How Many Disfellowshipped Are There In The US?

by Village Idiot 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    I've read in the Watchtower, as well as observed personally, that 1% of the congregation gets disfellowshipped every year. I'm not good at the math but I figure that it's 40% since 1975 (Yes I know, they're growing). I know that quite a few return but still, there must be a large percentage of disfellowshipped JWs who will never return. Many are still mentally in but quite a few remain, out for ever, seeing it for what it is.

    One thing that gives me a clue is my apartment complex. It has 120 some units and a JW manager who, of course, put mostly JWs in. There are 21 buildings of six units each. In there I have counted 1 disfellowshipped person per building! That would make it 16% compared to inactives and active JWs.

    Also, I ask what percentage of a regular congregation is mentally out for sure but are still physically in for obvious reasons.

    In brief, how many disfellowshipped + inactive + active non-believers?

    I ask this question because it seems to me that one of these days (If it hasn't happened yet) disfellowshipped, inactive and mentally out people will outnumber the active Witnesses.

    Any clues or facts?

  • sir82

    In the late 80's a WT article published that there were 40,000 DF'ed worldwide every year.

    The count of JWs has increased roughly 3X since then, so 120,000/year would be a rough estimate.

    Maybe 1/3 ever return after DF.

    So, let's say an average of 80,000 / year for 25 years, 2 million. 1/3 return, so maybe 1.4 million DF'ed & remained out over the past 25 years.

    Very likely at least that many have become inactive in that time frame.

    Throw in kids raised a JWs who never got baptized, but also have left, and you're likely well over 3 million ex-JWs worldwide, just over the past 25 years.

    These of course are completely made up numbers with little more than a tenuous grip on anything real. But I suspect it is in the right order of magnitude.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    sir82, sounds good although I wonder how the US is doing.

    One thing that I didn't think of was Memorial attendance which are double the number of publishers. They are not likely to attract many "worldly" people but do attract the faithful inactives who only visit once a year.

  • OrphanCrow

    Percentages and stats would be hard to come by, VillageIdiot. The WTS publishes numbers but I don't see how they could possibly keep track of the 'fall-aways' and faders and hanger-ons. Disfellowshipped people they can keep stats on (and I don't believe the WTS stats), but the others would be difficult to track.

    I have encountered many ex-JWs in some pretty unexpected places and circumstances. Lots. Some were disfellowshipped, but most were just 'faders'. I have often thought that it is possible that there are far more ex-JWs than there are JWs.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    OrphanCrow, "I have often thought that it is possible that there are far more ex-JWs than there are JWs."

    That's what I'm beginning to think. I'm seeing signs of a hemorrhage in JWdom.

  • OrphanCrow
    Village Idiot:

    I'm seeing signs of a hemorrhage in JWdom

    I think the bleeding has been happening ever since the Tower was established.

    All a person has to do is investigate how many splinter groups there has been over the years. Many of these splinter groups have been recently established.
  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot
    Interesting website OrphanCrow. But I think that those modern day splinter groups are too small to make an impact. The original hemorrhage, back in Rutherford's day was more dramatic. It's what led Rutherford to come up with a different name for those remaining under him.
  • steve2

    During the mid-20s, there was a massive haemorrhaging of Bible Students from the organization, some as far-flung as my country of origin, New Zealand. I think numbers mentioned even in the Watchtower for the memorial showed sharply declining numbers attended the Memorials through the latter 1920s and into the 1930s.

    Of course, building on the old saw, " There's a sucker born every minute", the sheer ferocity of the Witnesses zeal in the 1930s, fanned by Rutherford's red-faced and venomous spit-a-thons, every malcontent with a grievance against life who heard the Judge's rants found a place to call home and joined the swelling ranks of Watchtower drones.

    Splinter groups proliferated, some for decades. In the 1970s and 80s, some of these groups were still publishing literature. What they shared in common was a repudiation of the organization since Rutherford's day and an almost-adoration-like take on the Great White Bearded One, Chuck Russell.

    Wasted lives, both in the organization AND in its white-bearded orbit.

  • Giordano

    Starting in the service year 1960-1961 the peak publishers were 965,169 and there were what the Society called 'Leavers' which totaled 14,233.

    My guess is that these were people who were DFed or faded etc.

    In 1975-76 the increase was 69,134 the Leavers totaled 137, 249..

    Long story short in 2011-12 Peak publishers were 7,782,346. Adding up all of the Leavers from 1960-61 to 2011-12 the leavers totaled, by my count, 4,110,646 so for one reason or another 50% or so have left.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    @ Giordano: " for one reason or another 50% or so have left"

    Just what I'm thinking, "leavers" (fallen out of the truth) make up a substantial number equaling those still in. And I wonder how many undercover apostates are still in.

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