The WTBTS has a long tradition of issuing predictions. But why should they have all the fun?
Here are some of my predictions about the WTBTS. Note that I do not claim to be inspired by God, to be spirit directed by God, to be God's only true channel, to be a prophet of God, to get regular prophetic messages from angels, to be able to discern God's will by measuring the pyramids, or any of the other claims made by the WTBTS. I will claim that my prediction success rate cannot be worse than that of the WTBTS, as theirs is zero.
1) The WTBTS will continue to ease up on the prohibition against blood transfusions, and in a few years it will become a "conscience matter". A few more years and it will be silently dropped as was the stance against vaccinations. The WTBTS will not admit any mistakes on this (nothing new here) due to the legal ramifications. The motivation for the change will be primarily to deflect increasing government scrutiny and so to preserve favorable tax treatment and other operational benefits. As with the generation change of 1995, the full retreat on the transfusion issues will no doubt anger many JWs and some will leave or become unproductive to the WTBTS. But the changeover will occur nonetheless once the WTBTS sees the prospect of gaining a sufficient number of replacements.
2) Much more attention is going to be given to the threat of the Internet. The WTBTS is not ignorant of the fact that the free dissemination of opposing information and of their past practices is costing them hundreds of thousands of members every year. I don't think that the WTBTS will go for an all-out prohibition as that would drive away even more members. They might try to become an Internet service provider themselves and require JWs to use the service. This would support more control over the JWs and would also provide for monitoring. Another possibility is for the WTBTS to distribute their own Internet access software (browser and chat room support) and have this software screen out unfavorable information sources. But it is still a losing battle for the WTBTS as they can't control what material the prospective members get to read.
3) The 144,000 doctrine is going to remain, as will the requirement for anointed status to serve on the Governing Body. What will change is that the 1935 closing date doctrine for anointed status will be silently dropped to allow for less questioning about younger blood showing up on the Governing body. I also think it's possible that anointed status will become something assigned by Brooklyn and not something one finds in one's heart; there will be a lengthy transition period for this as to not offend long time emblem partakers.
4) There will be no dates or other objective time limits set for Armageddon. They have been burned too much on these and it will be a long while before we see more. People are living longer and the memories of the failures of 1975 are not going away anytime soon.
5) There will be some changes in disfellowshipping practices. The WTBTS has ben injured badly by the unfavorable press concerning molestation cover-ups and so we will likely see more stringent rules come down from Brooklyn to limit liability in these cases. I would also expect new light regarding minimum time periods for re-instatement of offenders, including restrictions on attending meetings for the more vile perpetrators. The motivation for this is, as with the transfusion issue, to reduce government and media scrutiny.
6) The WTBTS, faced with the growing inefficiencies of the field service, will expand its marketing efforts in the mass media. We may see a resurrection of sorts of the old WBBR radio station. This could come as a syndicated radio program and perhaps as a set of televised infomercials Maybe there will be a Watchtower television cable channel on one of the satellites. Maybe the WTBTS will start offering free or low cost videotapes or DVDs to prospective new members.
7) Things that will not change: hatred of other religions, hatred of worldly associations, hatred of organized charity (except charity for the WTBTS, of course), and just about all the other hatreds that form the WTBTS tradition.
I think that the annointed will be allowed to finish to zero. I think that the Organization through it's recent reorganizations is preparing to completely eliminate the annointed from the Earth and move the "Great Crowd" into power positions.
I think that in 20-50 years, the annointed will all be in "heaven" and the "Great Crowd" will be the Faithful and Discreet Slaves. New Light. This will allow the religion to survive without all the tricky annointed, remmenent(sp) generation problems that have been a thorn in their sides for so long.
. o O (slipnslidemaster)
You are certainly right about the anointed/144,000 doctrine being an annoyance. On one hand, they rely upon it to give themselves an aura of authority. On the other hand, there is the problem of the non-shrinking number of partakers.
Plus, they have never answered the question: If there are over eight thousand anointed, why is it that only a dozen or so are in any position of responsibility for providing the "new light"? That's one that you'll never see in the WT "Questions from Readers".
I give the WT another 30 yrs then their history.
Some of yr predictions will be truth one day.
Boy, I'll tell you what, I didn't think that they would last this long, but when they removed that pesky "generation" teaching...well they could go on forever now!
In reality, they will adapt and survive in some form or the other, but I just hope that within the next 20 years my family and friends that I grew up with see the real Truth.