REVEALED: The number of Bethelites over the years

by darkspilver 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • WingCommander

    I'm 37. My parents were baptized in 1983. (I never was) In my lifetime, the number of JW's has more than tripled. Now that sounds like a lot, but the world's population has nearly doubled, from 4.3 Billion to 7.3 Billion. BILLION. JW's are like ants on a beach crying out after a Tsunami washes them out to sea. No one cares. No one gives a crap. The United Nations or the King of the North doesn't care. They are merely a nuisance. 130+ years of what? People don't even know what their message is. "Go to Org and view this video." Pathetic! This embarrassment of a cult is a failed sick joke.

  • Vidiot

    Can you spell D-E-C-L-I-N-E? :smirk:

  • darkspilver

    UPDATE: 2016 Service Year

    There appears to have been a dramatic 24% drop in Bethelites,

    The number is now down to the level it last was in 2008.

    The ratio of bethelites-to-publishers seems to be down to early 1980s levels (!)

  • slimboyfat

    I find it amazing that they operated their worldwide publishing empire with fewer than 4000 branch employees in 1975, which must have been something of a peak in production, what with the blue Truth book, NWT in various aditions, Aid book, KIT, and numerous hardcover books in print, combined with the frenzy around the 6000 years.

    Yet 40 years later they needed 26,000 employees at a time when book and magazine production was in steep decline. It shows how bloated the organisation had become.

    Maybe when all the cutbacks are done they can shrink down to under 1000 bethelites worldwide?

    By the way, are the sources for these figures listed anywhere?

  • slimboyfat

    Sorry I just read the first page and all the sources! Excellent.

  • slimboyfat

    In fact they operated with fewer than 3000 in 1973. I reckon 1975 was a real boost for revenue and they increased personnel accordingly.

  • _Morpheus

    Gotta say dark this is an interesting and i like using the bumber of bethelites to pub ratio. Im thinking thats a true reflection as opposed to raw number of hq staff. I find it curious indeed that they expanded so much given the trend toward automation but clearly someone clued them in since the number is shrinking. Another factor in this would be the staff held for construction in warwick. They may have been counted for a time even though the powers that be knew they would be cut once construction was done.

  • darkspilver

    _Morpheus: Another factor in this would be the staff held for construction in warwick.

    Yes, and it admittedly gets a bit hazy regarding who the WT are counting - but the overall trend over the last 55-or-so-years seems very clear when viewing the ratios.

    This is what I commented about in an earlier post in this same thread:

    I understand that Bethel is VERY hierarchical and specific with reference to what you are - ie are you an 'actual' member of the Bethel Family. I understood from those that have worked full-time on construction projects alongside working Bethels, including international, they had to be 'careful' - although the congregation they were assigned to viewed them as Bethel Family, they were not! they were construction.

    Also note the language used below

    Awake 22 December 2000, page 19
    Truly, it is remarkable that the number of branch offices has increased from one a hundred years ago to 109 today that serve the needs of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 234 lands. And to think that these are staffed by some 13,000 dedicated Christian volunteers! Surely, their work along with that of the some 5,500 volunteers associated with the Society’s headquarters has been vital to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus Christ that ‘this good news of God’s Kingdom would be preached in all the inhabited earth before the end comes.’—Matthew 24:14.

    I haven't included the 13,000 in my table (as it is not precise) but it fits for the number of Bethelites [added: as per late 1990s on above chart] - notice WT makes a clear distinction with 'volunteers associated with the Society's headquarters' - they're not 'Family'.

  • darkspilver

    slimboyfat: Yet 40 years later they needed 26,000 employees at a time when book and magazine production was in steep decline. It shows how bloated the organisation had become.

    Yes, and perhaps I suspect also highlights just how hard the bethelites as a whole worked in the 60s and 70s - which matches up with the first-hand accounts we hear about on this forum.

    _Morpheus: i like using the number of bethelites to pub ratio.

    The other shocking ratio is that between 'support staff' (cleaners, kitchen, dining, laundry, gardening, residence maintance etc etc) compared to actual 'workers' - I forget what the ratio is that I was told, but I understand there is MORE support staff than actual 'workers'.

  • dozy

    One of the organisation's problems has been ( until recently ) it's unwillingness to outsource work to other agencies ( so , for example , all the laundry was done "in house". )

    Another is that when the Bethel takes on a brother with a specific skill ( such as a lawyer ) , they have to take on his wife as well , and find her work , usually in cleaning , or in some ( nominal ) office clerk type role. We had a former Bethelite like that in my old congregation - his wife said that basically she did a bit of general filing , photocopying , typing etc for a couple of hours a day in the morning , often really pretty much meaningless , pointless work specially created to give her something to do , then had the rest of the day off. And that isn't to mention the many old ones , long term Bethelites with friends in the GB or branch committee ( so they aren't at risk of getting evicted ) who basically hang around , doing very little.

    I guess times have changed now , and many Bethelites are getting kicked out ( sorry - reassigned! ) and the head count is dropping dramatically.

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