Stagnant JW growth at international convention

by kneehighmiah 52 Replies latest jw friends

  • Magnum


    Ironically, when a person becomes an adult and wants to leave the WT, or at least questions some of its teachings, suddenly that person is incapable of doing their own thinking or of making such an important decision all on their own.

    An adult who makes an informed, rational decision based on knowledge and experience will be punished for doing so. A 5 year-old making a lifelong commitment in ignorance is considered by WT to be wise.

    That is a really profoundly serious point. On another thread (maybe about cleaning at a convention or something like that), it was mentioned that those 16 and under (or something like that) could only help in convention cleaning if accompanied by an adult. Somebody (sorry don't remember who it was) commented and said something like "Just think about it. A 15-year-old is not old enough to clean bathrooms on his own, yet he's old enough to have the knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning ability, discernment, etc. necessary to make the important decision to get baptized and sign his life away to an organization."

  • LongHairGal


    With regard to them referring people to a website: Many years ago when I was active in the religion a conversation came up about why the religion doesn't have a radio older JW told me that "well...then people wouldn't need to come to the meetings, etc...."

    Well....what makes the religion think that some people won't do the same thing now that there is a website?? Even though I know that a website is not equal to a radio program, I am sure some will say "why bother going?"

    It just seems that this will give people even more reason to stay home.

    As far as stagnant growth at conventions: all the old timers are dying off, young people are leaving and any growth in the U.S. is at an all time low with the few converts being people with serious issues..... Glad I'm not dealing with that.

    It seems to me that most of the growth is in third-world countries where I dare say some might see the religion (possibly any Western religion) as a means to better their status materially... I remember years ago having return visits that only wanted to practice their English with me. So, this would not surprise me!

  • OneEyedJoe

    LHG - Yeah, I've heard a lot of stories from some who'd gone to serve in mexico, and they said that they continually got pointers on how to determine if people were just trying to learn english. They mentioned that some would request literature in both english and spanish in order to try to learn english by comparing them. Now that I'm mentally out, I'm realizing that the org wasn't so concerned with efficiently recruiting more members as they are with the fact that these people were consuming more literature, and probably not paying anything.

  • LongHairGal


    Yes, I hate to sound jaded but I do feel this is reality with people from these countries.

    Now, this is not to say that there isn't a person here and there who might be interested in scripture. But, I am inclined to think there are far TOO many just looking to improve their situation and who see the religion as a stepping stone. But, lately, these people are the only ones attracted to the religion it seems.

    As everybody knows, in the U.S., it is dwindling and any intelligent, responsible person who is attracted to the religion (perhaps because of an interest in end-time prophecy, etc.) will not stay long. No, not once their eyes are opened. I am glad I am not there anymore because it isn't even the religion I remember from thirty years ago and I certainly would not deal with the issues and the problematic people that are there now.


    I saw several little cult members getting dunked. It's child abuse.


  • The Scotsman
    The Scotsman

    My wife was talking to one of her neice's the other week who still goes to meetings. She was part of a group of 6 young sisters who hung out together, went out in ministry together, sat next to each other at the assemblies etc etc.

    Anyway it transpires that one of the 6 revealed that she had been doing external research of the org and was stopping attending meetings.
    Fast forward 6 months - my wifes niece is the only one still attending - and even she is beginning to look like a free thinking adult.

    I am cautious to get overly excited at the JW.ORG demise - but you know what - I think we may be at a turning point.

  • Magnum

    Very interesting, The Scotsman. I'm extremely curious to see what the next year or two will bring. That's why I check this site every day. The account you related, though anecdotal, is, I think, indicative of a bigger trend. I guess we'll see.

  • DJS

    Scotsman and Magnum,

    Interesting account and analysis. It is difficult for me to believe that the Borg will continue to fluorish based on the culture of the Millenials (under 33 or so) that I see in most western lands. In the US and much of Europe, that generation has shown tendencies to be less religious, political and family oriented (think Friends). They are also much more liberal (the vast majority favor same sex unions/marriage, for example). They are moving back into cities/urban areas at a high rate and many eschew cars and driving. They also are the first generation with the Internet in all its glory, readily available to them at their fingertips.

    They are different than the generations before them, and it remains to be seen how this translates to the Borg. Up to this point - not so well it would seem. IMHO, the Borg could likely survive a 'lost' generation; however, if the generation coming after the Millenials acts and thinks as the Millenials - or are even more liberable, independent, etc. - the Borg would appear to be in major trouble. I do not believe the Borg could survive, in its present form, with two lost generations. Major changes would be required.

    The other unknown is how fast the developing world can come into a 2nd or 1st world economy. If the 'have-not's and the poor and uneducated can quickly develop a better standard of living, access to education and healthcare, the Borg will suffer another blow, since that is where its growth is coming. An example: the "Arab Spring" was in large part initiated by the Millenial Internet cafe generation of young Muslims and Arabs. The revolution predicatably got 'hijacked' as they have stated, by their parents' generation. Why? Simple. Their parents' generation had the money, the influence and the weaponry. But that will change; time is on the Internet generation's side. The parallels between the Arab Spring, which has not fulfilled its promise but may likely in the future simply based on the numbers and the generation coming, and the Borg are similar.

    IMHO, these are the two major trends which will determine whether the Borg evolves to where it is a kinder, gentler borganization. Time will tell.

  • Phizzy

    Internet access is spreading faster than I would have thought, based upon economic development, so time is short to keep the poorer people in ignorance as the WT/JWOrg would wish.

    Interesting that the Internet is a big driver for people to improve their lives economically, by On-line trading etc. They will not have to wait for a never to be realised paradise earth to appear, people can get better lives NOW !

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Phizzy: They will not have to wait for a never to be realised paradise earth to appear, people can get better lives NOW !

    Bad news for will not be able to take advantage of the disenfranchised and hopeless to gain new members.

    "Better lives now"-- it's terrible what Satan does to people. LOL. Prosperity is a sure sign that one is not doing things Jehovah's™ way. Abundance and happiness are only an illusion of Satan.

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