Just how hyped was 1975?

by MuadDib 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • MuadDib

    Aight. I was raised in the JWs, but I'm still young (22) and all my life what I've been told is that the Society never really promoted 1975 as the definitive year for the coming of Armageddon. What I was always told is that some overzealous Witnesses took certain things out of context and developed a very extreme reaction - ie selling their houses, quitting their jobs, dropping out of school, etc. - but the Society never deliberately or explicitly stated that 1975 was going to be it.

    However, I've just started reading the novel White Teeth, partially set in 1974, and a couple of characters are Jehovah's Witnesses who are extremely hyped about the imminence of Armageddon. The novel mentions official Society letterhead advertising 1975 as the end of the world, among other things that would seem to indicate that the Society actively promoted that year as the time of Armageddon. Of course this is a fictional novel, but it got me thinking - God knows the JWs have an extensive damage control department. How much have they glossed over concerning this blunder?

    So I was hoping that some here who might remember that time could fill me in. Was 1975 publicized by the Society as the year all the shit was going to hit the fan? How expectant were people back then that everything was really and truly going to come to a head? Or was it really just some overzealous people blowing it out of proportion?

    Just curious.

  • Dune

    Depends on who you ask. Anyone in this site, and they'll show you awakes, watchtowers and public talks which show the emphasis of 1975. Ask any witness from that time (who is still one today) and they'll say that it was individual witnesses who hyped it...

  • Leolaia


    Listen to it for yourself:


    This is a talk by a district overseer. The audio clips are linked on this page.

  • gumby

    Not only is there scads of evidence caught on tape by C.O.'s and D.O's, all you have to do is read the book "Life Everlasting in the freedom of the Sons of God" book and see the chronology they provide with scripture that shows 1975 to be the end of a six thousand year day with a 1000 year reign of christ "running paralel" to that 6,000 year day. It tells all readers that gods creative days were 7,000 years long each and 1975 was the pivotal year for the last 1,000 years to begin.

    I remember well the talks by the C.O.s looking at their watches and counting down the time. Even our local elders began to copy them when they left. I even have a missing tooth I call my armegeddon tooth. Had it pulled in '74 because a pioneer said I'd be gettin a new one in a year. Seriously!


  • CyrusThePersian


    In print it wasn't nearly as much of a "sure thing" as 1925 but it was certainly hyped on the platform! I still remember the circuit overseer doing a countdown to 1975 during his visits: "Brothers' it's only 66 months till 1975!! Speed it up, people!" If you want to see the stuff in print see the book "Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God" pages 26-35 and the August 15,1968 Watchtower page 494 "Why are you Looking Forward to 1975" for starters.


  • gumby

    I beat ya cyrus


  • alamb

    My parents didn't send my brother to Kindergarten because if they kept him out, he would NEVER have to go to public schools in this system. He graduated the eldest in his class and is now 37.

  • delilah

    What I was always told is that some overzealous Witnesses took certain things out of context and developed a very extreme reaction - ie selling their houses, quitting their jobs, dropping out of school, etc. - but the Society never deliberately or explicitly stated that 1975 was going to be it.

    Yeah, the society could NEVER apologize for anything they said, or did, that was proven wrong. They used JUST the right words to skirt around it, and put the blame on the reader.....you need to also read, "Crisis of Conscience", by Ray Franz. I'm just finishing the chapter that dealt with this subject.I had no idea of the many different times the society claimed the end was imminent, how many dates came and went,with no armaggeddon happening, as I was just young, and my parents were relatively new in the "truth" at that time.

    It was as hyped up as any other date they gave over the years.

  • IronClaw

    Heres some info on 1975. See for yourself if they didn't promote it.

    Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God,

    1966 ed., p. 29"According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six

    thousand years from man’s creation will end in

    1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of

    human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E."

    Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God,

    1966 ed., p. 30

    "It would not be by mere chance or accident but

    would be according to the loving purpose of

    Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the

    ‘Lord of the sabbath,’ to run parallel with the

    seventh millennium of man’s existence."

    The Watchtower, May 1, 1967, p. 262

    "Interestingly, the autumn of the year 1975 marks

    the end of 6,000 years of human experience. This

    is ascertainable from reliable chronology preserved

    in the Bible itself. What will that year mean for

    humankind? Will it be the time when God executes

    the wicked and starts off the thousand-year reign of

    his Son Jesus Christ? It very well could, but we

    will have to wait to see. Yet of this we can be

    certain: the generation that Jesus said would

    witness those events is nearing its close. The time

    is close at hand. On God’s "timetable" we are in

    the closing days of a wicked system of things that

    will soon be gone forever. A glorious new order is

    immediately before us."

    Kingdom Ministry, March 1968, p. 4

    "There are only about ninety months left before

    6,000 years of man’s existence on earth is

    completed... The majority of people living today

    will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks


    The Watchtower, May 1, 1968, p. 271

    "Thus, Adam’s naming of the animals and his

    realizing that he needed a counterpart would have

    occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since

    it was also Jehovah’s purpose for man to multiply

    and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create

    Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or

    months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After

    her creation, God’s rest day, the seventh period,

    immediately followed."

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 494

    "What about all this talk concerning the year 1975?

    Lively discussions, some based on speculation,

    have burst into flame during recent months among

    serious students of the Bible. Their interest has

    been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the

    end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s

    creation. The nearness of such an important date

    indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited

    possibilities for discussion."

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 499

    "One gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn,

    since Adam’s creation. That means, in the fall of

    the year 1975..."

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 499

    "Are we to assume from this study that the battle of

    Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of

    1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign

    of Christ will begin by then?...Why not? Because

    after his creation Adam lived some time during the

    "sixth day," which unknown amount of time would

    need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to

    determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year

    period or ‘day’ ended, and how long Adam lived

    into the ‘seventh day.’ And yet the end of that sixth

    creative ‘day’ could end within the same Gregorian

    calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve

    only a difference of weeks or months, not years."

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 500

    "One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology

    reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that

    six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be

    up, yes, within this generation!"

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 501

    "To the contrary, it is a time when one should be

    keenly aware that the end of this system of things is

    rapidly coming to its violent end...Even if one

    cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be

    less active?"

    Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 14

    "There is another way that helps confirm the fact

    that we are living in the final few years of this "time

    of the end." (Dan. 12:9) The Bible shows that we

    are nearing the end of a full 6,000 years of human

    history. What significance does this

    have?...Revelation chapter 20, verse 6, shows that

    God’s heavenly kingdom will rule over the earth for

    one thousand years after the end of this system of

    things...The seventh one-thousand-year period

    could be likened to the seventh day, the sabbath, of

    that week...How fitting it would be for God,

    following this pattern, to end man’s misery after six

    thousand years of human rule and follow it with His

    glorious Kingdom rule for a thousand

    years...According to reliable Bible chronology,

    Adam and Eve were created in 4026 B.C.E...That

    seven-year period will evidently finish in the

    autumn of the year 1975."

    Kingdom Ministry, June 1969, p. 3

    "In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue

    a career in this system of things is not only unwise

    but extremely dangerous...Many young brothers

    and sisters were offered scholarships or

    employment that promised fine pay. However, they

    turned them down and put spiritual interests first."

    The Watchtower, October 15, 1969, pp. 622-623

    "More recently earnest researchers of the Holy

    Bible have made a recheck of its chronology.

    According to their calculations the six millenniums

    of mankind’s life on earth would end in the midseventies.

    Thus the seventh millennium from man’s

    creation by Jehovah God would begin within less

    than ten years...the arrival of the seventh

    millennium of man’s existence on earth suggests a

    gladsome change for war-stricken

    humankind...peaceful reign of a thousand years...his

    thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in

    a series of thousand-year periods or

    millenniums...Soon now six millenniums of his

    wicked exploiting of mankind as his slaves will

    end...Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of

    mankind’s laborious enslavement under Satan the

    Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher

    in a Sabbath millennium for all his human

    creatures? Yes, indeed!"

    Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971 ed., p. 333

    "Total time period form Adam’s creation to the

    present year, 1969, C.E.: 5,994 years."

    Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3

    "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes

    and property and planning to finish out the rest of

    their days in this old system in the pioneer service.

    Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time

    remaining before the wicked world’s end."

    The Watchtower, May 1, 1975, p. 285

    "Another speaker, F.W. Franz, the Society’s vicepresident,

    forcefully impressed on the audience the

    urgency of the Christian preaching work. He

    stressed that, according to dependable Bible

    chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end

    this coming September according to the lunar

    calendar...Does this mean that we know exactly

    when God will destroy this old system and establish

    a new one? Franz showed that we do not, for we

    do not know how short was the time interval

    between Adam’s creation and the creation of Eve,

    at which point God’s rest day of seven thousand

    years began. (Heb. 4:3,4) But, he pointed out, ‘we

    should not think that this year of 1975 is of no

    significance to us,’ for the Bible proves that

    Jehovah is ‘the greatest chronologist’ and ‘we have

    the anchor date, 1914, marking the end of the

    Gentile Times.’"

  • Mulan

    Since I've been around JW's since 1950, I remember this well. It was VERY much hyped. Our circuit overseer that year was so excited for the Fall of the year, he could hardly stand it. He just KNEW this was his Armageddon circuit.

    Almost everyone in our area was counting on it big time.

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