Tuesday, June 5, 2018

HWA on the Illustrations of "1975 in Prophecy"

The illustrations be Basil Wolverton which were used in HWA's infamous booklet, 1975 in Prophecy, were first published for a series of articles by HWA which were printed in the following issues of his recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth.
In the first issue it was entitled "Catastrophic Events Soon to Bring End of the World!" In the second issue the title was ever so slightly changed to "Catastrophic Events Soon to Bring End of This Age!" In the latter two issues it was entitled "Now Revealed—The Book of Revelation." It was sometimes referred to as "Key to Revelation" in the later two issues. The narrative was later published in 1956 as a separate booklet entitled, "1975 in Prophecy."

After publishing those articles he wrote another article entitled "Yes, I Know These Pictures are Terrifying!" in the February-March 1955 issue of his recruitment magazine (pp. 3-4, 13-14). He says the following words praising the graphic nature of Basil Wolverton's illustrations.
When America’s large-circulation national magazines wish to portray the most gruesome pictures, they call on Basil Wolverton to produce them. He has contributed and sold his work to more than fifty national magazines. Life Magazine has devoted, in different issues, whole sections to his pictures. Pageant has, on many occasions, published several-page sections of his work. Time has written him up and reproduced his work. 
Basil Wolverton is one of many hundreds converted as a result of The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast. So, in this life-and-death emergency, I asked him to collaborate with me in proclaiming God’s warning in such a manner that people will really SEE what is now coming on the world. Mr. Wolverton has given understanding of these sure prophecies. [Sic.] He has responded to my request with his whole heart. God has given him great skill in portraying God’s prophecies in almost living REALISM in all their literal horror. 
Never before has Basil Wolverton produced MASTERPIECES such as he has created for The PLAIN TRUTH. He has devoted far more time and zealous effort, brought out more vivid detail, in these pictures than any produced for the great popular magazines of this world. And in sending the first original sketches to us, his attached note said: “After contributing and selling to more than fifty different national magazines in past years, I’m proud to have something published in The PLAIN TRUTH. Looks as though I had all that practice and experience just for this.” Yes, God prepares His servants, in advance, for the work to which He calls them! 
So that is how these outstanding pictures came about. They have been appealing, now, for several months in The PLAIN TRUTH. (pp. 4, 13.)
At the time of its initial publication some readers complained about the illustrations. HWA was not interested in such complaints. HWA got in a huff about it.
Some few have written me gripes and criticisms. Some few have not wanted to SEE such realistic pictures of WHAT’S COMING IN REAL LIFE! Some few have threatened to stop reading The PLAIN TRUTH, unless I stop publishing such realistic pictures! Some don’t want their children to see such pictures!  
Yes, I KNOW these pictures are terrifying-revolting!  
THAT’S WHY WE ARE PUBLISHING THEM! Better show your children what’s coming-better WAKE THEM up-and teach them how to SEEK GOD and His divine protection. Better explain to them that these horrible conditions NEED NOT ever strike them-that they MAY be taken on a flight to a place of SAFETY, where they need never SEE such terrifying scenes in real life. (p. 14.)
It is seen that HWA seemed utterly unconcerned with parents wanting to protect their children from seeing something distressing in his recruitment magazine.

HWA knew that most people who read his recruitment magazine would not be converted to join his following. This simple fact is hysterically portrayed as heartbreaking.
Finally, let’s be realistic! I know that regardless of HOW PLAIN I can make it, most people will never take the warning seriously. Heartbreaking as the realization is, it just simply isn’t in my power to save ALL of you. That knowledge makes me heartsick! (p. 14.)
Some of Basil Wolverton's illustrations that were later used for HWA's booklet, 1975 in Prophecy, also appear in the following issues.
In 1956 Basil Wolverton's illustrations were included in HWA's booklet, 1975 in Prophecy. The narrative in that booklets is quite different from the articles that the illustrations were originally placed in.

At the time this booklet was a major recruitment tool used by HWA's organization. Although he presented no "reasoning" to justify believing that Christ would return in 1975 in that booklet other writings by himself and Herman Hoeh show that he began teaching that Christ would return in 1975 from 1953 onward. Today it is an embarrassing piece of evidence that HWA was but a false prophet. There is no need to fear the dire predictions of HWA or any of his imitators.

(Incidentally PCG often cites this booklet in their writings but often refuse to mention the booklet by name. Instead they often euphemistically state that HWA wrote those quoted words in 1956. There are a few exceptions but they are just exceptions that prove the rule. If HWA's predictions are so sure and reliable why are PCG's leaders so embarrassed at his booklet's title?)

(Update: June 5: This post has been rewritten to reflect the fact that the text of "1975 in Prophecy" is quite different from the articles that the illustrations first appeared in. Also the title of the second article in the October 1954 issue has been added in.)


  1. In one issue, "Yes, I know these pictures are terrifying" was followed by "Should women preach?" -- one extreme to another.
    And just today, Bob Thiel, who continually warns about the fall of the USA and "Anglo-allies" is worried about Homeland Security being concerned with blogs and such... and the impending "famine of the word".

    1. Bob Thiel creates controversy that cannot be construed as 'prophecy' so that he doesn't get labeled as a false prophet. The guy is full of crap. With his approach he won't be around for long.

  2. As a child, seeing this stuff, I had many questions. Like, “Why did I have to be born?” “Why was I chosen to know this abominable crap?” “Why does this have to happen in my lifetime?”

    And, much of it came back today. One of my printing customers was printing Watch Towers, which were being bound on my equipment, and there were posed pictures throughout the magazine of people fleeing carnage in the streets. It was an issue devoted to endtimes prophecy.
    Actually, we know that the JWs also preached that the end would come in 1975, so nothing that have to say should concern us. With false dates, God says one strike and you are out.


  3. Thanks for the great comments everyone!

    I have had to update this article slightly. When I first posted I though the first four articles were "1975 in Prophecy" published in the magazine. But having read it I now see that those articles are quite different from 1975 in Prophecy. For instance 1975 in Prophecy says the Germans will be the masterminds of America's fall to military defeat. But in the articles under discussion HWA carefully refuse to state his teaching that Germany is, according to him, fated to be the main author of America's military defeat.

    Also it escaped my notice when I first posted this post that the second article had a slightly different title.