Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports on Watchtower’s real estate sell-offs

Dipti Kumar of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has shot a video about Watchtower's Brooklyn property sales

Dipti Kumar of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has shot a video about Watchtower’s Brooklyn property sales

Decent media coverage of Watchtower’s Brooklyn real estate sell-offs tends to be few and far between, but it seems the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has flown to the rescue.

A video has been released showing reporter Dipti Kumar at various locations around Brooklyn explaining some of the deals that Watchtower has pushed through.

The video is of particular interest because it freely lists some of the eye-watering sums of money that have changed hands in these property transactions.

Watchtower coverage of the deals over on tellingly omits any mention of actual figures, leaving Witnesses in the dark as to how much the organization is profiting from the sell-offs.

This video redresses that balance, and because it is neutral and non-antagonistic, it should be easy for believing Witness friends and relatives to watch.

As this website has already reported, Watchtower stands to gain over 1 billion in proceeds from its Brooklyn sell-offs. In this video, Kumar reveals that as of late February there are still 16 properties remaining unsold which “have developers’ mouths watering.”

By way of contrast, a third party real estate website has published an estimated figure of $11.5 million in building costs for Watchtower’s new 253-acre Warwick Headquarters.

No doubt a substantial reason for this unbelievably low estimate is the fact that the new headquarters is being built by a volunteer workforce who are under the impression that they are involved in a project that has God’s backing and is akin to the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls by Nehemiah. So enthusiastic are some volunteers that they have even given up their jobs to help on the project.

Meanwhile the Governing Body has recently reminded pioneers and missionaries that the whole property flip scheme represents evidence that they are “not sentimentally attached to material things” and thus worthy of imitation. This assertion makes perfect sense so long as you are prepared to disqualify 1 billion dollars from consideration as “material things.”








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47 Responses to Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports on Watchtower’s real estate sell-offs

  1. KL says:

    They never seize to surprise me.

  2. So glad to be out says:

    They have not dropped any hints about further sales – love the use of her word “soon” reminded me of this

    Studies in the Scriptures, The Plan of the Ages 1886 p.344
    “And from the prophets we learn that this kingdom is “soon” to be established in the earth; …”

    Watchtower 2006 5/1 p.12
    “Very soon, Bible prophecy shows, God will bring this vicious, cruel system of things to an end:”

    so I guess “soon” means over 120 years?

    and whats this about a hotel????

  3. gary says:

    Let’s for argument sake say it is 1 billion dollars. Divide that number by number of adherents and that would be $142.8571428571. Why do they want my money?

  4. gary says:

    And yet they cry poverty in the courtrooms when faced with abuse victims.

  5. John Baptist says:

    The Watchtower Society is nothing more then a 1 BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR PUBLISHING BUSINESS.
    The Watchtower is best at WATCHING their own money and profits at the expense of their members.
    They will go down in history as the biggest masquerader of peoples money and lives.
    Cant wait until they lose their Tax Exempt Religious Exemption!!

  6. JBob says:

    A comparison:

    3,800 – Jonestown (People’s Temple)
    2,300 – Fort Mill, SC – Heritage USA – PTL Club
    1,700 – Eldorado, TX – Yearning For Zion (FLDS)
    250-500 – Warwick – Watchtower compound
    77-78 – Mount Carmel (Branch Davidians)
    9,200 sq ft – San Diego (Heaven’s Gate)

  7. JB says:

    I came across information – that looked quite reliable to me – stating that WT owns shares of a company that produces arms (Rand Cam Engine Corp) and also invests in hedge funds …

    If this is true, it’s really bad. I’m not an expert to conclude whether investing in hedge funds is “ethical” or not, but weapon industry, is a whole different thing.

  8. I am gratified to find that the Brooklyn Daily Eagle is still reporting on the Watchtower. They first tangled with Pastor Russell over reporting on his sale of the Miracle Wheat. He sued them in 1913 and lost. They even published articles exposing the fact that many of his speeches, given over seas to packed auditoriums, never took place. Keep up the good work, BDE!

  9. George says:

    I don’t get it???

  10. George says:

    Posted for jbob

  11. JimmyG says:

    JB said: “I came across information – that looked quite reliable to me – stating that WT owns shares of a company that produces arms (Rand Cam Engine Corp) and also invests in hedge funds …”

    Please provide the ‘quite reliable information’. It’s easy to make a statement without the evidence. If it’s true then this is yet another WT scandal that requires outing.

    • Claude Rhoades says:

      I have done extensive research on this matter. The document I have found from the SEC does show ownership that Watchtower owned 50% stock in this company. The stock was donated. I have found documents on the hedge fund conference they attended as well .

    • Cedars says:

      Yes Jimmy, there is truth to this claim. I have seen documents proving that Watchtower owned shares in Rand Cam at least a few years ago. It’s hard to prove whether they do now. At some point I intend to do an article detailing Watchtower’s shady financial dealings.

  12. Hahah double standards from the “Big shots”-GB. Why use two weights…light one for yourself,heavy one for others?.And what is the exact definition of material things?..typical “good is bad and bad is good” example.

  13. JimmyG says:

    Hi Cedars. I look forward to reading the article, particularly if it includes their involvement in Rand Cam. This is hypocrisy at its worst, as the WT has, at times, pointed the finger at other churches for similar shady dealings.

  14. shakey says:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission Washington D.C.
    has a copy of the annual report for April 30th 2002. It states that the company, Rand Cam Technology and Rand Cam Cold Technology is 50%owned by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, a religious organisation. It further goes on to report that its revolutionary new engine is being developed to be supplied to the military for among other things pilotless Drones, see this copy from page 12 of the report.

    “On April 4, 2002 we announced that we signed an agreement to grant a license to Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc. (“ACR”) for the Rand Cam based motors for 10 H.P. or less for the SBIR No 1-144 Navy Contract for the remote piloted applications.

    A 5 year contract will also be granted to ACR for the Rand Cam concept motors for the commercial and military rights for the applications developed under the
    Navy contract for 10 H.P or less. We will receive a royalty fee of 5% of the purchase price for the commercial and Navy applications. REGI U.S., Inc. also receives 30% of the Navy phase I contract and 50% of the phase II contract which is typically $50,000 to $100,000 for Phase I and $500,000 to $750,000 for Phase II.”

    No wonder they do not want us wandering the web!!

  15. Carol says:

    Never ceases to amaze me. Do not the rank and file of the JWs bother to read scriptures.

    For example if they had read Mathew 24 they would have learned that even Jesus, let alone an imperfect man, could make prophesies as to Armageddon! Is it any wonder Russell and Rutherford got it wrong.

    Could any serious and sensible person believe that our Lord Jesus who died such a vile horrible death for our salvation would return INVISIBLE!…..These people must be in cloud cuckoo land in believing Watchtower garbage over the truths found in the bible!

    In today’s day text we are told to see thing the way that Jehovah does. This I try to do with all my heart as I know Jehovah God see right into it.

    The Governing Body will have much to answer for as will those fools following them and not what the Bible teaches!

  16. JB says:

    JimmyG, I made a reply with two links, but it appears as it “awaits moderation” (probably due to the links I included) so I am not sure if you get to see them or not.

  17. Excelsior says:

    When I look at those buildings, I see the sacrifice of decent, hardworking people, unaware of the vast sums actually owned by the WTBTS.

    They are forever decrying how poor they are, how they need donations to continue the work. Hypocrites!

    Think of all the poor witnesses who have swallowed that bull. They have reached in to their pockets and given generously, so that those 8 scumbags and their staff can live in luxury. But only the very top ones! The printers and cleaners can make do with barracks.

    No mention of the value of the property sales to the rank and file! It is almost implied that they are selling up because they cannot afford to be there anymore!

    Every day and in every way, my disgust with the GB and the WTBTS grows.

    This is one more nail in the coffin.

    Peace be with you


  18. KateWild says:

    A point in the report that struck me was that the properties were immaculate and well maintained. WT slaves have been working hard giving of themselves with nothing in return. Many gave their whole lives doing menial hard work whilst the GB and other elite members live in luxury.

    It really saddens me how much money they have made from free labour, and none of these profits will go to help the poor elderly JWs and disaster victims. Many JWs around the world live in total poverty and still keep donating.

    Cedars, thanks for this expose. Kate xx

  19. Excelsior says:

    According to my dear old Mum, a letter was read out that said that the WTBTS is to begin paying its workers and volunteers.

    Mr Cedars, have you heard about this?

    Apparently, they also had a letter read out a few years ago about going to the police if a child is molested.

    Peace be with you


    • Carol White says:

      It would be nice top know when and where this report was read out please if you can let us have details they would be greatly welcomed and most helpful!

    • Cedars says:

      Hi Excelsior

      As I’m sure you can appreciate, “according to my dear old mum a letter was read out…” doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to verifying how factual a piece of information is!

      I have heard nothing about either letter, so until I see actual copies I must just assume (with greatest respect to your mother) that she is confused.


  20. KateWild says:


    As far as paying workers and volunteers is concerned, I can see WT paying solicitors and real estate agents that are not JWs for expert services, this would not surprise me in the least.

    However with respect to volunteers, bethelites, construction workers and cleaners that are JWs there is no way WT will give them a living wage, a proper salary to live on, imo this will never happen no chance.

    If there was a letter, it was all fabricated. WT are liars aren’t they. Alternatively your mother may be mistaken.

    But I could be wrong, they are a cult so I can’t see them doing this.
    Kate xx

  21. I’m not defending the WT by any means; I’d like to see the Watchtower flattened once and for all. But their connection to the Rand Corporation is sort of a non-issue to me. The technology under development can be put to use for military purposes, as can so many other innocuous technologies. What they are developing is solely or specifically meant for military use. It’s like saying that a dynamite corporation is bad, because although it can be used for mining and other beneficial purposes, it can also be used in warfare.

    There are so many, many faults on the part of the WT that we can focus on. I just think this particular one isn’t a huge deal. Just my two cents…

  22. I meant, “What they are developing is NOT solely and specifically for military use…” I wish there was an edit option.

  23. So glad to be out says:

    I guess the point is the money is not being invested in helping the often poverty stricken elderly JW’s or those in such places as Africa, where food on the table is a priority. In 1995 they were buying up property but the last few years they have been selling. Why? fewer people joining the club, more people leaving, less contributions? So where is the money being put and why if the end is nigh? They could still invest ethically – people with a conscience do it all the time.

  24. Excelsior says:

    Fair enough, dear Cedars, no offence is taken.

    Apparently, it was read out last week. If it as my mum says (and it is distinctly possible that she is confused) then it may take time to get a copy of it. Perhaps it was only read out in Britain?

    The abuse letter was at some undefined time in the last few years. Even if it was read out, it still does not fit in with the ACTUAL behaviour of these horrible people.

    I am in no way justifying these creeps. Even if they do read out letters, it doesn’t mean they actually do any of the things in the letters.

    I will await with interest any other folks out there, maybe some practicing JWs, letting me know if these letters were actually read out.

    Thanks for the great article, Cedars. I am looking forward to your article on investments.

    Peace be with you


  25. Mike says:

    I have done some research into this Rand Corp business and I can’t believe it. I am quite stunned. I go back to the days when the Watchtower and Awake were 20p for two – “to cover the cost of printing”. I understood that the donations went to the local kingdom hall or world wide work, not hedge funds and investing in stocks and shares. What on earth is happening to this religion? Can I ask, who benifits from the $1 billion that is raised from these sales? What do the governing body spend this money on? Luxury holidays?

  26. JB says:

    Donald, I must admit, I don’t know exactly how a company’s production ends up in a particular industry, whether that company has a choice to whether or not to support a particular industry.

    I wouldn’t want to reproach anything to the WT organization, if I’d do similar things under comparable conditions. I wouldn’t like people to reproach me, if I own shares of a company. If this company is involved in such a situation as Rand Cam was, I might not know about it. It’s OK by me.

    Maybe I would also consider investing in Hedgefunds. It’s not something illegal per se. So I wouldn’t reproach anyone else, or any other organization for doing the same.

    What really bothers me is the fact that WT keeps hammering upon people for not being “worldly”, putting doubts about their education choices, they keep talking about not being materialistic, that people should be happy with simple jobs, living a simple life, and spend a lot of their time in supporting the organization and the field service etc. When someone looks like getting “out of the way”, he/she is put under some kind of pressure by so many people who are “concerned” about him/her.

    Then you see them as an NGO near United Nations, then you find out they become shareholders of companies, investing in hedgefunds …

    It’s like you see someone leading ex-alcoholics support group, getting out of the pub

    This only leaves really no room for understanding on my part, maybe they couldn’t know that somehow RandCam was, at some point, involved in weapon industry. For that matter, if someone is so keen on “being correct”, and imposing this “correctness” upon its population, knowing how the big corporations treat their employees, and the society in general, who have only one objective, which is feeding their greedy bosses, they shouldn’t have shares on any corporation.

    I would personally be OK holding shares, but I don’t constantly preach people about “not being worldly” and drop education, etc.

  27. Erik says:

    Does anyone have proof of some leaders living in luxury? Or other sqandering of donated funds?

  28. JimmyG says:

    To JB: Thanks for clarifying that you posted links that disappeared. As far as the comments since go, the WT puts itself on such a high pedestal, then anything they do or say that is not up to that high standard, will bring them justified criticisms. This is especially so when they have been guilty in the past of pointing the finger at other religions and organisations. These justified criticisms will, of course, be viewed by the WT as ‘persecution’.

  29. tiger says:

    In the 80s the Watchtower used a group of invetors named COHI they were all witnesses. This group participated in the purchase of buildings such as the Bossert Hotel and various other acquisitions. In fact I sat with one of the more wealthy members of that group for lunch at Headquarters during my younger years. Just like Rutherford had ways of getting at money for Beth Sarim from outside investors, Watchtower has always had back door relationships that they call upon for their own interests.

    I would love to find a way to expose how these investment groups receive their money. Does the WT move it out of their donations and into their hands to invest, therefore taking most of it off of their books and out of followers criticisms. Only to be returned at a later date after investments are made? I cannot say for sure, but I would love to know.

    One last point, to you John, have you looked into the WT’s self insurance program the KHAA. Talk about a treachorous piece of garbage. We had an elderly sister fall on the ice at our Kingdom Hall and receive pretty serious injuries that cost a fairly substantial amount of money to take care of. She faced a dilema, if she filed KHAA forms and did not receive proper compensation, she had no ablility to take them to court, as Witnesses are told ‘not to take their brother to court’. In the case of taking headquarters “Christ’s brothers” to court she would be in effect suing Christ himself ‘if you do it to the least of these, you have done it to me’. To the faithful, that is an edict that they dare not challenge. This probably is one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on Witnesses worldwide and on those who attend. If this was properly exposed, perhaps resulting legal action that would follow could serve to help weaken this beast. I know you have a lot on your plate to deal with, but your journalistic skills may help bring this to light and expose further an incredible scam.

    • JB says:

      How does KHAA work ? Like WT acting like an insurance company or something ?

      As a separate point, I’m not sure to understand why the injured sister still didn’t give it a try filing the KHAA forms and see whether she would get a correct reply for it.

      But maybe my second question is due to my lack of understanding how KHAA functions …

  30. mike says:

    See what I mean. I had never even heard of KHAA.

  31. mike says:

    Cedars, I think that some ‘food at the proper time’ is in order regarding watchtowers finances.

    I really enjoy the information from this site as it is factual and not sour grapes. Ps, ive been shunned for four years and it never gets any better and yes, ive felt suicidal from time to time.

  32. da furious says:

    I presume there is a confusion. The letter that was read last week was about the new department with skilled full time volunteers to support the building projects from a technical (engineers and architects) and legal aspects. RBC is no longer responsible for building regulations etc.

  33. da furious says:

    I have a question and hope Cedars or anyone can answer. What is the benefit of sitting on a large sum of money. I can not understand where the money is going or what they are doing with it.

  34. So glad to be out says:

    da furious
    Its a large operation. There is less money coming. What does any failing corporation have to do when the product is failing – reinvent a new product? – create a new brand (the GB=FDS) – sell property to pay the bills? Maybe they have legal bills – can’t imagine why – can you?

  35. da furious says:

    to So glad to be out:
    To be honest i have no idea, i am part of the whole thing, i served in bethel for 3 years (all i saw was seniority and hypocrisy).
    Regrading donations, where i originally came from never heard of donation surplus! it was always deficit – until the cong accounts announcement and begging for donations, some rich brother will cover the deficit. Never heard local branch supporting congregation with donating money to it or covering expenses. Whereas in the UK every now and then the cong. sends money to bethel.

  36. Excelsior says:

    da furious,

    Thanks for clearing up the letter about payment to volunteers. I thought that my dear pled mum had misheard.

    Reading Rowland’s comments on the Chelmsford Bethel, I noticed that one of the posters mentioned the abuse letter too.

    That poster stated that JWs are required to call the police if child abuse is found out or reported. Of course, we all know that the “Shepherding the flock of God” book says that the bethel is to be contacted first. We also know about the disgraceful two witness rule.

    da furious, you are in a position to be of great help to Cedars and all of us. Can you remember the abuse letter being read out? Could you send Cedars a copy?

    Thank you for posting your comments. I admire your courage and your honesty. These qualities are anathema to Bethelites! No wonder you had to leave.

    Cedars, can anyone get copies of witness letters?

    Thanks again for your hard work and decency. You are a comfort and a strength to many.

    Peace be with you


  37. So glad to be out says:

    I think if you watch this and maybe contact the author of the video. You may be able to get a copy of what you want. Unless there was something else that was sent.

  38. Aman Ofgod says:

    Just waite a little longer….you will be very happy you did.

  39. ricki says:

    gog of magog likes

    oh i hate the man in the above video , foul mouthed prat

  40. Fabelon says:

    I just asked a JW why they were selling their buildings and she replied that the organization want to save a buck or two and simplify in all means. But she added they were building a new state of the art facility in Warwick,NY with all the necessary methods to continue their goals.

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