1975 New Info
It's interesting to note how Jehovah's Witnesses today often minimize what the Watchtower Society said about 1975 in the years before that date. The Society published a number of cautionary notes warning JWs about being too specific about the date, but they also published a good deal of material encouraging people to look forward to the date.
Here are set forth some published statements that show how strongly some of the Society's writers promoted the 1975 date. Some statements were definite that 1975 would bring Armageddon.
It all started with the release of the book Life Everlasting--In Freedom of the Sons of God in the summer of 1966. The chronological table it contained, which showed the end of 6,000 years of human history in 1975, along with explanatory comments that the date might very well see the beginning of Christ's millennial rule, created a sense of urgency among Jehovah's Witnesses that was reflected in subsequent Society publications, including and especially in Kingdom Ministry articles. For example, the October 1966 KM (for the U.S.) stated in the "Dear Publishers" letter (p. 1):
All of us who attended one of the "God's Sons of Liberty" District Assemblies this past summer were given much to think about, weren't we? The talks and the dramas made us feel the urgency of the times and the need of walking circumspectly before Jehovah.
This KM encouraged the placing of the special October 8, 1966 issue of Awake!, which considered the topic "Why Does God Permit Wickedness?" This issue contained the article "How Much Longer Will It Be?" in answer to the question "when will God bring an end to wickedness?" Under the subheading "6,000 Years Completed in 1975," it reasoned that the millennium would be the last 1000 years of a 7000-year rest day of God. On pages 19-20 it said:
The Bible shows that when God began to shape the earth for human habitation, he worked for six "days," or time periods. From the indications in God's Word, each was apparently 7,000 years in length. Then Genesis 2:22 states, Jehovah "proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made." This seventh day, God's rest day, has progressed nearly 6,000 years, and there is still the 1,000-year reign of Christ to go before its end. (Rev. 20:3, 7) This seventh 1,000-year period of human existence could well be likened to a great sabbath day, pictured by the sabbath day God commanded ancient Israel to keep after working for six days. (Ex. 20:8-10; 2 Pet. 3:8) After six thousand years of toil and bondage to sin, sickness, death and Satan, mankind is due to enjoy a rest and is in dire need of a rest. (Heb. 4:1-11) Hence, the fact that we are nearing the end of the first 6,000 years of man's existence is of great significance.
Does God's rest day parallel the time man has been on earth since his creation? Apparently so. From the most reliable investigations of Bible chronology, harmonizing with many accepted dates of secular history, we find that Adam was created in the autumn of the year 4026 B.C.E. Sometime in that year Eve could well have been created, directly after which God's rest day commenced. In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975. This is worthy of notice, particularly in view of the fact that the "last days" began in 1914, and that the physical facts of our day in fulfillment of prophecy mark this as the last generation of this wicked world. So we can expect the immediate future to be filled with thrilling events for those who rest their faith in God and his promises. It means that within relatively few years we will witness the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies that have to do with the "time of the end."
Continuing the theme of urgency, the December 1966 KM said (p. 4): "Never have we felt the nearness of Armageddon and the urgency of our work as we do now."
The February 1967 KM contained an insert with the sub-article "Serving Jehovah in the Time Remaining" (pp. 4-5). It commented on the number of "vacation pioneers" and asked, "what motivated them to vacation pioneer?" The answer included these comments:
Many of them had in mind Jesus' electrifying words: "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." Our very generation is seeing the sign marking Jesus' second presence. Truly, "the time left is reduced." (Matt. 24:34; 1 Cor. 7:29) For this reason many of your brothers, young and old, appreciated the importance of serving God in the time remaining. Having Scriptural responsibilities that prevented them from sharing in the ministry as regular pioneers, missionaries or members of Bethel families, they demonstrated their appreciation of the shortness of the time remaining by vacation pioneering.
The lead article "All the More So" in the July 1967 KM (p. 1) said:
Are you glad that you have remained faithful until now? Certainly! ... This being true, what should be our attitude toward meeting together in the days ahead as the end of the old system draws near and the outside pressures increase? The apostle Paul provides the answer in the verses that support our theme for the month of July. Read carefully Hebrews 10:23-25 and note Paul's encouragement to meet together and build one another up and to do this all the more so as we "behold the day drawing near." Obviously, then, we will need to give even more attention to supporting God's house in the time ahead.
The lead article "The Finest Work on Earth" in the October 1967 KM (p. 1) continued the theme of preaching with a sense of urgency:
It is a real pleasure to have a part in the finest work done on earth today, the work Jehovah is asking us to do in these "last days," isn't it? All of us appreciate that there is little time left for this present system of things. In the remaining time it is our desire to share in the preaching work as fully as possible so as to help many more honest-hearted persons to escape from Babylon the Great.
The lead article "Help Wanted" in the December 1967 KM (p. 1) said:
"For what?" you may ask. To do the Kingdom preaching work. The remaining time is short, and, as Jesus put it, "the good news has to be preached first," before the old system comes to its end. (Mark 13:10) True, there are more than 300,000 helpers in the field in this country, but we know you will agree that more are needed to get the job done thoroughly.
The March 1968 KM contained an insert titled "An Opportunity to Increase Your Happiness" (pp. 3-6) that encouraged "vacation pioneering" in April. It contained some statements that were electrifying to many of the friends:
Since we have dedicated ourselves to Jehovah, we want to do his will to the fullest extent possible. Making some special effort to do more than the usual helps us live up to our dedication. In view of the short period of time left, we want to do this as often as circumstances permit. Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man's existence on earth is completed. Do you remember what we learned at the assemblies last summer? The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more.
It is obvious that the Society was now strongly encouraging the friends to believe that Christ would begin his millennial rule very soon, likely by about the beginning of October 1975. The "Dear Publishers" letter in the June 1968 KM continued this theme:
Yes, Jehovah has surely filled our mouths with song, and as we move on into June's activities, expressing gratitude in a practical manner, we shall, in effect, be sharing in a victory procession--the joyful march toward mankind's grand millennium of deliverance!
Among the strongest of encouragements about the urgency of 1975 was the article "Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?" in the August 15, 1968 Watchtower. Note that the question was not, "Are You Looking Forward..." but "Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?" This is a clear indication that the Society told JWs that they ought to have been looking forward to 1975. Many JWs fully took this signal to heart.
The Society published many other statements about what 1975 was likely to bring. Some cautioned JWs not to be dogmatic about the date, but some were themselves dogmatic. Following are some statements that more or less threw caution to the wind.
The October 8, 1968 Awake! was a special issue on the topic "Is It Later Than You Think?" It contained the article "What Will the 1970's Bring?", which on page 14, under the subtitle "When Do 6,000 Years End?", said: "According to reliable Bible chronology Adam and Eve were created in 4026 B.C.E." Note how this bolded statement is definite, in contrast to a similar bolded statement in the above-quoted paragraph from the October 8, 1966 Awake!. Nevertheless, the article went on to say some cautionary words: "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the time for the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say. However, of this we can be sure: The 1970's will certainly see the most critical times mankind has yet known." What message is the reader expected to get from these contradictory statements? Let the reader use discernment.
The May 1, 1968 Watchtower was quite definite about when Adam and Eve were created. Under the subtitle "The Seventh Day" (p. 271) the study question for paragraph 4 asked, "When were Adam and Eve created?" Paragraphs 4 through 6 answered and said:
... Thus, Adam's naming of the animals and his realizing that he needed a counterpart would have occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since it was also Jehovah's purpose for man to multiply and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After her creation, God's rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed.
Therefore, God's seventh day and the time man has been on earth apparently run parallel. To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God's seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 B.C.E.
The seventh day of the Jewish week, the sabbath, would well picture the final 1,000-year reign of God's kingdom under Christ when mankind would be uplifted from 6,000 years of sin and death. (Rev. 20:6) Hence, when Christians note from God's timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation. Particularly is this true because the great sign of the "last days" has been in the course of fulfillment since the beginning of the "time of the end" in 1914.
The 1969 edition of Aid to Bible Understanding (the equivalent of the Insight volumes) indicated that Adam and Eve were created in the same year. On page 333, under the subject "Chronology," it said that the time from Adam's creation to the birth of Seth was 130 years, and on page 538, under the subject "Eve," it said that at the age of 130 Eve gave birth to Seth.
The 1969 booklet The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years was also definite about 1975. On pages 25-26 it said:
More recently earnest researchers of the Holy Bible have made a recheck of its chronology. According to their calculations the 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 within less 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 seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums.
Note the language: for Jesus to be Lord of the sabbath, his Millennial reign would have to be (not "it might be") the seventh in a series. This is a definite statement.
At the summer district conventions in 1968 the Society instituted a new six-month bible study program that was to be based on the new "Truth" book -- The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life -- a.k.a., "the blue bombshell". This program was a direct result of acting on the belief that the times were particularly urgent. The September 1968 Kingdom Ministry (p. 8) gave details of the new program in the article "A New Outlook on Bible Studies" in the "Presenting the Good News" section:
Free home Bible studies are a hallmark of Jehovah's witnesses the world around. How helpful this work has been in aiding hundreds of thousands of persons to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth and to take their stand on Jehovah's side! But now time is running short for this old system of things and we want to help as many sheeplike ones as we can to learn the truth and act on it while there is still time.So we have a new approach to use in the Bible-study work. Yes, it is still free of charge. But, as suggested at the "Good News for All Nations" district assemblies this summer, we will seek to help as many people as possible through a six-month Bible-study program.To accomplish this, endeavor to hold your studies each week. If an unavoidable situation arises and you personally have to miss a study, perhaps another publisher with whom the householder is acquainted can conduct the study that week. Progress is directly related to the regularity of the study. Have in mind helping them learn enough of the truth so that they can act on it within six months...At all times keep before interested ones the importance of beginning to associate with Jehovah's people at the meetings. If, at the end of six months of intensive study and conscientious efforts to get them to meetings, they are not yet associating with the congregation, then it may be best to use your time to study with someone else who really wants to learn the truth and make progress. Make it your goal to present the good news on Bible studies in such a way that interested ones will act within six months!
Many JWs were not happy about this new arrangement, because it was very hard to get Bible students under the best of circumstances. For those wanting to qualify to pioneer, it was especially difficult because one of the qualifications was holding several regular Bible studies, so pioneer-wannabes needed to hold on to every student they had. Prior to this time it was not unusual for a Bible student to continue for two to five years before making a decision.
During these years the Society constantly stressed the urgency of the times. The lead article "Making Known an Urgent Message" in the October 1968 KM plugged the above-quoted October 8 special Awake! on "Is It Later Than You Think?":
A few weeks ago you heard a letter read to your congregation about the October 8 special issue of Awake! But by now you no doubt have your own copy, and you have seen for yourself what it contains. Isn't it fine? How appropriate this material is for our magazine that bears the title "Awake!" With a powerful array of facts, persuasive argument and visual aids it drives home the point that we really are living in the "last days." Kindly but firmly it emphasizes the fact that the time left is very short and that, if a person wants to serve God and survive into his righteous new system, he must take the necessary steps now.
The November 1968 KM again emphasized the urgency of the new bible study program, and made it clear that publishers were to discontinue studies that were unproductive after six months. This was a two-pronged method that got publishers to be more enthusiastic door-to-door preachers, and forced bible students to really think about what they were learning. The article "In the Short Time Remaining" in the "Presenting the Good News" section (p. 8) gave suggestions on presenting the Truth book:
How often does your congregation cover its territory? Do you reach every home at least three times a year? Is it a thorough coverage each time, getting each not-at-home and speaking to different occupants in the house? In view of the shortness of the remaining time, it makes one stop and think, doesn't it?Also, after you have found interested persons and started home Bible studies with them, think how long it takes to teach them the truth, bring them along to dedication and baptism, train them in the field ministry and assist them to progress to maturity! Yes, we all do well to think seriously about having a good share now in the door-to-door work, not postponing it until some later time.--Mark 13:10.There are other reasons for sharing fully in the door-to-door work. With the improved method of conducting home Bible studies, many students will be making a decision much sooner than has been done in the past. Some will show the necessary initiative and will act. They will progress toward maturity much faster and the study can be stopped sooner. Others will not act on the knowledge they take in and we will discontinue the study. Thus it will not be a matter of conducting a study for years as some have done in the past but there will be a concluding of studies and a need to start new studies. It will require regular and effective door-to-door work in order for these new studies to be started. It will be good to be conducting more than one study at a time so that we will be regular in this feature of the work and thus will always be teaching someone the truth if one of our studies is discontinued.
The Society published the pointed article "Have You Been Studying for Six Months?" in the May 15, 1969 Watchtower (pp. 309-12). It was aimed at new bible students and gave publishers information helpful to get their students to make a decision. Again the idea was that a decision was necessary because of the urgency of the times. The article said:
ARE you among the over one million persons who are at present being helped by Jehovah's witnesses to learn what the Holy Bible teaches? If you are, likely you are using the Bible-study aid The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life. Undoubtedly it has helped you to learn many wonderful things about God and his will for mankind.Those of you who have been studying the Bible for about six months should by now be in position to decide whether you are going to follow through on what you have learned. Do you really want to become a dedicated and baptized worshiper of Jehovah God and do you want to share with others the life-giving truths from God's Word? ...DECISION NOW IS VITAL
The urgency of the times in which we are living requires that we do all we can to bring our lives into harmony with God's will. From what you have learned you know why this system of things is rapidly deteriorating before our eyes. You know the meaning of the unrest and increased violence in all the earth. All this shows that we have approached the very brink of the earth-cleansing destruction of which Jesus and the Bible writers prophesied!This is the most serious time in human history, and you are living in this time of change. "The world is passing away," the Bible says, but those who do 'the will of God will remain forever.' (1 John 2:17) Your studying the Bible is to equip you to learn that will of God so you can do it. Yes, there is a purpose behind this study; there is a future attached to it...In view of the short time left in which to do their work, Jehovah's witnesses do not continue to study the Bible with any who fail to respond to its urgent message within six months. The nearness of this system's end compels them to use their time in the most effective way possible. So they feel obligated to spend their time calling on someone else who might respond by attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall and by speaking to others about the Bible truths learned. Thus it may be that if you have not as yet responded by even becoming a regular attender at some of the congregation meetings, the one who is studying the Bible with you may cancel that study arrangement in order to give his time to someone else. This arrangement is not meant to be harsh, but the urgency of the times in which we live demands it. There are millions of persons who need spiritual help and God's servants want to reach all they possibly can.We, therefore, urge you to consider very carefully your position. You have embarked on a course of study that has opened up to you the magnificent opportunity of life forever in eternal happiness. (John 17:3) If you love God and appreciate his provision for eternal life, do not turn your back on it. Realize that God has shown great consideration for you by making it possible for someone to come to your home to help you learn His will and purposes. Respond to his divine love by deciding now to do his will, along with the entire association of those who are serving God "with spirit and truth."-John 4:23, 24.
The May 1969 KM followed this up with the article "Have You Studied with Them for Six Months?" (p. 3). It instructed publishers who had been studying the Truth book with new ones for more than six months to evaluate how the student was doing. After considering a few negative specifics, it asked whether the student fit them and said:
If so, the fact that the book has not been completed is not a sound reason for spending more than six months with such a person who lacks appreciation. It might be better to go to chapter fourteen, if this has not yet been studied; study it together and then terminate the study if the householder is not taking any positive action to associate regularly with the congregation... Has the student begun to associate with the local congregation in a meaningful way? ... Has the householder demonstrated that he is taking the truth to heart and has set his mind on serving Jehovah? How? If he formerly had images around the house, have these been removed? ...If positive action is not being taken by the householder, it is likely that the study should not be continued... If you are planning to discontinue a particular study, it might be well to spend one or two sudy periods with the student having a heart-to-heart discussion about the things that have been learned and their significance and the urgency of the times, rather than going ahead with a regular study of additional material... there is an urgency about our work and we have a responsibility before God to use our time to aid persons who truly want to serve him... We appreciate the urgency of the work we are doing. When individuals show by their actions that they want to do Jehovah's will, we will continue to aid them. Where substantial progress is not seen, then, rather than continuing the study, we do well to spend that time each week trying to find and help someone who is sincerely interested in doing something about the truth.
In the March 1969 KM insert (p. 6) the Society urged new ones to begin sharing in field service:
Remember that Jehovah's organization in heaven and on earth backs up those who serve Jehovah by proclaiming the "good news." (Rev. 14:6, 7) We recognize, as you do, that we are deep into the "time of the end." There is little time left for this old system of things.
The sense of urgency was effective in getting some students to make a decision. The June 1, 1969 Watchtower (p. 347) said:
Even folks who studied the Bible with the Witnesses for years without acting on what they learned are now taking a decisive stand to serve Jehovah. One family in the southern United States who had studied with the Witnesses for three years had done very little about what they had learned. But when they were told about the new six-month Bible-study arrangement, they were visibly touched. Now for the first time a real sense of urgency struck them. They could not bear the thought of having all connections with Jehovah's people severed. So they sent a letter of withdrawal to the Baptist church because they knew that they were not being taught the Bible's truth there. They began attending all the Bible meetings of Jehovah's witnesses and sharing with others the things they learned.
The lead article "Time Left Is Reduced" in the October 1969 KM again continued the sense of urgency (p. 1):
Time is passing by quickly, isn't it? Just think, each passing day draws us one day closer to the end of this wicked system of things and one day closer to the time when the peace of a thousand years will begin.
The letter from the Brooklyn Branch Office, "Dear Kingdom Publishers", in the December 1969 KM said (p. 1):
We are very thankful to Jehovah that he is giving such increases and gathering so many sheeplike persons in these "last days." ... We hope there will be a large number of new publishers joining with us in the service during December and on into 1970. Indeed, we have good reasons to hold our heads up high as we see our deliverance drawing near.
Ironically, the lead article "Faith Builders at Work" in the December 1969 KM said:
If ever there was a need for faith building it is now. It makes one sorry to see so many people, young and old, with no faith in God and no hope for the future. Expectations built up by the false promises of secular and religious leaders have been postponed so many times that the hearts of the people in general are sick. But as the apostle Paul explained, "faith is not a possession of all people." It is, though, of Jehovah's Christian witnesses. We have confidence in the sure promises of the Word of God.--2 Thess. 3:2.
The 1970 Yearbook (p. 34) stressed the urgency of the times:
Jehovah's witnesses feel the urgency of getting this work done under Jehovah God's guidance. They feel the time is near at hand for the end of this wicked system of things.
The "Question Box" in the February 1970 KM (p. 4) asked the question, "How should we go about terminating unfruitful Bible studies?" and answered:
This is a question that we ought to consider if any of our present studies have been in progress for approximately six months. Are they coming to the congregation meetings as yet, and are they beginning to make their lives over in harmony with what they have learned from God's Word? If so, we want to continue to help them. But, if not, it may be that we could accomplish more good with our time by using it to witness to others.If you realize that you should terminate a particular study, discuss it with the householder in a kindly way. Let him know that you have counted it a privilege to share with him what the Bible says, but remind him that it is a six-month free study course that we offer. Now it is up to him to decide what he will do about what he has learned and to take the initiative to follow through.-Josh. 24:14, 15.Emphasize the urgency of the times and explain that we want to give others the same opportunity to learn the truth and take their stand on Jehovah's side.-Zeph. 2:3.Explain to the householder that you will be available and that if he wants to get in touch with you you will be glad to help him spiritually. Encourage him to think seriously about the course he should take in order to please Jehovah and to pray about it. Urge him to come to the meetings, and let him know that if he really decides to serve Jehovah and regularly associates with the congregation, you will be glad to resume the study, using more advanced material to help him progress to maturity.
The March 1970 KM reported on how well publishers were doing in dropping unproductive bible students. The article "Become `Intensely Occupied with the Word'" in the "Presenting the Good News" section said (p. 4):
A little over a year ago we were introduced to the six-month home Bible-study program. We immediately grasped that this would be an additional effective method to help get the work done in the short time remaining.Now reports from the field show that Bible studies are being discontinued as publishers realize that the student is not making progress. This is entirely proper. There is no reason to spend our time with those who obviously are not really interested in doing something about the truths they are learning. Some publishers still ask, "How can I know whether to discontinue the study when they appear to be interested and still are glad to have me come?" The answer is that we discontinue studies when it is apparent that there is not the appreciation for the truth that there should be. There might be interest in continuing to take in knowledge. But is there appreciation for the knowledge already taken in? Appreciation for Jehovah and the truth is demonstrated by deeds...Apparently the matter is being taken seriously by the brothers, because circuit servant reports show that many publishers unhesitatingly discontinue studies when the time comes to do so.
In view of the above information from various Society publications -- from The Watchtower, Awake!, Kingdom Ministry, Yearbooks and from various books and booklets that have not been quoted here -- it does no good for any of Jehovah's Witnesses to try to say that the Society never encouraged belief that 1975 would bring Armageddon. It is a documented fact that they did.
The Society itself candidly acknowledged some responsibility for the hopes raised by the 1975 expectation. The 1980 Yearbook, on pages 30-31, mentioned a talk given at the 1979 District Conventions, by the title of "Choosing the Best Way of Life." The talk "acknowledged the Society's responsibility for some of the disappointment a number felt regarding 1975." What did this talk say?
The March 15, 1980 Watchtower article "Choosing the Best Way of Life" contains, on pages 17-18, a partial text of the talk. It said:
In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man's existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.In its issue of July 15, 1976, The Watchtower, commenting on the inadvisability of setting our sights on a certain date, stated: "If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises." In saying "anyone," The Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah's Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date.
In this case the "wrong premises" were entirely given to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses by the Society itself, in particular by "persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date."
Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged by the Watchtower Society not to be bothered by the various false predictions it has made. Over the years a number of excuses and minimizations have been published. Note what the above-mentioned 1980 Watchtower went on to say:
Nevertheless, there is no reason for us to be shaken in faith in God's promises. Rather, as a consequence, we are all moved to make a closer examination of the Scriptures regarding this matter of a day of judgment. In doing so, we find that the important thing is not the date. What is important is our keeping ever in mind that there is such a day -- and it is getting closer and it will require an accounting on the part of all of us. Peter said that Christians should rightly be "awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah." (2 Pet. 3:12) It is not a certain date ahead; it is day-to-day living on the part of the Christian that is important. He must not live a single day without having in mind that he is under Jehovah's loving care and direction and must submit himself thereto, keeping also in mind that he must account for his acts.
In conclusion I will again point out the irony in what the above-quoted December 1969 KM said:
Expectations built up by the false promises of secular and religious leaders have been postponed so many times that the hearts of the people in general are sick.
The October 8, 1968 Awake! (p. 23) also ironically spoke about the Society's contention that the Bible indicates we are living in the last days. It emphasized that those who falsely predicted the end of the world were false prophets:
Still some persons may say: "How can you be sure? Maybe it is later than many people think. But maybe it is not as late as some persons claim. People have been mistaken about these prophecies before.".... True, there have been those in times past who predicted an "end to the world," even announcing a specific date.... Yet, nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing was the full measure of evidence required in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them.
With regard to misrepresentations, and particularly those of the Bible, the 1974 book Is This Life All There Is? said (p. 46), without regard for the motives of the misrepresenter:
Knowing these things, what will you do? It is obvious that the true God, who is himself "the God of truth" and who hates lies, will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood. (Psalm 31:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 21:8) And, really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?
So, all you JW defenders, what will you do?
Hide our proud heads in the rubble of Armageddon postponed! :(
Many JWs either don't know about 1975 of are just plain dishonest. When I asked about '75 from older JWs, they would deny it and say it was some overzealous brothers who jumped ahead. That was before I got on the Net. It was all a lie. We preached 1975. I didn't, but we did teach it as bright light, thanks to the GB. Now when Jehovah refused to conform it went back to Ordinary JWs. Brothers in my KH would point to CO's and other speakers who were sacrificed on the altar of 1975 as proof that the Society never taught it. And they won't use the CD-ROM! They are truly sheep, ruled by fear.
Where's that Sydney Losstarot quote?
Great informative post(as usual :>) I was around,and well remember the 1975 debacle.........how the level of excitation was promoted by talks from the platform and of course,the material you've presented... and then......the resulting blame put on the r/f later......that idiocy was responsible(and Im happy to say) for most of my aunts and uncles leaving the wts),,,they not only minimize but are historical revisionists,,,,,,anyway thanks for the great post!!1 regards,tina
few words to congratulate you for your
excellent, factual and informative post!
Thit is the kind of post that I like!
Let their (WTS), own statements/quotes
be a "proof" of what has been *said*,
*published* and *taught* for a long time.
Thanks again, agape J.C.MacHislopp
As usual, the presentation and research is top drawer. The '75 fiasco helped many JWs awake from Tower sleepwalking, and exit thereafter. It's sheer lunacy when JWs today say, "The Society didn't say the end was coming in 1975." Of course the Tower didn't say those exact words, but anyone with an IQ above room temperature knew what the Society believed about '75. ("It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years." The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, page 499) Thanks Alan!
Simon--a question: Can folks with Web sites link to this thread i.e., http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/post.asp?id=49261&method=reply&site=3 as a resource for this topic?
PS: Simon--I just tried clicking on the above link and it took me to the link for posting, not the topic read link--rats.
--JAVAHunting JWs at the Coffee Shop
hi alan - thanks for the post - superb work
guess it's true what they say about hindsight being 20/20
and regrets being cheaper by the dozen
Thanks for the thoughts about the 1975-predictions. Excellent post!
It's interesting to note how Jehovah's Witnesses today often minimize what the Watchtower Society said about 1975 in the years before that date.
Well, it is indeed very interesting. In this reply I'd like to show to what extend Jehovah's Witnesses today minimize what the WT said about 1975 - or how they even fail to remember what happened around that date.
I am too young (born in 1966) to have any recollection about what happened then - that is 1966 until ca. 1972/73. But there is one thing that I do remember from either 1974 or 1975: In late august or early september, when we went home after our summerholiday, we met literally hundreds of cars and busses with Jehovah's Witnesses on the german highways - they were on their way to some kind of a special "convention-day". (I remember my little sister and me waving with brochures and magazines to the other cars to tell them that we were JW's too...).
Nathan Knorr and Frederick Franz were visiting several European Countries. The Parkstadion in Gelsenkirchen was the place, where we were going to attend that special convention day(s) together with about 30.000-40.000 other JW's.
I do not remember what we were told at that occasion. But this 'convention-day' should be the very same thing that Raymond Franz mentions in his book "Crisis of Conscience", chapter 9 (1975: 'The appropriate time for God to act'):
Earlier, toward the start of 1975, President Knorr had made a trip around the world, taking Vice President Franz with him. The vice president's speeches in all countries visited centered on 1975. Upon their return, the other members of the Governing Body, having heard reports from many countries of the stirring effect of the vice president's talk, asked to hear a tape recording of it, made in Australia. 
In his talk, the vice president spoke of 1975 as a “year of great possibilities, tremendous probabilities.” He told his audience that, according to the Hebrew calendar, they were “already in the fifth lunar month of 1975,” with less than seven lunar months remaining. He emphasized several times that the Hebrew year would close with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on September 5, 1975.
Toward the close, he urged his listeners not to take an improper view, however, and assume that the coming destruction could be “years away,” and focus their attention on other matters, such as getting married and raising families, building up a fine business venture or spending years at college in some engineering course.
About a year ago I asked different persons questions about that 'convention day' - and what they remember was said back then. Three of them did not remember this convention day at all. Two knew right away what I was talking about. When I mentioned N. Knorr and F.Franz visited Europe just around 1975 four of them seemed to know what I was talking about. And guess what they told me (they answered more or less the same thing - although in different ways and with quite different wording):
"Brother Knorr and brother Franz told us back then, that we should not have too many expectations for the year 1975!"
That's what I would call collective amnesia...
At least they DID get one thing right:
"However, of this we can be sure: The 1970's will certainly see the most critical times mankind has yet known."
That was certainly true and I remember it well. The 1970's gave us "Disco", the "Bee-Gees" and polyester "leisure suits" and as a result, the world has been on a massive downward spiral ever since.
Thank you for a documented stroll down memory lane. It brought back the kind of excitement we all felt back then. I became a jw in 1973--just 2 years before the "end" was going to come.
It seemed like every WT and convention, etc., back then was how to deal with persecution, are you ready for the end, and how we "were standing at the very threshhold of the promised land." "So close!" It was a frenzy whipped up by the borg. And then we got a "spiritual paradise," which meant zip really.
It rankled me for years how the blame was always put on the r&f, in anything really.
Thanks for all the effort put into your post.