Oppostate has added the following (in bold and italics to separate his comments from mine):
But, even more surprising is that many who started partaking in the immediate area congregations in Greater Boston shared stories of "inquiries" and plain persecution by hounders, more than a few have been DF'ed for apostasy due to believing in only one hope not two or they've become inactive and even DA'ed before the hounders got to them. If so many are going down in the local area, the numbers of folks becoming inactive or DA'ing nationally and worldwide must really be up there.
This sounds extremely concerning if correct. I can grasp what "inquiries" consist of, but "plain persecution" has me baffled. Can you provide an example of such "persecution"? I am not being facetious in my request.
You also say "more than a few have been DF'ed for apostasy due to believing in only one hope not two..." I'm not sure what this means in terms of the numbers officially counted as partakers. Does it mean the numbers actually partaking are even higher?
I do not wish to discount any single instance of partakers suffering as a result of "inquiries" by elders; but again, this is at the level of anecdote. And the instanced numbers are very loose (e.g., how many is "many" or what exactly is "more than a few"? - important questions in the context of questioning the veracity of the annual report.
In looking at that annual report, I can understand the urge to offer an opinion or make a guess - but it really would be better to frame responses as such rather than present them as "evidence" that something 'dishonest' is 'going down'. I'm not saying the numbers in the official report are scrupulously accurate. I just don't think that anecdotal accounts of what has been heard constitute evidence that the numbers in the report are fudged.
None of my reply discounts the undoubted suffering by individuals "hounded" as a result of partaking of the emblems at the memorial. But seriously, what numbers are we looking at? Too often accounts of individuals appear to be the "best" quality of evidence for allegations of number fudging.
As far as I am aware, no one has ever produced hard evidence that numbers in the annual reports are altered or "fudged". What would hard evidence be? Elders responsible for compiling a country's report coming forward to disclose that the numbers they submitted were subsequently altered for the report - or reported numbers in the report being at variance with numbers reported elsewhere, etc. And, looking at the current report, numbers from several countries don't look at all flattering for the JWs in those countries. If number fudging were occurring, the report compilers haven't been terribly consistent.