Good post Nicolaou,
I was born in 1957. Very few JW's of the '60's & '70's did not take the 1914/1975 prophesies seriously (we hid our doubts, kept 'studying our babylon the great, finished mystery, truth books .. and door knocked as much as we could)
I rejected a scholarship to university , left school on my 15th birthday to 'regular pioneer'. The Truth book said we were "in the last days" and we
sold placed as many of those vbooks as we could! In 1973 the society had a series of tracts produced which we were to "place" with everyone - no matter what. Circuit Overseers stressed that "the great tribulation was just around the corner" and the last of these tracts would read something like "Too late sucker your dead" People sold their homes and went to "serve where the need was greater". Others bought new flash motor cars on Hire purchase (barely concealing there hope that Armagedon would soon render the agreement null & void.
Me I worked two days a week labouring & pioneered on bicycle, then old cars around Adelaide and country towns & outback South Ausrtralia. I even spread the urgent message to parts of outback Queensland and Papua New Guinea. Nothing could stand in the way of the truth .. I witnessed illegally in airforce bases & restricted military zones, snuk into catholic seminary's to give trainee preists the good news. I borded foreign ships, sometimes with permission, othertimes definetly not (the height of the cold war probably wasn't the best time to upset Russian Naval officers)
I was threatened with police, guns, dogs, cars, being thrown overboard, .. water hosed, had peaches thrown at me (by a lovable old witch) shot at by a guy with no legs .. bitten by a horse .. sunburned, collapsed in the desert from heatstroke .. cut and bruised falling off my bicycle .. suffered leeches, centipeed bites .. all because "we were living in the Last Days of this old system" (Days not to be taken literally but "Armageddon was definitely months away but not years")
Sure we took the 1914 thing seriously - we were deluded and seduced, happy to be living in momentous times - any JW who says otherwise either wasn't there or ...perhaps isn't really here.
Some of my greatest and happiest memories are of my time as a brainwashed JW "serving Jehovah in my youth. (good thing, thanks to my violent & insane parents, my life had another side though .. swimming, scuba diving, fishing, camping, hunting, ice skating to rock 'n roll on saturday night .. those were exciting times .. the memories of growing up a JW prior to 1975 were far from all bad.
Witnessing also had its fun side .. getting to see how rich and poor people lived ..imigrants and old folk unburdening their life stories on us strangers .. countless cups of tea and biscuits with bible respecting lonely old ladies, beer and spirits with workers & sailors (who come to think of it many a sailor may have been more attracted to us young blokes than our watchtower message :/ .. preaching to the high and mighty of "babylon the great" .. politicians, businessmen, street people.. mad people ..shopkeepers .. settling into bean bags, bible in one hand, herbal tea in 'tother, chewing the philosophical fat with with dope smok'n hippies .. meeting the wildmen of PNG (who rolled their bush cigarettes with pages from the bible - I'm yet to think of a better use for a new world translation .. bogroll?) .. aboriginals .. italians, greeks, yugoslavs ... thousands of interesting people .. thousands of people I hope never recogise me on the street today - What a dumb jerk was I!!
cheers all, unclebruce
PS: In the '90's several of my sisters assured me they'll leave when the clock clicks over 2014 and the 1914 elastic has definitely lost its stretch ..lol