While I agree that they are trying to keep the fringe JW's attending and active, there
is more at stake. By enabling the elderly and unhealthy to "count" 15 minutes per
month and by making field circus into handing out tracts or leaving flyers under the
doormatt, they are trying to squeeze out positive numbers for growth and attendance.
If they don't get positive numbers, then the old faithfuls will think Armageddon is
"this year." If they don't get Armageddon or positive numbers for a couple of years,
then old faithfuls will wonder what went wrong. Some will feel lost and join the
faders, even if they never really stopped believing before that. Appeasing the
lower denominators will keep the higher ones believing.
Also, they need more middle-managers. As long as the burden upon elders is
so much, hardly anyone wants the promotion. If they lighten the load, then maybe
more average middle-manager types will take the job.