Read Randall's Story in the Watchtower
Why Do I Do What I Do?
FREE MINDS, INC.
is directed by Randall Watters, a former Jehovah's Witness and former Watchtower "Bethel elder" for a number of years (lived at their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York from 1974 to 1980), having served as a factory overseer there in charge of the printing press operations in the Bible department and also aided in engineering new printing technologies. In 1979 one of the greatest shakeups in the history of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society occurred, now known as the Franz Incident. The seventies were a time of relative freedom of thought within the Watchtower's inner circle of leadership, and many of us there at Bethel were meeting together to study the Bible apart from Watchtower publications, as part of an effort to draw closer to Jehovah and to better experience the Christian walk. Our goal was not to cause dissent, as many of us (myself included) were very happy with our jobs and our friends there, and in spite of current propaganda by the Watchtower, we were respectful of the leadership of the Governing Body. Word soon spread, however, that we were learning too much, and that it was contrary to Watchtower teachings, and rather than choosing to discuss or accommodate variant views publicly (although privately even the Governing Body shared many variant doctrinal views), the leadership became paranoid and initiated a policy of absolute information control, not allowing any discussion, public or private, that questioned their official doctrines or their authority as the "faithful and discreet slave" of Matthew chapter 24:45 in the Bible. Hence, Randall left the headquarters in 1980 and returned to California to continue his research. He was appointed as an elder in the El Segundo Congregation in 1980, but turned in a letter of resignation in early 1981 (much to the surprise of the Witnesses) after concluding his research. Word soon spread around Bethel that he was an "apostate," and more interrogation began at Bethel to make sure all of his former friends were not "tainted" with thoughts contrary to those of the Governing Body. (Randall had sent out copies of his letter of resignation to the individual members of the Governing Body, outlining the reasons why he was leaving.)
Randall did much research on the history and sociology of the Watchtower organization while still at the Bethel headquarters, as well as the history of the beginnings of the Christian Church in the first three centuries. This research led him to the conclusion that orthodox Christianity best represented the outworking of the Christian Church in terms of doctrine and practice. Randall served as a licensed pastor with Foursquare International for about eight years, and ministering to his own congregation for three years. After struggling with the issue of Biblical inerrancy in the early 90s, Randall decided to quit the pastorate and focus on educating the public regarding cults and authoritarian religions. Much material related to Protestant orthodoxy and doctrine is available through this web page (see Doctrinal Issues), and all of it represents conservative orthodoxy, since it is Randall's view that this best represents the outworking of Bible teaching. However, it is our opinion that the more primal and obvious reasons for cultic or sectarian bondage are emotional and psychological, hence the name change to Free Minds, Inc. and the more recent emphasis on the issues related to mind control, coercion and persuasion, etc.
It is our opinion that what constitutes a cult is the degree of deception and control mechanisms used by the leadership of any particular group, whether it be religious, political, or self-help related. (See Our Purpose.) It is not our purpose to judge others as to their lifestyle or their views. We are an information service, which although caters primarily to Christians, feels at ease in networking with the rest of the planet, believing that education and forum promotes the healthiest growth in our souls. If Christianity or any other views cannot tolerate criticism or debate, they are not worth their salt. There is no place for fear and superstition on this web page. If you are simply looking for reinforcement of your pre-existing views, thinking this is some sort of a club where you can rally together to present the "real truth" to the lost, you may be disappointed. God, together with the love He has put into our hearts, is in control of teaching us the things of the Spirit. Some of the other things, however, are left up to us. We welcome your comments and your criticism. Humor is much appreciated as well!
Randy's Story at Bethel
Randy's Letter of resignation to the Governing Body
Randy's current view of the Watchtower
Randy's current view of the churches
the Bethel Chronicles
Randy's Bethel Cartoons from the "Great Apostasy"
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