I am adding new information to the original post: The "leak" of the increase in partakers is beginning to sweep the Internet among Jehovah's Witnesses even before the number is fully confirmed.
From a Witness connection I have, among the ranks people are recognizing that too much rationalization is having to be used to become settled with the news.
My connection stated: "While we know that the latest change from the Governing Body is that the number of partakers is no longer to be viewed as an indicator of anything, people still recall that for most of our history it was. You can hear that it is worrisome while we outwardly usually don't admit it. But some people are starting to plainly say that something is wrong. I've never heard people say this so openly before. We know that this number should not be so high. It doesn't add up."
My connection added that the rationalizations being offered by some who are still defending the current new stance are being picked apart by others in a manner that she has never seen before: "The way some are trying to explain misgivings away are being quickly challenged by those in discussions. One brother outwardly told another in my hearing that his rationalization was just simply that, an attempt to excuse away the unusual growth."
If these numbers do prove to be true, I am sure we can expect to hear the Governing Body's own rationalization on the subject sooner than later.