I agree w/you Isaacaustin but OTOH how does the Catholic Church keep 'em in and continue growing? People want to worship in a way they can make their own decisions/choices/mistakes and have some place they go and feel all better (Catholic Church and other mainstream religions) at least what my friends told me when referring to the JW religion.
WTS Loses Money By Disfellowshipping Info.
The WTS pretty much just df's the "vocal" disagreers, and the very "brazen" already. If their members could openly disagree with any one thing, then it affects the congregation/thinking. A cult cannot allow dissentlng opinion.
Wasn't it Deep Throat during Watergate who said, "Follow the money"?
If this report is true, it might go back to: ‘Zion’s Watch Tower’ has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: ‘All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,’ fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.”
I have heard at times they determine "Jehovah's will" by this method. They might care not about the Bible (at least the parts that inconvenience them like the Gospels) or about the people, but when funds and numbers start drying up...that should get their attention. If a rank and file member were to try to determine whether or not it's God's will for them to pioneer, that would be wrong in their book. But they use that same thinking when it comes to the organization's direction.
If the peak/average publishers in a year is slightly padded by well meaning congergation secretaries, as is claimed by some, adding an hour here or there for somebody so they don't appear inactive, mostly to avoid the ire of the CO, it wouldn't take much to make there appear to be growth, when growth is actually stagnated.
Also, people might write two hours on a slip of paper, either real or feigned, to keep the elders off their back, but since the contribution box in anonymous, the real feelings might be reflected there. However, donations might be down, even by active members, who might be getting a bit disillusioned by the growing hardline position, or even by those awakening, but they have to go through the motions.
Even if the numbers are a bit padded in the yearly report, the money doesn't lie.
Hey yomamma... I would disagree with you on the mass exodus. I know it sounds weird but if the threat of shunning is lifted than people dont have to hide their true thoughts and feelings. Seperate from the blood issue, the jw would just fall in line with the other many other religions that oddly enough people want to worship in. The religion becomes somewhat mainstream. No coersion thru fear so no reason to leave if you dont agree with everyone else. People really do want to belong to a religion and from the many comments on this board.... many witnesses still beleive that "JW's follow the bible the closest even thought they get some things wrong" (excuse me as i just threw up a little in my mouth)
The wife and I were talking about this at breakfast today. WTBT$ IS ALL about money one day (lawsuit prevention), and the next day they throw it all out the window for POWER and control. Back and forth. - Just like JW doctrine... one day we were almost some kind of Orthadox Jews...the next CHRISTIANS.
Any of the legal team at Bethel who worked in corporate law could sit down and outline a very workable "business plan" within a couple of weeks, that would bring in $$, limit liability, and work within the confines of the bulk of accepted JW doctrine. BUT I bet NO ATTORNEY at Bethel would suggest the emperors have no clothes.
The Governing Body LIKES "NUUU light", POWER, and micromanagement. I was astounded when reading Ray Franz's books that the GB would even bother reviewing "individual judicial cases" when they should have been looking at the big picture for an organization of millions of people and Billions of dollars...or at least pretending to wonder what GOD/ JESUS wants ? . The idea struck me as "kooky". - If you were the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, would you have the entire Board have a meeting in the Personel Dept. every WED to discuss individual terminations amoung your millions of employees?
Perhaps applying LOGIC to the actions of the JW Governing body is a fools game.........
my 2 cents.
I really believe the WTS is eating it big time regarding $$$. I have a feeling they've also lost a lot of money in the stock market and bad investments. On top of all the law suits, litrature, low donations, scandle.....what a mess.... I'm sure even the RCC has a better handle of their money.
Let's not forget too that by keeping you from going to college (like those of my generation who didn't need to go to school because the end was so close), a bunch of us are stuck working dead-end, manual labor jobs, and can't hardly put food on the table, more or less have *ANYTHING* left over to put in the box. My middle aged body can't take much more of the manual labor that I have to do on a daily basis. No health insurance either! Where's the WTBTS health care plan? I can't think of anything that makes you more a part of the world, than going on welfare and having a bunch of worldly people's tax dollars support you because you didn't go to school so you could provide for yourself adequately. They've created a whole generation of people that cannot afford to put anything in the donation box because we don't have anything left to give. You darn right they're hurting.
I insist on asking, "Where did their legal team get their eduation?" Were they non-JWs before becoming JW lawyers? Then that must mean it would be okay for me to leave, get my degree, then I could be a JW Lawyer right? What about all these war veterans who are now JWs but still drawing their veterans pay. That bothers my conscience so they should have to give up that money because it ties them into this world and their military service.
So much unfairness and punishing the weak and humble...
Makes me sick...
There would be nothing to stop them softening their stance on fornicators while hardening their stance on apostates. All they need to do is write a few articles stating that sinners need to be shown compassion in the congregation to correct their path. And a few more articles stating that apostates on the other hand are poisonous scum who must be utterly shunned for the sake of the congregation. Even if they left it to ordinary members to "mark" in their own mind who is apostate, the system of thought control could remain intact, perhaps even be reinforced by a new sense of democratic vigilantism as all publishers, and not just primarily elders in the committee room, participate in scrutinising each others attitudes for signs of apostasy.
By softening their stance on fornicators while hardening their stance on apostates they could contrive to retain "morally weak" but essentially docile members within the fold, while still managing to exclude or at least stigmatise potentially dangerous ideological opponents in their ranks.