New Hall Funding Arrangement

by thedog1 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • thedog1

    Well our local needs part on this went very uneventfully. The brother read it out in such a way that the main thrust was the new arrangement with only two donation boxes in the hall. Then, almost as an afterthought to the proposed resolution to send exactly what we used to send as the loan repayment, he casually mentioned that we would no longer be paying a loan. I don't know if it really sank in, but he didn't ask for any questions from the audience and nobody seemed to be bothered.

    The funny thing about this, if it wasn't so crazy overall, is that it will benefit our cong locally. We were going to be paying a loan off for a long time under the old arrangement, and I was thinking that, what if we can't repay the resolved amount, what are they going to do, take the hall back? If we hit hard times, then we don't make the resolved amount, and in a year's time we lower the resolved payment. What will benefit the org in resolutions from richer halls with paid up loans and big bucks in the bank, will actually, I think, take the pressure off struggling congs like ours. We are somewhere in Europe where people are not too well off, and many struggle for the basics.

    Personally, I think the whole thing stinks, and I am a serving elder. I never thought I would see the day when all our financial decisions would be taken out of our hands locally. In the old days the congs were quite autonomous. The co visited twice a year and poked his nose in, and aftwerwards we went back to doing what we did locally. This was in my home country where I don't live anymore. But we had the feeling of controlling our own destiny. I heard not so long ago that my old cong had done a really expensive refurb, about 50 or 60 thousand euros worth, and I don't know if they had the cash for that (possibly) or if they are not in hock in perpetuity to the org. They were in a good place financially a few years ago but of course with the new changes they will have to suck it up and send in a resolved amount even if they are free and clear on the refurb.

    How times change! I used to be quite idealistic about what we as JW's were doing for the good of ourselves and others. Now? Having read CoC and IN Search of Christian Freedom and all the stuff here, well...

  • 88JM

    Much the same experience at the hall here too - the real meaning of the change was totally lost in all the waffle.

    My comments here on this thread:

  • LisaRose

    Basically you went from buyers to renters. You might have paid the loan off at one point and had no payment, but that will never happen now. It might benefit some congregations, especially in poorer areas, but overall the Watchtower is coming out ahead, they have an income stream from every congregation that will never stop. And no one will ever really know how much they are making.

  • SyntaxError1974

    Here is what sucks for our hall.

    we had about $14,000 left on our loan. But we were always tight on money. A publisher inherits a sum of money and pays off our loan! For about 5-6 months we were easy sailing. Then we had to remodel. Our elders kept it modest and we only needed $10,000 loan. The rest we came up with. A year later we are half paid off, and someone kicks in the last $5,000. Once again we are debt free. Or so we thought. The branch or our CO, I don't remember, "suggested" that we help out in the new translating department they were building locally. How were we to help out? By taking on a $20,000 loan and donating the money for the project!

    I'm a little disturbed by this new arrangement cause that meana we are locked into payments or forever now.

  • Oubliette

    SyntaxError1974: I'm a little disturbed by this new arrangement cause that meana we are locked into payments or forever now.

    You should be VERY DISTURBED.

    What you just described sounds disturbingly like a con-game.

    Let's not forget that the "con" part stands for confidence. First they gain your confidence, or trust, then they rob you blind even though your eyes are wide shut.

  • prologos

    wt writers can not pledge and guarantee their promesses, but are making sure that the rank file keep their's,

    TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE watchfull TAXMAN. a corporate reshuffling of accounts? renaming mortgages?

  • ctrwtf

    What if people, being people, decide that their cash should go elsewhere? The society is setting themselves up for holding the paper on worthless loans. Ya gotta love the stupidity.

  • SyntaxError1974

    Well we had our letter read tonight, and little slips of paper. One slip to each publisher. So my family got a couple. We looked at each other with puzzled looks. Why did we each get one? My wife made a tiny paper airplane. I asked "why?" She shrugged, figured we only needed one.

    Anyway, our brother giving talk stressed to be REASONABLE. Like they wanted us to keep amounts low. He even said "now in the past we have done this, and we have not kept our obligations... So keep it reasonable"

    After the meeting I saw an elder hand his slip to another elder. It said "5 cents". I tried to act like I didnt see it as i was laughing.

    Will be interesting too see how this pans out...

    oh! I was curious why slips were passed out when i thought we had a current loan. Turns out someone paid off this loan as well. So it seems our elders are not anxious to indebt us any further.

  • leaving_quietly

    We had the letter read, too. Of course, I played dumb the whole time. I gave a very puzzled look when I saw the attendants handing out slips. When the elder was explaining it, I started to shake my head just a little. My wife leaned over and said not to write ANYTHING down and we'd discuss it later. Let's just say that this whole thing is obvious, even to the most loyal JW. At home, she called it a tithing (yep, she came up with that on her own), and said, "we don't do that!" She would continue to contribute, but would absolutely not commit to a set amount every month. She told me she even chewed out an elder after the meeting over this and said it really takes the willingness out of the picture and that the Society was wrong on this one. I suspected she wouldn't want to do this, knowing her as I do, but I didn't expect her to call out an elder. That was funny. Anyway, she said it was my decision, and I said we're not turning in the slips at all, and if they force us to, write down $0. I gave her the scriptural direction from Matt 6:3, which she agreed with this time. We didn't even have an argument over this. She made her own decision and I played dumb the whole time and just let her. It was quite fun to watch play out.

    I did get a chance to explain about how the KHs will be owned now, and alerted her to how much money the Society raked in with the closures and sales of branch offices and their Brooklyn properties. She didn't much care about who owns the KHs. I also asked her to do the math on how much the Society stands to make. And when I did that, I realized something... most JWs probably only think at a local level. I told her to figure the amount if each publisher only give $1 and she said, "Well, that's $100 per month." I then said, "No, no, no... think globally." Then I walked her through the math and at the end said, "That's $96 million dollars in one year. Surely that could build a LOT of Kingdom Halls. This is a cash cow for the Society." Whether she thinks on that any more or not, I won't know right away. But the Society set it up so that this topic can be freely discussed. Maybe it will lead to other things. She did comment that there's a LOT of big changes happening and she doesn't like it. However, even with all this, it will take a lot more to wake her up. Since we use the wake vs. sleep illustration, you can still be sleeping and have bad dreams without waking up.

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