The Real Reason why the WT predicted Armageddon in 1975

by OrphanCrow 53 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OrphanCrow
    ding: The date was announced in 1966 in Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, so I doubt it had anything to do with a tax exemption in 1971 or 1974.

    Do you have information that confirms that the WTS was not under investigation concerning their tax status in 1966 or in the years leading up to that? Are you aware of what was happening with non-profit tax law at that time?

    Did you read the pdfs I linked to?

    The struggle to maintain tax status did not just happen overnight. There was a whole list of corporations that lost tax status in 1971. I am sure that the IRS didn't just wake up on January 1st 1971 and say...let's take away property tax concessions to all these nonprofits.

    It is a process and one that can take years. The WTS would have known what was in the works for years before it actually happened


    "Those who saw the fact that they went beyond the scriptures (no man knows the day or hour not even the son), simply faded or left!"

    Makes you wonder....


  • OrphanCrow
    fisherman: FF truly believed it.

    Of course he did. Freddy was a true believer.

    It is handy to have those kind of people around. It would have been pretty easy for a true believer to have interpreted tax problems as a "sign of the end". Freddy was nuts

  • slimboyfat

    In addition to the good reasons for doubting this explanation of 1975 already given. I would add that there is simply no evidence that JWs' status as a proselytising community has ever been in doubt. Especially in the United States where they fought many legal battles on that basis. They may have preached more leading up to 1975, but they were also highly active preaching before the prediction, as well as following the failed date.

    And as others pointed out, the evidence is that Fred Franz was the driving force behind 1975. If there is any evidence he was motivated by legal and financial pressures, rather than what he appeared to be, caught up in his own obscure biblical formulations, it's not been presented.

    Plus 1975 was not first mentioned in 1966, as another poster careful has pointed out, this date was indicated as early as the 1940s.

  • Fisherman

    Even though 1975 passed away, the unknown variable (Eve creation date) still kept the hope alive for many years to follow. According to the Insight book, 1975 is still a valid date which validates the teaching (for JW) that the Millennium should start not with reference to the creation of Adam but with reference to when God rested after the creation of Eve. And according to how JW see Bible chronology, this referenced gap should converge with 1914 generation and all the other prophecies and dates which identify (according to JW) -the end times.

  • slimboyfat

    If I was asked to provide the "real" reasons for the 1975 phenomenon among JWs I'd give the following factors.

    Fred Franz increased in confidence as well as disconnect from reality following his successful translation of the NWT. He increasinly developed detailed interpretations of prophecy as the long books on prophecy from the period show.

    Knorr may have stopped the 1975 fiasco were it not for the fact that his position and authority had been weakened by the findings of the Aid book researchers in the 1960s and his failing health in the 1970s.

    JW growth was pretty phenomenal in the 1940s and 1950s, but had slowed significantly in the 1960s. Even those in the leadership who were not convinced by 1975 may have been swept along by the new enthusiasm and activity the date produced.

    It was an unsettled time in society in general, with the failed revolutions of 1968, the Vietnam war, economic and political instability. All these things may have made it easier for JWs to believe the "system of things" was nearing its end.

    An interesting aspect of the 1975 phenomenon that is not often commented upon is the very uneven impact it had on JWs worldwide. If you look at the numbers who joined before 1975 and those who left after 1975, some countries such as the Philippnes lost up to half the membership, whereas growth in other countries such as Italy was not adversely impacted at all.

  • OrphanCrow
    sfb: I would add that there is simply no evidence that JWs' status as a proselytising community has ever been in doubt. Especially in the United States where they fought many legal battles on that basis

    Of course the fact that the "JWs status as a proselytising community" has never been in doubt. I didn't say that

    I said that the preaching is a fundamental element that is required for the WTS to qualify for religious status. Period.

    And, that religious status has been challenged many times in court. Maintaining that religious status is what has been difficult and the preaching work is what contributes to defining the JWs as a religion

    *to add - am I right that nobody who has offered comments has bothered to read the links? If anyone had read the pdfs, they would know that it was critical for the WTS to establish that their publishing company's product (literature) was attached to a religious activity.

  • opusdei1972

    May be yes, and may be no. However, it is not impossible that Freddy created his lunatic prediction for corporative purposes. For instance, according to Edmond Gruss:

    "After the Judge's death, as World War II was ending and persecution against the Witnesses began declining, along with the attendant drop in news-media publicity, Hayden C. Covington told the author [of THE FOUR PRESIDENTS] that Fred Franz saw the prohibition against blood transfusions as a way to accomplish two things: to continue to publicize the religion, and to create an uproar in the community. This reaction would convince the membership they were being "persecuted" and "suffering for righteousness sake," a sure sign they were "in the truth." (The Four Presidents of the Watchtower Society)

  • rebel8
    Orphan Crow, you continue to amaze me. How did you find out the wts lost their tax exempt status? How is it possible nobody found this out until now?
  • steve2

    I hear what posters are saying about the 1975 doctrine being an attempt to avoid planned taxation changes in the early 1970s. I will need to think that argument through because I had not before heard the reasoning.

    In the meantime, in my view SBF is on the money regarding the " conditions" that made the 1975 doctrine very welcome within the organization, if not well-timed:

    After a decade or two of phenomenal growth of publishers, increases in publishers began to plateau by the mid-60s. The "Freedom of Sons" convention in 1966 where the book entitled "Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God" (I may have got some part of the title wrong) was released created levels of excitement and zeal unheard of since Rutherford's attention-grabbing conventions throughout the 1920s and 30s.

    The convention and the book started a surge of end-times speculation that grew over the remainder of the 60s to the mid- 70s.

    Most tellingly, there was an almost immediate swelling of growth in publishers as the growth plateau turned dramatically into healthy increases, year by year, mirroring the speculation about the significance of 1975.

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