I was a baptized JW for 7 years. During that time I repeatedly vocalized my belief that "the end is near." However, what did this cost me? What was I putting on the line for this belief? Did I really think the end was right around the corner?
The most ardent supporters of millennial belief systems don't just say they think the end is near, they construct their entire lives around their belief that this indeed is going to occur. They sell their homes, live out of trailers, wear that wacky sandwich sign and count down the days.
This isn't to say that belief that the end is near doesn't manifest itself within the organization. However, the degree to which contemporary JWs actually believe that the end is near, to the point of making life altering changes, has been greatly diminished.
As former JWs, I think most of us tend to mix up the B.S. that comes out of a JWs mouth as what they really believe. Sure, JWs will state till they are blue in the face that the end is near. But what is this belief costing them?
The truth is that belief in the "end times" comes cheap these days. Without putting anything of substance on the line, "end times" proclamations are nothing more than talk.
Now JWs back in 20s, 30s, 40s, etc., that's a different story. Those JWs believed crazy stuff with integrity, which strangley means they were a tad bit more respectable.