Why did the SOCIETY sell WBBR? Their answer was when the station began to operate in 1924, there was only one congregation of about 200 Bible Students covering all five boroughs of New York City. That included Long Island and even parts of New Jersey. By 1957, however, there were 62 congregations with over 7,500 JWs within New York City.
Further, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., publishers of the history book, JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES PROCLAIMERS OF GOD’S KINGDOM, stated that the personal contact made possible by house-to-house calls was far more effective. It afforded better opportunity to answer the questions of individual householders and to search out “deserving ones.” Additionally, the station and programs were said to tie-up manpower and money that could be used in other ways.
Another Side to the Story
However, there was another side to the story. By 1957, there were scores of religions that were broadcasting their message by means of radio. The constant attacks on other religions and their clergy by Jehovah’s Witnesses on WBBR were so offensive that other religions spent hours of radio time refuting the Witnesses attacks. It was this that made WBBR a losing venture both in time, money and converts.
Starting around 1997, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ leaders began to adopt the Internet as a method of mass communication hoping to capitalize on a medium that was attracting billions of people around the world.
A few years into the 21st century (approximately 50-years after selling WBBR), Jehovah’s Witnesses’ current leaders were rethinking face-to-face, door-to-door evangelizing. It was a time when few people were at home to talk about religion or refused to answer the door if they were at home – and when comedians continued to make fun of Jehovah’s Witnesses disturbing people on Saturday mornings.
Their solution to try to gain converts once again was to go back into broadcasting by spending millions of dollars on a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility in Warrick, NY. There they would make videos and broadcast governing body talks and meetings using new technologies. However, as hopeful as Jehovah’s Witnesses are about converting the world to their religion using a medium they condemned as being “from the Devil” in the 1990s, new converts are becoming fewer and fewer.
The simple fact is that the newer broadcasting mediums used by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not being accessed by many non-Witnesses. It is mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses who are using their mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) to access and download study materials designed for use at their meetings. Consequently, the Governing Body will have to try to find new ways to catch and convince unwary people to believe their fanciful message that has no basis in truth.