Musings and reflections from an analyst (Me):
This site seems to come alive with any mention, regardless of how weak the proof, that the DarkLords are experiencing financial, legal or influential decline. Having said that, the data suggest that all religions, including the DarkTower, are indeed experiencing decline. Thank you. Internet (ty Jimmy Fallon).
Businesses, families and yes even churches typically suffer from something called decisional inertia. They are hesitant to make any changes to the status quo, even when the data suggests they should, until they have to - and sometimes it is too late to 'right' the ship. This is attributed to human nature: things will continue as they always have, because that is what they know and expect. And there is always the chance that changing anything will upset the apple cart and the data will prove to be inaccurate.
The DarkLords are no different. They have clearly been slow on the uptake to understand the power of the world wide web, including the power to shine an unwanted light of revelation on the stupidity of religions. All religions (when your underpinnings are "god is with me but not with thee" what can you expect?)
That they are finally embracing the www suggests that somewhere along the line these geniuses figured out the www was kicking their collective asses and it was better to join them if you can't fight them.
Since my brief stay on this site there have been dozens of OPs suggesting imminent failure of the DarkTower. Or at least suggesting stark, immediate decline. There has been evidence presented that would support this, such as the elimination of the DO, closing and combining assembly halls and KHs, RIFFing (reductions in force) the rank and file from the various Bethels, fewer and smaller publications, etc.
Religious entities are famous for thinking that god will continue to bless their activities until they are looking at the free fall in front of them. And even then they proceed full throttle.
Until she doesn't. And then, can I get an amen to the numerous biblical references, they typically blame the issue to some failure in their loyalty to god. Or some such nonsense. And they typically re-double their efforts to strictly worship the goddess, which means the rank and file must be beaten and sacrificed to appease the angry goddess. Bitch.
From a strictly business standpoint, closing 'non-productive' or 'unprofitable' franchises is a no brainer. If one considers the DarkTower franchises are nothing but regional distribution centers then closing lots of these and combining them into one mega-hall makes financial sense.
It also makes sense in other ways, such as establishing the corporation as a meaningful, powerful, enterprise level entity capable of playing with the big boys and on an international scale. The Mormons have known this for decades. Travel to any state and you will find that Mormon 'halls' are few and far between. But the ones that exist are very large and functional. In my travels to several W US states, the nicest (and greenest) buildings were often Mormon churches. I've seen the same thing with mosques in the ME, although the concept of the community mosque is still alive and well. (Some ME mosques will blow your fukking mind they are so big and amazing, but they aren't really designed for the rank and file).
Closing and combining KHs reeks of Mormonism. It also strongly suggests a broken financial and growth paradigm in need of serious and immediate change. Churches don't fix what aint' broken. Of course, based on what I see on this site, the DarkLords will build pathetic, unimpressive KHs with the funds, so they will miss the opportunity to show the world they are relevant by real estate. Those cheap bastards.
This is also predicted based on their reezin for beezin. They don't give a rats ass about the health and well being of the sheep; their regional distribution centers exist for one purpose and only one purpose:
To spread their infection.
I'm not at all surprised the DarkLords are asking for publisher data; the only thing surprising is that they didn't do this a decade ago when the mene, mene, tekel and parsin was all over the wall (see comment re: decisional inertia).
Another thing the DarkLords aren't considering - or aren't' giving enough consideration - is what SlimBoyFat has stated - closing KHs and making the pubs travel is one of the best fading strategies EVER. The DarkLords HAVE to know this, but are moving forward anyway.
Another issue of relevance is that a lot of recent studies show that mega churches can reinvigorate the sheep by creating a much larger reason for their be-sin as well as resources for all sorts of things that small churches simply cannot provide. Of course the DarkLords are missing one important component in this process: the mega-church will likely only succeed if those resources needed and desired by the sheep are included. Good luck with that.
So there. Lots of stuff to consider, and I would not doubt that they have run the numbers and realize the child abuse cases in the queue have the potential to bring them to their knees.
And that's where they belong.