed so different from those he had made on earlier occasions that I found it difficult to reconcile them. Sometime later, however, the vice president prepared some con- vention material that indicated that a change in the congregational direction would take place. Brother Franz again. I believe he has changed his mind.

And the forty-year-old arrangement changed as a consequence. It either manifests ignorance on the part of the writer or writers of the material as to how matters actually developed, or else is duplicitous, designed to elevate the role of a group of men in the view of the membership. The starting date, B. I knew that the B. Charles Ploeger, a member of the headquarters staff, was at that time 27 I was also assigned most of the historical subjects, dealing with the rulers and history of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon rulers only , Medo Persia and others.

In its most extensive change, the revised edition reduced this to about 20 pages, eliminating any acknowledgment of problems regarding B. We found absolutely nothing in support of B. All historians pointed to a date twenty years later.

Everything Cuneiform tablet. Though I found this disquieting, I wanted to believe that our chronology was right in spite of all the contrary evidence, that such evidence was somehow in error. Thus, in preparing the material for the Aid book, much of the time and space was spent in trying to weaken the credibility of the archeological and historical evidence that would make erroneous our B.

Charles Ploeger and I made a trip to Brown University in Provi- dence, Rhode Island, to interview Professor Abraham Sachs, a specialist in ancient cuneiform texts, particularly those containing astronomical data. We wanted to see if we could obtain any information that would indicate any flaw or weakness whatsoever in the astronomical data presented in many of the texts, data that indicated our B.

In the end, it became evident that it would have taken a virtual conspiracy on the part of the ancient scribes—with no conceivable motive for doing so—to misrepresent the facts if, indeed, our figure was to be the right one. Again, like an attorney faced with evidence he cannot overcome, my effort was to discredit or weaken confidence in the witnesses from ancient times who presented such evidence, the evidence of historical.

In many respects, what we learned through our experience did more for us than it did for the publication. Still, the Aid to Bible Understanding book did serve to quicken interest in the Scriptures among many Witnesses. Perhaps its tone, its approach, the effort put forth by most of the writers to avoid dogmatism, to acknowledge that there might be more than one way of seeing certain matters, not to make more of something than the evidence honestly allowed—these things may have been of principal benefit, though in these too we certainly fell short at times, allowing preconceived ideas to control, failing to hold as firmly as we should have to the Scriptures themselves.

But ingrained beliefs some- times overrode our efforts to hold to that standard. Up to that point it had been composed of seven members who were identical with the seven members of the Board of Directors of the corporation called the Watch Tower Bible and Tract So- ciety, a corporation founded originally in Pennsylvania by Charles Taze Russell, the first president.

On October 20, , along with three oth- ers, I was appointed as a member of the now expanded Governing Body. This circumstance, perhaps more than any other, brought me face to face with some realities that I had never expected to encounter.

The Time reporters evidently wrote what they did because they found it extremely difficult to ob- tain any comment from the international headquarters about the situ- ation described in the first chapter of this book.

They do not know how decisions as to doctrinal teachings are reached, how the Governing Body that directs all their activities worldwide conducts its discussions, whether decisions are consis- tently unanimous or what is done if there is disagreement.

All this is cloaked in secrecy as the Governing Body meets in closed sessions. I can only recall two or three occasions in the nine years that I was a part of the Body when persons other than appointed members were allowed to be present at a regular session of the Body. And on those occasions their presence was simply to give a report requested by the Governing Body, after which they were dismissed and the Governing Body then carried on its deliberations in private—the importance of their reports did not qualify those persons to share in the discussion.

Even on the Governing Body, few members knew much about the nature of the financial holdings of the Society. Beyond doubt, the present-day assets far exceed this amount. Yet the decisions made by the small group of men forming that Body can, and often do, affect their lives in a most intimate way and are supposed to be applied globally. Which brings me to the final reason for writing, the most important since without it the previous ones are of little consequence.

That principle stated by Jesus Christ binds any of us claiming to be Christian, in whatever we do. No honest person can claim to carry out those words perfectly and I make no such claim. But I believe I can say that what is here written owes to a sincere desire to follow that principle.

If someone else had knowledge of facts that could be of value to me in making vital decisions, I would want him to make these available to me—not to make my decision for me, but to supply the information, leaving it to me to weigh its value or significance. If he were a friend, a genuine friend, I believe he would do that. The nine years spent on the Governing Body had great impact on me and particularly on my conscience.

I found myself facing a major crisis in my life, a crossroads situation I had never expected to encounter. The decision I made was my own and the resulting cost was considerable. But I do not regret it nor do I regret having gained the information that contributed toward it. Others might decide differently; some have. That is their privilege, something between them and God. After I resigned as a member of the Governing Body in May, , I received numerous calls from newspapers and magazines wanting information about the situation existent within the organization.

I consistently directed the inquirers to the headquarters in Brooklyn. The inquirers, in turn, consistently said that they had tried that avenue with no success: I maintained that position for nearly two years.

What happened in those two years, not merely as regards myself but as regards others, caused me to reassess that position. During those two years, the motives, character and conduct of persons who conscientiously disagreed with the organization were portrayed in the worst of terms. No allowance was made for the possibility that any of them acted out of sincerity, love of truth or integrity to God. Any misconduct or wrong attitude on the part of some who had left the organization was attributed to all who have left.

For those who did display a wrong attitude, no effort was made to appreciate the part that frustration, disappointment and hurt may have played in that conduct.

An enormous amount of rumor and even gutter-level gossip circu- lated among Witnesses, internationally.