MMXIV - future survival has less to do with teachings and more about control of their members
That is a concern. At the moment the control is increasing. However, that is not a good strategy for the long term, and I hope as Society progresses that will be seen through, or even government regulated.
NY44M - It is too risky to make any major doctrinal changes now.
I agree that it is not something to happen immediately, but over time. They can certainly drag things out till 120 years after 1914 with easily contrived justifications.
Cedars - Good article about the decline. That is why I think for long term survival these doctrinal changes need to be made. Make those changes, along with many others, such making meetings interesting, and the religion could grow again in a similar way some of the more exciting new religions grow. Otherwise, it is a boring religion that will continue to decline.
Cofty - Very true, there are a range of beliefs for the future, not just straight out heaven. It could be possible for the Watchtower to keep paradise earth as part of the answer, such as after a transitionary stage.
Mindseye - I like that idea that they may phase out the 144,000 teaching, as that could be a stepping stone into offering alternative offerings for the members. Those that like the idea of paradise earth can continue to believe it will be around the corner. Those that are skeptical about the end being near, or like the idea of heaven, can believe that is their hope. They will need to stop attacking those that are taking upon themselves the heavenly hope and admit a person has every right to it. I wonder what would happen over time as to the balance of great crowd to anointed. I imagine a large number would end up wanting the heavenly hope.