Pale Emporer, I used to think they'd run out of anointed brothers too back when the teaching was those who were around in 1914 are "this generation." It was the one thing that always bothered me and the thing they used to definitely say the end was super close. Now it's an overlapping generation and you have younger people partaking at the memorial. The youngest GB member is younger than my dad. It's all made up madness that will never cease as long as they have a group of believers to string along.
How Long Does This Religion Have Left?
But what doesn't make sense to me is for what purpose? WHY string all these people alone, control their lives, the decisions, break up families etc... for what? Money? If they want money they only have to copy the hundreds of televangelist that rake in $10 million a year selling miracle spring water or whatever else.
I think it's the same situation as mormon founder Joseph Smith - deluded? liar? or genuine? I think they all genuinely believe they're directed by God but surely, surely they can see that their decisions are not all correct. I mean people have been disfellowshipped for things that are now ok (oral sex/anal sex debate).
I'd say there will always be some crack pots who believe the nonsense. I do however see a decline in the future. There are too many young people who are technologically savvy who can do research and find out what its all about. Young ones who are raised in it tend to rebel and leave which is great. I think once the older die hard witnesses die off the religion as a whole will slowly decline into just being a fringe group of looneys.
Thier in decline, last years report stated they lost 250k people in one way or another. Thier not getting new ones at any decent rate anymore and those that do join for the most part are in third world countries with no money to give. Based on thier numbers they will lose over 2 million people in a decade. They no longer even seem to care about getting new ones especially in third world countries. Now that thier concentrating mostly on keeping the ones they already have that's going to hurt them more. This newer bat shit crazy scare tactic videos along with the Internet more young ones are not going to take the cult seriously. The domino effect is happening, thier closing halls and consolidating. It may take decades but once people realize there's less and less people in it will be easier to leave.
I truly think that when they started, back with CT Russel they were sincerely searching for something different then what was being offered by conventional religion. That being said they had it wrong, time has proven that, but that didn't stop them instead they changed their doctrine as needed to fit the current obvious evidence.
Time proved them as false prophets, but up to that point they amassed a large following and wealth, there doctrine is to blame for much suffering and death. Abstaining from blood, Rwandan military cards and Nazi concentration deaths just to name a few. How do you come clean now? way to much liability, to much guilt and shame instead continue the sham and hope there might be some truth to "a end". I think they honestly believe in a God who will bring an end to this system regardless if their doctrine is right or wrong. They are banking on this.
"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people" Their will always be a need for religion.
BORN BEFORE 1914... SO CLOSE NOW... SIMPLY REFUSES TO DIE!!!
Despite what they believe and what we were taught, the existence of Jehovah's Witnesses (evidently as we now see) has never actually depended upon their being the true religion, having Gods direction, the making of prophesies that come true or in the clarity of their teachings. This has become clear in view of the failed prophecies, obsolete literature and reversals of major teachings.
It's a case of "If you build it, they will come". I someone puts an idea or product our there and sticks with it, eventually they will find a taker. Detroit built some pretty ugly and unreliable cars back in the day but no matter what they built, throngs of people were convinced to pay a lot of money for them and spent years of their lives paying them off.
No matter what JW's do or say, they will always find a following among a certain cross section of the population who want or can be convinced to want what JW's have to offer. I don't think they will ever go away.
I see them dropping the religious part altogether and just focusing on the real estate and financial investments.
Actually close all the KHs and branches.
I don't think their demise is imminent, but they are not good at planning, they simply react to what is thrown at them, they are not proactive like Corporations who have learned to survive.
With all the mounting problems, none of which they have yet solved, they are like the last days of a dying Dictatorship, hanging on by engendering fear in their loyal followers.
The end may come suddenly and take us all by surprise, for theirs is truly a "House built upon sand".
I do hope it happens in my lifetime, I am pushing seventy, so it will be a close run thing for me to live to see it.
In regards to the OP, what do you mean by "have left"?
Have left to what?
To grow in numbers? Probably not more than a year or two. They're very rapidly approaching stagnation.
To decrease in numbers? Probably not more than four or five years. Their methods of recruiting outsiders has seriously been curtailed by their reliance on directing people to their website and by their cart ministry. And 2/3 of their children leave the organisation. It won't be long until they have more leaving the organisation than joining it.
To change their tactics? The Organisation has always been transitory. What it was ten years ago it won't be in ten years from now. Hopefully part of their future changes will be getting rid of the two witness rule for rape victims and mandatory reporting to the authorities when there may have been a crime committed.
To be profitable? All indications are they are spending more than they can afford and are taking dirastic steps to try and decrease their overhead. It may be some time before they are able to turn a profit again - if ever. Right now they're cannibalizing their assets to stay afloat.
To admit they've been wrong about every prediction they've ever made? When pigs fly.