(Investigator 145, 2012 September)

The Weekend Australian reported "the final link to the Great War is broken…The Last of the Last of the War to end all Wars has finally gone." (2011, May 21-22)

110-year-old Claude Choules was on HMS Revenge and witnessed the surrender of the German fleet at the end of World War I. He was Australia's last surviving veteran of that war.

Starting about 1950 Jehovah's Witnesses proclaimed that millions of people who witnessed the outbreak of WWI in 1914, and were old enough to understand what was happening, would live to experience Armageddon followed by paradise on Earth.

In 1968, for example, they wrote:
Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the 'last days' began… Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would make the youngest of 'this generation' nearly 70 years old today… Jesus said that the end of this wicked system would come before that generation passed away in death. (Awake! 1968 October 8 p13)

By the 1970s this prophecy looked shaky but the JW leadership regularly bolstered it by citing statistics of how many people born before 1914 were still alive. The death of Australia's last WWI veteran is another blow against this false religious belief.

But why was the prophecy clarified after 1950 and not earlier?

The cult's previous starting dates for the last generation were 1799, the 1840s and 1878, and it was prudent to let old members die off so that their disappointment didn't infect new 20th century converts.

The phrase "this generation" was rarely mentioned in the publications of the 1920s to 1940s, and when it was mentioned the 19th century starting-dates were omitted. The cult's oldies could therefore assume that "this generation" meant 1878 and newcomers could assume it meant 1914.

By 1950 most of the oldies were dead which made it the right time to clarify the prophecy and link it clearly to 1914.

The newcomers of the 1940s-50s are in their turn now dying out and the interpretation of "this generation" is changing again.

Examine more predictions by "Jehovah's Prophet" on this website:


Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: