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Blaming members

The Watchtower regularly has made strong comments as to the date of Armageddon, or that it will be very soon. When dates have been set, and passed by without event, the Watchtower has shirked responsibility and blamed the members for their bad attitude and misunderstanding in having expectation for these dates. To see that the Watchtower itself built expectation for these dates, see the articles 1914, 1925, and 1975.

1914

“There is no doubt that many throughout this period were overzealous in their statements as to what could be expected. Some read into the Watch Tower statements that were never intended.” Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose p.52
“There were also other expectations concerning 1914. Alexander H. Macmillan, who had been baptized in September 1900, later recalled: "A few of us seriously thought we were going to heaven during the first week of that October. Had some been attracted by the thought of their own early salvation rather than love for God and a strong desire to do his will?” Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.61

1925

“It was stated in the 'Millions' book that we might reasonably expect them to return shortly after 1925, but this was merely an expressed opinion; besides it is still shortly after 1925. ... Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything.” Watch Tower 1926 pp.196,232
“So, as Anna MacDonald recalls: “1925 was a sad year for many brothers. Some of them were stumbled; their hopes were dashed. They had hoped to see some of the ‘ancient worthies’ [men of old like Abraham] resurrected. Instead of its being considered a ‘probability,’ they read into it that it was a ‘certainty,’ and some prepared for their own loved ones with expectancy of their resurrection.”” Yearbook 1975 p.146
“Ever since the 1870's, Bible Students had been serving with a date in mind - first 1914, then 1925. Now they realized that they must serve for as long as Jehovah wishes.” Watchtower 1993 Nov 1 p.12

1975

“But it is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date, neglecting everyday things we would ordinarily care for as Christians, such as things that we and our families really need. We may be forgetting that, when the “day” comes, it will not change the principle that Christians must at all times take care of all their responsibilities. If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.” Watchtower 1976 Jul 15 p.441