Has Watchtower financial strategy taken a very dark turn?
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?
It sounds nightmarish, but based on what's happened recently, I wouldn't exclude it. Things just keep getting crazier and crazier in Absurdistan.
I wonder if it isn't just the Financial Strategy that has taken a darker turn, but the whole attitude of the Org. Leaders.
Yes they have become more blatant in their money grubbing than ever before, but I think that what we are seeing is them becoming aware of losing their power. I think the power is more important to the G.B, and those behind the G.B, than the actual money.
They have to keep the thing rolling financially, so are trying whatever they can to keep the $$$£££ flowing in, but this is to keep the whole thing going so that they still have their position of power.
Taking a harder line may cause a good number to leave, but the faithful who remain will themselves be hard-liners, and simple to control.
They are doing this as they at the same time try to present a Public Face of being more modern, mainstream and "normal".
A hard act to pull off.
Wouldn't it mean the death of the religion if recruiting has practically died and been replaced by standing at those trolleys? They are down to increase by childbirth now. If those kids are all pushed out so the Borg gets their inheritance the cult will quickly die from no increase in membership in one generation.
Like the Saudi rulers with their diminishing oil, I think the priority of WT leaders has shifted from the future growth/prosperity of their religion/country to the short term preservation of their own lifestyle at the top of the organisation.
Agree with Xanthippe. Think it's a consequence of ramping up the control method rather than the intention of doing it. Don't think it makes it any less cynical or dark for being that. I never liked how they pushed the legacy stuff onto older people in the 80s and 90s, that part of it has been there for a while, and I felt for those who'd been told not to marry and/or not to have kids and who were left alone with just the borg to pass things onto.
Whatever the motivation, be it simply the money, or be it the power, or a combination of the two, they have without doubt decided they need desperate measures, and as they are basically amoral, I think this is without doubt them going down the road of working ever more evil.
the WTS never ever do things that seem logical or appear that they have used common sense, an extreme hard line stance will simply haemorrhage more members, we know this, can they survive for decades with very little contributions coming in? running Warwick, Walkill ,Patterson etc will continue to be incredibly expensive do they sit on their nest egg in this coming years?
Everything about the Watchtower has taken a DARK turn--IMHO! But then, I've only been associated with the borg since 1951.
Hasn't getting the inheritance of older ones been part of their financial strategy for a while now? I think the increased rhetoric around child baptism is probably more because they've done some investigation (formal or informal) and noticed that the kids that leave or the families that leave often correlate to kids that didn't get baptized while they were young. Same thing goes for the hard-line stance on separating from DF/DA kids and family. They probably asked around about some people who'd left and found that those with family that left are more likely to leave too.
The cult seems more reactionary than forward-looking. I guess that's what you'd expect if the leadership really believes their own BS about the nearness of armageddon. So while I don't think its overly cynical to think that part of their financial plan is to take the money/property of older ones when they die, I think you might be attributing a little too much forethought to the cult leaders.