The Watchtower's Real Crisis
When discussing the Watchtowers financial problems, I've generally been of the opinion that they probably are not in a real financial crisis. I've come to believe that money may be something of an issue, but its wrapped up in a much larger problem. This came to me this morning when reading about the annual meeting.
I think the Society's leadership is just plain out of ideas. For a very long time they had some people that could churn out new stuff for publication. A lot, if not all of it, was BS, but it was at least original. I can remember everybody combing every talk, book, magazine etc for "new light." I haven't seen a new thought in ages, the literature is getting dumbed down and repetitive. I think they're cutting back on magazines, not to save money, but because nobody can think of anything to put in them.
This does have a financial component, the business world is changing and they don't have anybody that can think of a replacement for their old business model.
This lack of ideas may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Some loyalists will stay, others will start looking for a group with fresh ideas, new interpretations etc. If they start poaching members to whatever new brand of BS has struck their fancy, the WTBS is in big trouble, the crowd will go for what's new, exciting, and a lot more entertaining.
Agreed. We older ones fondly remember the "richness" of the spiritual food we received; it was more than we could digest in a sitting, there being simply too much food upon Jehovah's festive board. Some of us knew personally the "minds" at Bethel and what they produced for publication. It was exciting; it was intellectually stimulating.
No wonder we thought we had The Truth. Those receptive to the Kingdom Good News, as proffered by the Society and us, as spokesmen, were amazed at our knowledge of the Scriptures.
Pretty heady stuff, but now we know better. Sadly, the balloon has been deflated.
They might as well "dumb down" the publications because anyone with any sense will be leaving (if they haven't left already).
There are (almost) no coverts at this point in time. Anyone with some interest in the JWs only has to go to Google one time and they will discover the truth about WT (TTATT) unless they are fumducking ignorant.
As far as born-ins, if they are 3rd, 4th or 5th generation, they are beginning to see that their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc were all promised the same bullshit of the Panda Petting Paradise and NONE of them got the "prize". Many of them still think it must come SOMEDAY but they are not really banking on it coming in the near future or even within their own lifetimes. This is evident by their lifestyle. Most are not living meager lifestyle to pioneer. No, they are living "the good life" as best as they can. Many in our area are sending their kids to college. Nursing is a very popular choice (if their kid is smart enough). I recall a conversation with a couple elders who were discussing their 401(K) investment strategy. Yes, they were PLANNING TO RETIRE decades down the road. No betting on the New World for them! Sure, they still "talk the talk" but they are not "putting their money where their mouth is", they are putting it in their pension plan (which means the WT isn't getting it either).
That is very true.
I have been working on a variance of that since the mid 1980's when Matt.24:34 went from "singular" to "plural. Enough to have my tactics of writing letters to publishers homes to be included into the 2013 talk on "Human Apostates".
Jeff I read your stuff pretty close on the money issues. As to the church's money issues and two billion from Brooklyn assets "Orphan Crow's" post which includes a You Tube video of Lorenz Reibling in Argentina offering multiple multi million dollar funding of "worthy developments" fits right in with the question as to where has two billion dollars disappeared to. Close connections between Mr. Reibling and WTB&TS.
Yes Jeff, I think that the heart of the JW religion is undergoing necrosis (word of the day!)
It is absolutely true that the propaganda is on sausage machine mode, same old drivel, all rehashed and the reason is that there is nothing new to say! What further can you add when you have been crying wolf for 138 years? What drives any new material now is rear guard action to keep the faithful from backsliding or daring to look outside of the org.
Nowadays the JW social club activities are far more important than doctrines and you can actually speak with your friends and go out on the town with them. Dogma is for dogs.
In all seriousness, I feel they have reached an impasse, possibly the end of the line. The death of the 1914 generation has left the GB with egg on their collective face with no credible alternative vision and even if the faithful sheep don't understand the enormity of the "generation" teaching failure; the GB most certainly do. Compounding this with adverse publicity, the financial burden of potential mass litigation and membership stagnation; it is not surprising that the heart of the organisation is dying.
"I think the Society's leadership is just plain out of ideas.... I haven't seen a new thought in ages, the literature is getting dumbed down and repetitive."
Spot on! The Society's leadership are appaling leaders. They're certainly not scholars. Neither are they teachers. They exemplify Peter Principle.
Their printed/digital output too too often extolls the GBoJW, the FDS, the Organisation, and BoE. For example, a recent article praised "the publications of the Faithful Slave" and deserted the phrase "bible based publications" such is their wanton conceit.
I now understand why they abandoned the statement of purpose from the WT study edition (Jan 2013 WT onwards). The magazine (and other outputs) are not based on the authority of the Bible as they claimed up to December 2012, but rather, on what their vacuous minds perceive to be fitting.
JeffT I agree. They really have nothing more to say.
Russell said in his will that no more books were ever to be published after his death but that the Watchtower should continue to be published by committee until the imminent end.
Nobody foresaw having to say the same things over and over again for more than a century.
DESIROUS OF CHANGE:
I'm glad these born-ins are waking up and realizing that they have to plan for their future. I'm very glad I did and am retired.
Older JWs criticized me and considered me not-spiritual. Meanwhile, they came INTO the religion with a pension under their belts !!!
These people are no longer living or I would track them down and write them a nasty letter telling them what I think about them and how I am grateful I NEVER listened to the religion's bad advice.
I hope younger people lurking here are taking this seriously. You better plan. All these older JWs with a cushy life who are telling YOU to pursue poverty are not going to be around for you to go crying to. They'd probably slam the door in your face.
@JeffT: I compare the current situation of that of the USSR communist party in 1990. The polit bureau did not believe the socialist doctrines anymore and Gorbatchov knew the end of the empire was in sight.
This GB knows the organization and the doctrines are worthless rubish.
JeffT: I think they're cutting back on magazines, not to save money, but because nobody can think of anything to put in them.
But then - if you look outside-the-box - and add the reduced magazine content to the JW Broadcasting Monthly Magazine Programme content, WT is actually saying the same amount of 'content' as pre-2005
Of course it might not be the same quality, but it is still 'content'.