Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 8 years ago

JWs: Are you allowed to read apostate Ray Franz's book, "Crisis of Conscience"?

This book was written by a former member of the Governing Body. This is stuff that everyone should take a look at, especially those who give time and money to the WTS.

If you told one of your elders that you are reading this book, would they mark you, attempt to disfellowship you, or do nothing? At the very least, they would discourage you from reading it.

Are you aware that one of the indicators of a cult is that the group in question forbids members from reading material that is critical of the cult? Here are some other indicators:

-Repetitive instruction presenting the same material.

-New members are told to break ties with outsiders and limit communication with non-cult family members.

-denunciation and shunning of ex-members.

-verbal attacks undermining the authority of outside institutions (religious, governmental, educational, medical)

-a unique vocabulary with "loaded" language, reinforcing the sect's rules.

-an orchestrated superiority/inferiority-guilt complex. Former members who have not been deprogrammed commonly report problems with anxiety, fear, and disorientation, as well as difficulty reintegrating into society at large - symptoms often associated with victims of mind control.

[taken from "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses Subject by Subject" by David A. Reed, p.164]


Look guys, don't just tell me that you would never WANT to read this book, okay? Just tell me if you would be ALLOWED to read it if you actually wanted to. Thanks.

Update 2:

When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them? They may prefer not to believe the warning. They may even resent it. But does that free one from the moral responsibility to give that warning?

(The Watchtower Magazine, January 15, 1974)

-----Quoted by Ray Franz in his book.------------

Update 3:

Being loyal to the Governing Body and being loyal to God are two differnt things. Franz is not warning you about God; he is warning you about the Governing Body and the WTS.

Update 4:

I think one of our eminent responders needs to correct this Freudian slip:

"I do not believe that books like this are not going to sway those who have thoroughly examined Scriptural Truth and are strong in their spiritual life."

Update 5:

@Bar-Anerges: Just busting your chops, LOL! We are all imperfect, as Mindy always points out ... some more, some less :-P

25 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have read Crisis of Conscience; however, I am not a Jehovah's Witness and have never been one. The author is very frank and straightforward, and all of his claims are well documented and sourced so that anyone can easily research them and draw their own conclusions as to whether or not they are trustworthy. IMO, Franz does not come across as angry or vindictive at all. He speaks kindly of the majority of the members of the Governing Body. It was obvious to me after reading this book that Franz was burdened with a deep sense of responsibility to share his first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the organization, and to clear up some common misconceptions that JW's believe about the leadership of the Watchtower Society and their procedures and teachings.

    I have a friend who was "marked" after the elders learned she had read this book, even though her opinion of Ray Franz at the time was that he was a definite "apostate." Her own close friends and family started to shun her because she was "marked." She subsequently disassociated herself because she realized that the "love" she had been shown during her years in the org. was conditional love.

    This is what I don't understand: Before I buy something, expensive or not, from a toy to a kitchen appliance, a vacuum cleaner to a car, I always look for reviews on the product from people who've owned them. I feel that I have a reasonable amount of intelligence, and I can usually discern the people who are just ranting about a product because it didn't work properly through some likely fault of their own. But for the majority of people who leave reviews, their input is very valuable to me in deciding whether or not to buy.

    Obviously one's religion is critically important, while material things you can buy are not. But should not the same principle apply? Are we not exhorted by the Scriptures to test all things? If we really have "the truth," is it not strong enough to withstand any amount of testing? But what about, in the case of religion, if you have already "made the purchase?" Is it too late or no longer allowed for you to examine your religion or examine your beliefs in order to test them and make sure of all things? Is it improper for you to even listen to the experiences of others, particularly those who by virtue of their high ranking within the organization were privy to information that you weren't?

    "How should you feel if proof is given that what you believe is wrong? For example, say that you were in a car, traveling for the first time to a certain place. You have a road map, but you have not taken time to check it carefully. Someone has told you the road to take. You trust him, sincerely believing that the way he has directed you is correct. But suppose it is not. What if someone points out the error? What if he, by referring to your own map, shows that you are on the wrong road? Would pride or stubbornness prevent you from admitting that you are on the wrong road?" (Live Forever, p. 32)

    Apparently not, according to the words of the Watchtower Society itself.

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  • Carol
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I'm not a JW, but I have this book and have read it. JWs are not allowed to read it, especially any book about a former Governing Body Member who left the organization. If they get caught reading this book, discussing it with anyone, etc. they will be warned and could end in being disfellowshipped. This is the way a cult operates. Don't allow your members to read anything that would cause them to question the teachings of the Watchtower. As you probably know, Ray was a 4th generation JW. His uncle was Fred Franz who was a former President of the Watchtower. This book is quite revealing! Ray said the JWs are nice sincere people who are just sincerely wrong and don't know it, nor are they allowed to find out. The penalty for challenging the teachings of the organization are severe and can leave a person with no family or friends. This is by design to keep the captives in place and marching in formation. I would ask Abernathy the Porc if he or she has read Crisis of Conscience? It is interesting how JWs only read books from the Governing Board which support their point of view! Satan will teach people to despise, criticize and reject any literature his organization doesn't approve of or hasn't written. The true test is "truth" as found in the Bible. JWs will walk rather than discuss this truth. It has happened with me many times. I'm patient and kind and willing to seek the truth together, but to no avail. They always walk. They are told to find people who don't know the Bible and are easily persuaded.

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    JWs: Are you allowed to read apostate Ray Franz's book, "Crisis of Conscience"?

    This book was written by a former member of the Governing Body. This is stuff that everyone should take a look at, especially those who give time and money to the WTS.

    If you told one of your elders that you are reading this book, would they mark you, attempt to disfellowship you, or do...

    Source(s): jws allowed read apostate ray franz 39 book quot crisis conscience quot:
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  • 8 years ago

    According to the Elder's Manual, "Shepherd the Flock of God" (2010), Jehovah's Witnesses may read this material without fearing that a judicial committee will be formed. However, they may NOT make any comments to anyone about it, nor can they deliberately spread so-called "false teachings" contained in the book.

    They may not disrupt the unity of the congregation or undermine the confidence [of members] in Jehovah's arrangement. They are warned to avoid apostate or any critical material, but since they are free to read what they choose without any penalties, I think they should exercise their "free will." It is their job to attempt to convert and teach people, so the more they understand and are familiarized with the opposition, the better off they are, I think!

    If the author were still alive, JWs would NOT be allowed to communicate with him. This would fall under the category of "brazen conduct" for which they would eventually get DF-ed. If, after repeated counsel, they refused to stop speaking with Ray Franz, they would be guilty of willful, continued, unnecessary association with disfellowshipped nonrelatives.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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  • 8 years ago


    People who try to get Witnesses to read such books as that by Ray Franz are either misguided in their thinking or purposely trying to subvert the spiritual thinking of those who may be weak in their spiritual life or they could be very sincere and showing agape love by trying to show them that their path is leading them no where very fast. I would suspect the latter. I have read the Book by Ray Franz and find it to be very enlightening. I have found no deception in it and only truth. For those who answer with deceptive tones on this question are in fact mistakenly dismissive. Most make the remark, I don't want to read it, it's a personal decision. That is what they are told to say. I have heard that so many times it gets boring. The very ideal that they have to come up with all kinds of lame excuses should raise a red flag in and of it's self. For any Jehovah's Witness to say they are guided by the Holy Spirit, is just not true. They may be guided by a spirit but it sure enough is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not going to get all those things wrong and flip flop back and forth. God is not like a sail boat going back and forth, but is straight forward and never reverses his words. Franz is warning all about this false teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses and they are warned not to read it.

    I just do not understand why these people can't see the real truth. They are being led astray by this deceitful bunch of men called their governing body. They are not Spirit led, or filled or anointed. They are nothing less then self appointed religious leaders, no more or no less just as wicked as the Pharisees and the scribes of Jesus' time. It's all about them retaining power and status and they will do anything to keep that power. They will throw Jesus aside and lift themselves up to be placed as part of the members salvation ... To gain your salvation you must remember Jehovah's organization...., right, the "Almighty Watchtower". These people just need to get their act together and read the Bible and throw away those stupid magazines and trust in God, not these men that they lift up and make their idols. They just need to understand that Jesus is the truth and the way and that nobody comes to the Father but by him. Only Jesus, did the finished work on the CROSS. He is the one that make you justified, he is the one that makes you sanctified, he is the one who reconciles you to God the Father. You can't do it, thinking that by going door to door and knocking and preaching is going to give you salvation, you are sadly mistaken. In fact is does quite the opposite, it's tells Jesus that you don't believe him and at the judgment seat he will say "I don't know you" But what am I telling the Jehovah's Witness anything for, they know it all already and no one outside their little box knows anything. They have the exclusive truth and they own it, no one else can have it unless they join this exclusive club. God will deal with this club in his own time! That you can be sure of.

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  • danman
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    One jw writes: "Ray Franz is not an unbiased writer. His book is full of half truths and misrepresentations. As such you will gain absolutely no accurate information on the "innerworkings" of the Witnesses."

    This statement is pure hogwash. I have never read, heard, or discussed with any jw proof that Ray lied about a single thing he reported. Neither have I seen on this forum a direct rebuttal of any of the writing by Ray. Only bluster like the above, that says nothing and means nothing. Kind of like a book reviewer who possibly read the first and last page, and then proceeded to dismiss everything in-between as lies and deception.

    All that this kind of response does is create the allusion of an informed critic, but shows that the critic never refers to any of the deceptions or half truths. Easy for the critic to say, but very difficult to provide proof of such. Especially when you are not allowed to examine the book in the first place. Silly for anyone to take such a weak and unsupported stance without a single bit of proof.

    Show me the money. Show me the prominence. Show me the proof of Ray Franz lying and being deceptive, no jw can do it, without revealing that they have in fact read the book.

    Claiming to read a book is far different than examining and researching the authors work. Any jw who does so, would find the dilemma of all cult members, uncomfortable distress knowing they are going against what they have been told to do.

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  • 8 years ago

    I don't know about them, but I never asked my church if I was allowed to read books, and they never came into my house to check for 'unsuitable books'.

    Does the JW governing body go through a person's personal belongings? That's even more grave than not being allowed to read a book.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I'm not a JW but I can say that if any JW has heard of the late Raymond Franz you can be sure there knowledge on him comes from the watchtower society who have labelled him as a apostate.

    No doubt JWs are warned not to read his or other ex JWs books because they expose many heresies from the organization since its formation over a hundred years ago which the watchtower society doesn't want their members to know about.

    Raymond Franz actually revealed the names of the NWT translation committee which clearly showed they were not competent in biblical Greek or Hebrew to translate a bible -- can I just add they weren't even competent in biblical English either ! e.g (John 1:1 NWT ) "the word was ( A ) God"

    Their false rendering of this verse and hundreds of other verses in their corrupt bible is a utter disgrace which every JW should be ashamed of.

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  • 8 years ago

    As one poster has said: "The Christian Congregation has always had a Governing Body, Older men and those who took the lead with God's holy spirit to bring unity to the Christian Congregation (Acts 15:1-30)."

    (Yes, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [oops Jehovah] verse 26, and this represents the GB of the WT?)

    Question~ According to the Bible...are we to follow such leadership without question, with blind faith, never questioning its fruits, or its motives?

    "...And hast TRIED them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars." Rev. 2:2.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1Thess. 5:21.

    "The Bible belongs to the Christian congregation, and no individual has the right to read, interpret, and understand it on their own." OOPS...not in the Bible.

    "...received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Is in the Bible @ Acts 17:11.)

    "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock," 1Pet. 5:3.


    Now that God through his Holy Word has given you permission to read Franz's work from cover to cover...come back and post all the errors, misleading, and whatever else you find wrong with it here, so we can have a rational discussion about it.

    @ Bar-Anerges ~ who wrote: "It is God Himself who commands us to not read such perverted and slanderous books [1Tim. 6:3-5; 1Cor.5:9-13; Tit 3:10, 11; 2Jn 9-11, etc.)."

    1Tim. 6:3~ "If any man teach otherwise?" What did Franz teach otherwise?

    1Cor. 5:11~ You are accusing Christian Churches of receiving unrepentant fornicators? What does the Bible say about "bearing false witness?"

    Titus 3:10~ Please point out Franz's heresy, I'm all ears!

    2Jn 9-11~ What is the doctrine of Christ...? When the WT inserted Jehovah into the Greek New Testament where it NEVER belonged?

    Your post is a rant at least, slanderous at most, but a false witness for sure. You're a blind leader...and if the blind lead the blind...both will fall into the ditch.

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