more of the same
What do you think the Society's future holds?
From what I've seen in Psych, there are strong arguments for a fast decline once the child abuse thing really hits the fan, a moderate decline over the years, or as some have said, almost no decline because of the suckers. The WT, I have to admit, seems to be the exception to the rule. I sometimes think they live a charmed life. Very few other religions could even have gotten this far after 125 years of the BS that they have put out.
I think the USA numbers will decline, and soon. I know many people are furious with what they are learning on the Internet, and this country has all the info at its disposal that it needs. The baby boomer generation, where many of the young "1975 or bust" JW's came from, are now approaching their 60's and have no pensions or good jobs. I am in the lead when it comes to this. I'm 56 and now looking to start a new career in psych, network engineering, teaching music, or some business. I should be retiring. Most of my neighbors here in FL that are my age have huge pensions and are DONE working. Some are 50, some are 90. They ALL have LOTS of money. I live with a family member right on the river near enough to the Space Center to see the rockets go up from our dock. Yet I have to find work.
The JW's come in our development once or twice a year. Maybe one house takes a magazine to be polite. I told the whole association (25 homes) what happened to my child and they were disgusted. The JW's won't ever place another magazine in here again. So the word is getting out. One person at a time, but it's getting out there.
I truly believe that it will take a dramatic national event to severely hurt them. Someone MUST get on TV with a book, his/her story, or something. I wouldn't recommend this, but even if some poor teenager who had been molested and DF'd for "allowing" it, and this happens by the way, were to climb the Brooklyn Bridge and threaten to jump and keep NYC in the news and on TV for an entire day, THAT might attract some attention. And if they jumped, it would attract more. After all, there have been suicides due to molestation. But they don't happen in a dramatic way and they are not seen by millions.
In Florida, they publish for free, a newspaper listing the child molesters that are caught each month. They include their picture, address, description, age, where they live and work, and what exactly they did to the child. There are many guns down here and thousands carry. So you can put 2 and 2 together and see what might happen on occasion. This also makes the news, but is not the answer.
Aside from a dynamite book and its author getting on Oprah, I think the best way is for all of us to email our friends, tell our neighbors, call the local newspaper people, wear Silent Lamb pins, and go door to door (after the JW's have been through, telling the householder not to read that book and why you just visited them). If door to door works for the WT, it should work for us. A grassroots movement would be very effective, I believe. It's cheap, easy, and relentless. The WT can't stop it. If you see JW's go down your street, wait ten minutes and visit the same houses. Chances are, the people know you better since you live there and wouldn't most people prefer to see you visit and help them dispose of the magazines while telling them of the child abuse and lies, than have the JW's make a return visit and annoy them further? In any case, we can all only hope and do our best.
Sadly, I can't see anything but a long slow decline. Here's why: Take a ruler and put it across the graph provided that shows the percentage
of yearly growth. Put it between about 1984 and 2006 - and what do you see? An almost straight line! What bothers me about this is that
such a straight line manifests no effect from internet exposure. If the internet was a major factor in disaffiliation, statistically, you should see
a new trend start in the '90's when internet use started to explode. The same goes for child abuse, etc.
I support internet exposure as a means of getting to those Witnesses who still have thinking ability. The rest are ignorant zombies
and can only "leave" by dying off. They live and die in self imposed isolation, regardless of logic or facts.
Feel free to disagree .... and analyse
I think the internet is useful to people who are starting to look into the religion and people who have already decided there is something wrong about it. The typical active JW would not dream of looking at a website like this, and would unfortunately think it was all just 'apostate'.
Personally this website was my lifeline when I was taking my first few steps out of the org. I remember looking at it guiltily, heart in my mouth while I discovered things I thought must be lies!
As to the future of the org.. it's in decline, but it's a slow process. The main growth is still in developing lands, most places in US and Europe are now in the negatives. Which when you consider just population growth means many are 'falling away' My old cong, most are in their 50s and 60s, there are young families, but few are elders and servants and most have irregular meeting attendance to say the least!
My mum (who is one of the die hard faithful) this week shocked me to the core when discussing the popes comments, she did not even mention the impact on world religion... previously it would have been "this could be the start of the end!!" I think even she realises we've cried wolf too many times.
Time will tell. Keep watching the news......more interesting information is S-L-O-W-L-Y being released.
Would you also apply this "business" rationale to the radical Muslims who are killing people today in the name of "jihad"? Seems to me we are experiencing an increase in these religious murderers, not a lessening, as your "slow and low growth" business model would seem to indicate.
Think of it this way. JW's are more like a Fast Food product, you can take them or leave them and unless you update your advertising, your going to loss future growth when your regular customer burn out and no one is their to replace the. Muslims, are different, they are like a pharmaceutical company. In that they get people addicted, make them think they will die without it (and in some cases they will) and they are always raising the price and interest with extreme measures that get everyone's attention (9/11).
So, yes I do still see all religion as business. Just some have a different product then others.
I will say this: for a faster decline you need open trouble/fighting in the leadership. If you examine congregations that collapsed, you can see
this pattern. Witnesses are schooled in blind collective obedience. Cut the snake's head and the body suffers.