(Investigator 134, 2010
would you regard
someone who achieves a Masters in Science but
never uses it to improve society, instead employs his great education
to persuade people of the imminent end of the world and teenagers to
drop out of high school?
Barry (1916-1999) who served on the Governing
Body of Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) from 1974 to 1999 was such a man.
Barry, joined the Russellites in 1909 — the
Russellites are the cult which, via numerous doctrinal revisions,
became JWs in 1931.
Barry won a
university entrance scholarship and combined
door-knocking with obtaining a Masters degree in science. In January
1939 with Armageddon anticipated within months he opted for full time
ministry at the JW Australian headquarters.
"months" away we see from the phrase: "the
remaining months before Armageddon." (The Watchtower 1941, September
15, p. 288)
spent five months
in prison for refusing military service after
which, in 1942, he married "Melba" who worked at the cult's Sydney
headquarters. Next he special-pioneered (i.e. went full-time door to
door) in Wagga-Wagga (NSW). After that he was a circuit servant (a
special representative who visited congregations) in Sydney (1947);
then attended Gilead Missionary School in the USA; followed by circuit
servant duties in California.
November 1949 Barry
was assigned to Japan as a missionary, became "branch servant" in Tokyo
(1952-1974), and "zone servant" to the
Organization's Far East branches in 1956. He moved to Brooklyn and
became a Governing Body member in 1974.
in 1983 and addressed a national hook-up of JW
Assembly Halls. His statements included:
in 1914 and who have been aware of the great events — their
numbers are dwindling. [Matthew 24:34 was here quoted]
that generation of 1914. There are still tens of
millions living today. No one knows the day or the hour, but it's very
close. "Armageddon is very close indeed.
such a mess of government.
organization has a representative body — the remnant… we
would have expected that the nations would gladly accept the Kingdom.
particularly the Communist elements have a great
deal of power in the UN; These are getting ready to oust the Roman
Catholic Church … and all religion; That's what we can look forward to
the very near future.
to teach something different, to muddy up the
body of truth revealed during the past 100 years. So we'll flee from
anyone who tries to tell us otherwise.
to go to college or university. Is that the way
true Christians ought to go? This system has very few years to go! The
Kingdom ought to be proclaimed! Get into some activity that brings
honor to Jehovah's name! Do your ten years at school, then take up
full-time service. The Kingdom preaching must be a first among
people. Remember the book You Can Live Forever In Paradise on Earth.
What a beautiful book that is!
expanding so fast we cannot keep up. People are
just flocking into the truth! [Expansion in Brazil was here cited] All
over the world people are flocking to the truth.
are now labelled the second largest religion in
Italy. And that's the way it will keep going. Some day they will be the
largest whether the Roman Catholic Church likes it or not.
happy the end did not come in 1975. 40,000 have
been added since then.
you have to meet the challenge of these last days.
"God's people must get out of Babylon the Great and have no more
contact with her.
will keep gaining impetus right up until
the Battle of Armageddon."
referred to was standard JW doctrine. It was
exposed as a false prophecy in 1995 when the JW Governing Body revised
the definition of "generation". Previously the maximum length was
interpreted as 80 years but in 1995 this no longer fitted with 1914.
"radical...Communist elements" in the UN "getting
ready to oust ... all religion ... in the very near future" was also
standard JW doctrine. Communism was supposedly the Book of Daniel's
"king of the north" (ch.11) and would continue in power until
Armageddon. This is expounded in the book Your Will (1958) but
comments in his 1983 address, was also standard
JW doctrine. For example, Awake! magazine in 1969 said:
young person, you also need to face the fact that you will
never grow old in this present system of things. Why not?
all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this
corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that
observed the beginning of the "last days" in 1914, Jesus foretold:
"This generation will by no means pass away until all these things
of 1969 who "will never fulfill any career"
are now nearing retirement!
as a young
person, you will never fulfill any career that
this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a
college education, it means at least four, perhaps six or eight more
years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system
of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its
finish, if not actually gone! (May 22, page 15)
comment about the
Japanese being "happy the end did not come in
1975" was nonsense. When Armageddon in the "mid 1970s" failed to take
place as predicted, about 20% of JWs deserted the sect in five years.
Such extensive "voting with your feet" suggests anger and resentment,
about Mr Barry's
instruction to "flee from anyone who ... muddies up
the body of truth revealed during the past 100 years"?
of major changes
in doctrine and prophecy followed 1983 — thus
the JW leaders themselves "muddied up the body of truth". But most JWs
did not "flee" — not even Barry although he advised it.
authored the JW
books Good News to Make You Happy (1976) and Let
Your Kingdom Come (1981). In Chapter 12 of Let Your Kingdom Come
Barry claims that Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 24 has "A Twofold
Fulfillment", the first fulfilment climaxing in 70AD and the second
within one generation from 1914.
problem with this
"twofold fulfillment" scenario is that Jesus
didn't mention it, and every Russellite/JW end-of-the-world prediction
based on it has failed. The main failures were in the 1870s, 1910-1918,
1925, the 1940s, 1975, "this generation", and "within our twentieth
died in Hawaii in
July 1999 after collapsing while giving a
him as one of the 144,000 who in JW theology
go to heaven at death. JWs also believe that the 144,000 in heaven:
"…may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today."
(Revelation Its Grand Climax At Hand! 1988, 125)
however, recognized Barry as a "communicator of
divine truths" when he lived on Earth, and we have no evidence of him
communicating any after he died.
His was a
wasted life — wasted to
glorify an organization that thrives on false predictions.
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