What did the Watchtower Soceity REALLY say about 1975?

by Elsewhere 60 Replies latest jw friends

  • cabasilas


    The link to the 1969 Time magazine article:


    To answer your second question...I believe the wording is the same between the Oct 8 1968 Awake! issue and the bound volume for that year. I've never checked that but I'd be surprised if they would have changed anything.

    However, I think this issue from 1968 and the October 8, 1966 issue of Awake! are some of the reaons the WT CD-ROM for Awake! only goes back to 1970. (It goes back to 1950 for the Watchtower.) The 1966 Awake! issue has even stronger statements about 1975. See a scan of the article "How Much Longer Will It Be?" from that issue, especially pages 19-20 at:


  • damselfly

    Thank you so much!


  • garybuss

    "Although the fig tree itself may not blossom,.. I will exult in Jehovah himself. - Hab. 3:17, 18." {Year Text 1974} [Covering their bases in case 1975 did not mark the End!]

  • Leolaia

    Here is another interesting magazine article. These quotes are from the article "Jehovah 1975" (by Ruth Brandon) from the 7 August 1969 issue of New Society:

    Bruce and Liz Swain are Jehovah's Witnesses. He is 25, she is 23. They met at university, where Bruce was studying electrical engineering and Liz was training to be a teacher. They were converted during Bruce's last year. He now has a part-time job cleaning carpets, while she works full-time, unpaid, at the business of publishing the faith from door to door. In September, they will be setting off for South America, so that they can do missionary work in a small town near Bogota, Columbua. They don't know anybody there, and they haven't got anything fixed up for when they arrive, but they expect the local Witnesses will see them through. They are both trying to learn Spanish in their spare time, of which they have very little. Were they planning to have a family out in South America, then? "No," said Liz. "We've decided not to have any children till after Armageddon."

    For most people, this would seem a pretty long wait; but the basic tenet of the Witnesses' beliefs is that the world as we know it is going to end in 1975, after which God's Kingdom will, as they say, come. Who will inhabit it? The Saved. And who are the Saved? If you put this question to a Witness, he will reply that all those who are doing God's work are the saved. It seems a fairly generous categorization, until you ask exactly who are doing God's work, when you receive the answer: Jehovah's Witnesses, and only Jehovah's Witnesses, because only they know what God's work is...

    I asked him whether he could really think he would have been better off had he not gone to university. "The danger is that you're exposing yourself to too many of the wrong sorts of influences," he replied. But what could he think of a faith that wasn't strong enough to stand up to that kind of influence? "You're simply not giving it a proper chance." A more convincing argument is that if the world as we know it is really going to end in 1975, then the higher education which fits us to make the most of life in this world isn't going to be of much lasting use. But what if the world doesn't end in 1975?

    Here we come up against one of the main barriers to communication with convinced Jehovah's Witnesses. You appear to have been carrying on a perfectly normal conversation when suddenly you realize that you have been arguing all the time from premises so different as to render the whole exercise almost meaningless. For the Witness, there's no question of "if," Armageddon will happen in 1975, if not earlier, and the only important thing in this life is what's going to happen then, in the next. Such things as careers, education, politics, are therefore of no importance...When I put the question to Bruce Swain, he said: "I think I'd stay a Witness anyway, I like the life."

  • stevenyc

    The Watchtower made an appology, of sorts. It is hidden in a watchtower of 1980, March 15, in an article titled: Choosing the best way of life, it reads:


    In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man’s existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.


    In its issue of July 15, 1976, The Watchtower, commenting on the inadvisability of setting our sights on a certain date, stated: "If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises." In saying "anyone," The Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah’s Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date.


    Nevertheless, there is no reason for us to be shaken in faith in God’s promises. Rather, as a consequence, we are all moved to make a closer examination of the Scriptures regarding this matter of a day of judgment. In doing so, we find that the important thing is not the date. What is important is our keeping ever in mind that there is such a day—and it is getting closer and it will require an accounting on the part of all of us. Peter said that Christians should rightly be "awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah." (2 Pet. 3:12) It is not a certain date ahead; it is day-to-day living on the part of the Christian that is important. He must not live a single day without having in mind that he is under Jehovah’s loving care and direction and must submit himself thereto, keeping also in mind that he must account for his acts


  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Another resource that might be helpful to anyone who hasn't enjoyed it before is FredFranz weasel wording his way thru a discussion of the nearness of Armageddon.

    Here's a link: http://www.freeminds.org/media/fredfranz75an.rm [edited to install a link that works]

    Franz says, (emphasis mine)

    - - - - begin quote - - - -

    "One thing now; in the next few months, of this lunar claendar, why what's gonna happen? And is it likely that the destruction of whole wicked system of things will take place at the hands of Jehovah God the "Great Executioner" of His judgements against Satan and his wicked organization?

    Well, a lot will have to happen in which to occur by SEPTEMBER THE FIFTH

    the end of the lunar month of year nineteen hundred and seventy five, a LOT will have to happen.

    And when you consider how much has to happen and how even dependant upon the normal outworking of things it seems very improbable, very ulikely that ALL that has to take place in fulfillment of prophecy will be accomplished by SEPTEMBER THE FIFTH AT SUN DOWN.

    Not to say that God cannot bring it about by then - he's ALL-mighty, and he has his time and he acts on time; he's a precise timekeeper, and if it's his will, to have everything accomplished by SEPTEMBER THE FIFTH SUNDOWN OF THIS YEAR, why, it certainly can come to pass.

    But then when we see how things are moving along, just gradually, and there's much to be accomplished according to the prophecies, why, we begin to wonder; well, now, will ALL these things happen in so short a period of time that is left?"

    - - - - end quote - - - -

  • sir82
    It is to be regretted

    That really chaps my patootie!

    Even when they "apologize", they don't apologize. "It is to be regretted" rather than "we regret".

    This is what burns me up more than anything. The utter, absolute arrogance. The inability to admit that they were wrong.

    If anything, the arrogance has only gotten worse. Just glance through the latest 2 "Isaiah" books. I can sum up 500+ pages of mind-numbing drivel in 2 sentences:

    "All scriptures in the book of Isaiah point to us! We were tested in 1919, we passed, and since then we can do no wrong!"

  • kid-A

    My parents have all the bound volumes from the late 1950s onwards, but its great to see this "classic" in PDF format.

    It just never fails to amaze me that anyone with a functioning brain could have fallen for this crap, and worse, could have REMAINED in the borg after 1975.

    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!

  • Leolaia
    However, I think this issue from 1968 and the October 8, 1966 issue of Awake! are some of the reaons the WT CD-ROM for Awake! only goes back to 1970. (It goes back to 1950 for the Watchtower.)

    The 1960s-era Awake! has a number of very embarrassing articles, including:

    • The article "This Generation Will Not Pass" in the 22 September 1962 Awake! (pp. 27-28) directly refutes the "new light" that the Society adopted in 1995, namely, that the "generation" mentioned in the NT refers to something other than a literal generation of people born at a certain time.
    • The 8 October 1966 Awake! (pp. 17-20), for dogmatic statements about the 1914 generation and 1975.
    • The entirety of the 8 October 1968 Awake!, with dogmatic statements about "this generation" and 1975, and even an article (" 'Lift Your Heads Up' in Confident Hope") in which they use both chronological proofs as PROOF POSITIVE that Armageddon cannot be more than a few years away, in contrast to earlier date-setting failures that amounted to "false prophesying".
    • The 22 August 1967 Awake! article" 'I Do Not Permit a Woman to Exercise Authority ... Over a Man' -- Why?" (pp. 27-28) claimed that men, on account of their greater brain size, were created to be the "head" of households and have "advantages" that women do not have.
    • The 22 January 1969 Awake! (p. 16), which states that Armageddon will occur "in an few years".
    • The 22 May 1969 Awake! article "What Future For the Young" (pp. 14-15) which infamously told youths that they "will never grow old in this system of things" and "never fulfill any career that this system offers".

    The Kingdom Ministry also bristled with embarrassing statements, which may account for why the coverage begins only in 1970:

    • The March 1968 Kingdom Ministry referred to the "short period of time left ... before Armageddon breaks out", adding: "Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man's existence on earth is completed" (p. 3-6).
    • According to the September 1968 Kingdom Ministry, "now time is running short" to such an extent that "interested ones will [have to] act within six months" (p. 8) before the study is discontinued and the study conductor moves on to somebody else.
    • The June 1969 Kingdom Ministry adminishes young ones that "in view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwuse but extremely dangerous" (p. 3).
  • Larry

    A Blast From The Past -

    1975 Posted by Joab on September 16, 1996 at 09:35:14: Can you recall what your Circuit & District Overseer said years ago, regarding 1975? We all know what the Society said, but what about these brothers including the Elders. In addition, what did they said when Armageddon didn't occur in 1975?

    I'll tell you what they said. They counted down the months, 56 months, 55 months.... In some congregation they had countdown calendars on the wall. COs and DOs were by far the worst offenders in this regard. What did they say when it didn't happen? Nothing, the great silence fell and they all devoutly hoped everyone had immediate memory loss.

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