Do You Think a Schism is in the Future?
Many of the steps the GB has taken have been in the wake of the WWCG's breakup.
I think they learned from it, so a schism isn't really in the air.
Slow death by attrition, though?
Closer to it today, than, say, five years ago, IMO.
Agreed Vidiot, you could see the decline happening five or six years ago and hoped that it would continue-- and it has. The western world has had enough of the JW cult.
The doomsday nature of the Watchtower cult must increasingly be obvious to all so that the appeal is diminishing in a more secular and educated world.
The fact that HQ is now harvesting its assets to continue to function day to day will eventually leave the organisation having sold off the family silver, namely the kingdom halls (which they stole from the congregations starting in 1986).They reversed the principle of a mortgage which is finite and imposed a perpetual fee from the congregations to the amount of the mortgage. A cunning plan which only a cult could carry off. Bad for them, other funds no longer roll in like they used to when the "1914 generation" illusion applied.
Even the rank and file JWs no longer put their money into their religion like they used to.
JW org is a business, an unscrupulous racket promising immortality. Nobody lives after they die, it is a fundamental principle of life. Only fools believe this and we were among them once.
The only Christian thing for JW HQ to do is to admit they are completely wrong and self serving and that they have pummelled their flock into mental slavery. They must admit they made up doctrines to suit their elaborate confidence trick and then they should sell everything, all their property and return the money to those who have supported them in the past.
Say $10 billion would give 8 million individuals around $12,500 each and it can be adjusted according to length of time as a JW.
Highly unlikely but it would be an honourable end to a dishonourable organisation.
On the matter of schism of course it has already happened and there is a long history of fragmentation and many JW offshoots exist especially in Nigeria and Eastern Europe but these are studiously hidden from current JWs.
A funding crisis could lead to measures which would demand an adjustment too far even for the stalwarts. Groups of the disaffected who deny the authority of the present GB and 1914 could form but still broadly hold on to traditional JW doctrines. Such as Biblical supremacy and salvation, paradise etc.
Here though is the real world example of a cult winding down, note the pressure of cognitive dissonance and the moderating of cult beliefs towards the mainstream:
"In the mid-1930s Herbert W. Armstrong, an unsuccessful American advertising executive, founded a millennialist Sabbatarian Christian sect with a heterodox theology. Over the next half century, despite a number of setbacks, scandals, criticisms, and attacks from former members and anti-cultists, Armstrong's organization, the Worldwide Church of God, grew to around 100,000 baptized members with a world circulation of over six million for its flagship monthly magazine Plain Truth. In January 1986, Armstrong died. His successor changed most of the church's distinctive doctrines, leading it towards an increasing convergence with mainstream Evangelical Christianity. This created a massive cognitive dissonance in ministers and members: should they accept or reject the authority of the church leadership which had abandoned the authority of the founder's teachings? Groups of ministers left the religion to form new churches, taking tens of thousands of members with them. These schismatic churches in turn faced continuing schism, resulting in over 400 offshoot churches within little more than a decade."
(From Amazon blurb for The fragmentation of a sect, David Barrett)
The Society have already taken steps to make it very difficult for a schism to happen.
For example , the late 1970's "apostasy" that could have led to a schism would be unlikely to occur today. GB members and "helpers" in the committees are only appointed if they are 100% lobotomised Society men - the chances of another Ray Franz or Ed Dunlap type figure emerging are very unlikely.
The other main risk was a "rogue" branch splitting off ( for example , what nearly happened in Ireland in the early 1980's ) but the Society have closed many national Bethels , including Spain , which was always the most likely Bethel to cede. By having just a few "mega" Bethels , like the UK , Germany and Mexico , and controlling them very carefully , it makes it far easier for the Society to stop any foreign power base developing.
Quotes from Hanged man's WWCG video;
"It can't be fixed, it has to be demolished".
"Armstrong was a false prophet" . . . is the JW org any different?
The message from this cult from the believers point of view was that ending the cult brought them to Christ. Out of one baseless delusion and straight into another! If a schism happened to the JW sect (and it is a natural occurrence in all societal groupings) at least it would presumably give people back their independence, personal worth and liberty including the end of shunning.
What dozy said.
Hanged Man...watching that video was like...Deja Vu!
Thanks for sharing...and yes I feel strongly a schism or fracture of some magnitude is in the WT's future! Hot diggity dog! :-) :-)