Terry is good at looking in the rear-view mirror and making obvious statement about the past.
Here is an obvious statement about the past:
When the forecast of 1925 failed and then 1975 failed the wheels didn't fall off the religion or the organization.
Supernatural authority claims made by religions can be broadly categorized into two types: 1. Claims that are testable and falsifiable, often involving predictions; and 2. Claims that are untestable, relying solely on faith or opinion.
The leaders of the Watchtower religion fall into the first category, as they have made testable and falsifiable predictions. To assess their motives, we can consider two possibilities: 1. Honest mistakes, and 2. Dishonest mistakes. Detectives, when investigating a crime, examine the history of "persons of interest" to understand their character and tendencies, as past actions often provide valuable insights.
Let's look at some examples from the Watchtower religion's history:
Pastor Russell based his chronology on Pyramidology, using measurements inside the Giza Pyramid to make specific date and event predictions. When these predictions failed, he did not apologize, like William Miller did after his incorrect predictions in 1843 and 1844. Instead, Pastor Russell changed the measurements and republished his works with new calculations. This behavior strongly suggests deception.
Why mention Pyramidology? Pastor Russell used it to convince gullible individuals to buy his books, read his columns, and support his ministry. He even altered the date of the Babylonian captivity from 606 B.C.E. to 607 B.C.E. to fit his narrative, revealing a lack of honesty.
Fred Franz, often considered an oracle, used his imaginative chronology and biblical interpretations to promote the idea of the New World Paradise beginning in 1925. This prediction failed, but it was later reused for 1975 under a new president, Nathan Knorr, with similarly disastrous results.
The concept of "New Light" in the Watchtower religion was borrowed from the Seventh Day Adventists.
Now, let's follow the logical chain of reasoning:
1. Certain individuals are drawn to end-of-the-world predictions based on scripture, especially when presented with a plausible rationale. They readily believe in such schemes.
2. When these predictions fail, about one-third of these true believers lose faith and leave.
3. The hardcore true believers, however, remain steadfast despite evidence to the contrary, forming the foundation for a new population of fanatics.
4. New recruits are attracted by the promise of new, exciting "proofs" of the end of the world, perpetuating the cycle.
5. With each failure, the weak believers depart, and the fanatics strengthen their delusion, deepening their cognitive dissonance.
6. The history of the Watchtower religion reveals that only the hardcore adherents endure, while those who become disillusioned are labeled apostates or disfellowshipped. They remain unheard until the advent of the personal computer.
7. The religion discards old teachings and replaces them with new ones, fostering constant fear-mongering and denying past failures.
The ultimate conclusion is that new followers are kept in the dark about the religion's past failures. This lack of awareness prevents them from making rational decisions that would otherwise be shocking and repugnant. The history of "New Light" is a tale of deception, false chronology, fear of Armageddon, fear of apostates, suppression of information, and promises of paradise.