Tax Exempt status - is there a way to get JWs to lose it?

by Black Man 26 Replies latest jw friends

    First, in the U.S. they would have to no longer qualify as a religion under the law.

    Blondie nailed it..


  • designs

    If Congress wrote a Law to change the Tax-Free status of Religions in America the Society would have to send Lobbyists to Washington along with all of the other Religious groups.

    Upside- we'd have a whole new claim against them like we did over the NGO/UN lobbying.

  • jam

    First of all, tax exemption is A privilge not A right.

    Most people are aware that A church or religious

    organization can lose their tax exempt status for

    engaging in partisan political activity, like endorsing

    A political candidate (they don,t enforce that one).

    What many aren,t aware of , though, is that the

    same can happen for promoting or engaging in

    things contrary to government policy.

    Conscientious objective. Why would the

    government grant exempt status to A organization

    that openly tell it,s members not to serve for their country

    and let others die for you. Why should they have the privilege

    of no taxes.

  • jam

    One final thought. The government need A revision

    for tax exempt religious organization. Any religion that

    causes disunity for the citizens of this country should

    not receive tax exempt status.

  • AGuest
    in the U.S. they would have to no longer qualify as a religion under the law.

    I'm not sure that's completely accurate, dear Blondie and OUTLAW (peace to you, both!). I think they could actually cease being a religion, but still qualify as a non-profit (i.e., 501(c)(3), vs. 501(c)(a) - I think...). The religious status keeps them from having to pay personal income taxes on any salary or benefits (room and board, etc.) for those who receive such.

    But there are all kinds of non-religious, non-profit organizations out there. All they would need to do is say their "work" was of a social nature and beneficial to the community, then keep "offering" the literature on a "donation" basis... rather than selling them at a profit. Unfortunately, they would a LOT of other benefits by dropping the religious "nature", though. And they may need to start helping their members financially (in order to justify the non-literature related donations).

    BUT... the WTBTS employs some pretty savvy corporate attorneys. I think these would help them stay in business as some kind of non-profit, even if it wasn't [stated to be] religion-based.

    Because didn't they once DENY that they were a religion... and only changed that status when the issue of taxation on profits from the literature came up? I remember the "murmuring" when they HAD to declare themselves as a "religion" in Mexico... which was reacted to in my area with "We'll NEVER do that in the U.S.!!" Only to have some eat crow when they found out, just a few years later, that the WTBTS HAD to declare itself a religion to avoid such taxes... which change the WTBTS kept close to the vest.

    Dear ones, they're not going down alone. When they go down... all of them will go down. First Amendment, Human Rights, and other laws related to religious freedom... and discrimination... won't allow for anything else.

    Again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    One way or another, the Multinational printing corporation will do anything to avoid tax.

    they will lie, whitewash and mislead as they like. They have hoodwinked the rank and file in the past, not to mention the governments of many lands. Don't put it past them to open soup kitchens either, if need be.


  • blondie

    You have a point AGuest, in Mexico the WTS did exactly that, ceased to be a religion butrather a nonreligious cultural/educational organization. They stopped using the bible door to door and stopped singing songs and saying prayers at the meeting. That was to prevent the Mexican government from taking control of their property. But that was in Mexico where the Catholic has considerably more influence not the US where the international headquarters of the WTS resides.

    MEXICO (part 1)In the 1/1/90 WT, they state the following: "A highlight of 1989 was a change in the status of Jehovah's Witnesses in Mexico. As a result, the Bible could be used in the house-to-house preaching work for the first time, and meetings could be opened with prayer."

    What they don't state is the reason that the house-to-house preaching could not be done or that the meetings could not be opened with prayer. It was, not because the it prohibited by the government, but because the WTS prevented its own people from doing these things.

    The reason for all this goes back to the 1930's. Mexico passed a law that all buildings that were used for religious purposes would become federal property. Most religious organizations in Mexico learned to live with this. The government held title to the building and the religious organizations continued to use them for religious purposes. But the WTS didn't like that arrangement, so they reinvented themselves. Starting in 1943, the WTS (called 'La Torre del Vigia' in Mexico) no longer presented itself as a religious organization, but a cultural organization. According the the 1995 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, the following changes were made: (1) No audible prayers at meetings (2) No singing at meetings (3) door-to-door work continued, but without direct use of the Bible (4) Kingdom Halls were renamed "Halls for Cultural Studies" (5) Bible studies were renamed "Cultural Studies

    So basically, the WTS compromised on a number of things so they could continue to hold title to property. Can you imagine the apostles in the 1st century refraining from singing or praying aloud at their meetings in order to hold title to property. I cannot. This is compromise of the rankest kind. BTW during the time the WTS was passing itself off as a cultural organization in Mexico, it was arguing in US courts that it was a 'solely religious' organization in order to take advantage of tax advantages of being a religious organization.

    *** w97 2/1 p. 4 What Does Religious Freedom Mean to You? ***Consider, for example, the situation that prevailed for many years in Mexico. Although the Constitution guaranteed religious freedom, it stipulated: "Churches used for public worship are the property of the Nation, represented by the Federal Government, who shall determine which ones can continue to be used as such." In 1991 the Constitution was amended to end this restriction.

    *** yb95 211-3 Mexico ***La Torre del Vigía de México—A Cultural Society
    You will recall that back in 1932 La Torre del Vigía de México had been authorized by the government. However, there were obstacles because of the restrictions that the law imposed on all religions. Objections were raised to the house-to-house activity of the Witnesses, since the law stipulated that ‘every religious act of public worship must be held inside the temples.’ For the same reason, objections were raised to our conventions in public places. This was a problem, because these conventions were constantly getting larger. Owning property also presented problems, because the law required that every building used for religious purposes had to become federal property.

    For these and other reasons, the Society decided that it would be wise to reorganize, with a view to giving greater emphasis to the educational nature of our work. Therefore, on June 10, 1943, application was made to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs to register La Torre del Vigía as a civil society, and this was approved on June 15, 1943.

    With this rearrangement, singing at our meetings was discontinued, and the meeting places became known as Halls for Cultural Studies. No audible prayers were said at meetings, though nothing could prevent a person from saying an earnest prayer silently in his heart. Every appearance of a religious service was avoided, and truly our meetings are designed for education. When Witnesses in other lands began to call their local groups “congregations,” the Witnesses in Mexico kept on using the term “companies.” House-to-house visits by the Witnesses continued, and with even more zeal; but direct use of the Bible at doors was avoided. Instead, publishers learned the texts by heart so that they could quote them. They also made good use of the book “Make Sure of All Things,” which is a compilation of Scripture quotations on many subjects. Only on return visits and on studies (which were termed “cultural” instead of “Bible”) was the Bible itself used.
    The principal work of Jehovah’s Witnesses remained the same, namely, preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom. *** yb95 236-7 Mexico ***How has our holding of conventions and assemblies been affected by the fact that our organization is now recognized not merely as a cultural society but as the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses? In 1988 when this situation was first presented to the authorities, they simply directed us to the law that makes no provision for religions to have public meetings outside their normal meeting places. At that time they suggested that, instead of using public places, we have our own large facilities for conventions and assemblies. We persisted and asked if we could obtain special permission to hold our large gatherings in public places. They said that we could turn in our applications, and these would be considered. They did not prohibit our having large meetings, because we have always had them and other religions have also carried out public religious functions. One of the Society’s responsible brothers remembers how that meeting concluded: “When we took our leave, I said, ‘Well, then, it is understood that we are going to continue as we have been doing until there is some other arrangement.’ They agreed, and we exchanged our good-byes in a cordial atmosphere.”

  • WTWizard

    I agree that if people quit donating to the Washtowel Slaveholdery, it would have the same effect because they would make nothing. And the tax on zero is zero. Hopefully, people wise up and quit putting all their funds into the Worldwide Pedophile Defense Fund--Jehovah isn't going to bail you out if you waste all your money on that religion instead of investing wisely.

  • Diest

    This would be the one way to bring down religion in the US. Eliminate tax-exempt status, for all the organizations that arent truely helping food, shelter, secular education.

  • AGuest

    Thank you for the clarifications, dear Blondie (peace to you!). I could not remember the details; I just remember the situation in Mexico was that they were not a "religion" up to a certain point, then all of a sudden they were. My recollection is that they always said "we" were NOT a religion... worldwide... and so when "we" became one in Mexico, that was a huge change. Glad to know what the deal was all about, girl!


    A slave of Christ,


Share this