The Watchtower Society's Finances

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by wallflower, Apr 7, 2018.

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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    Just starting this thread so as not to derail the thread about Jesus' Pre-Human Existence.

    To start with, I would like to say that I view the WT's financial system as being more than just the funds that sit in the congregation account. The Watchtower Society's financial system is bigger than that and the majority of funds do not remain in the congregation account. (The congregations are not permitted to keep large funds indefinitely in their congregation account.)

    Imabetterboy asked where does the money go? One instance where the WT is required to pay money, is when they send a representative to attend the Hedge Fund Investment Conference. This is conducted each year and entry fee is $5000. I know this because the list of attendees is published each year. In order to get your name (or the organisation you represent) published as an attendee, you must first pay $5000.

    The Watchtower Society has been attending this event annually for some time now.

    (Will add more details to this as I go.)
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I read somewhere that the Watchtower spends some 200 million a year. (Is it the Watchtower or jw.org now? I don't even know the legal name anymore, I hear varying stories.) Is this your understanding as well?

    I also read that this was the main reason for selling the buildings in New York, to liquidate some capital, and bring in some cash flow. Do you know how much the new headquarters cost? I'm wondering how much they have spent in it's construction.
     
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    Imabetterboy

    Imabetterboy Member

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    Hi Wall flower
    Christian greetings,
    Came across this link, its an old report, but it may give some insight in to what;s going on inside the tower.
    http://watchtowerdocuments.org/documents/2005_Charity_Commission_UK_2005_financial.pdf
    Cheers.
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    When I first saw the building plans for the headquarters, I thought the cost might be somewhere around 10-15 million. The link here says that the performance bond was about 33 million. (A performance bond is an insurance that protects a client in the event that a construction company goes out of business.)

    http://www.warwickadvertiser.com/ap...ovah-Witness-World-HQ-project-moving-forward-


    Yes, I've heard that the WT spends approximately about 200 million per annum.

    Also the buildings in New York had to be sold to liquidate some capital. The WT is an organisation that is cash-poor, but asset-rich.
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    Here's a post that I wrote on the thread "New Donation Arrangement" four years ago, at the time when the pledge notes were handed out in the congregation.


    Hi SingleCell

    I'm writing this from a financial perspective. I'm a fact-oriented person - hope I don't come across as sounding too blunt - apologies in advance if I do. :)

    At our Hall, it was explained that each head of the household is to write down a figure that they plan to donate/pledge on a monthly basis. All of these figures are combined, so as to work out what the congregation will donate each month. A portion of the funds is to be set aside to cover the utilities for the Hall but the remaining funds are to be sent to the Society. These funds are to be pooled with other funds received from other congregations worldwide.

    If a congregation has been saving for a future repair job or a refurbishment on the Hall, that money is now to be transferred to the Society also.

    By pooling all of that money together, it means that if a congregation wants to have a refurbishment, it now has to apply for permission from the Society to get authorisation to get funds for that project. The congregation will not be able to access funds needed for refurbishment from its own congregation account anymore.

    The pooling of the funds could be seen as just a consolidation move.

    But if I mentally project ahead into the future a little, I can see where issues might arise from that. The fact that there is now a centralised account that is authorised by the Society, means that the Society now has the control over all of the funds for the construction and refurbishment projects.

    A question that I have been wondering about is: what happens if a congregation doesn't perform financially (give as much) as the Society expects it to? Will the Hall be sold and liquidated because it isn't financially viable to keep the Hall and if the congregation isn't donating enough?

    Another question I wonder about: regarding those Halls that are still paying off a mortgage - what happens if the congregation's monthly donation doesn't cover the mortgage repayment? (I'm thinking that only the elders would know how much the mortgage payment would be, the rest of the congregation might not know how much that is.) Will the Hall be sold and liquidated?

    What if the Society makes a decision regarding a Kingdom Hall property and the body of elders disagrees with it? It has been recently announced from the platform that the Circuit Overseers are now authorised to appoint/delete elders (that decision is no longer made by the Branch.)

    So if a disagreement were to arise, it would be easy for the Circuit Overseer to say to the elders: "If you don't agree with the Society's decision on the Hall, you will all be deleted."

    Unfortunately, the Menlo Park Congregation (California, US) experienced this in 2010. There was a disagreement over a quote on a refurbishment - the body of elders disagreed with the Society, and they were all deleted by the Society. The congregation's property and assets were seized by the Society.

    The new donation arrangement does sound like a liquidation strategy to me.It also seems to me that the Society is in a hurry to set this arrangement up - the pledge slips are supposed to be in by the end of the month.

    The Society doesn't strike me as an organisation that is suffering financially. It has made 1.2 billion dollars from the sale of the Brooklyn properties. The New Zealand Branch sold for $52 million. I don't know the sales figures for the other Branches off the top of my head. We can also factor in the funds being raised to bring home the missionaries (the one where the publishers donate 15 cents per month.) The total for that figure is between $15 - $18 million approximately.

    I'm speculating here but I feel that the Society is trying to handle a very large debt or is anticipating one. Personally, I don't think that it is the Warwick project. Just going by what I see on the building plans, I think that it should be possible to build that for $10 million to $15 million.

    Two scenarios come to my mind: One is the Candace Conti trial. If the court rules in her favour, then her case will set a precedent and that will open up the "floodgates" of the child abuse lawsuits.

    The other scenario I wonder about is: has the Society lost money on an investment in the stock market and hedge funds?

    It has been an interesting exercise to observe how their business model operates.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Interesting, thank you for that...

    Keep us apprised to any new info you come across please...
     
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    Hello everybody I just figured I'd comment briefly upon the Watchtower society's Financial stuff I don't really care what the Watchtower does with their money because I don't buy my material from them anymore and I don't attend their meetings anymore I've learned to serve Jehovah from what they taught me when I was a kid and I made up my mind to serve Jehovah for the rest of my life not to serve the Watchtower Society and not to be a person that spends more of their time obeying rules and regulations than actually working in the field and in the prison which is what I do.

    You would think that with all the donations and all the money that the Watchtower and Bible and tract Society has that they could afford to show more charity food clothes Etc bill payment money at the local Kingdom Hall not just for the people of the Kingdom Hall but for anybody that comes seeking it you know as well as I do that people hate Jehovah's Witnesses they don't like them at their door they don't want to hear what they have to say it reminds them that their living a sinful life. So there's not going to be a problem for people running to the Kingdom Hall just to get money they're not going to do that. I'm not going to criticize the Mormons on their Doctrine because what they do physically as far as being helpful to the public and doing real physical work in their Christian efforts tells me that they're trying! Now if you're going to claim to be Jehovah's visible organization on this Earth You need to be doing some kind of charitable something for the General Public far more than what the Kingdom Hall in the Watchtower does now it's like they make you feel like you're a low-life scum if you have to ask them to help pay a bill or to be fed or for some clothes they make it feel really inconvenient that they're helping you and this is simply not right if you're a Christian and claimed to represent Jesus Christ and all Mighty God Jehovah there should be a physical attitude of cheerful giving to anybody that walks up and asks for a one-time gift in the name of Jesus Christ. Friends that's just my opinion I'm one single man but I can tell you quite honestly that I devote 100% of my money and I do mean 100% of my money to helping other people financially physically I abstain from buying new things for myself I buy my clothes at Goodwill and I buy my furniture at Goodwill so that I can have more money to give to those that are in need and in the prison I'm not bragging here I'm just saying if onr old man at the age of 57 can do it so can multi-millionaires that drive fancy cars and have a Rolex watch and 3 carat diamond rings on their finger. Let's be honest here people how many times as you attended Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Halls did you dare to ask for some financial help or for somebody to help you do some housework?
    I know that when I was there it was the farthest thing on my mind! It was much easier and less embarrassing to go crawling to one of those false religion churches and beg for money then for me to ask at the Kingdom Hall because I knew that I was going to get a long lecture!

    Anyway that's the end of my long spiel I enjoy reading y'all's comments
     
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    Regent Lessard

    Regent Lessard New Member

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    Hi jehovahisgod. You have a good understanding of God's Word by doing the Word of God and proving to be a real "Christian" keep up your good works of "Charity" Jas 1:27. Christ Love to you. Regent
     
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    I am most grateful for your encouragement.
    I'm glad to hear somebody appreciates me. I really enjoy reading everybody's comments. It keeps me going from day-to-day. Again thank you very much.
     
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