ShirleyW, I'm with you, they should be innovating, should be trying to come up with new ways to attract people, yeah they gave themselves a face lift with their website and the carts and music videos on JW Broadcasting and interviews during Gilead graduation but... it's the same old iron hand under a sleek new velvet glove.
The Governing Body simply cannot innovate when it comes to the most important features of their faith because in many circumstances (getting rid of disfellowshipping, permitting blood transfusions, encouraging or just tolerating higher education at the congregational level) that means sacrificing or diminishing their power, they teach that they hold the keys to paradise, to everlasting life (I typed lie, hahaha, Freud was right) and they actually hold life and death power over many Witnesses, who let themselves die because they think taking a blood transfusion damns them to a violent death at Armageddon or they'll never see their dead loved ones again. So that won't do, we know these people love power, it's written all over their faces, it's dripping from their words, I think of Tony Morris's Don't say we're dogmatic remarks, and then he tells another audience not to go on websites that criticize him and his buddies. It's just... astonishing. They claim they're not infallible or inspired and yet they toss people out onto the street "like a piece of trash," in Flodin's terms, after years of "faithful service" just because they start to doubt the leadership. The Governing Body might as well snort power off their boardroom table like bankers snort powder from hundred dollar bills.
When it comes to less important features of the faith they could change without endangering their power very much (I dunno, youth groups, congregations getting together outside the hall), remember that Knorr chose the original Governing Body because they went with what he said and did and didn't challenge him. That Governing Body chose their successors for pretty much the same reason, it takes years to climb the hierarchy (I heard a Bethel speaker at one convention call it the "theocratic ladder") and you gotta toe the line and preach the company line to pull yourself up rung by rung over literal decades from (typically) the congregation to the circuit work to a Branch to Warwick. Even when you get into that boardroom in the lofty heights of headquarters, or that idyllic gazebo by the lake, it's hard to think innovatively when you repressed your own individual thoughts, not to mention individuality, in order to get there from adolescence if not childhood to adulthood through middle-age.
Here's what it comes down to: the Governing Body could choose to save their sinking ship. Instead, they're still whipping the slaves down in the galley with their threats and guilt-tripping and shouting, Keep rowing, we're almost there. But the truth is they're just as far from the gleaming shores of paradise as they were when the Bible students first sailed off with Russell all those years ago.