Bethel "Vow of Poverty" documents scanned.

by What-A-Coincidence 49 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mary
    for some time now those serving in this manner have been known as members of the "Order".!! I thought this was a freaking JOKE when I first started reading it!! "The Order"??!!! If that doesn't have George Orwell's name writ all over it, I don't know what does! I had absolutely NO idea that you had to sign a "Vow of Poverty" with these Goons when you went to Bethel. That is just pathetic........the Governing Body should heed their own words:

    *** w93 1/1 p. 23 Shepherding With Our Grand Creator

    ***For those who have positions of responsibility in the organization, what does it mean to be theocratic? Jesus said of the scribes and the Pharisees of his day: "They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger." (Matthew 23:4) How oppressive and unloving! True theocracy, or God-rule, calls for shepherding the flock by applying the Bible’s loving principles, not by burdening the sheep with endless man-made rules.

  • candidlynuts
    6. To turn over to the local organization of the Order all income received from any work or personal efforts in excess of my necessary living expenses, unless released from this vow by the Order;

    HEY! i wonder if the money we used to gather up for our cong. bethelite boys went to the boys or went to the Org? dont tell me i've been ripped off even MORE?

  • What-A-Coincidence

    I guess whatever got donated to the "World Wide Work" eventually was used to sustain a bethelite - I forgot what it averaged out to but it was like $20,000 per year or so. Does someone know for sure? Trojan?? That included: Your room, meals, gas, electricity, water, your stipen, laundry. Any other services you would have to ask for like, dental, chiropractor, optical, alterations, shoe shop, clinic, dry cleaning, etc.

  • Kaput


    I think this is more appropriate for today: VOW OF OBEDIENCE AND POVERTY to the


  • Think

    Sounds like the Order of The Pinky and the Brain on their never ending conquest of The World !!!

  • aniron
    In summary, reading prayerfully and signing the Vow does not mean that you cannot own

    property or that you have determined to donate all your material possesions to the Order. Rather,

    it documents that you have agreed to serve Jehovah as a special full-time servant, serving in

    cooperation with others in the Order, without expectation of financial gain. and that you have

    determined to refrain from any gainful activity while in Jehovah's special full-time service.

    This confuses me. I thought a vow of poverty was that you gave everything up when joining a religious order.

    This to me is saying "You can be a wealthy person - own property, maybe even shares, have some form of private income."

    All this is saying is that you don't expect the WT to give you anything more than what is agreed with them.

    Also that you don't work for anyone else while there.

    So I could have a couple of million in the bank, earning interest, bringing in a nice income.

    But so long as I don't expect from the WT more than agreed to, and work for no one else.

    I've taken a "Vow of Poverty" even though I could be a millionaire?

  • GermanXJW

    How comes they use the term "order". It is not a Biblical term, is it?

  • calico

    The Order? Yikes!

  • blondie

    This is a legal ploy to avoid paying taxes. It is not done according to the terminology of the Bible or the WTS for according to the laws of the governmental legal agency in each country. In this case, it seems to be the IRS.

    B. Definitions

    1. Religious Order

    A religious order is a community of people living under a distinctive rule, discipline, or constitution as a monastic brotherhood or society.

    Most orders or communities require a vow of chastity, obedience, and poverty, in addition to any special vows required by specific communities.

  • Atlantis

    The Order of Special Full-Time Servants

    When I read my 1995 Yearbook for the first time, I spotted something I had never seen in any literature before. This is the paragraph that made me stop and wonder:

    *** yb95 5-6 ; Jehovah's Witnesses-1995 Yearbook Report ***

    Among the full-time workers were 15,145 members of the global Bethel family. They help to provide literature, supervision, and other beneficial services in support of the worldwide work of Bible education. Of these, 5,082 serve at the world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and at nearby facilities. All of them are members of the Order of Special Full-Time Servants, a religious order that is devoted exclusively to the ministry - (italics mine).

    Then I saw it again in the 1996 Yearbook. Here's the quote from that book:

    *** yb96 8-9 ; Jehovah's Witnesses-1996 Yearbook Report ***

    Among those in full-time service are 16,468 Bethel family members around the globe. Of this number, 5,709 serve at the world headquarters; all of these are members of the Order of Special Full-Time Servants.

    Additionally, 4,374 care for assignments that require them to travel from one assembly to another in an assigned district or from one congregation to another in a circuit. One of the principal activities of all such traveling overseers is taking the lead in the field ministry.

    The Order of Special Full-Time Servants! According to the Yearbook, this is a religious order, although I have failed to find any other reference to the "order" in any other publication.

    When I asked a variety of Elders about this, none seemed to know anything about this "order". Even Circuit Overseers and District Overseers didn't seem to know anything about it.

    Then, after extensive investigation, I found someone who was able to offer an explanation. Apparently, when brothers or sisters are accepted for Bethel service, they are asked to take a "vow of poverty"!! So by doing, they become members of this "religious order".

    Why should they be asked to take such a vow? Why should there be a seperate "order" if we are all God's servants? Does all this not have undertones of "sects" and "divisions" amongstthe congregation?

    It seems the short answer to all this is that it is another tax dodge!! By taking this "vow" and entering this "order" the members avail themselves of various tax consessions.

    *** Rbi8 ; Matthew 22:21 ***

    " Then he said to them: "Pay back, therefore, Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's things to God."

    *** Rbi8 ; Galatians 5:19-21 ***

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness............................... divisions, sects, 21 envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning YOU, the same way as I did forewarn YOU, that those who practice such things will not inherit God's kingdom."

    It seems to me that the WBTS is quite prepared to compromise Bible principles in order to evade paying "Caesar's things to Caesar"! It was just the same in the way the literature was suddenly offered "free of charge" , not to give freely what we had received freely, but rather because it allowed them to avoid paying sales tax!

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