Jehovah's Witnesses May Have Peaked in Membership at 8 Million (+/-)
What All Time Jeff said very succinctly. I agree, except that I don't believe the GB is going to change in order to appease the JW's - I feel they are definitely arrogant SOB's who are going to make people continue to tow the WT party line by through use of the shunning " program " and the GB will still be defiant against releasing ANY child abuse scandal information at all in order to avoid self incrimination. I think in time the WT leaders will go down with all guns flaring away defiantly still claiming to be God's alleged " faithful & discreet slave . " It's just that in my 44 years in the JW cult until 2003- I never saw any indication the GB apologizes about anything. They always shift the blame to the rank & file JW's. Anyway- My 2 cents I agree with most everything All Time Jeff states
What All Time Jeff and Flipper said . .
Now the sacked bethel middle managers and special pioneers are getting out into the congregations they will bring with them a strange mix. On the one hand they were once at the hub of the organization and they may be expecting some deference.
On the other they will be needing the congregations support for accommodation, association, work and ministry. So they need to be nice.
Then a third point comes into play - however it has been dressed up - they have been shafted. They will be fighting resentment towards their branch committee that chose them to be the ones kicked to the kerb.
Their confidence will be diminished. It is going to be an interesting time.
Let us get down to business:
Let us see it from within:
It is God's organization. How can God show His displeasure, show that He is angry with what is happening? He can let the organization experience stagnation or decline.
How? He cannot do it thru letting "members" flee from His organization, because whereto would they then flee? (I am careful in choosing the wording "where" and not "whom" here). Should they flee to Christendom? No way. It is His organization, it sticks to the core beliefs He wants it to uphold, such as trinity, soul, hell, hereafter etc. He does not want His followers to join organizations supporting unchristian belief. He can do it, therefore, in slowing down the pace of new members entering, thus showing that this no longer is His clean organization to which He wants His followers to enter.
What has changed? A decade ago, the number of new converts was at an all time high. Have the members changed? No, they are the same, they are as firm in their belief as before, He would not condemn them. The elders are the same. There are problems with paedophilia etc. sure, but the elders are the same as a decade ago. On the membership and congregational leaders' level nothing has changed.
Beliefs and methods have changed. The servant, sheep/goats, mark in the forehead, fewer magazines, more on the internet, television, fewer meetings, lots of stuff. But that is only a result, not a reason.
What is different now and 15 years ago? What has changed?
A frightening thought:
What has changed, what is different - is the GBv2 towards the GBv1. The members.
Gone is the gentle Barr. Gone is the beloved Sydlik. Gone is the humble Booth. Gone is the Swingle who KNEW. Loesch is the same, but all the rest are new ones.
So what is it God can disapprove of?
............... Right. You've got it.
dozy that's interesting you say decline started in the 1970s, because that's roughly when my congregation peaked with around 90 at the meetings. Now it's about 50 to 60 on a good day. (I think, it's been a while since I've been) I just thought our congregation was atypical, which is plausible because it's an economically depressed area and the local population has dropped by over 20%, one of the largest falls anywhere in the country.
But how can there be a decline in the UK since the 1970s when the figures show there were 75,000 publishers in 1975 and now there's over 130,000? Even allowing for lower meeting attendance it doesn't make sense.
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All Time Jeff, here's some of the inconsistencies with Watchtower-
1975 came and went and nothing happened. People left. But the bills were still being payed.
But not so much today. Right up until 2015, many who might have wanted to question WTS still were able to tell themselves that God was blessing the direction they were taking. Today, members know the organization is struggling and that the GB is not handling it like "spirit-directed" people should.
now they have completely done a 180 and asking everyone to get all of their information from the Internet.
To old-timers, this is way deeper than the flip to blood fractions.
Internet- WONDERFUL and we fully embrace using it. All things lead to the website
printing is dying
...but surely, Jehovah will bless the printing of Watchtower materials. Nope. People have too much to read and we should print less.
Thanks for insightful comments.
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Flipper, AMEN. I think ATJ was referring to a Watchtower leadership admitting mistakes in prophecy when they have no other choice- millions of followers gone and a lean organization left that would disintegrate without such an admission. And like you, I wonder if, even then, they will say much was wrong. I suppose it would have to be a different leadership that takes over and says "Those last guys were wrong." Even then, i can see it like you- "Those last guys were wrong, but you were told to investigate on your own like the Bereans did, and to watch out for false prophets. You share the blame."
Thanks for reading and joining in, ShirleyW.
freddo, I think about the same thing.
Kicked out Bethelite to congregation members: "No, I am not here to straighten out your congregation, I am not a spy for Watchtower. I am here to serve you and your territory, but i need your help. I gave the best years of my life and have no savings, no education. But am I bitter, NO- why do you ask?"
And over time, I can hear them letting stray comments slip into their platform talks or interactions with JW's, comments that suggest that WTS is run by clowns.
OTWO, the GB is naive and foolish to underestimate all the former Bethelites and missionaries that will flood the congregations. Whereas before you could explain away the occasional disgruntled, you're going to have a hard time dealing with this sub-community that can email, research JWs on the Internet, and generally be a pain in the ass to the GB. There is zero love lost.
This was a factor in why I left. They kicked out a 19 year old Bethelite who played Halo while I was at Gilead. He had no place to go. I heard other stories. While being mugged was the final straw, I had no delusions about wasting any more time on these guys. They would throw my ass out an African street with no way to go home? They crossed a line with me they clearly didn't know existed.
The funny thing is, if this GB was really loving, they'd have something that the Knorr GB did cultivate to an extent, loyalty to them. It seems the word is out, GB 2.0 is loyal to no one but their power.
Based on the Watchtower's long history of exaggerations and how they always fluff their financials during their conventions and assemblies, they probably only peaked at around 6.5 Million, while the remaining 1.5 Million are probably fluffed numbers. Just saying.
Flipper, I don't think that they'll admit old doctrines were wrong any time in the immediate future. Like water on rock, time will have its way with these clowns. I suspect a disruptive circumstance will occur that will force their hand.
just another thought, scandal could do it. So they're investing money in hedge funds while consolidating their real estate holdings? And no one is profiting off it illegally? Or maybe it's something as benign as coveting thy neighbors wife. Regardless, that could do the trick.
After close to 10 years away, I personally am glad I got off the boat while the hole in it was relatively small. It's still a good time to leave.