Will Embracing the Internet lead to Increased Growth for the Watchtower?

by jwfacts 74 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    More important than the reduction in the size of the new magazine is that the Watchtower will be actively promoting its website and encouraging people use it to download magazines. My concern is that this has the potential to lead to an increase in growth for the Watchtower.

    The door-to-door preaching work has been one of the most inefficient means imaginable to gain converts, and done little more than tie up the time of active JWs. Now, by directing people to the internet, Witnesses can spread their message at an alarming rate for little cost.

    Do you feel that this has the potential to lead to a surge in growth of Jehovah's Witnesses?

    On the one hand, I think it will lead to people becoming more aware of Witnesses and the Watchtower message.

    On the other hand, converting someone from being a virtual browser to a meeting attendee will still be a huge step.

    I cannot decide what the outcome will be. When I see JWs adding comments online, such as at Yahoo Answers, most come across as imbeciles, and do little to enhance the image of the Wachtower. Also, anyone researching JWs on the internet is also likely to be researching other religions, and with a weight of evidence at their finger tips would be unlikely to embrace the Watchtower religion. However, I cannot help but worry that the huge marketing potential at their fingertips will potentially lead to increase.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I think it's a hail mary pass. If people wanted to know about the religion, there is plenty of info out there for them.

    What I do think is that most dubs will consider this, an "ok" to surf the devils internet. I saw this years ago when they would vilanize the VCR, and then they started distributing VCR tapes of the organization. Whoever made this decision likely feels that they are progressing with technology, but I do feel it will unravel on them in a very negative way

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I can see them trying to direct JWs to their site but nort new people. That is the last place they want them to go.

    The study program is how they indoctrinate people. They simply don't have the control if people can just go click on the iunternet and find out places liek this website and so many others that expose them.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    No. Information Control goes right out the window with the Internet.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the GB session where the idea of the internet being their salvation was floated.

    "Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea..."


    I think it's a risk but it looks as though they are desperate enough to take one.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    How has the Internet helped any religions? Hasn't Scientology spent time and money with little return?

    WT is late to the Internet game. Do they really think they're going to become the Wikipedia of Internet religions? What do they have to offer that will attract attention to their one, single official website? There are far more websites revealing their lies.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    yea it's going to be too easy to click on the other websites that google brings up

  • Phizzy

    They have some crafty writers who can make it sound credible, but marketing your brand of whatever is a about a lot more than a good bit of prose.

    They have no on-board marketing skills, and will not buy in.

    They are in real danger of it biting them in he bum by existing members clicking on to another informative site, like this one by mistake.

    They are trying to cut costs with this, so will not really spend what is needed to market properly, i.e Billboards T.V etc to generate interest in the site.

    It will not gain them many converts, if any.

  • mP

    Religion is dying, i dont think anyone would join a different or new religion because they believe, they go for a sense of community first and foremost. My comments apply only for western countries in other places like the Middle East, and so on, you dont even get a choice.

    Why would anybody join the JW today, its not a fun place and there are lot of dumb rules that are a pain in the arse. Anyone looking on the internet will also notice that the JW lie about their past and that their extraordinary claims and research are mostly wrong. Im guessing that other people know other religions do make mistakes but at least they accept their mistakes because that religion and its leaders are more humble and dont pretend to be literally speaking the message straight from God. They accept their religion as trying to teach you good and thats good enuff for them..

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I agree mP. Religion is dying in the sense of everyone in the same neighborhood going to the same church. It's been a long time since an entire neighborhood was catholic, or Lutheran. I remember the last days of going out in service back in 2004, people were like "yes I am religious in my way, why are u here?"

  • GromitSK

    I wish the Internet had been around when I felt the cold embrace of their tentacles I can tell you. Lol

    It will probably work for those who are prepared to accept their message uncritically but for anyone with even a modest inclination to do some research I suspect it will be a big problem for them. Apropos the remark made earlier about google - once those already in are advised to make more use of the Internet who knows what they will dig up unless theY also produce some type of JWnetnanny.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    My take is that the only reason they are directing Witnesses to the internet is so they will print out their own copies of the WT (and KM, until they get the bright idea to include the KM in the last 4 pages of the study WT). It's all driven by cost. I think the Society is really hurting for cash.

  • ScenicViewer

    Watchtower's use of the internet to gain growth may backfire.

    For Witnesses that are already internet savvy, I feel that many of them will take the change as a sign that the internet is ok after all, and begin searching religious sites other than the Society's official website. As a result they will be exposed to sites like JWN, JWfacts, Freeminds, and others, and learn a lot about Watchtower that they never knew.

    For the Witnesses that have held back from using the internet because the Society has demonized it, they will embrace it to view the Society's literature online, and they too will come across information that will open some of their eyes.

    Watchtower is of course very crafty and controlling; it will use the internet to it's advantage, but at the same time try to keep opposing information from the eyes of it's dedicated followers and newly interested people, a very difficult task. The Society is at a cross roads: it can't beat the internet, so it will try to join it, and the result of joining may be even worse than before.

    (This reminds me of the mid-90s when a College education was given the ok, but several years later was banned again because of negative results for the organization.)

  • jwfacts

    Thanks for the comments. Each comment has really been spot on. I am glad the rest of you are skeptical of any benefits to Watchtower growth. A couple of comments worth expanding on.

    dropoffyourkeylee - My take is that the only reason they are directing Witnesses to the internet is so they will print out their own copies of the WT

    Yes, maybe this is only to save money, and not something they will market beyond active JWs.

    Phizzy - They have some crafty writers who can make it sound credible, but marketing your brand of whatever is a about a lot more than a good bit of prose.

    That is part of my concern. The watchtower site does present well and not as in your face as many Christian sites.

    MP - Religion is dying

    Overall the internet is not helping religion. Most that research are going to come to an understanding of the commonality of religion and that religion is a product of your birthplace, not that it is the true one. Genesis is easily proven to be mythology. The internet does not necessarily destroy a persons spirituality, but does affect the dominance of accepting a single organisation as the one God is using.

    Billy - How has the Internet helped any religions?

    I look at Camping, and how the internet made him incredibly famous. However, did that translate to long term followers and lots of money. Not really. The internet creates flash-in-the-pan fame, but probably not long term sustainable growth.

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    In my mind someone ‘taking in knowledge of the WT’ via the internet will be like walking through a field of land minds. Chances are real slim that WT will realize any sort of growth due to the vast amount of anti JW material that newly interested ones will come across as they navigate their way to the JW.Org site. JWN, Youtube and other such ‘land minds’ are gonna kill the chances for sure of any new JW converts. Yepeeee! Yahoooooo!

  • metatron

    This a powerful example of 'deceivers being deceived'!

    How many times have we seen or heard of wishful thinking being substituted for solid, critical thinking abilities in this dull witted organization?

    'no more subscriptions so they'll have to pick up the magazines at the Kingdom Hall .....AND that'll increase meeting attendance!'

    'the voluntary donation arrangement will increase donations because publishers and the public will both contribute'

    Funny isn't it, how until recently they demonized the internet - and now think of it as their salvation.


  • thetrueone

    In my opinion encouraging the use of the inter-net is going to create more situations where people will stumble upon

    informative web site such as this one, of the WTS's fraudulent commercialized doctrines.

    They might be shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.

    Playing with fire might be the appropriate phrase.

  • Quandry

    For the Witnesses that have held back from using the internet because the Society has demonized it, they will embrace it to view the Society's literature online, and they too will come across information that will open some of their eyes.

    Ed: "Whao, Martha, what is this? When I touched the keys for the Watchtower Society website to gain some healthful spiritual food at the proper time, many non-authorized sites appeared along with the faithful slave's site. How can this be?"

    Martha: "Ed, can it be that Satan the Devil has infected our internet? No wonder the slave told us that the internet could be bad. We must not touch the unclean thing...but wait....there are so many.....how can it be? What could they possibly say against the Organization? Click on this one, Ed."

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    As long as schools avoid the uncomfortable topic of how to recognise high control groups, the internet will be a prime source of new recruits.

    I wouldn't think that anyone would fall for this guy, but he's probably growing faster than the WT.


    Camping is another example.

    If they get good advice on window dressing, the website would look as harmless as an Awake! does to anyone with compromised critical thinking ability.

    What I don't see it doing, is increasing the 'quality' of the overall membership.

  • Gayle

    For non-JWs using the Internet, creates in a person to be a researcher, an investigator. One can go on and on researching everything. Ones research products they are considering to buy. They don't check just one spot, they can go on thoroughly with this search. If buying a product, they want to know what dissatisfied customers are saying also in their research.

    Checking sites to get criticism or counter thoughts, people (non-JWs) do not fear.

    So glad, JWfacts.com is on the Internet. Your site is so non-complex, not negative, giving facts. Things are laid out so clear and precise. Not dozens of pages for a basic point. Valuable info for the investigator sort.

    Thank you for all your work!

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