What the Watchtower needs to do to survive.

by jwfacts 76 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    Thanks for the continuing great comments. I should have titled the thread "What the Watchtower needs to do Doctrinally to survive", as the financial issues they are facing are a whole topic on their own.

    Regarding finances, I do not think it is as bad as it seems. The Watchtower made money in the past as a publishing house. Now they can't sell magazines that income stream is failing. As people move from paper to digital media there will be even less opportunity to get money for this information from donations and publishers. I cannot see them making money from google advertising on their site, or charging people to read online articles, as other publishers do.

    However, they simply need to start asking more often for donations, in the same way other religions have always done.

    00DAD - Interesting comment about the oldest living people. I found a more detailed link at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_supercentenarians that shows there are 17 people born August 1899, the date that was once the furthest cut off point for the generation. I have wondered about that for a while, and glad you pointed it out.

    Outsmartthesystem - you have highlighted an issue with my article, since it will be very difficult to suddenly move to teaching we have an immortal soul. Any change would have to be preceded by a gradual opening up of the heavenly hope, so that people can accept either option.

    iart - Yes, religion in general is suffering decline, particularly those clinging to old fashioned beliefs and practices, and the religion needs to become liberal and exciting for any hope of attracting and retaining younger generations.

    Lostgeneration - You have hit the nail on the head. Most exJWs are actively opposed for a single reason - shunning. That was the most important aspect that kept me trapped in the religion, and the driver for why I created jwfacts.com. Get rid of shunning and the religion will be able to silence the most vocal opposers. As much as the religion uses shunning to trap people in the religion, in my opinion it has actually been counter-productive, is the cause of opposition and overall has damaged the religion and growth more than helped it.

    biometrics - It will be hard to drop 1914, since that and 1919 are core to the teaching that the religion should spring up in the time of the end, but looking forward decades it will need to go too.

    refriedtruth - I agree that all the apocalyptic doomsdayers are great at highlighting that the Watchtower is just another one of these nutty groups. I was shocked years ago at finding a list of these groups over the last 2000 years.

    Besty - Good comments. "Two factors will keep them going indefinitely IMHO - whether they thrive or merely survive is a different question." That is a bit of a change from when you first left. I seem to recall you predicting they only had a couple of years left, of growth at least, as I did too when first leaving. It is a tough realisation that the religion will continue for some time to come.

    Cedars - I hope you are right that they won't survive. But as you said, either way, they are already inconsequential and will become more and more so in time.

    Slimboyfat - It is possible that they can keep the idea of living forever on earth, they just need to tweak it. Possibly as you say, they can show that we can live forever, and somewhere along the line God will step in to remove wickedness. Or like some evangelical groups, they can say we will come back to a new earth. I guess my point is that if the end does not look imminent an option other than soul sleep needs to be offered.

    You have all provided me a lot of food for thought for a new article.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Drop its teaching on Paradise Earth.

    I think this a HUGE point. An ephemeral, everlasting existence is THE ULTIMATE CARROT, that "living into a paradise earth" just cannot measure up to. That's what makes all other religions roll for century after century. I think the 100 year anniversary of 1914 is definitely a tipping point. The tasty carrot of everlasting life on earth will become slimy and start to mold. . . .

  • DilemmaGF

    I just don't buy it! Burning in hell is far more terrible than just die... And heaven is better than paradise on earth

  • jwfacts

    DilemmaGF, hellfire is not the only alternative. The Watchtower would still teach annihilationism, as is more common amongst new religions.

  • DesirousOfChange

    OUTSMARTTHESYSTEM: This is a little off topic but DOC's quote explains very simply why many JWs stay captive. The only ones that can help them (former witnesses and those that aren't afraid to be critical of the society) are the ones they avoid completely.

    That is why they are so hellbent on shunning/DFing. It is not to punish wrongdoers, nor to bring those who err into readjusted thinking, it is to keep active JWs from talking to "former" JWs or "conscious" JWs who have discovered TTATT. It's all about information control.


  • jam

    A religious organization that believe in magical underwear

    and have survived, yes the WT will survive.

    Two things contributed to their survival (Mormon),

    the first, isolation (Utah) and second, encouraging

    higher education. One day they will figure out with more

    professional people = more bucks in the contribution box.

    And maybe one day they will all move to, lets say Ark.( State)

    and try the isolation thing.

  • LV101

    jwfacts --- great topic and hope they're past surviving as indicated by Cedars. Some of the posts are too optomistic re/watchtowers' future to read/deal with.

  • besty

    hey Paul - I'd need to look back and see what I said - it would be no surprise if I hoped they would implode shortly after my departure :-)

    At 3.5% growth they will numerically double to 15 million in 20 years - just the maths. The nearer their growth gets to 1.5% the more it looks like stagnation.

    The composition of their membership is undoubtedly changing, as is their business model.

    WRT doctrine - the revolving door is their friend. its all good if you just joined, otherwise you wouldn't have joined, right? I have said before the WTS doesn't seem to care who its members are, just that there are more of them than the year before.

  • smiddy

    "What the Watchtower needs to do to survive ?"

    They need to" TELL THE TRUTH" to to their members/JW`s?/followers /supporters/volunteers/fringe dwellers/fence sitters/family members/and especially their bible studies./and unsuspecting, naive public, they call upon.

    If they told the REAL TRUTH to these people ,the organization of Jehovah`s Witnesses / WTB&TS would not exist


  • tim hooper
    tim hooper

    From what I have seen, the devoutness of the average JW has become diluted over the last couple of decades, particularly since the generation change

    Hours required in the ministry - reduced.

    Group study - gone.

    Meetings reduced in length.

    Publications - down to 16 pages.

    Their music, once rather militant, is now thin and reedy.

    I see witnesses appearing in social scenes that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. A local elder sings with an Irish folk band in pubs and bars. Another wheels and deals in rental property. Still another has been bankrupted and forbidden from becoming a company director for years to come.

    Few local witneses now actively shun the disfellowshipped either.

    IMHO, the urgency has already gone and the average JW has little of the fanaticism of his predecessors.

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