1975 - A weak argument?

by Christ Alone 89 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • MrFreeze


  • FWFranz

    Hi Christ Alone

    It has been said by many others, but it is true that if you where active during the late 1960's and into the early 70's the expectation for the nearness of the end was very real. There may have been an ounce of caution from WT writers in not being too explicit, compared to those who predicted the failures of 1914, 1918, 1925, but the prevailing feeling was an undoubteded nearness of the end. I have two personal stories to relate that I think prove just how certain many at the top ( as well as the rank and file) felt about the end coming in 75. I vividly recall a convention that I attended in the summer of 1975 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The main highlight was a talk given by Fred Franz. You could hear a pin drop in that auditorium. People listened like they where listening to the voice of the Almighty. Franz gave a typical talk but focused almost exclusively on WT chronology and he built that talk to a climactic finish with some VERY strong language that led one to believe that we could possibly see the end in a matter of months. Of course there where a few statements that where designed as "get out of jail" type remarks in the event that nothing happened, but the crowd paid little attention to any of that. I wish I had a tape of that talk. Someone must have taped it, as a talk by Fred was always considered quite special. The other story was told to me by my uncle a few years ago. He was a very devout and faithful JW right up until his death, so I have no reason to believe this story to be anything else but absolutely factual. We where talking about the "truth" just before he died and the topic of the WT's prophetic record came up. I brought it up, because I wanted him to tell me what he thought of their dismal record in predicting the end of the world. He said he really didn't have a very good answer ( which surprised me as he was always quick to defend the WT, and claimed that all critics of it just had some personal axe to grind.) He then related a story to me that left me very shocked. Firstly that he would share it with me, as it definitely only proved my point and left the WTS looking rather foolish and very much NOT directed by God, certinly not when it came to their habit of end times predictions. He told me of a gathering of elders and overseers that took place at the Toronto Bethel when it was on Bridgeland Ave. ( memories for some who may have served there) He said it was a "special" meeting and was attended by quite a large number of brothers. The speaker was a bethel heavy sent up from New York. This took place in 1974 by the way. The speaker said to all in attendance that the Governing Body wanted to assure them that Armageddon was going to break out in 1975. Apparantly one brother sheepishly put up his hand at the end of the talk and asked the question, "How can we be certain of that"? The speaker from NY said that we could have absolute confidence because the GB was being used by Jehovah and that this would come to pass as they stated it would. I was absolutely shocked to hear this. There is no way in the world that my uncle made this up. It happened. So, for all those that choose to deny just how much this idea occupied the minds of JW's during that time period, I invite you to speak to those who where around at the time for a much more accurate picture.


  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    I suppose I don't like to have to back peddle during an argument. I don't want to talk about how they falsely prophesied the end in 1975 and then have a JW say that they never said that, have to acknowledge that, and then try to show that they DID in effect make everyone believe it.

  • LostGeneration

    For those of us too young to remember 75, its kinda tough to relate. I personally feel the most damning quote it the one here, from the KM.

    "Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? 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 How Are You Using Your Life?

    This is an endorsment of the foolish behavior going on. Because it benefited the WTS in both numbers growth and sales of literature, they fed the fire with this kind on bullshit. Nowhere did they warn people that they were getting ahead of themselves, or that 1975 was just a guess.

  • moshe

    When you sat through KH meetings and heard elders say- 22 months left, 18 months left in this old system, uh, and remember to come back in the morning (sat) for fieldservice, bros and sis. Well, no-obody corrected the elder for setting an end for the system- being a killjoy for 1975 was not allowed- silence was all they wanted from the doubters.

  • Finkelstein

    1975 - A weak argument?

    Not exactly, upon making a close evaluation of them coming to this proclaiming conclusion since

    the said calculation the WTS. created ( via Fred Franz ) to come to October 1975 of mankind's existence

    of 6000 years was indeed a grandiose lie for it is imposable by using the bible as a chronological timetable

    to make that assertive calculation.

    It was an underhanded devious marketing ploy by these men plain and simple, maybe even done so to divert attention from the fact

    that nothing had happened concerning the generation who witnessed the events of 1914 . ( remember that one ? )

    1975 and the WTS. is an conclusive fact of the corruption of this religious publishing house and one of the main reasons for myself leaving

    this organization some 30 years ago.

  • suavojr

    Hello CA,

    Don’t forget that Fred Franz and Nathan Knorr were young men learning from the best, THE JUDGE HIMSELF! They witnessed how the judge was able to manipulate, take over, erase Russell, label people as apostates and make an ‘ASS OF HIMSELF’.

    If you take these experiences into account, they both (Fred Franz and Knorr) learned how to control, manipulate people and avoid some of Rutherford’s mistakes. That is why they motivated people with this non-scriptural message of 1975, 6000 years, without using compromising words. Fred Franz was a master of deceit, orchestrated an exit for the ORG and himself. He was able to escape humiliation and blame the millions of brothers for reading into his words.

    My dad was studying in 1971 and he recalls clearly how they emphasized 1975 as the end. What is interesting about this, is that among the Spanish brothers they were not getting the same WT study as printed in English, but they still were led to believe the end was coming.

    Now just remember that each JW’s tipping point is different, some could be false prophecy, others child abusive, others the topic of Christ not being our mediator, etc.

    You just have to find what can CLICK with who you are talking.

  • problemaddict

    Hey Christ Alone.

    So just my two cents.

    I do in fact think its a pretty weak arguement to the active JW. It was a weak arguement for me personally when it was brought to my attention. The problem with relying so much on personal experience with a time period is well that its.....personal. My mother was around during 1975, and she didn't feel the urge to sell her home, and didn't get in a huff. She said she wasn't expecting anything and it was never discussed at the meetings. That was her PERSONAL experience. So the old line that "some people" got a little out of hand with it, rings true to her.

    A few other things. NOTHING the WT has written can be considered false prophecy because JW's believe they are not prophets. So they are some guys that made a mistake. But they speak for God you say? Well the first century christians were wrong sometimes, Christ's disciples thought he was going to set up the kingdom, etc.... So it doesn't affect the thinking at large. They don't see the paradox.

    In regards the literature, there is plenty of loaded language, but there is much more to coax the already held view that most people WANT to believe, namely that it was a few rouge people, and nothing as explicitly stated.

    Even when Freddy said "It could....but we are not saying"....he followed it immediately by "and don't any of you either" or something to that effect. So it was speculative, but not concrete. Someone told me just the other day that they heard the good news had been preached in all the inhabited earth. i know that went around for a while. When I told the guy that was just kind of a rouge rumor, and not sanctioned, he kind of fought me on it....wanting to believe there was some special insight.

    We are trippy creatures. People want to be the first with news and special info. JW's want this the same as everyone else, and just happen to want it with special insight into the future. Haven't you heard people admit being "too eager" for God's will to be done? I mean if you break that down a little, it can be pretty troubling.

    1975 is not where its at. if you were going to leave over 75, you probably would have done it by 76. The reason the ex community wants it to work, is because it is a more RECENT example of flubbery in regards to dates. Old timey times are easier to discount because everyone was crazy who lived back then. :)

  • problemaddict

    I also meant to say the pseudo apology regarding it has done exactly what it was intended to do. Disarm the conversation, and by extention, any conversation saying "they don't admit mistakes". Its a little slice of genius actually.

  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    I think you pretty much explained it perfectly, problemaddict.

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