How many partook in 1935?--BIG discrepancy in the WTS numbers

by M.J. 42 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • BluesBrother

    In the older book "J W's in the Divine Purpose" page 110 there are some figs for previous years

    .......the increasing attendance at the Lords Evening Meal celebration, 32661 participating in 1922, 42000 in 1923, 62696 in 1924, and 90,434 in 1925

    I wonder if we can be specific that all attenders and "participants" were actual partakers of the emblems? Did they have a big push to invite everybody they knew, back then as they do now?

    I suppose only somebody who was there back then could answer

  • AuldSoul


    I think it's a given that very few of the partakers today are regarded as anointed & most witnesses (privately) admit that - although most would regard the GB as such. The few people that I know who partake are generally not regarded as qualifiers - most regard them as a bit loopy. They tend to be middle aged witnesses looking for a bit of extra prestige they are certainly not in the first division spiritually speaking. Many "became anointed" in the last 60's / early 70's when there was a sudden surge folIowing a softening of the WTS position. I was at Sister Barr's (Jack Barr's sister (of the GB) ) funeral last year and several people well connected in JWs commented that she was the last "real" anointed person that they knew.

    I would love to get your take on one point relavent to this discussion. Two new GB members were recently appointed who are in their 50's.

    According to the GB, the miraculous gifts of the spirit have ended. How does the GB know these men are actually anointed?

    I am amazed that you descibe "middle-aged" people looking for prestige, when the description you give, INCLUDING the '60s/'70s comment, fits these two new GB members perfectly.

    How do you account for their apopintment to the GB when no one could possibly know for sure they are anointed?


  • M.J.
    You buncha knucklheads...doncha know the sealing ain't complete yet? There's still some of the annointed that need to be tried and tested yet.


    I take that to mean that the anointed still on earth can always apostatize so in essence the full number is not "sealed" yet. So in 1935 the full number of anointed was reached, but the number wasn't "sealed", since their spot in the 144,000 was conditional on whether or not they remained faithful until death--or until the Great Tribulation--whichever came first. In any case, the "sealing" of the full number would occur at or before the GT.

    Apparently, a HUGE percentage of the remnant in 1935 became "apostates".

  • Alfred

    It's no wonder why the WT quietly tossed out this absurd "1935" teaching four years ago (in 2007)... I just have to wonder if this thread had anything to do with it... it really makes the WT look ridiculous...

  • Pistoff
    Thanks for that info, Blondie. The fact that non-anointed weren't invited would account for big changes in overall attendance after the revealing of "the great crowd"

    That doesn't sound right.

    The WT here is massaging the details, as usual. ALL active members, whatever they called themselves then, Bible Students or JW's, went to the memorial, just like today.

    The WT may FORMALLY have recognized the 'great crowd' class (really should be called other sheep, the great crowd survives armageddon) and then issued an 'invitation'.

    They state the the "Jonadab" class was "manifesting itself". I learned from an older sister when I was a child is that they considered themselves a 'secondary' class in heaven, they did not feel that they were anointed.

    Likely, the WT writers began to see an issue with numbers early on in the 20's, and began inserting insinuations in the literature that not all that were partaking were actually anointed, perhaps a secondary class in heaven. When the WT announced the 'other sheep' doctrine, VOILĂ€ , they felt they had found their place. (Really, the WT had exploited the self doubt of some to protect the doctrine of 144,000 only; they continue the process today.)

    The WT in recent years makes reference to 'geniune' anointed numbers being very small, insinuating the presence of non-geniune, false, partakers.

    I think the comment that the great crowd were 'formally invited' is a retrojection to make it seem that leadership knew what they were doing at the time.

  • Leolaia

    My suggestion from another thread several years ago:

    During the Rutherford years, the memorial totals were representative for the US (where companies tended to be quite large) but only counted figures with more than 20 or 30 people at each location. JWs were still rather thinly distributed in foreign countries; the 1935 Yearbook shows that in the 1934 international campaign, there were 41,000 publishers in 83 countries (p. 44) -- an average of about 490 JWs per country, and within each country the memorial gatherings were probably local. The original 1935 figures clearly underestimate the true number of JWs in other countries, as is evident from the subtotals on p. 53 in the 1936 Yearbook and the 10,537 attendees mentioned on p. 120 for Central Europe (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Danzig, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Saar Basin, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Yugoslavia) which exceed the subtotal for international memorial attendees on p. 53. Indeed, the 1935 Yearbook (p. 99) indicated that there were 450 companies in Central Europe, so there were only an average of 23 memorial attendees per company. If the international totals counted only companies that had a minimum of 30 attendees, it is reasonable to expect that a majority of the attendees were not counted.

    The revised figures of 1935 attendees and partakers first appeared in the Proclaimers book (p. 717), so I suspect that they were revised as part of the research that went into that book. On this view, the writers undertook the painstaking work of retabulating the attendance figures from records of all the memorial gatherings around the world in that year. So the revised numbers are probably more representative of the true number of memorial attendees, and are thus more comparable to current memorial figures which are counted the same way. But the revised numbers are not comparable to the figures from the 1920s which were tabulated in the old-fashioned way. If you are interested in comparing the 1930s attendance totals with the 1920s attendance totals to gain an insight on changes in membership, you would probably need to use the original figures which were tabulated the same way, even though they problematically underestimate the true number. If you examine the 1937 Yearbook (p. 69), you will find similar international totals (35,172 attending and 25,435 partaking) to the one in the 1936 Yearbook. Interestingly, the next several Yearbooks declined to publish any international attendance totals, although the 1958 Yearbook reported a total of 69,345 for 1938 (p. 284) -- a number that is quite comparable to the 63,146 in the revised international total for 1935 in the Proclaimers book. This suggests that it was in the late 1930s when the Society adopted the current, more accurate way of reporting memorial attendance totals.

  • Pistoff

    I am wondering why they would count only groups of more than 20 or 30; what was the rationale, I wonder.

    What does the revised total do for the WT's position that the ratio of partakers is radically lower, and the total number of partakers in the 20th century is within an expected and reasonable number in relation to the total of 144,000?

  • AnnOMaly

    Here's another related thread from a few months back:

    There are links to Yearbook and Informant scans containing the figures - the ones for 1935 and 1940 given in the Proclaimers book must have come from a different source or collated differently because they don't match.

  • processor

    Obviously the lower numbers (with 27006 partakerse) refer to the countries under Brooklyn office only, as can be seen from the 1936 Yearbook:

    The writer of the 1988 Watchtower obviously misunderstood the term "Grand Total" and thought it would refer to the worldwide numbers. But there were 26826 partakers in US alone, so it can't have been 27006 worldwide.

  • AnnOMaly


    Compare the figures from this source - - right at the bottom of the table.

    Total Testimony Period April 13-21, 1935

    Total Memorial Attendance: 66,185

    Total Partakers: 55,444

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