There would be NO JW organization if it weren't for the false alarms.
I don't believe these dates were set with malicious intent but rather a natural result of mounting frustration as each generation wore themselves out and frantically tried to get some orientation. This is really like a drug. You center your life around a "fix". The date arrives and there is a big disappointment which drives you to create a new target.
The early Christians did the same thing. They thought Jesus was going to return "quickly". That belief was the force behind their intense preaching.
It seems you can only go through that process for about four cycles before there is no more enthusiasm for a date. The 1975 hoopla was the last BIG date. There have been a few death twitches with the passing of the 1914 generation and the transition to the new millenium. 2014 will be a big wake up for those who keep repeating the mantra "soon,soon,soon".
The early Christians lost their focus on dates at a comparable point in their history. By 200 CE Jesus and his promise to their great grand parents that he was coming soon changed their focus to organization building and establishing a power hierarchy. Jehovah's Witnesses have become focused on special honor for various levels of leadership. All the special "schools" are designed as incentives to keep up enthusiasm since there are no longer dates to act as a driving force. Expect these various schools to evolve into "certifications" for positions of authority and the firming up of a clear hierarchy.
They can criticize those who "served for a date" but they needed those dates.