I was studying this fascinating composite graph of JW growth. Lots of interesting things there.
A few things:
1. The growth trend slows noticably around 1997 and never recovers. This is just two years after the old generation teaching was dropped.
2. In the grand scheme of things the 1975 failure had a small but noticeable impact on growth lasting three or four years.
3. The Memorial attendance figure is much more volatile than the publisher figure. It has been pretty flat for the past few years. But it went through flat periods before around 1991 and 2002. It remains to be seen if this is the start of an actual downturn.
4. The anointed are on the rise again. There are as many anointed now as there were in the mid 1950s. However the decline was steep in that period, so in order to equal earlier figures the number would need to climb significantly from here on in.
Which brings me to my question. The most curious thing in this graph to me, that I can't think of a good explanation for, is the rise in the number of anointed in the late 1940s. According to this graph the anointed figures increased from around 1944 to around 1948, despite the fact that the numbers were falling dramatically before and after this brief window of growth. Does anyone have any plausible explanation for this? At first I thought it was just a random blip or something. But it lasted around 4 years, and in the high control Watchtower environment I find it hard to believe this sort of variation would occur for no good reason. There must be some sort of explanation.