Which Event Made You Think That Armageddon Was Around The Corner?

by Arthur 24 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Arthur

    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.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    remember the great 1986 year of peace campaigne

  • luna2

    My indoctrination into the dubs came within one of those 30-year cycles in the mid 80's. Between the 1975 prediction hysteria and 9/11. Even so, there's always something in the news that can convince a person ultrasensative to it that this world "can't go on much longer". Especially if you don't understand history (which I didn't particularly).

    Its not hard to be manipulated into thinking that things are the worst they've ever been. Uh, No, no they aren't. People tend to believe that because they are having to live through it. Its more real, immediate, and important than the famines, wars, natural disasters, and pandemics that happened to a bunch of people before they were born because it is happening to them, now. Kind of egotistical and narssistic, but that's human beings for you.

    I mean, everything was a big, flashing neon sign that the end was coming...any earthquake, any flood, any famine in Africa, any hurricane, any war, reports of murders, child abuse, etc... There are enough crappy things happening at any given time where a dub can find ample evidence to justify their belief that Armageddon is coming...sooooooon.

  • steve2

    The event : My grandparents coming home from the 1966 convention in which the book entitled Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God - the book that legitimised all the "official" speculation about 1975 marking the end of 6,000 years of human existence and how "fitting" it would be for Jehovah to bring in the kingdom on earth.

    My grandparents had been witnesses since the early 1930s and they were so convinced that we'd be in the new world by 1975 that my grandmother put off having any medical intervention when she was first diagnosed with bowel cancer. She died 1972 filled with hope about the nearness of the end of this system; my grandfather died 1976, heart-broken about the loss of his wife and pretty shaken that the end had still not arrived.

    It's thirty years next month since his death and the end still ain't come.

  • greendawn

    For me it was the preaching of the good news that seemed to be the most important sign that the end was near, the gospel would be preached before the end arrived and the JWs were actually doing that preaching so the end had to be near. Later I realised there would be false prophets and false evangelisers.

  • blondie

    Never happened to me; I strongly believed what the Bible said that it would come at a time when we thought it would not come. Sort of a biblical Heisenberg principle.


  • Cardinal Fang
    Cardinal Fang

    For me, it'd have to be the fall of the Berlin Wall - thought that was 'peace and security', and me unbaptised at the time (and still unbaptised, thank God ) ... something that I was able to use to deal with the sudden panic I experienced re 9/11, all of twelve years later - the 'Armageddon reflex' is very deeply ingrained, something almost primal...

    Oh and btw, cheers to Darth Frosty for bringing up the 'UN Year of Peace' in 1986 - I'd forgotten all about that (says it all), but I seem to remember there being quite a hoo-ha in WT land leading up to it - the possibility of a 'last convention'... I gather they've had a quite a few of those since, lol

  • sir82

    Probably nobody remembers this, it was just a blip on the world scene, but back when I was a "true believer", I was thoroughly convinced by the following:

    Conventional economic wisdom, up thru the mid-90's, was that the best cure for the problems of over-population and extreme poverty in 3rd world countries was to pump in enough money into their economy to raise the economic standing of the population. Once they reached a certain threshold, the conventional wisdom went, the birth rate would naturally drop, as it was doing in the wealthier western countries. I.e., you had to solve the economic problem first, then attack the overpopulation problem.

    Well, in the mid-90's, an extensive study was sponsored by some arm of the UN which completely turned that thinking around. They reached the conclusion that you had to control the population first, that until that was under control the economy would never stabilize. I.e., you had to attack the overpopulation problem first.

    So, whichever UN-sponsored agency did the study came to the conclusion that billions of dollars had to be spent on contraceptives & family planning education for 3rd world countries, if we ever hoped to eradicate poverty and over-population from the world. They came up with a proposal to do just that.

    Well, as you might expect, the Pope was extremely vocal in condemning this proposition. In fact, he even went so far as to reach out to Muslims to try to jointly condemn this UN proposition. Muslim leaders were, at least at first, receptive to this idea of "teamwork".

    Well, that just set off the alarm bells clanging in my mind. Here you had prominent leaders of "Babylon the Great", previously enemies stretching back well over 1000 years, joining up together to oppose a political initiative sponsored by the UN. It didn't take much a leap for my addled brain to imagine the UN "turning on" all organized religion for having the temerity to oppose them, thus ushering in Armageddon, exactly as the big red "Revelation" book predicted.

    When this news event fizzled away into nothingness, it put a major dent in my expectation that Armageddon was ever going to come. I couldn't imagine a more perfect set-up to what the JWs teach regarding "Babylon the Great" and the UN, and absolutely nothing came of it.

    And now here I am.

  • lonelysheep

    Sept. 11. They just enforced that belief at the meeting that night. With ppl stragling in from New York, happy to be alive, that helped me believe it was going to happen soon.

  • unique1

    That was it for me too frosty. I was only nine at the time, but I remember thinking Jesus was going to bring destruction the minute those leaders grabbed hands and prayed. I was thinking oh god, here we go, peace and security. I will never forget the cover of the awake with the pope in the middle of the hands across the country prayer. I really thought it would come soon after that. I am nearly thirty now. Guess that was just my first disappointment.

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