THE INFORMATION AGE AND NEW JW MARKETING CHANGES
Lately on this board there has been a couple of threads that show how much the watchtower is being effected by the open communication of the Internet and web sites like this one. They are changing long time policy and trying new ways of getting their religious product to the market. No longer do their leaders hear the voice of god and then pass it directly on as unwavering guidance to their customers. They now have to run god's instructions by their legal department as well as their marketing department. They have exposed themselves by doing this as exactly what they are, a tax exempt publishing and real-estate development company disguised as a religion.
In the infancy of the religion/publishing company there was no way to look at every aspect of decisions made like disregarding the teachings of it's founder Chucky Russell and adopting the whims and predigest thinking of it's first corporate take over raider, The Judge. What won over his then present customer base to the judge's new corporate policies was the close nit line of communication, the magazines, and the presiding overseer chain of command. Along with that, there was the fear of death at the proverbial, right around the corner, day of Armageddon if any roll over customers dared to disagreeing with him. Focused attention on this limited communication channel insured contradictory and eye opening information about his apostate dealings from getting to the rank and file watchtower fearing disciples. That limited level of communication had insured them their control and their ability to hide their little secrets.
Today is much different. The world wide Internet has given the watchtower's one time blind believers a channel of communication that causes it's present leaders reason to shutter in their multi million dollar brown stone apartment buildings. This open level of communication has been so effective it has cause many changes in the inner working of the publishing company. Instead of just making statements about their practices, desires, and changes, then passing them down and expecting them to be followed without question, they now have to make adjustments before hand to do a little pre-damage control thinking and use some non-god inspired marketing and legal techniques to try and keep their people in their ranks, and add new customers and sales staff. It is not as easy as it use to be and it's not because they are close to the end of this system, but more that they are at the end of using their age old tricks and one time secure and very controlled communication channels. People are also not as stupid as they use to be and the information age is kicking the watchtower's butt. No longer can they hide things such as their hypocritical UN involvement, policy changes on voting because they lost a law suit in France or trying to keep their IMAGE clean by keeping pedophile issues hidden in local kingdom hall closets.
Looking beyond the obvious as these things just being yet another flicker of new light, it is obvious to me at least, that the watchtower is now under a large amount of control by those who are exposing it and using a new technology of communication to open the eyes of it's long time information blinded customers. If you look at a few examples of this communication effort you can see how it has effects the customer base of the company.
WHERE IS ALL THE NEW GROWTH OF THE WATCHTOWER?
It has been shown to be third world countries that do not have wide access to the Internet and other modern means of communication and can still be controlled by the limited chain of communication tools like magazines and the close nit elder base. Teaching illiterate locals to read has now become important when in past decades perching the word was the prime objective, not educating the uneducated. In the past they left other religion's missionaries to do the education work and then tried to steal the now limited educated locals away by calling their one time religious and basic education teachers part of Babylon the great and scaring them with the threat of Armageddon. The inhabitants of third world countries are still some of the less educated on the planet and prone to superstition and old world spirit based manipulation. Voodoo, witch doctors, Shamans, fortune tellers, etc., still manipulate those who have not been exposed to the logic and reason of science and modern day education that expose such things as childish tools to manipulate the ignorant and uninformed. These are the ones the watchtower is now targeting. They are their new meek, humble, and teachable and are the only ones effecting the minimal growth of the dyeing cult.
The western world with access to a broader scale of communication is no longer buying into the lie that has kept the less informed and less educated in line. We no longer accept what is told to us by those who we once blindly trusted but instead, we now have more resources to find the truth about what they are trying to shove down our throats and we are throwing it up right back in their faces. In return, the growth in the areas open to the real truth slows down, it even cuts down on the blind acceptance of the "I believe it because mommy and daddy told me so, born into's". I think the change of no longer discourage a college education just isn't going to be enough to keep the kiddies in line, in fact, it is going to come back and bite the watchtower in the ass. I wonder when the new DVD directed to young JW's will be translated into Swahili, Maasai, Turkana, Sudanic, Culina, Ese Ejja, and Chayahuita?
CHANGES IN PREACHING TO EVERYONE DIRECTIVE
In Mulan's thread she told us about a letter read at the last book study NOW telling the magazine sales staff to avoid "no trespassing, no JW's" signs. Why? because god told them too? Well, that may be what they want their sales staff to think but again looking beyond the obvious, it looks like it is because of possible legal issues. Home owner law suits for disregarding posted warnings or even lack of liability to the home owner if the JW sales person is injured while ignoring the sign and doing the watchtower's will instead. Looks like god's new directive has the watchtowers "covering our ass policy" fingerprints all over it. I don't recall a scripture that told them preach the good news from house to house and door to door unless there is a no trespassing sign on it. I'm sure Lot met with some similar signs when he did his search for one righteous man in Sodom and Gamorrah and I don't recall god saying to walk pass the homes that didn't have "welcome believers in Jehoba" welcome mats out front. Boy, times sure have changed, so much for not adding or taking away from what the bible teaches.
I use to be told that the angels would protect me if something happened when I knocked on a door that had a no trespassing sign on it's fence. I guess the angels protecting the watchtower sales staff are no longer protected against insurance claims. Loss of money due to law suites seems to have taken over the power of angel protection. Proof once again that the watchtower is a man made publishing corporation and is not protected by god or his angels but instead subject to the fear of loss of money through man made laws. The old JW thought of obeying god's laws instead of Caesar's is flushed own the toilet because of watchtowers real main concern, media exposure and loss of MONEY due to law suits. Again, are these new changes due to god's desires or the watchtower companies legal department's desires? Is the governing body now praying to the legal department for guidance instead of god? Just like any good worldly company does, it looks like it to me.
EXCHANGING FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD WITH NEW MARKETING TECHNIQUES
For a while we have heard about the new JW TV ad's being tested in various markets. Being in the marketing and advertising fields most of my adult life I am very familiar with test, and target market advertising. I have also seen small companies increase their advertising when sales go down in an effort to put their brand name in front of the public. When a small company has steady growth of their product and profits are good, they seldom allocate money to very expensive advertising campaigns. When sales are slipping and competitors are taking market share away, advertising becomes one way of trying to bluster customer base and product sales. TV advertising has been around for almost half the lifetime of the watchtower company. Why have they waited this long to try using TV to sell their product? Are sales slipping? Has the Internet and sites like this and the rocketing increase of world wide communication technology spread the word about them so much that they need to try new sales tactics? I would guess so.
I remember hearing about the good news being preached to every corner of the world. If the door to door sales staff didn't do it, god would have the rocks cry out. Iv never seen a rock miraculously turn into a TV, but then again, I keep forgetting jehoba can do anything. Maybe they see the writing on the wall and have realized the hours reported on the life saving service time slips do not match up with the low level of congregation growth? Do you think it's about time they accepted the obvious but still kept it from the world wide sales team? I think the TV ads and the lower amount of emphases on door to door work proves that one. They would never admit that to anyone, but, looking beyond the obvious tells the true story.
TRYING TO HOLD ON TO THE BORN INTO'S WITH A SOFTER AND MILDER MARKETING APPROACH
Truthseeker recently started a thread that talked about a new DVD entitled "Young People - what will you do with your life?" It seems this was an adaptation of the brochure for young people the watchtower company released in 2002. The company, on a very limited basis has written previous publications targeted to the younger market. I, and many other older members on this board were spoon fed the watchtower propaganda in the sixties with the now infamous "paradise" book. The bright orange colored book was designed to convince very young people that talking snakes and floating zoos did indeed exist and if you didn't believe it, god was going to kill you and have big black ugly birds eat your eyes out. Even Lewis Carroll in his deepest drug induced fantasies could not stoop low enough to write such garbage to try and frighten and manipulate little minds. The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland didn't come close to scaring the hell out of little kids near as much as the loving and kind genocidal maniac Jehoba god did in the orange book of death recomende for ages four to ten. In the sixties when TV was in it's infancy, things were very much politicly correct when it came to entertaining and influencing the minds of little kids.The blind, ignorant, uneducated, and very human psychology inept watchtower writers did not have the intelligence or sophisticated staff to see the psychological damage they were programing into the impressionable little minds of the then present born into's. Nor did they care.
Today they are a forced to set aside their scare tactics and go with a softer, milder, way of mind manipulation. With a new marketing approach, Jehoba's promise of mass destruction is a bit more sugar coated in an effort to keep some of their dwindling born into market. Instead of having their eyes eaten out by big black ugly birds if they do not obey the watchtower company, they have gone to making DVD's with a softer pleas of "what will you do" titles in an effort to make younger ones "think" they have a choice in making a decision. Asking instead of warning is definitely a new marketing technique. It looks like jehoba has read a few new marketing books.
The corporate executives of the WT company know they are loosing their kiddy market and based on the worldly influenced surge of the "information age" their past line of bullshit is now being forced to change it's marketing approach. It is not a god inspired change, but instead, an inability to keep up with new ways of hiding the fact that they are just another god company looking for new costumers and trying desperately to hold on to their old ones. Every change they make in their marketing techniques based on both legal ramifications and failed old school marketing concepts shows them once again, for what and who they really are.
In short, they are loosing their customers and their ability to attract new ones, and they know it. They are showing the signs of that every time they make a change to their long standing corporate mission statement. They are no longer in charge of their changes, we as exJW's as well as better communication advances are. We force them to talk about exJW's, apostates, the evil media, and the Internet more and more in their publications, local meetings, and world wide assemblies. If we as exJW's along with modern communication advances were not being effective, they would not be talking about us so much as well as making so many changes in their corporate policies. The results of some of our efforts force them to try new selling techniques and lighten up on some of their old directives. The leaders of the watchtower corporation no longer fear god, they fear their ex-members, advanced communication systems, and the ability to overshadow their close minded, one time highly controlled and very limited method of communication. Our means of getting out the truth via the Internet has only been around for less then ten years, but, it has proven to be extremely effective. The many, and recent, changes in the watchtower company proves it. We now control their tactics and policy changes much more then they will ever admit.
In any war, interfering with your enemies communication system is the first step to defeating them. Once that is done, the rest just takes a little time before they begin to crumble. For the first time in JW history, the power of communication has shifted. By their recent actions and changes it is very obvious they recognize it and are definitely running scared. They even at one time teamed up with other minority religions such as the Scientologists and Moonies to form FIREPHIM http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/26341/1.ashx in an effort to use their legal resources to try and fight off the results of better communication and pissed off ex members. Was this another directive from god to join Babylon the Great in a joint effort to battle exJW's and advanced communications, or was it yet another piece of evidence that a company disguised as a religion will be hypocritical and go against their own beliefs and team up with a Satan the Devil run false religion to make a desperate attempt to keep their customers uniformed and in line? Once again, exJW's and communication advances show them for who they really are, just another corporation trying to survive and use any technique to keep their customers ignorant and buying their warn out and out dated god product.
As long as there are ignorant individuals that buy into their bullshit, and ignore proof of their hypocrisy, there will always be a watchtower company, even at a very limited basis. As much as they will manipulate and cover up the truth to keep their company solvent, the new information age is nipping at their heels and forcing them to make changes. As I see it, it is the beginning of the end for them. With in a decade or so, the watchtower company will be just a shadow of it's former self. Information and open communication will triumph over ignorance and close minded blindness. Make all the changes you are forced into watchtower, try your best to keep your customers ignorant and keep praying to your legal and marketing departments for guidance. You sure as hell need to.
Knowledge is power, and you're right Dave that's the one thing the Society has always ran from. It is a fact of history that people are more easily controlled if they are ignorant, and nowhere has that been moreso than with religions.
I can't agree with you though on the ultimate fate of this book publishing pyramid scheme of a company. They'll always be around, for no other reason than for most people it is harder to leave than it is to stay. So inertia will hold them together. Whatever real growth they have will be found more and more in the Third World.
Good article. Thanks.
if the leadership woke up one day and realized it was all BS.... do you think they could simply walk away from such an empire?
***As long as there are ignorant individuals that buy into their bullshit, and ignore proof of their hypocrisy, there will always be a watchtower company, even at a very limited basis. ***
Always enjoy your posts seven006
TV advertising has been around for almost half the lifetime of the watchtower company. Why have they waited this long to try using TV to sell their product?
I've also asked myself this question, but I always boiled it down to the WTS continuously behind in technology. I hear that they have CD players in KHs to play the Kingdom Melodies. I bought my first CD player in 1991 and I left the JWs in 1996, and they were still using tapes.
Home computers have been around since the Vic20 in the early 1980s. As far as I know, they've only started creating computer software in the mid 1990s.
Also, VCRs have been popular since the early 1980s. Their first video came out in what, 1989?
The Internet is basically a much more advanced BBS. BBSes have been popular since the mid 1980s. The WT put up their website in the late 1990s. Why didn't they ever have a BBS? BBSes were their first scare of advanced communication. If you look it up, they warned their members against going on BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems). Now, it's completely out of their control. Back in the 80s and early to mid 90s, all it really boiled down to was buying or not buying a modem for your computer. Now, the internet is becoming a necessity.
They've always seemed to be behind technologically. I was wondering if the WTS was going to use Teletype for the preaching work?
Very good seven006,
the new JW TV ad's being tested in various markets
Shouldn't they just let Jehovah take care of it? Make sure the right people get in front of that right tv at the right time?
No I don't. But I do think they will still keep on having to make changes and down size several aspects of their company just as they are doing now. Not all wars are won by completely eliminating the enemy. Forcing them to make big changes and ride off with their tails tucked between their legs into the sunset is victory enough. As long as their customers stay ignorant and feel a need for their broken down product, they will stumble on and keep believing they are relevant.
I think they will go the way of the type writer and record player. Only a few old customers will be left and the younger generation will someday look at it and ask "what in the hell is that?" They will become nothing more then a one time religious curiosity with a few cling on members. As long as their is money in the bank account, there will be those who will continue to make new investments and try to come up with new products. A billion dollars is a hard number to easily dissolve. Just watch their real estate investments grow and their publishing efforts decrease. They are doing that now. I didn't say they would completely go away, I don't think that will happen. But, I did say they will someday be a shadow of their former self. There is a difference.
As far as walking away from such an empire goes, I don't know, some empires are forced out, just look at history. There are not a lot of people worshiping Greek and Egyptian gods any more and they use to be a major part of the one time earthly population. Most Greeks are catholic and most Egyptians are Muslim. It can happen. All as I can say is they are loosing their market share because people are starting to open their eyes.
Dave, your essay is so on target. Thank you.
No longer do their leaders hear the voice of god and then pass it directly on as unwavering guidance to their customers. They now have to run god's instructions by their legal department as well as their marketing department.
That was great. A classic!