Latest Statistics Are Confusing & Lack Context

by steve2 48 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • steve2

    Earlier this week a new post on this forum announced that the 2017 Worldwide annual Service Report was available on Wow - that's earlier than the statistics for the 2016 Service Year which appeared in the 2017 Yearbook last January! Good effort, JW organization! We now have available the very latest statistics on this organization.

    Well we do and we don't. Let me explain:

    The statistics are set out in the new downloadable e-publication 2017 Service Year which dazzles the reader with selected "fast facts"; "fast facts" is JW organization's words, "selected" is mine.

    For starters, you get a lovely one page summary with collective worldwide statistics covering the usual categories (e.g., peak and average publishers, number baptized, number of regular pioneers, Bible studies, Memorial attendance and yes even Memorial Partakers).

    Impressive! Not.

    With one exception - average publishers - none of the statistics is placed in context. So, if you did not have the 2016 Service Report on hand, you would not know that Bible Studies are down about 43,000 or that Partakers continue to climb - there were 500 more partakers counted in 2017 which brings the Memorial Sippers and Nibblers to well over 18,500.

    If you can find yourself around this oddly set out e-publication, you'll find a very limited set of "fast facts" on each country where JWs legally operate: Ratio of JWs to population, peak publishers and number of congregations - and that's it. (The link is entitled Jehovah's Witnesses Around the World).

    However, although the overall report is entitled 2017 Service Year, the statistics for the individual countries are confusingly from the 2016 Service Year and on another link in the section on Who Are Jehovah's Witnesses? all statistics are from the 2016 Service Year (they don't tell you this).

    For example, click on New Zealand, my homeland, and you'll see that JW "ministers" number 14,242 (translation: Peak publishers) and congregations 186. You will not realize when you look at these selected "fast facts" that five years earlier - in 2011 - peak publishers in New Zealand numbered 265 more: 14,507 - that's about 3 congregations. Oh, and congregation numbers have increased by 2 since 2011 - which is strange because I know of at least 3 regional kingdom halls that have been sold off and congregations merged: Shannon, Taihape and Ohakune.

    One main conclusion I draw from this new format for the JW organization service year report is the organization can "disappear" evidence of decline for individual countries (are you listening New Zealand - you're a theocratic embarrassment - despite lots of immigrants arriving on our shores?).

    You won't find each country's numbers on average publishers, baptisms, pioneers, Bible Studies or memorial attendances.

    Keep watching the JW organization space on its Service Year reports.

    Most informative will be, not what you see presented, but what you don't see - an organization caught in the bind between needing to crow loudly about its selected "fast facts" and needing to protect from view the more sensitive indicators of stagnation and/or decline.

  • Saename

    Wait, what? So they are so CLEARLY lying about statistics? For some countries, statistics for 2017 are taken straight from statistics for 2016? Really? Did I understand you correctly?

    I thought they'd at least try to hide the unfavourable facts... Meanwhile, they are lying in the light of day. I suppose my doubt as to whether I understand you correctly has to do with the fact that it's really surprising. They have a history of hiding embarrassing facts—so why this?

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    JW math; 2 + 3 = 2000 baptized

  • darkspilver

    steve2: new downloadable e-publication 2017 Service Year

    The version I've got just shows the Grand Totals (in the same layout/format as the previous yearbooks).

    I can see NO link to individual countries in the e-pub?

    Can you give a link please, TIA

    There are links to individual countries on the website, but these are currently only showing last year's figures?

    I hope when these are updated they will have a 'fuller' range of figures.

    Fast Facts—New Zealand
    • 4,718,126—Population
    • 14,242—Ministers who teach the Bible
    • 186—Congregations
    • 1 to 331—Ratio of Jehovah’s Witnesses to population

    In the Yearbook, I believe the only figure provided for the previous year (for comparision) was 'Average Publishers' - and this was used to calculate the individual countries annual increase or decrease.

    The concern is what happens next year? Will the WT simply over-write this year's figures with next figures which means that the previous year's figures get 'lost'?

  • LevelThePlayingField

    good post. This is just what they do, hide their history.

  • redpilltwice

    Thank you Steve, I agree with you regarding these "facts" that in fact say nothing because there is no context.

    Some people here believe they are not lying because they also didn't lie when the aftermath of the 1975 debacle showed a clear decrease, BUT... there were other people at the top and it was years before CoC came out, a game changer and the start of the danger of being exposed on a more global scale, based on insight info and facts. We now even more live in a completely different era of Google, YouTube, WT watchers, intense apostate activity and growing activism against the WT, a modern day false prophet.

    I believe it's difficult for the WT to really lie about the numbers (although I wouldn't be shocked if they did), because I assume there are too many people involved in bringing in the info and numbers from around the world. These individuals spreaded around all the bethels could easily notice fraud regarding their own country and it would be difficult for WT to scan and eliminate all such potential moles, but of course the WT can hide and leave out crucial info that could and probably would discourage the flock and make them doubt the authority and reliability of the GB. Maybe the bethels are corrupt as well and involved in the WT's white washing strategy.

    Remarkable to see how certain strategies unfold.


    Trust the gov body for the truth with stats. They do not tell the truth period. Bodgee stats to keep the masses fooled. To keep their power longer.

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    Midweek meeting for 1 January 2018 has this item:-

    Annual Service Report: (15 min.) Talk by an elder. After reading the letter from the branch office regarding the annual service report, interview publishers, selected in advance, who had outstanding experiences in the ministry during the past year.

    I'm sure they will issue a detailed spreadsheet to all in attendance. Or not!


  • OrphanCrow
    redpill: I believe it's difficult for the WT to really lie about the numbers (although I wouldn't be shocked if they did), because I assume there are too many people involved in bringing in the info and numbers from around the world

    You may be right that the WT doesn't really lie (jus' a lil bit sometimes) but having a lot of people being involved in the collection of those numbers and in reporting and transcribing those numbers increases the potential for error (and/or "mistakes")

    We know from the experiences related on this board and elsewhere that the hours reported are almost always made up or fudged in some way. Right at the grassroots level, those numbers are in error

    It doesn't take much to have a tiny error at the congregation level, repeated over and over, to expand into a large error by the time that the figures are collected worldwide

    The numbers are not honest. They don't reflect what it is that they claim they do. They can't. It is impossible for there to be no errors and it is impossible for those errors not to be amplified

  • Incognito

    No doubt, the start to reporting less information. I suspect less info will be reported next year, and less the year after, until the report is eventually phased out.

    With regard to number of congregations, I wonder how they are counted??

    If the 'North' congregation is forced to combine with the 'West' congregation which forms a new congregation called 'North West', is that reported as 3 congregations in that service year?

    I realize not all merged congregations are given a new congregation name, but I expect many of you will get my point regarding how the numbers maybe being counted.

    Are they implying the 'Ministers who teach the bible' reported number is the number of JWs in that country? If that number is actually comprised of 'Peak' publishers which would include unbaptised publishers who report 1X, then that would help to explain the increasing reported number of JWs.

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