fascinating post sitcomkid. welcome and thanks for sharing all that.
Why the WT Society is DOOMED!
Wouldn't it be nice!
The difference to the Jewish faith is that Jews do not look for adherents from outside, so they have to focus on their offspring. The Watchtower do focus on missionary work and neglect their kids. But I agree that they would be more successful if they more supported they young ones beyond giving written rules. In Switzerland they used to have a suborganization "Jehovah's Youth" but Rutherford put an end to that.
I want it down. However, something tells me that they are preparing to use hardball tactics to get their way. Recapture any single, intelligent men that have left and force them through the Value Destroyer Training School. Find those who are not living up to their dedication vows and sue them for "breach of contract" when they do not do all the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger wants them to. Seize whole countries, after forcing enough people into the cancer, and then rejoining the UN as government members. Utimately, we would all be serfs under the Washtowel Babble and Crap Slaveholdery.
If and once that happens, the free world is doomed. They would own anything, and could make the laws themselves to fit their own wants. No matter how blatantly wrong they are, they could use the threat of getting stoned to death to get their way (during the First Dark Ages, they burned people at the stake; the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger's favorite trick is stoning). Unlike the First Dark Ages, the Washtowel Slaveholdery would have the technology to enforce the Second Dark Ages everywhere on the earth. And, as long as the earth lasts, they would hold strong.
No, there is no logical reason for anyone to join. However, there will always be people that are too lazy to think and/or wanting to control others. Such people are the ones that will hold the Washtowel Slaveholdery together, even in the absense of total control of the world.
Thank you for the lovely welcome. Back on to the topic, although they are hurting their numbers by not encouraging childbirth, many still have children. I don’t believe that the religion is doomed because of this lack of focus on children, but I do believe that it isn’t helping. I’ll tell you one thing for sure - -the Shakers didn’t last very long. Somebody at least has to give birth.
I don't know if the WTS will be doomed by it, but I do agree that the lack of focus or any love to the children makes it very hard for parents. For the last few years we used to HATE meetings with our 1-3 year olds who couldn't sit quietly for 2 hours straight. So many times we either felt like we just got nothing out of the meeting, or even moreso, we actually regretted going. And when the meeting is over, the kids cannot run, play, or have any fun.
I always felt that the Kingdom Halls needed a kids room in back, so that kids can be allowed to make noise, but the parents can watch and pay attention. Instead, the elders get pissed when parents hang out in the back schools.
Notice how many mainstream churches actually have babysitting/Sunday school, to allow the kids to be kids and parents to participate in worship. That would NEVER happen in a KH!
I think that the retention of youngsters is a tremendous problem for the organization, especially when it comes to the replacement of elders and ministerial servants. In fact, if you still attend meetings you can begin to see it already.
In my congregation, the average age of the ministerial servrants is about 48. Many years ago, speaking of just my congregation, it was about ten to fifteen years less than that. Most of those servants have gone on to be elders, in that congregation or another, but no young people are replacing them. Our youngest ministerial servant is 40. Others of those servants have left the truth entirely or are doing nothing in the truth but just going and smiling and nodding (people like me).
I should add that there is a pretty decent pool of young blood males there that they could choose from, but these ones aren't reaching out. They're in the 20-30 range. A few of them carry the microphones every now and then, but that is about it. We have one that is actually reaching out who is about 30 but he has recently been reinstated. He was making out with an elder's daughter. At the time he was about 24. The elder's daughter was 13. Needless to say, that particular elder and his family are no longer in the congregation.
But I digress.
The point I am trying to make is this: You have to have male leadership for this form of society to continue to function. It's easy to replace Governing Body members with younger men. Give the rank-and-file publisher some lame duck story about the calling not ending in 1935. That'll plug that leak.
But in local congregations it is not done so easily. Many congregations have to conscript elders from other congregations because there just are not enough brothers to do all the work.
My wife is always onto me because even she sees the sharp decline in capable brothers. "You should be doing more," she says. I did five years in the big house as a ministerial servant between the ages of 20 and 25 and I am done. You would not believe the craziness that went on in those closed door servant/elders meetings. Well, some of you would because many of you were in them.
I'm digressing again. Fast forward ten years from now. Some of the now 50 or 60+ elders will either be dead or incapable of handling their already overloaded elder duties well. Current ministerial servants who are 40-50 years old will fill the shoes but there is nobody behind them.
The Organization knows this. I don't know what their plans are. They seem to be cursing and denouncing children here in the literature lately, even so far as encouraging people not to have them because of all the trouble they cause! In reality, the mass exodus reflects badly upon the organization. That is a no-no.
Don't be surprised of they reinterpret scripture again and start allowing females to have teaching abilities (which was always a rather dumb exclusive rule to me anyway). Can you imagine a sister conducting the Watchtower study wearing a head scarf?
If the Watchtower really spent time tending to the spirtual needs of all members they would stay around a long time.
The way children are taught and managed within the religion is a recipe for defection away from the faith...
As far as being doomed? It will be a slow and hateful death ... I see legal taking this org to a place were hard-core folks still spend money.
I think the WTS is using evermore creative accounting techniques to show rather sad 1.5% to 3% annual growth rates. Think 15 minutes of FS time, encouraging child baptism in all but name, foreign language work in Western countries to recruit immigrants etc etc. Subtract the death rate and the faders/DF'd and thats a helluva lot of new recruits just to stand still. Think about the 67% of children raised as JW who eventually leave.
Now more recently they have slashed the meeting times and reduced the hours required to pioneer.
Lets face it - its much easier to be a JW today than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
But still the WTS has to show growth in the face of a willing army of Internet volunteers who are 1000 times as committed to keeping people out as JW's are to getting people in. Also Europe has become a post-Christian society - in time America will follow. And consider the demographic makeup of the publishers is changing from a relatively rich Western one to an absolutely poor 3rd World one. Think about almost half a million JW's in Nigeria. Ouch. Wouldn't want that as my customer base. Or they have to admit stagnation/decline and change the tune to Song 666 The Love Of The Greater Number Has Cooled Off
I think the beatings will continue until morale improves and the leadership are trying carrot/stick/carrot/stick/carrot/stick to turn things around.
The WTS isn't neccessarily doomed but certainly in structural decline.