1914—The Turning Point in History - Really?

by berrygerry 52 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • berrygerry

    1914—The Turning Point in History

    30 From the human standpoint, the world troubles and global wars foretold in the Bible were far from the thinking of the pre-1914 world. German statesman Konrad Adenauer said: “Thoughts and pictures come to my mind, . . . thoughts from the years before 1914 when there was real peace, quiet and security on this earth—a time when we didn’t know fear. . . . Security and quiet have disappeared from the lives of men since 1914.”25 People living before 1914 thought that the future “would get better and better,” reported British statesman Harold Macmillan.26 The book 1913: America Between Two Worlds notes: “Secretary of State Bryan said [in 1913] that ‘conditions promising world peace were never more favorable than now.’”27
    31 So, right up to the very brink of World War I, world leaders were forecasting an age of social progress and enlightenment.

    WTS often trots out these quotes as though the start of war in 1914 was a complete surprise to the entire world.

    PBS is running a show (produced in 2014) called S/Her Majesty's Secret Service - about MI6.

    MI6 was formed in 1909, expressly because of the rising threat of German militancy.


  • Mephis

    They got lucky with 1914. Even so, they were predicting their big send-off for October. Not August.

    If you want an insight to the fears current in England, there was a whole stream of invasion literature written from the 1870s onwards. England gets invaded by the Germans, mainly, with the odd French invasion when there was a bit of friction before the old Entente Cordiale. The most famous example, however, involved Martians on the loose in London... But all part of a very long period of fears and tensions leading up to the war as the problems between the so-called Great Powers increased and the arms race escalated.

    Trying to be kind to the WBTS writers, they can't even quote their own literature correctly from the time period so I have no doubt whatsoever they haven't a clue about this.

  • nicolaou

    To be fair, I supposed 1914 was a turning point but it certainly wasn't the only one. The French Revolution and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 sit roughly a century either side of WW1 and both had a profound effect on History.

    None of these compare to the grander turning points in natural history though . .


  • smiddy

    Jehovah`s Witnesses have a 100% success rate of taking Quotes from people out of context .So I for one am not impressed by any quote they make.

    And wasn`t their friction/ apprehension / tension between these nations before 1914 ?

    Germany , France , The British Empire , Portugal , Spain ? and a few other European countries to boot ?

    Just to name a few ?

    Didn`t C.T.Russell write about Napolean Bonaparte fullfilling Bible prophecy in one or more of his publications ? and the events of world affairs during the 1800`s figured prominently in Russells writings as fulfilling prophecy in scripture ? None of which came true ? Which begs the question .

    If prophecy cannot be understood as being true accurate prophecy until after the event , then whats the point of prophecy in the first place ?

    By all means correct me if I am wrong in anything I have stated here .


  • Dunedain

    Its so true, really think about how ridiculous for the WTS to think and say this. Do they REALLY think that a WORLD WAR just occurs overnight. The fact that it happened, was because of all the build up happening in the years prior. There was so much "tension" around the world/Europe, that the assasination of the Archduke, FINALLY ingnited the "flames". The point being, is that the "gasoline", the "matches", and the "fuses", were already in place from YEARS of build up.

    Also, what about the many, many conflicts that existed in the 40 or 50 years PRE 1914. Just in America, their was the Civil War where OVER a million American soldiers DIED. The battle of Antietam lost over 20,000 men in 1 DAY. How about the genocidal extermination of a whole race and culture of people, the American indians, culminated during the years BEFORE 1914. How about the fact that one of the reasons the American Civil war happened was because of slavery. So yeah, what about the enslavement of a whole race of human beings only ending in 1865, 49 years BEFORE 1914, and it still continued MANY years after in South America.

    What about all the colonys under the British and French empires, during the years BEFORE 1914. This included the oppression of millions of people around the WORLD, and the many conflicts and wars from the oppressed nations, trying to fight for their freedoms. The statement, "the sun never sets upon the British empire", was for a reason.

    I am just scratching the surface here. The point being, is that "1914" and WW1, was just a CONTINUATION of constant world unrest. Just as many hardships, wars, and human atrocities, occurred in the 100 years before 1914, as the 100 years after 1914, and we are STILL here witnessing it.

  • Mephis
    The Napoleon fulfillment of prophesy was the fall of the Papal State. October, 1799. The Time of the End began then according to Russell. Armageddon scheduled for 1914 as a result.
  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Here are three other matters to factor in, firstly the validity of the pre WW1 publicity on peace. We have to look at the nature of public statements at the time. Since when were such pronouncements not political spin?

    Second; it would be possible to quote from a range of opinions and select the ones which support your argument. Propaganda merchants such as the WTBTS never do anything else; they have absolutely no sense of honest objectivity.

    Yes there was a spirit of optimism before the First World War because of scientific discoveries such as pasteurisation, anaesthetics etc serious diseases such as syphilis had just been understood and modernism in art, think of Picasso, Marcel Duchamp. These were among reasons to see progress and a brighter future.The assassain's bullet in Sarajevo was the catalyst to mobilise existing tensions to war but afterwards the world and it's hope in humanity and with tangible progress in civilisation, continued with setbacks as it does today.

    Thirdly the Watchtower in its tradition of narcissist leadership, expressed the personal and normative interpretations of its chief theologian Frederick Franz. After Russell’s prophetic disaster and seeing his own life figuring in the imaginary unfolding of God’s plan, the self-obsessed Franz projected his own experience centring on the year of his own baptism 1914. It was a turning point for him...and therefore the world.

    This could well account for the WT mantra of “the generation of 1914.”

    Let’s not forget regarding the year 1914 Russell got it entirely wrong, he had foretold world peace and the death of all the 'ungodly' by then.

  • JeffT

    There are any number of books about the start of WWI. Read Europe's Last Summer by David Fromkin. I read another one about the same time, I can't find the title right now. They all make the same points: 1) the common narrative about WWI is that nobody had any idea a war might start until the assassination of the archduke lit the fuze and the world blew up and 2) no serious historian believes that narrative.

    The British and Germans were locked in a naval arms race that consumed large chunks of their national economies. The Germans had been working on war plans for decades, and acting on those plans. They built huge railroad platforms in every city so they would be able to load troops on trains quickly when the war started. The put together elaborate timetables of which units would go where and when. The built the largest siege guns in the world with the specific intention of using them to pulverize Belgian forts when they violated that country's neutrality.

    Meanwhile, the French and Russians were drawing up coordinated plans to invade Germany from two directions.

    This is not a picture of world that has no idea there's going to be a war.

    Top all that off with the fact that what happened is nothing like what the WTBS said was going to happen.

  • Syme

    The 1914 "prediction" by Bible Students was not exactly a success, since the prediction was about the end of the world and the rupture; no end of the world came then, and no rupture. Thus, the prediction was a complete failure.

    It's just that they devised the "invisible presence" and "Beginning of the Last Days" theories afterwards, so as to appear, at least partly, successful.

    Afterwards, everyone's a prophet.

  • truthseeker100


    Having lived my life in the no mans land between the USA and the USSR I can assure everyone that 1914 was no turning point!

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