1969 Awake on Education - A Sore Spot for Me

by NotBlind 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • NotBlind
    NotBlind

    My father would have started college 49 years ago this week. About three months earlier, the week he graduated high school, the Awake! Magazine came out with some very clear direction to teenagers. The May 22, 1969 issue on page 15 stated:

    If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the “last days” in 1914, Jesus foretold: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” – Matt. 24:34.
    Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way towards its finish, if not actually gone!

    It’s been 49 years since that article came out. My father, along with countless others in the congregations his age, took that article’s advice and skipped college to work in menial jobs they did not enjoy.

    Over the course of those 49 years, their non-Awake-reading peers went to college, graduated, and they did indeed fulfill a career, contrary to the promise of the Awake magazine. They married, had children, raised their family, and are watching their children raise families of their own. Those teenagers – like my father – that article was directed to are now retired and drawing Social Security.

    The congregation servant used this article to persuade my dad not to attend college back in the summer of 1969, and I know he wasn’t the only one. Looking back, those two paragraphs were filled with false and misleading statements. No wonder the 1969 Awake isn’t included in the Watchtower Library DVD-ROM!

    The passage of time has proven nearly every sentence in that two-paragraph quote wrong. Consider it, sentence by sentence:

    If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things.

    The 18-year-olds who read this article in 1969 are now 67 years old. They indeed are growing old in this system.

    Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years.

    Shaky evidence, to say the least. Would you consider 49 years to be “a few”?

    Of the generation that observed the beginning of the “last days” in 1914, Jesus foretold: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” – Matt. 24:34.

    Old light.

    Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers.

    Not only did their peers fulfill careers, many of them have now retired comfortably from those careers.

    If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way towards its finish, if not actually gone!

    This article was written at the height of the 1975 fervor, and many Witnesses sincerely thought the world would end in six years. Sadly, that fiasco is nearly forgotten today, as we are as far removed from that era as those 1960’s kids were from the similar 1925 fiasco.

    Young people, lurkers, please take note: College isn’t for everybody, but don’t take this organization’s advice when making major life decisions, like whether to go to college or what career to pursue. Do NOT rely on this organization for advice in making financial decisions, either.

    The leaders of this organization, by building a luxurious Warwick complex for themselves while selling off local Kingdom Halls, have shown that they are digging in for the long haul. All the while, they’re still peddling this anti-education nonsense.

    In one of their JW Broadcasting shows from 2015, the university-educated legal department director and a Vietnam veteran got on screen and told their viewers to reject getting an education because it would damage your personality, make you arrogant, and cut you off from organizational service. They honestly think your time would be better spent selling their comic books and standing next to their carts for 70 hours a month while doing low-wage menial labor.

    In their opinion, the only education you need is attending the midweek Life of Misery meeting and reading the 48 pages a year of Awake!

    Heed their advice at your own peril.

  • ToesUp
    ToesUp

    Yes, this 1969 article is still impacting our family today. They are now past retirement age (late 60's and 70's). They are working low paying, physically demanding jobs, no savings/retirement and NO WAY out.

    The impact and damage that Watchtower has inflicted on so many innocent people that thought they were doing what Jehovah (aka, the organization) wanted them to do, is unforgivable. I just hope I live long enough to see Watchtower pay for all the havoc they have inflicted on people and families.

  • zophar
    zophar

    Well, you got my Friday morning started with a bang. Your dad and I are exactly the same age, Class of 1969!

    You pegged it well, point by point this information was proved wrong. Well, not exactly, they were right on one point, I was never able to:

    fulfill any career that this system offers

    Of course, that was NOT because I didn't have the time to do so.

    Now, when you see the video that was presented at a recent Regional Convention was SO very deceiving:

    https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/pub-jwbcov_201705_4_VIDEO

    Ironically, you can find this video by going to tv.jw.org and typing "1975" in the search box! And, yet, those who did exactly what the 1969 "Awake!" advised are now viewed as the weak ones. This is revisionist history. Steve Lett was a young man serving at Bethel about the time this article was published. He KNOWS what the attitude was about 1975 and now it's all forgotten.

    Thanks....I guess... for the memories!

  • blownaway
    blownaway

    I have a father in law who now living in poverty with his wife in a home for Alzhimers patients paid for my medicaid and care, is telling his grand daughter to go to collage and get some kind of education that can help her get some kind of job other than burger king. If she goes for liberal arts or other stupid majors than its just a waste of money.

  • James87
    James87

    They did it as a control mechanism sadly. The interesting thing is older people that i still talk to time to time are like, no go and do your degree, go out there an make something of yourself ignore what they say. The young ones are like let me get a trade skill so i can go door to door...... :(

  • Confusedandangry
    Confusedandangry

    That is so sad. Can I share parts of this on my social media? I can leave your name out of it of course.

    Thank you for sharing. Im a born in ex jw that grew up in the late 80's, early 90's and never heard of 1975 fiasco until I researched Jw history & learned TTATT 1.5 years ago.

  • LongHairGal
    LongHairGal

    NOTBLIND:

    Interesting you say this article knocking education was omitted from their DVD-ROM. Naturally, the passage of time has proven their article wrong..The religion does not want this dismal failure known to younger JWs who have not heard these things.

    I wasn’t a Witness in 1969. I hadn’t yet made that mistake (which I rectified some years later)..I am sorry for any older Witness or ex-Witness who listened to this nonsense and now finds themselves at an advanced age with little to no retirement. I came into the religion in the late 70s, but I held onto my job - in spite of their criticism and semi-shunning. I thought they were crazy but, thankfully, my common sense ruled.

    I am an ex-JW retired now and I totally agree with your advice to lurkers to look out for themselves!

  • Fred Franztone
    Fred Franztone

    Interestingly, my dad joined the religion around this time, and he went on to have a white collar career as a witness, and is now retired with a private pension, so thankfully not everyone took the organisation's advice.

  • LongHairGal
    LongHairGal

    FRED FRANZTONE:

    I’m curious. Was your dad viewed negatively in the congregation for having a career, or was it ignored because he was a man??

    The Witness religion has a double standard as far as I was concerned. If you’re a man and had a good job, that’s okay. However, if you’re a woman and had the good job, it sure as hell was not “okay”. They wanted to abase a woman and get her to quit her good job and pursue poverty and do favors for the users in the hall. They had real issues about this and it was partly jealousy and resentfulness over her self-esteem.

    I didn’t cave in to peer pressure or labeling of being “unspiritual”. I didn’t care WHAT these morons thought about me.

    I just made sure I planned for MY future.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    I was 15 at the time that awake came out. I remember my dad took me aside and went over that article. He told me I will not have to worry about any higer education after high school. He also said all through my childhood I would never grow old and die and armagadon would most likely come before I graduated from school. As we all know time has keep marching on. The borg is still vomiting out of their mouths this same old shit. How stupid I have been all these years. The only good thing we did was make sure our two boys went to a vocational school to learn a good trade. You should have seen the heat I got from elders and co's and others for encouraging that.

    Thanks for bringing this out for all to see. Still Totally ADD

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