It's official, the internet IS the Watchtower's nemesis!

by cedars 40 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • cedars

    Hi everyone

    I have been inspired recently by some of the comments on this forum regarding the Society having reached a "tipping point". It's been observed that, despite the overwhelming weight of evidence that the Society is nothing more than a damaging cult, the number of Witnesses continues to increase, albeit gradually. The latest figures I have available are those in the 2011 Yearbook, showing a global 2.5% increase between 2009 and 2010.

    As we all know, the internet is steadily rising in accessibility (or "penetration") around the world, and it provides a wonderful resource for those who are curious about joining the faith, helping such ones to quickly identify precisely how warped the teachings of the Watch Tower Society really are. Websites like provide instant evidence of the fallibility of the Society's teachings, and are surely a major thorn in the side of the organization.

    But here's a question: Is there a way of PROVING whether the internet is impacting the Society's growth?

    I am convinced there is, and herein may lie the key to the Society's eventual downfall.

    I have done a comparison between the figures given on Wikipedia for the number of internet subscriptions by COUNTRY, shown as a percentage of the country's population (figures are for 2010), and the Society's growth figures from their 2010 service year report. By comparing each country's percentage of internet use with the percentage of growth for the same country, I noticed a very definite (if gradual) overall correlation between the penetration of the internet and the increase/decrease in the Society's growth in any given country.

    Of course, it's difficult to do a blanket global study, because the Society don't publish precise figures for 30 "Other Lands" where preaching is done under governmental ban. However, the average 2010 percentage of increase for these countries bucked the global trend at 14.3% growth. Most of these countries are Islamic or communist states where there is precious little internet connection anyway. For example, even with 450 million Chinese internet users, there are still only 36.3% of China's population with internet subscriptions. I have therefore, when doing my initial study, disqualified all countries where the Society is under ban. However, I feel that if the publisher reports for those countries were added to this study, the figures would be far more damning.

    The figures come through more dramatically in a graph on my Excel spreadsheet, but until I figure out how to display Excel graphs on posts, you will need to make do with a written summary.

    Countries with 75% to 100% internet penetration (% of subscriptions to total population):

    Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia, United States, Belgium, Estonia

    Average % increase 2009-2010 = 0.647059

    Countries with 50% to 75% internet penetration (% of subscriptions to total population):

    Austria, Slovakia, Israel, Taiwan, France, Hong Kong, Latvia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Malaysia, Poland, Serbia, Uruguay, Chile, Macedonia, Colombia, Croatia

    Average % increase 2009-2010 = 1.304348

    Countries with 25% to 50% internet penetration (% of subscriptions to total population):

    Italy, Macao, Portugal, Bulgaria, Belarus, Greece, Montenegro, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Albania, Cyprus, Russia, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Romania, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Mexico, Peru, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Philippines, Cape Verde, Lebanon, Nigeria, Panama, Thailand

    Average % increase 2009-2010 = 3.290323

    Countries with 0% to 25% internet penetration (% of subscriptions to total population):

    Ecuador, Mauritius, Kosovo, Paraguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, South Africa, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Honduras, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, India, Senegal, Gambia, Zambia, Namibia, Bostwana, Republic of Congo, Togo, Ghana, Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, Rwanda, Cameroon, Nepal, Mozambique, Benin, Papua New Guinea, Mali, Chad, Tanzania, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia

    Average % increase 2009-2010 = 4.590909

    As you can see, there is a DEFINITE correlation between LACK of internet access, and GROWTH in publisher figures. Basically, the more ignorant a country's populace is, the more fertile hunting grounds this will be for the local publishers.

    I should note that the above figures are based on AVERAGES. As you might expect, there were always countries that bucked the trend. For example, only 14.5% of Cuba's population have access to the internet, but they still only managed a 1% increase in publishers. At the other end of the scale, 58.8% of Malaysia's population have access to the internet, but the Society still managed an 8% increase in that country. However, such exceptions are rare, and the overall trend (as shown above) is that "ignorance is bliss" - at least as far as the preaching work is concerned.

    This gives hope to those of us who yearn to live to see the day when the Society collapses under its own weight. It also serves to explain the Society's recent attempt at dissuading the rank and file from using the internet altogether in the August 15th Watchtower:

    "So, then, what should we do with regard to the Internet? Shun it altogether? That may be necessary in some cases. The Internet junkie mentioned earlier did that in order to overcome years of addiction. On the other hand, using the Internet can benefit us, provided we let 'thinking ability keep guard over us and discernment safeguard us.'-Prov. 2:10, 11."

    Considering all of the above, the overall impression I get is that the Society have realised that, as the internet continues to grow, their opportunities to recruit new mindless automatons are becoming increasingly limited.

    They may as well rename their popular slogan "working where the need is greater" to "working where there is no Google".

    I apologise in advance if any of my methods are found to be "unscientific" on closer inspection. I don't claim to be a mathematician, or statistician - but I think that the above represents a starting point in helping to identify exactly why the Society should be panicking.


  • JWdaughter

    That is interesting, thank you.

    I live in a country where internet penetration is probably near 100%, however, evangelization is illegal, so we are not listed. There ARE a LOT of Christians here, however, I've yet to meet any JWs. We have an enormous Filipino population, as well as a lot of non Muslim Indians. It is a very small country with a light population and in all honesty, I know a LOT of people here-both Muslim and non-Muslim. I know most of the female, western population. There are a couple of wacky denoms,but they are smart enough not to be obnoxious about it or they'd be outa here. I don't see the WT even sending in any undercover operatives any time soon-the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Lutherans would probably run them out on a rail-long before the Muslims got a whiff. The rule about evangelization is absolutely respected by all from what I have observed. No one even wants to be associated with that kind of mess (and it would become a huge mess for everyone involved, from our lovely Ambassador, embassy staff and employers to our maids (NOT that I have a maid now) and co-workers. Ewww.

  • Quendi

    It is an interesting thesis you present, cedars. I am a mathematician, so skepticism comes somewhat easily for me. Nevertheless, I think your idea has some merit. What isn't clear, however, is why Internet penetration can be linked to WTS growth. There can be many other reasons for this besides antagonism or apathy toward the Witness religion, and I suspect that is the case. What would be good would be a comparison of Internet penetration with people's beliefs about religion in general and not simply the WTS variety. For example, how are other faiths faring in those lands with the greatest Internet saturation? Are they also suffering loss of attendance, participation, donations, etc? Of if there are no losses, what are their growth rates? I wouldn't be surprised if their numbers don't parallel the WTS figures. In other words, a more technically developed society might have far less interest in any religion as opposed to a land that isn't so advanced. If you can manage to conduct such a study and give some side-by-side comparisons of the WTS growth rates with those of other faiths, I think we can then draw more valid conclusions. Just a suggestion.


  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Very interesting. The internet is killing them.

    Too bad for the WT that the snake in question is a boa constrictor that will squeeze the last bit of life out of them eventually.


  • cedars

    Thanks Quendi. What would provide an even more compelling analysis would be a comparison of internet growth over time with Society growth over time, i.e. does the rate in which the internet is spreading impact on the rate in which the Society's growth is slowing? I would suspect that it does, but I don't think I have the time or the brain cells to find out for sure!

  • Franklin Massey
    Franklin Massey

    Cedars, interesting work here. I think these numbers would apply to religion in general too.

    One comment struck me as off balance: "Basically, the more ignorant a country's populace is, the more fertile hunting grounds this will be for the local publishers." I am certain you didn't mean to call the population ignorant in general. Given the theme of the post I will take it to mean that they may be unaware of the true story of the Watchtower Organization. Perhaps wording it this way would avoid confusion and free the post of what could be called unkind language: Basically, the less access to the internet and other sources of mass media a country has, the more fertile hunting grounds this will be for the local publishers.

  • paladin

    What brought to my mind about this thread is thank God for the world wide web.

  • ScenicViewer

    It appears that the countries yielding the greatest growth, and who have the least internet access, are primarily poor countries. This will have a negative effect on contributions to the Society, since poor people are not able to contribute much.

    Could this be one of the reasons the Society is selling the Brooklyn properties (which will add hundreds of millions of dollars to WTS bank accounts), and is pushing the credit card machines at assembly sites?

    As internet access becomes cheaper and more widespread, what will be the situation in 20 years? 50 years? It seems it can only get worse for the Society.

    An organization that was once so successful at controlling information is now fighting an information giant, and as the true history of the organization, the contradictions in it's beliefs, the extent of it's dishonesty, and other issues become more widely known, where will the increase come from?

    I think the organization will have a rocky road ahead. Thank goodness for the internet!

  • cedars

    Franklin Massey - no, of course I didn't mean to claim that a country's populace is "ignorant" if they don't have internet. I was referring to ignorance from the perspective of a lack of available knowledge in the form of websites dealing with Witness beliefs, and not an 'unwillingness' to take in knowledge. I thought this was fairly blatantly obvious, but thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify that point.

    ScenicViewer - you raise an interesting point that growth in developing lands where there is little or no internet is something of a 'poisoned chalice' for the Society. They can be less dependent on donation revenue from such countries. If anything, THEY will need to invest more of their own resources to support local interests.

  • Franklin Massey
    Franklin Massey

    Cedars, your work recently has been astounding. Because of that, your profile may rise. Your comments on this board were already quoted on a JW apologist website. I am just being extra cautious. I don't want anyone looking for the "truth about 'The Truth'" to be turned off by an out-of-context quote.

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