If you're expecting a mass exodus anytime soon, FORGET ABOUT IT!
OrphanCrow can I say I find your posts truly compelling. You raise aspects I have not thought of before - but once expressed, I find myself thinking, “Of course!” Coco’s feedback can only enhance your posts! 👏👏👏👏👏
If as Orphan Crow postulates the guys at the top of the Borg want to pare it down, and only have loyal ones remaining, they have a great problem in how to accomplish that.
Can they really let go of their rigid control ? Could they back pedal on Shunning ?
If they do they risk losing a lot of people who are loyal at this point in time, because they will have lost what control they have at the moment over Information.
They have shown in the past that they prefer to tighten control, and that route may in fact achieve their goal in a "safer" way for them.
We shall see, whatever, for the dribble to become a flood will take a seismic change of some sort.
Nothing would bring me more pleasure than to see a mass exodus of the religion. The reality is more a slow decline or possibly bankruptcy. Of these 2 possibilities I would prefer bankruptcy as this would put many of jw.orgs teachings into question, and could have the same effect as a mass exodus. In another 100 years time I see a religion with maybe 5-6 million subscribers to jw.org. All physical assets sold with a few assembly halls in main centers which the faithful attend when they can get to it. Totally on line content coming out of America. One thing we can all agree on is the religion needs to change if it is to continue to the next generation, and I believe it is in the process of doing so.
OrphanCrow I think you are right that the GB don't want growth in third world countries (I have elsewhere argued this is why they closed down the missionary program of Gilead and now use the school to retrain existing staff - because third world converts cost money) and they would like to lose trouble makers too. I don't think they would say no to more members in wealthy countries, if they are loyal and contributing. And whatever they might wish for, I don't think it is in their hands because decline is developing a momentum of its own. To press too strongly the idea that even decline must be part of a GB masterplan appears to ascribe to them powers and abilities beyond what they display.
slimboyfat - "To press too strongly the idea that even decline must be part of a GB masterplan appears to ascribe to them powers and abilities beyond what they display."
I do think they've (at least subconsciously) accepted it, and are trying to somewhat "manage" whatever decline there is in order to remain solvent.
You're probably right, though...
...a "Master Plan"? From those guys?
slim: OrphanCrow I think you are right that the GB don't want growth in third world countries
Slim, I didn't say that.
In "fact", I said the exact opposite
I inferred this from the paragraph.
What if, Slim, the "decline" in membership is deliberate and wanted by the powers who be? What if the org has decided that it is best to pare down and get rid of those who aren't loyal (true believers only) and those who will donate more more money ( true rich believers only need apply)?
I can see that what follows is an argument for WT promoting in third world countries. Which I don't see actually. (Why stop sending new Gilead missionaries and close down branches?) I think JWs are growing in third world countries for the more commonly cited reasons (lack of Internet access, education, low income, despair, more religious societies) rather than a result of a GB master plan.
Sure there's more interest in 3rd world countries but these people don't have a" pot to piss in " let alone donate to the org. So that's not the answer
Inferences will get you into all sorts of trouble, Slim.
Yes I said that. And I inferred that the "true rich believers" were the ones from developed, Western countries. It was only after I proposed that scenario that I spoke about 3rd world countries.
It is the perfect 21st C religion - based on a model of colonialism. Keep all the loyal ones in developed countries who will donate lot$ of money to keep their charitable contribution level to a taxed out maximum. What the charitable drive is for is those 3rd world countries that I mentioned. Easy peasy - get rid of excess baggage and dead weight in the Western world, keep them uninformed about what is really going on with the org's financial health and what is happening globally, get rid of dead weight real estate, disfellowship the rabble rousers, and go mainly to an online charity type model. And sit on all the cash they have already.
And...stay active in all those countries that are well-poised for pushing patient blood management. And those countries are ideal for dumping off all the literature that the org still prints by engaging in literacy programs.
Does the org need to grow? Not really - it only needs to grow on the top end to be successful. Why do you think the anointed number has been rising? Sure, there are those 'anointed' peons who are deluded into thinking that they are special, but what about if there is a growing "top class" membership? What if the sipping of the wine goes along with the growth of the upper $lice?
Is it a master plan? Who knows? it doesn't really matter. But we do know that the org has made some major changes in the past decade or so that has resulted in what we see now.
Have you got any evidence that Watchtower has made money from their blood policy or literacy programme?
In my view Watchtower is in the worst position of any church of its size, and most churches of other sizes for that matter. Historically they relied on book sales and now they are selling off their assets to keep afloat. (Not to mention lawsuits, aging dependents, declining members in rich countries, increasing members in poor countries, and so on) What they will do when the money runs out is not clear. It seems that in their complacency they thought Armageddon would come before the money runs out.