1974 Special Meetings

by NeonMadman 38 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • PaintedToeNail

    I remember the sentiment at the time. I was a 10 year old kid and terrified by what was being said at the meetings and everyones' somberness at how we were all going to be persecuted just like the brothers in Nazi Germany. experiences would be read out of the 1974 yearbook on what the JW's went through, the beatings, starvings, hangings and tortures. It affected me deeply, I'm sure that is where the beginnings of my panic and anxiety attacks had their start, along with the OCD that has been my constant companion.

    We moved across the USA to be near my dad's relatives so they could be properly preached to by my family. We endured poverty, isolation from his family (they didn't take kindly to the preaching), loneliness and a definite plunge in our standard of living. This moved has had repurcussions to this day, financial instability of my elderly parents, inadequate housing for the aged-it was what they could afford with their diminished means, no saving for retirement...

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut


    You are spot on when you say that as a child, hearing the adults you trusted and depended upon, speak of torture and persecution, is the cause of your life long struggle with anxiety. The older of my two sisters, the one I referred to in my earlier post, (a lovely beautiful girl) has had terrible difficulty with this all of her life. She learned to be afraid at an early age and her brain has been wired to go directly to panic at the first sign of any kind of uncertainty..I dealt with this myself but to a lesser degree and it disappeared without a trace a few weeks after I decided to stop being a JW.

    It was very ignorant, selfish and unloving for the adult leaders of this organization not to stress the importance of shielding children who haven't developed the necessary coping skills, from being present when this kind of information is being discussed. If they needed to talk about this stuff, they should have held a special meeting and ask parents not to bring their children and or made arrangements for the kids to be brought into the back room for some kind of kid friendly program.

    Instead they made sure we, along with the adults, were intentionally frightened out of our skin. They thought of it as a way to keep us in line and as a way of making sure we stayed with "the truth". We spent our lives prepared for a cataclysmic event that never materialized.

    I'm very sorry you've had to deal with this unnecessary affliction and burden in your life.

  • sparky1

    Pete and Painted.....you are not alone. I suspect that there are a large proportion in our age group ( 50+ years old) that suffer from the ill effects of this 'psychological torture' masquerading as 'spiritual instruction'. Not only did we get force fed this crap at the meetings and assemblies but many of our parents had their own 'private versions' that they projected on us. One day my mentally unbalanced, spiritual giant, pioneer mother decided to take me for a ride and 'fill me in' on what awaited a little boy of 8 or 9 years old. I was told that if I saluted the flag at school, Jehovah sees me and he will destroy me in the fast approaching Armageddon. When, NOT IF, the governmental authorities take me away from my family during the persecution, I must remain firm. If I 'give in' and do something bad, Jehovah will destroy me and I will never see her or my brothers and sisters again! I feel sorry for and my heart goes out to each and every person (still inside or escaped from this religion) that was subjected to this mind torturing, soul wounding bullshit!

  • titch

    Ah, so true, Sparky1. Holding out that "fear and guilt" card in front of kids, youngsters. There was supposed to be some "deity" some "cloud being" out there, watching you, observing you, and keeping some "score-card", some "ledger book" of everything that you did, said, or thought, and was going to punish you for anything that you did, said or thought that was not in accordance with that said "deity."

    Personally, I don't remember either of those two meetings. At that time, I was concerned with a major health issue that had unexpectedly come into my life, at the time, even though I was 20 years old. I was bewildered and angry at the time. But, oh well. Best Regards.

  • baldeagle
    Awesome. Many thanks. I was not aware of these letters.
  • Room 215
    Room 215
    Delusional, of course; but far more impressively written than their contemporary drivel.
  • FindTheLost

    Thank you NeonMadman for the memories.

    How many of you (as small children) tried to stash food and such in secret places so that when the end came there would be something to survive on?

    How many prayed for God to take you now...because you were afraid you would succumb to "sin" during Armageddon?

    What did you do with the nightmares that scared you everyday?

    This also played into the fear...watching the Vietnam war everyday on the television while trying to eat supper...Dad had to have complete silence so he could watch.

    So many things that were said and done to us during our informative years.

  • JWdaughter
    I boned up for Armageddon by reading novels and biographical stories of the ww2 Jews. Escape from Warsaw is a sentimental favorite." The five little peppers, and how they grew" was about how a very very poor family survived in 19th century. Yes, I was a freaky kid. Anne Frank and Jo march helped me keep a balance. Books saved my childhood. Not WT books! Perspective kept me aware that we weren't being persecuted just because people disagreed or even if they though we were idiots. Then I realized we WERE idiots!
  • Socrateswannabe
    At the risk of derailing this topic, I have to respond to Pete, Painted, Sparky, and Titch. My experience seems almost identical to yours. Back in the 60's and 70's we had a congregation servant/PO who did about 75% of the teaching parts in our congregation. He used the platform to air his favorite topics, which were persecution and armageddon, and you could tell that he loved the gore. He also had a neat little trick to keep all of us in line. He constantly dropped hints that there were some in the congregation who were secretly sinning and that it was hindering the holy spirit in the congregation and keeping the congregation from prospering. I was just a kid when this was going on and it frightened me to the core. I believed I was one of the sinners, so the guilt almost killed me. And of course, the build up to 1975 was fodder for this guy and he made the most of it. Funny though, after 1975 came and went, like the WTS itself, he was unapologetic and unaffected for having been so incredibly wrong. In the meantime he had changed me forever, and not for the good.
  • blondie

    My family were a small minority that did not buy into 1975 being the end. We read the same articles and saw they were couched in language that could be interpreted either way. Likely, no doubt, apparently, etc.

    We remember the scripture Matthew 24:44. If it sounds vaguely familiar it is just before the faithful discreet slave scripture.

    (Matthew 24:44) . . .. 44 On this account YOU too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that YOU do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.

    ---------Think it is coming in 1975 then it is not. The WTS does not mention this point from 1966 to 1975 but after 1975 came and went

    *** w76 7/15 p. 441 pars. 16-17 A Solid Basis for Confidence ***

    16 However, say that you are one who counted heavily on a date, and, commendably, set your attention more strictly on the urgency of the times and the need of the people to hear. And say you now, temporarily, feel somewhat disappointed; are you really the loser? Are you really hurt? We believe you can say that you have gained and profited by taking this conscientious course. Also, you have been enabled to get a really mature, more reasonable viewpoint.—Eph. 5:1-17.

    17 The Scriptures repeatedly tell us that the end will come as a complete surprise upon the world. The apostle spoke of this, saying: “You yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day [for judgment] is coming exactly as a thief in the night.” (1 Thess. 5:2) So that true Christians would not be ‘overtaken as thieves,’ Jesus said even to his disciples back there, and to us today: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Thereafter he said: “Prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.” (Matt. 24:42-44) These clear statements of Jesus indicate that God’s servants will never be given the date of Christ’s “coming” for judgment until it actually takes place. In fact, it will come at what appears to them an ‘unlikely’ time.—Luke 12:39, 40.

    So we will not expect to see this world’s systems grind almost to a halt or reach a state of virtual collapse as a necessary prelude to the “great tribulation.” We will not be deceived if these systems seem to make an apparent ‘comeback’ from severe crises, as if that apparent recuperation would have a postponing effect on the arrival of God’s day of judgment. We will not start ‘rebuilding’ with the world, as though this system will continue indefinitely. The apostle Paul’s inspired words at 1 Thessalonians 5:3 show that men of this world will actually be proclaiming, “Peace and security!” just before ‘sudden destruction comes instantly upon them like the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman,’ with every possibility of escape being cut off from them.

    22 Clearly, then, the fact that we do not know just when the “great tribulation” will break nor when the thousand-year reign of God’s Son will begin does not lessen the need for alertness today. It greatly increases and heightens the need for being awake, watchful, ready. If we knew the exact time we might be tempted to relax and to feel that as that time drew nearer we could begin to get ourselves ready. But our not knowing requires us to be ready all the time. The whole tenor of God’s Word the Bible, and particularly the counsel of his Son, is to that effect.

    (and 28 more times until 2012)

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