1975 Reaction

by MadApostate 46 Replies latest jw friends

  • MadApostate

    This past weekend, one of the few remaining JW relatives who will still discuss JW stuff with me told me about his recently attending a home bible study being conducted by an elder. Evidently, the study had been told or had picked up some info about the 1975 fiasco. The elder totally denied that the Society had stated or even led people to believe that Armageddon would occur in 1975, and he naturally blamed some individual JWs for misinterpreting the Society's materials.
    My relative was just shaking his head over what the elder said-- and believes, since the elder was not in the troooth during that time.

    We began reminiscing about the 1975 period, and how anytime 2 JWs got together it wouldn't be 2 minutes before the conversation turned to discussing the possibility that the Great Trib could start anytime. (We made up the joke that during the early 1970s that if 2 JWs pulled up side-by-side at a stop light, they would have rolled their windows down and exchanged opinions regarding what date the GT would likely begin.)

    THEN, something was said that brought back to mind something that I had totally forgotten. AND, that is the purpose of this thread- to see if this same issue arose in any other congregations.

    In our Congregation, sometime around late 1974 or early in 1975, "some" of the folks started "quietly" to accumulate "supplies" -canned food, candles, lanterns and fuel, etc. Like all good JW Congregations, it wasn't long before the word got out. Our recollection was that some thought this was just good common sense to be prepared for the GT, plus it showed "faith" in what the FDS was telling us. However, then slowly, the elders began to criticize those doing the stockpiling of supplies for various reasons: we would probably have to flee our homes anyway, noone could stockpile sufficient quantities to share with those who had not, AND the BIGGIE- stockpiling showed lack of faith that Jah would provide. After the last one surfaced, it became "official policy" in our Cong NOT to stockpile, although we couldn't remember if it was ever discussed from the stage. However, we both had continued to stockpile, but just kept it quiet.

    I thought this was extremely interesting -especially since it had completely slipped my mind.

    Did this Issue arise in anyone else's Cong? Please elaborate.

  • TweetieBird

    I vaguely remember hearing some talk about stockpiling but in 1974 I was a young teenage girl, afraid that Armageddon would come before I could get married and have sex. So I really didn't dwell on food and sustenance, just boys.

    "By doubting we come at truth" -Cicero

  • D wiltshire
    D wiltshire

    I was baptized 1972.

    I work for the PO of our cong. and I help him as he dug a hole with his Backhoe. He used it to hide a large supply of canned goods. He then built a shed over top of it and had a secret entrance thru the floor to get to his under ground stock pile.

    I myself got a bunch of WT and rapped them in plastic and buried them in the woods, so I could have some spiritual food if the GT broke out and they took away all are literature.

    Boy was I a idiot.

  • Maximus

    I'm surprised you aren't getting a huge response from this post; maybe only a younger crowd has read it so far. It's all true, and particularly was this so in rural areas, where it was much easier to stock up, to plan on auxilliary power and the like. There was discussion of revisiting the time when personal bomb shelters were a reality, because of the threat of nuclear war.

    Some parents didn't sign children up for the Fall school year. Getting a new job was out, buying a new house was out, dangerous to have children. All that in addition to the postponed surgeries. One CO from the platform: "Would you look for a job at a place with a sign on the door saying Going Out of Business? Well, this world is going out of business in XXX days."

    Remember those who did yearly/monthly/daily countdowns from the platform?

    "Stay Alive Till '75!" No one remembers that slogan?

    Well, shuck my corn. Now that I think of it, folks in the early 1950's were telling me the same things about the 1925 fiasco--about the same amount of time has passed. Most vehemently denied that any mention had ever been made of anything special to happen that year--overeager pubs made it all up.

    In the words of Yogi Berra, it's deja vu all over again. Rather chilling this time around ....

    Thanks for the memories, Mad Apostate, ... well, kind of.


  • Moxy

    i was among those too young to know, but i wouldve been suprised if stock-piling had NOT been very common, just based on how many JWs were stock-piling for Y2K. the society wasnt even suggesting anything to do with the GT (and that 'end of the century' quote does NOT count) but just having that letter read to all the congregations about being prudent and having basic emergency items on hand (you DID hear about that letter didnt you?) was enough to get a lot of people started. and that was in the city. i wonder what it mustve been like in the more rural areas.

    why, come to think of it, i remember getting a bit of a shocked expression from brothers when id tell them not to worry about Y2K, nothing was going to happen. i guess i experienced, on a very small scale, the same treatment that some of you did back in 75 who called for a modicum of restraint and who were labeled as unfaithful.


  • larc

    What amazes me about the 1975 debacle is that those of us here remember very clearly what happened. As I understand it, from reading stories here, many of the old timers who are still in, discount the whole thing, as in, it didn't happen, or as in, some people over reacted and the FDS never said it.
    It is hard for me to fathom, how people can distort their own history like they do.

  • Pathofthorns

    Hey Lark...

    I have a hard time with the "spiritual amnesia" that those that were around in 1975 seem to have. Like does anyone who lived through the hype about 1975 not remember anything?

    I was only 1 year old in 1975 but it seems from reading comments from various ones from different areas that there was alot of stuff going on "unofficially" behind the scenes in the brotherhood. It's too difficult to discount all these stories.

    How did those who remained after 1975 conveniently "forget" what was said, and what was understood regarding 1975? Were these ones actually weak in 1975 and didn't believe? It would seem that those who put the most faith in the Society's predictions and sold everything were left high and dry.


  • dannyboy

    There wasn't much "stockpiling" that I was aware of, but plenty of other "1975 Is Coming" behaviors.

    And there sure as shootin' was LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of talk about 1975. And yes, the Society absolutely DID fan the flames of discussion about this. CO's and DO's and local elders did as well. Make no mistake about it. Like many others around here, I WAS THERE. It is amazing to me to repeatedly hear the white-wash baloney.

    I think one of Randy's websites has an excellent listing of all the "1975" statements published. It debunks any attempt by apologists for the Society to paint the 1975 thing as simply a case of the "flock" getting carried away with itself.

    Individuals and families put off/postponed important stuff 'cause "the end is near", as has been mentioned. I know of quite a number of unsound business and financial decisions that folks foolishly made with 1975 in mind.

    I recall some elders returning from KM school (a two-week course at that time) and pumping up the 1975 expectations with stuff "right from the horse's mouth".

    So, did I mention this subject really gets me going??? :)))

  • Francois


    As if your next door neighbor and everyone else who was starving couldn't smell you boiling one dried bean at a range of three hundred feet.

    Not only was there stockpiling of food, there were other things too. One of the elders went out and borrowed $50,000, a king's ransom at the time, and went on a long vacation with his family before Armageddon because he knew he wouldn't have to "pay it back" to the bank. He's still paying it back to the bank.

    The society itself commented on people selling homes, quitting jobs, and spending the "last few years" in the kingdom service. "What a fine way" they said to pass the time in this old system of things awaiting Armageddon.

    I was in college the year ('66) the book with the dire prophecy came out. When it did, I was told I should drop out. I wasn't supposed to be in college in the first place.

    Later, this was all "a natural enough mistake to make." Right. And if you didn't believe it; if you didn't preach it door to door, then you were at the very least "marked" as being weak. Sometimes worse.

    Of course, it's ok to blow up your life when you refuse to swallow in big chunks all their phoney-baloney "solid food," but what happens to them when they make these "natural enough" mistakes? Not a damn thing.

    And you wonder that people give their lives by letting this same bunch of imbecels make health desicions for them. It boggles the imagination.


    NOTE TO GOVERNING BODY: You've been challenged to a debate, boys. Dont you have ANY balls?

  • bajarama

    I was born in the spring of 75'. I've asked my mother about what happened leading up to 75', and she holds up the line that the Watchtower had nothing to do with it. It was just isolated cases of a few over zealous bothers.

    I've went back and read the all I could about the subject, she is dead wrong. She is a perfect example of Watchtower mind control.


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