I just read a news story from Jamaica about an annual JW convention. It stated that there are more than 11,000 JWs in Jamaica BUT ONLY 33 were baptised at the convention. The baptism rate seems super low to me.
Why So Many Young People Are Leaving The Watchtower
The WT goal is to sell as much literature and recruit as many people possible with a minimum investment. Tailoring programs to the needs of teens and children will take money and time---both things the org greedily claims for itself.
Art supplies, books, music, a teacher to plan the activities all cost money and time. All this for people that don't donate. Then there are outings and activities that young people like, but again take time and money with no real return---when the return you're looking for is time and money.
This could extend into trips or summer camps. There is NO WAY the org would ever invest resources like this into the young ones. They'd rather go out and recruit people already in a position to donate time and money. And they'd need a suitable space to do this. Maybe a few as teenagers aren't interested in things a 6-year-old likes. The library just isn't sufficient. In many halls there is very little space between any extra rooms and the main hall.
This will never change. It is more profitible to keep the few young people that can tolerate the tedium, and to then bring adults, with wallets ready, into the hall.
It is more profitible to keep the few young people that can tolerate the tedium, and to then bring adults, with wallets ready, into the hall.
What they fail to realise, is that young people grow up to be adults. If they are encouraged to go to university so they can earn reasonable salaries, or encouraged to work hard to grow their own business, they will have more money to donate.
Re universities: these are often excellent areas to recruit new members. But if there's little to no JWs on campus, then they can't recruit young and impressionable people into their fold. So, instead, the other churches are getting them.
Re mega-churches: I watched Hillsong TV this morning. Hillsong is a mega church in Sydney Australia which attracts thousands of young people to its churches. Although I'm not religious anymore, I found the program interesting and inspiring. It was upbeat, positive, non-judging and even quoted the scriptures on the screen as the preacher was reading them. I can certainly see the appeal of these churches, as they present Christianity in a positive and practical way.
A great post Jeremy
But I don`t want the WTB&TS to change anything!!
The faster they go into decline the better.
Jeremy you write so well, marshalling your points in an orderly manner, nicely restraining your language and allowing the arguments to stand on their own merits without grandstanding.
The only other feedback I'd offer is my opinion about the length of your post. As one of my editors told me a few years ago: Halve the number of words and you'll increase the potency of your message because more people will be inclined to stick with your message to its completion.
I hope you don't find my comments audacious because my main message is how well you write. I agree with an earlier poster who said your thread needs to be in the top ten of threads because you speak so powerfully about an aspect of the organization that the 'men in power' have repeatedly refused to address for decades. I recall being at a convention in the late 1970s in New Zealand and one of the speakers warned that some well-meaning brothers had tried to run ahead of the organization by making local recommendations for keeping the young ones actively involved in the organization. Shock, horror, some brothers evidently had even started informal youth programs that the CO had put an immediate stop to. God, that was over 30 years ago - and still the organization bleeds young peopleat an alarming rate...
Let's all be thankful that the Witnesses don't reach out to teens. We all know teenagers will fuck like rabbits if you get more than two of them together. Or they will drink and watch R rated movies and listen to music that debases. Debases!!!!!!!
Your analysis is spot on about the young people, it could apply to many who joined later too, such as myself. My youngest son thankfully was sufficiently bored by the meetings that he stopped going when he was about four.
All what you says applies to women in the wts too, though they are often trapped in emotionally and financially.How about a thread on that?
All of what you said can be applied to high control groups throughout the world, such as fervent Islam and Jewry to name but two. What allot of the West has yet to fully wake up to is that young people such as the young JW's you speak of, do engage easily with modern technology, the older guys (they always are men) just do not understand this, forums like this simply did not exist until recently. The free exchange of ideas that the modern communications enable, means that the fallacies upon which these groups are founded upon are very easily and quickly exposed. The regimes in the Middle East are likewise controlled by old and unwise men, and the young ( there a lots of them) are massively disaffected and marginalised, hence the worries of The House of Saud.
I enjoyed your post very much.
**waves at David**
Well said. I think the observations about the JW's can equally apply to ALL high-control, fundamentalist religions.
Cognitive dissonance anyone?
I also think this is a good topic.
I know too many families, including many families of Elders, whose children want nothing to do with the organization. It makes me wonder how an Elder can serve in his capacity as an overseer of a congregation, giving talks from the platform, etc. when it is well known by the R & F that his own children want no part of the 'truth'. In the opinion of many, an Elder has lost his freedom to speak in his capacity as spiritual leader at that point!
The WTBTS as well is very much aware of the low retention rate of JW youth. That is why for the past year or so the Society has been pushing hard the 'Family Worship' program in an attempt to stem the tide. Sadly many C.O.s have expressed concern saying that 60% or more of JW families are not having 'family worship' night.
JW youth are not dummies, they know a fraud when they see one!
Look forward to your next thread Jeremy.
I always give my father full marks for resisting the pressure from his newly-converted JW mother. She tried to place the heat on him to rear us three children "In the Truth." To his credit, my father saw through that one, and refused ( It only took his attending one Circuit Assembly talk to see the futility of forcing small children to sit through the mind knumbing JW meeting attendance routine).
At least my two sisters and I were able to have a more interesting childhood than those unfortunates who were raised as JWs!
All I can say is that the Witnesses do well to hang onto even that small minority of born-ins that they do manage to retain:
- the miracle is that all those born-in do not give it away as soon as they can do so.