Just a little more of my personal experience shared by many thousands of others - maybe you were among them too. It was just one of those things, one of those crazy flings. A trip to the moon on gossamer wings!
"The Society were to later claim that they never actually said 1975 would bring the end of the system. True, it was only suggested. The Witnesses around the world arrived at the idea that 1975 would be the year, all by themselves! Naturally the Society did not discourage the excitement that swept through the movement. Far be it for the Society to tell its members what to think.
The fervour that followed had to be experienced to be believed. At a series of conventions around the world in the summer of 1968 a new book was introduced, “The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life.” It has since sold over one hundred million copies.
I sat transfixed in the London assembly at Twickenham Stadium, as the speaker explained the reason for the book’s release. This small book had been designed so that a weekly study of just one hour covering one chapter a week would complete the book in six months. All other Society books used in Bible studies with interested people were to be put aside.
This was now the book to use. If those we studied with did not show definite signs of getting baptised after six months we were to forget them and move on. Why? Because time was running out - so many people to save and so little time! We were told that the end was now so close that there was no time to waste.
The atmosphere was electrified. The inspired talks that followed brought the stadium to its feet in unanimous applause. Men fought to hold back tears. We were on the brink of entering “The New World.” These wonderful men who, we believed, had direct communication with Jehovah God himself, were standing there before us and assuring us that all we had hoped and prayed for was almost here. I can honestly say that I have never experienced such euphoria before and I doubt I ever will again.
I was thirteen years old at the time and longed to leave school and save as many lives as I could by entering the pioneer service. The Watchtowers that followed kept up the excitement. The speakers in the Kingdom Halls were less cautious with their words than those the Society set to print.
Elders announced that they were selling their homes to go pioneering. Many gave up their jobs to join the crusade. Such heroism was actively encouraged by the Society and such men and women were held up as fine examples. Those who were less brave felt guilty - they were too fond of the things of this world.
In the few years that followed there was a certain magic in the air. The brothers and sisters could sense the nearness of all they had hoped for. We did not worry about trivial matters such as how much money we were making, how our careers were progressing, or what type of house we lived in. All that mattered was studying with new people and sharing our joy while there was still time – Time – Time! So much time passed and 1975 came and went, along with many disillusioned Witnesses."
Taken from the newly released book 'Opening the Door to Jehovah's Witnesses ' by Trevor Willis Available from' Amazon.co.uk (books) ISBN 0954018206