Why does the Watchtower leadership slap its own defenders in the face?
I don't know. The Mormons encourage education strongly, yet they still manage to teach that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel and other assorted whackadoodle ideas. Religious mania apparently can survive education.
Remember the three h's. For one to accept the facts one needs to be hungry (for truth), honest, and humble. Seems me that amongst the leadership of religious institutions all these qualities are sorely lacking. Anyway, if they had those they would lose money. Their survival would be at stake. So, yes, that's not going to change anytime soon.
SBF, I don't know what Furuli would say to your OP. I doubt if he would visit this website, unless he began to have doubts like so many here have. I do not know the man and I've never read his stuff (nor would I wish to). From what little secondhand info I've got on him, he seems like the typical JW apologists who filter all objective data thru their "the GB is God's sole mouthpiece" mindset. That will, of course, leave them unable to ever call the GB wrong about anything. Hence my earlier comment on this thread. I suppose they would have supported Miracle Wheat, the pyramids, Beth Sarim, the superior authorities of Rom. 13:1 being Jehovah and Jesus, organ transplants being cannibalism, blood fractions being unacceptable until they were OKed, etc. And they would have rationalized them all just like I stated Furuli likely did regarding his position on Hebrew verb meanings.
As for Forster and Wörnhard, here's what I've got on them. I learned of the former thru a member of this forum. I was surprised that he existed, but after looking over his website, I realized that, doctrinally speaking, he has stayed away from anything controversial that might get him into trouble with the org. One major question I have with Foster is that he teaches at a clearly religious college---what about Rev. 18:4? The latter is listed as a major elder who gave some sort of special talk that I saw years ago in a list of recorded talks that circulate so much in the Witness world. I think it said he was from the Italian bethel. He's also listed a s a consultant on Patrick Jamois's LinkedIin page, a guy who's clearly a Witness (https://ch.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jamois-74baa349). Then there are those links I put up in the earlier comment, ones which show he has genuine academic credentials. Like Foster, Wörnhard's research is on the church centuries after earliest Christianity, another nice, safe topic from the org's perspective.
If you know of anything of substance regarding Furuli's disagreements with the GB's views, I'd like to hear them. Is he an elder? He can't be too disloyal and be an elder. Do you know of any disagreement with WT theology or practice regarding Wörnhard? Wouldn't he too have had to have obtained his "worldly" education in violation of WTS policy? Or perhaps he was a convert and got his education prior to becoming a Witness?
Have you had dealings with Foster or are you just making your "very intelligent fellow" comment based on his website? I'm curious if he's an elder in his congo or whether his personal pursuits have prevented him from reaching that coveted position in the org.
Vidquin, wow, you are really living in wonderland! You might as well say you imagine how different it would have been if the GB all joined a coven and worshiped the devil directly! Seriously though, your 3 h's comment is thought provoking, as are SBF's notion on the Mormons. I've always had some trouble equating the Witnesses and the Mormons, but I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps one factor is that the LDS church does not have much problem with educated members disagreeing with their articles of faith, at least not like the WTS. The homosexual doctrine so much in the news lately is a minor exception that will probably not affect them much since the LDS R&F reject homosexuality on a big scale. It violates their marriage worship thing too greatly.
Vidquin, I doubt if opening up the feedback loop would improve the organization. Really, all the Russellite "bees" buzzing around the honey pot are all pretty much of a muchness. What JW organization has going for it is operational prowess spurred by aggressive leadership. You can hand pick any number of smaller Russellite groups and admire their relative merits as "scholarly" or "educated" but they all keeping buzzing round Russell or his subsequent replacements to break away from that dead Millenialist outlook.