Are JW's inflating their numbers?

by thedepressedsoul 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • thedepressedsoul

    Lately I'm just not buying their official numbers. I've since waken up I've been noticing that a lot of their changes have actually inflated their numbers. Let me explain:

    First, a study got changed to 15 minutes or less as long as it happened 3 times. I remember when a study wasn't a study until you got invited into their house and had an hour long discussion with the person every week. The person had to be very interested to qualify for a study. I'm sure a lot of you will remember that from back in the day. Now, you can count a study if you've met with the person 3 times! It can be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes! As long as you've had a literature discussion three times, you can start counting it as a study. Has their number of studies actually gone up by how much they claim or did how they count a study add a huge boost to the numbers?

    Secondly, they did changes to publishers and counting time. First, they say you can now count only 15 minutes a month. Can you imagine anyone trying to explain to an elder that they can't witness 15 minutes a month? It doesn't matter if you're dying of illness, in a nursing home, fading, or stuck at home. You have no excuse not to count 15 minutes per month. I'd love to see how many active publishers alone that change added. You also have had a push for younger baptisms in the last few years. How much of this 2% growth is actually just young kids getting baptized because they are pressured by their peers, parents and elders? It use to not be considered a good idea to baptize young. We are going to start seeing this pushed more and more! An inflation of numbers.

    Third, they love to go off of "peak publishers" in their reports. What exactly is "peak publishers"? I'm assuming it's the most they had at any given month during the year, maybe they don't include DF ones or inactive ones until later in the year? I really don't know but I do know that if I planned my yearly finances on my "peak income" I'd be in deep trouble the remaining 11 months out of the year! They are providing a very biased and inflated number!

    In my congregation alone, in the last calendar year we had 2 baptized. 1 a born in and the other has witness family (high pressure). But, we've had 3 died, 1 completely leave, 3DF and 1 or 2 that went inactive. That's just my hall! I am hearing very similar situations for various other halls.

    It is boggling my mind how there is any growth what so ever in the US! From my observations something is not adding up! I remember huge lines of people being baptized and the assemblies and conventions. Our last assembly had like 4 total! Our last convention didn't even have that many! Something is fishy with their statistics.

    Have they secretly stopped removing DF ones from their numbers?

  • sir82

    What exactly is "peak publishers"?

    Here's why "peak publishers" is misleading. I'll just simplify it down to a congregation of 100 publishers.

    Let's say in June, 90 publishers turn in field service reports and 10 forget to do so.

    Then in July, 80 publishers turn in a report and 20 forget and turn nothing in.

    In August, the secretary realizes that he has to close out the "service year" and he sees many publishers missed some months. So he is more aggressive than usual and hounds the 10 & 20 publishers who did not turn in reports for previous months. So he gets 130 reports for August (100 publishers in service in August + 30 reports from previous months).

    Per instructions, he will enter "130" as the count of publishers for August.

    130 people in his congregation did not go out in service in August - only 100 did. But because he received 130 reports, for August and other months, the "official statistics" show a "peak" of 130 publishers for that month.

    The numbers are exaggerated - there typically aren't so many "prior month" reports in a given month. But multiply out a similar scenario across 110,000 congregations, and you'll find that "peak publishers" is really over-reported by a factor of hundreds of thousands.

    "Average publishers" is a better measure - in my scenario above, the 3-month average is 100 ( [80 + 90 + 130] / 3 ) which is more accurate.

    All that said, I think the WTS's numbers are an accurate reflection of what is reported to them.

    The real exaggeration comes at the local level - publishers reporting "fake time", inflating their hours, making up non-existent family studies, elders inventing time for their kids' reports so they can hold onto their positions, etc.

  • redvip2000

    This over reporting begins at the personal level. If a publisher reports 10 a month for preaching, it's safe to say that perhaps 2 or 3 is actual preaching, while the rest is all nonsense like driving, coffee, stopping between houses to talk about life, bible studies with kids, etc etc.

  • millie210

    I too am curious most of all about the baptism numbers.

    We see (and have for years) the numbers of people standing there at assemblies getting lower and lower and yet they keep reporting increases. How can this be?

  • sir82

    How can this be?

    There is still significant growth in the Spanish-language, and other language, congregations in the US.

    As of 10 years ago, literally 1/4 of the JWs in the US were in Spanish language congregations. I expect that ratio is now well above 30%, maybe closer to 40%.

  • dubstepped

    I got a kick out of people posting inflated attendance numbers on Facebook from the International Conventions. No, you didn't have 100k in attendance at YOUR convention. The tie ins were being counted.

    And hey, if they lower the numbers enough everybody can be an auxiliary pioneer. The funny thing there is watching people lament it when the hours go back up. "I wish the goal were 30 hours again. I could do that." Well, if it's about serving Jehovah and not about titles, what's stopping you? You can get the old school 60 hours in if tyou want. It's supposed to be about giving your best, right?

  • antes8080

    one thing about the numbers of study increase was that the family study can be counted so if you have one year old and show them a video a week is a study.

    I remember someone at the cong would report 4 hours 4 return visits 1 study and I ask him he told me he gave study to his one year old

  • steve2

    It's good to be skeptical but I agree with posters who have stated that, if any inflation of hours spent in field service occurs, it is most likely at the individual Witness level, rather than a sneaky inflation by local elders or some person at headquarters who gathers all the incoming data for the annual report.

    Last year - 2014 - was a special year for several reasons, including the 100th anniversary of 1914 and the much bally-hooed international conventions. The upswing in numbers baptized that year compared to the previous few years is probably not unexpected. But the baptism numbers were still no where near as high as they were in the 1990s - so I do not think they are playing around with numbers for purposes of impression management.

    If that were the case, they would not be reporting the ongoing increases over several consecuative years of memorial partakers.

  • thedepressedsoul
    Do you think we'll be seeing negative growth anytime soon? Like a decline in publishers? So far they've been able to keep every year a growth minus one year here and there.
  • Crazyguy
    I think the biggest inflation of numbers that matter is the number of JW's. When you take out the kids and husbands that go to just support thier stupid wives, there's less then I'd say 5 million real dubs.

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