1974 Special Meetings
Those bring back memories. I was just a kid back then but remember the palpable feeling that year.
Wow....thanks for posting these...does this ever bring back memories.
I remember as a kid attending meetings on dark winter nights with the rain pounding on the roof and these kinds of ominous letters and topics being discus from the platform. A lot of people were downright frightened, kids in the Hall were quitting school to Pioneer and people were quitting their jobs and selling their homes to get out from under debt and preparing for the tribulation. Everyone was hunkering down and waiting for the day we'd have to head for the hills.Our Presiding Overseer would often run the meeting 45 minutes overtime, sternly warning us of the approaching tribulation.
I remember tossing and turning at night worrying about my 2 little sisters and wondering how I'd ever be able to save them during the Tribulation if someone made me choose between them being tortured or me renouncing my faith. The oldest of the two girls used to start bawling at the meeting at the realization that our Dad wouldn't survive because he wasn't baptized. She'd beg my Dad to come back to meetings before it was too late. He'd just look at my Mom and ask pleadingly "Why must they say these things in front of the children ? ".
My parents sold our nice home so that we could move into a mobile home park across the street from the Kingdom Hall where about 10 other JW families lived. My Mom convinced my non JW Dad that this was the thing to do since the end was so near and there was no point owing money on a house that could be taken away from us when the economy got really bad during the tribulation.
Freddy Franz would have been proud of the way they squeezed a family of 6 into a 12'x 60' mobile home. My Mom Pioneered and we along with everyone else, waited for the tribulation to hit. I used to get off the school bus at the stop down the road so that no one would see that I lived there. It was at that time they were emphasizing that if young ones were of and age of understanding and didn't get baptized, they would be destroyed at Armageddon. I got baptized in the summer of 74 at the International Assembly in Vancouver Canada but was one of the only kids in my hall to continue with school. I Pioneered in the summer and went in service on the weekends or sometimes in the evenings.
Finally in about 1978, the end hadn't come and my parents couldn't take being crammed into such a small place with a growing family. The Brothers had quit studying with my Dad because he was too shy about going out in the door to door ministry and the society said not to wast time studying with people longer than 6 months if they aren't progressing. Thankfully as a non JW he didn't quit his job and was able to get us back into a nice house again. It was so great to have our life back and have Mom taking an interest in her art, music and garden and having her be there when we got home from school.
That was 40+ years ago, both Mom and Dad are gone and I'm about to be a Grandpa and no JW today cares about what we went through in those days. It's as if it never happened and they merely dismiss the 5 decades I spent trying to live up to the directives coming from Brooklyn New York which included a year at Brooklyn Bethel.
@Pete Zahut. Your last paragraph. Congratultions on your soon to be new status as the best Grandpa in the whole world. (Isn't that what all grandchildren think?)
Then your sentence where the shoe drops. All of us that lived through those horrid years, for what? So those WT psychopaths could brag about their little 25cent "Truth" book, being a big seller AND look at all of their religion's increase of newly converted innocent WT zombies. I was a little kid in the 1950's raised in fear. That is how WT controls innocent people who do not know how to do the forbidden research.
The WT is responsible for ruining millions of human beings lives. All for their own egos and benefit.
PS I am glad your Dad was smart enough not to convert and was able to swing things so you all could live like a normal family again.
Did your mom ever say she was sorry for what she made her husband do and her children have to adjust to?
I think I am well in my recovery from all things JDub, until I see something like the title and OP. In 1974, the kids I went through high school with were enjoying the benefits of "higher education" working in jobs they loved, marrying who they desired and buying houses and filling them with love and children. Planning vacations and putting money away for retirement. JDubs in 1974, well, we know that is a completely different story.
Those were exciting times. How cool would it have been if we were right. Wow!. I was 17 in 1974 and in full expectation of exciting things to come.
But alas, it was all empty speculation built on lies. How sad.
I would like to know what they meant by, "we do know that God's judgement is to be executed within the lifetime of the generation that saw the beginning of the last days." "Accordingly, the generation of people that witness the events of 1914 C.E. is the ones that will see the great tribulation." "Those person who were at an age of understanding in 1914 are diminishing in numbers."
Pete, thanks for your story. It brought back memories. I remember that when they told us the age of understanding, it ended up being someone born around 1900, so the math was always easy for me:) Later, it got lowered and lowered to the point that one simply had to be alive in 1914. That doesn't seem to have alleviated their troubles.
Neonmadman, I don't remember you from before, so (probably really late) welcome! I appreciated the PDFs and have saved this thread and them for future reference.
''Looks like they used fear and guilt in 1974. Same crap, different day!''
There was some talk by a big CO or DO at an assembly back in 2007. That many longtimers on here said was the same one as back in 1974. The ''talk'' by this ''big'' speaker was something to the nature of the 'preaching work' being completed in all lands but Somalia, N Korea and Afghanistan. He went on to say that Jehovah ''wouldn't use his brothers in such countries because it's too dangerous.'' Then he went on to read Matt 24:14 about the end coming after the 'work' being complete.
The point he was making is that whatever your 'stance' was at that time, with the 'work done' and the GT starting, basically you were 'locked-in' or ''frozen'' in that stance and ready to be judged for 'cutting-off'' or 'God's approval''. This talk was circulated big-time by WTs in early 2007. Well, I read the post of someone around that time and they said ''I heard the same talk back in 1974''
So, basically, the same fear-mongering tactics do come-up from many a decade ago to instill fear and keep the sheeple in line. Nothing new.
I was a kid in the 1970's, but I remember how my JW aunt told me not worry about going to school, because Jesus will be arriving shortly and we will only need to study a love and unlimited wisdom in a new system. 40 years later, I am thinking how many years I have to work to retire. My aunt is long gone, and a new system nowhere on sight.
I remember preaching with my dad (I respect him very much) and his favorite was explaining 1914 to the housholder. With the 2520 years construction and the then current sign of the times. and the then current generation teaching. What a mess it is, looking back. We were fooled and tricked.
Oh man you've brought back memories both sweet and sour! I note the way the letter of concern to "friends" milked the 1914 doctrine for all it was worth so convinced was the organization in its literal interpretation of "that generation".
We were fooled big time.
My maternal granparents cited the aging of the generation that witnessed World War One as the main reason they pressured my JW parents not to allow me to have further education after I left school.
I find it hard to feel any respectful feelings towards my deluded family.