The truth about the donation arrangement

by Wolfgirl 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • Wolfgirl

    I never knew this...just found it today. Made me giggle.

    Payment of sales tax on literature

    On 17 January1990 the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling that sales tax must be paid on religious literature. The following month, a letter from the Watchtower Society went out to all congregations stating that there would no longer be a set price for literature but that they would be given to the public on a donation basis. By way of reason the letter stated that "by adopting a method of literature distribution based completely on donation, Jehovah's people are able to greatly simplify our Bible education work and separate ourselves from those who commercialize religion." They also stated in one of their publications that "there are growing pressures against all religious elements" and that their main concern was to move ahead in the worldwide Kingdom preaching work, "without hindrance". [102] The Supreme Court ruling was not mentioned.


  • Stealth453

    Quite a bunch of crooks, aren't they?

  • Oroborus21

    where were you at the time?

    actually what was more fascinating is that in the U.S. and a few other countries the rationale that the new donation arrangement was the result of godly direction and a step in further refinement (essentially the gist of the message) apparently didn't apply worldwide as many countries or most countries did not change to the donation arrangement for many more years.


    (hoping that no one raises the stupid Amicus brief issue saying how WTS was in bed with Swaggart Ministries thus demonstrating their complete lack of understanding what a friend of the court brief means)

  • why144000

    The main reason that the Watchtower Society of Australia ( the legal entity) moved to the donation arrangement was to avoid the (then) new Goods and Services Tax implemented in Australia. I believe that, if someone gained some legal advice it would be proved that the Society are guilty of blatent tax evaision. I visited bethel in Australia before the tax was legislated and had discussions with the treasurers department regarding the issue. It ended in "you say we are and we say we are not". Such is life!

  • Clam

    1. Early 1980 - State of California informs Jimmy Swaggart Ministries that tax is due for religious books and tapes sold in the state since 1974. Swaggart eventually pays the tax--$183,000.00--but sues for a refund. The case begins moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court.

    2. February, 1989 - U.S. Supreme Court rules it is illegal for Texas (and 14 other states) to exempt religious books from sales tax. Some states had been taxing religious books all along.

    3. Summer, 1989 - Society gives away ‘free’ books released at U.S. conventions. Witnesses are asked to place donations in contribution boxes to cover the cost.

    4. June 22, 1989 - The Watchtower Society, files Amicus Curiae ("friend of the court") brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Jimmy Swaggart case. (Others filing similar briefs include The National Council of Churches and The Society for Krishna Consciousness).

    5. January 17, 1990 - U.S. Supreme Court rules against Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, declaring that the sales tax must be paid.

    6. February 9, 1990 - Society writes letter to congregations announcing that literature will no longer be sold at Kingdom Hall and no price will be set in door-to-door distribution.

    7. February 25, 1990 - February 9th letter from Society is read at Sunday meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses across the United States.

    8. March 1, 1990 New policy of distributing literature without naming a price goes into effect.

    9. The March 15, 1990, WATCHTOWER magazine and March 22nd AWAKE!--printed earlier--still say ‘25 cents (U.S.) a copy’ and ‘$5.00 (U.S.) per year.’; The April 1, 1990, Watchtower no longer carries a price.
  • wannaexit

    CROOKS is what they are

  • The wanderer
    The wanderer

    The Watchtower never seems
    to surprize me anymore.

    The Wanderer

  • dedpoet

    The donation arrangement came into effect in the UK in 1992/3 I think, and we were told it was to give greates simplification to our important preaching work. Nothing was mentioned of any tax advantages for adopting it.

    As a previous poster said, the wts are indeed crooks.

  • Pahpa

    The issue always seems to revolve around money or property. The desperate attempt of the Watchtower to defeat these rulings failed. So, the Watchtower put a spin on the situtation to make it seem that this new "contribution" arrangement is charitable and noble on its part. But, in fact, it is instituted only as a means to avoid paying taxes. (What happened to Jesus admonition "render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's?")

    It's only the latest effort in a long list of failed "theocratic strategies." The Watchtower was willing to cozy up to the Nazis in Germany in the early 1930s to save its property in Magdeburg. It declared itself a "cultural organization" in Mexico to save its property there. (It even eliminated prayer and religious songs at the meetings.) In Bonham, Texas, it was willing to declare itself a legal "hierarchy" to keep control over the Kingdom Hall. And this is the organization that boasts it is honest and forthright in all its dealings!

  • purplesofa

    Thanks for posting.

    It makes my blood boil when I see stuff like this......seems every decision they make is a reaction to someone elses decision. New Light comes when their money is in jeopardy.


    I think about my Mom in her later years, giving all she has right now to the org, her time and money, draining her and she does not even see it. If things keep up like they are for her, she will be living in a tent, filled with WT literature to distribute.

    And the way they have hooked her.........she has two loved ones that she is doing all she can to be "good" to see them again during the ressurection.

    thanks again for posting...........I will show this to her.

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