Wow! Glad you stopped by. I remember you well. Don't know if I was here when you were, but I've read many topics that you contributed to.
Being able to give "good talks" is not leadership.
Glad you put "good talks" in quotation marks because I don't even think the current GB members give good talks.
Say what you want about the Knorr years (which in my view finally died out with Henschel) That group led and got things done.
I agree. Things, to me, were so, so, different back then.
I don't know to what degree you have kept up with the goings-on in JWdom, but the last few years have been crazy. Following is a list of some interesting things (I copied this from a post I made a few days ago). Forgive me if you already know these things. I just want some of you have been around for a while to know what's going on; I'd love to know what you think about the changes, etc.
-The district overseer position has been abolished. No more DO’s.
-No more book studies. That arrangment has been gone for a few years. (Remember how the Book Study was supposed to be critical to our spiritual well-being?)
-District Conventions now called Regional Conventions.
-JWdom went from demonizing the internet to embracing it. JWs have made a virtual idol of their website (JW.ORG). They have the logo plastered everywhere – even on Kingdom Halls. They wear pins and ties with the logo; they have umbrellas, mugs, etc. with the logo on them.
-There seems to be some kind of financial problem (crisis?) going on with the org. They announced a worldwide buidling campaign with fanfare and then not long thereafter halted and slowed down buidling.
-They took all the extra money (savings, building funds, etc) that congregations had. They “forgave” congregation loans. I put the word “forgave” in quotation marks because they didn’t really forgive anything. They basically said "we forgive the loans, but we want you to pay us a set amount (like maybe the loan amount) in perpetuity." It’s insane. It would be like this: You owe me $100. You’re paying me $10/month to pay off the loan. I say “I forgive the loan; just pay me $10/month from now on.” Their doing that should give them steady income from now on (that is, until everybody wises up). Oh, and they also told congregations that didn't have loans to make monthly donations as if they had had loans. So now they should get set monthly payments from all congregations.
-Many Bethelites around the world are being told their services are no longer needed. Those that remain will do their own cleaning and laundry. I think there is a change in the eating arrangement, too. Something like maybe cafeteria style – no servers.
-Many special pioneers around the world are receiving letters stating that very shortly they will no longer be such.
-The Watchtower and Awake! have been reduced in size and in number of issues.
-Their was a massive selloff of Brooklyn property. The org is leaving there and buidling a new luxury compound in Warwick.
-There are no more Regional Builidng Committees (will explain that one later if you want).
-Last summer JWs went nuts in conjunction with Internation Conventions. They were dancing in Kingdom Halls and in parking lots, playing music they never would have in the past, etc. I have a lot of videos saved.
-Most of us seem to agree that it is no longer the religion we once knew. JWdom has been drastically dumbed down. The old, deeper Franz era stuff has been abandoned.
-There seems to have a been a deliberate, carefully crafted rebranding. Many of us think they hired an outside PR or marketing firm.
-They have "new light" on the meaning of the term "generation" in Matthew 24:34. It is absolutely ludicrous.
- Names of meetings have changed (for example, no more "Theocratic Ministry School) (format changed some, too).
- Something has changed with missionaries, but I can't remember what. Maybe the org is no longer providing housing? I'm not even sure they're sending out missionaries anymore the way they used to. I think they might be just sending out couples who can pay their own way and support themselves. Can somebody provide more info on that?