Question for SBF

by Fisherman 192 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat

    Whatever your definition of tithe, I think it implies more than simply appealing for donations with no sanction.

    In some European countries churches have the legal right to tax their members, which is ollected along with general taxation. So far (as far as I know) JWs have not joined such programs, I don't know if that was on principle or because they would be rejected. Maybe they will try to be included in the scheme at some point.

    In any case JWs are very low contributors from what I can tell. I am looking at local churches that generally collect £30, 000 to £200,000 a year. The local congregation of JWs less than £9000.

  • slimboyfat

    I have addressed this point. You are making the same naive assumption Watchtower have made. They believed that when they stopped charging for the literature that the brothers would keep donating the same amount anyway. It turned out they were wrong, contributions fell and their output has shrunk as a result.

    Actually the key quote from you above I thought was this one:

    The org will simply find new ways to separate the sheep from their money as every other religion always has and will have an easier time than most since its a high control cult.

    Which is exactly the point. JWs have defined themselves as a religion that does not tithe or pass collections. Historically they have made their money from selling literature, so they didn't need to. It's undeniable that other religions make their money in other ways - mainly by tithing, collections and charitable activity. The question is how is Watchtower going to make their money now that publishing has dried up. Simply saying "they'll find a way" is not an answer. What way? And how? So far there's no evidence they've found any way to replicate the income they once made from literature sales. The best solutions offered so far has been charges for digital content or a tithe on membership. Neither of which Watchtower have yet done, and it's questionable if it would work if they did.

  • _Morpheus

    Lol slim we are just going around and around.... liturature WASNT making money. It was simply a vehicle to make feel obligated to donate. Also you didnt show that mormons “sanction” for failing to tithe. They just can't hold positions... so what? Dubbies do that as well. If you dont make ur fs hours you cant be an elder or ms.... tithing wouldnt be any different. Your overthinking this

  • Fisherman

    Morpheus, pubs paid for books in advance. They were the ones that financed the preaching work, not hopes and dreams. Also, when people in the field bought the book, they didn't read it in advance, knowing about hopes an dreams. They bought a neat book for only a quarter or 50 cents. People were getting something tangible for their money even though they didn't buy the hopes and dreams that the books talked about. Later on after studying the book did some people buy into it but not everybody did although they already paid for the book.

  • NewYork44M

    This is an interesting discussion. Thank you for your critical thinking SBF. I have a few related comments:

    They believed that when they stopped charging for the literature that the brothers would keep donating the same amount anyway. It turned out they were wrong,

    I was the account servant during this transition. The R&F did not contribute for their literature. I remember a night where we distributed the CD library. I was expecting a boatload of contributions that night. I still remember opening the contribution box and seeing a few coins. There was a very poor family with 4 or 5 kids. I remember that each family member had their own Insight book. I can assure you that they did not pay. these are just two of many examples that confirm what you stated.

    The business of providing free content via the internet works very well with a for-profit business model. There are examples of publishing companies becoming very successful with the open access of their content. Their success comes from selling advertising, and the potential of building equity that translates into the sale of the business. The problem for an organization like JW.Org is that they don't have a business model that allows for selling advertising. And there is no real prospect of selling the business.

    Thus, all their publishing effort represents a cost center with no corresponding revenue stream. What we see now is the org finding new revenue sources and cutting costs.

  • TD

    Also you didnt show that mormons “sanction” for failing to tithe.

    "Sanction" might be too strong a word, but at the same time, the consequences of not tithing are more substantial in a religion that provides tangible benefits to members in "good standing" than they are in a religion like the JW's that pretty much gives nothing in return for donations.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    I personally don't think they're going away any time soon, they have way too many adherents. Right now a lot of money is still being sunk into foreign countries and print. Take it from BYOD to BYOKH and they can keep the empire running on peanuts.

    The problem is indeed lack of donations, this means there are a LOT of people that don't truly believe in the cause anymore and are loathe to donate to the WWF. Shed the dead weight through increasing control and shed all sub-corporations (Bethelites, CO/DO, RBC) that they sink money into. The WTBTS can be ran very efficiently, they may even go bankrupt, they've already arranged for that by separating the "leadership corporation" from the operational stuff, the corporation will continue to exist in one or another name for at least another 100 years or so.

    Running a website is super-cheap. That's the model they are currently pursuing.

  • _Morpheus

    In fairness, TD, “sanction” wasnt my word, it was slims. I was simply pointing out that mormons use simple cult Fear Obligation Guilt to coerce memebers into tithing and are effective at it. Hell mormons dont even “disfellowship” or shun as harshly as Jw’s. When the org is ready to tithe they will do it and be effective. They wont call it a tithe and wont have to. Dubbies will support. Slim fishman and others are way overthinking this. Mormons dubbies fill in the blank, its all the same. Cult religion whatever, they survive selling truth and hope of future happines and they are successful.

  • Giordano

    The difference with the Mormons is that they support the education, business and life style success of their believers. No doubt............ for many of the Mormon brethren...... tithing is an investment that has paid off. They do have wackadoodle beliefs but their common sense and practical approach to how they live their lives makes being a Mormon the smarter pick.

    The WTBTS on the other hand "depicts the present as mean and miserable and it deliberately makes it so. It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral."....Eric Hopper in 'The true believer'.

  • joe134cd

    I think some sort of tith or fee to download might be the ticket out of the mess they are in. It's just how they will do it.

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