There is only one way to tackle the issue of FAILED PROPHECY as regards Watchtower publications and their own public response to the failure of their predictions and pronouncements to come true.
You have to be very precise in quoting verbatim the actual language of the Watchtower Society about prophecy.
It instantly becomes more than clear that there was never any room for doubt in what they were saying.
The phraseology went out of its way to deflect criticism that it might be mere speculation.
An early example:
1874: "The fact of our Lord's second coming is DEFINITELY SETTLED by the Scriptures...The Scriptures show that his
second presence was due in 1874...This PROOF shows that the Lord has been present since 1874...The INDISPUTABLE
FACTS, therefore, show that...the Lord's second presence began in 1874" (Quoted in Watchtower Mar 1 1922)
I have underlined and made BOLD the carefully chosen words necessary to cram this idea down the throat of the reader.
There is nothing humble in these sentences or tentative or conjectural or provisional or speculative for a reason. The writer had no humility or scruples or sense of responsibility that comes from providing false information to others under the mantle of divine authority.
There was always a misuse of the word "evidence" coupled with the word "bible". Evidence has strong inferences to that which a court of law finds acceptable to prove a point. The word "bible" connects this concept to God. It is very powerful language, indeed! However, in a court of law there is a chain of custodianship necessary to establish as fact that something purported to be true is, in fact, true. Evidence is tested and crosss-examined. Not in the Watchtower!
C.T.Russell was presented__as though__he was the very angel (or messenger) mentioned in Revelation in connection with the Laodicean church.
When the end did not come in 1844 (in connection with William Miller's adventist predictions) and the so-called "Great Disappointment" swept the ranks of stunned believers, what happened?
C.T. Russell "explained" this failure in a most peculiar manner! He never once questioned the ACCURACY of Miller or his predictions! Miller was wrong, there was no doubt about it. However, the fact of being wrong was invisible to Russell!
C.T. Russell framed the failure of 1844 to bring what Miller had predicted in an entirely different context!! It is stunning to read Russell's words:
"But, notwithstanding the disappointment, (Miller's) movement had its DESIGNED EFFECTS- of awakening an interest in the subject of the Lord's coming, and of casting reproach upon the subject by reason of mistaken expectations. We say designed effects because without a doubt the hand of the Lord was in it."
Did you read that?? (Thy Kingdom Come 1891) Read on..........
"...we recognize that movement as being in God's order and as doing a very important work in the separating, purifying, refining, and thus making ready, of a waiting people prepared for the Lord."
"...it has ever since served to test and prove the consecrated...it was the beginning of the right understanding of Daniel's visions, and at the right time to fit the prophecy."
Are you able to follow that reasoning by Pastor Russell?
1.Miller was wrong about the facts and details and it brought reproach on the entire subject of end times prophecy. BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IT DREW ATTENTION to end times prophecy and that is a good thing! This is the most extreme example of cognitive dissonance I've ever seen.
A bad thing really is a GOOD thing!
2.God designed his Kingdom coming to be made public BY MEANS OF FALSE PROPHECY in the following way:
A. Miller would get people's attention by incorrectly predicting the event.
B. The consecrated (true)Christian would have his faith tested by believing and being disappointed in the false prediction
C.It would call attention to the fact that a genuine prophecy needed to be discovered in an accurate manner.
D. The right prediction would be made and come to pass as a result of all the above.
If you have ever doubted the sanity of C.T.Russell it is now the time to contemplate that fact.
BUT BE AWARE---this thinking has never left the core of the JW mentality!
In effect, it is a double standard of logical illogic. It is down the rabbit hole and in a Wonderland where everything is topsy-turvy.
There is no such thing as "false prophecy" when it comes from Jehovah's select few (they "reason") because he is using them to set up
readiness and a focused awareness of what really will happen eventually.
Compare this to the story of the Little Boy Who Cried "Wolf" A constant warning followed by a non-event dulls the awareness and actually creates the opposite effect intended.
One more example of particular language of certainty in a more recent venue:
1968: "During WWI, God's people expected it to lead directly into Armageddon (notice they don't say exactly "why") but Jehovah prevented such a climax at that time. We didn't succumb to such an expectation during WWII." (Kingdom Ministry Jan 68)
1942: "The Watchtower does not consist of men's opinions" (WT Jan 1 1945)
1943: "This is not giving any credit to the magazine's (Watchtower's) publishers, but is due to the great Author of the Bible with its truths and prophecies, and WHO NOW INTERPRETS its prophecies. He it is that makes possible the material that is PUBLISHED IN THE COLUMNS OF THIS MAGAZINE.." (WT April 15 1943)
1968: "True, there have been those (Who??) in times past who predicted an "end" to the world, even announcing a specific date. yet nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They (WHO??) were GUILTY OF FALSE PROPHESYING. WHY? What was missing? Miss from such people were God's truths and the evidence that He was using and guiding them...BUT WHAT ABOUT TODAY? Today we have the EVIDENCE required, ALL OF IT."
ASTONISHING, ISN'T IT?
Here is the same mindset as C.T. Russell demonstrated and the same (non) reasoning and (ill) logic.
Any body OTHER than the Watchtower who makes a prediction that falls flat as an obvious non-event and error identifies themselves as a FALSE PROPHET. But, when the Watchtower does it --it means just the opposite! It means he is using them to accomplish his will be demonstrating they are EAGER for God's prophecy to come true!!
A double standard.
A false premise.
The elder's thinking is contaminated with this form of "reasoning" because they have shut down their rational mind.
In the George Orwell book 1984 this double-think (War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength) enables BIG BROTHER to absolutely control citizens by destroying the link between cause and effect for their own purposes.
What you observe when Elders of the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses brush off failed prophecy from the pages of Watchtower Publications is the end product of this contaminated thinking.
It is evidence of the cancer which began spreading with C.T. Russell over a centuray ago.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!
One last thought.....
The magazines and books peddled from door to door contain this inferior form of reasoning and logic passed off as divine guidance. This is the propaganda messege that has been heralded around the world. It has been flawed, erroneous and contaminated with hallucination from the very start and continues to this day. Yet--the Jehovah's Witnesses point to this very door to door ministry as what identifies them as God's chosen representatives!! If ever there was bull's eye for lunacy it is this very fact. The thing that clearly paints them as false prophets is what they most wear as a badge of honor!! Get out the straitjackets and open the asylums; the Kingdom has begun!!