Statistical effect of disassociating the inactive
I don't think this will happen. I could see them encouraging the rank and file to distance themselves even more from inactive witnoids, but formally disassociating them for being inactive? It could happen, but I'd really like to know what this idea is founded on.
Actually, it would serve to exert further control over active JWs and those who are (a) trying to fade without impacting their family (b) those who have faded and still enjoy their family's company and (c) the unbaptized adult raised-as-JW children of JWs who are not willing to commit to the organization.
On the other hand, it seems to already be an unwritten, unspoken, universally accepted practice among JWs that if you are Inactive(TM) - not putting in a Field Service Report for more than 6 months - particularly if you are not attending all the meetings on top of it - that you should be treated with equal contempt as though you were DFd or DAd. At least, that's been my personal experience.
Besides Mary's very good point, another issue is, inactive ones are so marginalized, a lot of elders don't even know who in their territory is an inactive JW any more. After a few years (or less) of inactivity, the "publisher cards" are moved from the "active" box to an "inactive" box in a forgotten corner of the filing cabinet. The Secretary is the generally only person who is aware of the existence of those "inactive" cards - for the rest, it's out of sight, out of mind.
Given enough elder / secretary turnover (anecdotal evidence suggests it is increasing), and before long you've got service committees, maybe whole BOEs, who don't know who the heck all these "inactive ones" are, or where they live, or anything. If a mandate came down to hunt down "all" the inactives in order to D-F them, it would cause chaos.
In truth, most elders take no delight in judicial hearings, even less in D-F'ing persons (there are of course too many exceptions to this, but it is true generally). You can hardly get elders to do things that are theoretically more enjoyable, such as shepherding or working on quick-builds--how on earth are you going to motivate them to go after a list of 10 or 15 or more names that they don't know with the express purpose of giving them a 6-month "get active or we toss you" ultimatum?
I really don't see it happening.
I can see leanings of this taking place. Last night on the "How did we do last year?" part, they talked about 7 reactivated people in the last year. Since the fields are unproductive, might as well salvage whatever is possible of former r&f.
I agree with your statement AS. This will have a positive affect on their statistical growth, albeit temporary. However, I do agree with others sentiments that this will eventually turn around and bite them in the back when the less vocal turn more aggresive in exposing the WTB&TS as a destructive cult.
I agree with Mary.
I will do the exact same thing.
Recycled old post (16. June 2005):
The congregations are filled with the weak and inactive. It may be that the GB fears that the level of apathy is reaching critical mass. JW culture is changing and it is becoming socially acceptable to ignore the shrill and strident calls for conformity and obedience. The Org may be willing to do a bit of pruning to preserve the hard-core elements from the erosive effects of the inactive and the faders. Following the debacle of 1975, the WTS lost many adherents, but these were soon replaced by new and significant growth. They may risk such a move (DA-ing faders) with a view to long-term potential for increase.
On the other hand, many less-than-zealous Witnesses remain only to preserve relationships with family and friends, or because they have no support network outside the Organisation. The GB must know this. If the WTS "offs" too many, they will inadvertently create such a support network. Watch the dam burst and the reservoir empty...
I also agree with the posters who suggest that such action on the part of the WTS will cause numerous and sundry faders to cease the silence and become active (and effective) opposers.
I know that if the elders ever told my parents they couldn't/shouldn't talk to me anymore on pain of getting DF'd, my parents would tell them to go to hell. I have a feeling that if many who go to the Hall (because it's something they've done for so long), were backed into a corner, it might be enough for them to leave the religion altogether.This is precisely what my mother did about 20 years ago.
Good points AuldSoul. On this one; I agree totally with you. I do think that this is a real possibility. I think that it would spook many inactive ones into compliance.
I'm curious as to what kind of legal action could possibly be taken. I was thinking that if many people (perhaps thousands in the U.S. alone) were shunned by family; not for wrongdoing, but merely not going to meetings; could some kind of class action lawsuit be filed? This kind of mass shunning would have huge implications. Think of all of the innactive Witnesses who would lose jobs, or suffer other hardships over this kind of enactment. I can't help but wonder if there would be legal implications for the WTS. The negative publicity alone would be very damaging.