How far will they go?
I've been drawing back lately and looking at the big picture going on in the org, somewhat like slimboyfat has also been doing, but I am wondering about different possibilities. So the current GB has modernized recently in various ways. They have done a strong and sudden about-face regarding the electronic world, from viewing the whole thing suspiciously and condemning bros. use tablets from the platform to suddenly embracing them and causing the R&F to do so to such a degree that old ones are spending hundreds of dollars to buy devices that they have no clue how to use; they have heavily embraced this media for their message, very much like the churches have been doing for years, especially with their JW broadcasting and their Caleb and Sophia animations. They are rapidly embracing "worldly" ways in music with David Splane's pop tunes and their music videos that end each monthly broadcast. Like the churches they have aggressively embraced child baptism and may well be on the way to infant baptism. They have used "worldly" consultants for a variety of things they never would have before: legal matters, construction, financial advice, reorganizing and downsizing their Bethels (cutting the fat, dismissing the costly old-timers).
Sooo my question is this: how far will they go in this vein? Specifically will they finally allow facial hair and cut the conservative dress they are so obsessed with? Before anyone answers "They'd never do that," it might be good to think about how so many here have been surprised at the above-mentioned changes. I imagine that the GB has surprised us all recently with so many changes that many here have commented that they don't even recognize the old religion any more.
My question would be - how does allowing facial hair or being more flexible on dress help them? The modernization helps them by implementing new forms of indoctrination or cost cutting measures, but I don't see how becoming more flexible on other things really helps them directly. Perhaps a case could be made that they might think that the dress/grooming restriction is limiting new membership, but I sincerely doubt that is the case. None of the changes they've made have relaxed their control for no real gain.
I hope they do relax the dress/grooming restrictions, though, because that would be a big step towards the eventual dissolution of the cult, the way I see it. Those controls are a big part of the BITE model that they use to keep members indoctrinated, so if they were to relax things it might allow a few more to wake up and leave. With AMIII at the helm, though, it seems wildly unlikely that will happen.
Changes I see as being more likely is further downsizing, consolidation of KHs and congregations, and further cost cutting measures. Maybe something like allowing online preaching to count so that they can puff up their stats. Things that reduce their costs or liquidate assets are probably going to be the biggest and most likely changes we'll see, IMO.
Supirised though that dress and grooming is a point that to focus on?
There are more serious issues that they need to address and "change" first. Such as judicial committee inappropriateness, and other control techniques...
And the other question is how far will they have to go,if i was a rank and file person just what id seen on jw broadcasting and san hurd say about all the cuts i wouldnt be bothered about giving as much and although they have got a very nice christmas box with bethel moving from new york if that is the only money they are getting inn that will not last many years
I honestly believe that all the radical changes in recent years have actually f**ked the borg in the long run. 'Oldsters' like me do not even recognize this religion anymore as the one they grew up in. To me, all the changes are a sure sign of instability and lack of real leadership. The stupid changes pushed me to take a look at the past which led me to ttatt which led me to freedom. My 'born in' kids see my attitude change and my disregard for the wtbts and it has had a very desirable result on their lives.
Hopefully it will have the same affect on others which it seems to be doing!
I know it sounds far fetched, but any chance things will get so bad they'll just go "Jim Jones" on everyone?
It'd be hard to pull off large scale, across the whole world, I'd think. But maybe isolated pockets here and there would decide to 'pass the plate,' whereby EVERYONE partakes of the 'wine/special kool-aid.' I shudder to think of such a thing, but that Tony Morris guy seems like just the type to push something like that on JWTV. Especially if things get really bad, such as more lawsuits, daily media exposure all over the news (including CNN's Nancy Grace), desperate mass sell-offs, signs of discontent and a gradual splntering of the Org into other sects.
Any thoughts on this?
They....will go as far as it takes.....to make a buck.
Always wondered about facial hair restrictions. Here we have westerners practicing a Middle Eastern religion telling people to shave. Um, no. Middle Easterners don't shave their beards off and it's THEIR ancestors religion. Trim and neat should be the only requirement.
Also, get rid of jackets and stockings in 85+ degree heat. It's beyond stupid. No one in Africa or the Caribbean/Tropical regions wears that crap in FS.
I believe they will make major changes to the Elder arrangement or eliminate it all together. They will still have "spiritual men", at a local level to handle meetings, collect money, etc... The elders bodies as they exist now! Will be gone or modified just like the TMS.
If they are truly in decline or stagnating as far as membership growth goes in western /Christian lands as been suggested on this board , then I think as indicated by these new attitudes from the G.B. they will indeed need to relax more restrictions on dress and grooming in the R&F., to attract more of the younger generation , why else would they be bringing more modern music , dance into K.H.`s which were once a definite no/no .
They need more bums on seats who will contribute much more needed cash to remain viable.
The old timers are dying off with there conservative attitudes , it`s the younger generation with a more liberal view that is the future for religious growth.
In years gone by they could afford to be more controlling of the young , but not nowadays with the widespread use of the internet they need to loosen the reigns if they want to appeal to the young , which they must do because the young are the key to their future existence.
And I think we are already seeing the beginnings of that trend.