(Investigator 200, 2021 September)

"Imminent" is a word the Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) leaders employ to remind their followers that Armageddon is too close to pursue "worldly" goals, and the remaining time is best spent in volunteer work for the sect.

The word "imminent" came into regular use after 1950. In the following references "w" refers to The Watchtower:

But now, by occurrence of every detail of the great sign Jesus gave, we know that we face the imminent end of the present world system.
(w1952 December 1, p. 709)

Popular evangelists, in spite of all their Bible quoting and eloquence know nothing ... about God’s kingdom being at hand and Armageddon being imminent.
(w1959 November 15, p. 703)

The … passing away of the present divided world is imminent. (Our Incoming World Government—God's Kingdom 1977, p. 175)

... without question the execution of divine judgment upon apostate Christendom and the rest of Satan’s world is imminent.
(w1984 October 1, p. 11)

Likewise today, most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it. And although their numbers are dwindling, Jesus' words will come true, "this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." This is yet another reason for believing that Jehovah's thief-like day is imminent.
(Awake! 1988, April 8, p. 14)

In their anger Satan and his minions are intent on causing as much woe as possible before their imminent end.
(w1994 February 1, p. 7)

Well, the judgment of all mankind is imminent.
 (w1998 March 1, p. 7)

What must a person do in order to survive the imminent destruction of this world that is lying in Satan's power?
(w2006 May 15, p. 23)

"Imminent" is only one of many stimulating words and phrases that the JW leaders employ to spur their followers to be active.

Some of the other words are:
an early date; a few years; at hand; at the brink; at the threshold; at the very portals; at this late date; comes on apace; draws near; immediately ahead; impending; no further delay; rapidly approaching; short time; time is fast running out; very close; etc.

For extra emotional impact several of these words and phrases may appear in rapid succession as follows:

God will soon destroy all organizations that advocate false religion. Their end is near… It is a fact, not only are the religions of Christendom nearing their end, but also this entire system of things faces imminent destruction at God's hands… Is it not clear that our generation is the one of which the Bible prophecies speak? Can you not see that 1914 marked a turning point…? The Bible answer is that 1914 began "the last days" of this system. The generation of mankind that witnessed those events of nearly fifty-five years ago is now getting old. This means that time is fast running out! This system, and the churches that have long supported it, are rapidly nearing their end… It is, therefore urgent that you now examine whether any religious organization with which you may be associated is approved by God… If you choose to stay with an organization whose ministers reject God's word, then you turn your back on God himself… That destruction is near! Therefore, do not hesitate.
(Awake!1969 April 22, pp 18-19)

The wrongness of the JW predictions that had clear time-limits such as 1925, 1975, "within our twentieth century" and the "generation of 1914" are well known. Less clear time-limits such as "imminent" also become false predictions when the people they were intended to spur live a normal-length life but the predicted "imminent" events, such as Armageddon, fail to occur.

You might suspect from the irresponsible prophesying of the JW leaders that they never heard the story about "the boy who cried wolf". However, that story is mentioned in their own magazine under the heading Why So Many False Alarms? (Awake! 1993, March 22)        

Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: