It is all about ruining people's lives. The Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger is about ruining lives, not so much about making money. They waste your time in the deadest works of all time, ordering people to do things a certain way or they are going to be destroyed. They are also separated from the world with rules that assure dorkhood--depriving people of fun. Children suffer most--they lose their fun, they have to pio-sneer during school vacations, and they don't get to have outside contacts except to recruit people. And no college--no wonder so many are staying home with their parents well into their 40s.
What benefit is all the power of people's lives to the Governing Body?
For a certain segment of the population, power over others is a narcotic like no other
Power may not be a big deal for you, personally. But for those who are addicted to it, it's a rush like no other.
I agree with sir82 on that one . . . these men are "spokesmen for God" in the eyes of 7-10 million willing people . . . not just leaders. There's not much bigger power rush than that . . . and it is addictive. Once you get off on it . . . you can't live without it.
I thnk that Damn the Watchtower makes a valid point in comparing the lifestyles of any religion's upper echelons with the Governing Body of the WTS. Yes, they have free food, housing, health care, and clothing. Moreover, they have unlimited travel privileges. But there is no way to compare their dwellings in Brooklyn with the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy in the Vatican, the bishops of the Anglican Church, or the leaders of the Mormon Church, just to name a few. Next to them, the Governing Body are small potatoes.
But the issue here is the exercise of power, and while the WTS certainly can't claim the number of followers the other three leadership collectives can, they have more than enough. They exercise that power subtly through the printing of the anonymously authored articles and books in WTS publications, speeches at different conventions, and congregation visits by circuit and district overseers. They also appoint all congregation officers. The fact that most Witnesses cannot name the seven sitting members shows just how effective this method of control has been. Thus, they can wield power and be shielded from the consequences of bad decision-making. It's quite a sweet setup.
In this way, they can claim that the WTS is truly "theocratic" since no matter what happens to individual members, the organizational structure survives and continues to function. So if someone dies, he can eventually be replaced without any impact on day-to-day operations. If a member is dismissed, as happened to Raymond Franz and Leo Greenlees, the organization doesn't skip a beat. The publications continue to be printed and distributed. Witnesses continue to attend meetings at which their ongoing indoctrination and brainwashing does not stop. The field ministry remains the focus of the religion's activity. All of this happens regardless of who occupies the executive suite in Brooklyn.