How big is Bethel in New York?

by Nicolas 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nicolas

    Just asking out of curiosity... I always heard about it through the WBTS publications so I assume what they were saying wasn't exactly like the real thing. I remember how it was supposed to be a perfect place to work and everything was supposed to be in harmony with each others. I even dreamed of going to that place, when I was young. It is so big that almost everyone in NYC know its existence or it's just another building among thousand of other building?

    Also, why do they need to put a little (R) for trademark on their logo, when you visit their website, I thought the whole organization was non-profit. I don't really care about it, again I'm just curious.

  • treadnh2o

    A friend of mine (girl), described it as a big building with NO WINDOWS that a bunch of creepy gay young guys go in and out of.

    Having been there many times, I completely agree with that description.

  • dissed

    Bethel means "The house of God" or as we used to say when I worked there, "God's Big house" as in a prison's 'Big house'.

    We were not actually workers because that would imply we were respected, but were more like slaves or prisoners to our Lord and Master, the Governing Body.

    Now if you ask the GB, Bethel would be the closest the JW's would have to what life would be like in the Paradise, this side of Armaggedon. I guess its all in the eye of the beholden.

    Ah those GB Members! Selling ice or Watchtowers to the Eskimos would not only be easy, but desirable, if they could turn a dime.

    New Yorkers loved us. We were their entertainment before video games were invented. They had the uncanny ability of spotting Bethelites in the City as they tried to run us over with their cars. I thinked they called it 'Bowling for Bethelites' I never could figure out how they knew it was us? Could it have been our cheap suits, shoddy book bags, and the concentration camp-like-look on our faces?

    Little known fact: I onced touched Ted Jaracz in a crowd. He stopped and said he felt the spirit leave his body. I was instantly cured of the habit of Masturbation. It was a miracle!

  • is there help out there
    is there help out there

    I use to go there when I Installed graphic art equipment. They all walk around like zombies. It was like being in the movie The night of the living dead.

  • jaguarbass

    I've never been to Bethel.

    I do live down the street from Scientology headquarters here in Florida.

    And they all walk around like Zombies. They dont smile, they dont talk, they just walk.

  • moomanchu

    It's so big sooooooo big sooooooooooooooooo big.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I loved the report by Dissed- ROFLMAO.

    Most everyone in Brooklyn Heights would know how big their holdings are/were. But just as most people wouldn't know a Donald Trump building unless it were pointed out nor really care much which buildings are his, WT is bigger and more important in their own minds than they are in the minds of New Yorkers.

    Here is a 2007 report that gives some idea of how they were viewed. At the time of writing, it said there were 18 Brooklyn Heights buildings and 12 DUMBO buildings. The report gives you a better idea how big some buildings were.

    Selloff! But Witnesses say they will remain kings of Kings

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses may be selling a third of their Brooklyn Heights holdings, but the religious sect, a neighborhood fixture for almost a century, says it’s not going anywhere.

    Talk of an exodus was sparked this week when the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society — the Witnesses’ publishing arm — announced it was selling six of its 18 Brooklyn Heights properties, including the 128-unit Standish Arms Hotel on Columbia Heights. The organization owns another 12 buildings in nearby DUMBO.

    “We are selling these buildings because we’ve moved most of our printing and shipping to Wallkill in upstate New York,” said Watchtower spokesman Richard Devine. “But we are keeping a dozen other buildings that we own in Brooklyn Heights. Our worldwide headquarters is still here.”

    The Watchtower society, which is headquartered at 25 Columbia Heights, began buying up real estate in Brooklyn Heights in the 1980s. They also own properties in DUMBO, principally on Front Street, Jay Street and Adams Street. The Witnesses also own two large parking lots in the neighborhood.

    The Brooklyn Heights buildings are scattered throughout Columbia Heights, Clark Street, Willow Street and Remsen Street, and are all residential, mostly housing Witnesses who work in the society’s massive printing facilities.

    “When we had our entire operation down here, we needed housing for all our workers,” said Devine.

    The Witnesses have been a fixture in Brooklyn Heights since 1909, when their governing body of elders — the sect’s highest authority — set up facilities for the printing and distribution of their own translation of the Bible, plus the ubiquitous religious magazines, “Watchtower” and “Awake!”

    As printing operations expanded, the Society kept buying real estate, in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO, to house thousands of volunteers and missionaries.

    The Witnesses started the slow move north in 2004, and have been selling off their marquis properties, including 360 Furman St., a former Bible shipping facility that was sold for $205 million and is now being developed into luxury condos, promoted as One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

    Last year, the sect sold 67 Livingston St., a 76-unit tower known in the neighborhood as the Sliver Building for the way its thin 26 stories are wedged in between the wider buildings on the street. A private investor bought the building for $18.6 million.A building at 89 Hicks St. was sold to Brooklyn Law School last year for $14 million, according to city records. The 42-unit building is a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments.

    Now comes the latest trophy properties to go on the block.

    The Standish Arms — a 12-story building at 169 Columbia Heights — is being sold in a portfolio that includes a seven-story, 13-apartment building at 183 Columbia Heights and a four-story, 10-apartment building at 161 Columbia Heights.

    Three other buildings — a two-story carriage house at 165 Columbia Heights, a four-story brownstone at 105 Willow St., and a four-story house at 34 Orange St. — are being sold separately, said Devine.

    As with other property they have sold, the Watching is handling the sale internally, and will not set an asking price.

    The inclusion of the Standish Arms on the list of properties up for grabs has prompted speculation from some, and sighs of longing from others, about the possible sale of the former Bossert Hotel on Montague Street, which the Watchtower society also owns.

    But Devine says that after these six buildings are sold, there are no plans to sell any more properties.

    Real-estate experts said the Witnesses were poised to make a lot of filthy lucre. The group paid just $830,000 for 105 Willow St. in 1988, city records show. But it will sell for at least six times that amount according to broker Jean Austin of Brooklyn Bridge Realty.

    “The building could sell for $6 million — give or take,” said Austin.

    The Standish Arms is the big-ticket item, added Brooklyn Bridge Realty owner Ellen Gottlieb. A developer could offer anywhere from $25–$35 million, she added.

    All told, Austin and Gottlieb estimated, if the buildings are sold at their highest possible prices, the six could sell for $44–$62 million.

    Neighborhood residents say the Witnesses have been good neighbors, though they’ve kept themselves apart from the community.

    “If families start moving in, it’ll probably get a bit livelier around here,” said one man. “They didn’t really interact with everyone around them.”

    ©2007 The Brooklyn Paper

  • Farkel

    The Burrough of Brooklyn is cheering because of these sales. Unlike the old, "True Christian(tm)" owners, the new owners will pay property taxes. While the former occupants of the buildings that were recently sold enjoyed all the amenities of Brooklyn that were financed by taxes that the occupant's religious masters did not pay, the new owners will contribute something more important to the local economy than the dirt-poor bethelites and their super-rich masters (bastards) contributed: which was nothing. Unless you count the toxic waste they distributed to the local laundromats and bus stops which had to be gathered up and trashed.


  • Nicolas

    Talking about the super-rich masters, where are they hiding? I assume the sect is used as a way to gather more money for them but it's hard to see where all this money is going?

  • greenie

    Ditto Nicolas' point - where does the money go? Anyone in seriousness know?

Share this