First off, I'd like to state that I currently have "privileges" in the congregation and volunteer at Bethel on and off throughout the year. That's as much information as I will currently give about myself.
Starting off, I think something big is coming in the form of lawsuits and bad pr. They seem to be batting down the hatches in preparation for something the last few years and even more so the last few months. I have no doubt that they are aware of the incoming lawsuit months, if not years before we even get a whiff of them. My speculation is that more lawsuit are mounting up at an enormous rate, in other countries and lands. To the point they realize they do not have enough lawyers on the inside to cover it all and will have to higher outside help. There is most likely a large amount of settlements and payouts on the horizon that they are aware of.
Why are they currently in this financial mess?:
There isn't one reason as to why they are struggling financially. They have a huge spending problem to start, "more money going out than coming in". While at Bethel I heard from multiple sources that even renovations at WALLKILL were millions over budget just for one of their dorm buildings. Warwick was millions and million over budget already and expected to be millions more as it's progressing. All of their renovations make their buildings look like huge companies properties. Similar to what a building may look like to a company that is traded on Wall Street. They want to look and feel like they are a big shot company and as a result they are spending countless money to get that look. Everything they buy is high end, a lot different than the simple look they had 10-20 years ago.
No education. They condone anyone who goes to college. As a result, the ones who go to college feel out of place and are even more likely to leave than if they just let them go to college. The uneducated members are left and can barely give anything in donations without going under themselves. I know many, many zealous people that are dirt poor, having trouble paying for their basic necessities. This no college rule is having a bleeding out affect on them. It's been a long time coming and it's starting to show in their financials.
Their numbers are stagnant. It doesn't take a braniac to figure out there is hardly any growth, if any at all, in JW land. Yet, they are building and expanding like there is huge growth. It's like you had a million dollars but lived like you made 500k per year. It will eventually catch up with you. That's what we are seeing in JW land.
They shit on their members. For years, they have shit on their members. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more ex JW's than active. You can only do that for so long before they start to rise above you. The internet is full of ex JW "preaching" way more and faster than their own members are. They should not be shocked that their numbers aren't actually growing.
What I expect to see:
More downsizing. It's been happening for a few years now but we will see more. Halls sold off, congregations merged, branches closed etc... WT has seen it's peak right before our eyes. It's more evident now then ever. If they are taking this drastic of steps, it may be worse than we could even imagine.
I will be interested to see if they change any of their teachings to try and build their numbers back up. However, Jehovah's Witnesses have such a bad rep already it would be hard to do. There is too much out there in the internet age.
The Trump Card:
They believe their own BS. If the top hand guys actually believed their own BS, that Jah would provide, the end was so close, that their was going to be huge growth at Jah's hand, they are in deep, deep trouble. It could be panic mode up there. People's heads spinning as to how their financials are falling apart, how Jah hasn't stepped in. They could have made huge financial decisions based on their interpretation of the bible. They are a doomsday cult, they could have been heavily invested in OIL or Gold thinking currency would die or that oil would always go up because of greed and other things. Who knows what big decisions they made based off of their interpretation of scriptures.
The coming weeks will be interesting!