2012 Service Year Report available on JW.org – but what do the numbers really show?
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At first glance, the figures in the 2012 worldwide report appear impressive – but what does closer inspection reveal?

The opportunity to review the previous year’s ministry figures is a highlight for Witnesses all over the world. Many publishers are anxious to learn whether the organization is sufficiently expanding as evidence of God’s approval.

Well, the 2013 Yearbook has now been released on JW.org in PDF format, and it reveals that growth in the number of Witnesses is continuing, albeit at a reduced rate from previous years. One notable addition to the new report is a page featuring various graphs and visualizations, the intention of which is apparently to impress on us the fact that the organization is expanding at a phenomenal rate.

Page 179 boldly suggests that there are now enough Witnesses to replace the population of Switzerland, while informing us that 199,486 years have been spent in the preaching work in the 2012 service year alone.

It is understandable why the Society would feel the need to boast of its successes and give us the impression that things are better than ever. But what happens when we drill down and get some perspective on these figures? We find that (1) growth is fluctuating, and currently on a downwards trend, (2) it is taking more ministry hours than ever to produce each new convert, and (3) the internet is apparently continuing to wreak havoc on the Society’s ability to attract new members.

Fluctuating Growth

As anyone will tell you, growth is still growth regardless of whether it is large or small, slowing down or speeding up. However, it is important to keep in mind that Jehovah’s Witnesses are supposed to represent the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. Isaiah 60:22 is often quoted in Society publications in such a way as to suggest that Jehovah is “speeding up the work in its own time” by supporting the preaching efforts of His servants. If the organization is truly enjoying Jehovah’s blessing toward its preaching work and putting in record numbers of hours, surely we should be seeing the growth increasing (or being “speeded up”) rather than decreasing? Instead, what do we find? The following graph shows the growth figures over the past 11 years.

The above graph shows that, not only has the growth rate fluctuated dramatically over an 11-year period – it has been on a downwards trend for the past three years (from 3.2% in 2009 to 1.9% last year). In Christ’s final words to his disciples in the book of Matthew he told his followers, “And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matthew 28:20) Thinking Witnesses will struggle to comprehend how Christ has truly been “with them” and supporting the organization’s efforts when growth has been so hit-and-miss in recent times, and currently appears to be on a downwards trajectory.

A “special provision” yields unconvincing results

Of further concern to the Society will be the fact that memorial attendance dipped significantly to 19,013,343 – a drop of 361,394 attendees from the 2011 memorial. This must surely have gone against expectations, considering there was a special drive back in March to help promote the memorial locally. As part of the incentive, brothers were allowed to “auxiliary pioneer” by doing just 30 hours that month as part of a special provision. Notice how one Watchtower article proudly reported on the increased activity back then…

“Reflect back on the joy that so many of God’s people had during the Memorial season this year. During March, a special provision allowed auxiliary pioneers to choose whether they would devote 30 or 50 hours to the field service. (Ps. 110:3) Millions shared in auxiliary pioneer service, and congregations seemed to radiate exceptional excitement and joy. Could you arrange your affairs so as to experience similar joy more often? At the end of each day, it gives a dedicated Christian great satisfaction to be able to say, ‘Jehovah, I did everything I could in your service.'” (The Watchtower, 6/15 2012, page 23)

The interesting thing about the above quote is that the magazine from which it was taken was published in the middle of March 2012 (Watchtower study articles are released three months early), so there is no possible way the writer could have known that “millions” had yet shared in the auxiliary pioneer service, or indeed that there was “exceptional excitement and joy” radiating in the congregations. We can now look back with irony and realise that, not only was the Watchtower hyping up the level of preaching activity for that period (with the writer writing about events that had not yet transpired), but according to these new report figures, the “special provision” failed to attract any more non-Witnesses to the memorial than the previous year.

Hours per baptism

Then there is the number of hours it is taking to produce each baptism. Page 179 of the new Yearbook confidently points out that the equivalent of 199,486 years of ministry time was spent in 2012 to produce baptisms at a rate of 30 new publishers every hour. This sounds extremely impressive at first glance, but actually these are statistics the Society should be ashamed of.

As I mentioned in a previous article, in 2011 the average amount of ministry time required to lead someone from doorstep to baptism pool broke the nine-month barrier at a whopping 6,488 hours. In 2012 that number increased still further to 6,506 hours (1,748,697,447 hours to achieve 268,777 baptisms). This means that it takes more first call, return visit and bible study time to convince someone to get baptized (if it were non-stop, 24-hours a day) than it takes for a baby to gestate in the womb! The following graph on jwfacts.com demonstrates that the hours-per-baptism ratio has actually been on the rise for some time…

Have you ever felt that each year the ministry is getting harder and harder, with householders growing less and less responsive? Well, the above graph proves that your instincts are correct. Preaching is getting progressively more difficult and time-consuming almost with each passing year. This becomes even more apparent when we compare the number of bible studies with the number of baptisms over the last few decades. When we check this statistic with some perspective on JWfacts.com this is what we find…

Only 1 in every 32 bible studies is getting baptized

When you listen to service meeting items and their constant reminders to improve in our number of bible studies, you would be forgiven for thinking that if we could just start a bible study with someone they would become a Witness. The above graph convincingly shows that we would be very mistaken in thinking that way.

If you apply the statistics from the latest 2012 report, it seems only 1 in every 32 bible studies is actually advancing on to baptism (8,759,988 average studies per month divided by 268,777 baptisms). Obviously, it is impossible to say with certainty how many bible studies get baptized, because the studying time varies for each person. However, the 8.7 million figure quoted in the report is the closest thing we have to an indication of how many people study with the Witnesses each year, and 1 baptism in 32 studies is an embarrassing ratio. Imagine conducting bible studies with 32 people over the course of a year, but only one of them deciding to get baptized! You would probably feel so frustrated! Yet, that is effectively what is happening on a global scale.

But if the truth is so simple and easy to understand, then why is it becoming so complicated to convince someone to accept it – despite the Society continually bringing out new and improved teaching aids designed to convey the truth more effectively? Surely with all this new information being constantly provided, the disciple-making work should be speeding up – not slowing down? So why do we see the opposite? Those are questions we must answer individually, but there is one factor that is having a huge impact on the witnessing work, and it is sitting right in front of you as you read this article.

The internet continues to take its toll

Charles Taze Russell founded an organization in 1881 that simply wasn’t designed to cope with the information age

When Charles Taze Russell first founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, he did so in an era where the printed word was the only effective method of conveying information. If you wanted to take issue with something written by him in the Society’s literature, you needed to physically travel to the Society’s headquarters and cause a scene in front of a small crowd of his supporters, who would doubtless eject you onto the sidewalk in no time.

Now all of that has changed. The internet has revolutionized the way information is conveyed, and the printed page is now forced to play second fiddle to the web browser in terms of speed and efficiency.

You see, the Society’s DNA simply does not allow it to thrive in an environment where websites are able to dismantle flawed Watchtower logic with ease to a broad audience numbering many thousands each month. The Society was designed to operate in a world where nobody could question its conclusions without launching their own publishing company, but the world has moved on since then. The internet is here to stay, and Society is floundering under its intense scrutiny. To see what I mean, look at the graph below…

To view the information used to make this graph, please click here.

The above graph shows clearly that the Society has almost no growth in lands where the internet is widespread, while it enjoys substantial growth in lands where the internet is virtually unavailable. Obviously, the fact that there is a clear correlation does not mean that the internet is the ONLY factor making life difficult for the Society in wealthy/developed countries. However, when you think about it carefully, it certainly can’t be helping matters. The internet is strewn with information that discredits, embarrasses and refutes the Watch Tower Society and its teachings. This surely cannot go unnoticed by interested ones.

Once the door is closed, you can’t prevent people from investigating witness beliefs online

To illustrate, imagine you are called upon by Witnesses who leave a Bible Teach book with you and offer to call again. You are excited by the title and read through the book quickly in just one evening. You can’t believe that the Bible has just been explained so clearly when you thought it was complicated to understand. Still, you are wary that people are often trying to trick one another, and you feel it would be worth “googling” Jehovah’s Witnesses to see what people have to say about them. After all, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

On the first page of Google, aside from the official Society web pages, you see at least two websites that are critical. You investigate more deeply and soon realise that Jehovah’s Witnesses, however well-intentioned they are, are simply another cult with an array of false teachings and some truly shocking scandals, even involving the mishandling of child abuse. What would you do the next time the Witnesses call? You would likely hand back their book and say that you are not interested before closing the door on them. Does that scenario sound familiar?

Perhaps you have had a bible study or return visit who has quickly and inexplicably gone “cold” on you. This is likely the reason why! Objective information about the Society and its many mistakes and scandals is all over the internet. It takes very little effort to find it. Now we are starting to notice the problem being reflected in the growth statistic at the bottom of each report. If things continue at their current trend, it likely won’t be too long before the growth figure hits 0%, or even falls into the negative.

In fact, when you study the 2012 report closely, you realize that despite the Witnesses’ best efforts more than 45 lands reported an actual reduction in publisher numbers last year. These countries included: Pakistan (-6.1%), Slovakia (-0.8%), Finland (-0.7%), New Zealand (-0.7%), Hungary (-0.6%), Estonia (-0.6%), Uruguay (-0.05), Poland (-0.4%), Netherlands (-0.4%), Japan (-0.3%) and Germany (-0.1%) among others.

It therefore isn’t inconceivable that the first “minus growth” report is just around the corner. However, if the figures were to ever get so bad, I have strong reason to believe that the Society would simply stop printing the full annual report altogether. Why do I say this?

Reasons for scepticism

What’s the best way to check how valuable something is? By looking at it under a magnifying glass. That’s what jewellers will do if you try to sell them an item of great value. They will get out their magnifying glass and check to see whether it is authentic. If you check some of the details on the 2012 Service Year Report with similar scrutiny, you will find that certain parts of it simply don’t add up.

2.5 million Brits are apparently unaccounted for

For example, the figures given for population are highly suspect in places. If you check the official census figures for Britain online, you see that there are at least 63,181,755 people living in the UK. The Yearbook gives a drastically reduced figure of 60,704,600. I am British, and I think I would notice if nearly two-and-a-half million people in my country vanished simultaneously, and they haven’t. Whether this mistake is intentional to reduce the publisher ratio from 1 in 465 to 1 in 447 isn’t for me to say. Likely, it is simply lazy researching on the part of whoever compiled the statistics.

But there are anomalies in some of the Society’s own figures too. Take a look at the figures given for Chile. For 2012, the country reported 69,795 peak publishers, and 72,420 average publishers. For reasons that should hopefully be clear, the peak figure should ALWAYS be higher than the average figure, but this is not the case here. It seems that, again, we are likely looking at a simple error in putting figures in the wrong columns. However, with this sort of report where accuracy is key, one wrong number can throw into doubt the accuracy of all the other numbers. The Society had weeks, even months to get this right before publishing the figures, but they somehow failed to spot this and other problems in the report – despite these anomalies being picked up within days of the Yearbook being released on JW.org.

A Strange Ratio

Furthermore, the column “Ratio, 1 publisher to” uses the peak publisher number rather than the average number in calculating that ratio. It seems obvious that, if you want an accurate picture of how many Witnesses were in a country over a given year, and you have an average number available to you, it is always best to take the average number rather than the peak number, which is a one-off figure from one month out of twelve. Otherwise, you are simply exaggerating the ratio of Witnesses you actually had in that country over the year in question.

The fact that the Society has opted to use the peak figure suggests to me that they are not above bending figures if it casts their efforts in a more favorable light. It is for this reason that I doubt they would continue to publish the growth figures at all once these reach a sufficiently embarrassing level of, say, zero growth or below. Only time will tell whether this prediction will come true, but hopefully you can see that, whether through human error or through deliberate falsification, not every detail cited in the annual Service Year Report can be trusted implicitly – much like Watchtower publications in general.

 

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44 Responses to 2012 Service Year Report available on JW.org – but what do the numbers really show?

  1. naaadz says:

    where does someone get the Service Year Report breakdown by country? The yearbooks available on jw.org do not contain the images.. and therefore hide that section of the report. We can only see the grand totals. Please advise.

  2. naaadz says:

    ok thanks. so only the last 3 yearbooks are available on jw.org. Their online library here – http://wol.jw.org – is where you can get the grand totals for the last 10 or so years via the publication search – but no detailed statistics.

    If anyone has or can find any detailed stats from previous years, let me know 🙂

  3. naaadz says:

    I was also going to note: you might adjust these rates to account for the % population growth of the entire world as well. From my findings, (google: world population growth rate) the world as a whole has experienced annual population growth rates of around 1.1%. That would naturally discount their growth rates even more. Just something to think about.

  4. Jack Chapman says:

    Interesting with all the notice of discrepancies in a religious organization that we’re all familiar with that us smart ex – JW’s aren’t noticing the discrepancies that REALLY affect our lives like unemployment in the US. Who in their right mind believes the bigger liars than even Brooklyn guys; the ones who we trust to tell us only 8% of us are unemployed? Facts are that it’s closer to 25%. What about the really GOOD guys at the EPA who, in our own interest tell us we need to economize even more by living off of the wind, cooking with wood, aborting our future, INTENTIONALLY poisoning US and our environment and killing off anyone who disagrees, all in the need to “Save the Planet?” What about our friendly local and central bankers who tell us we MUST include them when we reap the rewards of our own labor by paying them interest (actually usury) at the rate of 50+% APR? Think they don’t make 50% on EVERY dollar you deposit in your checking account? Go watch the award winning documentary ‘Secret of Oz’, which is free on You-Tube. We are slowly being boiled in a cauldron of lies, not only by the religious bull shitters but the entire establishment of government, banking, law, education and media while they laugh at us for arguing over religious BS. The pot is almost at the boiling point, how’s the water, boys? The JW’s aren’t gonna save us, the church isn’t gonna save us and the government sure as hell isn’t gonna save us. The technology, the willing workers, the ‘money’ that has accumulated over the years through the labor of over 10 billion laborers and thinkers is freely available for the asking. The ONLY reason you didn’t know it was even there or that it was yours is because they kept it from you, pure and simple. Where is it? How much is it? It’s HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS in accumulated wealth; YOUR inheritance. It’s in the bank vaults, caves, storage facilities, ‘protected” sunken ships, off world (yes off world) sites and private safes of the elitist oligarchy who are at the center of this global ponzi scheme; a scheme that has been playing out longer than any of us have been alive. Do we stop it now, or just trust “our beloved government” and social planners to do it for us? As for me, I’m taking all my meager federal reserve notes out of the bank BEFORE all of YOU because they can’t (won’t) pay us all. How? Hey, I spent my entire life looking for the answer and found it. Should I freely give away 65 years of blood sweat and tears for free? You Tell Me…

  5. LP says:

    Great analysis, Cedars! One observation though. It is not possible to conclude from this data that one in 32 Bible Studies gets baptized. While we know that the total number of studies is 32 times the number of baptisms, you would need to know the average length of time a study lasts to know how likely a Bible student is to get baptized. For example, if we knew that an average study lasts 2 years, that would mean that 1/16 gets baptized. If the average study lasts 10 years (as of course studies with JW children often do), it would be about 1/3 of studies getting baptized. Of course there are also short lived studies that may only last a month or two.. maybe until the student finds your site! 🙂 So maybe the 1/32 figure is correct, but if so, it would be a coincidence.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks LP, I gave this a lot of thought before writing it because I wanted to be sure before making any assertions. I think it’s fairly obvious that the exact number of bible studies that end up getting baptized is something of an enigma because, as you say, the period in which a bible study is conducted could fluctuate from one week to two or three years.

      However, I believe the figure quoted of “Average Home Bible Studies Each Month” is as close as you are likely to get to the actual number of people studying with the Witnesses in any given year. I believe that’s why the Society publishes the figure in the first place. It’s therefore not unreasonable to divide that figure by the number of baptisms to figure out a rough baptisms-to-studies ratio.

      That said, I will see if there’s a way to re-word these things slightly to reflect your concerns that, actually, the exact number of bible studies who end up getting baptized is difficult to calculate. I do appreciate your observation.

  6. Hillary says:

    Question – The internet has been around since the late 1990’s. Why has WT only been impacted by the internet for the last few years? Or have they actually been impacted since the late 1990’s?

    • Cedars says:

      Hello Hillary! Though the internet has been around since the late 90s, the explosion in its availability and the amount of information on it is slightly more recent. I believe that’s why the impact has been slightly delayed. There is another graph I produced charting the percentage of Witnesses to the global population (currently 0.105%) which shows steady growth in this percentage almost to the end of the nineties, and then it started to wobble. It’s currently almost flatlining.

  7. Watchtower society membership data is compiled by them,there is no way to verify.
    Reports from TIME Magazine-“”An even more extreme example of what might be called “masked churn” is the relatively tiny Jehovah’s Witnesses, with a turnover rate of about two-thirds.”
    That means that two-thirds of the people who were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer are.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are the highest loss of any religion.

    Danny Haszard life-long member

  8. Matthew says:

    2.5 million Brits unaccounted for! “97.45364 percent of statistics are made up on the spot” – Vic Reeves

  9. John Hoyle says:

    My analysis of the general drop in growth for Jehovah’s Witnesses indicates that there are two major contributing causes:

    1. The number of “real hours” spent in the door-to-door preaching work is far less than the reported hours. Fewer JWs are actually spending time preaching to strangers. Territories in major cities were often covered completely every 3-5 months by local congregations. Now it is not uncommon for neighborhoods to go “unknocked” for up to two years. The fact is that most JWs find creative ways of counting “service hours.” Elders will count meetings and committee time as service hours. While I don’t disagree with those being hours “spent in theocratic activities,” they do not generate any new Bible studies or converts. Many JWs will make telephone “cold calls” to answering machines, but hang up if someone actually answers the phone. Some JWs spend their time commenting on discussion sites like Topix or Yahoo!Answers. Family members, especially among elders and married brothers, count time spent in “family night studies” with their spouses and children. Again, this is not time spent that will generate new converts.

    2. The Internet has come a long way since its introduction in the early 1990s. While there are a few websites that provide forums, documents, and critiques of the Watchtower that have been around for more than ten years, by far the majority have come online within the past five years. The growth of YouTube, Blogger, and WordPress has made it easier for ex-JWs and non-associated critics to publish both current and direct reports and reviews of Watchtower activities and organizational problems, but also effective videos and graphic presentations that clearly describe the major issues with Watchtower teachings and policy.

    My research shows that the greatest growth among the Witnesses comes from the natural resource groups of JW children and close family members. The next groups are foreign language speaking immigrants and minority populations that are looking for a change from the traditional religions of their home countries. My guess is that converts that are sourced from the door-to-door preaching work, especially in North American and Europe have become a very small percentage (my guess is less than 1/3 of 1.0%) of new baptized members.

    Whatever the Witnesses are doing now is simply not providing any real sustainable growth for the organization. My hope is that they will continue doing whatever they’re doing now for the foreseeable future. Failure has its rewards…

  10. dubless says:

    Thanks for the analysis, Cedars.

    For me, one of the most interesting points is the development in Eastern Europe. That’s because since about 1990, it used to be the “newly opened market” for the JWs where they would be able to easily recruit new members en masse…religiously starved people in struggling democracies and a lot of economic problems to solve…easily accessible…and so it seemed to be for a precious few years, until growth came to an abrupt halt.

    Eastern Europe has been following the same “growth” (actually, stagnation) pattern as the rest of the continent for quite a while now, but at a much lower level of publishers. In other words, it’s never going to catch up to even the modest JW market penetration of Western Europe, unless something dramatic happens.

    But what should that be? Take a look at Greece for instance. Wouldn’t you expect Greek people to seek refuge in “God’s organization” from all the economic problems these days and find hope in the “New World”? Nope – no growth at all in Greece! Or countries like Serbia, still reeling from the wars in the 1990s and ongoing economic woes: minimal market share (approx. 1 publisher in 1000 people!), low or nonexistent growth.

    If they can’t motivate people there, where can they?

  11. dubless says:

    Actually I was wrong: Serbia has one publisher in more than 2000 people (and zero growth)…and it gets worse if you include Kosovo.

  12. Searching the truth says:

    Actually, I think one of the many problems is that many JW’s don’t work to get some good results, but work to do some hours. It’s like a factory worker in China who work just to earn his money. There’s no quality, as we see in many case in the JW’s preaching. With less quality, we have one of the poorest year in terms of numbers of the last 10 years. I think it’s time to JW’s open their eyes, and, more important, their minds.

  13. Trapped says:

    The growth in developing countries isn’t very impresive either..
    I live in an African country where the internet is only just becoming more accessible …the WBTS could previously boast of an average of 10 per cent but can only report a 3 percent growth in recent years. My congregation publishers average 9 hrs compared to 18hrs in the past. ..Even without the internet,the brothers are tired and have to work had to make a living. The territory isn’t as productive as before.
    There are also many other religions that have charities that help the community by constructing schools and hospitals,homes for orphaned children etc. .such churches draw more followers..
    the WTBS ,on the other hand, offers nothing to the community, apart from the worthless literature which don’t even light a good fire to keep anyone warm.

  14. jim says:

    In the not to distant future there could be a readjustment on counting time in the ministry,candidly it’s not lost on thr Society all the ‘creative ways” a publisher can count time. From letter writing to phone calling…to the very imaginative tapeing the magazine to your car window as you drive around.They the Society understand that the real dilema is face time in the minstry…actually talking to someone. With all the problems and streeses to make a living these days.most people are hard to find at home, and when they are at home they want it to be a safe “haven” especially in the evening from anybody knocking on their door. The Society knows this and is well aware that real growth if any will only come about with “face to face time” expect to see in the KM’s a bigger push for a much more organized a pproached, focusing on areas where people congreagate such as markets, parks, transportation centers, trains, buses etc. Following the pattern of Jesus and his disciples.They may introduce a new name for this type of work such as exploring publishing…the reason for the name is to focus attention and to create enthuseasim for this “new designation” in the field service

  15. JF0911 says:

    As for Britain, it is the same error on the population in France.
    the yearbook gives a population of 63,128,000. But the last census in 2012 gives a population of 65,350,000. is an oversight of 2.1 million people.

  16. messenger4truth says:

    Have to agree with John Hoyles! Many witnesses definitely are spending time on the internet as an alternative to door knocking.
    I began to do so when I was a witness and became depressed.
    It was their behaviour on yahoo that made me see the reality of the hypocrisy! But also, the fact I had no JW visitors during the 8 months I was not attending meetings through it.
    Then seeing in other translations that Jesus was God in the flesh;
    Omitting 50 J versions of “Jehovah” pertaining to Jesus.
    While the WT claims to have put God’s name back into ‘all’ places
    it was taken out of.
    Made me see that falsified statistics and lies go hand in hand with this religion. So no surprise anything is ‘Truth’ (italics) in their publications. Someone above mentions the government figures
    lying not just religion. Most know the government lies in their statistics. But until now some turned a blind eye while they was living the high life. Now they have gone they appear to be waking up!
    But false prophets like the WT and Governments clearly are of the same kind deceiving the nations to receive the ‘mark of the beast’!

  17. Determined says:

    I was an elder in the Jehovah’s Witness organization. I was removed becaused some people felt the need to exercise their authority, that is all well. My removal as an elder must have been the best thing that had ever happened to me. For 35 years my mind was closed to so many beautiful things. I did not experience joy from life. I always asked myself the question, at every assembly people would give their experiences as to how you will never regret giving your life to theocratic service. I truly regret ever knowing this organization. I was robbered of my youth, my talents and my pride. I have children and am determined not to hurt them the way I was hurt.

  18. Newly Enlightened says:

    If a friend of mine was able to figure out that there were 388,586 that left this past year worldwide.

  19. Jeffro says:

    Most of your ‘missing’ Brits are in Northern Ireland, which they count as part of Ireland. The rest are probably counted as part of other outlying islands.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks Jeffro – it would be interesting if that is the reason. I’m not sure the loyalists in Northern Ireland would appreciate the fact that the Watch Tower Society views them as being citizens of the Republic.

  20. Yeah that’s fine, but why report it as if it was an increase? It would have been easy enough to add the figures together, and work out the increase over the previous year of the two areas combined over both periods. In fact I think that is what they did when they added Alaska, so there is a precedent.

  21. JBob says:

    “Page 179 boldly suggests that there are now enough Witnesses to replace the population of Switzerland, while informing us that 199,486 years have been spent in the preaching work in the 2012 service year alone.”

    It’s common practice to count work-hour effort in terms of the days or years (translated as * = ), but usually, this measure is vital when there is a specific target date and deliverable date in mind not a nebulous and indefinite time period.

    This measure is given as a smoke-screen to distract from the true metric–# of hours to convert a Study to a baptized Witness, or # of hours expended per baptism. This metric has grown exponentially and reveals the inefficiencies of current witnessing approaches versus making use of more efficient technologies and simpler messages/dogma to communicate clearly the “gospel” and win hearts.

  22. alan says:

    Did my own spreadsheet recently of figures for Europe over the last two years. For 2010/11 increase was 0.8%. This last year 2011/12 was 0.5%. So for all those millions of hours spent, all they could muster was half of one percent increase. That includes their children that became witnesses. So the actual figure for people found in the door to door work or incidental witnessing would be even lower.

  23. JBob says:

    Well, when you recruit scum-of-the-earth, you get scum–garbage in, garbage out. Since the “BOrg” are told their eternal life depends on # of hours (of service) they sacrificed to J*h*v*h, they assume “by any means necessary” to count hours. This as my Christian friends and evangelists highlight is what happens when you must “work to be saved,” or prove you have faith [ie: put on a show for the neighbors]. “Lord, Lord, did we not count many hours in your name?”

    Thus, it is no surprise that we readily recognize that the majority of Witnesses [“BOrgs”] are not god-fearing but organization-fearing, because the BOrg’s assimilate this Pharisee-like hypocrisy of appearance-is-everything, even if it means deceiving “God,” or “God’s anointed.”

    Reflect and pray to the Lord on this enlightenment and the freedom journey you have embarked.

    • Julia Orwell says:

      I wouldn’t call the recruits ‘scum of the earth.’ I’m a recruit and so is my husband, and we are not that. Unless by scum you mean down-and-outs, then yes, my husband was a down-and-out, suffering from addictions and things.

      Interesting point: my JW friend likens some of the Witnesses to cats: me-hours, me-hours, me-hours! With ‘me’ or ‘mi’ being a vernacular Australia expression meaning ‘my’, for my non-Aussie or non English-speaking backgrounders.

  24. Tom says:

    I noticed the same with the Ireland figures. We have a population of 5 million both both and south. They use the population of only the south and yet the publisher figure for both north and south. This looks like an increase and a better ratio margin than the true figure of 2010

  25. Julia Orwell says:

    Hi,

    I too suffer from depression, and it’s difficult to understand for people who haven’t had it. I hope you’re feeling better now. I’m finding with my depression as I take myself out from under the power of the WTS it is getting better! I’m no longer riddled with guilt and fear.

    Julia

    • JBob says:

      “scum” was to underscore the irony of being honest and ethical while using every trick in the book to score an hour. Interestingly, there isn’t a “rule” or ethic that covers what is determined to be a valid “hour of service”. It could mean posting internet postings on a forum for an hour to prep time leading to two or three hours of empty-house door-knocking–“well, Jehovah, I tried…”.

  26. Julia Orwell says:

    Ah I didn’t think you could have had an ill meaning. Thanks for clearing it up though.

    It’s actually interesting, that since I’ve consciously rejected Watchtower dogma, I’m actually having a more positive view of people. I’ve never really liked people as a group, but now I’ve stopped labelling them, I find I like them more.

  27. BAYBIBFD says:

    HDUSNERSJAEDJYDMNJBVDJ

  28. ALEXANDER FORSYTH says:

    The older I get, the more I realise how little I know. Had there been no out-of-court settlements (for money), less damage should have been done to children. It wasn’t all bad in the ‘Truth’; there have been many life changing experiences: mine for one. Many former witnesses now give Jesus thanks for getting them out – pity He didn’t prevent them from getting in! Have we left a ‘Spiritual Paradise’ for one in a church? I think not. Christ is the Head in name only; it is mostly men that run the show – and they have their foibles too. As for conditional love, Jehovah’s witnesses do not have a monopoly on that too. One has to fit in, comply with, and recognise the Senior Pastor (a non Biblical term). As a former elder, and co-worker with Jack and Mildred Barr (when they served in the London Bethel) who was made aware of murmurings that were uttered as a result of the failure of 1975 predictions, and who reported them to Jack after he had received his GB invitation. Make no mistake, prophetic failure started the avalanche; the effects are still being felt. Allow me to close with the words of Oscar Wilde: “I am not young enough to know everything.”

  29. 70wksofyrs says:

    Cedars, I have a question.

    Forgive me if I have not understood all you have written or read it properly, to understand what is meant by internet penetration please indulge me.

    Macao had an increase of 12.2% and internet penetration of 63.4%
    Whereas
    Hungary had an increase of 0.9% and internet penetration of 69.0%

    What do you conclude from just these two extremes as isolated expamples?

    • Cedars says:

      I conclude that Macao had unusually high growth for their internet penetration, as did Hungary. You must have gone to a lot of trouble to pull out those stats!

      The individual penetration figures are strewn with such anomalies. Nigeria is just one example of a country that had disappointing growth despite also having low internet penetration. However, when you look at the global figures in the above graph, the trend is unmistakeable.

      • 70wksofyrs says:

        Not really I looked at your links the high percentage (over 10% we are talking relative high here not actual) growths on each page jump out like a flashing beacon as there is only one or none on each page of your stats.

        Really it makes your point very easy to agree with. The term internet penetration was something I wanted to be clear on. It’s a new term for me.

        Impressive work Cedars well done!!!

  30. 70wksofyrs says:

    Also percentages can be deceiving if there are only five publishers reporting and one gets baptized. This is an extreme also, but the high percentage growths have very low numbers of actual publishers.

  31. 70wksofyrs says:

    Also as a fellow Brit you will notice the increase in population is that many Nigerians are living with us this year. I have had many an intersting Bible study with them, none of whom wish to convert, none the less an intresting study. Therefore immgration can contribute to low growth which further proves your point. Globally the movment of individuals is probably slowing down not speeding up growth.

  32. raphael says:

    the greatest thanks goes to Jehovah almighty because with his help to his son’s brothers they had made it easier for us to read bible and other publications even hard copy or soft copy.

  33. Harri Seldon says:

    What a waste of time.
    Have you people got no life?

  34. JBob says:

    I love these types—we have no life, and yet you’re here…? and, your only input to the conversation is a personal assault of words that contributes no insights or countering argument?

    What a loser!

  35. Carol Andersen, says:

    Carol Andersen,

    This was even faster than I could dream of. Thank you for taking time to listen to me and answering all my emails. I feel emotional strong again. My confidence is back and I see my future clearly. I am forever grateful for your help in re-uniting me with my old lover.if there is any one out there ineed of help pls contact d.rriveshebalisthome@gmail.com

    Carol Andersen, Seattle, USA

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