Save and invest money from Jehovah's Witnesses
Watchtower, Money and Honesty
The world of the watchtower used to be fine. Magazines and books were sold to the "publishers", donations and the cafeteria generated ample income at the congress, and the common witness believed that the Watchtower Society was actually a non-profit organization.
A situation that has changed radically. With the result that you had to develop new sources of income in Brooklyn.
The other day I learned some very interesting things about the Watchtower Society's financial position. She is currently well cashed and is quietly about to take back some of the rather devious means she has used to get into this situation.
When the Watchtower Society began giving literature for free in some of the richer countries in 1991, it lost a major source of income. The same thing happened a few years later when she stopped serving at circuit and district assemblies. However, she wrote clearly worded letters to the Elders to make up for the loss of income. That has gradually proven successful, so much so that society more than made up for the losses.
Today, the typical net amount spawned at district conventions in the United States and sent to the WTS is about $ 12 per attendee. For example, at the four conventions in the Tacoma Dome, Washington state, the amount was approximately $ 120,000 per convention. As a reminder, this is the net proceeds after deducting all Congress expenses. With approximately 1 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, that adds up to roughly $ 12 million in direct donations to WTS from this summer's district conventions - in the United States alone.
In order to generate such income, the WTS resorted to a number of machinations in the 1990s to generate more donations. Some are very open and some are quite insidious. Many on this forum are aware of the Tacoma Dome Parking Lot scandal, and this is typical of the WTS 'insidiousness. Negotiating leases for these public meeting places is quite an art, and the WTS is an expert at squeezing the last penny out of city officials. That shouldn't be a problem - unless you tell the city officials one thing and the witness community something else. One of the perks that is often thrown in to get the rental agreement wrapped up is when the city divides the income from parking fees with the tenant in half. Parking in these halls is typically $ 4- $ 5 per car in the US. The company negotiated with Tacoma officials that parking fees would not be charged, creating the impression that parking was free. However, a letter was sent to the Elders, instructing them to sell parking tickets to all Jehovah's Witnesses for about $ 4 each. Neither the elders nor the Witness community were informed that the Tacoma City had already announced that parking would be free. So the WTS lied to the witness community and collected money for parking over the normal contributions. The few elders who knew the truth were instructed to keep all of this a secret so that the Witness community and Tacoma city officials would not be aware of this deceit. In fact, this scam is used wherever society can get away with it, and so it always ends up in a lot of money for itself. Thank goodness a former witness functionary had the guts to expose this scam to the Seattle newspapers.
The WTS has invested heavily in the stock market, and so the surge in stock prices during the 1990s made it a lot of money. Of course, the average Jehovah's Witness is absolutely certain that the WTS did not invest in Satan's evil old system of things. Nowadays she tries to get rid of the extra money by distributing it all over the world. One such channel: In the UK, she is applying for charitable status for a so-called "Kingdom Hall Fund" which is to be used to use the "charitable grants" for whatever "charity" as the WTS wills - in this case for their own branch offices. What she's doing is this: Using a loophole in UK law to circumvent various laws in different countries that prohibit non-profit funds outside of their country of origin.
The WTS is extremely stingy with its money, but not with that of the Witnesses as a whole. An example of this is the way the Watchtower and Awake! Magazines are used. [Awake!] To be distributed to subscribers. In the US, postage for magazines is very low compared to the rest of the world, and so the WTS uses US mail to mail the magazines to subscribers. But postage is high in most of the rest of the world, and so the WTS has directed local witnesses to go around distributing the magazines. Of course, this is inconvenient for both the witness and the subscriber. The witnesses' substitute “postmen” must spend time and money doing what the post office can do much cheaper. The subscribers get their important spiritual food at random. The important thing is, of course, that society can save some money.
Another example has to do with renting conference space. If the officials of a city of the WTS do not leave the location at the rental price that they think is right, then it often withdraws completely. Sometimes that results in thousands of Jehovah's Witness families having to travel hundreds of miles more to get to a convention and paying hundreds of extra dollars to pay for room, travel, and meals. That can often add up to over $ 500 per family. Suppose 2000 families have to spend that money at a convention. That means the witness community is being forced to spend $ 1 million just to save the WTS $ 1000 in rent. This is the kind of unbalanced thinking behind such hair-raising decisions.
Many critics complain that Watchtower leaders are quite indifferent to Jehovah's Witnesses as individuals. The above information is proof that this is true. They are far more concerned that they look good to their comrades-in-arms - other Watchtower officials - and maybe to God, although it is actually clear from their dishonest and deceitful behavior that they really don't care about what God does thinks otherwise they would be honest in everything. You must think that God, like you, cares more about money and "keeping things going" than about individuals.
Today, the WTS is easing the burden of the benefits demanded by the congregations. She has issued guidelines to charge less interest on a congregation's own money given to the Kingdom Hall building society, charge less money on insurance and circuit overseers, and other minor issues. I have little doubt that the public display of their cunning contributed to this.
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