A more interesting number would be in the amount of hours put in on average-as I understand the requirements to be counted as a publisher were downgraded. So more people can do less and be counted as active publishers that years ago would be considered inactive.
Astonishing Publisher Peak in Britain for August 2006
There haven't been any new end of the world predictions coming out of Brooklyn have there, that would explain a sudden increase because that always cranks the numbers up until the inevitable fizzle when yet another Witness phrophecy doesn't happen followed by the Societies Gestapo like crackdown on the groaners and complainers afterwards.
As secretary when someone used to turn 3 months all at once we used to count him as 3 publisher for that month.
At the end of the service year then you have an average for the congr.
About the increase i do not see any, i have friends in many different states going to meetings and they all say there is hardly anyone coming in, pioneers do not have studies and if they do usually after 2 months they drop out.
When we see the 1.6 % increase for 2006 it's nothing but children getting baptized.
It is quite likley that immigrants into the UK have boosted the numbers. I know of JW's in Eire who have many studies with such, but my take on it is that they want the 'use' of the witnesses - e.g. if they have problems the JW's fall over themselves to 'assist', say with the authorities. I don't think it takes long for them to cotton on to this and so are willing studies - rice JW's in effect. Same in the UK I reckon. If you have someone who will help plead your case to the authorities to get benefits/housing etc., they will study and do all the JWery things. If the JWs run to form, old sister in-need will be relegated to the back burner whilst the new and 'exciting' latest 'cause' will do the rounds of hot meals/lifts and all the other nauseating carpet love bombing that make Bomber Harris look like a damp squib.
I appropriately hate the WT as much as the next guy, but it is not dishonest to count one publisher two, three or more times even when they turn their time in sporadically. It is the average publishers for the year that they are showing.
The secretaries that have stated that are right. It is the way we were trained.
One idea though that might account for the increase other than immigration, is possibly the CO's are under pressure to get the cong secty to get ALL the reports he possibly can. That could explain a small spike.
Sadly, though, I think they (the WT) are going to do fine without us. There's a sucker born every minute, and the places they look for suckers is amongst the lonely and disinherited. They will come in and put in a few years then leave like the rest of us. Pretty soon there will be 10 million witnesses and 20 million that have quit.
Personally, I wish they would implode.
I'd say the somewhat surprising increase is due to the special tract campaign about false religions end being near, the scary Years text for 2006 and the focus in Convention talks about the nearness of the end. The rank and file are psychologically being played like a fiddle. JW's will always respond to this kind of psychological manipulation because their religion is not focused on Jesus Christ and he is not their rock; it is their hope that the end of this world will come very soon and only they will survive into the big lotto paradise earth that their faith is built upon. Growth is proportionate exactly to that hope (see 1975), or in other words, statistical growth is commensurate to how much the WT can ramp up expectations that the end is near. This trend will likely increase right up to 2014.
This trend will likely increase right up to 2014.
Except apostates are the only ones who seem to attach any significance to the passing of this date as of yet. It is a bit of wishful thinking that any such date, or fact, or "revelation" will at any point convince Jehovah's Witnesses en mass to abandon or substantially revise their beliefs.
I know of JW's in Eire who have many studies with such, but my take on it is that they want the 'use' of the witnesses - e.g. if they have problems the JW's fall over themselves to 'assist', say with the authorities. I don't think it takes long for them to cotton on to this and so are willing studies - rice JW's in effect.
Yes, Irish 'increase' is an oxymoron. The increase in figures is always as a result on people moving from other countries to 'serve' in Ireland. The actual increase in JW's generated within the Irish community is traditionally very dismal. Mill Hill always tagged Ireland as hard a field as working a Muslim country. The Irish are far to bright to be dictated too by men-in-suits from the US.
Speaking of Ireland, I heard a rumor that a couple of Branch members, including one on the Branch committee, were given their marching orders recently. Have you heard anything?
I've just been looking at the annual report for Britain on this thread
and the average for 2006 is 122,412, compared to 121,166 for 2005, an increase of 1,346. However, 2,535 were baptised in 2006 (I wonder how many of them were pre or young teen kids of jws), so therefore 1,189 either died, left or went inactive this year. The total hours were 18,751,509, a lot of hours for such a small increase, I'd say.
I don't think there's anything astonishing about a higher than usual peak in August, which was about the time rumours of the "big announcement" started circulating, not that it was that big anyway, and it is near the end of the service year, so, as has been previously said, secretaries would likely be chasing those who forget to report in some months up.
I doubt that there's much rejoicing in jwland over this news.