When one is close to the top of a book marketing corporation, one RECEIVES, not GIVES .
Governing body members pay
US tax law allows one person to give another person a gift of up to $10,000 with no tax consequence.
If you have eight or ten such generous friends, you can do quite nicely. It's good to be King.
Some people with ego-shrink syndrome like my dad, worked for the Watch Tower Publishing Corporation all his life for prestige and power. He'd strut in his suits and ties and he was quick with a razor edge put down. He kissed ass and schemed and connived to stay in a power position for decades.
The Witness group is like any big business where it's leaders can be well liked and feared at the same time. My best opinion of the leaders was a reverent contempt.
Gary your decription reminds me of the way I once described a supervisior that I worked with: "He's like an alligator: I don't like him, but I know better than to try fooking around with him."
I've seen Governing Body members in person. I have to ask, Do these men look like they live in poverty? or in adequacy? or in luxury? How does their home compare to yours? Would you rather have your credit card, or their expense account?
Think this through. These guys have a billion dollars in the bank at their disposal. Do ya think they care how much they don't pay tax on?
What about the president of the Society? Do ya think he darns his own socks? :-)
They are not making anymore then the cost of living amounts paid to all Bethelites. Yet, they do get free room and board, housing, medical, dental, and travel expenses are covered. They also have power, which is far more valuable then money.
I always wondered, just cause it seemed like the few I met while in New York a few years back (including their wives) dressed extremely nice with lots of jewelry while most of the bethelites seemed pretty simple in their attire and hairstyles.
Bethelites are always hearing about cheap airline tickets, cheap cruises and of course if they plan their trips correctly they can stay for free at the branch office of the country they're visiting.
The green handshakes are pretty common. But, come on, for the average bethelite they need that money to eat out once in awhile or see a movie or something. They're not living high on the hog.
I remember choosing who would be on my yearbook list. It had to be someone related or someone with a generous spirit. If you sent a yearbook to the right person you could receive a nice gift in return. Same thing for sharing information early from the bethel table or the latest WT/AW. I remember some bethelites doing really well by typing up the morning worship discussion and sending it out to others.
Then there are the ones who subsist on nothing but hopper clothes. They still wear the squared off knit ties. they're at bethel because they believe it and have long since lost contact with those on the outside so they don't get many green handshakes.
When I was at bethel the saying was "it's not what you know, but who you know." If you knew the right person you could get pretty much whatever you wanted.
I believe that the JW excuse for the GB always wearing the best, travelling in the best etc is that Jesus wore a robe that was of exceptional quality that befited his status. After his death the Romans drew lots (or the equivilant) for this robe as it was made with no seam, or something such.
They believe that they too should be wearing 'the very best they can afford' and that's fine and dandy. Anything less might detract from 'da troof'!
As for the 'handshakes', I remember my father regularly slipping the CO's and DO's twenty pounds each whenever he saw them. They must have made a killing.
The Governing Body to the JWs are God on Earth. So in effect they own everything and can do anything. Who's going to argue with them?
Then there are the ones who subsist on nothing but hopper clothes.
We called them (somewhat unkindly, in retrospect) the "flag" brothers due to the mixing of colors.