if over time the org has transformed into what it is today what do you think it will be in 10,20,50 years time considering they are a multi million/billion org will it even be a religion anymore
i think the present org will evolve into something else over time any ideas
I think it will continue to change, and continue to claim that it holds unquestionable truth. I think it will either slowly become more mainstream and less controlling, or lockdown on members even tighter. I am afraid it will be the latter.
On the other hand, it may slowly move to a "spiritual paradise" teaching, and claim that we really have been in the New System ™ since 1975, and that was what they meant all along. Obviously.
I don't think they can change into a mainstream sincere religion because they have been too fanatical for too long to do that eg who pays for the victims of the blood ban once they admit they were in error teaching that doctrine?
But with the wealth they have they can easily close down the JWs as a religious business, and invest in other sectors something they have already done to an extend, though they will lose the free labour asset that the R&F represent being unpaid salesmen for selling their publications. Over a billion free unpaid hours of work per year for the multibillion corporation, that is quite an asset.
I think it will continue to digress farther into the neandrathal state that it's been sliding towards in the last 20 years.
I think it will progress into being more like 7 day adventists. They will ease up on blood and disfellowshipping in order to avoid bad publicity and law suits. Now the Generation teaching has changed they can just state that Jesus started in 1914, and one day the end will come. Very tame but I dont see they have much choice.
We have seen in recent years a watering down of the whole religion. Three day assemblies are now one day. Meetings are shorter. Less hours for regular pioneers. Many laws have now been deemed matter of conscience - Blood, voting.
The books contain more pictures and less study. I hear they have stopped making the bound volumes. Now the Watchtower is a member only magazine and the three scripture door step sermon of years ago, ending with a three book sale, has been replaced with giving out free tracts, which congregations have to pay for.
The attacks on other religions have ceased. The dress code has changed. It will continue on in this way and as the die hard old GB members die off the new breed will continue the dilution . The watchtower will become a monthly members only journal incorporating the Awake and the Kingdom Ministry. As long as the six million members buy this and a few paperback book a year, the Watchtower will continue to make millions and it’s vast wealth can continue to grow tax- free, while it receives donations and legacies from dying Jehovah’s Witnesses hoping to square things with Jehovah .
One day the Kingdom Halls will be social clubs shared by many congregations who meet once a week. Field service will be a vague memory. There will even be a bar at the back of each hall. At this point I will join and buy shares in the Watchtower Society LTD.
In the natural world, it is often the most adaptable species who survive. I think the organization is too rigid to adapt.
I predict the current hardline stance will last a couple more years, followed by slow decline and finally fracture with breakaway groups both liberal and hardline.
Interesting viewpoint Trevor.
They transform all the time, that is the biggest problem with them. Especially since their people do not notice it, until their leave. They will last several more decades. In time though, I think they will become more and more mainstream religion, as the diehards die off and are not their to keep them so extreme.
Actually they will stay basically as is for about three more years because behind the scenes will be the secretive anti-form Service Department operatives (Jaracz heads them up now) and out in the congregations those they have trained to spy on, control, sift out and punish.
Eventually, perhaps as soon as within five years from now, some of their behind the scenes doings will come to light resulting in horrible press and prison time after which some congregations will dissolve into non-existence.
A few though will become small splinter groups that will try to exist separately but within a year or two amalgamate into fairly good-sized federated (semi-autonomous) groups. They will make use of the internet for this.
Those new groups in turn will try to grow again, splinter, grow, etc etc, some for the better, others for the worst.
But about five years farther in time, the splintering or shake-out will basically be at an end. Perhaps some of the main 2-3 survivor groups will have names like Autonomous Witnesses or the Union of Jehovah's Congregations etc. Not those exact names but similar names.
At least most regular members will not be forced to do door-to-door preaching but volunteers will be encouraged to use online and real-world publications to try to draw new members.
Many individuals will quickly (thanks to the internet) affiliate more with the Free Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students or Seventh Day Adventists.
Also many who came from Roman Catholicism or the highly diverse Protestant Churches (moderate Baptists to revved up Pentencostals and Holy Rollers (aka the Free Methodists) will return there.
They will return as simply attenders or, in the case of a few, to form their own churches meeting in homes, in public meeting places and the like.