Is the shunning policy causing a financial crisis?
I wonder how many active members would like to leave but are held hostage by the shunning policy? It's probably a very large number and growing every day. The membership is artificially larger then it would otherwise be. That means more Kingdom Halls, more infrastructure, more costs all for people that most likely aren't donating anything. If they just would give people a way to leave and keep their family they could downsize the organization to a financially responsible membership of true believers.
I've previously theorized (and Vidiot seems to make similar points frequently) that the org might benefit by intentionally pushing out the fence-sitters for this very reason. They won't do it by relaxing shunning, though. It does seem almost like they're trying to do this through their increasingly absurd doctrinal changes, appeals for more money and increased control at a local level.
Others have observed that the R/F are becoming increasingly polarized between the fence-sitters and liberal JWs vs the hard-core pioneers/elders/need-greaters. I see this as being in the long-term best interests of the cult - slowly shed the fence-sitters that aren't assets to them at all (slowly so as to prevent a large splinter group from forming that might attract some of the more zealous ones) and this will allow them to liquidate assets to solve their apparent financial problems.
The JW bubble
Sort of like the real estate crisis where the banks weren't reporting the millions of houses going into foreclosure.
No one had a real idea how many were out of the game until the bubble popped then everyone realized what was going on.
JW religion has some kind of bubble in it. Being held together by the control factor.
Others have observed that the R/F are becoming increasingly polarized between the fence-sitters and liberal JWs vs the hard-core pioneers/elders/need-greaters.
I think Congregations already manifest different personalities based on the personalities of the Alpha male elders and the R&F in general. California Cong were always said to be more liberal. In my experience, the Congs in the large metro area are more strict/conservative than the out-state rural Congs. Which I happen to think is because the "country folk" want to seem more "up-to-date" with secular styles etc vs. "redneck".
The polarizing will continue and even widen. There will be Congs that are run by Nazi-style hardliners that toe the line and guzzle the Koolaid and beat the R&F into submission, but there will also be Congs that quietly question things, roll their eyes at the weird things (Like Stephen Lett's videos) and who will march in row to the Party Music for the week the CO visits, but let down their guard to "business as usual" as soon as his taillights fade away in the sunset. Yes some of the R&F will fully awaken and drop off of the radar as a result of the wacky changes, but many of the R&F will just relocate to various Congs or even relocate their residence to align themselves with the Congs that fix their personality and to stay with their friends (read: clique).