Jehovah's Witnesses May Have Peaked in Membership at 8 Million (+/-)

by OnTheWayOut 74 Replies latest jw friends

  • berrygerry

    sir82 ' ... Number of baptisms declined for the 2nd year in a row....'

    Perhaps the congregations are running out of 8 year olds.

    A corporation can "borrow" from the next quarter to make the present quarter acceptable. You can possibly do that for two, and rarely three, quarters.

    At some point, there will be an accounting.

    The 15-minute report rule, and the infant baptism, have been used up. Now, the accounting begins.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Page 1 replies:

    neverendingjourney, I was in a foreign language cong. and get that it was seeing it all for the first time. Too bad that guy didn't wake up.

    Crazyguy, I agree. Third world countries were their growth. But it wasn't sustained there. They figured out that the religion sucked. The thing was that first world countries were paying for the growth and now they are not paying "enough." They pull the plug in third world and growth goes away. It's going to spiral now. Too bad it'll be a slow spiral, in my opinion. I hope I am wrong and the work is sped up.

    elderlNewton, I think they have been getting creative for years to make the U.S. seem to grow. The last growth was all in foreign language congs. and they are figuring it out that the religion sucks, or at least their growth is done. English Americans have been done for awhile.

    tim310rd, I think they may try that. Their loss after 1976 arrived did not take away their gains because of 1975. But I think they will wimp out and not declare the end so definite. And I only think it will really work for retaining longer, I doubt it will have much effect on new recruits- maybe a higher percentage of kids will stay for awhile. But they will leave in droves when the 120 years is up. 2035 could be a real problem for them, and many current GB will be alive still.

    LostGeneration, many still thought the GB should have stuck with the 1914 generation without an overlap and then they lost faith after 100 years. But the Halls closing- that adds to the spiral effect. Less halls, less people will drive to them, less donations as they gotta put it in the gas tank, less money- they will have to close more halls, etc. etc.

    freddo, your two points are excellent. My wife was in a third world country (well, maybe an emerging third world country) this year and they got internet.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim
    Yeah, I can't ever recall Memorial attendance ever being ''down'' before.
  • OnTheWayOut

    Page 2 replies:

    sir82, and this is on the heels of taking everyone's money and promising there's a great building work. They will have members questioning things and add to the exit spiral.

    freddo likes your comment, sir82.

    James Mixon, I used "not knowing the anointed," specifically the GB, in my elder resignation letter. I definitely knew better by the time they got on video, but I would have expected something better, something more dignified from everything they said and did. If God "spirit-directs" you (which by definition is really the same as "inspires) then you won't be goofy and petty and talking "spanks" and other nonsense. You won't be telling members that the expenditures outweigh the donations right after robbing the congregations.

    StarTrekAngel, I see switching away from print as a necessary part of a printing company's death spiral. Magazines have done it. Newspaper is dying. So yeah, many members aren't contributing for the literature, but I think they were nearly at a loss before starting to bail out. Damned if they printed, damned if they didn't. The real estate game, glad you brought it up. It's profits, but look at their terrible timing. After 2008, Bethel properties are worth far less in dollars. Kingdom Halls haven't bounced back enough from then either. The plan to build more commercial-like instead of residential-like buildings is good, but too late. They needed them a decade or more ago. I think it adds to the idea that God isn't behind their decisions.

    antes8080, thanks for sharing personal observations. I think without literature, "publishers" just won't care to remain busy. And they are tired. I think all the reasons listed are part of them becoming inactive. It will cause them not to get their kids in, add to the death spiral.

    James Mixon, so they need a Joel Osteen. That requires the current batch to allow such a person in their mix. They seem to avoid inviting into the circle, someone who will take over the circle, Still, it could happen as a move of desparation. I still say any bold move will burn out in time, though. These are not the 700-Club or megachurch types.

    WingCommander, 3 congs. and more are common in many areas. I have seen double halls with 8 congregations. I know they can also build a cheaper hall in a rough neighborhood and sell 3 or 4 in good neighborhoods to pay for it and come out ahead. That may be how they pretend the building work starts up again.

    Dropoffyourkeylee, amen to that. Thanks.

    ivanatahan, thanks. Slowing of growth make them say the end is closer. But then the members expect "the end" to arrive. Vicious spiral. Excellent thought: "People are finally realizing that God's 'chosen religion' is just another man-made religion that can't even fend for itself." George Carlin said it: "He's (God) all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!”

    LostGeneration, my mother's congregation hasn't had to do that yet, but there's been talk for a few years that they would sell off their convenient (valuable) hall property and drive way the hell out there to another. I think they will not be going back into homes in the USA, and I think they don't give a damn about poor "service" attendance anymore, as literature is a loss. But my mother definitely doesn't want to drive all that way all the time.

  • never a jw
    never a jw
    The trend is clear in the U.S. Hispanic community. In the 90's, it was growing very fast. Today, stagnation. Young and newly married are not that excited about following in their parents footsteps. They just seem to pretend to take advantage of the social interaction. Also they are not interested in having children. They want to enjoy the world of Satan: money and every pleasure it brings, big and small. So no children, no baptisms, no zeal, means no growth and even contraction. The older generations are getting tired and the new ones never quite got the interest. The young Hispanic, especially those born and raised in the U.S. are quite similar in values to the young Americans. Immigration, legal or illegal has gone down in recent decades. The impetus of the 90's and even early millennium is wearing out rather fast. The future does not look good for the WT, even in that once reliable and loyal sector of the immigrant Hispanic.
  • OnTheWayOut

    Starting page 3 replies:

    introvert 2, great comments about " bumbling moves of the GB" and "weirdos."

    sir82, I even question that people are going to the website. In the past, they had to push more and more literature onto people- mags, tracts, a book, the Bible- to get them recruited. I highly doubt people go to the website more than once or twice and then google the Watchtower or JW's and find better stuff about them.

    James Mixon, that's typical. Many USA congregations in a busy hall have lost closeness as they rush out and say "See you next meeting."

    Heartsafire, I have heard of many Spanish (and other groups) not supporting shunning- just plain ignoring it. That's part of the death spiral. If they don't shun, more feel free to leave. If they enforce shunning, those that leave get their family to leave (or stay, but be pissed off and not donate as much).

    JWdaughter, the worldwide work fund is supposedly supporting a massive Kingdom Hall building fund, but now members know it's not. I think donations will go down and contribute to the death spiral. Actually, the funds are part of the pedophile defense fund, but they don't say that. But there's plenty they are spending money on.
    I don't think they will have a quick death. I hope hope hope I am wrong. It may pick up momentum. Your WWCOG comments give me more hope.

  • OnTheWayOut

    A huge part of their own demise.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I missed commenting on Borders and Barnes and Noble on a page 1 comment. (American book stores- Borders went bankrupt and B&N is struggling.) They were kind of forced to offer electronic readers. People could get their reading material cheaper on a Kindle or Nook. If they didn't offer them, Amazon would get all the sales of electronic readers. These readers suck compared to books, but are way cheaper and there's less to carry. You can get library books on them for free. As the book stores offered these, it just led to their own problems magnifying. The books on the shelf are too expensive and people go to Amazon for books. Then lo and behold, they can get new better electronic readers without the book stores. That's what Watchtower turning to the internet is like to me. Even the members who don't figure out that it's a cult (and they are a small number) wind up feeling no need to donate money if they have no literature in hand and all their material was gathered electronically for free, just like the library.

  • OnTheWayOut

    More page 3 replies:

    fukitol, I hate to get "all excited here over a dip in numbers." But I try to stay grounded and consider that they will maintain some of what they have for quite a while to come. But I really think (and many agree) that the organisation is too far past a point of bouncing back. They demonized the internet and are forced to embrace it. They are a giant printing company in a world where print is dying. They never had so many lawsuits. I have read THE TIPPING POINT. Once things go so far, they might be unstoppable. Some went back to WTS after 9-11. So you could be right that they will bounce back. But most of the 9-11 returners have left by now.

  • Dunedain

    Wouldnt another "barometer", of "unrest", and "decline" with the R&F, be a huge influx, and increase in membership on THIS very site, and others like it. I would logically think that there must be some sort of corrolation between the 2, right?

    Maybe Simon could let us know if lately, like within the past few months, or year, there has been an increase in membership, specifically. I dont know, just a thought.

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