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.
Branch office closings.
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 JW.org 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.