1975 New Info
I bet most to the Kult's Young Pups never saw this lapel card:
These were printed and distributed by the thousands to the Forward-Looking Fateful who attended the Circuit Assemblies of that year prior to 1975 (who can date this card?), and proudly worn on their coats and dresses to show that The End was Nigh!
SO MUCH Kult Revisionist History...
SO LITTLE time and space to set the record straight
: : : s i g h ! : : :
Mommy Watchtower is on Life Support.
Do the Right Thing and Pull the Plug!
Where's that Sydney Losstarot quote?
That would be mine. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from Playstation games.
"Most men complacently accept 'knowledge' as 'truth'. They are sheep, ruled by fear."
-- Sydney Losstarot, "Vagrant Story."
Great Name Tag
--JAVA...counting time at the Coffee Shop
Thank you everyone for your comments!
You're right, most JWs are dishonest about the 1975 fiasco. I believe it was in a 1994 or 1995 WT article, the Society itself encouraged this dishonesty by giving JWs an excuse -- "it was only a few overly enthusiastic ones who got off on 1975 and created all the problems." And to a certain extent this is true. Trouble is, these "enthusiastic ones" were Nathan Knorr, and most especially, Freddie Franz. While some of the lower echelon leaders held back, most Bethelites caught the enthusiasm. Many who were Bethelites back in the early 1970s remember how often and strongly Knorr or Franz would talk about 1975 at the Bethel breakfasts. And remember, Knorr and Franz, in a very real sense were "the Society" just as up until 1916 Russell for all practical purposes was the Society. Nothing happened or failed to happen without their approval, and anyone -- anyone -- who bucked their favorite ideas was quickly booted out of Bethel.
Certain ex-Bethelites have told me that when Freddie published the book that started it all in 1966, Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, he had no particular intention of generating a '1975 movement'. But when he saw the reaction of some of the rank & file JWs to what the said was more than just a possibility, he began to run with it. He got Knorr enthusiastic and the rest was history.
I remember hearing both of them give public talks at the New York district conventions. Both were extremely convincing that major things were definitely going to happen in 1975. I remember Knorr's last major public talk, at Aquaduct Race Track in New York. It was in August of 1975, just after I got married. He said that it was disappointing that nothing had happened by then, but by golly there were more than four more months left in the year! He alluded to what happened in the earlier part of 1914, when everything seemed quiet and then, bang! World War I started unexpectedly in August. The same thing could happen in the remaining months of 1975, Knorr said. I also remember the talk that Fred Franz gave earlier in 1975, where he went out of his way to say that "anything can happen!" I also remember the talk Franz gave in 1976, where he blamed the JW community for nothing happening -- "You expected it an so nothing happened." Stupid JWs; where do they get off expecting that what the Society says will happen will happen? During that talk Franz shocked the audience by reminding them that this wasn't much different from what happened with Rutherford's failed prediction of Armageddon in 1925. "Rutherford honestly admitted his mistake: `I made an ass of myself', he said." Unfortunately Franz and Knorr and their cohorts never made a public admission of having made asses of themselves. And now the current JW leaders are trying to make the JW community forget all of it.
You ought to write down some of your recollections about 1975. I'm thinking of collecting a bunch of these and putting them into a nice form, along with other material about 1975.
Yes, I well remember the many talks about dealing with persecution and such. Take a look at the "year texts" for the early 1970s:
1974: "Although the fig tree itself may not blossom, ... I will exult in Jehovah himself." -- Hab. 3:17, 18.
1975: "I will say to Jehovah: `You are my refuge and my stronghold' " -- Ps. 91:2
If that ain't "sayin' without sayin'", I don't know what is.
Great lapel badge! It brings back memories. "Who Will Conquer the World in the 1970s?" indeed! Not the Witnesses, that's for sure.
I think the location should have been "Chagrin Rises".
Anyone who wants to see a fairly comprehensive collection of Watchtower quotes on 1975 and its other failed dates should look at the articles "Notes on False Prophets" and "The WTS and the End of the World" here: http://www.geocities.com/osarsif/index2.htm . I put these articles together around 1993, collecting together ideas and references from Ray Franz's books and many other places. I got a lot of material by reading Russell's books and the old Watchtower Reprints, and later, some of the 1920s Watchtowers.
I just cut/copied it and created a shortcut to my desktop...it pops right up.
Great post Alan!
Maybe if we remembered more of the stuff from 1975 it would not seem so long ago:
Abba were the top selling group in the UK.
"Jaws" was terrifying cinema audiences everywhere.
"Fawlty Towers" made its BBC debut.
The Vietnam conflict officially ceased.
Gerald Ford had already taken over from Nixon.
After 3 years out of the org, I bought a teal blue MGB Roadster.
I was interested in the comment about how close the end was believed to be and studies were to be TERMINATED (no…they can’t mean…) if the householder showed no promise of becoming a JW after 6 months.
How times change! The latest KM (Britain April 2001) insert – Be intensely occupied with your ministry – in paragraph 5 states:
“If a person is making progress and has studied the require brochure and the knowledge book, the bible study may be continued in a second book…”
So, no time limit, a brochure and TWO books.
So, does this mean that times are not as urgent as they used to be? Or are they just desperate to get any increase they can, even if it takes years?
: I was interested in the comment about how close the end was believed to be and studies were to be TERMINATED (no…they can’t mean…) if the householder showed no promise of becoming a JW after 6 months.
Yes, they meant what they said. I didn’t like it much at the time, since “bible studies” were so hard to come by. I also thought it was a stupid way to deal with people – a “one size fits all” sort of preaching style. Somewhere around 1971 I happened to read a short brochure that criticized JWs (I think it was from Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God). It talked about the six-month program and said that the WTS was producing “assembly line Christians”. That stung my conscience badly because I knew the criticism was dead on.
: How times change! The latest KM (Britain April 2001) insert – Be intensely occupied with your ministry – in paragraph 5 states:
: “If a person is making progress and has studied the require brochure and the knowledge book, the bible study may be continued in a second book…”
: So, no time limit, a brochure and TWO books.
Well, that represents just another change in policy. Around 1975 the six-month program was quietly dropped. In 1995 the Knowledge book was released. They had the stupidity to launch a new, limited program of Bible study, which meant that if after 19 weeks of study (one chapter per week) the student wasn’t properly “coming along to maturity”, the study probably should be dropped. It was 1968 all over again. These people just don’t learn from their mistakes.
: So, does this mean that times are not as urgent as they used to be? Or are they just desperate to get any increase they can, even if it takes years?
Probably both, but I think that the 19-week program just died a natural death, since it just isn’t natural for a Christian to set a time limit on teaching others about his beliefs. I’m sure that a lot of JWs were just as uncomfortable with dropping studies as I was way back when.
I was going to see if others had noticed the "study n' drop" em policy that came out with the "knowledge" book. I remember it irked me seriously when it was instituted (not that I had any studies, or that much chance of getting a study, lol), because of how ridiculous and callous it was. I remember it was softened pretty quickly. I can't help but think this was one case where the society got a ton of complaints and actually responded.
I was always amazed of the difference of watchtower writers versus writers of the Bible. Bible Writers told it the way it was, watchtower writers tell the way they wish it were, like there's 2 different holy spirit's at work.
Working with some missionaries in training in late afternoon at Bethel I remember one instance around 1975,where they were ready to go to their assignments,and the writing staff put an article in Awake concerning the current class of missionaries . In it they quoted this Denmark student.He was laughing about it to his partner DENYING he said ,what was quoted in magazine about him.
I remember Sept 6 1975 at bethel after breakfast since nothing happened,I looked around to see if people were upset, walking out.It was like any other day there from my view.