We received a question from a reader who asked:
- In one tape I was listening to William Branham said to Charlie Cox (I think it was):
- "...and some of you old-timers remember we were renting the Redmond Hall in 1933 when I gave these prophesies".
- If he didn't give them in 1933, why didn't someone raise their hand or say something about it at that time?
This is a very good question.
When individuals are affected by herd mentality, they may make different decisions than they would have individually. The concept of the spiral of silence was developed by Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann. Because individuals have a fear of isolation within their group (which would include a church), they may remain silent instead of disagreeing with their leader or voicing an opinion which disagrees with the majority.
We understand from the testimony of Sylvia Perkins that disagreement with William Branham was not tolerated in the Branham Tabernacle. This is a clear example of the spiral of silence at work within the message. If William Branham said something that someone in the church disagreed with, they were ridiculed and either kept quiet or would leave the church. As a result, there was no one in the church that disagreed with Wiliam Branham.
- “People would rather live in a community with unreasonable claims, than face loneliness with their truth”
This is understandable from a psychological standpoint. Individuals' within Branham Tabernacle had an inherent desire to be good members of the church. The fear of social isolation is necessary for the spiral to occur. Individuals who are subject to ridicule or intolerance will be inclined to maintain silence when expressing their opinions in public.
The result is a spiral process that prompts any other individuals who might have also disagreed with William Branham to follow suit and remain silent. The end result is that support for William Branham was maintained even when he was wrong and those who might have disagreed simply left the church.
Over time, the only people left in the church were those who supported William Branham without any reservation and would not tolerate any disagreement.
The fear of isolation is the centrifugal force that accelerates the spiral of silence. Essentially, people fear becoming socially isolated and thus take measures to avoid such a consequence. People feel more comfortable by simply remaining silent even when they know that statements were made by William Branham that they know are wrong.
- “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”
Quotes of William Branham
William Branham stated that the visions were written down on paper but, surprisingly, the paper was lost (or more likely never existed). How would such a document be allowed to disappear if it did exist? If publishing the original paper would show that the visions were false or had been changed, one could understand why Billy Paul might have "lost" the document. However, we think the most logical explanation is that it never existed.
- But the Lord showed me a vision of the great powerful woman, in ’33, 1933, it’s on paper. Of how that “Roosevelt would cause…he helped cause the world to go to war.” How that “Mussolini would make his first invasion to Ethiopia and he would take it, but he would come to a disgraceful end.” And how that “Then the three ism: Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, would all wind up in Communism.” And how many in here remembers me just keep…have you stand, and say it over, I’d tell you, “Watch Russia! Watch Russia, the king of the North! Watch Russia, king of the North! Watch Russia, king of the North!”? How many has heard me just say, just wave that over, over? The old-timers, you see, back in the early part of the church. Just stand there and wave it over and over, “Watch Russia, the king of the North! See, what he would do, for all those isms will heap up into Russia.”
William Branham stated that the visions were in print and had been circulated around the world when this was not true. We have been unable to locate any such printed document of the seven visions of 1933 that existed prior to William Branham's death.
- Now listen. To you old-timers here in the—in the church, that’s been here for a long time, I want you to notice something. I never learned this until yesterday; I picked it up from historian, Paul Boyd, and then…And I’ve traced it back through the Scriptures, picked up these other dates here, and so forth, and got it, and run it, traced it through.
- Now, in 1933, when we were worshipping over here in the Masonic temple, where the church of Christ stands today. On one April morning, before leaving home… I was dedicating my car. I got a ’33 model car, and I was dedicating it to the Lord’s service. And in a vision, I saw the end time. Now notice how striking this is, back yonder when I was just a boy. And you can imagine what a 1933 model car looked like, now, what it looked like. And I went over there to the Masonic temple, where… Some of you old-timers in here remembers. It’s wrote down on old paper, at home. It’s already in print and went out around the world. See? That was in 1933. And I predicted that there would be some great tragedy happen to this United States before or by the year of 1977. How many remembers me saying that? [The old-timers say, “Amen.”—Ed.] Look at the hand. Sure.
William Branham refers to the old-timers remembering things but the facts are that we have proof that William Branham simply made up these stories and no one had the nerve to disagree with him:
- When He appeared down there on the river, thirty-three years ago this coming June, in the form of a Light! You old-timers remember that I told you, since a little boy, that Voice and that Light. And people thought, just kind of a little bit off at the head. Course, I would have probably thought the same thing, somebody said it. But now you don’t have to wonder about It now. And the Church hasn’t wondered since 1933, down on the river that day, where I was baptizing hundreds of people!
The fact that there was someone who William Branham said remembered things does not prove that they actually remembered it:
- And now I have predicted by revelation from God, or a vision in 1933, that seven things would happen before the end time. And that, one of them, that, “Mussolini, who was then becoming dictator, he would become dictator; and also, he would make an invasion and go down to Ethiopia and would take Ethiopia; and the Spirit, It said, ‘he shall fall at his step.’”
- I wonder if there is any of the old-timers still left in the tabernacle, remember me saying that in the Redman’s Hall down here when we preached, many, many years ago. Is there one in the building, tonight, that’s left from down there at the old Redman’s Hall when I preached that, when they had the N.R.A. out, way back in time of Roosevelt’s first term? I guess there is not a one in here. Is there one? Yeah, yeah, one, there is one. Yes, Mrs. Wilson, I remember her. My wife, setting in the back. Two left, out of the old generation of those in that day.
- ↑ Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity
- ↑ Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays
- ↑ William Branham, 60-1211E - The Laodicean Church Age, para. 44
- ↑ William Branham, 61-0806 - The Seventieth Week Of Daniel, para. 199-200
- ↑ William Branham, 63-0319 - The Second Seal, para. 80
- ↑ William Branham, 64-0726E - Broken Cisterns, para. 50-51