Nearly three years ago this website was launched with the aim of gathering the opinions of the “silent majority” – the multitudes of current and former Witnesses whose lives are profoundly impacted by the Governing Body but who have no say in how these men devise and implement their policies.
Since then our “Global Survey” has gone from strength to strength, with 1,751 making their voices heard in last year’s Survey, and already more than 3,000 voting in the new improved 2014 Global Survey with over four months to go!
But surveys are meaningless unless you get to see the results, and due to various factors (including the birth of my daughter) it has been more difficult than I anticipated to sit down and make some sense of the data that was received last year.
Thankfully, after a major push over the last few days, I’ve managed to get the results formatted into a handy PDF document, which you can download on the link below…
Rather than repeat what I have already written in the results PDF, here is a rundown of some of the most eye-catching statistics from last year’s poll…
- As mentioned, 1,751 voted on the 2013 Global Survey – an 18% increase on the previous year
- 67% of voters were from North America, 18 voted from Asia and 2 from the Middle East
- 63% of voters had been baptized for between 10 and 40 years
- 292 active Jehovah’s Witnesses (16.7% of voters) participated (although this figure is already as high as 588 for the 2014 Survey)
- 28 serving elders voted
- 17 professed “anointed” voted
- 3 active bethelites voted (already 12 have voted in the 2014 Survey)
- 1 voter claims to have previously served on a branch committee
- 78% of inactive voters say they can “no longer preach about something that [they] do not believe in [their] heart”
- 63% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they left due to disagreeing with JW teachings (only 28% say they transgressed the moral code)
- 81% of unbaptized voters say they have JW family (up from 61% the year before)
- 18 unbaptized voters say they are romantically involved with a JW
- 77% of unbaptized voters say Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult, only 1% (three individuals) aspire to be a JW
- 35% of the professed-anointed voters “just know” that they are heaven-bound
- Only 11.5% across all voter categories think of the 144,000 as a literal number
- Two thirds of voters across all voter categories agree that the “new light” on the faithful and discreet slave was a “cynical attempt at consolidating control of the organization” by the Governing Body
- Two-thirds of self-avowed apostates say the Governing Body “should be held to account for their actions”
- 44.5% of all self-avowed apostates say they love Jehovah’s Witnesses and are concerned about them being misled
- 44.6% of active Witness voters would accept a blood transfusion, either secretly or openly
- 77.6% across all voter categories don’t think JWs should have charitable or non-profit status
- 79% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they are shunned by JW family members (up from 76% the previous year)
- 59% of inactive voters say they are remaining inactive through fear of being shunned (75% would leave if shunning were abolished)
- 64% of inactive voters experience “pre-emptive shunning” as so-called bad associates
- 44% of elder voters say elders are motivated by a desire for prominence
- 93.2% of voters across all categories say elders are NOT appointed by holy spirit
- 88.7% of voters across all categories say there is no freedom to express a difference of opinion among JWs
- 48.9% of voters across all categories say they have been the subject of a judicial committee hearing
- 76% of elder voters say they have regretted a decision they arrived at on a judicial committee
- 71% of inactive voters say they no longer attend the memorial
- 58.4% of inactive, DF’d/DA’d and non-baptized voters are atheist, agnostic, or have no religious beliefs
- Only 6.5% of inactive, DF’d/DA’d and non-baptized voters believe they will be resurrected on Earth after they die
- 95% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they are happier since leaving
- 2% of DF’d DA’d voters say they could recommend becoming a JW
- 86.3% of voters across all categories say Jehovah’s Witnesses are NOT God’s spirit-directed organization
- 52.6% of voters across all categories say the organization should be abolished rather than reformed
- 209 individuals say they have been reinstated purely to have access to family members
- 85.8% of voters across all categories say they have heard of a Jehovah’s Witness committing or attempting suicide
- 62% of inactive voters say they have experienced family/marital problems due to their inactivity
- Higher education remains the most contentious of all Watchtower teachings and practices for the third successive year, with 96.2% of voters objecting
- 16.9% of voters (266 individuals out of 1,573) ticked to say they agree with all Watchtower beliefs and practices
Taken as a whole, the survey results will not make enjoyable reading for the Governing Body!
That said, the Governing Body are arguably the least likely to be interested in examining the results, as previous surveys have shown. Indeed, the indifference these men have shown to what we are trying to do on this website has led to a “Message to the Governing Body” on page 4 of the results PDF that is far more terse and to-the-point than in previous years!
But irrespective of the Governing Body’s apathy regarding the opinions and concerns of those they rule over, it is encouraging to note that this has in no way hampered the growing popularity of our Global Survey, as the following graph demonstrates…
Total number of Global Survey voters
It seems like only yesterday when the only voice I had as a Witness was the ‘privilege’ of putting my hand up at meetings, or occasionally standing on the platform at meetings and assemblies, to parrot words that Watchtower had put in my mouth over years of indoctrination.
Now I consider it a pleasure and an honor to be joining my voice with the growing numbers both inside and outside the organization who feel “enough is enough,” and who aren’t afraid to say so.