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Crisis of Conscience


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About the Author

Raymond Franz, formerly a Governing Body member of Jehovah's Witnesses, was part of the third-generation in his family to join the Watch Tower Society, serving in various countries at nearly every level of the organizational structure. Graduating from Gilead missionary school of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1944, Franz served in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic until he was reassigned to Brooklyn headquarters in 1965. Thereafter as part of the headquarters staff, he worked in the writing department. By 1971 he was invited to become a Governing Body member, serving as such until resigning in 1980. Franz shares an account that reveals the inner workings and the decision-making processes of the Governing Body. The final nine of his sixty years as one of Jehovah's Witnesses were spent on this central executive council. Those years led to his crisis of conscience, which is the theme of this book. David Henke, the author of the Foreword of Crisis of Conscience, fifth edition 2018, founded Watchman Fellowship in 1979. Previously he had been an educator and chose to pursue full time ministry, as a Christian apologist. David shaped the missionary philosophy and methodology of Watchman Fellowship through its first sixteen years as its President. He now guides and oversees it as the Board Chairman. He and his wife Carole also operate Watchman Fellowship's Georgia Office. David has a heart for those who continue to suffer from the effects of being in bondage to false spiritual systems. Through teaching and counseling, individuals and groups, he expresses that "heart." He specializes in the field of Jehovah's Witnesses, issues of mind control, spiritual abuse, and legalism. Henke has authored evangelistic and educational tracts, and articles, as well as the Spiritual Abuse Recovery Workbook. Deborah Dykstra embraced the beliefs published by the Watch Tower Society in her teenage years, being baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1969, at 17 years old. In her early twenties she became a regular pioneer and then a temporary special pioneer. Throughout life's problems and challenges she felt that the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses were her firm foundation in life, believing they had the "truth," which she embraced with all her heart. In the Epilogue of this edition of Crisis of Conscience, Deborah Dykstra tells her journey of how she discovered that Jehovah's Witnesses were not the sound foundation that she thought they were, realizing instead that it is Jesus Christ himself that is the real "truth" and foundation to life as a Christian. Thereafter, she shares how she embarked on a 25 year friendship with Raymond and Cynthia Franz along with anecdotal stories about the Franz' lives.


"The book goes far beyond recounting Franz's personal crisis. It describes the much larger crisis that faces Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide."-- Christianity Today"A candid and uniquely informative view of the authority structure and inner workings of the religious organization known as Jehovah's Witnesses."... the book is a poignant personal document, reaffirming the value of 'freedom of conscience, ' and inviting renewed attention to the classic problem of how this value is to be kept alive in the face of the perennial resurgence of bureaucratic and authoritarian structures."-- Dr. Joseph F. Zygmunt, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut"In past years, much literature (about Jehovah's Witnesses) of varying quality has been published ... with certain exceptions, it has been poor when judged from critical scholarly criteria ... A well-documented work on the controversial movement has finally become available to the Witnesses and the public in general ... No serious scholar or reader, therefore, can now ignore the information presented by Raymond Franz."A common fault with authors who feel they have to disclose errors--real or imagined--within a movement they later have been forced to break with, are feelings of hatred and bitterness. You will find little of this in Crisis of Conscience. To the contrary, the calm, objective tone awakens respect and admiration."-- Dr. Ingemar Linden, Th.D., Dagen, Stockholm, Sweden

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