What the Watchtower needs to do to survive.

by jwfacts 76 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    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.

  • insearchoftruth
    some that I know quote: "no one knows the day or hour when these things will occur.

    When one hints at all towards 'the end' this is what my wife states, and if you attempt to bring up history at all you get a dumbfounded look.....

  • jwfacts

    Dozy - With religions - any common sense analysis doesn't work because you are dealing with emotions and often irrational beliefs.

    Very true.

  • sir82

    In my view, the Governing Body has conflicting goals, and they haven't figured out how to resolve the issue.

    Goal 1 is the long-term preservation of the corporation. Thie entails its financial security as well as its reputation.

    Goal 2 is the preservation of their autocratic authority over 7 million + JWs. This is their heroin, their catnip, the psychological (if subconscious) driver of their cruel policies.

    The solution presented above would go a long way toward achieving goal 1, but it would greatly reduce their ability to achieve goal 2. If Armageddon is not coming "soon", why live an anxious, frantic, guilt-laden life of self-sacrifice now? Why hang on every word of the GB if you know you're going to live 70 or 80 or 90 years, and then go to heaven, just like everyone else believes? Why quit your job, sell your house, and pioneer if the work is not "urgent"?

    Virtually any change that brings them closer to achieving one of these goals, puts the other one farther out of reach.

    I see these conflicting goals as the reason for a lot of the wild gyrations in policy and practice that have taken place over the past 20 years.

  • DesirousOfChange

    CEDARS: . . . the Society's claim that it enjoys a privileged position as God's sole channel with mankind despite the lunacy of what has been printed in its publications down through the years (especially in the years surrounding 1919) is far more damaging. . . . . .

    . . . . than anything else out there. JWs believe they are "special" -- that ONLY JWs have the TRUTH. The facts about all their UNtruths are hidden and covered over, but the internet now keeps "digging them up". Like a smelly, dead body, they are no longer hidden and covered over. They are exposed and when a JW stumbles across that info, they can't help but "smell something is rotten". GRADUALLY, they come to realize they have been living a lie. It's a huge smack in the face!

    MINDSEYE: One thing I do notice is that the sense of urgency is gone among many witnesses. Instead of the 'end' being "just around the corner", some that I know quote: "no one knows the day or hour when these things will occur." I think the governing body may have finally learned their lesson about setting dates,

    Just had the "lack of urgency" discussion with my SO. Her best JW friend is still a FireBall. Not a pioneer, but has a firey zeal about her. I pointed out that NO ONE else has that anymore. None of the elders pioneer (even when retiring). None of the elders' wives are pioneers. They are all working to have bigger homes and better things and more exotic vacations. 30% absenteeism at meetings (even among the MS/elders' families). The fire is not OUT, but it is very DIM.

    The GB is forced to lower Aux Pio hour requirement to only 30 hours to get people enthused and involved. Back in the '60s, I think it used to be 75 hours!

    The "national average" hours for Publishers is no longer published in the (US Branch)KM. It had to be getting embarressing. Likely to be somewhere around 8 hours/mo. And we all know, that at least 50% of those hours are really spent at Starbucks. Factor in the time spent "windshielding" and likely only 2 hours is spent "at a door" and 75% of those are not at home.

    Smaller Cir Assemblies with only 1 or 2 baptisms is not unusual. Occasionally NO ONE baptised. In the past, this was unheard of! Thus the need for larger Assm Halls so that there is a larger number of attendees to draw on for baptisms.

    Disfellowshipping is a two-edged sword. It benefits the Org by isolating active members from the shit-disturbers that have been tossed out. Yet, it is the biggest issue of contention because it divides families (and many are rebelling against cutting off their children and esp grandchildren) and shunning is seen by the majority of neutral observers as a method used by CULTS. It is one of the issues that could result in governmental action against the WTS. It is truly a Catch-22 for WT Management.


  • besty

    They have had 2 major disconfirmations in the last 40 years - 20 years apart and we are due another one anytime now :-)

    1975 - End of the world. FAIL (publishers +100% from 1955 figure)

    1995 - Generation change. FAIL (publishers +200% from 1975 number)

    2014 - ? FAIL? (publishers +35% from 1995 number, ie in line with global population growth)

    The problem these failed predictions caused is the requirement to chase expansion into less educated (more vulnerable) parts of society due to non-existent growth in traditional countries. In the West, time is money and donated time on building projects carries a large financial payoff. In the developing world time has a much lower value, except to the person donating it, and the payoff is much less. (Bamboo KH without walls or windows in the middle of the jungle anyone?)

    Branches are being closed, presses are slowing down, Bethelites being sent home, Brooklyn being sold off - everything points to a retrenchment or a right-sizing of the overheads.

    Two factors will keep them going indefinitely IMHO - whether they thrive or merely survive is a different question

    1 - the revolving door for members - they must have baptised 5 million people since 1995, yet only have 7.5 million publishers, therefore most members are relatively recent and not carrying the baggage of the 1995 FAIL far less the 1975 one.

    2 - God is spectacularly and famously incompetent with money - he always needs a little more. His representatives on earth are better with it than he is. The WTS will have plenty cash sloshing around as long as they have members dying without children to pass it onto it. (Method in that madness maybe?) And as long as democratic governments fail to distinguish between public benefit and damaging cult, they will have tax free investment capability.

    I wonder if their strategy is getting the overheads down to a manageable level, build cash positions allowing them to make decent investment based returns and keep the brothers busy on a rolling program of property remodels and new builds. All the while taking control of more and KH's on a legal basis.

  • slimboyfat

    Actually I don't think the answer for the Watchtower's survival is to give up on endless life on earth at all. They simply need to tweak the narrative and claim that God will use scientists to eliminate old age as a cause of death. Link up with groups like the Methuselah Foundation who argue that old age may be a thing of the past within our generation.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Times have changed. P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute. But many don't stay suckers forever and leave. Okay, so you could replace them. Well, it's too quick to google Jehovah's Witnesses and find the likes of jwfacts and freeminds eventually. The only new recruits are born-ins and a few people who don't check the facts thoroughly for various reasons. Then they lose many of them later as they discover TTATT (the truth about the truth).

    I do believe they have reached critical mass and will do more reduction than simply flatlining. If they could maintain a core group of the faithful somewhere significantly less than 3 or 4 million members, they could do okay.

    Besides hiding their past in an information age, the other problem lies in their business model, not their doctrine. I think a core group could be led to accept just about anything. If several million didn't walk out on "overlap generations" then they would be safe to lead them on about paradise. But their business model has two huge problems. One is the decision as a tax exempt entity to give away the product. That has slowly gotten them into a changed world where people just won't donate money for the product. They are relying nearly exclusively on the members to foot the bill. The second is that they are a printing company in a world where newspapers and magazines are going out. Even if they could maintain the printing, the world will charge more for the paper and the ink as the world loses all their other print clients. I imagine TIME and NEWSWEEK and PLAYBOY and the likes are printing a lot less product these days. They charge advertisers for their profits and sell the product. To keep the sales cost down, they will eventually price the advertisers out, especially when their market is shrinking. Watchtower has none of that going for them, just free distributerships. So their model has the potential to outlast other magazines, but not forever.

    Printing 12 million of something is cheaper per copy than 5 million. As they reduce printing, the cost per page goes up, even with volunteer workers. (That part of the business model is in trouble too- government doesn't want to shoulder the healthcare and retirement costs of unpaid workers, so they will continue to change the rules upon WTS to take care of their own.) Eventually, the core faithful will not be able to support the printing work.

    Let's stop thinking of ways for them to survive. The first priority of a corporation is to survive. Let the idiotic yes-men that Ted Jaracz put in place wallow in indecision and make their own mistakes. If they turn left, there's a problem. If they turn right, there's another problem. I do believe they are still ahead of their money problems and have a long way to go before they shrink to insignificance, but they seem to be well on the way.

    I hope they don't shrink slowly, although I think they will. I hope the upper levels abandon the corporation after moving their assets to some tropical island somewhere, swearing they are just relocating their headquarters. Then maybe the non-extradition country will tax them to death or hire a hit squad to steal all their posessions.

  • WTWizard

    They need to wake up to the times. When they pull the same rubbish that the "political correct" sxxx is made of, they are only trying to hold onto the outdated Age of Pisces. During the Age of Pisces, people just accepted whatever religion they were handed, without questioning. Like the "political correct" rubbish, they need to rely on rules against speaking against the party line to resist the question-everything Age of Aquarius, which we are now in.

    And, now that we are in the Age of Aquarius, the Washtowel Babble and Crap Slaveholdery might not be the only religion in trouble. People are going to be shaken to the core of their beliefs when the whole of Christi-SCAM-ity comes down, along with the other 2 major right hand path religions despite the "political correctness" of not bashing them. Like it or not, they are going to have to wake up and adjust to the fact that we are in a whole new age. And that age is one in which it is extremely difficult to pull off a successful religious scam.

  • cedars

    I still maintain there is nothing they can do to survive. It's out of their hands now.

    Yes, the religion will always be around in some small form, but it will end up being so small that it's almost inconsequential. Really, considering that its believers represent only 0.01% of the earth's population, it already is.


Share this