Bad omens for Watchtower as new Yearbook shows decreases for Canada, Australia and much of Europe
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The 2017 Yearbook reveals figures that are worrying for Watchtower

The 2017 Yearbook is now available on JW.org, and the much-anticipated figures in the “Service Year Report” tell the story of an organization that is haemorrhaging members and barely keeping its head above water.

Even in the United States of America, the organization’s heartland, it seems Watchtower is suffering heavy losses.

Last year saw 28,588 get baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses in the USA (a similar number to the year before). Despite this, the number of Witnesses in America has grown by only 2,945.

When you compare this figure with the 34,247-publisher increase for 2007, a picture emerges of growth numbers that are steadily meandering their way toward a decrease – as the following graph further highlights.

Growth in publishers in the USA over ten years 2007 to 2016

 

Over the border in Canada, the situation is even more bleak. The 2016 service year closed with Canada having 169 fewer Jehovah’s Witnesses than it had boasted the previous year.

A similar story emerged in Australia, where the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse and its damning verdicts on Jehovah’s Witnesses has surely played at least some role in there being 64 fewer Witnesses in 2016 than in 2015 (despite 1,235 baptisms). In the same branch territory, New Zealand also recorded a decrease (of 34).

Then there is Europe.

When I first started running over the figures, I was curious to discover that Croatia had registered a decrease (of 108) and wondered whether the same could be said of surrounding countries. (I live in Croatia, incase my interest in that particular country confuses you!) Indeed, it emerged that Italy (-28), Slovenia (-22), Hungary (-365), Serbia (-6) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (-24) all registered diminished populations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Intrigued, I decided to crunch the numbers properly and produce a map of European nations where JWs are in decline. This is what I ended up with:

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness who believes fervently in the “good news” being preached in all nations, and in Armageddon only being held back by God because he wants to bring in more JWs, the above map should be a very depressing spectacle. An alternative map, showing the figures for some of the European countries, can be seen below…

(Click on map to enlarge)

 

As you can see, even some European countries that are not in decline only squeezed the most modest of increases. Iceland has 1 extra publisher to show for 82,162 hours of preaching, and the United Kingdom with its 1,613 congregations, 2,309 baptisms and 24.8 million hours of preaching mustered only 26 more publishers than the previous year.

These figures are cataclysmic for Watchtower and may explain why there was such a delay in the 2017 Yearbook being made available. A letter to all congregations dated May 21, 2016 promised congregations that the book would be released online “beginning in October” of 2016. It’s anyone’s guess as to why it has now emerged on JW.org around 3 months behind schedule, but I believe the appalling results could be a factor. I could well understand the Governing Body and other Watchtower higher-ups needing time to digest the bad news and decide how it fits in with their theological narrative for when the inevitable letters from worried JWs start coming in.

As for why there are decreases in so many countries, I believe it is safe to suggest that thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not appreciate being lied to and are increasingly voting with their feet. Rather than making their teachings more reasonable and loving, the Governing Body has stubbornly held to dictating teachings and policies that are increasingly unrecognizable from most interpretations of Christianity.

The Yearbook itself furnishes a good example of the radical leanings of Watchtower’s modern leadership, with page 26 boasting about a boy in England who has been baptized as young as eight. Of course, many JWs will read this kind of story and be thrilled that the good news is being preached “out of the mouth of babes.” But a growing number are capable of interpreting accounts like this as sickening evidence of a cult that will stop at nothing to further its own interests.

If Watchtower is desperate enough to welcome the inclusion of eight-year-olds in its membership role-call, its outlook must be bleak. Those like myself who yearn to see the organization lose its grip on the minds of loved ones deserve to take a moment to celebrate the emancipation of so many who have found their freedom in recent months. Watchtower is clearly floundering in the information age and news of its diminishing influence in so many countries is a moment to savor.

 

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277 Responses to Bad omens for Watchtower as new Yearbook shows decreases for Canada, Australia and much of Europe

  1. Athlyn says:

    Excellent overview, Lloyd.

    • Imgonaburn says:

      If you look at the overal figures it’s really astonishing.
      Yes, the av pubs has increased between 2015-2016 but if you add the number of people babtised during 2016 to the av pubs during 2015 there’s a deficit of nearly 120,000. So 120k people either left last service year or failed to report any ministry for 3 consecutive months. After a report of nearly 2 billion hours spent preaching the figures are pitiful!
      Increase has been equivalent to 7000 per week but 2300 have either left been dfd or failed to report per week too! All those hours preaching and for what?
      Does anyone know if the memorial attendance figures include children?

    • Dw says:

      I came across your site and it caught my attention. I am a JW. I don’t know who you are. I will say that as a witness ,I see things in a biblical way.” The road leading off to life is cramped and narrow,few will find it “. As the last days draw close to their conclusion, people will decide more decisively. No more 5 years of studying. Noah only saved himself and his sons/ daughter in laws. Do you think Noah did not have literally hundreds if not thousands of relatives. Yet, none listened. The world has become entirely wicked. Even people I have known all my life have become evil and heartless. I never thought it would get this bad. People not listening to the bible is a sign of their true personalities. The world is a train wreck. If you can’t see that ,you are truly blinded.2 cor: 4:4. I don’t wish any ill will towards anyone. I actually feel sorry as I read the news. The heinous acts government’s and men are committing. If that’s your choice to love your government, put your trust in it. For I will put my trust in Jehovah. Fortunately, Jehovah even can only take so much. I never thought I would ever see the world become this bad. The only thing mankind can do to make it worse is have another world war or a nuclear war. Mankind is at the end of their rope. – I am very well read in world events and have been ever since I was a kid. ( not brought up a witness). I tried to prove witnesses wrong doing research on everything they taught. That’s how I became a witness.

      • JeHoB0 says:

        Devin or whatever your name truly is,
        You must understand that every ExJW and current JW reading your comment had heard this response ad infinitum. Please try to do a better job when commenting here. Unfortunately you sound like a preprogrammed robot. We can go down the list and check off the JW talking points which your comment is built upon. I suggest you never come back to this site. We ExJW’s want to help people in the cult “Awake” from the WBTS machine. If you continue to visit non-JW sites and you are discovered you will be disciplined, maybe even disfellowshipped! You don’t want to miss out on living forever on a paradise Earth, do you? Or did they change that one too…

    • Devin W says:

      I came across your site and it caught my attention. I am a JW. I don’t know who you are. I will say that as a witness ,I see things in a biblical way.” The road leading off to life is cramped and narrow,few will find it “. As the last days draw close to their conclusion, people will decide more decisively. No more 5 years of studying. Noah only saved himself and his sons/ daughter in laws. Do you think Noah did not have literally hundreds if not thousands of relatives. Yet, none listened. The world has become entirely wicked. Even people I have known all my life have become evil and heartless. I never thought it would get this bad. People not listening to the bible is a sign of their true personalities. The world is a train wreck. If you can’t see that ,you are truly blinded.2 cor: 4:4. I don’t wish any ill will towards anyone. I actually feel sorry as I read the news. The heinous acts government’s and men are committing. If that’s your choice to love your government, put your trust in it. For I will put my trust in Jehovah. Fortunately, Jehovah even can only take so much. I never thought I would ever see the world become this bad. The only thing mankind can do to make it worse is have another world war or a nuclear war. Mankind is at the end of their rope. – I am very well read in world events and have been ever since I was a kid. ( not brought up a witness). I tried to prove witnesses wrong doing research on everything they taught. That’s how I became a witness.

      • chantal says:

        Dear DW or Devin W,
        Number one, if you are a devout JW, you should be compelled by your Governing Body mandates to get off this website. I doubt you just stumbled upon, so to speak.

        Number two, “wordly” people also are aware of bad conditions that exists in the world today. But conditions today are much better overall than in centuries past. A little research on anyone’s part will reveal this. However, most JW’s are discouraged from any education. So I am not sure where you fall on this matter.

        Number three, you can love Jehovah without being a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization.

        • Dw says:

          You say the world is better off today than years past? This extremely puzzled me. With 75% of the oceans polluted. Being fished out as species disappear. The tearing down of rain forest, striping the earth of its resources. Punching tens of thousands of holes throughout the land in oceans to get oil. Fracking, which I knew was going to be a nightmare( as did big business – money before people). Fresh water becoming scarce. Climate change- yes it exist, I know more about it than 99.9% of people. Man has dominated man to his own injury. If this earth went on another 100 years. You would have 100% oceans pollute. No rainforest. The earth shredded from mankind greed for its resources. Smog in China would be across the entire globe. Governments overthrown and chaos. Very few places would be considered ” a nice place to live”. Massive starvation and disease never seen on such a grand scale. That’s if mankind made it that long, not taking into account of some fruitcake or terrorist group for a hold of nuclear weapons. It’s already happening, does anyone think mankind is going to stop it? Do you actually think Jehovah would allow mankind to destroy what he has made? This is all things I have studied and read from” worldly sources”. Much of it already beginning to occur in the past 10 years.

          • chantal says:

            DW,
            I feel the sincerity on your part in your reply to me. I felt almost the same as you for most of my life, and believed, mostly through cognitive dissonance though, the absolute LIES the WTBTS fed me from the moment I was born.
            Fortunately I am fully awakened, and hope the same for you some day. I echo all the sentiments and facts in John Redwood’s reply to you. He has said it all, and a 1000 times more eloquently that I could possibly have done. Please keep reading this site!

      • John Redwood says:

        Devin W

        We respect the fact that you have voiced your opinion here, and I understand your viewpoint. I was a faithful and very active Witness for 46 years, and we bear no malice to Witnesses whatsoever. However, much of your viewpoint is formulated from what therapists call “confirmation bias.” This means that we are biased and look for every possible means to back up what we already believe and have committed to. This is especially true for Jehovah’s Witnesses. We do not wish to unravel what we spent years learning from the organization. It goes against our mental disposition.

        The reality is that the world is a much better place than it ever was, and the “wars and reports of wars” are not what they seem. The media covers the worst of the worst, and while terrible things happen every day, when you compare the horrible events of modern times to what happened throughout history, we are far more peaceful per capita than any other period in human history. We also have the most advanced medical care compared to any other period in history, and we are making strides in science and technology which are truly making this world a better place for as many as possible.

        One thing which I would like to point out to you is that the Watchtower organization is reactive rather then proactive. They have never predicted any events in our modern times, despite their designation of being the “faithful and discreet slave.” So – my point is that they wait until statistics reveal something extremely interesting, THEN they put their explanation on it. This article is a perfect example. If Jehovah’s Witnesses were increasing in number, they would say that “this is a sign of Jehovah’s blessing.” However if the numbers decrease, they will say “We are near the end and the road to everlasting life is narrow, and diminishing numbers prove this.”

        You can use numbers to attempt to prove any point at all, and this is dishonest. Here is another example – For decades, Watchtower claimed that diminishing numbers of anointed person proves that we are nearing the very end. However guess what? When the numbers of anointed began to go UP year after year, they REACTED to this and offered a COMPLETELY different explanation. Take a look at that Watchtower article from January 2016. Here is what they said:

        “The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed. Some who at one point started to partake of the emblems later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Therefore, the number of partakers does not accurately indicate the number of anointed ones left on earth.”

        So- Watchtower has reacted to the incredible increase in “anointed” persons by telling Witnesses that many of these people have mental or emotional problems, or are simply mistaken. Really? Take a look at the many charts and graphs on the internet, or in your personal collection of yearbooks from the past 30-40 years and think about this. It is completely absurd, and Watchtower only offers an explanation AFTER such an event takes place. If they had inspiration from God, they would never have published false information in the first place. I have a personal letter from Watchtower to a publisher in the year 1970 in which the writing department ADAMANTLY insists that the door to being anointed closed before 1935, which was their teaching for many years.

        We are not telling you to put trust in governments, religion, atheism or any other organization. We are simply pointing out the truth, and to be honest, the truth is hard to swallow for a Witness. I believed it for 46 years, and I have never been disfellowshipped or reproved or in any trouble with the organization. I simply woke up after realizing that it is all just indoctrination from a religion of mostly sincere Witnesses who believe every word.

        If you watch Leah Remini’s new series on Scientology – it’s exactly the same- she believed every word because she trusted the organization completely, as most of us did.

        If you want to talk about Noah and other bible events- please email me at redwood@jwsurvey.org. This is a subject for another discussion, but since you mentioned it I can help you to understand the facts about this Biblical story in a logical way. Trust me when I tell you that you are missing a few pieces of the puzzle, despite being a loyal JW, and remember: if you are interested in the truth, you need to dig deep. If the Witnesses have the truth then I can assure you that it will stand up to scrutiny. There is only one truth about life, the universe, the Bible, or any other subject. So let’s find the truth without fear that any research or scientific data will disrupt your view of what the truth really is.

        With sincerity,

        John Redwood

        • BigB says:

          @John Redwood & dw:

          Excellent reply to dw, John.

          A quick look at history, especially the “Middle Ages”, should prove the argument most efficiently. The Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, famine, and colder than normal weather for Europe made those inhabitants wonder if they were in the last days. For further information and excellent book that described this time period is “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitious 14th Century” by historian Barbara Tuchman.

          Anyone reading this will soon see that the Church and Flagellant movements were powerless to stop the plague and many abandoned the teachings of the church as they felt that they had let the people down. However, the “end of the system” did not come nor did Jesus appear. Why not; after all the signs were all there?

          • Dw says:

            The difference between the early centuries and now. Is mankind would never make it 100 years from now, without wiping out the entire planet. You can always say there wars and disease, but, you cant even remotely compare it to the time we’re living in. Scientist tell people a fraction of what they really know. Same with governments. When scientists are afraid for the existence of mankind, you can believe of far worse than you or I will ever read. ( I do my research. I could write a small book on here). I know more than 99.9 of the people out there. BTW. I wasn’t a witness when I began to learn this. You don’t say you need an orginaztion. I wonder where you would have been if you born under the Jewish law. When the 1st century congregation was established. ( You would have left as the apostles slowly changed things in the congregations). Do you think “good news” doesn’t exist or would never be preached. If you say that was for the 1st century congregation, they were still an ” organization” that Jehovah had chosen! Who else is preaching the good news. Ask a person what the ” good news” is. They have 0 clue. So, who does Jehovah have preaching? If you say ” no one” then your saying Jesus died for nothing and ” God’s kingdom” isn’t real. Jehovah would be a liar! What do you have to offer. All of you have no guidance. Your only goal is to discredit Jehovah. I don’t think that’s the ” good news” Jesus spoke of. If you had the truth why aren’t you out there trying to save lives. I’ll be honest with you,because you don’t have the truth and no other religion even cares about the ” good news”. I’ve researched many religions, historical books and archaeological finds. All ” wordly” books. That’s how I know it’s the truth. I heard 1 commenter say their are 36000 types of ” Christian religions” ,which is true. If you did your research you would find every religion can be traced back to 7 religions. That’s it 7. So, it’s Pretty easy to find out the truth once you researched it. As the world crumbles at an extremely quickening pace, time will soon tell who has the ” truth”. My on research and reasoning.

        • BigB says:

          @John Redwood & dw:

          Excellent reply to dw, John.

          A quick look at history, especially the “Middle Ages”, should prove the argument most efficiently. The Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, famine, and colder than normal weather for Europe made those inhabitants wonder if they were in the last days. For further information and excellent book that described this time period is “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitious 14th Century” by historian Barbara Tuchman.

          Anyone reading this will soon see that the Church and Flagellant movements were powerless to stop the plague and many abandoned the teachings of the church as they felt that they had let the people down. However, the “end of the system” did not come nor did Jesus appear. Why not; after all the signs were all there?

        • JeHoB0 says:

          Mr. Redwood,
          I commend you for your thoughtful, factual and sincere response to Devin/Dw. I must admit that I do hold malice and contempt towards JW’s and the WTBS. I do not wish to diminish anyone elses suffering at the hands of this cult but personally I am unable to forgive them. My family was destroyed, my future sacrificed, my children, siblings and other relatives unable to be with those they love…. all for a lie. Therefore, I will be militant, aggressive and merciless to those who support the WTBS! I will fight them will every thing I have. I will not stop until the Witnesses are gone! No more! We have turned the corner and the Org is in decline. I am certain that they are in far worse shape than is known publicly and the coffers are running dry! In summary, I appreciate the the thoughtful and soft approach you take, but I and others like me shall and must take the hard approach. Until there is not a Kingdom Hall to be seen!

      • Flying Gabriel says:

        I’m pleased you made the effort to respond. I could easily have written those very words a decade or so ago. How you became a witness mirrors my conversion, although I did prove them wrong, as I have a background in geology. I found a way to suspend my former education in favor of JW doctrine – confirmation bias is stronger than all of us when the right conditions exists.
        There’s not much in your summary I disagree with regarding world conditions. While the nature of humans shows no notable change, the apparent worsening of conditions can largely be put down to population growth – more people, more evil, more threats.
        I spent over 20 years a witness, doing all the witness things, pioneering, MS, Elder, countless public talks etc etc.
        I would be surprised if any ex-JW loves or trusts their government. Institutional authorities granting themselves the right to rule tend to lose their appeal.
        You speak of a narrow road hard to find and I would encourage you to reflect on this, considering the Bible didn’t exist when those words were spoken. Having your research of ancient writings restricted to a single book is not the narrow road you’re looking for.
        Regarding your conversion, I have but one question … how comfortably does it sit alonside Christ’s admonition at Luke 21:8?
        Mind out for the confirmation bias now.
        All the best to you.

      • Average Joe says:

        Devin DW,
        I too am an active JW, although awakened and serving as an elder (as the regulars and staff here already know.)
        I believe in the Flood too but not a global one. Don’t forget that the Bible, when it refers to global events (“all creation”, “distant parts of the earth” etc) means in most cases “the extent of the known world to Bible writers.” Since you mentioned the flood, here’s my take on it:
        There are around 8 million JWs today and even then, we haven’t witnessed to everyone. God is holding off Armageddon until the majority get to hear the Good News. Do you think that Noah and his family, not even TEN people, had the chance to preach WORLDWIDE? Obviously not so that would mean God killed thousands of innocent people who never heard the warning if the flood was indeed in ALL the earth. I for one believe that God reads hearts and wouldn’t kill a good person, hence why I neither believe that God will kill all people that aren’t JWs at Armageddon, especially as there are plenty of nasty, vindictive, self-righteous, judgemental JWs (many in positions of oversight) in the organisation, so that’s hardly a fine example of the best of humanity either.

        Then there’s the logistics problem. God ceased to create anything new physically after the sixth creative day; this includes animals. However, to get all the variety of animal species we have today from just those few species Noah managed to cram into the ark would be a huge feat of evolution, something that neither you nor I believe in, I presume.

        Sites like JWsurvey, present FACTS and give people the chance to voice their opinions, especially ones like me, trapped in an organisation because of not wanting to hurt family members and also being a force for good within the organisation and helping others to wake up. I encourage personal Bible study and dedication to God, NOT to an organisation. Others, like Lloyd & CO on this site have come to the conclusion that God doesn’t exist and that is their right too. The point is, that nobody here is ostracised for their beliefs. Here we can investigate what the WT organisation does without fear of reprisal.

        I HATE being lied to and the WTS has lied to us on numerous occasions and uses double standards: one face for the public, another for the JWs, as countless letters we receive as elders proves.

        I trust this helps you reevalute this invaluable nature of this site.
        Best wishes.
        AJ

        • Wideawake says:

          As usual Average Joe you make me feel there is hope for my family…I’m an Atheist now..but you show you just need to be reasonable and calm and caring…My husband will always believe in God…he just thinks the gb is the only way…keep up the good work…they need you…thank you for the hope…Peace and Joy.

          • Average Joe says:

            Aw thanks Wideawake! I’m also a little crazy so maybe that helps too, especially as I get nore like my avatar Dougal, everyday!
            I’m sure that your hubby will see sense soon. It’s a very big thing to accept that we’ve been lied to all these years about so many things by the WTS.

        • John Redwood says:

          AJ

          As always, your comments are insightful and respectful, and remind us that we can co-exist as humans, as ex-jws, as fading jws – without beating each other up for our differences in belief. Our goal is to end undue influence and let people make their decision regarding God, Jesus, Noah or any other Biblical topic. Perhaps we don’t agree on the flood – or maybe we do. But is it relevant? No, because we all have the right to draw a conclusion based on the evidence we discovered individually, and we are all exposed to different evidence.

          In the future I will publish an article regarding the global flood, and the Watchtower’s belief in this event and its literal explanation of it. This will be based on my evidence uncovered, but it does not prevent a person from believing a version or explanation of this event which differs from Watchtower’s view. They place the date at 2370 BCE, which is in conflict with scientific evidence including carbon dating, the accuracy of which is more precise than ever. This accounts for the lack of mention of evidence AGAINST carbon dating for more than 25 years in any WT publications.

          The end result is that Watchtower has painted themselves into a very small corner from which they can’t escape, and their explanations are becoming more and more absurd. As a sincere believer of the faith for more than 45 years, I simply could not accept the lack of honesty any longer, and I had to leave.

          It seems the new Yearbook gives evidence that many thousands are leaving as well. Time will tell just how far reaching this exodus will become. Thank you again for your support and comments

          JR

        • Maurice Le Pavoux says:

          How did the kangaroos get to Australia? It looks like the flood of Noah’s day was local.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Maurice,
            The kangaroos swam across the ocean with koalas hanging off their backs (or maybe they were in their pouches). There is soon to be some “new light” in this regard to be sure – LOL.

            WS

      • Ricardo says:

        @Devin, I have recently had conversations with a couple of elders (including my brother who is a COBE) about the coming decrease which I can see in the figures. Elders don’t respond very well to these sorts of things, like you don’t. Basically they told me that the organization will continue going from glory to glory and that I am deluding myself. However, you may realize that a lot of witnesses came into the truth from the 1950’s to 1970’s in the western world. These old timers are now in their 80’s and will soon pass off the scene. If you want to see this happen, look at the figures for Poland for the last few years. This decrease (2,000 for Poland this year) will soon be seen throughout Europe, Australia, Japan and Korea. If it was not for Brazil pumping in 20,000 new witnesses into the figures each year we would have an overall decrease much sooner. As can be seen with Mexico’s figure however, all increases eventually taper off as the country becomes saturated with witnesses.

        Preaching in Australia, for instance, has brought very little increase for the past decades. I remember a brother telling me 30 years ago:”I think the preaching work is finished here. We just have to wait for Armageddon to come now.” When was the last time my congregation had a new publisher announced? I think it was probably my son 5 years ago.

        There comes a time in every country when the witness numbers just plateau. Unfortunately, in countries like India where the Seventh Day Adventists have had great success (over 1 million members) we have not even made an impression yet.

        Get ready for the decreases to come. The early 2020’s will be full of them. A CO I talked to said he expected that when the decreases came the GB would focus on other aspects of the report, such as the number baptized or meeting attendance, or scrap the reporting of publishers altogether. I expect once the decreases come it will shock the brotherhood, right at the time when the child abuse cases are being settled in the courts, and many brothers will fall off.

        Get ready for the worldwide decreases. They are coming.

        • Big B says:

          @ Ricardo:

          “There comes a time in every country when the witness numbers just plateau”.

          I’m 100% in agreement with you Ricardo. That is true of every organization, including the WTBTS, that patterns itself after the ‘Amway’ (American Way) pyramidal model. Through the supposed sales of cleaning products, advertised as “better” than the main selling brands, the Amway members recruit people under them so they do all the work.

          That begs the question, if their products were better than the main selling brands, why don’t they put them on the store shelves to compete? 1. They aren’t superior to the other brands and 2. Because the real goal is to build up the pyramid by recruitment. Why?

          Because all power (and money) is located at the top of the pyramid and filters down to the lower echelons who do the recruiting of members who sell the product. Does this pattern (model) sound familiar? It should, as Jehovah’s Witnesses have been busy recruiting members since J.F. Rutherford’s admonition to “Advertise, Advertise, Advertise, the King and His Kingdom”.
          (Even sounds like a business slogan doesn’t it?) 🙂

          And that’s why there is a door-to-door ministry in the first place. To find more stooges (adherents) to be duped into devoting their time, monies and efforts to the WTBTS (Amway) for free!

          But like all schemes, business and religious, soon they reach a plateau where those who are in it are already recruited and the rest are just plain ‘Not Interested’. That’s where J.W.’s are now. Little to NO increase, mentally deranged ‘sheeple’ confused as to whether or not to partake of the memorial emblems and the as the July, 2013 Watchtower chart shows, the Armageddon can kicked so far down the road Jesus Christ couldn’t find it with a telescope.

          “Get ready for the worldwide decreases. They are coming.” Also true, many are waking up to the manure they are being fed and are finding sites like this to be a refreshing change from the same old ‘Armageddon is a commin’ six and seven.

          Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known and illuminated”.

      • Nakano says:

        cognitive dissonance….

      • Wideawake says:

        Dw…I was brought up a witness…all questions and doubts I had were put to the back of my mind as I got on with life around me…allstar the film The Trueman Show says..You accept the reality that you are presented with…then after a lifetime of Pioneering..meetings…study…etc…at age 54 my doubts and questions could no longer be put on the back burner so to speak…the issue of the gross mishandling of child abuse cases reared it’s ghastly head and all the years of denial caught up with me and I am now inactive but with all my family including grown children as witnesses…
        only the prospect of being shunned by those closest to me stops me leaving completely…I have to be careful of everything I say and do because of the evil practice of shunning…which brings me to your point that they have proven everything they have told you…they have no…because they cannot…unless you reject all wisdom except their’s…you have to reject Science and all other forms of prevailing Philosophy and individual cultures…you have to accept the Bible as divine but only their interpretation of it…you have to reject investigation into all other forms of literature and research and accept only what is given you by the Watchtower society…you have come onto this site for a reason…don’t give up now…watch Louis Theroux Scientology documentary…read the old articles on here about things like the date 607…or the special relationship the Society had with that image of the wild beast the UN…..Or the history of its leaders…or the disaster of the year 1975…don’t give up your quest…you have made a tiny step and will feel guilty at first but then your eyes will be opened to the deceit..there are many doing the same already.

      • messenger says:

        Hi Devon,
        It seems like everyone and his brother responded to your comment. Most here either presently are, or have been a Witness. Welcome to our conversations.

        I’d just like to offer one bit of advice. I suggest not using your real name. I have friends who have acted as spies for their circuit overseers. My guess is that some elders like them check sites like this. And, I’m sure you’re aware of the iron fist the organization enforces its policies with.

        Best wishes!

        • Ricardo says:

          @messenger, how exactly would the elders bring up the subject that they have been looking at the apostate sites and saw our name there? And, isn’t it possible that someone else could be using our name so as to get us into trouble? I mean, how would they prove that it was us who made this comment on the apostate site?

          • messenger says:

            Personally I wouldn’t discuss the subject with them. But I don’t recognize any authority they exercise over my life-I’m over that myth.Thought police have no authority over me, as a person.

            In answer to your question, if they did want to bring it up my guess is they’d do it through questioning you directly. I never said they scan these sites, but my belief is they probably do. I’ve known spies for circuit overseers who took assignments to follow friends, take pics, and things like that to build a judicial case against them. Even infiltrating groups suspected of wrongdoing was considered and possibly done. So, to assume these sites are watched is no great leap from what I know some WT reps do.

            You think like me. I would never do it, but I find the thought humorous that someone else’s real name could be used here to get them in trouble, like choosing your worst elder and speaking in his name. LOL

          • messenger says:

            @ brother Ricardo
            Just wanted to say if I fail to respond to some ones question it isn’t intentional. I never check the box to be notified by email when new posts are made, so I could easily miss the new posts you guys write. I was looking back to see if there was anything new today and saw your question, but I may have missed it.

      • Winston Smith says:

        I see there are already a number of responses to Devin’s comments. I’ll just a few short thoughts of my own:

        1.) I always heard that the amazing increase in witnesses was proof that this is God’s chosen organization. Now the noted decrease is also proof. So which is it? How can it be both?

        2.) I was born into the JW religion and was in it for over 30 years, with nearly a decade as an elder. I tried to prove the witnesses RIGHT by doing extra research on everything they taught. That’s how I became an exWitness.

        3.) Every generation thinks the world is an awful place and that it was better for previous generations. The facts show, however, that today the world is much less violent, there is much less deadly plague, and there are new and amazing advancements made every day. I wouldn’t want to live in any previous time.

        WS

  2. Rhentt Daily says:

    It is encouraging and celebratory to see the decline in the number of publishers, but their are many that, although they’ve stopped attending and preaching, are still held captive mentally and feel guilty because of their ‘lack of faith’. There’s still too many of our loved ones that are whole sale believers as well. You’re a good man Lloyd Evans, thank you for your efforts.

    • fallingangel75 says:

      I haven’t posted comments in a long while. Fortunately? Unfortunately? I’ve found out I’m expecting a child as I sort out things with my husband and have been deciding whether to stay or go. I have definitely decided not to be a Witness, but I was unsure whether to try to fight for my marriage. I do love my husband so much.

      But now this is a whole new complication in the decisions I face about how to navigate and create my new life as a result of my awakening. I was already not making a clean break because I was not mentally and emotionally ready to be separated from my ENTIRE family by disassociation or disfellowshipping.

      But now that I am going to have a child, I feel a greater need to cling to my family and friends, despite the huge spiritual and ideological divide.

      However, I know I will not indoctrinate my child, so I still have a finite amount of time before people will notice that I am not ‘inculcating the truth’ in his or her heart.

      And there will be inevitable fights with my husband over this.

      I posted in response to this comment here because I do feel strongly that I have seen ‘the truth about the truth’, but I am miserable because I do still feel captive because all of the people I love most in the world are still in.

      Whole-heartedly and faithfully and they keep trying to restore my lost faith. I keep recognizing the damage this conflict is doing to me on a daily basis, but I am still unable to face the consequences of leaving.

      I am less able to consider leaving, in the immediate future, as I carry our child. I already feel isolated, as I said, ideologically, but I cannot deal with actually being alone and without my family.

      Everyone is happy about the baby because people are always happy about babies, but they also believe that this happy accident will lead me back.

      Nope. I think my husband is the only one who knows that it won’t.

      I always wonder how many thousands or tens of thousands find themselves in similar situations – not the specific details – just feeling desperate to leave, but unable to.

      If shunning wasn’t such a cornerstone of the religion, we would certainly find out!

      • michael pollard says:

        You have my sympathy. I am married to a practising JW and my two boys are being brought up as such, but it tears me apart the nonsense, total waste of time it all is. My wife married me knowing in her heart i am a dyed in the wool atheist, and I’m sure part of her decision was insurance against medical issues she and her children might face if there were a medical emergency. She would NEVER have married a witness, but her whole family and social structure is based on her upbringing and adherence to the faith.
        On a lighter note – I make her laugh a lot and we are best friends.

      • Wideawake says:

        My advice to you is to stay calm and concentrate on your pregnancy and your baby…do what you have to do to keep things on an even keel so you can enjoy your pregnancy and your baby…I’m not sure if you are going to meetings or on service anymore. If you are not don’t go back unless you have to….your having a baby it’s a good reason for tiredness …you need rest…if your still attending it is an opportunity to diminish your attendance but only if you feel up to not going…your family will also be concentrating on the pregnancy and baby and you can still enjoy that…try not to worry about future battles…they will come in thier own time and there is no need to disturb yourself about them now..medically they will want to give you a pack for pregnant women published by Watchtower…take it…ignore it and put your trust in the medical professionals and your own instinct…I understand…Iv been there…we all really do feel for you…unconditionally.

      • messenger says:

        Hi fallingangel,

        A lot of people here talk about getting out, leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but that’s not a step you should feel compelled to take for yourself, even though you know what we call “the truth about the truth.” If you believe in Christ and his father just follow their teachings and examples. Perhaps spiritually and emotionally you may feel fine in that situation. Remember even Christ was part of a religion that was full of leaders like the Watchtower has. Can you and I agree that he faired okay emotionally and spiritually while there?

        Maybe your husband will agree not to fight against you making your own choices about when you will and will not desire to attend meetings or field service.

        But now that you’re learning certain truths and falsehoods that you didn’t know before, God requires you not spread ideas you know to be untrue. It’s possible to do that as a JW, if you refuse to be a clone.

        I hope your choice works for the best.

      • Winston Smith says:

        Hi fallingangel75,

        You have sympathy as well in regard the current situation you find yourself in. I am out and my wife is in. We have two children and the religious divide is often a point of dissension.

        My advice is to consider whether you and your husband can provide a loving environment with minimal confontation over religious matters. If you feel that you can, then it is certainly worthwhile to maintain the relationship. If you feel this will not be the case, then you may want to give serious consideration to the situation you select to rear your child in.

        I wish you all the best as you navigate some difficult times ahead. Even so, there is still a lot of joy in being a parent so don’t let this one negative point cause you miss out on it.

        WS

      • JeHoB0 says:

        @FallingAngel75,

        To be blunt, you must divorce. Do it now whilst your child can have no memory of this painful process. You must be strong. You will overcome this but only if you sever all ties with JW’s. Fortunately or unfortunately, they will do this for you. Also, there is life after JW. Good life without the heavy burdens of the WBTS on your back! Congratulations on your coming baby and best wishes for your future!

      • Jaak says:

        Every year witnesses die by giving birth because they refuse blood.

        Please don’t reject it if you need it, Jezus would never reject this!

        • messenger says:

          They could use a correlation of the use of blood to the David and shoebread incident, but for some reason the gb don’t see that being a correlation to the use of blood. In Acts, where the Christian blood prohibition was written about the decision also ordered Christians to stay away from things sacrificed to idols, yet Paul said eating meat sacrificed to idols was a matter of Christian conscience. So not all in that mandate was followed by all Christians back then, and they were not penalized as a result.

          The gb does not think like Christ. Christ would view life as more sacred than the blood which is used in scripture as representing life, because of its life sustaing power though carrying oxygen and minerals to cell. Christ made statements like that to the Jews, about why he healed on the sabbath. If God’s spirit ever bore witness with any of the gb members while they were witnesses they would know this. Not only is it easily reasoned out , but it’s how Christ thought. He wouldn’t use people who think like the ones that opposed him.

  3. WTCritic says:

    So many preaching hours and only small gains or negative growth. I wonder what the coming years will bring.

  4. Jake says:

    thanks for the good news!

  5. Jeffreycanning says:

    Good stuff Lloyd, it’s all downhill like a snowball that gathers in size and pace and ends up ..ahh.. Yeah, now I got it… it ends up crashing into a tree (that’s us apostates) and disintegrating…

  6. Vox Populi says:

    Once again, another great video, Lloyd.

    What a fantastic set of figures for 2016 – the decrease I mean 😉

    • Ricardo says:

      @Vox Populi, there is not yet a decrease eveywhere, nor overall. This will take some years yet. Something very funny has happened in the figures presented in the Yearbook 2017 however. Please notice that Congo suddenly had an increase of 40,000. Malawi suddenly had an increase of 8,000. Zambia suddenly had an increase of 10,000. What is happening with Africa??? It is very hard to know what is really happening when there are aberrations in the figures.

      • ruthlee says:

        If the numbers are true in Africa, then the gb should pay all the volunteers some money to finish up the final push of the preaching work there. After all they made a load of cash in their monopoly sale and it didn’t all go on warwick and child abuse cases. If they are serious about their kingdom they would plough all that cash into all their “still ins” and get their reward in heaven. Simple job done! Worldly cash thwarts satan’s sabotage, kingdom wins with mass exodus from Europe and America to Africa to go preach. Can you see it all happening or am I being over confident in brooklyns generosity. benevolence, belief that JC actually runs the shop? Or am I being a delusional sheep baaah. Cheers Ruthlee

      • Big B says:

        Hey Ricardo:

        The numbers are, in my opinion, cooked up fabrications to keep increases worldwide in the black (in the plus column) instead of in the red (negative).

        That being said, most of these poor brothers don’t have computers or internet access. If they do then more should be disgusted and leave; not coming in.

        So, these increases must be either cooked or they are baptizing infants (children) or double counting (2x’s) them or something.

        • Ricardo says:

          @Big B, I think a large amount of double counting goes on. Like, if a publisher didn’t put their report slip in for July, but instead puts it in with their August slip, they are reported in the yearbook as two publishers. There are certainly ways to cook the books.

  7. Danny K says:

    That’s amazing. As a teen pioneer in the US in the ’90s, I can distinctly remember seeing only one or two countries in the report having a decrease.
    Looks like the “end” that’s coming is going to be for the preaching work as Jws know it.

  8. David says:

    I see that the next thing the Organisation will abolish is the Yearbook. They can’t be showing decrease every year.

    • Unbaptized Publisher says:

      They might decide to start lying about their numbers to make the organization look good.

      • In some ways, this may already be happening on an individual level. I would not be surprised to learn, for instance, that a high percentage of JWs round up their hours a bit. Also wouldn’t be shocked to learn of creative accounting at each step of the congregation, branch, and international tabulations to make each body look a little shinier to their superiors.

        • Gwen Little says:

          And I wonder whether they still count the inactive, faders & disfellowshipped in the totals to keep the numbers up. I think that the Mormons do something similar.

          Also, how many out of the rest are held “captive”? To quote Angus Stewart.

        • John Redwood says:

          Daniel – I would agree with you here about the individual level of rounding up or padding numbers. Of course I know many JW pioneers who take their work seriously and would never lie on their reports. However times are changing, and quite frankly, Witnesses are growing weary of all their activities. It is difficult to sustain this charade for so many years, as you well know. It is beginning to tax people to the limit.

          Another interesting dynamic is the whole cart witnessing enigma. This has revolutionized the concept of pioneering for many a weary 70+ per hour JW, and turned extremely uncomfortable door-knocking into a bearable function of being a JW. Not that they don’t canvass neighborhoods anymore, but the ease at which JWs can just stand there and count hours, plus the super-easy “family study” where JWs can just sit in front of JW broadcasting for an hour or two has totally changed two of the most difficult and arduous facets of being a Witness.

          Personally I think had they not made these changes, along with the deletion of the bookstudy meeting, we would see an even higher burnout rate among Witnesses

          JR

  9. Ronald S. Ouellette says:

    There will always be a positive spin on this like preaching is coming to and end based on the decreasing numbers. Maybe a new prediction from the gathered results to say the end will be 2020.

    • John Redwood says:

      This is exactly right – they can switch in seconds and say that this is what they have been expecting. Only a few will go through the narrow door to life, and may will go off into the broad and spacious road to destruction… You can spin numbers any way you wish, particularly words with apocalyptic explanations attached to them. The numbers are fascinating, and it’s actually interesting that they are so delusional that they don’t mind putting up the reduction numbers in full public view, along with the ridiculous number of “partakers” – which could be the subject of an entirely different article!

      JR

      • Ricardo says:

        It will be interesting to see the switch, be it the end of reporting publisher numbers and instead focusing on the positives: the number baptized or meeting attendance etc. For so long we have been told that you can see Jehovah blessing our activity due to the increase in witnesses. What happens when the increase stops. (This is unthinkable for the average witness.) Does it mean Jehovah is no longer blessing us? Maybe it does mean that: he looks down and sees all the bullying the elders are doing to the sheep, sees the favouritism, cronyism and nespotism, and he says: “The witnesses are preaching, but they have forgotten to love. They are but a clanging bit of metal (1 Cor 13:1). They are just thinking about the end coming, about their own salvation, not the billions in India or China yet to hear the message.”

      • JBob says:

        @JR – (yawning)

        They’ve already got it in place, but they sometimes use it in ways that obscure its original intent–if numbers are increasing, it applies to the world-at-large, but if numbers are decreasing, it’s those “mentally sick apostates”…

        Matthew 24:11, 12

        wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102000243
        “The Bible mentions another feature of the sign: “Men will be . . . without self-control, fierce,” and “because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off.” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3; Matthew 24:12) The Greek word translated “fierce” means, among other things, “lacking human sympathy and feeling.” Today ever younger children are showing themselves to be “fierce” and are committing increasingly violent crimes.”

        • JBob says:

          @JR – added note, the “lawlessness” (note the link to 2 Timothy 3?) is usually interpreted by the Wt as “the corrupt clergy and apostates’. So, in the minds of die-hard JW’s, this sloughing off just means “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel” [is that a freight train?]–‘Chile, pack yo bags, Jesus is a comin!’

  10. SIRIUS says:

    Consequences of poor forecasting! I can understand perhaps at the end of the day it’s a coin flip with or without the qualitative forecasts and quantitative forecasts. Now, if the organization was a listed company and if I was a shareholder at one of their annual meetings I would demand voting out a few board members for failure in returning shareholder value. The GB can’t keep whining and finger pointing at the so-called “worldly” forces at play!

    IMHO

    dogstar

  11. Kaiser Soze says:

    Don’t forget about Poland and Russia – leaders in decreases!
    Greetings from Poland 🙂

  12. Ted says:

    Genuine good news. Thanks for the breakdown Lloyd.

  13. Doc Obvious says:

    Numbers are going down. An unwillingness to change course in their policies has resulted in people leaving, or being inactive. The cart witnessing is not having an effect on their numbers. The everyone for themselves policies that Watchtower is showboating about are having a disastrous effect. The most important statistic of number of publishers is slowly diminishing. But, as Watchtower states, they are increasing in commercial real estate and their construction program is one of the best in the world. The number of buildings has no correlation with God’s blessing. To God, people are the most important, not physical things.

  14. Chiafade says:

    They can spin this and say it’s an indication that the preaching work may be coming to a close. “Now more than ever we must preach. Perhaps the message of judgment is soon to come. Will you stay busy NOW so that you have a healthy habit of preaching when that time comes?”

    Also, it’s encouraging to see numbers in the negative. I happen to believe that those numbers are actually higher than they are letting on.

    • Jaime says:

      Chiafade,
      Always love your posts. Well, liars lie. This years report shows the U.S. of America’s congregations down by 23. That’s good, but I know of one dissolved in my piddly midwestern state. I simply can not believe only 23 congregations were dissolved in the whole country, overall. IDK, because they form foreign language congs with only 25 pubs, a much lower standard. Hmmm wonder why. So, maybe 50 were dissolved and 27 foreign language congs were started? However, I have not heard of any new foreign language congregations forming, or I am not listening when I hear it maybe. I know of four congregations dissolving since September 2016 in the midwest. Maybe next year they will stop publishing the number of congregations. Baby steps… down the drain.

      Side note: It reminds me of a Scientology practice of taking 26 people that stopped drugs or something, turning it into dozens, then hundreds, then maybe millions. All to satisfy the upper crust, and make a good propaganda film. That example was from the episode Golden Era.

  15. Don says:

    Does anyone know if those stopped preaching and attending but are not DF (like myself) are still counted in on those numbers in the YB?

    • Imgonaburn says:

      Fwiw I thought the figures based on average publisher only included those that put a field service report in and go on the ministry and ‘publish’ by preaching formally/informally. Do they include non baptised publishers?
      The figures are likely to be exaggerated in favour of watchtower either way. My JW husband was insisting that the numbers are increasing and growth is rising and going from strength to strength!! He only looked at the positives and completely disregarded the negatives. He said the numbers are increasing by 7000 per week and ignored the comparison with last year that shows 2300 per week are leaving, getting dfd or becoming inactive in preaching work.
      There are none so blind as those that can’t see.

      • fallingangel75 says:

        Unrelated to this post (sorry for bending the rules): Imgonaburn – I’ve been thinking about you and have no other way to contact you. How are you these days?

        • Imgonaburn says:

          Hi fallingangel,
          I just read your comments above. Congratulations on your pregnancy.
          It’s funny because when I saw your name I thought how nice it was to see you comment again! 🙂
          If you look at the previous article on jwsurvey about recap on 2016 you’ll be able to read my comments on how things are going for me.
          In a nutshell the religion has caused my family to shun me ( I’m not dfd) so I’m at the initial point of starting divorce proceedings.
          I started a conversation with my husband yesterday based on the yearbook analysis of last service year. He, like most JWs, thinks it’s only good news and all happy clappy about the report. His confidence in the org prompted him to make the following crazy offer! He said he was certain that the number of av pubs would increase to 8.5 million by the next service report!! So convinced of this was he that he offered me a wager of his 50% share of the house against mine. So, if the numbers haven’t increased to 8.5 million I would have the entire house and not have to pay him a penny!! On the other hand if the increase hits 8.5M I have to surrender my share of the property to him. Oh my days! It did make me LOL. I was tempted to rush around in search of pen and paper ready to commit the wager into a legally enforceable doc but didn’t have the heart to ruin him!!
          This opened a way for us to have a full and frank discussion about the religion and enabled us to discuss the terms of our settlement. It was exhausting but worth it. We ironed quite a few things out. He told me this morning he’s been thinking it all over. Idk what will happen but know that I cannot remain married to a man that belongs to a religion that uses fear and shunning as a form of control. I feel like I’m being harsh by making him choose between me and his religion. I realise that I’m doing to him what they are doing to me but our differences will be irreconcilable if he doesn’t choose me.
          I sympathise with your position at the moment. Is this your first baby? You’ve got some trouble ahead of you my friend. I wish I could be there by your side to support you.
          I would love to give you my email address so we could communicate privately but idk if that’s a bad idea to reveal- even on a forum such as this- a clue to my identity. Is it possible for my email to be given to you somehow??

          • fallingangel75 says:

            @ Imgonaburn: I have thought about creating an email address exclusively for communicating with people like yourself that I may meet in forums. Obviously if anyone wanted to dig deep and uncover my identity despite an alias, I suppose they could. But I really don’t think I’m important enough for anyone to try. If I do establish one, I will post it here and you can email me.

        • Imgonaburn says:

          Angel,
          I wanted to get in touch with you to offer you my support if that’s ok. I was originally a bit concerned about putting my email on here but then thought wth! I posted it on the other thread but if you didn’t see it and would like to talk privately here it is again. bibytybobyty@gmail.com
          No pressure. I’m here (or there) if you want to offload. ❤️️

      • BigB says:

        Or refuse to see.

        Certainly, Imgonnaburn, this fact is the only way “sheeple” can come to grips with reality. A sad commentary on cognitive dissonance if there ever was one.

    • messenger says:

      If you’re asking if you’re counted as a publisher when inactive the answer is no. When they count publishers it means people, both baptized and unbaptized, who turn in field service time for that month. If you’re inactive then naturally you’re not counted.

      I wonder how the donations are fairing? I read a report not long ago that indicated donations in France suffered a significant decrease-maybe by a third.

      • Ricardo says:

        @messenger, maybe the requests for donations is partly due to what the GB foresees happening: the number of publishers in Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea (the wealthy countries) drops, the younger generation of witnesses in these countries clean windows or some other low paid job which means they can’t contribute much. The increase is in the poorer parts of the world (Africa, South America) who can’t contribute much.

        There is sure to be a problem with contributions. It would be interesting how much JWsurvey can find out about this from their contacts.

        • messenger says:

          Also Ricardo I noticed that Stephen Lett first began begging (or asking) for more donations shortly after Tony Morris III insulted most of the JWs in the USA during his zone talk. Imagine what all the mature brothers must have though when he told the world of JWs that they aren’t Christian marriage material if they are not serving as an appointed ms or elder and are older than 22. And for the ones already married imagine what their wives thought. Uhhh do or do we not want to drop in as much money into the contribution box? I also remember several years back a demeaning insult written in either a study WT or a KM. I can’t remember which. I’ve looked for it but can’t locate it again. It said, “those who seek higher education are not exemplary Christians.” Don’t these comments sound like the mud slinging done to Jesus? And, like Jesus decided to not work with the mud slingers, maybe some insulted JWs decided not to either.

          Here is one area we hear repeated counsel from the WT. They say not to take offense over words. But what if I wrote them a letter saying they are not anointed. Then what would happen? But you know Ricardo, I agree with you, and JESUS. It’s not a question of taking offense. We can follow Jesus’ example and just refuse to work with them. I would not work for or accept any appointment from the WT for a million dollars. I can’t support such policies. It has nothing to do with taking offense or being bitter.

          Best wishes my friend!

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger, I think you and I are on a similar stage in our journey. I have had positions in the past, which you know, but those positions have been used as weapons against me when the elders want to put me in my place. “We expect better than this from an MS. We are disappointed by this sort of statement by an RP.” I don’t need this sort of nonsense in my worship. My worship is between Jehovah and me. These silly elders are interrupting my worship. I no longer want any position. I don’t recognize the position of the elders. I don’t see the GB as the faithful and discreet slave- I don’t see the illustration of the F&D slave as anything but the same as the illustrations located either side of it in the Bible: illustrations to keep awake. I feel like I am an independent JW- it’s a nice club, the brothers and sisters are generally honest and good people. When there are other victims of elder abuse in the cong then we have company who can understand us. I find many of the points on this site are interesting to bring up to the brothers to help them use their brains. This point about the decrease in many countries I will try to bring up in conversations with them and in my comments at the Hall. I don’t know why the brothers aren’t shocked by some of my comments, but nobody has ever said anything negative, always “Thank you for your comment.”

            I don’t put my hand up for congregation resolutions, I haven’t for years. Neither do I contribute. I feel like a person who has vision while those around me are blind zombies. Thankfully I am not alone. There are others of us.

        • messenger says:

          right on Ricardo.

  16. Witam ! Wspaniały wynik z Polski 2071 odeszło ja zostałem skreślony z listy , jw.org w lipcu 2017 roku . Jestem tym numerem 2071 . Pozdrawiam wszystkich tych wszystkich z całego świata którzy odeszli z WTS. Jerzy .

  17. Mary says:

    Excellent summary. In addition to their dwindling numbers, let’s not forget that the pitiful number of newly baptised ones are made up almost entirely of those who were born ins, not actual converts.

    I’ve been watch Leah Remini’s show about Scientology and can’t help but notice a lot of striking similarities: both are high control groups with a lot of bizarre doctrines that do not conform to normal logic, and if you dare to openly question them, you’re kicked out and shunned by everyone you’ve ever known.

    These groups don’t seem to understand that with the advent of the internet, they can no longer hide their dirty little secrets from prying eyes and they are finally starting to be held accountable for their actions. Looks good on them.

    • Ricardo says:

      Another thing to think about because of the many who are born-ins, is the lowering of the quality of the elders (even the GB). The elders (in congregations I have been to) make sure their sons are promoted in the cong. The sons quickly become MS’s and elders, but have no experience with the real world. Their ability to think outside the box is severely restricted, the advice they are able to give is limited, and because of their young age are of very little use to those having reeal problems in life (if a brother can become an elder at 25 years old, why not 15 also, I mean whether 15 or 25 they are useless as elders). Unfortunately, as the GB becomes more paranoid they are relying more and more on elders for support, and instead of being sheep-centric the organization is now elder-centric. But if you have a whole lot of low quality elders, the whole thing must sooner or later just fall over. So many of us who are still in have lost all confidence in our leaders.

  18. Sarah says:

    It’s interesting to hear my cousin tell me how much “growth” they are getting from the “refugees” pouring into Europe from Africa and then at the same breath explain how little education they have and ignorant they are to anything in the modern world like using toilets for excrement instead of just anywhere in the building or eating food directly off the table with their bare hands instead of forks, spoons and dishes or just getting them to wash their hands at any time. These are the people that are coming into “the truth” because they are mainly poorly educated and have little hope. The JW’s love this.

    The word gullible comes to mind.

  19. Gerry says:

    Without the African and other poor country figures where they had an increase it was quite possible the GB may have canned the report..
    I have heard that the African nations are erratic in reporting and I wonder whether a call went out to the African branches to do a recount.
    African Branch to Congregation.. Hey you guys only reported 10 publishers. Surely some of the people in your area that are learning English from the pioneers mentioned Jehovah or the Kingdom. Just letting you know we are happy to count them as publishers. Look we are holding back on the yearbook till you send us some decent figures..

    • Imgonaburn says:

      I’ve heard African nations are not as quick to report service hours too. How can the org justify making such a claim? Are they saying it’s because there’s trouble in parts of the country there so it’s difficult for them to get an accurate report through? Surely this isn’t suggesting that as a nation Africans are just not bothered about keeping records?! I really hope this isn’t the GB way of shifting blame for the late arrival of yearbook. They’re not blaming the publishers AGAIN are they??

  20. Ron says:

    Thanks for the work Lloyd, as usual it good to see your comments. I think (Personally) That this year and next years figures will show that the cracks are widening, even to the point in 3 years its going to be a shocker. They are Haemorrhaging quite bad, and will use any weasel claims and loaded language to try and disguise it. Its been a long time coming and its great to see.

  21. Big B says:

    Thanks again Lloyd;
    Another great article and the subject is truly “good news”.

    “As for why there are decreases in so many countries, I believe it is safe to suggest that thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not appreciate being lied to and are increasingly voting with their feet. Rather than making their teachings more reasonable and loving, the Governing Body has stubbornly held to dictating teachings and policies that are increasingly unrecognizable from most interpretations of Christianity”.

    Bingo! Truer words were never spoken! What follows, I find to be similar to April, 1945. Namely, it’s the old “bunker mentality” similar to the fall of Germany’s Third Reich. The leader(s) foaming at the mouth at the desperate situation they find themselves in, even attacking their own followers as being “disloyal” for reading apostate literature or going on apostate web sites or talking with disassociated family members. Meanwhile the enemy (governments of Satan and rabid apostates) beat in their bunker defenses.

    Like the Fuhrer they (G.B.) are probably putting their trust in some kind of “wonder weapons” to turn the situation around (r.e. NEW LIGHT) or the continued baptism of pre-teens (Hitler Youth) to raise their depleted rank and file. How long will it take before everyone loses faith in the Third Reich’s (WTBS) broken promises of ‘victory’ (Armageddon/paradise earth/new system) and abandon them?

    Please everyone, do not take offense at this tongue-and-cheek comparison for I don’t for one minute believe that the Watchtower is anything like the barbarism practiced in Nazi Germany. It’s just that the fall of Berlin and the fall of the Watchtower have some similarities; at least in my historical mind. 😉

    But seriously, could there be a changing of the guard (removal of the G.B.) or schism (congregational revolt) in the near future? Can enough disgruntled ‘Sheeple’ overthrow the ‘dictatorship’, will they continue to show their contempt and disgust by “voting with their feet” or will they continue to be misled by these blind shepherds?

    I, for one, will continue to watch with interest these unfolding developments.

    • outandabout says:

      Your Hitler analogy is spot on, Big B and it demonstrates the predictability of human behavior in situations like you described.

      There’s not much new under the sun.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Big B, I asked a CO if he thought there might be a schism or some implosion in the organization. He said that if it did come it would probably come from the normal brothers (not the heretical brothers like me) who are having trouble understanding overlapping generations and who are starting to wake up that things aren’t making sense anymore.

      Personally, I think the organization will go bankrupt due to all the child abuse cases. When the kingdom halls have to be sold to get money for compensation, many brothers will be disgusted because they are personally being affected by the GB’s mismanagement.

      Probably it will be a combination of things: lack of interest in the territory, decreases in publisher numbers due to aging witness populations, elders bullying the flock, new light which becomes more unbelievable, more child abuse cases, the end refusing to come, dumbing things down to such an extent that the witnesses are no longer able to handle substance in the scriptures, to name a few.

      • ruthlee says:

        Ricardo! I love your point “the end refusing to come” that made me laugh out loud . It is like a naughty child throwing a tantrum and sulking in a corner. The end is a bit tardy but hey ho keep bleating . I think it is like the eternal bus that never turns up because the driver did not get out of bed. With the best will in the world that bus is not coming it won’t drive itself. Start walking and forget the bus . Cheers Ruthlee

      • Winston Smith says:

        As they say, this org will likely go out with a whimper rather than a shout.

        WS

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Big B
      Hitler analogy is well placed. If there were not governments and law to keep the Watchtower in check, it could very well take on a more martial stance towards members, reminiscent of the church in the dark ages and the power void left after the fall of Rome.

      WS

  22. quantumPhysics says:

    The cost of customer acquisition is high. # of hours spent preaching per net gain in publishers is getting greater every year. This means the public isn’t buying it anymore. Love Trumps Hate

  23. Tara says:

    Happy Dance!

  24. Darlene Alexander says:

    For Lloyd or John; in the past the only significant increases for JWs occurred in African countries, what does the yearbook say about Africa for last year? Thanks!

  25. If they weren’t baptising kids under the age of 18 there’d be an even bigger decline.
    If we’d all had to wait till we were 30 like the biblical account…

  26. John Walsh says:

    Most likely they will need to extract more funds from the publisher’s so that incentives can be provided to all those elderly and ex pioneers who have no security can have same.
    Based on length of service etc. Special subsidised housing built by WT perhaps built into the K Hs, medical and dental care, and some sort of desirable recognition that many members crave, privileged incentives.

  27. Anthony Borring II says:

    And I believe the countries that are still growing it’s Only because of jw’s procreation. If they preach or not, the result is almost the same.

  28. "MarthaMartha" says:

    Great article Lloyd, and it’s good to see you back on video and writing articles.
    At my meeting it was stated that the Yearbooks were here and that the numbers were absolutely incredible.
    I had a little chuckle at the ironic double meaning.
    Thanks for the maps, they’re very helpful.
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your book, by the way. Thanks for all your hard work and research.
    Greetings to you and all the ‘team’ from me, who you met at a certain service station in the U.K. 😉

    • John Redwood says:

      Martha..Martha..Martha..Martha…

      Our meeting was our pleasure, and we certainly wish you the best in the future, as we understand the challenges you face being an awakened Witness. It certainly is amusing but sad at the same time that Witnesses are heaping adulation on the numbers from this yearbook or any other. Certainly if they worshiped the “true God” – they would understand that God is not interested in statistics or numbers, but in human lives. That alone is sufficient to convict the JW organization for fraudulently placing themselves in a position of Godly authority, when in fact they have as much authority as a badge-wearing schoolyard crossing guard. Actually the crossing guard has more authority.

      Oh and I think you should begin partaking this year- let’s see if we can get that number up to 20,000 🙂 Cheers

      JR

      • Jaime says:

        That’s it JR!
        The new light will be: We found that showing off the numbers in the yearbook is not biblical, however, turning your time is, so keep it up.

  29. Elijah Spirit says:

    I think 8 millions is too many. Number is not the barometer for salvation. Narrow is the road to life and only few can go. God can bless one couple to fill the earth. So I do not know why people are so excited about numbers.

  30. Elijah Spirit says:

    I think 8 millions is far too many. Number is not the barometer for salvation. Narrow is the road to life and only few can go. God can bless one couple to fill the earth. So I do not know why people are so excited about numbers.

    • FactsNotFiction says:

      Numbers are always important because of what WT teaches. There are currently about 7.3 billion people on earth with a growth rate of approx 1.5% per year. This means that every year Jehovah delay’s there is another 7.3×10^9 x 1.5/100 = 109,000,000 more people for Jehovah to kill at Armageddon. Meanwhile as Lloyd shows us the growth potential of Armageddon survivors is falling rapidly, and the number of hours spent in the ministry compared with successful conversion has no chance of ever keeping up with population growth. Therefore the longer Jehovah waits the more people he gets to murder and the less people there will be to bury them afterwards. This all goes to show how stupid Watchtower teachings really are.
      To put this in a way that JW’s might understand:
      The “Narrow and cramped road” is getting less cramped each year! Whilst the wide and spacious road is getting rather crowded indeed!!

    • fallingangel75 says:

      Same as everything else. We are taught to believe these numbers have great significance and none of us question it. We are told it is evidence of God’s blessing and few people dig deeper.

  31. Pink says:

    Please read JWUpdate blog he knows what’s really going on with the so called governing body they are satanic literally

  32. Gerard Burton says:

    I believe the Watchtower already fudges the numbers. They lie about everything else. What’s to stop them from copying even more from Scientologys playbook, after the JWTV room?

    • John Redwood says:

      Gerard – you know that thought crossed my mind as well, but I think that they actually are so delusional that they have no real need to fudge the figures. If the numbers are high – they can say this is Jehovah’s blessing – that he is speeding up the “work”. If the numbers are low – they can say we are nearer to the end than ever, and only a few will make it through the narrow road leading to life.

      Just as with politics you can make numbers mean anything you wish, and I personally believe they are being as honest as they can about their numbers, knowing that they can interpret them any way they wish. After all – the entire religion is based on interpretation, right. Anyway – it’s just my opinion, perhaps one day we will know more when the right person finally has enough with Bethel and unleashes inside information like we have never seen before. It may be closer than we think

      JR

      • outandabout says:

        ‘It may be closer than we think’?
        What are you almost telling us, John?

        • John Redwood says:

          Simply that there are sincere persons within the organization reaching out to us, and the patterns we see in this behavior along with the numbers we see leaving the organization lead us to believe that it will not come as a complete shock when a high ranking JW exits the organization, and is willing to share their story. We don’t wish to sensationalize this possibility, but it is clear that this reality is far from inconceivable.

          JR

          • outandabout says:

            Thanks, John. I must confess I already knew what you meant but I was being a bit of a stirrer.

  33. Lindy says:

    The “end” will be _soon_! They will explain that the end is now nearer yet, now that the preaching work is almost done since the numbers of converted are decreasing. And there is always “new light” to explain anything they said that is no longer true. If the numbers go back up, it will be explained away again.

    I don’t find this good news or bad news….just news. No Christian church out there is much better or much worse than this one, in my opinion. Misleading people is still misleading people. People attend any of the churches for their own needs and agenda’s. The hard part is leaving any of them if raised in them.

    Baptizing young children at the age of 8 is nothing new for the JW’s. I have a niece by marriage who was baptized at 9. She is now 37. It might be a bit unusual, but hardly unheard of. And what’s the difference when some like the Catholics do it at birth?

    I saw so much “new light” over the years, it nearly blinded me. I left a number of years ago and never looked back, when I was in my 50’s. I’m now 68.

    I had so many doubts and questions, I became “trouble” as far as the elders were concerned. Although I was never disfellowshipped, I know they were very happy to see me go and “fade away”. I had to much “negative” influence on others to start questioning too. Can’t have that, can you, even though you are told to ask and question. It’s a whole different thing when you really do!!

    Now free of all relgion, I am really “free”. It is true when said that the “truth will set you free”! I knew I was free years ago, about 5 years after I left, when there was a really ugly storm and I didn’t think it might be the beginning of Armageddon. Thought about it days later and realized I was finally done.

    I have done around 16 – 17 years of research, mostly on Christianity, and found it all lacking. I was in the begining, looking for the one true one. After all, that was what you are taught as a JW, and if they were not it, then who was?

    What a surprise to find out a lot of things about Christianity, but one big one that struck me was that out of more than 43,000 different denominations of just Christianity, how can any of them even begin to say they are the “one”? I had no idea there were that many denominations. No one could find the only true one looking your whole lifetime.

    Christians are born Christian by sheer accident of birth location, same as most people in most faiths. They might change from one denomination to another that suits what they think is good, but few leave the religion they are born under. People in the Middle East are usually Muslim. Same with other regions, other relgions. And even when they do, most will find another relgion that suits their personal needs, and agenda not any “God’s”. Many, I found over the years, that leave Christianity seem to become some path among the pagans.

    All religion is about is power, control, and greed. Humanity would have been so much better by now without it all.

    I don’t follow this stuff much anymore. It was a great help to me when I left though.

    I just saw this on a FB page of a ex-JW who is a friend of mine. I don’t need to have the support anymore to be free of it all.

    It is nice though to see the changes the JW’s have been desperate enough to make since I left, which I hear about here and there, simply to keep people staying. Less meetings and less hours is nice…but of course people have to work, and without the masses working, no money comes in. Working long hours is tiring and now women are working too. You become to tired to go to all those meetings they had before.

    That is why college is allowed now when it was not before. You need to have a decent education to make enough money to give to the congregation. All the changes are not just new “Biblical” light, but due to greed and keeping the “sheep” corralled.

    It’s lasted around 100 years now….probably time for it to start fading away like so many do. Being it is so different though as far as Christian faiths go, I doubt it will completely disappear for a long while.

    Best thing anyone who was a JW, and is no longer, is to go out there to lead a happy life, live it well, and without ever thinking much about your old life with them again as much as possible. I realizes after even more years away from them, learning, going to college as an adult and becoming a grandparent, now great-grandparent, seeing people in my life die, that becoming truly content with ones self was very important. I finally reached that goal without even trying, just by living and experiencing “life” and where it lead me.

    Not that I walk around happy every moment, or never have a bad day, or do not worry about money and all the other things in life people worry about, but I know now, nothing and no one can control me without my own consent.

    That is a good place to be. I hope you all can find good place in your lives too.

    • messenger says:

      Lindy you say when you left you looked for the one true denomination. Biblically that’s a fallacy, and a bill of goods we were sold by one self righteous sect to convince us to follow them, and we were taught from their scriptural ignorance. The scriptures from Christ’s saying to his apostles’ words don’t teach that. Christ said his church would be a mixture of weeds/wheat, sheep/wolves…the kingdom is like a net gathering all types of fish-which would not be separated by men but by angels when Christ returns. All the apostles took the same position. I have not investigated a lot of other churches outside of speaking to their members is service as you have. But even from those experiences I know that most Christian churches accept other sects that are not their own denomination as Christian. The one true church sect is not taught in the Bible. The WT selected certain scriptures to try to make that point. But that point is completely refuted in Christian scriptures.

  34. graham says:

    The figures don’t lie. It seems that in many countries as many or more are leaving the organisation than are joining. The figures for great the UK are interesting, 24.8 million hours to get 26 more publishers, almost a million hours for each new publisher, somethin ain’t right. Must make thinking JWs wonder what Jehovah is up to.

    • Imgonaburn says:

      In 2011 the number baptised in Britain was 2739! Compared to 26 in 2016 that’s a massive difference!!

  35. Sharon Christensen says:

    Thanx to all for the awesome report on 2016! Hi to all in Poland and Russia…and those countries…where my Granfather and Grandma, my Fathers side came to Canada from…how is it said…Dooza dobra? Something like that …or dobra vature? However..Hello bros.! 20,000 partakers your goal…Interesting! My Father in law…and my husband partook for many yrs, feeling that it was important to do so…so because of that they recieved many dirty looks and were shunned…for the last 18 yrs or so…our little family prefers to have our own memorial celebration at home so as not to interfere with the congs rituals…works better for us and far less stressful and easier on the….nervous stomach sydrome that is produced by going amoung a people that we are not favoured by. YES…one can love Jehovah without belonging to JW.org…we do. Thanx again…lotsa love us over here in Canada….:)

  36. Alexandra says:

    Great summary! I wonder if some of the negative (or actually very positive!) development in Eastern Europe might be connected to the strong migration flow towards Austria and Germany (I am Austrian, and we have masses of Hungarians, Romanians, Croatians, Bosnians… migrating to my country because of the rather bad labour market in their home countries and the better social support in A). Which would explain why the numbers in A and D are rising…

    • Roger says:

      I was wondering the same. In addition, one has to consider the preaching /proselitism work that some JW do in asylseeker’s homes. I see that oft, and maybe it could explain the positive figures for countries like Germany, GB, and France which are the final destination for migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. It is just a hypothesis, but it can make sense due to the ststistics and also the negative figures for eastern european countries which are not target countries for migrants to settle with their families.

  37. Ricardo says:

    At a pioneer meeting the CO started off by saying, “Isn’t it great to see Jehovah speeding up the work?” I was so jolted by such a comment that I asked him what he meant. I mean, we haven’t seen a new publisher in our congregation for years. “How is Jehovah speeding it up?” I asked. “There were more than 1 billion hours spent in the ministry this year,” he replied.

    How’s that for a way of sounding super positive saying something that to any thinking person doesn’t make any sense. But notice how it was positive by ignoring the sad fact that there is actually no increase in the cong. Instead, focus on the amount of time spent preaching. How lovely to the ears of those dumbed down who only want to hear lovely things as they waltz their way through LaLa Land.

  38. McFan says:

    While the society reports all these numbers every year.

    Do they report how much money they have taken in in donations every year especially this year 2016.

    • Ricardo says:

      No, McFan, nobody knows how much money is taken in donations each year. Maybe one day a brother who knows will leak the information to jwsurvey. For some reason the GB thinks it is appropriate to tell us how much money was used to pay the full-time workers in the Bethels and the CO’s. Why? Who cares how much they spend? There must be a legal reason.

  39. Imgonaburn says:

    I just crunched a few of the 2017 report numbers.
    The hours spent witnessing divided by the number baptised works out that for each new member it takes 7 years of bible study @ 2 hours per week effort to achieve each baptism. That’s not taking into account that the majority of those baptised were probably raised as JWs.

  40. Juli says:

    I’m thrilled to hear this great news! This must be why they are pushing the baptism of children in one of their recent videos. Those poor kids.