Why is the WTBTS Dumbing Down?

by hillbilly 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • hillbilly

    Have you noticed the Watchtower's slow drift into another self-destructive trap of their own design?

    I know I will get a couple of responses from some. The opinions will generally come from two camps:

    • The Society will never die because there will always be ones willing to write a mental "blank check"and embrace "God" through his "Orginization".
    • The Society will prosper because it IS God's Orginzation in our times.

    The first bullet has merit. As long as mankind lives and breaths a "sucker" will be born every minute, willing to buy into the co-dependent swill spewed out by the FDS class. (the Publishing company). Even if the WT went to "0" growth today it would take years for all of today's members to die out.

    The second bullet drives the title of this post. If this is God's Orginzation in out time how will the Watchtower continue to be effective in 'preaching the word"? The changes in the Theocratic Ministry School indicate a cancer in the system. As a group, the Witnesses are seeing a steady loss of intellectual capacity that hinders will contibute to the demise of the Orginization.

    Why did the Society develop the TMS? To educate a better breed of salesperson. The very word educate is a key here. Setting motives and doctine aside, the TMS training did teach many to be very effective, thousands of "average" people have been taught to effiently bring others to there point of veiw. And giving credit where credit is due the TMS has helped many to become very able and enjoyable speakers in the past. So why would the Watchtower reduce the TMS to a mere "reading practice session"?

    I think they just don't have the "brain power" in the ranks to carry on the TMS program in a meaningful format. And the Society fears publishers with any reasearch skills.

    Over the years the actual people making up the Rank and File have changed. Back in the old days (Russell to the early 70's or so) "Worldly" people were converting in great numbers. This group brought two things with it. Practical educational skills and work background. Most of these people in that era learned basic composition, and math to graduate high school and those that did'nt had dealt with the world through the "College of Hard Knocks". The Society built it's empire on the backs of a workforce that came to them with a skills set, pre-trained and functional at no charge to the WTBTS.

    Now we are at the point in time were this core groups children (second and third even fourth generations) are the working core of the Rank and File. This group had been sheilded from the world, and just dont have the same background or ability of those who "came in" years ago. What "spiritual" knowlege these people has has been handed to them -pre digested. While the earlier generations escaped the "world" (with the benefits of being trained in some things by the world), the offspring is trapped. They have for the most part never had to exercize the "mental gymnastics" to accept the teachings- they are simply "the way it is" for many of them.

    The Witness "experience" along with a general demise in what we expect from public education has the Watchtower in a bind. Soon they will have a hard time developing the talent to "preach" the word using their traditional methods. We are seeing this already.

    I sat through a TMS/Service Meeting recently. In my opinion, I sensed a real drop in quality. The male speakers spoke in a fashion that, well, they verbalized the bullet points of the outline, but did'nt offer much for fillers or tie points together well. At face value they seemed bored, but I have to think that the TMS's gradual decline (they have been gutting the program for years) has given them a cadre of underqualified speakers.

    The Service Meeting was the same. The Service Demos were by grown men-- giving what would have passed for a young childs magizine presentation years ago. Some recent departees in this forum seem to indicate that they had not used ( or been encourage too, for that matter) use a BIBLE in service. Perhaps you were never trained to, from my observation the goal of the Society has been to not teach much to a "minister" of God? For any one Lurking to read this post-- examine the quality of your MINISTRY ("service" is a WT buzz word). Ask any of us EX old timers- we were expected and trained to defend and Teach our beliefs to the folks we metat the door. Sermons were not sucessful unless you got to quote a scripture or two and get a little engagment from the audience. When was the last time you got in the home and worked "off the cuff" preaching with your Bible for an hour? Used to happen all the time. I won't debate the message but I will say that the ability to deliver it has been compromised.

    Will the proposed changes to the TMS help the Society gain converts? I can't see how the WTBTS can sustain a base of qualified speakers, and doorstep minister long term. If the current trend continues, the WT will rely "the stones" crying out soon enough.

    Remember a few years ago when the average Witness could fight a Blood Transfusion or other issue ALL by Hisself, with nothing but the Bible? Now we need to issue a booklet to School teachers for our kids or have a Committee negotiate our medical needs.

    I was always confident in my ability to defend my faith- now a Body or Committe needs to do the "heavy lifting" and I just have to make sure I mark "no" on the form, so to speak? Yes, the Society has a vested intrest to skew the outcome in many encouters but it seems discouraging to me not to be able to "take the point" in battles of faith. Christians are supposed to fight there own fights of faith and "older men" are supposed to offer support. That's what concience is all about, is it not?

    So to sum this up........In a few short years the Watchtower will be reduced get the "word" out and sustain growth (read:cashflow)

    I see a return to Media, like TV and Radio . They used to be in the radio business on the front of the "qualified minister" curve. The "Infomercial" is a natural for the WTBTS. As Qualified speakers ( and paranoia about manuscript deviation grows) I see Public Talks and Meeting parts prepared by "Mother" in PowerPoint or DVD. The Rank and File can't produce the talent and the Society seem to want out of that aspect of training. Now we are on the backside of the curve and the Rank and file just cant do the Society's work-only support it.


    (edited this cause i couldnt get the Html codes out-- long story)

    Edited by - hillbilly on 1 January 2003 13:22:39

    Edited by - hillbilly on 1 January 2003 13:24:19

    Edited by - hillbilly on 1 January 2003 13:25:40

  • minimus

    After reading 30 Years A Watchtower Slave, I've come to the conclusion that the Society would rather lose 3/4ths of their membership to keep a few stalwarts that will continue their agenda than risk having a large number of "apostates" infiltrate the group. They will always try to not make you think.

  • bay64me


    That is scary!

  • blondie

    Isn't that what happened after the struggle for control in 1917/1918 and the debacle of 1925, that the WTS lost 3/4 of its membership?


  • minimus

    Yes Blondie,it was during that time. The history of the Watchtower has always been a good indicator for their future moves. I think that they are not making so much money on publishing as they are on property and donations. MONEY will always be the key to their ultimate decision making.

  • jgnat

    If we look at the WTS as a large corporation rather than a large denomination, their behavior makes a lot more sense. If I compared the WTS to a BCG matrix it appears that most of the organization is a cash cow. The WTS is no longer a "star" performer - except perhaps in some of the third world countries - and it is dropping it's "question marks" and its "dogs". If I am right, the WTS will continue to reduce its expenses as much as possible, without hurting profits.

  • RR

    They have no choice, all their smart ones have either been forced out, chased out or have voluntarily left!


    [edited for typos]

    Edited by - RR on 1 January 2003 17:46:38

  • larc

    jgnat, the Boston Consulting Group Matrix. I am impressed. Not too many people know about that. I do think it is a good comparision, organizationally speaking.

  • Athanasius

    Excellent point, R R.

  • hillbilly
    minimus Yes Blondie,it was during that time. The history of the Watchtower has always been a good indicator for their future moves. I think that they are not making so much money on publishing as they are on property and donations. MONEY will always be the key to their ultimate decision making.

    Minimus-- good point, but with a virtual "0" growth ( and if they reported the losses honestly) an overall loss of members they will eventually get behind the curve on property and donation income.

    Plus the biggest loses are in nations with the wealthiest "brothers". The countries were the biggest reported gains are are areas were membership has small incomes and few assets.

    I think the move to Paterson and closing the big printing operation in the States gives me the hint they are drifting out of the paper publishing aspect of the opertation. I think they will shift focus to more tape and digital products in the future. The 'cut and paste" mentality shows up in the newer books. Its a matter of overhead and profit.

    They need a better way to market the swill and frankly the "Freinds" aint gettin it done. The Society cant kill em but the sure can chage the business plan.


    Edited by - hillbilly on 1 January 2003 17:28:2

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