What Happened to all the Baptized Publishers? number lost in space

by Dogpatch 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dogpatch


    What Happened to all the Baptized Publishers?

    The following chart shows the number of persons baptized into the Jehovah's Witness religion from 1985 to 2005 across the world. If you combine the number baptized over 20 years with the 1985 average or peak publishers, and subtract the number of peak publishers in 2005, you get the number of those who have either died (typically 1% per year) or have left the Watchtower. Remember, those who do not report their time are not counted and are not considered real Jehovah's Witnesses. These are active Witnesses as represented by their own yearbook figures.

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    I don't know if this was posted before but I didn't see it. If hyou have any good comments I will add them to my web page!


    Net Soup!


  • Leolaia

    Back in 1988, when I was questioning things, my friend and I talked a lot about the statistics and how to best compare the official numbers to see what is really going on. This was one approach I thought was pretty good because it avoids the obviously BS "hours" numbers and sticks to more reliable baptism figures. One problem however is that it glosses over the population of "unbaptized publishers" who enter into the publisher group without undergoing baptism...tho one could assume that the proportion of unbaptized publishers in 1985 is the same as the proportion in 2005. Two and a half million is a huge number and would include the faders otherwise not accounted for in the official DF/DA numbers.

    Other things I wanted to check is comparing the number of Bible studies with baptisms (to see how effective the Bible studies are), and comparing the average publishers with Memorial attenders over time (to see if the proportion of non-publishers changes over time).

    Have you thought of making a graph of this data with a moving average? It might shed some light on how the proportion of "missing baptized publishers" changes over time.

  • Dogpatch

    Thanks Leolaia,

    This was sent to me and I posted it. I don't have time to do other charts, but you are welcome to add to it! :-))

    Thanks for your comments.


  • Anitar

    Randy: That's an interesting choice of words that one is not a real witness unless they are bapitsed and submit their timecards. You know what's weird is before my mom was baptised, she wasn't allowed to pray to God, she said she wasn't worthy. She always says grace before eating, except when there's a man at the table, then he does it.

    I didn't know if these were offical Watchtower rules or unspoken ones in her congregation, but I know I was horrifed at the blatent sexism and class distinctions in "the truth."

    Ironically enough, she spent six months preparing for baptism and memorized the dozens of questions, and now she doesn't remember a single thing she swore an oath to. I'd think if your going to completely give up your freedom of thought and surrender your life to this totalitarian cult, shouldn't you at least bother to remember why you did it?


  • jwfacts

    Thank you for these figures Randy, I have been meaning to do a spread sheet exactly like this for the last couple of months. I will try to play around with the figures over the week end and do some charts.

    2.5 million missing publishers is a very significant number for an group of only 6.5 million people.

    2.5 missing publishers out of 6.1 million baptisms means 41% of publishers have left over the last 20 years. This must be very discouraging for the leaders.

  • blondie

    I have a spreadsheet myself that shows those MIA from the number baptized and increase of publishers each year. The WTS consoles themselves with the large numbers that show up for the Memorial once a year, as if those people are possible converts. Most are inactive, df'd, da'd JWs who don't come anymore except for the Memorial..


    2005 Memorial attendance


  • jwfacts

    The memorial attendance is trully the maximum number of those considering themselves JWs plus a lot more. A lot go as bible studies that are never seen again. Many others go who know it is not the Truth but feel they need to appease nagging family members. The difference between publishers and memorial attendance has been very consistent over the years, and shows there will never be a huge spike memorial attenders becoming publishers.

    Blondie, I would love a copy of that spreadsheet if it is available.

  • garybuss

    The memorial figures indicate they can identify ten million people who think "service" isn't important.

  • Alpheta

    Hi everyone.

    I did a little number crunching with these interesting figures. Using the formula that was given earlier of total number of baptized over the last 20 years (1985-2005) added to the peak number of 1985 publishers yields the following:

    6,160,944 (baptized over 20 years) + 3,024,131 (1985 peak publishers) = 9,185,075

    To keep calculations easy, I assumed no loss from this number over 20 years. So, there should be 9.18 million witnesses out there today. But there aren't.

    Using 2005 peak publishers number, there are only 6,613,829. That's a difference of 2,571,246 (9,185,075 minus 6,613,829), as the chart shows.

    I think the percentage loss is calculated by dividing the 2.57 million of the "missing" by 9.18 million who should be the total but for the losses. The number is very close to 28% loss. A high number, but not 41%.

  • sspo

    Most of the memorial attendees are often dragged by family members to be there, when you do talk to them, they never make any comments about the talk and how happy they are to be there or any appreciation, that's why ten million of them never show up again.

    Just like a Catholic that goes to church once or twice a year such as christmas or easter and feels he has done his duty toward god.

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