I thought I'd tell you of an experience some years ago when I served as an elder in Jersey City, New Jersey, during the first month of the change from selling books to the "Voluntary Donation" system. It seemed everyone one and their mothers decided that now was a good time to stock their libraries. Pioneers were now doubling up on their magazines for service. Witnesses who rarely bought anything, were now ordering, the New World Translation on Tapes [which, when price sold for over $100.00] everything and anything was being ordered. I was in charge of the literature counter. The invoices included in the orders were now dollarless. Three months later, the elders received a letter from the Society. It basically stated that they [the Society] noticed an enormous increase in literature orders. That the congregation had made purchases of some $3,000.00 and our donations were only somehere around $500.00. They told us we [the congregation] owed the Society $2,300.00. I'm thinking to myself..."hey wait a minute, isn't the literature "FREE" on voluntary donations?" Obviously not! The Society had it all planned out. In the envelope was another letter, addressed to the congregation. That letter basically told of the great work the Society was doing and how support was needed.
In view of that I had announced that we [the congregation] were donating to the Society from the congregation fund $2,500.00 for the World Wide Work.
Clever of them? The Society still got their money. I wonder how many congregations got that letter? Of course only the body of elders knew the truth for sure, the rest of the friends were left to believe we were so loving and generous by supporting the Society with such a big donation. Mind you no mention of the excess literature order was made.
How can they sleep at nights? It was situations like these that opened my mind to the true nature of the Society. They are a publishing house...we are their salesmen...what was that the Judge said "Advertise, Advertise, Advertise..." Nothing has changed!
In His Name!
the address of the congregation:
Jersey City West Congregation
582 Bramhall Avenue
Jersey City,NJ 07304