2017 Annual Meeting
Probably only publishing stats online so they can make adjustments to the # on the fly and not have to worry about print copies floating around proving the change.
Maybe but I am not sure that even the WTS would try that trick knowing how good a memory the internet has. I think it's simple financial common sense. The YB takes time to write and print. Every Witness orders one but how many read it? It ends up on a shelf, no use to anyone.
The website has plenty of capacity to promote the various experiences. The monthly broadcast has numerous life stories and accounts of times past. The Awake already has articles about countries around the world.
I think they will continue to publish figures. If they take this away then they reduce the drive to report. If they reduce the drive to report then they risk reducing the drive to go out. If people don't go out then the hold of the cult diminishes.
When I was an MS and always being battered about my hours in the ministry they would talk about the average hours being a benchmark. I used to argue the toss over this. Firstly I would ask about what scriptures they could use to back this up. None of course. Secondly I would ask them what the average is - congregation or national - and how would I know what it is? The national numbers had not been published in the Kingdom Ministry for years and the congregation average is not announced. Therefore how could I know what the benchmark was and if it was such an important benchmark why was it not being published.
Take that argument forward to if they stopped publishing the numbers. There is no incentive to report. The common argument used to be that the org needs to know numbers to know what literature to print. They've all but stopped compared to a 10 years ago. It makes no difference to them. Now they are not even printing different mags, just recycling the old ones.
Take the numbers away and people will ask why they bother at all.
There was some leaked information reported at JW Reddit posted by NeedGreater approximately 2 months ago. The information has a lot of merit and he states
I had a recent conversation with someone who is very involved with the art/ teaching deparments at Bethel. He intimated to me that he was recently involved in a meeting that included a GB member and was focused on a shift in the JWs public preaching message. A scripture was read from Ezekiel 33:32,33 and explained to mean that the message would no longer be a peaceful message "like a romantic love song" but rather a direct message of judgement. Apparently this change will be rolled out in the upcoming annual meeting or shortly thereafter and he said that it has led to a revision of the early editions of the 2018 magazines. He's a very reliable source and has "leaked" information like this to me before that has all turned out to be accurate.
Anyone else heard about this?
However he did say that this is specifically to fulfill the "prophecy" regarding the preaching work right before the end. Not new just an interesting shift. Maybe they want to weed out the "Kevins" from the org now ;-)
As far as I have been able to pick up from posters who attended the meeting, the message has changed but at this stage it doesn't appear to be one of judgement (that's supposed to occur after the GT starts) but rather a focus on the vindication of God's name rather than saving people's lives.
Given that his information seems to be reasonably on target I wonder if they are just introducing the idea of a change in the message slowly and will gradually direct JWs towards a full on 'judgement message'. Their current tracts and publications don't reflect the change but the sheepies will need to place them before ramping up promotion of this change with new material for placement.
I've seen this rumour hinted at on pro jw sites as well. Not sure if it's people speculating, people having some inside knowledge or simply the rumour mill but it would be interesting if true.
If true then it could be a tactic to raise expectation further or even something to try and deliberately encourage persecution and that feeling in the org that the world is turning against the Witnesses.
JW organization has thrived on speculation and sensationalism for all of its 140 plus years of being an incorporated body (1876).
Trouble is, if they ramped up the rhetoric in the message, two problems remain:
1. The current calibre of JWs is not trained or equipped to mouth this kind of heated "final" warning; midweek meetings where any vestige of "training for preaching" occurs are universally poorly attended;
2. The fallout after the heated message has been sounded and sounded and sounded and still no end would be massive.
The GB know you stir up the pot at your peril. I suspect the course preferred will be one of steady-as-we-go, whilst re-focusing on the commitment to the organization and its cost-cutting mentality.
These guys are asleep at the wheel - as are their followers who would vote with indifference if they were suddenly required to sound the "final" warning.
This is very true Steve. The org is lost about it's position and place in time as far as it's understanding of the Bible is concerned. They are caught in this dichotomy of needing to feed urgency and expectation whilst also having nothing to give back in terms of concrete understanding of world events and their relationship with their beliefs.
To that end, I can believe that they might create their own news but you are absolutely right about the risks.
@ Listener: Informative post!
I feel like at this point they can say anything at the moment, they can say that we're living in the Great Tribulation right now and that idea will be sold by everyone. Honestly I think it is pretty scary because I myself don't even know what's gonna happen.
@Jules Saturn Well, gosh. Wouldn't that be nice for many brothers and sisters living in the Western world. What a light and breezy tribulation this is! ;)
I feel like at this point they can say anything at the moment, they can say that we're living in the Great Tribulation right now and that idea will be sold by everyone.
I am confident now that when they need to stop printing or they need to close down major portions of the cult and become something else, they actually will say that the doors have closed, the time is now, it has begun, whatever terms they want. They will have their trips ready to move to secluded beach homes in countries without extradition to the United States and their money secured, plus they will have given the doctrine that allows for them to be gone and forgotten (and dead) before everyone realizes the end is not upon them.
What they are doing, I just want them to be quicker about it. I will help them pack their bags if it saves more young ones from being shunned.