Question for Dogpatch (Randy): What will it cost to produce the new 16-page Watchtower & Awake?

by Alfred 51 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Alfred

    When literature used to be sold D2D, I remember how the Society never missed an opportunity to trash other religions for "peddling God's word for profit" while boasting about how the Watchtower only charges for the cost of the paper and ink.

    In the book "Witnesses of Jehovah", the author mentioned that Randall Watters used to be involved in print cost analysis and determined that, while we were selling WT & Awake mags for 20 cents door-to-door, it was really only costing the Society 4 cents per copy to produce. That's a whopping 400% profit!

    Obviously, things have changed... the paper is different, as well as the ink and printing methods in general. But based on the current quality and weight of the Watchtower & Awake mags, what would be the Society's cost to print a 32-page magazine versus the thinner 16-page mag?

  • Disillusioned Lost-Lamb
    Disillusioned Lost-Lamb

    32-page magazine = more beth-hell-ites to house and feed.

    16-page magazine = ex-beth-hell-ites having more time to peddle litter-a-turd.

    Cost may minutely change but income/profit will grow.

  • jookbeard

    literally 1 or 2 cents max, R Franz addressed this in SoCF, the mags with free labour really do cost peanuts to produce, and Ray even requested the opinion of a commercial printers who said they could even make them cheaper when the set price contribution was in place. Even more evidence to prove that they are a stinking filthy money making racket.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Yeah the difference between printing 16 pgs or 32 is a flip of the switch. Especially considering the whole reason to get out of NY was they had these brand new presses coming on line that could do so much of the work?!?

  • Gayle

    do you think probably, JWs will donate the same at least for the 16 pages as they did for the 32-pages? So WTS will make more profit than ever?

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    do you think probably, JWs will donate the same at least for the 16 pages as they did for the 32-pages? So WTS will make

    more profit than ever?

    If the society spins it right they almost definitely will

  • blondie

    jws donate? Based on the account servants I have known since 1990....few donate anything; few ask the non-jws for money. They will save only if 16 page magazines cost the WTS less to give "free" to the jws themselves. I can see them printing them from and having the congregation pay the cost of printing.

  • besty

    JW;s are a loss leader for the WTS - printing is a cost of sales - the real money is in the same place it always has been for god - the buildings.

    Even if JW's don't donate throughout their lifetime there is a fair chance of making a substantial donation on their demise.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Agree with Besty.

    Just last week I past by a KH thats for sale. I remember building this hall back in the late 80's early 90's and the hall was in good shape the last time I was there for a wedding in 03. I cant help but wonder was this hall victim of the KH remodeling scam. I know an old hall I went to before bethel was closed because the congo's could not afford the remodeling scam.

    As long as they keep up the assemblies and DC they will keep a healthy cash flow coming in and they can scale back other operations.

  • Devil_Fish

    Here is where I think the WT is going:

    1. get all articles on line.

    2. Give each cong. a loan to get a color printer.

    3. have Congs. print on demand, and pay for the paper and ink themselves.

    4. have congs. pay back the loan on the printer.

    5. deem the printer inadaquate, force the congs. to take out another loan for a new printer, and then the WT will pick up the old one free of charge (and sell it on Ebay).

    Wash, rinse, repeat.


  • dgp

    And how are we worldlies expected to behave now? How will we be able to hint we'll buy the magazine if they leave quickly?

  • factfinder

    The last time I toured the Brooklyn factory in 2003 we were told it cost the society 8-10 cents to print each magazine or brochure.

    I would guess then that a 16-page magazine would only cost them 4 or 5 cents to print.

  • Alfred

    Devil Fish ... I think you just gave the Watchtower Real Estate Investment Corporation a great idea... they should give you at least 10% of all profits that this idea will generate... You can send me half of that for bringing up this subject on this thread...

  • Devil_Fish


    It is a fairly easy buisness model to see once you see it. I just scaled it down from realestate to office equipment. To be honest, If they offered me 10% for this idea (which they would not) I would not want their filthy money. I also would not put it past them to try this. The WT will bleed the people any way they can. I feel most sorry for people who have been belivers their whole life, just to get kicked to the curb when they start to figure out the truth about "the truth".


  • therevealer

    Their model almost certainly involves continuing to print magazines. The cost of the behemoths installed in Canada (I think) prohibits their quik demise. And the color printer at the hall just doesn't fly. The equipment for that process for those amounts is something that most companies that do this do not buy. The company like IBM install and service them (and when I say service them) I mean spend considerable time doing so. Also printing off 81/2 x 11 sheets is not going to work which would require folding 11 x 17 and stapling or some such. I have had experience in the printing trade and do not see the model of the hall production working. Just my 25c worth.

  • Sheep2slaughter

    I took the 'print at the hall' as sarcasm. Our elders can barely work the copy machine! They haven't been trained by the WTS how to print and collate so no dice!

  • Dogpatch

    Hi friends,

    Sorry I just saw this, been working all day getting my audio interview with Robert Jankowski, former P.R. and radio host for the Society when I was there in the late 70s. Will have it up soon with a couple of pictures. Bless his heart. He often did drama voices with Tom Cabeen for assemblies and all kinds of stuff.

    I am 30 years removed from modern industrial printing costs, and they print so many more magazines the cost goes down. But paper has doubled since then, too.

    I would assume that a 32-page signature (32-page for WT and Awake!, 64-pages for smaller books) printed, stapled would be about a dime or less nowadays in the quantities they print. Just a guess. (I still keep up with paper costs, etc. because I have 4 printers).

    So before, they made a 32-page mag for 4 cents and sold it for 25 cents. Now they get virtually nothing in return because the publishers don't have to pay for them (thank you Jimmy Swaggart!), so they definitely lose money. I haven't seen the latest circulation figures, but if they have a run of 32-page magazines of 20 million, that will cost them $2 million a run. If they still print using 30" rolls of paper, they will get TWO mags per signature, basically cutting the cost by about 40% per run on those. So maybe the 16-page version costs them (including overhead, depreciation of equipment, etc.) 6 cents each to produce.

    Witnesses as a whole are very cheap, following the lead of their GB leaders.

    As Blondie said,

    jws donate? Based on the account servants I have known since 1990....few donate anything; few ask the non-jws for money. They will save only if 16 page magazines cost the WTS less to give "free" to the jws themselves. I can see them printing them from and having the congregation pay the cost of printing.

    So if they run two 32-page mags and one 16-page mag a month, it may cost them $5.5 million a month. That's a wild guess, but couldn't be too far off.

    Pocket change when they sell a hotel for millions, but they will run out of property in Brooklyn quickly if they didn't sell the buildings. So I can tell they are trying every possible way to make money now, even including getting reimbursed for teaching the deaf non-JWs by some outside source, either the government or what, I don't know, but it makes them a fair amount of money. Then they are squeezing every penny out of the older dying JWs and their property assets left to the WT in their wills. They are suggesting the JWs pay certain amounts now for assemblies, or at least hinting the amount. They aren't losing on printing books, as they got rid of large binderies for hardcover books, and if the congregation doesn't pay for the books they order according to the equivalent of the old price lists, they will bill the congregations and suspend shipments of books until they pay up. They are making a mint off of quick-builds, and all the new properties they are building are purposely being constructed to be easily converted to industrial use so they can sell them for a ton of money in a few years. They are dying and they know it. They have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to offer their members but fear, hatred of outsiders, and guilt. ANY other religion offers many perks to their members, from free babysitting to luncheons to handicapped transportation, and the church pays for it and don't charge the people. That's what makes many churches big happy families. Yet even then only a few in the churches really contribute much.

    When people get nothing from a religion or church, they stop going. Doctrines don't mean a damn, especially when they change them so often that no one really knows exactly WHAT they believe last week or next week. You can stay home and be religious and believe whatever you want, but people go to church or KH for their everyday living needs and association and encouragement and EMERGENCY HELP. NADA from the greedy Watchtower.

    Soon some charismatic leader(s) within the WT will rise up and draw away crowds, it always happens. It happens in the churches all the time. That is why I can predict these things better than most of you, because I have spoken in perhaps a hundred churches, visited with the elders and pastors and listened to their problems, from Tokyo to Australia, and it always follows the same pattern. If you know the church world, which you likely don't, it is easily predictable if you talk to the insiders.

    Then study other cults that have petered out or are dwindling to nothing now, and it's always the same. I'm not a prophet, I just know how companies AND churches AND megachurch organizations work, that's all. I spent plenty of time broadcasting at TBN in Irvine and Christian Research Institute to be ignorant about all the details, the money, how it's spent, and so on. Religion is big business.

    They have a great advantage over non-profits like Freeminds because in the U.S. they don't have to file big forms and tax reports - if Freeminds were a religion, I could hide anything I wanted! As it is it is a god-awful amount of paperwork and accounting I have to do, now aided by Lance Goller, our new Treasurer. But even then I spend big bucks a year on getting the paperwork, forms, etc. done because California and the Feds make the forms so difficult to figure out now you need a professional. I can't write articles or hardly even blog anymore because of all the behind the scenes work.

    If anyone ever cracks open the WT files on finances (Robert Jankowski told me they hardly kept any financial records in many areas when he was there). it would put someone(s) in jail.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    wow Randy WOW

  • factfinder

    Thanks Randy.

    Its interesting you say the wts is dying.

    It will be interesting to see what happens as time goes by.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I always poo poo predictions like his but I've been in one to many business fsilures, where the perspective of the company from outside, the "inner circle", appeared solid as a rock. And then, a lock out. When it eventually unravels, and it always does, NO matter how shady the bookeeping proves to be, it will likely, still not convince people that it's a frickin' cult.

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