What event or period of time made you believe that the end of this system was just around the corner? I realize that this topic has been discussed at length, but since I'm new to this site, I wanted to pose the question again. I ask this question because of the wide range in ages of all of you on this site. For many of us, the event was no doubt 9/11. But what about those who had already left the organization before 2001? Which events caused you to believe that the Great Tribulation was beginning? Was it the Cuban Missile Crisis? The Vietnam War? Watergate? The fall of the Soviet Union?
This is a subject that I have always wanted to question other long-time witnesses about. No doubt, as we look back over the 20th century, there have been several periods that have given every indication that the world was unraveling and that the end of this system was just around the corner. Just think about the 1960s, and all of the unprecedented events that happened in rapid succession in that decade. Think about all of the events that lead many Witnesses to be convinced that "this system of things" was ending. In the 1960s, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, then the assasination of J.F.K. The Vietnam war was raging. There was the huge civil rights unrests in the South and riots throughout the country. There was the massive anti-war and counter-culture movement with it's "free love" and drug indulgence. Then came the assasinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Then, in 1968, the Witnesses began to look to 1975 as the end of the 6,000 year period. No doubt, all of the evidence was obvious that the system was ending soon. "Just look at what's happening in the world!" is what many Witnesses were no doubt telling their Bible studies and each other.
Do you thing anyone was saying that this system could go on for another 30 plus years? I doubt it. What do you think would have been other Witnesses reaction? They would have surely said that this Witness was deluding himself and was blind to everything that was happening.
I'm just wondering if the decade of 2000 - 2009 could be history repeating itelf. I've recently found it odd that Jehovah's Witnesses have gone into a heightened expectation of Armageddon about every 30 years. The pattern has become almost cyclical:
In the 1910s there was the heightened expectation due to the 1914 prediction.
Thirty years later, the world looked as though it was falling apart with World War II. Most Witnesses agreed with Rutheford that Armageddon would come within a couple of years.
Thirty years after that, the U.S. was reeling from all of the events of the 1960s, and now was being humiliated in Vietnam and President Nixon was embroiled in Watergate.
Thirty years after that, we have 9/11, the invasion of Afghanastan, the Iraqi war, and the 2006 convention Deliverance At Hand.
Yes, the Witnesses have always been saying that the end of the system is just around the corner. But, about every 30 years, these patterns of especially heightened expectations emerge. It's odd. I'm sure several of you have noticed these patterns. What are your thoughts? What about those of you who are old enough to remember events like the Cuban Missile Crisis or even those of you who remember World War II? Did you get caught up in the mania of heightened expectations? Were you disappointed? Disillusioned?
I've noticed Witnesses ridiculing people who believe that this system of things is not ending now. They say: "He's so blind. Just look at what's happening in the world!" Many of these are Witnesses who are old enough to remember the 1960s and the run-up to 1975. They don't seem to grasp the concept of history repeating itself. But, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am deluded. However, if I'm right, I will hate to see further disappointment in people that I love and care about.