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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/23/2020 in all areas

  1. I wanted to hear more and think through a good response to what is going on before I posted something here about whose calling the shots in the Way, but this is what I think is going on: Vern's current role in the Way is similar to that of Gorbachev's in the Soviet Union. The story starts with the state of the Way in the 2000's: its still significant assets have been depreciating, and it shows. TWI has been destroying buildings and selling property that it doesn't have the resources to maintain. The Way had been creeping along, but its stagnation wasn't of any critical concern, until 2017. In 2017, Revival and Restoration comes along. As tough as TWI wanted to be with R&R, it was not as invincible as it made itself out to be. The M&As of various state and region coordinators took a toll on TWI. The number of followers in the US had always been small, but in the wake of R&R, TWI's numbers had become unsustainably small and so did the ABS inflows. The initial solution from leadership was simple: MORE WITNESSING. Way of the USA (Trunk Office) lit a fire under every follower to go out witnessing more, but the reaction from the rank and file followers was mixed and only the most devout answered the call. Even with more people walking around malls and knocking on doors, the results were poor. Thanks to the combined forces of the cold and bureaucratic rules about classes, and Google, TWI found little success recruiting more followers. I don't know what the plan with JYDL was, maybe to better connect with TWI's large francophone following from West Africa, but that seemed to take a lesser priority to increasing ABS for whoever was in charge. In the end, JYDL played the role of the scapegoat for TWI's under-performance (although even among the most devout, you will hear whispers that Rosalie should have retired earlier, so I don't know if anyone actually believes that). Enter Vern. By now, Rosalie had seen the writing on the wall and that TWI couldn't keep doing what it had been doing for at least the past 20 years and was at least willing to delegate. I think Vern will actually make changes in how things are done on staff and in the field. He has the power to do so. The other BOD members don't live on grounds and I suspect have little sway outside their at most quarterly meetings. Donna and the Secretary Treasurer (who I think is her sister) will keep their eyes on Vern and the ABS inflows, but I don't think they will get involved in daily decision making unless Vern takes a step too far. Rosalie too could probably take a more active role, staff and region leadership has grown used to unquestioningly taking orders from her over the past 20 years and I doubt that her losing her title can do anything to change that. In the end, Vern might make TWI a more appealing place for those born into it and cut the red tape for recruits, but TWI will always have to face the challenge of Google. The dark stories of TWI's past are only a click away, and if you don't want to take the time to read, there's even a couple of podcast episodes you can listen to. Any real reform would require addressing TWI's sketchy past, and judging by his letter and those who are overseeing him, I don't think he has the luxury or the personal willingness to do that. So like Gorbachev, he is in the impossible position of reforming a system that was broke from the very beginning.
    2 points
  2. That's why it's good to hear alternate points of view- sometimes what you don't see is more important than what you DO. In regards to the GSC: A) the regulars who post here spend a few minutes a week here. (Any spending more are socializing and that's not twi-related.) B) The vast majority of people who've posted here have moved on with their lives and don't even check in here any more. Some places consider that bad for the place. However, since the GSC is partly about helping people move on and prosper after surviving twi, we consider them SUCCESS STORIES. They moved on and spend zero minutes a week on twi. C) We STILL get new posters, so it's good to answer their questions and point to previous discussions on some of their questions. This helps them get to where they can move on.
    1 point
  3. Beguiled, I don't give much time to TWI. I do visit here from time to time, mainly to see if there are any new people or visitors who can be helped. I learned stuff there (including "what it is not"), and I've learned stuff in the very good church that I attend now. You may find that most of the continuing Christians who continue to post here from time to time think much the same. Can't speak for others, but I find TWI increasingly diminutive in my rear view mirror. Too much to deal with in the here and now. I know the scars and long-lasting outcomes in terms of my life, both now and into the future, are still there. And will never go. But I choose to live my life now as richly and fully (and as warily and wisely) as I can. That's where my "mental time and energy go. My God, and the Lord Jesus, are far bigger and better than a miserly cornfield cult.
    1 point
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