behind the curtain: literature offer for the month
- I grew up in a family where 3 generations of males handled literature. Some complained that other brothers had overestimated the stock, some books had been there for 5 years, some yellowing. They were instructed to take inventory and move the books they had the most of. In one congregation some beknighted individual had ordered 100 copies of the orange Eternal Purpose book. A boring and convoluted book that even jws never understood. I knew jws that would get them and toss them (prior to 1990 paid for them so the WTS got their money). The WTS knew how much potential money was tied up in some congregations inventory. They tried to get nearby congregations to exchange overstock.
Thank you for the historical perspective. It seems that nearly every congregation had an overstock of these old, long, Franz-era books. That is too much of a coincidence for me to be a coincidence. I suspect that the ego and narcissism surrounding Franz and a few of the other old-timers drove most of this over-stock. I doubt seriously if it was a 'pull' from the congregations.
Franz and a few of the others had somewhat of a mystical prophetic force field around them for decades. That, IMHO, is what resulted in the overstock. The smoking gun of proof is if they printed even one of these during that period.
I noticed the same when I was at bethel.
There was always a push to move the older publications.
The watchtower was masters at what is known as "stuffing the supply chain." For example every publisher has stacks of un place magazines and books, the congregation has stacks of magazines and the society had an a corresponding stack of unsold. And yet at the same time they would advertise the how much publishing as proof that they were in pursuit of the hearts of the honest hearted truth-seekers.
In reality campaigns were simply to relieve excess inventory. Or at least to shift the inventory to the hands of the publishers.
This is a very inefficient and costly system. It seems they have gotten away from this by focusing on web-based material.
When the product is made by unpaid volunteers and sold by unpaid volunteers and decisions are made by unpaid volunteers who kissed ass to get up the chain, these things are bound to be a bit screwed up. It seems that back in the day, it was assumed that money would not be an issue and it was easier to run millions of each publication on the presses and put them in boxes, than it would be to run the now-needed number and run more later.
I always thought the monthly offer was driven by overstock. But there were plenty of simplistic and not-so-simplistic books mixed into older 192-page books, so I assumed the angels would make sure the householder would get what he needs.
You are right, I was the literature servant and the CO whose name was Larry Punko made us go at night to the Kingdom Hall and we gathered at least 1000 books and took them to an isolated place, poured gasoline on them and burned them. He made sure we all stayed there until they were completely destroyed. Then he made us go to each publisher and demand any of the old books on the list he gave us. Then we burned those to. I never thought anything about it. Till now.
We never went to such an extreme, it was just the stock in the KH we had to destroy.
- John Aquila....holy moley, burning books! That were published by jehovahs one true organization! And hunting them down, house to house.....that is surreal.
John Acquila, wow, a book burning! That's ironically chilling.
So a conscientious JW prepares their presentation for Sunday afternoon field service, organizes their busy life around that important event, travels to the field service arrangement, pairs off with someone who maybe has prepared the same way or maybe is just out to 'get some time in', gets into some car or van stuffed with other JW's and their book bags, gets out of the vehicle, walks up some avenue, traipsing up and down sidewalks and stairs, knocks on numerous doors and gets either, 'not at homes', indifference, or outright hostility from the 'householders'.
Then, finally someone comes to the door that is willing to listen, actually wants to hear a message and needs some 'guiding direction' in their life and the JW offers them some out-of-date, old light/changed light/ remnant of 144,000/faithful and discreet slave/Cedar Point Ohio Convention/1919/1914/1975 crap.