Bethel letter about meetings, field service are mandatory for Bethelites

by VM44 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • VM44

    My understanding is that the Bethel "vow of poverty" was introduced in order for the $100 or so they received each month not be considered taxable income by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).


  • doogie

    i was at bethel for a couple of years (relatively) recently (2000-01). i don't recall a letter stating that meetings or service were mandatory. in my experience, bethelites missed far more meetings and service than the avg publisher. (i'm a perfect example of that as i was technically incative at bethel. oh sure, i turned in my time slip, know...cmon, work 6 days AND go to meetings? screw that. )

  • garybuss

    I seem to recall that meetings were mandatory for Bethel service people (low paid employees) until a bethel employee was on the way to a meeting and was involved in an accident that injured or killed someone. The attorneys were able to prove that congregation meetings were a part of Bethel service and the accident occurred while the employee was carrying out required duties, making the employee an agent of the corporation at the time of the accident, and making the corporation responsible for damages.
    It seems like the damages were awarded against the Watch Tower corporation and the mandatory meeting attendance guideline was changed according to Jehovah's will and direction from the holy spirit.

  • garybuss

    You will also be assigned to a local congregation. You will attend the congregation book studies, Theocratic Min- istry School and service meetings, as well as the public talks and Watchtower studies, under the supervision of the local congregation with which you associate. It cer- tainly is for your good to attend these meetings.

  • heathen

    Jezus that sounds like the steps just before they institute a lobotomy for occupants . LOL@garybus

    Yah that chariot like organization knows the way around responisibility. I can't believe they wouldn't want to help a person in good standing living and working there without a lawsuit . WTH kind of love is that ?

  • peacefulpete

    vow of poverty was in place in 88. I don't remember being asked any of the other stuff.

  • blondie

    The vow of poverty was for tax and social security purposes in the US. It may not have been necessary legally in France or other countries.


    WTBTS formed three new corporations last fall. One, Kingdom Support Services Inc., will focus on the everyday needs of individual congregations. Another, the Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses, will interact with full-time workers, who take a vow of poverty.

    *** w93 12/15 p. 13 Trust in Jehovah! ***

    " Similarly at this day, the thousands that serve at the Watch Tower Society’s Bethel homes around the earth do so under a type of legal vow of poverty

    *** w90 12/1 p. 24 How Jehovah Prospers His Work ***

    . Each minister at headquarters, including the Society’s president and directors, has taken a legal vow of poverty


    jv chap. 18 p. 295 "Seeking First the Kingdom" ***
    Because of the way of life of the Bethel family, secular authorities in the United States, for example, view them as members of a religious order who have taken a vow of poverty


    jv chap. 21 p. 351 How Is It All Financed? ***
    Those who are accepted for special full-time service at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses all subscribe to a vow of poverty, as have all the members of the Governing Body and all the other members of the Bethel family there.
  • Dune

    I can scan a copy for you guys sunday night after the meeting.

  • Jeffro

    So the Governing Body have taken a vow of poverty... really makes you wonder where all the money goes.

    Is it just me, or does it really sound like the money trail of the Society always seems to lead back to their slick (and well paid) lawyers? On another thread, there was various information on a James McCabe (or something like that), and it seems he has done quite well for himself. And I'm sure that he's not the only one. And it would be in their best interests to advise the naive zealots in Bethel to accept that a legal vow of poverty is in their best interests.

  • Narkissos

    Thanks for the replies.

    I've heard the "vow of poverty" is applied in France too, and the "Bethelites" are now registered as a distinct "religious order". Here this arrangement is probably not to escape from income tax (the pioneer and Bethel allowances are well under the minimal level of taxation) but from the payment of social contributions (social security, retirement funds etc.) which are normally due by associations for voluntary workers. Perhaps I should ask the French Bethel about that one of these days...

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