The often "live in" assembly hall overseer is another huge money drain. In our part of the world it is often reserved for one of the sunset pioneer couples to enjoy a free suite provided they ride the $$$John Deere lawnmower/snow plough once a week and look busy at every assembly by c hekcing theermostats, chastising kids for playing in the lunch room and schmoozing with the appointed assembly overseer late afternoon in a an office at the back of the hall.
"Suggested" Donation when attending Circuit Assembly
I've always wanted to take a dump in a circuit assembly contribution box . . .
144001 - LOL!!!
I'm one of those who was a JW in the '70s when the "free meetings" thing was really emphasized, so the ATMs in assembly halls and "suggested donation per publisher" thing are outrageous. How long before you have to pay at the door?
Knowing you have to donate a certain amount of money in order to attend might just force some JWs who are living from paycheck to paycheck (because they didn't get higher education and therefore have a crappy job) to decide between groceries for the week and attending the assembly. So then the attendance drops, so they have to charge more per publisher, and on it goes...
Maybe they wouldn't be experiencing such a money crunch if they hadn't spent so much restoring old hotels with luxurious appointments back in the '70s and '80s. Buncha weenies!
The Odd Life of Jehovah's Witnesses
Bad enough you have to waste your weekend listening to that rubbish. Now they expect people to waste their money also.
I have bad news for them. They aren't getting anything. You see, the principle is that people generally pay according to the value they receive from the program. Usually, if people perceive the program as worthwhile, they will donate nicely. If they continually see value for their time, they will usually donate nicely. True, some are cheap and donate little or nothing. But, on average, you tend to get donations in proportion to the value you generate.
On the other hand, if people are perceiving the program as a waste of time, they are more likely to stint. Some don't donate anything because the program is rubbish. Others donate very little. When you have to hound people to give a predetermined amount, and then guilt them into attending, chances are good that people are going to resent donating. At least with a movie, you are paying for entertainment. Bad movies usually get crap attendance and generally are viewed for free or at a steep discount; great movies (Saturday Night Fever, anyone?) usually generate high attendance and premium prices (or crowded theaters), and the price to see it remains high long after the movies come out. People are willing to pay full price to see a movie like Saturday Night Fever, even these days. Since when has anyone seen an a$$embly of Saturday Night Fever quality?
If they can't put out Saturday Night Fever quality, they shouldn't expect Saturday Night Fever donations.
In the principle of ethics ... what is the difference between passing a collection plate in front of people ... or ... passing people in front of a collection box?
Hi KurtBethel, is the excerpt you posted entitled Plastic Card Donations from a Watchtower publication? If so, can you reference it? Thanks
The drying up of funds is the only thing that will make them sit up and take notice.
It's all about the money.
These 'suggestions' are also made here in the netherlands, where they read out the cost (incredibly high for just heating and light) and then simply divide it by the number of attendees and sum up how much every person should pay.
Very intereting reading. Marked for reference.
If you want to look at the finances of the UK Assembly Halls they are all on the Charity Commission website here:-
They make for interesting reading.
Also the Watch Tower Society of Britain:-
and I.B.S.A. :-
Our friend jws made these points in his post:
“ Yeah, but those utility bills can add up for a large building. I wrote a program for a large retailer in the US and it collected cost info for each store. Man, some of those utility bills for a store, which is comparable in size to an assembly hall, were in the 10,000 dollar range/month. Of course you are talking about 7 days/week for a store vs. for the most part, 2 days/week for an assembly hall (or are they 1 day now).
I never knew how booked up they were, but I can't imagine you've not enough JW congregations to book it year round. And even when nobody's there, you're you're still paying utility bills to keep it at a moderate temperature so as not to freeze things or overload electronics with heat, but nobody's there. And you've probably got water going to keep the grass green. Even if they were booked every weekend, you still have the weekdays when nobody's there yet it still costs them.
I don't know about your assembly hall, but the one I went to had caretakers who had apartments there, so those apartments would have used utilities year round.
And then there's the maintenance. Snow removal, painting regularly, re-paving parking lots, landscaping, fixing broken things, pest control, etc. Although they probably have JWs who volunteer their time and maybe in some cases, donate their costs (parts, gas, etc).
And I'm sure you've got large insurance policies that cost money too.
And who knows whether all of them are paid off or if they are paying a mortgage. ”
Not to invalidate anything he shared, but I’ve noticed the expenses are excessive regardless. In other words, whether the assembly is being held in a Witness-owned assembly hall, or a rented facility, there is always a deficit announced and the cost is thousands of dollars for even a one-day event. That tells me there is someone “cooking the books” and that these events are now seen as moneymakers by the bean counters back in Brooklyn.
Costs are artificially inflated so that the rank-and-file are coerced into donating more. I can remember thinking that a deficit from an assembly reflected poorly on Jehovah’s name and that compelled me to donate more because I felt guilty. Looking back on it now, I believe I was being psychologically manipulated. Nothing I’ve read here has made me feel differently. I’m glad I’m out of this particular ‘snare and racket’!