by Liberty 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Liberty

    Along with Musky's 1975 post I've just seen another so I wanted to try and reach Musky again and reach others who wonder about the reality of the Society's 1975 speculations. AF and others have done an excellent job documenting what was actually said by the Watchtower Society through their own official publications and spokesmen. As a person who was actually there in those heady times of the late 60's and early 70's these official documents confirm what my memory tells me I knew all along, that of course the Society actively promoted 1975 as a "marked date" or a date of "great significance" at the very least.

    In fact, as I recall, the closer 1975 came the more they shifted it from being the possible start of Christ's 1000 Year Rule into being a "marked year" or a turning point in World history. This was due only to the fact that nothing was really happening near to 1975 that could be seen as Armegeddon-like so of course the Millinium couldn't already be in place by then. The Cold War, the riots of hippy/racial radicals, the Viet Nam War, Nixon's resignation, the Arab-Isreal conflict, Oil Embargo, and resulting Energy Crisis were all settling down by 1975 instead of getting worse and the Society was getting nervous. WWI had been a "lucky" accident which kind of saved their ass in 1914 by giving them something to point to but 1975 would come and go as a completely uneventful year and as such a complete and utter failure for the Watchtower Society's doomsayers.

    I think that many JWs want to forget the real significance of 1975, which is, that the specific date itself was not nearly as important as the general time frame promoted by even the "moderates" in the Watchtower Society. The evidence is very clear, despite all JW denials, that even if certain Elders in individual congregations didn't believe in 1975 they certainly were convinced that the general time frame promoted for years by the Watchtower Society through all official study materials that "The End of This System of Things" was very near was a reality. That is what being a JW was all about, our one singular reason for being was preaching that the End was near. If "good and faithful" JWs didn't believe the big "A" was near then what was the whole point of what they/we were doing? To claim that only a few "overzealous" Brothers pushed the date 1975 is a red herring argument since evey active JW I knew believed that the big "A" could start at any time near this date. Why else would there have been such a frenzied pace and rapid growth during this period?

    Todays JWs would have you believe it was no big deal but all evidence and common sense says likewise. If nobody really believed the mid-70's weren't special then why all the hubbub? After the turbulant 1960's many people besides JWs thought that the World was on the brink of destruction. Just look at the popular books and movies from this time. Apocolyptic themes were rampant in films like Omega Man, Soilent Green, Planet of the Apes, The Illustrated Man not to mention all the Hal Lindsey books. These movies were extra frightening to us JWs because they confirmed what we had been told. In The Omega Man I remember seeing a calender in the post-apocolyptic world stuck on 1975, the year the World as they had known it ended. This general feeling was widespread and very real folks. Any of you who were there and old enough know it.

    Real JW disappointment lethargy didn't set in until the very late 1970's when the reality that the World was getting better instead of worse started to sink in. The few years after 1975 were still very hopeful that the End would come and relieve us of both our disillusionment and the harsh realities of continuing to live for a very long time in a world where education and money really were important afterall. Living on dreams and false hopes just became impossible after such a long time and the hard core believers started to make up the myth that they had never been fooled by 1975 and never believed it would be the End afterall. They had to, or face the fact that they had been idiots and believed in a liar Organization and had sacrificed for a false dream. I think it is this late 70's early 80's era and attitude that the younger folks remember when faithful dubs said they never believed in 1975. Before 1975 you would have been DFed for claiming that the big "A" was years off in the future but after this failed date this began to slowly change and you were allowed to be against "date setting" and to bad mouth those "faithless" nameless "overzealous" Brothers who promoted 1975, how dare they! Thus the myth of how the "time watchers" were cleaned out by Jehovah due to them putting faith in a date. The reality was that these "overzealous", "running ahead of the Organization", "datesetters" were all from the highest ranking officials in the Watchtower Society and not the nameless mythical scapegoat congregations out there somewhere.

    It is no myth however that many dubs were waking up and smelling the coffee by the late 70's & early 80's as thousands did leave. Can you blame them? It's been almost 30 years since the mid-70's. No big "A" in sight. Many who left or stayed are now dead from old age and all of the 1914 Generation are gone. Do any of you still really believe the End is near after all this? Would it really be arrogant to say you were a fool if you did?

  • Englishman


    I was there too. The excitement was palpable. Only 6 more visits to every householder, only 6 more opportunities to save them from destruction brothers!

    They were ALL at it but they choose to forget.


  • Liberty

    Thanks Englishman,

    I feel like Winston in "1984" when I wonder for brief moments if I am crazy because I'm the only one who remembers history as it was before the Party changed it to fit their needs. The Watchtower is good at making you wonder if what you remember is real since they manipulate history so much. Thank goodness for the outside world where their tricks can be exposed and their own words used against them. I'm glad you remember this time too. I feel like an idiot for having believed this nonsense but I'm glad I lived through it. I feel sorrier for the post-75 Dubs who haven't completely experianced Watchtower deceptions on this same scale, though the Generation change comes close. I enjoy your posts! Thanks

  • NameWithheld

    All the proof that's ever needed re: if 1975 was really expected to be the big 'a' is the incredible turn-around in the JW growth - the numbers falling to nothing for a few years after 1975. Too many crushed dreams, ruined lives, etc. Then people either moved on or choose to alter their memories of that time - hence the number of people who today say "Oh it was no big deal, just a few over-zealous brothers".

    Then the 'generation' crap took hold in the 80's/90's - I mean, what other proof did you need then the fact that there was no way it could be much father off - the 'generation' of 1914 was almost gone!!! Oh, well, I guess that was just a few over-zealous brothers too.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Remember how in 1967 when William and Paul Paddock published their book, "FAMINE - 1975!" the WTS glommed onto it... "seee, here's a couple of worldly scientists, and they see the disaster ahead, too!"

    Well the Paddocks were wrong too, weren't they? I wonder why the WTS doesn't quote them anymore?

    Here's a comment about the book from an on-line review:
    "William and Paul Paddock

    By Brian Carnell

    The Paddock brothers had the misfortune to sum up their grossly inaccurate predictions in the title of their 1967 book, Famine - 1975! Like others who predicted disastrous consequences for the last quarter of the 20th century, they failed to realize the world was entering a period where food production would greatly outstrip population growth.

    In fact they claimed it was impossible for food production to keep up with population growth. As the title of their first chapter, "The Population-Food Collision Is Inevitable; It Is Foredoomed," indicated the Paddocks believed the world was on a collision course and all anyone could do was hold on tight (1).

    The Paddocks ridiculed those who claimed increasing food production could occur. They described a conference at Cornell University where an expert boldly tells a colleague, "No matter what is said in public [about increasing food production] and for whatever reason, the true situation is that food production in the undeveloped world is nearly static. I know the food possibilities in these countries. I know that future food increases, based on today’s techniques, are limited and can only change slowly" (2).

    It’s a shame the Paddocks didn’t know they were absolutely wrong about worldwide food production, which made a shambles of their predictions by increasing faster than population growth during their period of predicted famine.

    Like other doomsayers, the Paddocks mistakenly took a short term trend in agricultural production and assumed nothing would change for the next 10 to 20 years. In the early 1960s their was a brief fall in food production relative to population growth. The following table illustrates what really happened with food production. As the reader can see, the growth in world cereals increased faster than population growth from 1960-1990."

  • Elsewhere
    It’s a shame the Paddocks didn’t know they were absolutely wrong about worldwide food production

    Tisk Tisk... that is what they get for using "worldly wisdom".

    "As every one knows, there are mistakes in the Bible" - The Watchtower, April 15, 1928, p. 126
    Believe in yourself, not mythology.
    <x ><

  • AlanF

    Excellent post, Liberty!

    I particularly resonated with your observation that "many JWs want to forget the real significance of 1975, which is, that the specific date itself was not nearly as important as the general time frame promoted by even the "moderates" in the Watchtower Society."

    How true. Of course, the mindset of willy-nilly date setting has always been a part of JWism. It still survives nearly intact in those who "take the lead" at Watchtower headquarters. I'm convinced that the only reason they don't now come out with some new date is that the memory of 1975 is too fresh in their minds. Remember that there were 50 years between the previous two clear date settings, 1925 and 1975, so that there is still time for the older generation to die off and let forgetful younger men take a swipe at 2025. But there's a new twist: the world has access to far more information now than in the 1960s, and it is getting to the younger generation of JWs. A larger percentage than ever before consider -- by actions if not words -- Watchtower calls to be awake irrelevant. A larger percentage than in the 1960s does not continue in the religion. They're voting with their feet.

    Because of these large-scale social changes among JW youth, I think that within 25 years the JWs will be much more mainstream than they are today. Either that, or they'll be well on the road to disappearing, because young people today, and will increasingly in the future, have access to so much information that a cultish group will be hard put to disarm their bullshit detectors and convince them to accept cultish notions.


  • Liberty

    As more evidence of the changing attitudes after '75 I can remember that the young hot-shot Elders who were assigned in the late 70's started having kids, buying houses, and starting companies. I saw this as evidence that they no longer took "the End is near" crap as seriously anymore either. The Society must have approved since these were given position and more responsability.

    Anyone chasing this hard after "the things of the World" before '75 would have been considered spiritually weak and been passed over or chastized for their lack of faith, yet soon after '75 this behaviour was just considered "taking care of our own families' needs". These A-hole Elders really chapped me because they still preached to the rest of us about the nearness of the End and warned of being tied up with Worldly things but blantently lived their lives like they knew this "Wicked Old System" was going on into infinity. They had comfortable lives but the rank & file were still supposed to tow the line cause the big "A" was still right around the corner. These same bastards later sent their kids to college while they had councelled my generation not to go because the End was so near. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Liberty

    Thanks AF!,

    I've really appreciated all your research, fine posts, and your web page.

  • one

    1973 "divine victory" international convention, the "last" one.

    missionaries with moren than (2?) years in service were paid a round trip to "home". Of course wt asked the r&f to paid for the cost, i think they used special colection boxes at kh. I had the opportunity to see several friends and relatives.

    Jw walked like idiots 'dressed' or waring with a'sandwhich sign announcing something.

    Then the "hail" in the form of "kingdom new", R Franz mentioned that printing and distribution was equivalent to 1/7 (whatever 7 means) of world population at the time.

    One of those "news" had a very similar title as the one the Judge R published ('religion being xxx') 50 years before.

    Ray Franz in his convention talk sounded like he still beleived the 1975 crap promoted by his uncle, Freddy. I have not asked him yet.

    BTW my family talked nothing but 1975 at every opportunity.

    When wt dismised the issue in a wt article i got furious and made it clear at home i did not agree with the article

    Anyone over 40 should have not problem remebering all of it.

    Before 1980 GB member Shroder (the one with nutty son) acnowledge and said "well we have no more dates" and mentioned several dates 1925, 1975 when things did not happen. But i think he is the same guy who treated Carl Olson harshly for doing some investigation about F. Franz incident. So again i lost any respect i had for him.

    Got carried away, seems like my memory serve me well...

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