Famine – 1975! and Paddocks

Autor: Włodzimierz Bednarski

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A tried-and-tested source quoted by The Watchtower Society to prove that life in 1975 will be terrible and even impossible, was a book Famine - 1975! We could be spared of incoming famine in 1975 only due to Armageddon and the dawn of a happy millennium. When the book was published in 1967, it coincided with the 1975 campaign started in 1966 among Jehovah’s Witnesses. And it is not clear if The Watchtower Society expected in 1975 the Armageddon or a foretold famine.

Raymond Franz (1922-2010) former member of Governing Body Jehovah’s Witnesses (1971-1980) also claims that before 1975 in the context of famine “The book Famine—1975!, published in 1967 by two food experts, was quoted repeatedly, particularly these statements, in many ways reminiscent of Russell’s predictions regarding 1914” (Crisis of Conscience, R. Franz, 2004, p. 243).

Let us directly quote words of former presidents of The Watchtower Society, to show what R. Franz meant by his reference C. T. Russell (who died in 1916).

1914 1975
Words of Charles T. Russell (d 1916) of 1905:
“Our cities are not now in that condition with great supplies laid up; we live from hand to mouth. When anarchy comes it will bring terrible conditions, and I do not see how it could possibly last long. Things, I think, will come to an abrupt end within a year. In those times, when people are laying their hands on everything they can get, the farmers are not going to raise wheat for others just to give it away” (What Pastor Russell Said. His answer to hundreds of questions 1917, p. 71).
Words of Frederick W. Franz (d 1992) of 1975:
He stressed that, according to dependable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end this coming September according to the lunar calendar. This coincides with a time when “the human species [is] about to starve itself to death,” as well as its being faced with poisoning by pollution and destruction by nuclear weapons. (The Watchtower May 1, 1975, p. 285).

In Watchtower magazines, in books and in Awake! magazines of 1967-1975 we found more than 15 references to the work Famine - 1975!

We quote several examples of such statements from those publications:

In the book Famine - 1975! food experts W. and P. Paddock state:

"By 1975 a disaster of unprecedented magnitude will face the world. Famines, greater than any in history, will ravage the undeveloped nations!”

"I forecast a specific date, 1975, when the new crisis will be upon us in all its awesome importance."

"By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations." (Awake! October 8, 1968, p. 15);

In their new book, Famine - 1975!, two noted food experts, William and Paul Paddock, make this forecast for the future, on page 61: “By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations - all because hunger will turn inexorably into starvation and starvation will become widespread famine.” (The Watchtower April 15, 1968, p. 227);

More recently, the book entitled ”Famine - 1975!” by William and Paul Paddock said concerning today’s food shortages, on pages 52, 55 and 61: ”Hunger is rampant throughout country after country, continent after continent around the undeveloped belt of the tropics and subtropics. Today’s crisis can move in only one direction - toward catastrophe. Today hungry nations; tomorrow starving nations. . . . By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations.” (The Watchtower February 1, 1969, p. 70).

Other magazines quoting Famine – 1975!:

The Watchtower May 1, 1970, p. 270;

Awake! September 8, 1967, p. 29;

Awake! September 22, 1968, p. 29;

Awake! January 22, 1970, p. 6;

Awake! July 22, 1972, p. 12;

Awake! June 22, 1973, p. 3;

Awake! July 8, 1973, p. 29;

Awake! September 22, 1973, p. 29;

Awake! October 8, 1973, p. 5;

Awake! December 22, 1974, p. 29;

Awake! February 22, 1975, p. 29.

And the book:

More recently, the book entitled ”Famine - 1975!” said concerning today’s food shortages: ”(...) Today’s crisis can move in only direction - toward catastrophe. Today hungry nations; tomorrow starving nations.”

”By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations.” (The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life 1968, pp. 88-89).

Interestingly, the newer, 1981 edition of the book completely omits the above words from the work Famine - 1975!

Besides, The Watchtower Society both quoted others and gave its own comments on the situation concerning famine:

World famine is predicted for the year 1975. (The Watchtower December 15, 1968, p. 753);

Warnings of world famine within a few years are not without valid foundation. (The Watchtower October 15, 1970, p. 618).

In another statement on 1975, Vice President of The Watchtower Society, Frederick W. Franz (died in 1992) referred to possibility of ‘starvation to death’:

He stressed that, according to dependable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end this coming September according to the lunar calendar. This coincides with a time when “the human species [is] about to starve itself to death,” as well as its being faced with poisoning by pollution and destruction by nuclear weapons. (The Watchtower May 1, 1975, p. 285).

As a kind of curiosity we may quote a statement of The Watchtower Society of those days, about the disappearance of famine problem in God’s Kingdom:

Well, since the earth has over 36,000,000,000 acres, there would be more than an acre and a half of land for each person! But would an acre and a half be enough to produce the needed food? There is good reason to believe that only a fraction of that acre and a half per person would be needed for food, leaving room for recreation areas and sanctuaries for animal and plant life. (Awake! October 8, 1970, p. 19).

Later The Watchtower suggested even lesser allotment for everybody: “c. 0.37 ha” (Reasoning from the Scriptures 1989, p. 340).

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Opracował: Piotr Andryszczak
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