When did "The Last Days" of JW Organization Begin? Will This Generation See It End?
missionary activity"That would be completed in our 20th Century." wtJan 1989 p2.
I was still a kid in 1975, but I think that was the start of the loss of zeal.
I don't know what it was like in the early days, and maybe it was my perception because I was young, but Armageddon never seemed more real and imminent than when I was a kid in the early 70's. Maybe that was Knorr's organization that made it different than generations before. Where there had always been an "end is coming", but I don't know that it was put out there as strongly. Then 1975 came and went.
And then the fallout occurred. People began drifting away. Then Ray Franz left. That was big. For somebody like me, it raised questions. How could somebody who I thought was in direct contact with god leave? When he wrote a book, I was extremely curious.
After about 1990, 1991, I can't say because I faded away and observed through my dad and when the internet came, online news.
Then when was it? 1993? That they did the generation change. That was a big one that, if it didn't make people leave, certainly felt like it took the wind out of their sails. The generation was not supposed to pass away was now 80 and lives were supposed to be 70 or 80. They waited until the last minute (which I'm sure was noticed) and then said generation means something else. All these people hoping the end would come any day now didn't know. It wasn't necessarily going to come in their lifetime. If you've ever run a race, you get near the finish line and you think it's right around the corner, you can dig down deep and put on the jets knowing you're almost there. But if you turn a corner and see you've got a mile to go, you stop expending all that energy.
And then I would assume JWs started to slow down to where they know it's coming, but in their mind, it's not that close. Could be 20 years away. But then other things happened. Like the overlapping generations. Or the 100 year anniversary of 1914. Where, if they haven't left and are sticking it out, are going yeah, it's going to happen someday. But they don't feel it's imminent. And without that promise right in front of you, they're going to stop being motivated by that. They're at a place right now where if they've stuck around this far, if you said it's going to be 300 years, it probably wouldn't affect them that much.
For me year 2000, I thought somehow this was significant and came in and started studying in the spring of that year thinking I had just won the lottery ! As I 'progressed' ( cough cough ) in my Bible Study™ I started to see the shoehorning of WT doctrine into the Bible. Anyhow for whatever reason ( lots of single chicks ) I kept at it and was baptised in the spring of 2002 in what seemed like a huge let down. Buy hey I was ready to take on the world and participate in the big cleanup at hand, possibly married and with regular sex available. Left my cong. in the fall of 2003 totally burned out and fed up after being subject to a pushy elder's agenda in his search for a new employee -slave. I then left for a new French hall minutes from my place where my eyes were really opened and tried to make the best of it. Hung on too long and by fall 2008 I was in full blown depression that required meds to climb back out of. Thanks a lot WT, dork I was. No more, see my middle finger anyone ?
It's more a question of when did the "last days" of the old WT begin.
I'd say not long after if became obvious the internet had surpassed tv and newspapers in it's ability for hijacking people's attention. Right about then WT would have started making plans for the "last days" of the old WT and first days of the new JWdotborg.
Will this generation (boomers, X, Y, and Z) see the end of the old WT? Most definitely!
Great thread Steve2
You asked what the org will be like in 2027?
Well, if we all remember just how QUICKLY the "modern" org was transformed!? Here on this very forum, only 4 years back, we all enjoyed doubting the rebranding of the Watchtower logo with jw.org.
When the directive to put those jw.org. signs on every kingdom hall was issued, many here laughed at the concept.
Only 5 years back, we all had no idea of the monster that the actual site would become. We all had no idea about the Caleb and Sophia cartoon propaganda cartoons, or the other weird stuff.
So, what will the society be like in 2027?? Who knows?? It will depend on the whim of the GB members at the time. And those GB will be made up of new men...as the old ones will be mostly dead by then I would say...
Watch this space...
My vote would be 1995, with the poorly thought out adjustment to the term, "generation."
Without a doubt. Nevertheless, it's curious to see how on its own, it didn't lead to a mass exit. As some have said here, it was done in a way that it wasn't even noticed by many, myself included. Still, it is something that became a pebble in the shoe of many, lingering and slowly bothering with every step in the "troof". It was the beginning of the questioning, or the willingness to question for many, which led to an eventual exit.
Even on their new Headquarters is a signage on the driveway leading up to the secured entrance. It has the JW logo, Jehovah's Witnesses and Headquarters. Watchtower is missing.
I'll go with 1995 and the 'generation change'. The WTS managed to avoid total ship jumping after 1975, by keeping people fooled with the generation of 1914. Okay, so the end wasn't in 75, but it'll happen in the next 20 or so years. When that doctrine went belly up, I think it sent a ripple through the ranks. Not an outright revolt right away, but a definite sense of urgency was lost. The end was delayed. Why kill ourselves? Let's relax a little. And that allowed other interests in, which detracted from the World Wide Work.
Add to that the Internet, and suddenly all kinds of information and knowledge were at everyone's fingertips, it made it hard to cover up the failings, missed predictions, and downright stupidity of the past.
Possibly from the year when they started going backwards. Ending the home book study, reducing the hours for pioneer work and the length of the Sunday meeting.
I will also have to vote for 1995 as well. Not only because of the Generation change, but it was also around that time that the Internet began to make inroads into people's households.