Being I was pretty young in 1975 and don't remember any of the particulars, what reasoning or explanation did the Borg give for their prophecy not coming true? Was their a large influx of people that left or did they somehow get fanagled into staying longer? (sorry, hope this doesn't take thread off track, but I am very interested).
How did 1975 affect you?
The Watchtower proclaimed 1975 to be the end of the world . . . and they were right, but it only happened to some of us.
I started to study in late 69-early 70- and heard about 1975 from the get-go. Being baptized in '72, I thought I was so knowledgable and was geared up for the End. Also being "new" and enthusiastic (didn't know when to keep my mouth shut) I eagerly told everyone I KNEW about what was coming and was SO headstrong about it.
So it affected me in that I was dealing with a lot of egg on my face as well as disappointment.
THEN we began to hear that WE aren't the sort to shrink away ARE WE? WE aren't serving Jehovah for a DATE are we? So it calmed me down somewhat.......but for THIS long?
They gotta be kidding!
I also lived through 1975 and it was a different atmosphere back then.
But I wonder if the reason was that many thought the end would c ome in 1975 and everyone was on their best behaviour.
Cause thats the year that both me and my wife were BORN HAHAHAHAHA! (jan 12 her, march 21 me)
Looks like I semi-answered Scootergirl's question. I saw her post when mine came up.
I wasn't cynical enough to slice through the baloney, and went "on" with the idea that Jah knew best and our message was needed. It never occurred to me that the revered FDS could be full of it! That notion was the saving grace---those that left in droves were only serving God selfishly, and those that (cough) persevered served him with a whole heart (or some such garbage).
They made it seem it was OUR fault for "assuming too much" and things went on as usual.Whatever they said, it saved the WTS face (theirs-not ours) for the time being!
1975 was great! I got to start kindergarden and use the monogrammed pencils my mom said I would never get to use because I'd never go to school.
Several things happened in our extended family around that time, that changed it forever.
- my grandmother died in December 1974, at age 89. We all wanted her to live to 1975 so much. She was the glue that made the family work. Everyone was devoted to her.
- my cousin's eldest son ran away from home early in 1975, at age 14 and literally disappeared for over a year (he didn't want to be a JW)
- my brother's wife and baby died in childbirth in 1977, changing many lives, never to be the same again
- my brother was disfellowshipped in 1978, and began investigating the truth about the WTS................I totally cut him off for 17 years. How dumb was that?
Those events hurt and shocked our family in a very profound way, and we are still recovering from that. When 1975 didn't bring the end, as we all believed it would, I think we all settled in with a different attitude.
The congregations did change too. The nice family atmosphere began to change and the legalistic, rule making began.
P.S. My cousin's son is now in his 40's, and is a hopeless drug addict. I learned recently that he is waiting for a trial date for yet another criminal trial. We don't know the details, (found that information online) but he will likely do hard time this time, if he shows up. Usually he skips town when he is scheduled to present himself for trial or drug testing, or forced rehab.
I started hearing about Armageddon at age four! A childhood of fear! I turned 17 in 1975. I am 46. Still fearful.
I was contacted by JW's in March 1971, baptised January 1972. I was 20 yrs old.
There was never much talk about 1975 within the congregation or at the Kingdom Hall. I think because the Elders of that time had their heads screwed on. I think about 4 of them had been JW's since the 1930's. They wouldn't condone any specualtion about it. But of course some did take it seriously. Many got married in 1974, think we had about 12+ weddings that year, including mine. Though 1975 didn't cross our mind as the reason we got married, our first child was born in 1975. Also those who did get married never bought a house until after 1975 ????
There was a change in the air after 1975. The "end" was always that "thing" in the background. It was "soon", "near" "be here shortly" "urgent times" "the time is short" etc etc. Never quite as explicit but you were constantly reminded it was there.
The Elders I mentioned earlier had all died by 1998. The congregation has not progressed since I left in 1996. I think the change in the "1914 generation" shook them. Still the same number of publishers, meeting and Memorial attendance has dropped. Know of many having problems.
Incidently it was two of those old Elders that started me thinking and doubting about the WT. They, unknown to each other, told me many of the WT teachings were wrong. One of them could tear the Blood Doctrine apart, he had never believed it right from the beginning. The 607bce date, "load of rubbish" one of them called it. They even showed me from the Bible that Jesus was God!! One was close to accepting the Trinity.
Unfortunately having been JW's for so long they couldn't bring themselves to leave. Also many relatives and family were JW's. They didn't want to hurt anyone by leaving. But some members of their families have now left the JW's.
As Gary said after 1975 many JW's started to look at the WT and for the first time doubt and question..