The Internet is worse for the Watchtower than 1975 was: here's proof.
BTW, I find it very interesting that the vast majority of reasons listed that suggest the Org's decline are: a) very compelling arguments, b) jive with virtually all the anecdotal evidence we hear, and c) seem to be supported by actual math...
...all the arguments that suggest the Org will continue to survive comfortably seem to mostly consist of "there will always be enough victims to keep it afloat".
Spoletta: Valid point "If anything, the internet serves a purpose of allowing the curious to instantly confirm whether a doctrinal statement is defensible."
If you talk to a WTBTS member they will, without any sign of exhaustion, try to defend the indefensible, perhaps finally saying something to the effect that "Jehovah will put it right in his own time." But we recall that in Israel of old there were appointed prophets *promptly* on the scene, pointing out the errors of the people. I posit, with some personal conviction, that things are not put right for the simple reason that the WTBTS is *not* God's organisation.
Thus they are left to their own devices, to drift with the wind, inventing doctrines that suit their own purpose. Spirit directed ? If so then we are forced to conclude that they are grieving the spirit. So they have indefensible doctrines which upon examination are found to actually block access to our Lord Jesus Christ. Can it get any more serious.
all the arguments that suggest the Org will continue to survive comfortably seem to mostly consist of "there will always be enough victims to keep it afloat".....Vidiot
They`re not all victims.....Crazy as it may seem.
Most of them are JW`s, who are happy right where they are.
Living in WatchTower Worlds imaginary kingdom, Dub-Dumbf*ckistan.
The hours now spent to deliver a Baptized ready convert are far more then guiding one's child to being Baptized. Take out the born-ins and you have an almost impossible task to convert someone............. except in third world countries that don't have ready access to the internet.
A non involved or non affiliated person when exposed to a bible study will probably mention this to family members and/or friends. At that point in time the odds go way up that someone in that circle of friends and family is going to look up the JW's and see what they believe.
It wouldn't take more then 10 minutes to begin to understand that there is something amiss with the beliefs and history of the JW's.
I just entered the Question: What do Jehovah's Witnesses Belive? And this is what popped up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses
This site had it all, every bit of their history, beliefs, blood issue, holidays and birthdays etc.
Of Course jw.org also pops up.
However this Wikipedia site was extraordinary.
Sociologist Bryan R. Wilson, in his consideration of five religious groups including Jehovah's Witnesses, noted that each of the denominations:
- "exists in a state of tension with the wider society;"
- "imposes tests of merit on would-be members;"
- "exercises stern discipline, regulating the declared beliefs and the life habits of members and prescribing and operating sanctions for those who deviate, including the possibility of expulsion;"
- "demands sustained and total commitment from its members, and the subordination, and perhaps even the exclusion of all other interests."
I don't think a Bible Study is going to hang around long enough to get baptized after being exposed to the internet.
Outlaw - "They're not all victims... Crazy as it may seem. Most of them are JWs, who are happy right where they are."
A willing victim is still a victim, as far as I'm concerned.
I loveTTATT2. Very well sums it up.
I think the internet has had a somewhat marginal but noticeable effect ( it certainly helped me find the information I needed to get out ) but I don't think it is a massive factor. The idea that the explosion of information has led to people being far more informed and making much wiser decisions based on greater knowledge simply isn't true ( see the election of Donald Trump as an obvious example. )
In many respects , it has led to people polarising their views - seeking out information that backs up and confirms rather than challenges their world view. I know a few JWs who only regard JW.ORG as the only website they look at. Many in my old congregation refused to watch the Panorama program on JW child abuse - similarly many immediately mentally or physically switch off when they hear or see anything online that might be "negative".
The reduction in the growth of JWs has many factors. Part of it is based on the law of diminishing returns - it is very difficult to grow a business ( which essentially is what the Society is ) consistently year-on-year at the 4% - 5% per year growth rates of the 1960s - 1980s ( pre & post 75 exponential growth & fall excluded ) Part of it is simply that in the West , especially Europe , people have very little interest in religion any longer and most religions are in long term decline , including JWs.
There is still some growth in 3rd world countries , much of it from people moving away from established religions , but even here JWs are competing against Mormons & Evangelicals for the kind of people who are attracted to these new religions. http://www.economist.com/node/21551091 Many of these competing religions are much more attractive than JWs - lets face it , life as a JW is pretty boring and unfulfilling and requires a commitment in terms of effort ( eg the ministry ) and sacrifice that many other religions don't require.
All told - I would think that the direct impact of the internet is probably in the area of about 0.5% to 1% drop of growth every year in terms of existing JWs doing research & leaving and contacted persons doing research and not continuing their interest.
I agree with the opening post that the Internet has by far been the best weapon against the growth of the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. It hasn't been just one thing exposed , especially since 1995. Not only the overlapping generation fiasco, it's been everything : the Australia commission on child abuse within the WT Society, the Candace Conti child abuse case which received a lot of mainstream media attention, the no-blood transfusion deaths which are getting more publicity in media these days, and the extreme control measures put upon rank & file JW members to " trust " the WT organization - even though they don't understand what the organization is saying. The selling off of kingdom halls making it more difficult for JW's to travel 30 minutes or an hour more to meetings. It's a combination of all of these things that starts making a JW doubt. Lack of real love , etc. Any one of these things can put a seed of doubt in a JW's mind until they get to their breaking point and have to leave.
That's how it happened with me, I reached my breaking point in order to get my freedom and happiness. Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Dozy = I agree with what your saying, but even at an internet attrition rate of .05% - 1% per annum. That's about 40,000 - 80000 waking up and leaving every year. Just think about it like this. That is all the publishers in Australia gone in 12 months.