New Upcoming Changes - No More Publisher Record Cards & Reporting Hours

by thedepressedsoul 108 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo

    Wow- interesting topic.

    Hard to imagine an end to preaching because, as stated by so many, its the way dubs prove themselves to be worthy. Remember the scripture... 'hours cover a multitude of sins' - or maybe it doesn't say that, I get confused sometimes.

    Perhaps, if they remove the need to report, they will institute an attendance record to gauge a persons spirituality. That is, simply counting the number of times you preach a month compared to actual hours.

    Any of the reasons listed in the thread could be feasible for the org to go down this path of non-reporting, from financial to privacy concerns. Anything they do wouldn't surprise me.

  • dozy

    Ray Franz spoke about the report card in his books as a "means of exerting pressure" on publishers (ISOCF P189) and when the possibility was discussed in the GB about ending the obligation to report , some of the GB members were worried that this would result in publishers doing nothing.

    But he also mentioned the essential purpose of the preaching work which was to sell and distribute the Societies literature - clearly a dynamic that no longer exists.

    A friend of mine is a "distributor" for a MLM company selling the usual grossly overpriced "organic" rubbish , but in reality she doesn't really distribute much - most is currently boxed & sitting in her spare bedroom or given away as gifts. All pre-paid by her ( with a supposed 20% "discount") . The WTBTS has always pretty much functioned on the same basis , albeit the model has changed over the years. In the days when we paid for the magazines , I can recall countless times having numerous left over magazines that we just gave away as "sample copies" when doing rural rarely worked territory.

    With respect to the original poster , I still don't see the Society stopping the necessity of reporting , unless it was an absolute legal imperative. Perhaps they might tweak it ( online reporting would be an obvious cost cutting and efficiency move) or even perhaps make it anonymous in some way ( perhaps citing GDPR or data protection legislation ).

    How often did all of us drag ourselves out late in the month if we hadn't been out to "put our time in" , or stay out an extra couple of hours when pioneering for the month? I can think of many times when publishers record cards were passed around the Body of Elders to discuss ( usually to criticise ) the individuals activity. I'm convinced that without this incentive , JWs would do a lot less ministry.

    And even though there would be some checks ( such as the elders seeing how active and how often somebody was out on the ministry in the congregation ) this is a very loose tool. We all know the JWs who met at the meeting for field service but didn't go on first call because they were "doing calls" ( usually at Dunkin Donuts ). It is very easy to fake doing ministry for years , especially in a big congregation- I know ,because that is exactly what I did. The reporting tool , though with the inherent flaws of a self assessment audited system , nevertheless is a hugely valuable took to the WTBTS.

  • Vidiot

    re. careful's entry and slimboyfat's follow-up (on the previous page)...

    Makes a lot of sense.

    I can totally imagine the WT being nervous as hell at the prospect of outside auditors (financial or otherwise) getting a close look at their internal records. Kind of embarrassed I didn't think of it myself, in fact.

    Definitely reinforces my suspicion that the Org's business model is way more dependent on its charity-slash-tax-exempt status than any of us had previously realized, and thusly why they seem to have (in retrospect) fought so disproportionately hard at even the slightest prospect of losing it...

  • LoyalLeon

    I think the OP could be very right.

    Step One according to sfl they replace printed PRCs with electronic ones.

    Step Two they introduced in the EU a legal form for each publisher consenting his data being used wherever needed in Watchertowerdom. Those refusing report monthly, data i not collected, but not being in the database they can't hold any privileges above mic-bearer.

    Step Three they are working on Publisher-ID, yes, but this simply makes transferring data between congs and branches easier.

    Step Four they abolish reporting individual preaching hours. As has been described above they don't need it for planning literature production (though i doubt they ever really used it for this purpose. COs less and less regard hours as criterium for appointments. Above was mentioned the sfl no longer refers to this requirement.

    BUT: Being CONTROL FREAKS, publisher weill be pressed more than before to show up for weekly FSM. GROUP CONTROL. Regular publishers must show up at least once amonth, and the Group Oversser will report this, so the number of publishers can be transferred to the branch. Consideration for appointments willbe: does brother X show up every Saturday and joins the group or does he only show up every other Saturday and slips away after the meeting... Pioneers will still have to report their special privilege hours or at least whether they made it or not. Knowing hours can be faked easily this absolutely makes sense to me.

    This could be SOLD as a major relief to publishers while in reality it tightens the grip on the individual.


  • slimboyfat
    It will be interesting if they abolish reporting time while trying to retain control of publishers preaching. Because I believe this would not work out as planned. No matter how much informal pressure is applied, if no hours are reported, JWs will take this as a signal to stop preaching. Just as they took the abolition of cover prices for the literature as a signal to stop paying for them. No amount of exhortations to voluntarily contribute to cover the cost of printing did the trick.
  • LV101

    There must have been a huge drop in contributions re/literature, however, more than one publisher told me elders were watching and reminding them they needed to pay for the trash when they ordered/picked up. I can't imagine the cult not using every control factor possible to keep an accounting of the minions re/publisher cards/hrs. Perhaps they know the hall secret police will keep track.

  • hybridous

    No matter how much informal pressure is applied, if no hours are reported, JWs will take this as a signal to stop preaching. Just as they took the abolition of cover prices for the literature as a signal to stop paying for them. No amount of exhortations to voluntarily contribute to cover the cost of printing did the trick.

    I think this is prescient. JWs are tired out after decades in the hamster wheel. ANY 'signal' from HQ that could otherwise be construed to diminish the 'ministry' will likely be seized upon.

  • MeanMrMustard

    Just a side note: If the WTB&TS were to switch to “electronic” reporting, even if the metric was changed, you are now talking about each JW having his/her own username and password to the site. Once logged in, it could record the user’s IP address, and start to monitor activity on They would know if you signed in to read assignment XYZ. Have you been to the site this month? Actually our records only show two times. But then again, that might not matter to them. On the other hand, imagine that they posted a link to from this site. Just some article that a “new user” seems to be complaining about. Maybe even a fake article that says something really nuts. If you are an active jw and click on it, now you are back in the server coming from an apostate website, with matching IP address. Heck, you might even still have the cookies. In other words, they could start to track who comes to sites like this (for those who are fading)...

    ... then again, maybe they aren’t that smart.

  • blondie

    I can see the WTS having the congregations put the publishers cards online, except the WTS was careful not to put lists of publishers in the congregations online, supposedly to prevent worldly enemies from getting those lists and rounding up the jws and putting them in confinement or worse.

    A lot of good ideas of why the WTS might do this. When the WTS changed having the publishers pay for the publications upfront, I knew that the cash flow would drastically dip. If I a woman could know that and have no responsibility of guiding the WTS, I wonder why some bright young male accountant at Bethel could not have figured it out.

    Whatever the WTS, the average jw will go along with it, they are in too deep now to rebel and escape ostracizism or worse. I wonder if they will go to a similar program keeping track of donations by the individual publishers like they do in many churches, making a written pledge of what they will give and being held to it legally. If members don't pay, no funerals or weddings or baptisms performed by the church in their behalf. Of course, they won't call it tithing, they will come up with another term, like overlapping generation.

  • zeb

    my wife puts her hours in via a computer.

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