It's Over Johnny....The Demise of Jehovah's Witnesses

by ctrwtf 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • ctrwtf

    I think I've mentioned before that from time to time my commute on the BQE takes me past the old factory buildings and the soon to be former headquarters building.

    I was struck the other day with how shabby they've become. Even 25 Columbia Heights, still currently occupied, its facade is filthy. I remember how this was once the flagship property of the WT. It seems to me that compared to the surrounding properties, high-rises with gleaming facades, the WT properties are really quite second rate.

    In addition, there is a new building under construction between the waterfront and the old Squibb building. I'm not sure if it's residential or commercial but in either case it is definitely overshadowing the WT buildings. It gives the impression that the WT buildings, once waterfront standouts along the East River are being swallowed up by new and better construction.

    It seems to me that this is really a metaphor for what is happening to the organization worldwide. It's been in a near constant state of retreat since the 90's. Think about the following, I'll try to put it more or less in chronological order:

    Simplification. (I love this word)

    Retreat and re-tool of generations thinking.

    Fewer and shorter Assemblies.

    Fewer and abbreviated magazines and publications.

    Bethel lay-offs.

    Branch office closings.

    NGO scandal.

    Flagship property sell offs.

    Congregation cash grabbing.

    Sexual assault lawsuits.

    And last but not least, point everyone's attention to the internet where a quick Google search will reveal first but then dozens of websites that would discourage anyone from being connected to this cult. Add to this hundreds of youtube vids that are probably even more effective at combating recruitment. This is not only a surrender to the information age, but a desperate effort to remain relevant.

    For all of the above reasons, it's clear that the WTBTS is on the ropes. Why else would you flee an iconic New York property that advertised "The King and His Kingdom" to hide in seclusion in an unknown Burg in Upstate NY.

    Even with the new re-branding and congregational land grabs, the stagnant growth and lack of hard cash donations spell the inevitable demise of the WTBTS.

    So, in the words of the Colonel in the Rambo movies....."It's over Johnny!"

    Remember you heard it here first.

  • scotoma

    With terrorism the way it is maybe it's a wise decision to move out of the epicenter of what many experts think is the target for a future terrorist attack with a low yield nuclear device.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Russia pulled this off and blamed it on terrorists.

    Nuclear contamination from what is called a "dirty" device would turn the area into a worthless ghost town.

    Even Obama said he is more worried about Terrorist with one nuclear weapon than Russia with thousands.

    Don't say it will never happen. Twelve years ago Warren Buffet said an act of Nuclear Terrorism in a major american city (New York Prime Target) is not a matter of "if" but "when".

    Who would have thought14 years ago Putin would be consoling the United States over 9/11. And now Russia fits nicely into the Watchtower's old interpretation of Daniel.

  • ctrwtf
    @scotoma Name a Fortune 500 Company that is abandoning NYC because of a "terrorist threat."
  • pixel
    I highly doubt the GB/FDS/WT is leaving NYC because of a nuke thread. Is more about the Money Thread.
  • scotoma

    I didn't say JW's are moving out of NYC because of a nuclear threat.

    I'm saying that there is always the possibility for them to claim that the move was providential if something does happen.

  • ctrwtf
    @pixel My thought exactly.
  • neverendingjourney

    I don't think "demise" is the word I would choose, but there is a mountain of evidence that points to clear cash-flow problems and a gradual morphing of the religion's structure. Their model for generating cash is dying. People are increasingly consuming information online, which means they've had to significantly scale down their printing operations. This in turn means the advantages they once had given the economies of scale they were operating with have likely disappeared.

    Couple that with the least educated membership of any major denomination and it's clear to see why they need to sell of properties to increase the amount of cash available to them. Literature "sales" are down and their members are not in a position to contribute lavishly.

    This doesn't mean that the religion will cease to exist, but it will by necessity have to morph into something different. I think this is what we're currently seeing: selling off prime real estate, building cheaper buildings where the cost of land is cheaper, and attempting to build and online presence to sell their brand. They may be forced to relax their stand on higher education soon. They need membership to contribute more.

  • Finkelstein

    Interesting viewpoint ctrwtf there has been a slow devolving concerning the operations of the WTS. and you mentioned most of them.

    I was involved with the WTS/JWS back in the 1960's and 70's and man has this organization ever changed a lot since then. Ironically there has been a slow increase of its members world wide though. I still think that there is enough money and people to sustain the organization awhile longer yet. I don't see any demise certainly in the next 10 to 20 years.

    One advantage the WTS has and uses is that it can abandon old useless doctrines and create new ones to uphold interest and commitment from out of its adherent followers, utilized by its publishing capabilities.

    As far as the sell off in Brooklyn, I think it was mostly had to do with rising costs of operating there from utilities, transportation, printing, living expenses, the list is long and its was eventually realized that all the properties owned by the WTS . had increased in value exponentially over the years. The number crunchers realized they could sell those properties for a large sum and build new modern facilities .

  • Vidiot

    neverendingjourney - "They may be forced to relax their stand on higher education soon."

    Not likely.

    I think higher education has done more to erode young JWs' loyalty to the Org than just about anything else.

    neverendingjourney - "They need membership to contribute more."

    Not if they downsize and streamline enough (including said membership) that they can keep the Org solvent without needing them to contribute more..

  • insidetheKH

    there is a mountain of evidence that points to clear cash-flow problems

    Building projects on european mainland are coordinated in Germany. Their budget for new projects increased from 46 million in 2011 to more than 200 million euro's in 2015 (U$238 million).

    Same is happening in the US and probably elsewhere too

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