The old "Book Study Group"
It was because of the bookstudy debacle I started thinking whenever WT starts sentimentally singing the praises of an arrangement in talks and print expect that arrangement to go bye-bye within 2 or 3 years.
And strangely they can condemn something all the while they're planning to introduce it.
It was only a couple years before the website reveal that they shamed everyone at a (then) DC for having social media accounts and computers were all bad. 😮
Yes, as redvip2000 says, we were always told that during the TRIBULATION, we would only be able to meet under ban in small group study home arrangements...
Once again, the society was just making it up as they went along...
I heard the rumor about liability issues being at the root of discontinuing home book study groups, but I don't think that is the case. The reason I say this is because there are still WT assigned service group meetings in private homes.
I think there is a combo of reasons:
1)Lack of "qualified brothers" to conduct
2)Lack of homes offered with adequate space or parking
3)Control of atmosphere and information flow
In most bookstudy groups I attended, there was a relaxed and friendly feel, often with coffee or treats after or even a book study dinner. The flavor of the book study was usually set by the host family and sometimes the conductor. We sometimes had a conductor who loved to research and he would assigned different people to look up things (often from nonJW sources). Another conductor said book study should be about fellowship and he would keep the study to 30 min (sometimes even skipping paragraphs or combining a group of them) so we could chat and have treats and coffee together every week.I have Many more examples of personality driven/flavored bookstudy groups.
More and more the GB seems to be aiming for an extremely high level of uniformity (under the guise of unity and simplicity). So I would say the overriding reason home book study was cancelled was .....CONTROL!
Didn't the Kingdom Ministry state that the elimination of one extra meeting a week was due to rising fuel or gas prices? Most likely not the actual reason but given as the reason. JW organization specializes in spin doctoring.
To be honest I think getting ride of the BS was a bad move for group cohesion. I mean it was at the book study where you got to know one another. That been said I wasn't sad to see the end of it.
when the bs was dumped here the elders did nto know why the gb had dumped it. Later we heard some bull-shit about giving families time for 'family' study (as if we didn't get enough!) then the crap about petrol prices was flipped into the pot.
Yes, as redvip2000 says, we were always told that during the TRIBULATION, we would only be able to meet under ban in small group study home arrangements........stuckinarut2
Back in the day.
it was touted as absolutely, the most important meeting you could go to..
Like everything else in the wtbs, it doesn't matter any more.
Without the book study they can have more congregations per Kingdom Hall and sell off the excess halls.
If deleting the book study had not made economic sense it would have remained. Part of the old JW mentality was proudly telling others, Which other religious group has five meetings a week?
And then would follow asides about how few times the churches of Christendom meet each week.
Amazing how one of the well-rehearsed facets of having the true religion is deleted and the rank and file goose-step back into place as though it is no big deal.
I firmly believe that the reason had nothing to do with any concern for the rank and file. steve2, I remember the point about the rising fuel prices; I think it was in a letter. However, I believe that that just provided them with an excuse. They never seemed to worry at any other times about how much it was costing us to be JWs. Heck, the little bit of extra money I would have spent driving to the book study with higher gas prices is nothing compared to all the money I spent being a JW and never earned in the first place because of missed opportunities caused by my being a JW.
I think it was either for legal reasons as mentioned in posts above or for another reason which I will explain below or a combination of the two.
That other reason has to do with the fact that, at least as far as my experience reaches, JWs at book studies were more relaxed and informal and tended to question material and discuss it more - during the meeting and before and after. I think the org now fears that.
JWdom knows it has lost theologically/doctrinally and no longer wants JWs to have deeper Bible discussions and/or to question. The org wants to control the info; it had less control at the smaller book study groups.
The JW leadership knows that it can't defend its theology and answer questions. In fact, in the last ten years or so, I think I remember JWs' being instructed in one of the publications not to write the branch offices with questions.