US kingdom halls will be left with just $5,000 plus funds to cover regular monthly expenses once Watchtower has completed its raid
US kingdom halls will be left with just $5,000 plus funds to cover regular monthly expenses once Watchtower has completed its raid

At the beginning of May, congregations all over the world were told of a new “Kingdom Hall and Assembly Hall construction program” that was coming into operation.

Many Witnesses have welcomed the new arrangement, assuming it means congregations indebted to the organization for their construction costs now have their debts waived.

In reality, however, the new arrangement means all congregations are permanently indebted to the organization, and are committed to paying at least the amount of any monthly installment they were already paying… indefinitely.

This has led to the new measures being dubbed “stealth-tithing” by some, and with good reason. Rather than directly committing individuals to pledging a fixed monthly sum, Watchtower is cleverly doing this at a congregation level, leaving the elders the unpleasant task of guilt-tripping the congregation if they aren’t donating enough to honor their pledge.

Even so, the new arrangement left many questions, and Watchtower was forced to issue a letter dated May 2nd notifying elders that further direction would be given on the matter. That letter has now become available, and it brings the amazing scope of Watchtower’s cunning smash-and-grab into sharp focus.

Dated May 12th to all congregations in the United States Branch Territory, the letter instructs congregations in the US to keep on their accounts three months’ worth of utility, supplies and servicing expenses, along with a maximum cash reserve of $5,000 per kingdom hall (to be split between however many congregations share a kingdom hall).

A PDF scan of the letter is temporarily available by clicking here

Elders are to contact anyone in the congregation with promissory notes and find out, without coercion (to their credit), whether they want their money returned. The aim is to find out what money truly belongs to the congregation (and can thus be sent on to Watchtower) and what money is actually tied up with individuals.

Once such matters have been resolved, a “one-time donation of surplus funds” is to be made to the branch office of everything apart from the three months’ worth of operating expenses (including pledges to various assistance arrangements, i.e. Kingdom Hall Assistance, Traveling Overseer Assistance), and the permitted $5,000 reserve.

A kingdom hall build in Versailles Kentucky - will Watchtower come to the rescue on the next rainy day?
A kingdom hall build in Versailles Kentucky – will Watchtower come to the rescue on the next rainy day?

As you can imagine, this is likely to result in a windfall for Watchtower, but it is a stunt they can pull only once.

As with the sale of the Brooklyn portfolio at over a billion dollars, once Watchtower has completed its congregation smash-and-grab they cannot do the same thing again in the future.

Once all the family jewels have been cashed in at the local pawn shop, they cannot be replaced.

Publishers who have donated their hard-earned money to ensure the financial autonomy of their local kingdom halls will now be expecting Watchtower to deliver on its end of the bargain, and make sure their congregation has all its construction and heavy maintenance needs met promptly by the branch office.

So far Watchtower has shown through its unprecedented spate of branch closures, against a backdrop of increasing investment in its New York operational hub, a propensity to prioritize the needs of the leadership over those of their far-flung adherents.

If, as feared, Watchtower is running out of cash and wants the money as a financial quick-fix to ease its woes, they will not find publishers to be quite so sympathetic the next time they come to the congregations cap in hand – especially if their roofs are leaking or their walls are subsiding, the congregation coffers are empty, and nothing is being done.

 

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Further reading…

60 thoughts on ““You can keep $5,000 plus expenses, send the rest to us” – Watchtower completes stealth-tithing smash-and-grab

  • May 18, 2014 at 4:51 am
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    Although, five, ten, 15, 20 years from now, there will be a whole new “generation” of sheep to sheer and flock to fleece.

    I’m sure they’ll find a way.

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:00 am
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    The other significant point made in this letter is that the branch office will now be involved in any construction or remodeling of 5K or more. The congregations that actually use and support the Hall will not have much input, if any. From my experiencing in working with the RBC in the past it is a dysfunctional arrangement. Now add more volume to their work? It is the makings of a real mess. Glad to not be involved.

    • May 18, 2014 at 5:02 am
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      Looks like a significant powershift or the appearance thereof. The other thought that came to mind is that they are wanting to blame the elders for past decisions While now making it much more McDonald’s-like in how congregations are run.

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:03 am
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    Thank you, Cedars, for keeping us up-dated on the goings on of the WT. I wonder if they really need money or if they’re just greedy. And I heard that there is a house-grab, apartment grab in New York. Maybe they want part of that to add to their holdings. They are like Joseph of the O.T. He wanted Pharoah to have ALL of it, leaving the common people to beg and be their slaves. And he got his way-see a connection here?

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:10 am
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    Could it be that the string of paedophile protection cases is making its way thorugh the courts and the WT bosses are expecting to be stung for some big payouts?

    Incidentally, what progress is there on the Candace Conti appeal and other cases in its wake? Anybody know?

    • May 18, 2014 at 5:29 am
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      Hi Rowland! The appeal is ongoing. As soon as I hear news I will let you all know. ;)

    • May 18, 2014 at 5:43 am
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      I absolutely believe that is a key factor in these events.

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:16 am
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    Even if the over 110,000 congregations gave an average of just $1,000 to WTS that is a total of approximately $110M. (I imagine the average will probably be higher).

    An incredible amount of money to receive in one go. What a scam.

  • May 18, 2014 at 6:10 am
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    A nice piece of information you are giving us again Cedars. Thank you.

    The fourth paragrapah of the May 12, 2014 letter to all bodies of elders in the USA Branch territory says :
    “If a congregation has promissory notes payable to individuals, the Congregation Service Committee should contact these individuals to arrange to have the funs returned to them. If the individual offers to donate the funs outright, that would be their decision and it must be made without any prompting. The repayment of any outstanding promissory notes should be factored in when determining a one-time donation of surplus funds to the branch office.”

    Who are the “individuals” mentionned in the fourth paragrapah of the May 12, 2014 letter to all bodies of elders in the USA Branch territory ?

    Why does not the GB use the term of brothers or sisters instead of “individuals” ? Some JW have donated much money, should they now just be considered as a Bank Establishment would consider them, mere “individuals” ?

    And, regarding the repayment offer, by saying : “that would be their decision and it must be made without any prompting” the GB surely wants to keep an image of a generous “faithfull and discreet slave” in the eyes of the princes and dukes (elders). But the GB knows very well that many “individuals” will not feel like having their funds returned, except in case of urgency, as most of them will not feel like dare promptly get back the money they have generously donated to the “Lord Organization”.

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:16 am
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    Obviously complaints from the congregations, which is a good thing.

  • May 18, 2014 at 9:32 am
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    Thank you John for keeping up informed.

    They cannot possibly have gone through the Billion dollars from the sale of some of the New York properties. That was in addition to all the assets they already owned. Now they are making a grab for takeover of KH properties and all cash except $5,000.00.

    Does anyone else but me think there is a high probability of cash being diverted somewhere safe, where it cannot be touched by lawsuits?

    Since there is zero transparency, how does anyone know where the money actually is? Or how it is supposedly being spent?

    How can anyone “follow the money”?

    They have become just like government bureaucracy.

    I smell a scandal brewing.

    This hypocrisy makes me wonder how our Lord Jesus is viewing all of these shenanigans. How sad it must make him that his sheep are being fleeced…by “God’s own organization on earth”.

    Wonder what God is doing with all that money?

    What is it going to take to open the eyes of all those sheep? smh

  • May 18, 2014 at 10:10 am
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    When was the last time the Watchtower society donated to a extreme disaster fund? If so can they prove this through documentation rather then their published words? And thirdly was it done out of sincere giving without any malice?

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:05 am
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    I have known lots of missionaries who have had the following situation: Their missionary home needed a repair, and the branch nev actually took the initiative to fix the problem. One such problem was lack of water when there was no electricity. The missionary home had a water pump, but needed a slightly stronger battery system to operate the waterpump when there was no electricity. The branch instructed the missionaries to have buckets of water in the bathrooms instead of replacing an old dying battery system with new stronger ones. The branch was never interested in doing repairs.

    There is no doubt that the WTBTS will now start avoiding remodeling the Kingdom Halls. They wouldn’t want the Kingdom Halls to take their cash. I called The US Bethel the other day to inquire about the number of Kingdom Halls, they did NOT want to give me that information, saying that they didnt know. That was a lie. They are afraid that an apostate can use that number and go public with the information.

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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    So does this mean if a congregation needs a remodelling project all expenses will be paid branch? Or the congregation has to raise the funds?

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:09 pm
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    I can give a couple of examples that may be revealing as to the situation the WT may be in. I recently had a conversation with a sister who is currently serving in the Brooklyn bethel. I directly asked her if the reason for all the fire sales was a result of issues with cash flow. She was able to confirm that these rumours were circulating in Brooklyn. Even though she wasn’t able to provide evidence the fact that she even knew about it, and the rumours is telling.
    (Example 2) A relative was relaying to me a comment that was made to her by an elder when an electrical system broke down in the KH and on inspection needed repairs. Interestingly the hall that my relative attends was scheduled for a major refurbishment, just before the new funding arrangement was announced, now apparently it has been postponed ( I wonder why?????). The hall had only just recently been built a few years back. When they found that the the electrical system was in need of repair the elder offered to repair it at his own time and expense because “he didn’t think that the with the new funding arrangement that the repairs would be done soon enough” and he also “doubted that they would be getting the refurbishment any time soon”. When I was having this relayed to me, I almost fell over in the sense that the scheme has only been in force for less than a month and already suspicions are been raised. I’ve got a feeling there are soon going to be a lot of run down Kingdom Halls.

  • May 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm
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    This Cedars fellow is nutbar factor 6. Everything that happens is evidence of a vast conspiracy to do something nefarious.

    Perhaps the monies are being centralized … so that more efficient and rapid construction can be accomplished … as is done with many secular companies and organizations … there is no evidence to the contrary

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm
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      Armageddon is coming any day now! I have an idea! Let’s build stuff and make poor people pay for it! We’ll tell them we’ve been sent by God to take their money! We’ll divide their families to conquer their wills! When they fall for our scamming congame of the century, it’ll prove that we’re destined to be world sovereigns muahahahaha.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:42 am
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      Dead Right – Mr.Truthful truly truthful TRUTH. An organisation whose growth has stalled, and that can only maintain its current numbers through threats of ostracism, needs to build a whole load more Kingdom Halls.

      And why has growth stalled? Surely anyone with any sense would want to join an outfit whose achievements are as remarkable as those of the JWs.

      Here are just some of the amazing feats of God’s exclusive earthly outfit:

      1. A series of untimely deaths through the flip flopping blood transfusion edicts.

      2. Countless split families through shunning.

      3. Even more stunted impoverished lives through the frowning on higher education.

      4. A string of duff prophecies about Armageddon.

      5. A divine appointment on account of a whole load of TRUTHS which were truly truthful in 1918 but have since been binned, but of which God still approves.

      6. A very effective paedophile protection system.

      With a record like the above, only a nutjob would begin to doubt, let alone pour scorn on such a wonderful Truly Truth filled TRUTH purveying organisation.

      Keep up the Good and Truthful work, Mr. Truthful TRUTH

      P.S. Which is your favourite Armageddon? I love 1925, because the prophets of old will then be resurrected in San Diego and a mansion and Cadillacs are needed to accommodate them!

      • May 19, 2014 at 1:54 am
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        I would love to see Moses and Isaiah having a diving contest at the mansion pool, and can you imagine those dudes driving for the first time, after riding an ass all their lives? Will they get to smoke the Judge’s cigars and how about the beards? I see wholesale blood loss the first time they pick up a razor and have at their faces, and imagine learning the Internet, first time up in a 737. I’m kinda jealous, what a blast seeing all this for the first time, and who’s going to tell Moses the earth wasn’t really flat, or that it is 4 billion years old and the flood was all in his head? I wonder what the boys will think when they see the natural history museum for the first time. Talk abut a crowding problem with Abraham and his 1000 wives and concubines, that will fill up the mansion as well as both sides of Hotel Circle.

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm
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    Since the love of money is the source of all evils, it’s bound to explode in their faces (both sides). Who cares if the anointed Will not get married in heaven, what about fixing the Kingdom Hall now? A revolution is brewing……..

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:29 am
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    I personally think it’s interesting that there are rumors at Bethel that there is a cash flow problem. If the trend is that donations are going down, then these one-time cash infusions of property sales and kingdom hall fund grabs will surely eliminate any parachute for a possible impending financial crisis.

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:03 am
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    I think they have been very smart, the money is for the expressed purpose of supporting building work so it may not be possible for it to be used to pay lawsuits. Whether this protection would extend to the interest they receive on the money is another issue but it may be a way of paying out without suffering financially. It also means that no congregation is independently wealthy and so lawsuits against congregations may result in smaller payouts or the congregation facing the financial burden of finding money as it is unlikely the society will send their money back since it is demarcated for building work. This system seems similar to the church arrangement for buildings where control is held centrally, I wonder how many kingdom halls will have fund raising thermometers for repairs that the society does not deem necessary or urgent.

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:42 am
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    Oh course there will be NO ZERO NADA pressure applied to those holding promissory notes. Think about it, the very decision to ask the note holders to “release Jehovah” from repaying the obligation violates the contract make between the organization and the individual. “Burt, you know Jehovah will be very unhappy with you if you selfishly ask for your money. I’m not going to put any pressure on you to do so, but I wouldn’t want to be in your greedy shoes if you went for repayment. If you are living a perfect life, unspotted from the world, you might be able to make it through the final battle, but….”
    They have it wrong on the emblems they have it wrong regarding contributions. Christ mentioned “Alms” for the poor, suffering, and homeless of the world 153 times in the New Testament, with no regard given to color, creed, or religion, the Tower does nothing for others. Christians were asked to give to those working for the church traveling without purse of SCRIPT, in a completely freewill fashion. The riches of the Tower have to be simply enormous and the millions of hours of free labor given…..

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:57 am
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    You control best, when you control the money

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:01 am
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    Whoa you have turned me around, you go girl(boy) Its all so clear now.

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:04 am
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    “Or SCRIPT”, my computer doesn’t know the difference between of and or, sorry

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:06 am
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    Whoops should be SOLOMAN, the later it gets the stupider I seem to get, and its 3:20a

  • May 19, 2014 at 4:00 am
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    This Cedars fellow is nutbar factor 6. Everything that happens is evidence of a vast conspiracy to do something nefarious.

    Perhaps the monies are being centralized … so that more efficient and rapid construction can be accomplished … as is done with many secular companies and organizations … there is no evidence to the contrary

    My answer to the above is. If like you said the money is been centralised then why not come out and say something to that effect. As I said in my above post this isn’t just something that is been speculated on in the apostate community these rumours are also at the very heart of Organisation. I find it a bit ironic how in the December 15, 2013 Wt they go about slamming some one who “speculates about them”, and yet at the very same time are not willing settle the issue of what people are speculating about. I’m pretty sure if someone was spreading rumours around about me that I was a bad businessman who was on the verge of bankruptcy, when perhaps all I was doing was centralising the money. I would be pretty quick to say something, and if the rumours were going out of control I would be producing bank statements or physical profs to show other wise. This whole matter could be cleared up over night by a letter from the GB stating otherwise.

  • May 19, 2014 at 11:37 am
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    In strict business sense, “promissory notes” are negotiable items, meaning a holder can sell it to another party as part of exchange of value. It also is an obligation on which the holder can make a demand, even pursuing foreclosure on property. That said, can you imagine a scenario where a promissory note holder becomes disenchanted with elders, or Watchtower, and makes a demand for immediate repayment?

    I mean, what next? Celibacy from ministerial serfs and elders, lest the hell-hath-no-fury spouse come full force to take any and all properties?

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    @Will

    $110mil per month–per month…per month…

    550mil per month * 12 months = USD6.6Bil
    (Using Pareto Principle “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes” — 20% of congregations/flock actually fulfilling committments US$1.32Bil or USD5.28Bil)

    Guess they’re aiming to construct a rival to the Goth Cathedrals or Burj Khalifa..

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm
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    All of these dramatic changes in the last few months makes me wonder what is going on with the organization, but I have a feeling a lot of this is for legal reason.

    • May 19, 2014 at 2:18 pm
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      If you were to see me every day, my changes would seem boring and business as usual.

      If you were to see me only every so often, my changes might seem dramatic.

      Everything in life is temporary.

      Even this doomsday cult.

      • May 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm
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        Actually I was making that statement as a fact. They have read so many letters and changes as they have in the last few months. Having first hand knowledge is how I know this to be a fact. If you had a letter read to all congregations a couple of times a year it was a big deal. Now it has almost happened every month since the beginning of the year.

        • May 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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          Oh, do you mean calling it dramatic is an irrefutable fact, as opposed to your own interpretive perspective of said facts, kind of like the facts the JWs put forth, that allow no room for any perspective but one; yours?

          I’m not refuting that changes are occurring. I am simply getting a kick out of the surprise and view of it as “drama”. (I find it cute.)

          I get an even greater kick out of people who claim secret knowledge that makes their (fragile) view “fact” and anyone else’s perspective facts,automatically invalid. LOL. (Not as cute but still entertaining.)

          Has it not been dramatic all along?

          Everything is relative.

          (I know things that you don’t know too. And they’re all cold hard facts. And arguably quite dramatique. It’s not the “facts” I have any qualms with. I simply find the interpretive opinion about it being dramatic, quite entertaining. Since everything is relative.)

          No offense intended.

          • May 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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            Interesting little statement how can you know things I don’t know. When you have no idea what I know. Just curious. Interesting I did not say dramatic. I just said I lot of changes since you went there I will use this analogy. Say I notice you every day and all of a sudden over a few weeks time frame you starting wearing cologne, new clothes and changed your hair style out of the blue. Everyone who knew you including me would say something is going on.

          • May 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm
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            You said dramatic changes. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just saying everything is relative, from my perspective. Perhaps were I positioned right where you are, I would placidly and unqualifiedly agree. From over here where I am, I go “maybe dramatic changes, maybe just a lot of changes, it’s all relative”.

            I don’t mean to take my angst with the endless WTS nonsense out on you or your perspective. Forgive me if I’m being dramatic. ;) (It is kind of fun once in a while though.)

            Please continue to enjoy your interpretation of facts, dramatic or not. It’s part of sweet, sweet freedom!! :) And yes, of course just as there are things you know firsthand that I don’t, there are also things I know firsthand that you don’t. You don’t know me, for one. Nor my perspective(s) and where they have come from.

            I don’t have to know all that you know to know you don’t know that which has not been shared. But now that you bring it up, are you saying you’re a know it all?

            :o]

            Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter. I just got a kick out of you describing the changes as dramatic. It’s an interesting perspective to me, all things being relative and all.

            That is all.

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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    Rowland Nelkin, you said….

    “P.S. Which is your favourite Armageddon? I love 1925, because the prophets of old will then be resurrected in San Diego and a mansion and Cadillacs are needed to accommodate them!”

    I nearly fell outta my chair! That’s the best laugh I’ve had in a while. Thanks….I needed that.

    I may “borrow” that, it’s just too good to pass up.

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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      Thanks! It was never copyrighted.

      JWdom is stuffed with crazy nonsense. Because they don’t do dressing up, with chanting and processions like other bits of Christendom, JWs imagine that their boring suited, dismal business meeting style of ritual makes them somehow logical and rational.

  • May 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm
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    @SDL – I did said dramatic. I thought I had removed that word before I posted my statement. I guess I need to do a better proof reading job and fixing. May John can create an edit button like Facebook. LOL!

  • May 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm
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    Scrubmaster and SDL, I enjoyed your exchange, which once again proves to me that all things can be settled using love and respect…and a touch of humor.

    I may as well confess, I don’t know nothin bout nobody….until I read it here first!!

  • May 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm
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    “We are delighted to be working shoulder to shoulder with you in carrying out the Governing Body’s direction. (Zeph. 3:9)”

    Zephaniah 3:9 speaks about the servants of God serving Him shoulder to shoulder. That is here made tantamount with “carrying out the Governing Body’s direction.” Interesting!

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm
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    Also , if each AUDITORIUM is to only hold onto 5k that means that if 4 CONG use the same hall it would be 1250 per CONG . That sends 15k more in per 4 CONG hall . ALSO, as the yrs go by CONGS will fork over ” up to 5k ” for minor repairs and upgrades. Over and over and over instead of using money THEY have saved. The WTS will not be paying 2k for new sound one yr, 4 k for new AC the next yr, or 2k because the TVS at the sign lang hall are outdated , or 2k for parking lot repairs or restriping , or 4.9k for new chairs , etc. locals will have to pony up each time and when the local donations exceed the 5K limit the elders will be compelled to send the surplus in. That leads to more and more donations But no progress locally.

  • May 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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    They are cashing out. This is an investment strategy you would offer someone approaching retirement age. Choose investments that supply constant income i.e. stocks and funds that pay a good consistent dividend. Do not invest in growth stocks.
    The GB now has a monthly cash flow. They cannot count on growth. Growth is dead and they know with the internet and their aging members it is NOT coming back. Plus the new round of JWs is uneducated and broke.
    This fits in with their other moves. Regional conventions save money. They can rent 1 large venue once, instead of several smaller venues multiple times. Eliminating DO’s saves money. Retiring old travelling overseers saves money. Graduates of School for Evangelizers must be self sufficient to save money. One day assemblies allow the assemly hally yo be utilized by multiple circuits in the same weekend. Saves money. Next you will see a number of congregations merged and their buildings sold. Congregations that get too small and cannot make decent monthly contributions will be targeted to be merged.

    Example: 2 congregations of 60 publishers who donate $300 each will be merged into one congregation that can contribute $600 a month. Then the building and property of the other congregation will be sold for $500k or more. The branch by “forgiving” all loans now has full authority to make this call. The elders have no say. It’s even stated in the letter that construction research and development will now be coming from the branch.
    The Regional conventions may also become two day affairs to save cash.

    • May 19, 2014 at 11:07 pm
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      Who needs to save and invest for retirement with Armageddon coming any day now?

      Who decides which bonds, stocks, shares and property are Armageddon proof?

      Has ‘New Light’ revealed that Wall Street will function as normal after Armageddon?

      What’s the going rate for citing Biblical quotes to back up the TRUTH about post Armageddon finance?

  • May 20, 2014 at 1:40 am
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    Cedar’s I don’t think you understand how financially strapped many of the congregations are running in not only in California but other less richer States in the USA.

    As a former Elder I had the very unpleasant experience of begging the Publishers month after to month to help cover the utilities, it was hard enough to get them to cover any unwanted building commitments. Often our “Local Needs” was telling the Publishers if they don’t donate “we are going to be reading our lessons in the dark” or “no water to flush the toilets or drink from”. These talks are still being given, most of the big givers (1930-1960er’s who came in this time period) are dying off. The New Generation of JWs is very selfish or stingy, I am happy I don’t have to worry about this problem anymore. It’s empowering to really know why the Organization is begging for money, their followers realize the literature and spiritual food is worthless! Their blatant disregard of donating funds and disdainful attitude towards anyone they consider Worldly is the reason the Organization is suffering financially. They sold their assets to conserve because anyone with actuarial experience will tell you they are going to run out of money unless they batten down their hatches by getting rid of anyone with a salary or pension expectation.

    I wrote about the bad blood that ensued when two CO rest homes were crammed down our throat by a nasty COBE, he harassed the Publishers month after month until they cried “Uncle!” and forcefully pledged $49.00 USD every month per family. We lost nearly half of the Kingdom Hall over his heavy handed tactics. Guess who’s making the payments, it’s him and his few Goofus Elders that forced this unwanted perpetual expense upon the Publishers. Now with the Watchtower’s new model, we can see this Congregation will be in debt forever!

    The Organization is reaping what it sows, they are so cheap and refuse to spread charity around the World that the God I worship is not blessing them but taking away anything they think they might have had. Donations are coming in at a trickle, I need to post some of the “Accounts Reports” to show you how little these mooches are giving to the Organization. Maybe in your neck of the woods JWs are good at giving, in my area, they are either too cheap or cash strapped because of the minimum wage jobs the Watchtower guilt-ed them in to taking. When your community of religious individuals is largely the “working poor”, maybe the Governing Body could learn from the like’s of the Apostles and provide for themselves like the examples of the Apostles who did not live off the labors of the Sheep.

  • May 20, 2014 at 5:40 am
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    Its interesting that this letter is headed.. Christian Congregation of JWs wheareas the April 22 letter about COs appointing elders was headed ..Governing Body of JWs
    Wonder why the difference?

  • May 20, 2014 at 7:25 am
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    Thank you for sharing the link to that info. I looked though several pages of that discussion and came to the actual pdf copy regarding the purchase of this luxury waterfront property in Wales by the IBSA/Watchtower Society
    If anyone is interested:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/225121784/Land-Registry-Watchtower

  • May 20, 2014 at 6:28 pm
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    I know of a local congregation that sent in $65,000!

  • May 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm
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    Mr. Cedars, you hit the nail on the head when you noted that this affects the “financial autonomy” of each individual kingdom hall. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that the GB didn’t think this up sooner. This kills two birds with one stone: The corporation gets greater control over each KH (less chance of anyone going rogue), and they get the influx of liquid capital that you mentioned. This centralization of assets puts them in the company of sects of the Catholic/Episcopal tradition. The Society has become the “Christendom” that they have always railed against.

    You are gracious in your assessment that it is “to their credit” that the GB is explicitly instructing elders to not coerce promissory note holders; however, the reality is that this is was included to protect the CCJW (and the other corporations) against potential lawsuits that would arise as a result of the friendly Elder visits to promissory note holders. In effect, the corporation is expecting the Elders to put pressure on note holders to sign over their claims, but the corporation is telling the elders that they are on their own from a liability standpoint. The corporation can deny any culpability if the elder gets in legal trouble for doing what he is (implicitly) being instructed to do.

    Mr. Cedars, I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing. You may not realize it, but you and your team are providing a ministry to many who have escaped the “racket and snare” of the JW’s.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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    what happened to you receive free give free? small groups
    met in peoples homes in jesus day, basically Id say, for association, then went to the temple when they could, there was no maintaining of realestate and printing of books to hand out. those are ‘worldy’ possesions. right? storing up treasures on earth, is what that is.
    seems to me thats a violation right there.
    they had whatever scriptures at the time, or letters to have read. thats it. everyone was responsible for their own stand before God and christ. well lets see how this ‘pans’ out.

  • May 23, 2014 at 5:58 am
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    shame on JW.Org.

    My mother is a witness ( what ever does it mean ) since nearly 60 years and she told me: it doesn`t matter what they do, it`s the truth.

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