Question about 1940s Watchtower history

by slimboyfat 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    I don't know about the 1940's explanation, but I suspect that recent growth of anointed is a clue into the mental health of the membership. As the religion worsens, the smart and mentally salvageable leave, while the depressed, the pessimistic, the misfits of society, and the mentally unstable stay, or even convert into the religion.

    Growth of Anointed = Decline of Religion

  • Ruby456

    WW2 shocked may people and caused them to lose faith in material futures - same may have happened amongst witnesses

  • TerryWalstrom

    For many decades, it was taught that selection of the 144,000 was completed and sealed--depending on who was the Big Cheese deciding these matters:

    Thy Kingdom Come p.362

    "Let God be True" 1946 ed. p.298

    Watchtower 2007 May 1 p.30

    In 1935. After this announcement, the number of memorial partakers steadily declined. This was presented as proof that the end would be soon.

    If you stop and think about it, Confirmation Bias leads JW's to look for certain results in order to confirm their hasty certainty. What they get is only what they choose to measure.

    Knorr pried the conch shell (Lord of the Flies reference :) from the cold, dead, hands of Rutherford and instituted a proprietary Paradigm shift of his own.

    Knorr and Franz wanted to get rid of Hayden C. Covington as the V.P. and the scheme they came up with involved the question of "anointing" and anointed. Who was and who wasn't anointed as well as what specific elite could and couldn't do.

    When the Society changes attention, focus, measurement and doctrine, the result is a shift in the balance of the Force.
    Internal change=external vairance.

    There is always a Spin or cover story!
    If anyone since 1935 rightfully claimed to be anointed it was as a replacement of a sinful remnant, no longer worthy of heaven!
    "For 19 centuries there was only the one calling, the heavenly one, with Jehovah being very selective as to who would serve with his Son to make up the Kingdom government. Many would be invited but only a precious few chosen. (Matthew 22:2, 14) In time, the prescribed but a limited number of 144,000 would be reached. After this no more would be anointed by holy spirit as a witness that they had the heavenly hope, unless, in a rare occurrence, the unfaithfulness of one of the remaining 'chosen ones' made a replacement necessary." Watchtower 1982 Feb 15 p.30
    (JW facts)

    The Watchtower Droogs signal the response they are looking to measure in advance:

    "Over the years some, even ones newly baptized, have suddenly begun to partake. In a number of cases, after a while they acknowledged that this was an error. Some have recognized that they partook as an emotional response to perhaps physical or mental strain. But they came to see that they really were not called to heavenly life. There is every reason to believe that the number of anointed ones will continue to decline as advanced age and unforeseen occurrences end their earthly lives." Watchtower 1996 Aug 15 p.31

    It undoubtedly annoys the hell out of these Masterminds when the throngs of the great unwashed disappoint their clear instructions!

  • slimboyfat

    Rutherford can't have written Let God Be True since he died in 1942.

    But you raise an interesting point about the cut off for the anointed being moved from 1931 to 1935. I've never gotten to the bottom of why that changed or what the reason for either date really was.

    Some have pointed out that if they accepted mainstream Bible Chronology and Jerusalem fell 20 years later then they could say the Gentile Times ended in 1935. But since they've abandoned that date now there's no reason to fit it there. And even a "generation" from 1935 is now a bit of a stretch.

  • OrphanCrow
    slimfatboy: But you raise an interesting point about the cut off for the anointed being moved from 1931 to 1935. I've never gotten to the bottom of why that changed or what the reason for either date really was.

    Rutherford probably made some alliances after 1931 that necessitated a 'flexible' cut-off. He had one or more 'pets' that needed to be bestowed with authority. Sort of like it is now with up and comin' GB potentiates.


    Watchtower 2007 May 1 p.30
    In 1935. After this announcement, the number of memorial partakers steadily declined. This was presented as proof that the end would be soon.

    Terry, I am not sure what this reference means...Knorr didn't hold power until da Judge kicked the turtle in '42.

  • TerryWalstrom

    Rutherford can't have written Let God Be True since he died in 1942.

    Maybe he was editing the Watchtower from heaven like Russell did :)

    " As in the type that date three and a half years after the death of Christ marked the end of all special favor to the Jew and the beginning of favor to the Gentiles, so we recognize A.D. 1881 as marking the close of the special favor to Gentiles-the close of the "high calling," or invitation to the blessings peculiar to this age to become joint-heirs with Christ and partakers of the divine nature." The Time Is At Hand 1916 ed. p.235

    Rutherford recycled this concept, and without any Biblical basis moved the sealing of the 144,000 from 1881 to 1931: "God having a fixed time for every purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1), his time to give creatures on earth the opportunity to get in line for a heavenly reward has been from A .D. 29 until, chiefly, 1931, called the "day of salvation". "Let God be True" 1946 ed. p.298

    "Although Jehovah had come to his temple in 1918 and had begun judgment of this anointed class, still others must be brought in, because some were found unworthy and they must be replaced. The evidence (variously) show that this continued until especially 1931 when there began a work of gathering those recognized as "other sheep" of the Lord Jesus Christ." Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose 1959 p.139

    This was later changed to 1935: "Hence, especially after 1966 it was believed that the heavenly call ceased in 1935." Watchtower 2007 May 1 p.30

    "Their being identified in 1935 as the great crowd of the other sheep was an indication that the choosing of the 144,000 was then about complete." Revelation, Its Grand Climax Now at Hand p.125

    Myriad changes to dates but the only scripture quoted by Rutherford was Ecclesiastes 3:1: "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." Even then, Rutherford claimed the heavenly calling ended in 1931. My parents became Witnesses in the late 1930's and they were told that heaven was full up, so they would have to settle for the earthly hope. But the number claiming to be part of this heavenly group is still increasing! Check out the link below for the official excuse:

    "That calling began in 33 C.E. and continued into modern times. After 1935 the thrust of the disciple-making work turned to the gathering in of the great crowd. Some who were baptized after 1935 have had witness borne to them by holy spirit that they have the heavenly hope, so we cannot set a specific date for the end of that calling."


    Posted on Yahoo answers 2014

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    I'm fairly sure there was a doctrine change regarding anointed ones around that time.

    The fairly obvious one is disfellowshipping got introduced around that time (1944 or 1945), so perhaps people thought if someone were 'anointed' they would be less inclined to have them disfellowshipped. Until about a decade ago, people that were anointed were held in high regard in the congregation, they could do no wrong.

    Just scanning over some publications of yore (1944), it seems to me that before a 'disfellowshipping' was a democratic process (the entire congregation had to decide), afterwards, through some reasoning that the bible doesn't describe an instance of that, this was reduced to 'elders'. It also pushes greatly on the fact that in early Christianity, the decisions regarding disfellowshipping as described in the biblical text were made primarily by apostles which were anointed servants. Although 'that generation' is now dead and we won't ever get the correct context, I believe that that is the primary reason there was a small bump - people before involved in the politics of an organization, now had to be appointed and the fast-track is claiming to be anointed.

  • Pistoff

    The WT is in a real bind with anointed members.

    They have painted themselves into a corner with the old doctrine of the declining numbers of anointed, but in reality the number is increasing, for whatever reason.

    That puts them in the position of throwing shade at those who claim to be anointed.

    On the other hand, and this is a bigger deal than you might think, they NEED more and more mature brothers to claim the anointing.


    They need leaders long term to work their way up to be members of the governing body.

    They need more, not less, so that they can have their pick, and they need clear headed ones to do it.

    In my MIL's congo, the circuit overseers wife is less than 50, and anointed; my MIL asked her why they anointed are increasing.

    The CO's wife responded by saying, we need MORE anointed, not less.

    My MIL gave a blank look and had no response.

    I agree with the CO's wife from a practical perspective, but it blows up their official doctrine of decline, and if you are claiming anointing, you might be crazy, emotional, or just out of B the G.

  • Listener

    Terry Waldron - Maybe he was editing the Watchtower from heaven like Russell did.

    Exactly, they make this suggestion themselves and in so doing they have claimed that they do not know where these flashes of brilliant light come from.

    From the Watchtower 2007 1/1

    What, then, can we deduce from the fact that one of the 24 elders identifies the great crowd to John? It seems that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today. Why is that important? Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to God’s anointed servants on earth in1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935. Can we be more precise?

    The dilemma with this speculation is that they do not know who is providing them with information, particularly when there is no bible backing for it to be revealed. Even worse, that they are communicating with dead people.

  • careful

    Just a thought: perhaps some JWs were so turned off by JFR that they dropped out and kept their own memorials in their own way. Then after his death they came back. He was pretty offensive to many.

    To support this there was a life story once in the WT back in the 50s or 60s of one such individual. The guy had been publicly humiliated by Rutherford, left the organization, and went out into the world and made big bucks as a successful businessman. Then after Knorr and Franz took over, both of whom knew that he'd been unjustly treated by JFR, the guy came back and all was forgiven. I was surprised that all this was published in a WT or Awake. That part about his crossing JFR was played down a bit in the article but was still there.I got the feeling that the life story was published as a service to the guy.

    Was he the only one who went through such an experience?

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