The most disengenuous aspect of "official" pronouncements from the Society can be identified.
It is in the positioning of the speaker/writer as a passive onlooker commenting on exterior happenings.
This BYSTANDER MODE is clever by half.
Why? It spoon feeds information without taking any active personal responsibility.
Sort of an "Oh gee, wow--look at all this going on" stance, while taking a stand-offish tone, is printed in the official magazines and books approved for publication by the Governing Body as mouthpiece of Jehovah.
Think about that. It is insidious incitement without responsibility.
The person (likely Fred Franz) who crafted these bulletins had gone through several previous incidents of failure and disappointment and was WELL AWARE of the effect of any speculations upon Jehovah's Witnesses in the past.
This makes what was printed all the more calculated and irresponsible in the extreme.
Let us parse the language printed by the Watchtower society with careful attention to what is said and left UNSAID.
w68 8/15 p. 494 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?
Who is the audience "YOU" and who is the speaker? The audience is Jehovah's Witnesses and any reader of the Watchtower. The speaker is either Fred Franz or the hand picked writer representing the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses.
What about all this talk concerning the year 1975?
Is this an honest question of curiousity? Or, is it a coy rhetorical question?
Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible.
This is a red flag if ever there was one. The Watchtower is acknowledging extreme reaction to what THEY themselves previously published.
Notice the phrase: "...some based on speculation..." Will the speculative be identified and contrasted to the actual?
Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation.
This is carefully crafted positioning. The discussion and speculations have been CAUSED by a "belief" about 1975, we are told.
Before the Watchtower Society ever published LIFE EVERLASTING IN FREEDOM OF THE SONS OF GOD we might well wonder if ANYBODY was talking
Of course not. This is canny and cunning POSITIONING. This writer isn't taking ownership!
The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion.
This is really artfully crafted propaganda!
Without owning the date as caused by the Society this writer is AFFIRMING IT with enthusiastic vigor.
Now follows the meat of speculation itself being done by the Watchtower itself:
After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam’s creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam’s creation.
This is Fred Franz with his premise setting up the argument for everybody to marvel over and get excited about.
Notice what follows because it is Fred Franz speaking as the mouthpiece of Jehovah through the Watchtower itself:
That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind!
Here Fred Franz is substituting HIS proprietary chronology (first previewed in Babylon the Great has Fallen--God's Kingdom Rules) for the one christendom used in the 1800's. Archbishop Benjamin Ussher had calculated the date for Adam's creation differently from Franz. (By 22 years, in fact.)
Fred Franz is the CAUSE of all the speculation, discussion and the bursting into flame of 1975 enthusiasm.
The next few sentences are so canny in their crafting we have to marvel at their insidious cleverness:
Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then?
The phrase "are we" passively positions both the writer and the reader as standing off to the side evaluating this objective possibility. Mind you, it is the speaker (Franz) who is causing these elements to be considered IN THIS WAY! Franz is rhetorically wondering aloud if a logical necessity is forced by these odd calculations and considerations of HIS OWN DATE.
Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ.
This speculation is wondered aloud as a cautionary warning. It automatically takes as a GIVEN there is a reality in the premises. The wait and see
stems not from these contrived premises, however. The wait and see is from the PARALLEL COINCIDENCE. This is subtle but pure genius!
Pay very close attention as Fred Franz springs his little trap by an infusion of Watchtower Speak (he being the oracle):
If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes.
Here is the cue! This is the moment when a signal is being given. The mouthpiece is speaking. Can we hear what it is trying to tell us?
Jehovah's loving and timely purposes are being invoked here!
Now, notice where the emphasis on accuracy is shifted ever so subtly. It is going to be stated with incredible precision.
Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth.
Gee, how close can you get? After thousands of years Fred Franz (OUR CHRONOLOGY) can only get as far as the exact season of the exact year of 1975!
This is breathtaking hubris is creatively presented as though it were humility! (reasonably accurate).
Just how close is Fred Franz telling us he is willing to state with reasonable accuracy? Watch this tap dance for clues:
It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation.
What does all that razzle dazzle add up to in actual time? Franz immediately calibrates it for us precisely.
It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.
How precise is that!
Now stop and ask yourself what has been accomplished by all the above if not to REASSURE the reader that 1975 is reasonably accurate?
IF all the discussion going on were only idle speculation and a mere nothing to get excited over wouldn't Jehovah's Organization
COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY SO?
Now that we are down the road in history from when this event was published and we NOW KNOW it was all bullshit it stands as a warning
for all of us that THESE PEOPLE KNEW WHAT THEY WERE SAYING.
The Watchtower Society was being crafty and calculating.
They were trying to have it BOTH WAYs.
Sounding cautionary while giving reasons for enthusiasm, the drumbeat toward 1975 as a legitimate date well worth watching got louder and louder.
IF THE SOCIETY HAD NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE in order to KNOW AHEAD OF TIME how devasting, disappointing and destructive such FALSE DATES
had always been......then and only then WE COULD CUT THEM SOME SLACK.
But, they were fully informed by the past failures.
They ARE RESPONSIBLE.
The Watchtower and the Governing Body committed a deliberate speculation that created excited headlines in newspapers which fed the rumor and stirred more and more destructive embarassment.
AT ANY TIME this religion could have held a press conference or published a lead article which gave DIRE WARNING not to get carried away.
Whatever squeeky little cautions that are on record are feeble and in no way equal to the mass hysteria brewing around the world.
Verdict: GUILTY as charged!