Why Tracts? And Why Now?

by metatron 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • metatron

    Ah, the poor Watchtower! ( is that literal these days?)

    With their contributions sinking and expenses growing, they may have to further reduce the magazines - perhaps eliminating the Awake

    altogether. With that possibility in mind, they need to bring back tract distribution to get the publishers prepared for a cheaper "ministry".

    By getting them to use cheap tracts, they can pave the way for a further use of their excuse for cutting back and laying off Bethelites,

    namely, "we did it to give more emphasis on the Bible".

    If there is another big cutback, it will involve more pain that they've generated so far with downsizing. Their "ministry" could be reduced

    to an almost 'Mormon-like' level. The really cool thing about it is that, like the fall of Communism, their "preaching" downfall could get ahead

    of the actual loss of belief of their 'flock'.

    and don't ever expect them to be honest enough to admit what Pastor Russell said about finances: that it means Jehovah has lost

    interest in the whole thing. It's going to be interesting to watch.


  • greendawn

    Somehow I doubt that the WTS is really having financial problems due to the fact that they own enormous assets and their overheads are at the end of the day minimal.

    Cutting back on some expenses does not necessarily mean they have financial problems. Unless there is solid evidence to the contrary.

  • Jourles

    From Dec. '04 (pre-Awake cutback announcement):

    Where would I look to slow this revenue drop? The actual printing itself is one major area. If it takes 1,000 hours to produce one convert(increase that time for children of witness parents being baptized), then how many magazines are handed out without asking for a donation for every convert? Our company has already pounded and pounded the idea of the donation arrangement into every service meeting - at least the publishers are supposed to ask for a donation in their demonstrations. Should we cut back on the magazine distribution timeframe? How about combine the WT and Awake into one magazine? Instead of twice a month, how about just once? This alone would cut expenditures on printed materials by almost 50-75%. And the books? Well, we already did away with hardcover and we also cut the physical size of most books to roughly 50% of the older larger ones. Can we take advantage of electronic distribution? Would some witnesses prefer to print out Adobe PDF files of the magazines? Instead of offering the WT and Awakes at the doors, why not switch to using just tracts? Save the magazines for studies and witnesses themselves. Tracts would cost less to produce and effectively carry the same message as the magazines.
  • Jourles
    Cutting back on some expenses does not necessarily mean they have financial problems. Unless there is solid evidence to the contrary.

    I would categorize once-a-month Awakes, half-sized paperback books, selling real estate, heavily denouncing the internet and apostates on the internet, no food service at assemblies, and then combine all of this with the "donation arrangement" and you are looking at a corporation in obvious trouble. If you follow companies with good cash flow, they don't worry about the cost of luxuries. Companies that are faltering and have to answer to shareholders get whipped and beaten until they improve. Unfortunately, the WTS is "privately held" so there is no way to look at their finances. But all of the moves they have made in the last 5 years or so point to trouble. Give them another 5 years and it should be worse.

  • sir82


    Most acknowledge that the society is extraordinarily wealthy, particularly in real estate. Their problem is cash flow--it takes many millions to buy supplies & equipment, feed Bethelites, travel, etc. Contributions are drying up, and having $billions in real estate doesn't help unless they sell something.

    They already sold the 360 Furman building.

    Most of their actions over the past 10 years are consistent with the idea that they are hurting for cash flow.

  • Balsam

    With this tract they are inviting people 100 miles away to attend their talk at a convention. They were placing them at every home which I though was strange. Never in all the years I was a JW did we invite people 100 miles away to district conventions except return visits. This is pretty odd I think. It signals that they are hurting in numbers and money coming in.

  • greendawn

    Sir82, I wish you are right though I would still like to see more solid evidence that this is so. We just don't know what their accounts are like what the cost of keeping Bethelites, missionaries and COs is, and what sort of income they have from their global assets. I understand their solicitors and accountants are JWs that don't charge them for their services.

    Apart from these I can't think of any other big expenses, they don't have a priesthood to pay or charitable expenses for helping JWs in need. And the local dubs cover expenses for assemblies and KHs. And of course the distribution of their products by the R&F is done at zero cost.

  • stillajwexelder

    In fairness to them they are The Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society - but yes tracts are low cost and require very little publisher effort to place them

  • proandcon

    to the pubs...the tract work is pretty easy...dump and run...don't talk to anyone...gotta cover all the territory in s limited time...even the real low hour pubs get somewhat psyched to do this...kinda like a game...we had a service overseer who kep a map of all the territories and colored it in as the area was "worked"...it was planted in the lobby for all to see...real peer pressure tool, especially if you had a terr card for a territiory not yet colored in...and I thaought Jah was color blind...


  • metatron

    Being asset rich and cash poor is not unusual for a religion. The Catholic church has had similar problems , as documented by Nino Lobello

    years ago.

    Publishing large numbers of magazines is a real drain on their wallet. You've got to print tens of millions of them and ship them

    in three issues every month - and that's a lot. Other small religions commonly have trouble with just one magazine of lesser quantity.

    The wonderful thing about the Watchtower is their global pretension. They are stretched paper thin across the globe and are starting to

    suffer imperial overreach.


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