Interesting statistic about JWs in this week's Newsweek

by lucky 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat

    Proof that American Witnesses are disproportionately black!


  • metatron

    When elders get into trouble with the C.O., cooking the numbers is not out of the question. It happens.

    In addition, keep in mind that the publisher count is just the number of people who obediently turn in field service

    reports! It doesn't mean that they actually did anything in the "ministry" or actually went out in service.

    Even if this Newsweek study counts people who are obviously on the fence, the decline in such is significant.


  • Utopian Reformist
    Utopian Reformist

    It's too bad though, because the decrease in the western world is supplanted by increases in the uninformed parts of the world with less resources and access to the web.

    Where information is lacking, they increase.

  • thom

    I never noticed inflation of attendance numbers in the cong I was in where I was involved in the counting.
    But I did find that before the C.O. visit, the Service Overseer would see to it that the territories were blitzed (once through, no going back to not homes). I hated those weeks, we all worked alone and just had a huge quota of doors to hit.
    I told the C.O. of this and he said he suspected such. I don't know what became of it, but the Service Overseer a few months later found something to "get" me on and pushed it like a crazy man. I eventually couldn't take it anymore (even spent a couple days in hospital due to stress) and I had to leave the cong (left the state too). He won, as far as I know.

  • willyloman

    It's difficult to tell if all the numbers are fudged, but it's not hard to believe they are when you consider the mindset in the org. For instance, an elder will tell someone in the car group who is out four days a week, every week, and posts 9 hours a month that "you are probably getting a lot more time than you are reporting." The elder will then "kindly" guide the publisher through the time-keeping process and point out that it's not necessary to go off the clock while driving en route to another territory or to a return visit. If he gets a "hearing ear," the elder will then share all the "pioneer pace tactics" he learned over the years. Pretty soon, the publisher is posting 20 hours instead of 9, with no change in the amount of time devoted to FS.

    Are these numbers "cooked?" Or do they more accurately reflect the actual FS time? They are in fact inflated, because "everybody does it" (or more precisely, "everybody who is anybody"). This is not considered dishonest in the dub mind. Perhaps this mindset permeates the organization. I know from working in Administration that the chairman and other "responsible" parties have certain expectations for assembly and convention results that must be met, and those with privileges and access make sure they are. This leads to re-estimating" certain counts based on vague observations or guess work ("There are probably 200 sisters in the restrooms, brother, did you count them? What about the teenagers wandering the hallways?").

    We all know FS figures are bulls***t. This forum is full of reports that show how inflated the FS numbers are. It's been estimated that 10 hours of reported FS would easily represent no more than an hour or so of actual "time" spent in the work. In an environment like this, all the numbers are suspect. Edited to add a comment on the study reported in Newsweek: The term "weighted averages" means they extrapolated the figures from the number of folks they surveyed, so don't waste time comparing the 1.3 million figure to any reported JW numbers. That's how many there would probably be in the entire population if the surveyed universe of 50,000 accurately reflects the whole. What these numbers show me is that a bunch of people i.d. themselves as dubs, despite the fact they are inactive or were raised in it but drifted away -- they're like adults who say they are Baptists just because that's what their parents told them they were, even though neither they nor their parents ever went to church. The 6% divorce figure is interesting; I bet it would be higher today.

  • Fangorn

    I've been involved in counting attendance, etc. at all levels in many different places and never once have I seen any attempt to cook the books. Quite the contrary in fact, they're generally paranoid about getting it right. These 'urban legends' get a little tiresome.

  • willyloman

    Fangorn: Welcome to the forum. Your contrarian view just illustrates the widespread divergence in the way people "do" the Truth (TM) in different parts of the country. There are congos and circuits where, I'm sure, the numbers are parsed to a gnat's eyelash. There are other parts of the country where rough estimates are considered close enough.

    But my point was that the culture of JWs is certainly capable of producing suspect numbers. Do you honestly believe the field service reports reflect more than a fraction of the actual amount of time witnessing to people one on one, face to face? If men and women who are highly respected within the organization think nothing of rounding up the numbers to create the impression they are "spiritual," why is it hard to believe their other numbers -- the ones used to determine the "spirituality" of the group -- are equally flawed?

  • Fangorn

    Because I've always seen a pretty much 'hands off' attitude toward how people count their time as compared to fairly rigorous attempts to get attendance numbers right. Frankly I think they're afraid to crack down on the way people count time.

  • willyloman
    Frankly I think they're afraid to crack down on the way people count time.

    Of course, because if they did the numbers would plummet and how would that look? And that's my whole point. They are VERY conscious of the numbers. All the numbers.

  • jwfacts

    The 6% divorced is interesting as that is quite high, and probably the same as the general American population. In Australia only 5% of the population is divorced.

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