Back in the early 70's there was lots of talk about "1975" and the end of 6000 yrs, and we should all prepare for "the end" at that time. All the silly sheep telling each other why it would be foolish to have children when "the end" was so near! What a crock. My eyes were opened around that time, and my daughter was born in 1975 -- she's my greatest gift, a non-JW, and a real brainiac. But I do know quite a few JWs who never had children --all because of the doomsday prophecy. I wonder how many of them have regrets (today) that they were more or less denied the chance to start a family because of the borg's bull___. Anyone out there fall into that category? If so, you have my sympathies.
questions about 1975 and other dates
So for those of you who may have lived through the 1975 fiasco and those who have in-depth knowledge about the events that took place in that year maybe you can answer a few questions for me.
I was in Europe in the seventies. It was a hype here too. I don't think it was only in the US, but worldwide.
I remember this elder at a funeral who was holding a speech:
"We can be sure that at the end of 1975 Armageddon will have taken place and this world will have a new government ruled by the King Jesus Christ. In those days we can see the angels fighting in the sky,,,,,,etc,,,,etc."
I approached this elder and asked him where he got this info, but he just said to me: " Don't you want it to happen? Seems you're questioning me?" Guess I was questioning him. I never approached this elder after that.
I remember vaguely a speech held at an assembly in the late eighties where this brother said that certain brothers were a little hasty with the mentioning of dates. (I suppose he was talking about 1975) That was as close to an apology from what I've heard.
What I do know is that the WT never took responsibility for the mentioning of 1975. As a matter of fact they blamed the brothers.
"There are certain brothers (I felt like they were talking about me) who put too much emphasis on 1975. These brothers should not put hope on certain dates, but should leave it in Jehovah's hand. We hope these brothers will change their views so they will serve Jehovah without a date in mind."
They never apologized. They blamed the brothers.
The last time I attended the meeting was the Sunday they discussed the "generation" issue, where the generation is set loose from 70 - 80 years. That was the last straw for me. I quit that day.
The Watchtower is never wrong, they are always right. As soon as you question anything at all they hurdle everything back at you.
They actually expect you to do exactly as they say. No questions asked.
When I asked about higher education where they said not to attend college,( which I stupidly obeyed), about the fact that now I don't have a good education, but I still have to support my family, they just said it was my decision, my responsibility and not the Watchtower's.
These guys make me sick: figuratively and physically.
Now they act like it never happened. Anyone who brings these subjects up is spiritully weak and shows apostate characteristics.
Yeah right. ...I experienced these things personally. I saw it happen. I don't care if they deny it. I saw it with my own eyes.
Every JW I knew thought the end would come by 1975. Oh, the WTS left itself a little wiggle room by qualifying its published statements, but, as others have stated, CO's and DO's were much more specific. One circuit assembly around 1970 had the theme, "Who Will Conquer the World in the 1970's?" Of course, when you really heard the talk, it was talking about "conquering the world" in the sense of remaining faithful to Jehovah, but the double entendre was obvious. If you dared to suggest among other JW's that the end might not be here by 1975, you got the stony stare usually reserved nowadays for those who accuse governing body members of pedophilia.
I had a good friend who sold out his 20% share of ownership in a rubbish removal company in 1969 because it would generate enough money for him to stop working and pioneer until 1975. He ended up having to sell his house and buy a cheaper one, and, instead of owning the rubbish company, after 1975 he made his living driving a rubbish truck.
JW's today often try to minimize the anticipation that existed: "Oh, that 1975 thing was just an idea that some of the brothers came up with." What they neglect to mention is that the "some of the brothers" in question were the ones writing the literature; and the rank and file swallowed it whole like the mindless drones we were.
It was a world-wide belief.
I first heard about 1975 at Cardiff District assembly. This was in 1966. By 1968, anticipation was at fever pitch throughout the UK. We were told: "Brothers, we will cover our territory just another 9 times before 1975. That's just 9 opportunities for us to save lives!"
My then partner was terrified of persecution and was convinced that she would be tortured long before 1975.
Jehovah's Witlessness have been right so often in the past
Sorry, that one just made me laugh!
They know the Society expected Armageddon in 1975 and led members in error but current Witnesses I have talked to about it feel satisfied that the Society has done a sufficient job of explaining their behavior and have admitted their error and have, in their opinions, made amends satisfactorily. They wish to close the book on a mistake forgiven. They are like children who desire a relationship with their parents even though those parents are prone to error, human mistakes and occasional bad behavior.
To others, the Society is a social club and those Witnesses are basically skeptical, not very religious and view meetings as social appointments and service as exercise and a requirement for continued acceptance in the club. Many are habitual Witnesses. Of the current Witnesses, most do not even like critical thinking and can't understand why we do it. They see critical thinking as a flaw needing correction.
Those Witnesses have a sense of honor, a loyalty. They are comfortable. They can't see how their lives would be better without involvement, at some level, in the Watch Tower Society.
Their children who quit attending meetings and quit service and got disfellowshipped or decided to announce disassociation, were always dispensable to the long time Witness parents. They were always feeling, deep down, a sort of disloyalty to the Society for having the children in the first place. The Society was right, in their minds, this was not the time to have children. Look how they turned out. If we lived in ancient Israel, we would kill them and we would cast the first stone. They are easy for the parents to shun.
The phone sets on the hall table. The mother sits and rocks while the high school picture is still on the same shelf. She never looks at it. The father has the TV on with the sound off, a half a beer on the table, while he reads the Watchtower for tomorrow's meeting. No thoughts, no feelings for unfaithful adult children.
Current Witnesses mostly do not ever talk about 1975. It is not important to them. It is only important to former Witnesses.
current Witnesses I have talked to about it feel satisfied that the Society has done a sufficient job of explaining their behavior and have admitted their error and have, in their opinions, made amends satisfactorily.
Just curious - when exactly did they do that?
The Watchtower, 1966 October 15, p. 631 Rejoicing over “God’s Sons of Liberty” Spiritual Feast
THE YEAR 1975
At the Baltimore assembly Brother Franz in his closing remarks made some interesting comments regarding the year 1975. He began casually by saying, “Just before I got on the platform a young man came to me and said, ‘Say, what does this 1975 mean? Does it mean this, that or any other thing?’” In part, Brother Franz went on to say: ‘You have noticed the chart [on pages 31-35 in the book Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God]. It shows that 6,000 years of human experience will end in 1975, about nine years from now. What does that mean? Does it mean that God’s rest day began 4026 B.C.E.? It could have. The Life Everlasting book does not say it did not. The book merely presents the chronology. You can accept it or reject it. If that is the case, what does that mean to us? [He went into some length showing the feasibility of the 4026 B.C.E. date as being the beginning of God’s rest day.]
‘What about the year 1975? What is it going to mean, dear friends?’ asked Brother Franz. ‘Does it mean that Armageddon is going to be finished, with Satan bound, by 1975? It could! It could! All things are possible with God. Does it mean that Babylon the Great is going to go down by 1975? It could. Does it mean that the attack of Gog of Magog is going to be made on Jehovah’s witnesses to wipe them out, then Gog himself will be put out of action? It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don’t any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975. But the big point of it all is this, dear friends: Time is short. Time is running out, no question about that.
‘When we were approaching the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, there was no sign that the Gentile Times were going to end. Conditions on earth gave us no hint of what was to come, even as late as June of that year. Then suddenly there was a murder. World War I broke out. You know the rest. Famines, earthquakes and pestilences followed, as Jesus foretold would happen.
‘But what do we have today as we approach 1975? Conditions have not been peaceful. We’ve been having world wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences and we have these conditions still as we approach 1975. Do these things mean something? These things mean that we’re in the “time of the end.” And the end has to come sometime. Jesus said: “As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) So we know that as we come to 1975 our deliverance is that much nearer.’
“Let us make the most of the time and get in all the good hard work to Jehovah while the opportunity affords,” he urged.
The Watchtower, 1979 May 1, p. 27 Building to Jehovah’s Glory
In 1975, construction of a large factory was completed at Wallkill, New York State, and here 15 high-speed rotary presses now take care of the production of English-language magazines and other magazines for the United States and many other countries.
*** Proclaimers chap. 5 p. 60 Proclaiming the Lord’s Return (1870-1914) ***
Meanwhile, what about October 1914? For decades Russell and his associates had been proclaiming that the Gentile Times would end in 1914. Expectations were high. C. T. Russell had been critical of those who had set various dates for the Lord’s return, such as William Miller and some Second Adventist groups. Yet, from the time of his early association with Nelson Barbour, he was convinced that there was an accurate chronology, based on the Bible, and that it pointed to 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times.
As that significant year approached, there were great expectations among the Bible Students, but not all that they expected had been directly stated in Scripture.
This is my all time favorite post on the topic.
Did 1975 bother me? It most definitely did bother me. Instead of everyone being involved in something worthwhile, we were all eagerly awaiting the end of this wicked old system of things. We wasted all our time knocking on doors spreading hype and didn't really accomplish anything to be proud of some 27 years later. We didn't do one charitable work, we didn't heal one person, we didn't love the sick or help the needy, we didn't even watch out for each other. We didn't save one soul, we didn't live forever on this earth. We were lost in a vision of grandeur, a lie. It was a waste of time!
Aug 15 2002