The social, emotional and intellectual investment of members is the glue that will hold this organisation together for some time to come yet. I don't think anyone is forecasting some imminent implosion but the people aspect of this will outweigh all but the most catastrophic commercial and theological failures and I think there will still be an sizeable religion in 40/50 years time.
Question for SBF
It would be very interesting if a whole country split away from the watchtower. Still calling themselves JWs.
Australia for instance ?
Maybe they will shift into more social engagement.
First only with JWs - singing and dancing to "kingdom"-songs, eating and drinking together in the hall.
Later they will invite also non JWs to such gatherings.
Prayers will end with a loud "hallelu JAH".
The supreme goal for the upper echelons is survival as controllers of this religion/cult. To that end they will do everything they have to because they have no true principles. Only if the USA government truly crackdown on them do I see a fragmentation or collapse happening. Jwborg via the internet is all reaching and global.
Sadly in my view the USA government is a little behind the curve than other "western" democracies are on in protecting its citizens from businesses masquerading as religions.
So although they don't consciously see it the upper echelons (The GB/The Accountants/The Lawyers) will slowly morph and drop the most extreme views - but only when it hurts them too much financially or reduces their control over the flock they fleece.
They may be financially hurting but what do they need for control? Once Warwick is finished it can be maintained for at least 50 years. Five big branches, one on each continent and a small number of sub branches for groups of countries and they can roll on indefinitely.
They will not go any time soon. But their numbers will drop slowly and more will escape. It will be patchy but more - if only a handful in each hall - will roll their eyes and "play the game". And a few will take their lumps and walk away into inactivity or DA.
The quality of those that remain will get more flaky and crazy and there will be those that return when the next earthquake (real or financial) happens or terrorist atrocity or nuclear weapon detonates only to leave when things quieten down again.
is that right the governing body is that magical number 7 ?
I agree with how you see "the end" playing out , I'd possibly stretch out the timing....30 -40 years??
I find the demise of Giliead the most telling. I'm sure we have some ex Giliead missionaries on here and I'd be interested to hear their take.
Is it because they can no longer prove their doctrines? Are they fearful of the students researching for themselves or is it purely money?
"If they can't count or measure the important things, they have to make the things that they CAN count seem important."
There is no real way to know whether the "pure worship of Jehovah" is growing or whether Jehovah is there to even notice. The WTS reaches out at stats like number of pioneers, congregations, hours spent out in service etc. These numbers are really barely secondary to the issue of whether Jehovah'Witnesses are truly the "one faith."
It seems that at some point the facade will just blow over. We here just found our way around to a better vantage point earlier than others.
I think it's mainly money that stopped Gilead. They just couldn't afford to keep adding, what, eighty or so missionaries year after year, to their ongoing financial commitments. Plus the converts that missionaries made were in poorer countries and a financial burden to Watchtower. So that was a double financial incentive to cut Gilead.
I think we shouldn't underestimate the impact of Gilead missionaries in the past for promoting growth in places like Japan, Nigeria, Brazil and so on. So the removal of Gilead will contribute significantly to declining numbers.
When Watchtower still sold the literature I think even the poorest countries probably at least broke even in terms of money raised covering costs. So it made sense to make converts all round the world. But now when poor countries are a net loss to their finances they are not as eager to push for growth in poor countries any more.
I see the jw in future:
- Some translation offices arround the globe, no branches
- Only convention halls owned by jw
- No local halls
- Transformation to a digital religion
think we shouldn't underestimate the impact of Gilead missionaries in the past for promoting growth in places like Japan, Nigeria, Brazil and so on. So the removal of Gilead will contribute significantly to declining numbers.
Thank you SBF. What you say about the financial burden of Giliead makes a lot of sense...what with training and ongoing support.
Also, I don't know if you managed to read the post about the reddit CO (AMA) as he was also a missionary. His commitment and energy ( bi-lingual, well trained and full time ) definitely backs up what you were saying: that the loss of these folks will have a huge impact on the numbers of new converts in those countries.