I am of the opinion that the WT doctrine is influenced more by external factors that it is by internal ones. One of the doctrines that has puzzled me for some time is the Armageddon prediction of 1975. Why would the WTS make this prediction? What was their real purpose?
I think I have found it.
Surprise, surprise....it is $$$$$$$$$$$$
In the late 60s and early 70s, the WTS was trying desperately to hang onto their property tax exemption. Their exemption was revoked in 1971 and re-instated in 1974.
Trends in Nonprofit Corporation Law 1976 (downloadable pdf)
...in July 1974, the New York high court ordered tax exemption (ended in 1971) restored to property in New York City owned by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, known as Jehovah's Witnesses.8 " In a unanimous opinion, the court ruled that the organization "is organized and conducted exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of the statute."
The preaching activity was the critical component that determined whether or not their publishing business would get viewed as a for profit organization or a religious organization.
For example, the American Bible Society had their tax exemption revoked because they were simply a Bible publishing company with no affiliated religious activities. The WTS, on the other hand, could prove a religious purpose for their literature and the distribution of such by their members was a defining feature in establishing that religious purpose.
...to secure an exemption as a religious organization a publishing organization must be able to prove an affiliation with a recognized religious denomination.
In the years that the WTS was fighting to retain their tax status, it was important for the religious entity (Jehovah's Witnesses) to be actively involved in making the circulation of that literature a religious activity, thus falling under religious protection from tax rather than the WTS just appearing as a publishing house.
The WTS needed the JWs to be out on the streets, knocking doors, being visible and active. Their tax status depended on it. And how was that done? Simple...they told the JWs that Armageddon was coming and that their lives depended on them getting out there and "spreading the word" (AKA...establishing religious purpose for the WTS literature)
They were successful. Their tax status got restored in 1974. And Armageddon was delayed.