Question for SBF

by Fisherman 192 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • _Morpheus

    Fisherman, you’ve offered no more evidance than anyone else of your view. For those of us that dont think the org is in danger, we have the ONLY evidance:

    the org is still going. They just built a new hq. they have sold billions in property.

    That is evidance that they are ok. You, slim and those that imagine the sky is falling have nothing but conjecture and hope coupled with inference and dreams.

    The org is fine. Prove otherwise.

  • NewYork44M

    This is a fascinating discussion. Are any of the projections from this discussion thread correct? I guess we will soon find out. I hope to stick around long enough to see.

  • ScenicViewer
    I hope to stick around long enough to see. (NewYork44M)

    Amen to that.

    However it ends up, I want to see it. I don't believe the Organization can survive and remain the same as it has been for decades, but if it survives in an appreciable way I would like to see what it becomes. In some ways it's already unrecognizable from what it was in the early 1970s.

  • slimboyfat

    No evidence of financial problems? Watchtower has lost its core business of selling books and magazines. What more evidence do you need? Do you think it can run on thin air?

    Your evidence that Watchtower is not in financial trouble is that they are "still there". But any organisation facing collapse is "still there" until it actually collapses. What sort of evidence is that? And besides it's about 25% less "still there" (by some measures such as bethelites and branches) than it was a couple of years ago (probably more than 25% in terms of declining print output) and shrinking rapidly. The question is can it shrink to a sustainable level, or will it shrink away entirely.

    The point is to look for indications of what's going on. If cutting quarter of your staff in a single year is not an indication then what on Earth would be? Or cutting more than a quarter of your branches? Or failing to actually produce a physical product at your annual conventions - for the first time in your 140 year existence. If these are not indications (among many other things!) then what on Earth would be?

    And again with the 1 or 2 billion from property sales. We have been through that. Yes it must have helped, but how much? How much did Warwick cost? And how many years can the rest cover the deficit? At their level of spending (quarter of a billion on full time servants outside bethel alone, every year) perhaps not very long!

    Even if Stephen Lett and Samuel Herd hadn't said a word, observers would obviously have been speculating about their financial situation anyway, given these developments. Their announcements and the panicked look on their faces just confirms what we already know.

  • LV101

    Fish - good topic and appreciate the info in your post on page 3 about their expenses -- or what they revealed that day, true or not. Time will definitely tell. Watchtower is such a secret society yet spewing out financial negatives seems weird. Maybe they're afraid JWs will stop contributing since they have monies from huge sales in Brooklyn.

  • slimboyfat

    I've searched for information on downsizing to put it into some kind of perspective. One example I come across is General Motors which experienced poor sales and cut its workforce by around 20% in 2008/9. It needed a government bailout to keep operating.

    Watchtower on the other hand has lost its whole market for book/magazine sales and in a single year cut bethelite numbers by more than 25%. Who is going to bail them out?

    In percentage terms Watchtower layoffs seems to be the largest example of downsizing I can find. And that was just a single year. We don't even know yet if/how many they cut in 2016/7.

    No evidence of financial difficulty. Are you kidding?

  • shepherdless

    I am mostly in agreement with sbf on this, except I do not think they are close to a financial collapse as yet. Limited financial info, such as the UK accounts, suggest (in the U.K. at least) there are still investments being held by the Borg, although these have decreased. Further, I doubt that the Borg has significant external debt, and I haven't seen any evidence otherwise. Most sudden and outwardly unexpected financial collapses (but not all) involve a significant amount of external debt.

    I suspect they are making losses, and this is using up their reserves, but there is a while to go, yet.

    One question I don't think anyone has addressed in detail, is what would a "financial collapse" look like. For a religious institution with no significant debt, there might be little to see. There might not be any sudden default. I would have thought it would be more of the same as we see now; more asset sales and bethel layoffs, and only very core activities continuing. Not an actual collapse; more of a "financial fade".

    It is not as if JWs are going to wake up one morning and find they have been merged with, eg, the Mormons. I think the average JW won't notice much change, in a "financial fade", apart from less micromanaging from Borg Central. I think it would mostly affect bethelites and various others feeding off the teat of the Borg. The GB might get a shakeup, or even replaced, and many senior managers will go, but the Borg would probably continue on, with whatever donation income is available.

  • smiddy3

    An organization that is doing well Financially expands its organization with growth and adding more people to handle the growth and invests in real estate and human resources ,people for the expected growth .

    An organization that is having difficulties ,downsizes ,cuts costs ,and cuts staff ,sells real estate , equipment etc. to minimize their losses .

    I think it`s obvious what side of the equation the JW religion is on ,it`s just a matter of time before they are just a fringe religion with very few members compared to their heyday.

  • Drearyweather

    One of the very first downsizing happened in 1915, if not earlier.

    In 1915, seventy members of the Bethel family in New York were informed that because of a lack of funds, they would have to leave Bethel to continue their service in the field. They were told: “We must not involve ourselves in debt nor jeopardize the work in general; hence the decision for the reduction of the expenses along every line.”

  • slimboyfat

    And indeed JWs did face existential crises following 1914 and 1925. We know that they struggled on and survived (largely on the basis of determined and ruthless leadership by Rutherford) but they may not have done, it wasn't a fore gone conclusion. And in those instances they had their book/magazine selling business to fall back on. Now they don't have that.

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