B J Kotwall
(Investigator 43, 1995 July)
For 88 years,
from 1904 to
1992, The Watchtower
Society (WTS) discouraged higher education:
"Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them 'brainwash' you with the Devil's propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. The world has very little time left! Any 'future' this world offers is no future… Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal. This is a life that offers an everlasting future!" (The Watchtower1969 March 15 p. 17)
"Therefore as a
person, you will never
fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school
thinking about a college career, it means at least four, perhaps even
or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where
this system of things be by that time? It will be well on its way
its finish, if not actually gone."
out of school…are
finding that they cannot obtain the kind of employment they had
anticipated…an increasing number of (school) graduates are heading back
rather than to the workplace. Indeed the rewards seem attractive…
graduates receive degrees that can open the door to employment
All Christians therefore, are keenly interested in education."
Nowhere in these 1992 & 1994 articles is acknowledgment or apology made for having previously misguided youngsters and lured them away from higher education with false predictions. Around 1970 the WTS was predicting the end of the world in about 1975 – which obviously failed! (Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Statistical Survey 1992 p. 201)
Why has the WTS made this turnabout on higher education?
My guess is that it’s a part of the process of easing over predictions for the 1914 generation which has all but passed away without Armageddon in sight. (J Ws: A Statistical Survey, pp. 199, 201, 213.)
There is also the predictions of Armageddon "within our twentieth century". (The Nations Shall Know... 1971 p. 216)
Opposition to higher education was in part a consequence of such prophecies. Getting the "higher education" fiasco out of the way might make future prophetic adjustments less embarrassing and condemnatory for the WTS.
all of the
students have become agnostics or infidels."
into many books which do not issue forth through
Jehovah’s Theocratic Organization, has merely wearied mankind…"
or university would be a waste of precious time that
could be used to aid honest hearted ones to gain accurate knowledge…"
to a constant onslaught of ungodly ideas at college
while separated from other Christians."