Is the Governing Body Guilty or not guilty of 1975 speculations going too far?

by Terry 56 Replies latest social humour

  • Terry

    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.

    Oh, really?

    Before the Watchtower Society ever published LIFE EVERLASTING IN FREEDOM OF THE SONS OF GOD we might well wonder if ANYBODY was talking

    about 1975!

    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


    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


    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.


    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!

  • moshe

    I remember an elder saying we might have less than 18 months to go before Armageddon - he had just come back from some meeting with other elders and CO's- nobody chewed him out over that comment- in fact when I later commented to other brothers that he had misspoke about the time of the day and hour- I was the one who was counseled for creating divisions! The overeer's son quit highschool to pioneer and he was held up as a fine example- even used on an assembly program as fine example of a youth who put Jehovah first. Yes the GB pushed 1975 and they created a manic high bigger than the crowd trying to get the first and last Ipads on openning day.

  • Terry

    The following are snippets from the audio of "Stay Alive 'to 75" talk by Charles Sunutko given in 1967

    Well now, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, as runners, even though some of us have become a little weary, it almost seems as though Jehovah has provided meat in due season. Because he’s held up before all of us, a new goal. A new year. Something to reach out for and it just seems it has given all of us so much more energy and power in this final burst of speed to the finish line. And that’s the year 1975.

    Well, we don’t have to guess what the year 1975 means if we read the Watchtower. Because the Watchtower has been very explicit as to what the year 1975 means to us.

    If you wish to write down the page, 262, in the [May 1] 1967 issue of the Watchtower, we read:
    What does the year 1975 mean for humankind? The end of 6000 years of human existence, and possibly, [voice raising dramatically] the time when God executes the wicked and starts off a thousand-year reign under his son Jesus Christ. End quote.

    What did it say? The end of 6000 years of human existence and that’s all? NO, it gave us a little more to think about there. Did it say for certainty the time when God executes the wicked and starts off a thousand year reign by Jesus Christ? No. But it did give us a glimmer of light. It says [voice rising] possibly, possibly the time when God executes the wicked and starts off the thousand year reign of his son Jesus Christ, [voice returning to normal] 1975.
    Doesn’t that give you a little bit of excitement about the future?

    There are the skeptics who say ‘well, I’m not going to think about it and not worry about it. I’m not going to pay attention to it.’ Well now remember brothers, the faithful and discreet slave is used by Jesus to to what? Jesus says ‘to provide meat in due season.’ This is meat, and it’s come at the right time. And it’s in its due season.

    And it’s not wrong to think about it, and to look forward to it.
    As far as knowing for sure? Well, we know what we know for sure. We just read it. [voice rising] ‘The end of Six Thousand years of human history, and possibly the execution of the wicked and the beginning of the Thousand year reign.’ And that should be exciting enough, and talk enough for us.

  • ambersun

    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


    The Watchtower Society was being crafty and calculating.

    They were trying to have it BOTH WAYs.

    Having lived through the Fred Franz era, and having been on the receiving end of the effects of all that mass hysteria I can agree 100% with what you are saying. Franz knew full well what was happening and could have put a stop to it at any moment, but it served his purpose not to do so.

  • Terry

    Here is how horrible things had become on Earth

    Cost of Living 1975

    How Much things cost in 1975
    Yearly Inflation Rate USA9.2%
    Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 858
    Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 7.25%
    Average Cost of new house $39,300.00
    Average Income per year $14,100.00
    Average Monthly Rent $200.00
    Cost of a gallon of Gas 44 cents
    Average cost new car $4,250.00
    Foster Grant Sun Glasses $5.00

  • Luo bou to
    Luo bou to

    Definitely guilty I stayed alive to 75 ..76, 77, 78, 79, 80 ...... 2011 still alive and there is nothing wrong with my memory. They're as cunning as a shit house rat when it comes to being accountable

  • Terry

    1969 Watchtower article entitled, “The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years:”

    “…six millenniums of mankind’s life on earth would end in the mid-seventies. Thus the seventh millennium from man’s creation by Jehovah God would begin withinless than ten years…. In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be ‘Lord even of the sabbath day,’ his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventhin a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums…. Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of mankind’s laborious enslavement under Satan the Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher in a Sabbath millennium for all his human creatures?Yes, indeed!And his King Jesus Christwill be Lord of that Sabbath.” —The Watchtower, October 15, 1969, pp. 622-623

  • Terry

    "Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them ‘brainwash’ you with the Devil’s propaganda to get ahead… This world has very little time left!… Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal.” —The Watchtower, March 15, 1969, p. 171

    “Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time?It will be well on the way toward its finish,if not actually gone!” —Awake!, May 22, 1969, p. 15

    Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that no reason to increase our activity?… Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.”—Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3

  • punkofnice

    Nice critique, Terry. Well written.

    At least it proves to me that the WTB$ is a false prophet. Mrs Punk however, says it doesn't matter as they were just imperfect men doing their best!

    Yeah, right.............doing their best to mislead, gain cult followers and thereby obtain power and cash.

    I agree GUILTY.

    In fact I'd like to see the current GB charged with crimes against humanity!

    EDIT TO ADD Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15 "If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. ... Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in highschool and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone!"

  • Terry

    “…some who had been service God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible’s warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date… Did Jesus mean that we should adjust our financial and secular affairs so that our resources would just carry us to a certain date that we might think marks the end?… This is not the kind of thinking that Jesus advised.” —The Watchtower, July 15, 1976, p. 440

    "But some of their time calculations and the expectations that they associated with these gave rise to serious disappointments. Following 1925, meeting attendance dropped dramatically…. Again, in 1975, there was disappointment when expectations regarding the start of the Millennium failed to materialize. As a result, some withdrew from the organization…. Although these tests resulted in a siftingothers remained firm. Why?… ‘Those who had set their confidence in Jehovah remained steadfast and continued their preaching activity.’”—Jehovah’s Witnesses — Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, p. 633

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