As shepherdless pointed out on another thread, the Watchtower business model of using free labour to produce and sell books and magazines for profit started to break down when charging for the literature ended in 1990, and has now begun disintegrating completely in the face of the Internet and declining donations.
Over this same period there has been a noted increase in hardline rhetoric on disfellowshipping and pushing early baptism. Might these hardline trends actually be related to their money woes? How so?
Well have they basically figured out a three step programme for getting hold of Witnesses' assets as they grow older or when they die. Step 1 is to make sure all good Witnesses get their children baptised as early as possible so they can't leave without consequences. Step 2 is to make sure parents are completely alienated from their adult children if they leave the Witnesses. Step 3 is to encourage elderly Witnesses whose families are alienated from them to donate their estates to the WT when they die, or even to "gift/loan" it to them now before they die.
This might seem a bit cynical, but I heard Splane in person lecture an audience in the strongest terms that children must get baptised early. It's not an option and parents shouldn't present it as if it is a a choice. It's not a choice whether a person works when they grow up and neither is it a choice to get baptised, it simply follows. He actually said that. And the younger the better. I'd never heard anything so extreme as that before.
And then we had the WT article that actually specified that parent/child relationships should be terminated on DFing or DA. Nothing about just cutting spiritual association or about necessary family business or looking after them materially. Nothing. They want to cut off family completely.
And then you have all these articles on ways of donating, targeting people who have no close relatives to give their money to the society.
Is that overly cynical or just putting two and two together?