Could This Be The Watchtower's Endgame?

by metatron 57 Replies latest jw friends

  • undercover

    Some good posts here...and the point is well made: The Society ain't goin' nowhere. It'll be around long after we're gone.

    The fact is though, that they have to change with the times in order to survive. In fact history shows that the Society does reinvent itself over time. I made a comment the other day about how they are maybe looking to become more mainstream, thus the changes. Whether it is or not doesn't really matter. They're looking to survive and they'll make whatever changes necessary to do so.

    They've been doing that since its inception. The religion of Rutherford is not the religion of Russell. The religion of Knorr is different than Rutherford. The religion that I remember as a child has changed over the decades of my life. If I describe life as a JW when I was young to a young person today they don't recognize at lot of what I'm describing.

    The Society has constantly changed the meetings, the conventions/assemblies, the doctrines, the practices forever now. One more change in the Book Study arrangement doesn't spell the end of the religion.

    Instead of a an endgame, it's more of an end around play against the modern world and its influences on the followers. If successful, the play will gain them a good bit of yardage. If it fails, they'll drop back and punt and try another strategy later. But they own the ball, it's their game, they'll find a way to win, no matter what.

  • daniel-p

    Undercover, I disagree with your conclusion. They are not winning; their publishing business model is becoming obsolete.

  • undercover
    their publishing business model is becoming obsolete.

    I'll concede that. Publishing may very well become obsolete. They know that...that's why they're changing how they play the game. They may even face a period of down turns and low income, but if they make the right changes and plan ahead, they can actually come out of it better than ever.

    Similar to how companies several decades old had to restructure, change their business model and change with the times caused them some hard times, but many came out better in the long run.

    The Society isn't going to go out of business...though it wouldn't hurt my feelings any if they did. And I would gladly admit I was wrong if it was to happen.

  • Seeker4

    Interesting thread.

    I also agree that the WTS and JWs will be around for a long time yet.

    A few months ago I wrote about what I felt were some of it's major dilemmas right now, and topping the list is the lack of dynamic LEADERSHIP.

    The WTS had Russell, then Rutherford and finally the Knorr and Franz days. We idolized Freddie, our own little genius.

    What do the Witnesses have now? Jaracz old and with health issues. Who will emerge as a real leader? Look at the recent videos and transcripts of talks by Gerritt Losch and Sam Herd - pathetic. Attacks on education, women, thinking - these talks are an embarrasment. There is no inspiration coming from these men. I know Sam - not an inspiring leader at all.

    There are definitely senior Bethelites who would like to see some serious changes for the better, and perhaps once Jaracz is gone, there'll be an opportunity. I doubt it. The GB has a lot of power, and the new members come across as brainless company men.

    I am wondering if money could be a problem. Don't know about you, but my 401K just got nailed real hard, and the WTS could have felt that in their investments. They are property rich, and are selling off a lot of their Brooklyn holdings. That will tide them over for a while. Printing costs (I'm in the newspaper business) are rising. They're cutting employees, like many major corporations.
    They are printing the cheapest books and mags possible. They cut the number of issues about in half with the mags, so that's a huge savings. But still, 40 million copies or so a month is a lot of money.

    The economy has to be affecting donations.

    I think there is a lot of silly speculation on this thread, as well as a handful of really well thought out ideas. Thinking the WTS is going to take the money and run to the islands is nonsense, as is the idea of it becoming something like Jonestown. Get real.


  • daniel-p

    Undercover, I agree that they are changing because they see the need to do so, and that if they make the right changes, they can come out ahead with more members and a stronger base of loyalists. However, I guess I just don't think they will make the right changes. Everything they've done shows that they still don't get it; they are, and have been for quite some time, out of touch with what average JW needs. They've tried to vilify the Internet, but to no avail. They continue to push their literature and the door to door ministry, even though results are waning in their flagship member countries. I think what it comes down to is that most WT administrators are out of touch of today's world, while at the same time most JWs have changed with the world. There's a gap there, a gap that widens with every Watchtower article they publish saying the same things over and over again. They're a one-trick pony, and they just keep doing the same trick over and over again, trying for btter results. The changes they make will not be to their benefit, simply because they're out of touch with how most JWs respond to those changes.

  • willyloman

    I'm with seeker and others: The WT ain't going anywhere anytime soon. They are moving, however, because time marches on and you can't stand still. This is a dynamic period of world history and everything is rapidly evolving. The WTS is not immune.

    Much of this is cause and effect. The cause is a long list of changes occuring in society at large. The effect is one thing after another, as in just tossing things out there, hoping to find a solution. That's how most people deal with the sea change all around us, and the WTS is no different.

    Dropping the book study is the inevitable result of a series of prior events: Attendance at those meetings has fallen off dramatically in recent years. Rank and file are exhausted and voting with their feet by missing meetings at a pace totally unheard of a decade or two ago. The Society's "voluntary donation" dodge of the US Government's Jimmy Swaggart-related tax case led to a 50% drop in "donations" for literature. That led to cheaper and few publications rolling off the Society's presses. I mean, my god, the current "book study" volume is the hopelesly out-of-date (in terms of "current truth") Rev Climax book, and what do they do? Print a revised edtion? No! They send out pages of "changes" and tell the dubs to slip those inside the book cover and bring to the meeting where they spend a few minutes each week going over the changes related to the material under discussion. They would never have done that a few years ago, fearing the risk of raising suspicion about so many changes in such a short time.

    Every "new" religion (and that's what the dubs are, a new religion) goes through these growing pains. The Mormons are 50-60 years ahead of the dubs in their growth and development. They have changed dramatically in the past 100 years, dropping such controversial doctrines as polygamy and rascism and "hiding" their wackiest beliefs behind temple walls. I have no doubt the dub leadership is closely studying that business model.

  • parlay

    I think they will be around as long as there are people that are desperate, gullible.
    in need of a feeling of saftey, superiority, etc. Just as many existing JW's 
    ignore the facts and desperatly cling JWism to satisfy whichever 
    their need is, there are others just like them. Like it's been said.
     there's a sucker born everyday. 
  • OnTheWayOut
    The WT ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

    While I have been sure they were okay just a year or so ago, I may
    have been wrong. I was sure they were following a simple business
    formula that says "When the profit margin gets thin, you have to
    reduce costs." I still thought they were in the black.

    I still do think the District Convention last year made money because
    they didn't change anything before this year's conventions were

    But beyond the positive cash flow of DC's (which could end this year),
    I now think they are in free-fall toward red ink. Yes, they still are
    surviving because they were able to get rid of so many Bethelites and
    cut costs on production runs by reducing the number of mags and
    cheapening the books and doing away with postage, but they only
    have a few more buildings in Brooklyn to sell and a few more printing
    costs to save before they run into some serious trouble.

    Expect them to continue cost-cutting somewhere, somehow. But
    also expect more lawsuits over mishandling child-abuse cases, and
    perhaps some cases over the blood issue or even mind-control
    issues such as preventing young ones from going to college or loss
    of family affection because of the pressure from WTS. You might not
    be so sure that these lawsuits could succeed, but times are changing.
    Public opinion is not with JW's. All the other cults out there just hurt

    So after Friday of the DC is eliminated, and they sell as many buildings
    as they can get away with worldwide, they will have to go back to
    reductions in printing. That's bad news for a publishing company.
    Numbers will continue downward. I doubt they will legitimately ever
    pass 8 million members before they start the downfall. Internet is
    common in most all areas that they will try to spread toward.

    I would say that they could survive as a smaller company, but I truly
    believe that lawyers and accountants and businessmen are raping this
    company and will steal the carpet tacks and the lamps on their way to
    Costa Rico or Bangledesh. When that happens, the load on the
    handful of people still in will cause them to shut the door.

  • owenfieldreams

    I agree with Integ and Seeker4--This organization is not going away. In fact, it could be argued that it is actually getting bigger and stronger, if you gauge things on a global scale. Sure, growth in Japan and the West has probably bottomed out, but the org is flourishing in the former eastern bloc countries, most parts of Africa, and some regions of Central and South America.

  • metatron

    Let me clarify: More and more publishers who donate less and less money. They are getting caught in the same trap that wrecked

    Communism and brought about astounding changes as with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Let them adapt and reinvent themselves: but if it

    doesn't pay the bills, so what?


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