Are you really surprised that the Proclaimers book doesn't present a complete, accurate and unbiased history of the organization? When do JW publications ever give information without applying their own slant to it, i.e. leaving out information that is unfavorable to them or that reflects badly upon their claims of authority?
I don't think they will die out. Even if it's not for a few more decades, I think that their leaders will start moving inexorably toward the mainstream. A lot of the controversial doctrines (blood, neutrality, shunning) will be done away with, and they will become a group that is socially and psychologically healthier to belong to, though they may remain doctrinally outside the mainstream of Christianity.
The Mormons are well along the way to achieving such status. While their doctrines are unorthodox, and there are still some cult-like control issues, Mormons are not as restricted socially, and thus tend to be mentally healthier than JW's - at least that's true of the ones I have known. Mormons are not prohibited from recreational dating as teens, for example. They are not discouraged from participating in school activities, seeking higher education, having good jobs or making friends with non-Mormons. They are encouraged to spend their time with their families in wholesome activities and recreation, and not in schlepping magazines and books from door to door. As a result, I would expect to find that Mormons have fewer psychological problems, on the whole, than JW's, though I have not really investigated the matter personally. Perhaps if Dr. Bergman is reading this thread, he will have some information.
Of course, if the JW's do not move toward the mainstream, but generation after generation of their leaders continue to maintain their totalitarian grip on their followers, then I do believe they will diminish greatly as an organization, though I still don't think they will disappear entirely. The means of disseminating and receiving information will continue to increase over time, and the amount of information available to potential followers will likewise increase, preventing many potential recruits from ever joining, and continuing to dislodge the faithful who are honest enough with themselves to look. Their numbers can only suffer as a result. I can tell you this much - if the Internet had existed in its current form during the late 1960's, I would never have become a JW. How many today are being turned away from becoming JW's because of reading the truth about the organization online?
Edited by - NeonMadman on 3 January 2003 14:6:45