MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL BEQUEATH US IN THEIR WILLS!
G'day Tax dodgers,
Recently my father-in-law died. Alan was a lovely man but, being as brain-dead and naive as the next Elder, he'd willed half his hard won house to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society "for the Worldwide Preaching Work" (aka: the big pot)
I suspect there was a certain amount of "buying a stairway to heaven earth" in Alan's bequest but can't prove a thing ;)
In light of this I have begun trolling for information on the Societies a$$ett$.
My interest was further sparked on hearing that the WBTS had made it into the New York Ten Biggest Businesses list.
I have started with the New York Public Records Office which holds quite a list of Watchtower Property worth upwards of $1,000,000. US. each.
Before I dig much further I'd like to know whether anyone else has published information enabling a humble snoop such as myself to form a reasonably accurate estimate/guesstimate of the WBTS's current monetary worth.
In recent times, apart from the Society gaining title deeds to most of the worlds (60,000+?) Assembly Halls & Kingdom Halls, money has been pouring into the Watchtower coffers through investments, direct donation, wills etc..
Call me an uneducated son of an Adelaide plumber but 60,000 Kingdom Halls at a conservative average of $100,000.US = $60,000,000,000.US Add to that New York property, shareholdings and other assets and we are talking billions of loverly loot. (be enough leverage to make Donald Trump drown in a puddle of his own drool).
I may well be covering old ground. Please feel free to correct me or provide links to anything you've read on this subject here or elsewhere.
Watchtower Society and Donations
The Watchtower Society (WTS) has often criticized other churches for passing collection plates during meetings. Churches that organize bingo, party games and other fund-raising efforts have also been repeatedly condemned. At the same time the WTS has emphasized that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not solicit donations! Comments like the following were common in WTS publications like The Watchtower (WT) and Awake! before 1990.
w1987 12/1 30-31
‘Where do such funds come from?’ is an often-asked question. Unlike the churches of Christendom, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not take up collections or send out envelopes to solicit donations. Rather, contribution boxes—like the treasury chests of Biblical times—are set up at their Kingdom Halls.
1975 9/8 26
it not a comfort for them to know that in the local congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses they will never be tithed to pay out a percentage of their income? Nor will unscriptural money-raising schemes be imposed on them. It is at the Kingdom Hall that an unobtrusive contribution box is located for use by those who wish voluntarily to give money to support the work of the congregation. Donations mailed to the headquarters of the Watch Tower Society are also unsolicited and entirely voluntary.
w1974 9/15 559
The Kingdom Halls of this happy group are open to you and you may attend free of charge, without having to suffer embarrassment by a request for contributions or the passing of a collection plate.
w1971 8/15 506
The emphasis in all giving among the Witnesses is that it must be voluntary and spontaneous, from the heart. In fact, ever since the earliest days of the modern witnesses of Jehovah it has been their policy that never should there be any passing of collection plates or similar solicitations for money.
w1962 5/1 278 How May I Contribute?
Jehovah’s witnesses have never gone begging for finances.
Boasts like the above stopped after 1990. Why? Because the WTS began to openly solicit donations not only from its own people but also door to door from the public—and not only on Sundays but every day! How did this happen?
The California Board of Equalization wanted to assess sales tax on the sale of books, tapes and other items by the Jimmy Swaggart ministry. The WTS filed amicus curiae (a friend of the court legal brief) in support of Swaggart’s stance that a religious organization should be exempt from such taxation. (The WTS considers all other religions to be under the influence of the devil, but in this case it joined hands with the devil!). On January 17, 1990 the Supreme Court in California Board of Equalization vs. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries ruled against Swaggart.
One month after the Supreme Court ruling the WTS announced a new policy—that in the USA its literature which was heretofore sold at a fixed price should be offered free to the public and a donation solicited.
The WTS introduced this new donations policy evidently to avoid tax on the sale of its publications. Asking for donations – something condemned for a century – had become acceptable.
Moreover, detailed appeals for donations appeared in WTS publications. Notice how no avenue is left uncovered:
How Some Make Donations to the Kingdom-Preaching Work
• CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK: Many set aside or budget an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled: “Contributions for the Society’s Worldwide Work—Matthew 24:14.” Each month congregations forward these amounts either to the world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, or to the nearest branch office.
• GIFTS: Voluntary donations of money may be sent directly to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the Society’s office that serves your country. Jewelry or other valuables may also be donated. A brief letter stating that such is an outright gift should accompany these contributions.
• CONDITIONAL-DONATION ARRANGEMENT: Money may be given to the Watch Tower Society to be held in trust until the donor’s death, with the provision that in the case of personal need, it will be returned to the donor.
• INSURANCE: The Watch Tower Society may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or in a retirement/pension plan. The Society should be informed of any such arrangement.
• BANK ACCOUNTS: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to the Watch Tower Society, in accord with local bank requirements. The Society should be informed of any such arrangements.
• STOCKS AND BONDS: Stocks and bonds may be donated to the Watch Tower Society either as an outright gift or under an arrangement whereby the income continues to be paid to the donor.
• REAL ESTATE: Salable real estate may be donated to the Watch Tower Society either by making an outright gift or by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. One should contact the Society before deeding any real estate to the Society. • WILLS AND TRUSTS: Property or money may be bequeathed to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania by means of a legally executed will, or the Society may be named as a beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages. A copy of the will or trust agreement should be sent to the Society.
B J Kotwall; Investigator Magazine No:73 2000 July pp. 48-51
Watchtower building in Brooklyn Heights for sale
A giant waterfront building owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn Heights could soon go on the block - with an early estimated price tag of $120 million.
The potential sale of the nearly 1 million-square-foot building at 360 Furman St., a structure that many expect would be converted to luxury lofts, has local Realtors abuzz.
Help Wanted - Watching Watchtower Money
MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL BEQUEATH US IN THEIR WILLS!
360 Furman was sold, I believe last year. Also, 2 new buildings are up for sale that I know of ... Livingston and another one.
Thankyou What-A-Coincidence (may i call you What A?)
now i just gotta get my formatting right .. grumble ..mumble .. hell n' hades n' ..buckets of blood ..
Hi unclebruce Long time no see.
I don't have any direct info for you but I can maybe point you in a direction. Over tha last couple of years I have been working on indexing the forum for some of the best posts that we need to keep track of. You will find finacial info at
The Best of... WTS Finances over 70 links to topics on this board
and you might also want to take a look at
although I expect the first one might be the most likely choice. They are up to date from the beginning of the forum except for the last year. I'm still working on that part. I just updated it with some links I had sitting on file in my computer. Hopefully it will halp you find what you are looking for
Thankyou Lady Lee,
I just read your thread from last Aug. (conveniently parked next to this one lol)
Great work sis - wonderful - just what the uncle ordered PS: I do have a personal interest in this stuff - my ex who has never been that impressed with exjw stuff is now trolling the net furious that her father changed his will to leave out the grandkids - in line with watctower policy)
BadOdorTower is the # 1 Con artist
in the world !
What'sat you say Think? - raise your voice a tad I didn't hear ya .. are you say'n the Watchtower Men are the most evil motherless crap filled bunch of useless no good nazi bullshiters this side of the Brooklyn Bridge? Surely you're not suggesting Jehovahs Witnesses are the most selfish bunch of braindead power hungry hypocrites that ever drew breath on sweet planet earth? You don't mean to say that the Brooklyn Bible Scholars are no more than a squad of shit filled suits hellbent on exerting their pathetic brand of psuado-religious authorita over the poor, stupid, helpless needy vulnerable folk who just happen to answer their doors on a bad brain day? .... Surely ... but
That was a very informative and useful post UB, the general picture is unmistakable this is a commercial organisation rather than a spiritual one. They always ask but never give, they do no charity work for their poor but loyal members and their mindset is very much opposed to such an activity.
I am surprised that they are in the top ten New York enterprises since only a few years back they were at position 36. Apparently they are progressing fast when it comes to capital accumulation in the form of money or real estate.