Just how hyped was 1975?

by MuadDib 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • Leolaia

    Here is another one:

    "The youth has a bright future. Many of us suffered from misery, sickness and death. You don't have to experience that any more. The new order is near. ... There will be a very special Service Meeting in the week of 8 September 1975. Invite everybody. And what will then happen? Well, we don't tell. You think, that if Jehovah makes such an appeal, that there's nothing unusual behind it? Yes? ...Well, sell your house, sell everything you own and say oh boy, how long can I carry on with my private means. That long? Get rid of things! Pioneer! Plan to shower people with magazines during these last months of this dying system of things! Everybody you meet!" (source: tape-recording, Divine Purpose District Assembly, Utrecht, Holland, Aug. 1974).

    This was published in the Watchtower:

    *** w67 2/15 p. 118 par. 26 "From a Weak State . . . Made Powerful" ***

    There is a pioneer brother, still serving in the south of New Zealand at eighty-seven years of age, and his faithful pioneer wife is even a few years older. He sold his business in 1914, so that he could enjoy at least a few months of "colporteur" pioneer service before the expected big crash came in the autumn of that year. He is fond of quoting Jeremiah 20:7: "You have fooled me, O Jehovah, so that I was fooled." For though he had expected his pioneer service on earth to be for a brief season only, it has stretched out through more than fifty rewarding years, together with trials and reproaches. And at last reports, he is still going "strong," like Samson. Would he have had it any different? No! Moreover, he encourages young people to have the same viewpoint that he had back there in 1914. Make the most of the golden opportunity of pioneering the good news NOW!

    And the infamous statement in the Kingdom Ministry:

    *** km 5/74 p. 3 How Are You Using Your Life? ***

    Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? 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.—1 John 2:17.

    On 1975:

    *** w68 5/1 p. 272 par. 7 Making Wise Use of the Remaining Time ***

    The immediate future is certain to be filled with climactic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these "last days" will undergo fulfillment, resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ’s glorious 1,000-year reign. What difficult days, but, at the same time, what grand days are just ahead!

    *** w68 8/15 p. 494 par. 1 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***

    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.... However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2.

    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! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that "concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matt. 24:36) 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. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the "day and hour"!

    *** g71 10/8 pp. 26-27 Time of Rest and Refreshment at Hand ***

    All the other features of Jesus’ prophecy have now come true with startling accuracy. We need not doubt that he spoke inspired truth when he said that the generation seeing the start of this "time of the end" will also see its windup. That will mean the end of the present unsatisfying, selfish, oppressive old order and the introduction of God’s righteous, refreshing new order. But why is there reason to hope that this changeover may take place even within the present decade?

    The Bible shows that we are nearing the close of 6,000 years of human history. Bible chronology reveals that human life began with Adam’s creation some 4,058 years before the death of Jesus (in the spring of the year 33 C.E.). By adding to this the years from Jesus’ death till now, we find that the completion of 6,000 years of man’s existence will come near the middle of this decade of the 1970’s. This is significant. Why? ....

    The book of Revelation shows that, with the end of the present unrighteous order, Christ’s kingdom will bring in a thousand-year rule of peace and divine blessings. This will result in a sabbathlike rest for the earth and all its inhabitants. It will see mankind receive the full benefits of Christ’s ransom, bringing them eventually to full freedom from sin. It will also see the abyssing of Satan and his demon forces, freeing mankind from their oppressive rule.—Rev. 20:1-6; 21:1-4. If we apply the Bible statement that to Jehovah God ‘a thousand years is as one day,’ this would mean that the six thousand years of man’s existence are like just six days in God’s sight. (Ps. 90:2; 2 Pet. 3:8) The coming thousand-year reign of his Son would then be a seventh "day" following those six. It would fit perfectly the prophetic pattern of a sabbath period of rest following six periods of toil and labor. So, as we draw close to the completion of six thousand years of human existence during this decade, there is the thrilling hope that a grand Sabbath of rest and relief is indeed at hand. Then frustrating, wearisome pressures will end. In their place will be refreshing freedom and enjoyment of good.

    And there is the Awake! article on the future of the youth (now in their fifties), that made these claims:

    Statements JWs gave to the press:

    (24 August 1969, Arizona Republic)

  • uninformed

    A lot more was said specifically about 1975 than written, although as you can see from the various quotes that they were saying plenty. Not much deniability available, but since they rely on dissonance, they don't need much.

    My mother in law sold her home in 1968 and apportioned her money so as to have it last until 1975, then she and her three daughters pioneered until the money ran out, and then got supplementary work and kept it up until about 80.

    Many of these people were laying it all on the line for 75.

    When some left the org after 75 feeling down and out, the org criticized them for serving with a date in view. You just can't win if you play by their rules.


  • gumby

    Excellent job Leolaia....as always

    I remember brother Sydlic at an assembly blaming the publishers saying "some felt" 1975 was more significant than they were supposed to and became too eager. I remember saying to my wife.."their the ones who said it" !!!

    They blamed the rank and file and proudly never apologized for their OWN mistake.



  • RubaDub

    How hyped ???

    I am still ...well ... on the inside shall we say.

    But with very strong connections to the top in Brooklyn and having grown up less than an hour away (I can't be more specific, sorry), the 1975 thing was BIG. My father, a 2nd generation elder (all the company servant stuff to be more precise) had a big clock on our wall with 1975 on it instead of 12 o'clock. Instead of hours, it was years. One year for each hour. The twelve hour divisions (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc) were replaced with months. He began the clock in the late 60's and we turned it 5 minutes each month.

    I think a few years after 1975 he got rid of the clock. when new light came out. I should ask him about it but I will just get the "canned" new light comment.

    Rub a Dub

  • CyrusThePersian

    ...and if anyone thinks that it wasn't the society's fault that 1975 was hyped so much or that "some brothers just got the wrong idea" about 1975 (I've heard that one before) just dig out the 1980 Yearbook and look on page 30:


  • TMS

    It was very common during the mid to late 60's to announce at the Service Meeting how many months were left in this system. I served as a servant, Congregation Servant and elder during this entire period from the release of the "Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God" book in the summer of '66 till '75 and twenty years beyond. Hype about '75 was never discouraged by Brooklyn.

    I recall an elder in the early 70's stating that most of us could figure within a thousand dollars how much money we would need until the end of this system.

    A congregation in north Texas refinanced their Kingdom Hall in the late 60's with a local mortgage company. The mortgage had an ascending scale of interest, modest until the mid-70's and then ballooning from there. They were so proud of their cleverness.

    Of course, many made poor financial and health decisions based on the hype.

    The governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses missed a wonderful opportunity to show manliness and humility and admit how misleading and damaging their pre-'75 hype had been. Instead, they took the cowardly way out and blamed the brotherhood for overreacting.


  • rebel8
  • Clam

    MuadDib You should read Crisis of Conscience. Ray Franz talks a lot about the 1975 issue and his exasparation at the GB going into denial afterwards.

    In my early teens I remember the hype well. All they needed was a countdown clock in the KH. I was so brainwashed that as a kid I completely neglected my studies for a year as I of course expected the kingdom to be imminent.

    P.S. LOL @ Gumby's Armageddon Tooth

  • Frog

    someone on JWD recently mentioned that there was a PT entitled 'Will you be alive in 75?'...well it just so happens that I wasn't, but alas 1979 arrived anyway & I came into the world...I just can't imagine a world without me ;)...Seriously though Ray Franz makes some excellent points in CoC re the 1975 debarcle. The GB were entirely responsible for arriving at that foregone conclusion, and equally as responsible for allowing hoards to live in false hope. Shame on those swine...

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    The sad and lamentable legacy that the WTS left behind as a result of the 1975 fiasco, is an entire generation of disillusioned believers in the WT system. Far from being individuals who hyped up the teaching quite unnessasrily, these ones [and I include myself in this] were the most loyal and decent of WT followers whose devotion was, at that time, never questioned by the leadership of the WTS.

    In his book COC Ray Franz tells of several GB sessions when this issue was brought up and some explanation thought desirable to be given to the R&F. If the leadership were honest enough, they would have conceded some ground and I am sure, would not have suffered such a large exodus. In fact we waited for the society to be honest with us, as their vaunted claims suggested them to be. No matter how facile the explanation, I am sure a large number would have been satisfied, submitting to more disappointment, but carrying on regardless.

    The hardliners in the GB, however, determined that the best policy was to ride out the storm. In fact it was'nt till 5 years later, that a trivial and ambiguous "statement" was prepared. A statement that was as meaningless as it was trivial. It was then that several decided to move out. Such outrageously dishonest men had proved themselves to be unworthy of the trust they demanded from others.

    It was'nt till a further few years that the idea was encouraged among the remaining R&F that the real problem lay, not with the leaders, but with the led. As if those being led were more effectual than the leaders. If such was the case, and it WAS some in the R&F who were hyping up the claims, then WHY DID THE WTS NOT SAY SOMETHING . In fact, the reality was that it was THEY who were encouraging the R&F to do certain things, like defer medical attention, sell homes, withdraw savings etc, JUST to show LOYALITY to the WTS. It was these ones, who made unbelievable sacrifices, that the WTS has betrayed.

    Today we stand as a visible and potent testimony to the brash, and obscene quackery of a devious group of men who made the arrogant claim to speak for the God of Heaven. A claim that history has shown to be empty and vain.

    And I have news for them: WE WILL NEVER GO AWAY !! Everyday, with every breath we will expose them for the worthless scum they in fact are.


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