"It Separated the Wheat from the Chaff" 1986 paper about the 1975 prophetic failure

by Nathan Natas 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    I thought you might find this a nice brief read, only 18 pages:


    "It Separated the Wheat from the Chaff": The "1975" Prophecy and Its Impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses
    by Richard Singelenberg, University of Utrecht

    To the the right of the title is a link for a free pdf download.

  • Leolaia

    Gosh, 1986? Lordy how time passes. I read it when it was new, back in 1989. Are you sure it wasn't a few years later? I thought it was very well-written and had some good statistics, plus a nice quote from a CO at a convention telling people to sell their homes.

  • snowbird

    A concluding observation from the author:

    {For whatever reasons people join the ranks of the Watchtower Society, the element

    of salvation from a world approaching unavoidable doom

    is still its most distinctive

    ideologicalfeature, and the Society is committed to another prophecy: the generation

    of 1914 will witness the end of this worldly system.}

    Not anymore.

    Tee hee hee.


  • slimboyfat

    It has some interesting obsevations, but there are times when it seems rather too much is being deduced from the available statistical evidence. This always struck me as a rather odd comment:


    Of special interest as far as prophecy expectancy is concerned, is the summer-period of 1975 (see figure 3). According to the Society’s Yearbook 1976 the maximum number of active Witnesses in Holland during 1975 amounted to 29.723. These were registered in November. In the monthly bulletin, however, a high point of 30,000 Witnesses was noted during the month of august. (KM Nov. 1975; Feb. 1976, Dutch ed.) Upon my query on this discrepancy, the Dutch branch office answered this was due to late reception of the data from the congregations. The number stated in the Yearbook was correct, not the one from the bulletin. It is interesting to speculate on this ‘late reception’. Procedure prescribes that publishers should file their activities on specially designed forms through their congregations at the end of each month. As the graph for july 1975 indicates, there is either a striking low activity in that month or activities were not reported. The first possibility seems unlikely, in view of the urgency of the epoch and the significant difference in activity between july and august. In this case the difference was an ample 12%, whereas the average amounted to 5%. But why this late filing, as asserted by the Society? Could it be that a more than average amount of Witnesses were absent so they were unable to file their reports? Did they perceive this was a last opportunity to enjoy a vacation within the secular institutions, previous to Armageddon would temporarily discontinue this pleasure?

  • Leolaia

    When were the summer conventions held in Holland in 1975? I see similar downward dips in July in both 1974 and 1976 in that graph.

  • slimboyfat

    There is a dip in July most years from what I can tell, (using UK figures) which stands out all the more because the peak usually comes in August.

    This 1975 pre-Armageddon vacation theory seems somewhat farfetched to me.

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