In the interests of accuracy: Around 1927 saw the removal of Russell’s idea of saying that JC arrived in the heavens in 1874 and began ruling in 1878 and in normal doomsday cult date-wrangling, had to bring it forward to 1914. It was probably around 1943 when the literature first spoke of “Those who saw 1914 would still be alive at the end of the system of things”.
Managing a doomsday cult
oubliette - "I know for a long time I thought I was the only one that suspected something was wrong in JW-Land. I would try and drop little hints and innuendos to other JWs, but either they didn't see the same problems or were to terrified to share. That's a very lonely feeling."
Hoo boy, that takes me back (and not in a nice way, either).
Oubliette, I agree there is no internal consistency between 1914 and (many) other doctrines within the organization. But events that are said to have have unfolded from 1914 through 1919 are used to legitimize their claim to have thenceforth been appointed by Christ to do his work on earth. If 1914 goes, so does their religious authority.
Whereas you are absolutely right Steve, their authority came from making 1914 a special year. This is based on the fallacy that they saw in advance WWI as if they were told by divine prompting. Tight pants Tony recently said something lauding and marvelling the insight of “Those guys” predicting the year 1914.
Do you not think though, that they are hoping to remove their need for authority? The idea of the right of instructing moral directives is only apparent to people who actually bother to think about authority, it is an intellectual concept and the rule of the Watchtower is not to think but to ”just obey”. If you have a smidgen of sense you will avoid obeying people who have no authority. Nevertheless the GB must know amongst themselves that their old authority has vanished and now they are out on a limb?
They no longer have reason to claim any authority, inevitably their teachings fail and become meaningless falsehoods requiring a committee discussion to revise the faulty doctrine to once again appear plausible or credible. It is never possible to claim that the idea thought up is inerrant truth because it was simply formulated by a committee and produced entirely for political expediency and not because of any evidence.(If only the JWs would stop and think!)
The GB now have to maintain the tradition of appearing authoritative through the columns of the Watchtower. Authority, or rather perceived authority has its own aura of power which the sheep turn to, whether their leaders have a legitimate right to direct people or not.
So with their sparkly new media show on the road; is GB ”authority” even relevant to the flock anymore?