I gave up hope and fantasies of it crashing many moons ago. I do hope they'll be limping along some day but not planning on it -- there's always too many hurting individuals on planet earth that cling to cult promises and that is sad.
Collapse of JW Org - Possibly on the Horizon?
hybridous - "This cult either has a death wish, or believes it's own BS (namely, that YHVH is going to intercede to perpetuate it's existence.)"
Every piece of anecdotal evidence we've heard here for the past twenty years indicates that it's the latter.
And every boneheaded decision they've made is exactly the kind of call a True Believer would make.
LVC101 - "...there's always too many hurting individuals on planet earth that cling to cult promises..."
This seems to be the crux of most naysayers' argument that "the Org will never die"...
...that there will always be people who need a cult to belong to.
And I think it's probably true.
The flaw in that argument, however, is that - in my opinion - it's predicated on the assumption that that there will always be people that specifically need the WT cult...
...and I don't think that's actually the case.
The diehards may still be there but I suspect most stay for social reasons and it’s really too late to start over
My mom was baptized in 1970, so she has a half century invested. She was talking today about her "Bible study" with the 17 yr old granddaughter of her close friend. Apparently g'ma threatened/bullied/harassed the granddaughter into starting back up. My mom had studied with her years ago as a little kid. Teen was not even awake when my mom arrived today, but "something" happened for my mom to "count her time."
All my mom has is me (her former shing star elder/pioneer/MTS grad), and my younger never dunked brother if she left the Borg, and a few other non JW relatives that are old and far away. After my step-dad died in the spring, she is by herself in podunk town in the southern US. Without her JW social structure, she has nobody there.
So do I want the Borg to crash and burn? Yep. But not until after she is gone. Or if she wakes up on her own. At least she still has a relationship with me.
Not to mention that there are a few unique aspects of WT ideology and eschatology that I also think may negate that possibility... that they have - for all intents and purposes - set things up too specifically for a truly effective eleventh-hour adaptation to really stick.
Think of it in terms of natural selection... as a (social) "organism", it just feels too specialized; too specifically adapted to its niche to survive the kind of changes that are occurring more and more in its environment.
One example could be the potential loss of tax-exemption that the Org's "business model" seems to have become dependent on (why else would they try so hard to keep it, after all?)...
...another would be the fact that the Org is coming under fire more and more from the secular (i.e. "worldy") legal systems of the world... which flies in the face of a prediction they've held as near-Gospel for almost a century... that "Babylon the Great" would be attacked before them.
The biggest one, of course is that despite their decades-long insistence, more and more evidence that they're simply wrong cannot help but make it increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction that the WTS is "God's Exclusive Earthly Organization"... which is - let's be honest - really the only carrot-stick combo that truly keeps the rank-and-file still loyal.
That is why most of us are here right now, after all.
Snakes - "So do I want the Borg to crash and burn? Yep. But not until after she is gone."
I feel more or less the same way.
smiddy3 - "It`s getting to the stage where they can no longer maintain the belief that the GT / Armageddon is imminent ,eventually even the most faithful loyal one will have to acknowledge that its just not true."
hybridous - "...I don't think we can overstate just what a tough reckoning this would be for them. The whole paradigm hinges on impending Armageddon. Lots of fear to leverage with that belief."
As I said above, there's too many unique specifics to the WTS's End-Times script that are increasingly improbable.
Not to mention that historically, apocaplyptic groups kinda have to occasionally "date-set" to maintain internal zeal...
...and due to the Bible's own rhetoric condemning the tactic, coupled with the media's record of the Org's past habit of failed predictions, the WTS is long past its effective sell-by date for that tactic; they simply don't dare try it.
Semi-committal reminders that it's "any day now" simply don't muster up real, genuine long-term enthusiasm, though. At best, the rank-and-file get worked up for a couple days of ministry work (and good luck with that these days)...
...at worst, they just feel tired of hearing it again (whether they admit it - or even realize it - or not).
Semi-committal reminders that it's "any day now" simply don't muster up real, genuine long-term enthusiasm, though.
Some JWs are more hepped up due to COVID-19 - "somehow" it is going to "directly lead" into the great tribulation.
How, exactly, is never explained, and of course its not an official JW doctrine.
I suspect / fear that when a COVID vaccine is developed and implemented, and the world gradually returns to "normal" (or a near facsimile of it), a large number of JWs will be very depressed and/or lose their zeal and fade away. If the world recovers from a "4 horsemen of the apocalypse" event, how can even the most non-thinking JW put any stock in WT promises of "very soon now"?
I don't think that is going to happen in the near future, but it is going to happen.
And, as others have posted, I don't expect the WT org. to "collapse", but rather slowly fizzle away. The recovery from the pandemic, due to reasons expressed above, may be a catalyst to accelerate the process.
For Centuries what kept our Jewish friends going was Prayer , and the idea expressed within their prayers, and actually expressed, after meals if I remember correctly, " Next year, in Jerusalem".
I guess a similar long term view will keep the old stalwart JW's going for a while. But the younger ones who have never really bought in to all of the nonsense will continue to drift away, I think too that there will be a general idea across the World that we should not go back entirely to what we used to call "normal", and some kind of reset may have to occur within the JW Org to go along with the Zeitgeist.
It is obvious that a 19th Century Apocalyptic Religion is well passed its sell by date, so they are going to have to use new Marketing of some sort, or die quickly as an Org. They have tried the re-branding, the On-line Web based stuff, the Carts etc and they did not improve the gaining of Converts, so something else will have to be tried. Crying Wolf for 150 years is looking increasingly very silly.
There is speculation that they may try a reset of Date to 2034, to keep the fear of "The End" going, that will only buy them a little over a decade, so will be the final time for such a move. I would think their advisors would warn them off from such a short sighted move.
Who knows..maybe the guvbod will have a rethink..and go for a re-make of the whole shebang.
Quietly lose the no blood doctrine..up to the individual conscience..with no repercussion.
Re think shunning..along the lines of shunning those who still attend while openly practicing sinful practices, not causing family splits when a family members decides the religion is no longer of interest to them...for now.
Do a lot more highly visible good works of benefit to the whole community...totally rethink the public perception.
Maybe there will be real growth..with new members who like what the watchtower does and want to be part of it. Not through fear but rather through real love.