Circuit Assemblies - Do they make money? Convince Chas

by Chaserious 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Chaserious

    I have seen a number of posts here stating that the WTS turns a profit off CAs (and DAs for that matter) as if it is an established fact. I tried searching for prior threads on this, in case maybe there is evidence I'm not aware of (such as inside sources), but the search function is not too advanced so I didn't find anything. In any event, about 4 years ago when I used to attend them it seemed that the expenses they would announce for a 2-day CA would be around $10k, and for a 1-day it would be $5k. So it seems safe to assume they are taking in about $10k per weekend. They don't have assemblies every weekend, at least where I attended, especially in the summer, when they had almost none. So I think it would be reasonable to figure they have assemblies 35/52 weeks of the year. This would be $10k x 35 = $350,000 per year. To me, it seems like it would cost about that much to maintain an assembly hall. I was wondering if others disagree. Among the costs would be:

    Utilities, and not for a house mind you. These are 100,000 square foot monstrosities, often with several outbuildings, that are being heated and have at least some other utilities running 7 days a week.

    Cost of the caretaker and his wife, including all of their living expenses, health care, home, etc.

    Landscaping - where I attended it was on multiple acres, with large garden/flower displays in the summer. It must cost a lot to keep up with that.


    Maintenance - Labor is free, but there are still materials, and it's often necessary to rent expensive equipment to do seemingly ordinary maintenance due to high ceilings and other unusual features. I know from experience. Also they do provide meals to volunteers doing maintenance and repair work.

    Am I overestimating that these things could cost $350k? I'm sure I'm forgetting some expenses incidental to maintaining such a big property. Are they charging more for expenses now? I'm not tied to my theory - I'd love to be wrong. But please, I'm interested in logic or evidence, not "The WT$$$ is greedy, of course they are making money." Thanks!


  • LostGeneration

    Ummmm...built right into that "expense report" (using the term loosely) is an automatic donation to the WTS. Usually somewhere from $1,000 to $4,000 going off of memory from five years back.

    Automatic, tax free, pure profit for the WTBT$.

  • Chaserious

    Interesting... when they have the elders' business meeting do they list the expenses in detail to the elders? Or just tell them the amount and get a vote? And who decides the amount? The assembly overseer, the CO? Or does the WTS suggest a certain donation?

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    Here in the UK each congregation makes a donation to the Assembly Hall Fund each month. We send £1.00 per publisher per month. Multiply that by the number of publishers in the circuit and you can see how much extra flows into the coffers each year.

    Have a look at the Charity Commision site and look at the finances for each of the Assembly Halls. It makes interesting reading.


  • Chaserious

    Thanks St. George. They don't have publicly available information on non-profits available like that in the U.S. I did take a look at a few of the accounting statements in the UK. That is really interesting that you can see all of the accounting records for even the local congregations. It seems some of the Assembly Halls do quite well. So the Assembly Corporations then don't make a direct contribution to the WTS in the UK? I see that the only category where that might fit in would be "Cost of holding meetings" which would not be entirely accurate. In fact, in the U.S. I think it would be a violation of accounting standards to call a donation to a global nonprofit the "cost of holding meetings."

  • jgnat

    Here in Canada, the returns of charitable organizations is published. Here is an excerpt from the Edmonton Assembly Hall, located at picturesque Devil's Lake by Onoway.

    The building is only used for assemblies, so it's income and expenses are directly related to that function.


    2011 Total revenue: $186,474

    2011 Charitable program expenses $153,455

    2010 Total revenue: $174,993

    2010 Charitable program expenses $108,014

    Nothing is broken down for utilities, building upkeep and so on. The accounting looks a little funny to me.

  • RoosterMcDooster

    In the US the business meeting usually goes like this:

    There is an elder who is assigned to handle assembly accounts. He vaguely reads off the expenditures. The co's receipts are included. A donation to the wt is added. I'm not sure where this number comes from but it isn't from discussion with the elders present. Lets say apx $1000. This is added as an expense weather donations are in a deficit at the time or not. Elders can ask questions, but whenever that happens he will be politely responded to but usually there is that sense that he's getting the evil-eye, sort of marked for observation. Although there is a call for all-in-favor elders are pretty much suposed to agree. Sometimes there are other matters discused with the elders. For example, one time it was suggested that cable tv be installed in the co's apt and paid for by the circuit. So, yes the wt definitley profits, because there is almost always a donation included in the expenses unless there are some extenuating circumstances.

  • RoosterMcDooster

    Plus your missing 30 mins of lunchtime!

    Sh%t, i just missed half of judge judy.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    Well when we had an assembly hall in the SFV, north of Los Angeles, the expenditures were pie sliced into each weekend there was an assembly. Despite the fact that it had other uses, the entire bill including a dontaion to NY were put on the publishers each weekend.

    After some time, they sold it at the hieght of the market, and rented a hall as they needed it. There are no expeditures during the week now, as it's not owned or rented during that time. Do the expenditures go down to the dubs? No. They just have less to spend it on outside of the organization

  • MrFreeze

    Once the assembly hall is built and paid for (with the brothers and sisters paying for it to be built), it is nothing but profit.

    When they built ours (and then later remodeled), the WT spent $0. All of the brothers and sisters in the circuit paid for it to be built.

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