2017 Yearbook released
Where the heaven do they come up with those numbers, out of a Cracker Jack box? Out of those 8 million they report (which I trust about as much as the Dow being at 20,000 when its fair value is zero), probably fewer than 800,000 would make it into the "new order" according to their own theology and another 2-3 million are seriously working on it, max. And they got their crapmorial attendance report north of 20 million with double counting, making "errors" in their favor, and simple dishonesty.
This is one more reason I can't wait for the dollar to become toilet paper. I wonder where they are going to come up with the silver and gold to buy gas. They need gas for field circus and so they can attend boasting sessions--and I hope they can't get any. They are going to need those poisonburgers, but they can't afford any because they can't get the silver to pay for them. They are constantly told to not worry about things like this, so they are not going to be prepared for it. Had they been putting their Worldwide Damnation Fund donation money into silver, many if not most could easily have had a monster box or more of silver between the 2013-14 service year and now. But no, they had to throw it all away. And now, I hope they simply cannot afford to stay.
As for the numbers, I would bet that not few are driven up by the excitement of Israel missions. They had one in 2015, and just having that worthless thing dangled in front of them was enough to incite some to stay in. The prospect of another one in 2017 is probably causing a few to either stay in or join in so they can make it. And, if the dollar becomes toilet paper or they choose early May to start firing rockets into Tel Aviv, there goes that incentive.
Azerbaijan has JW growth. Seriously?
I saw that as well. Azerbaijan has had some growth (from a very low base; it is a Muslim country) and the congregations are large. Because it is a chart of baptisms per congregation, it stands out, although not much is happening there in reality.
The data presented here is amazing. While the overall totals are largely driven by countries with larger populations, its interesting to look at some of the smallest countries, some that have only one or a few congregations.
One example is tiny Tuvalu, the least populous of the 196 members of the UN. They have only one congregation, so we get a clear picture of what is going on in a single congregation. This congregation had no baptisms at all in 2016. They had an average of 64 publishers in 2015 and only 52 in 2016. Interestingly they had a peak of 73 publishers during 2016. I suppose they might have peaked at the beginning of the service year, or maybe had visitors working where the need is funner.
it occurred to me that Geoffrey Jackson might have been instrumental in stumbling a dozen or so publishers in Tuvalu by his testimony at ARC, right at the end of the 2015 service year. As I recall he was a missionary there when he was younger. He published a dictionary in their language, with financial aid from the Australian government, and has made sure they have many "Bible study aids" published in their language. We can also assume he has done some damage to the Watchtower work in Australia, as reflected in their poor results this past year.
Yay for tiny Tuvalu! We might be seeing a whole country waking up.
I wish they would publish things like number of circuits, number of Kingdom Halls, data on foreign language congregations. Of course they never will.
The bottom line is the GB is doing fine and well, the organization continues to survive and none of us can do a thjng about it. Face it, the apostates vs JW's leadership is like the war on drugs. We will never win since people will still search for this drug called religion
When I was attending ( ten years ago) there was an elderly man who believed with all his heart that he was one of the anointed and was going to heaven. He actually made a poster sized chart showing how the amount of people eating at the memorial has steadily gone down from 1910 to the current time. It was pretty convincing, but seeing the amount of partakers today is just so laughable and it makes me sad that I bought the jw line for so long.
I have just finished reading the Yearbook. It actually didn't take very long because of the large print and fewer pages than there used to be.
My conclusion, reading between the lines, is this is a religion that is beginning serious decline.
For example they showcase the great efforts they are making to preach to refugees in Germany. They have started hundreds of foreign language groups and special preaching campaigns in Arabic ("authorised" by the Governing Body no less). Yet when you look at the figures there has been no increase in publishers in Germany, and the number of congregations has declined by over 1%. If that's the best they can do in these circumstances, I think it portends real decline to come.
Countries that once had impressive growth (like Georgia which is featured) now have little to no growth at all.
The messaging of the Yearbook is highly confused as well. They quote many who were laid off from bethel service saying how happy they are to be in the "field". One of the more revealing comments insisted: "we don't regret joining bethel service". Well if you've got to say that, it tends to indicate what people are thinking. Another bizarrely jarring comment from a 9 year old Witness says she looks forward to growing up and being a missionary or bethel service. Why are they encouraging such aspirations while winding down their operations?
Plus there is the list of "branch dedications" in various small counties, only prompting the reader to wonder how long before they are closed down and the buildings sold.
One story I found slightly believable was about a CEO who praised JWs for having a very sophisticated, appealing website. I agree their website is impressive. It's well laid out, the pictures and design are excellent, and the number of languages available is amazing. Just a shame most of the content is so superficial.
But then there is a really cringeworthy comment from a sister who says watching the Governing Body on JW broadcasting is like listening directly to Jehovah. How can they print that with a straight face? These people have truly jumped the shark.
I think JWs are in serious decline from here on in. There are strong indications in this Yearbook. For most of their history the Yearbook has presented a picture of relentless onwards and upwards progress of JWs. This Yearbook is full of mixed messages, underwhelming stories of activity, and various implicit indications of deep decline.
I think JWs are in serious decline from here on in.
That is a big call, SBF. I hope you are right.
I noticed some of the same things when I skimmed through the Yearbook, such as a huge part of it taken up with Georgia, where growth has virtually stopped. There was also the "spin" Watchtower put on the takeover by Rutherford, which would not sound very convincing to a neutral observer.
Perhaps the single most telling point is the slight decline in congregations in USA. That must hurt the borg more than any decline in any other country.
My guess would be next year will be flat again, with some spectacular growth in 2 or 3 random African countries giving the appearance of overall growth. I think "serious decline" won't be visible for perhaps 5 years or more, as the baby boomers start to die off in larger numbers.
“I feel as if Jehovah were talking to me right in my room when I listen to members of the Governing Body and their helpers,” says Agatha, a circuit overseer’s wife in Ghana. “Without this tool, how could a poor girl like me in a small corner of the earth have such a great privilege? It has really brought us much closer to our dear brothers and sisters around the world.”
Wow, just wow!
Like slimboyfat said, they print it with a straight face.
@George One Time, what the hell?!