How much did the other countries pay for the 1000 kingdom halls in the philippines!

by StephaneLaliberte 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • StephaneLaliberte


    While looking at the article “One Thousand Kingdom Halls and Counting” on, it immediately made me think: “Ahhh, this is where a large portion of the funds for the construction projects must go. Clearly, the Philippinos are all poor and they need the financial support of richer countries. After all, when I think of them, I envision a man (or a woman), collecting rice out there in a field; you know, poor, dirt poor; extreme poverty.”

    Alright, let’s stop the stereotypes and let’s see some facts: The Philippines is considered a middle power with 10 percent of its population living in poverty. (*1)

    Wait, what?? In the USA, it is 15 percent of the population that is poor! What else?

    The Philippines’s average salary is the third worst of the 72 richest countries (*2). Ok… so, they are not poor, but most of them barely make the ends meet.

    This raises the question: Is the required contribution for a Kingdom hall so high that most of them cannot afford it? Let’s run some numbers here:

    450 brand new Kingdom Halls, not 1000!

    The publishers count grew from about a 135 thousand around 2001 to a 189 thousand in 2013. Keeping in mind the present average of 60 publishers per congregations (3,156 congregations in 2013). This represents an increase of 900 congregations. Yet, many Kingdom Halls serve two, three, or even more congregations. Let’s average it out at 2 per KH and we get 450 new kingdom halls.

    What about the 550 KH reported by the article?

    They seem to fit the description of the last paragraph: Previous building was sold or rebuilt to make way to bigger, better suited KH. Thus, these particular projects were cheaper for they either did not have to purchase the land (if the KH was completely rebuilt) or the entire project was funded by the profits obtained from the sale of the previous KH!

    In addition to the above, one most also remember that the KHs are not as expensive as they are in richer countries. Most of these halls are very modest. To illustrate this, one assembly hall has no walls surrounding its auditorium! (*3)

    Considering the above, it is my opinion that the JW in the Philippines have the ability to contribute enough for their own buildings.

    Yet, the society uses the following sentence to make us believe that it was donations from rich countries that made it all possible:

    “in 1999 the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses set up a program for building Kingdom Halls in lands with limited resources. Under this arrangement, local Witnesses contribute what they can, and funds donated in other countries are added to that amount.”

    In regards to the Philippines, this article conviniently does not state the actual percentage of funds contributed by the other countries.

    (*1) (*2)

  • SonoftheTrinity

    What is it with Catholic countries and the JWs? JW will give you all the guilt of Catholicism without any of the nifty little old bells and whistles.

  • joe134cd


  • Listener

    Quoted from the report

    "Steady growth in the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines and in many other countries increased the needfor Kingdom Halls"

    They love repeating the idea that they need these buildings when that is not true at all, they simply want them.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    What is it with Catholic countries and the JWs?

    WT has always had a hardon for the CC and holds some permanent angst against it. Simply put, WT condemns the CC only because the CC got there first and WT hates being runner up.

    To the OP: WT operates much like government bean counters. It can turm losses into gains, failures into triumphs all by creative accounting tactics. Despite the fact that the number of JWs is allegedly increasing, and the number of hours counted annually is increasing, while baptisms simultaneously stall or decrease, is creatively turned into growth and "progress" by WT.

    Since WT has no transparency whatsover and cannot be audited by a neutral party, all one can do is speculate as to what's really going on. Short of outrightly fabricating the numbers (think: Enron) anyone with a fifth grade education can run the numbers and see WT is at the very least fudging somewhere along the way.

  • New Worldly Translation
    New Worldly Translation

    You're comparing two different types of poverty statistics. If you look at the figures the Philippines are using an absolute poverty scale of what looks like around <$1.50 a day. The usa poverty stats are relative poverty i.e what percentile of the population live on a certain fraction of the average salary. Even taking into account greater purchasing power in the Philippines per dollar the figures still aren't comparable, as it makes clear in the wiki.

    A good question to ask is how much did the org get in contributions for those KH's. Probably a lot more than the building costs, especially as they always get free labour. The org operates like any business, it invests its capital where it sees growth hoping to get the best return. Only difference is the workers aren't paid and actually contribute to the wealth of the owners. It's all incredibly cynical and why the WTS shouldn't be a charity. They don't do anything charitable.

  • cultBgone

    What ADCMShirley said.

    This supposed growth in the wt numbers can be easily explained this way:

    Once upon a time, jws BOASTED that THEY were the only ones who DID NOT COUNT everyone who was baptized. (This is similar to the lie about voluntary contributions.) They bragged that the only ones included in their member count were those who were actively "preaching" (which explains why they made the 15-minute provision for infirm and elderly ones).

    NOW, as it's been reported by several on this site, elders have explained that THEY COUNT INACTIVE ONES in their totals. Back-room accounting where the numbers twist and turn in the wind like whirlygigs...

    So just another reason, perhaps, to consider a formal DA or DF as it removes you from the already twisted numbers of the borg's braglist.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    New Worldly, the point about the poverty line is: Once you cross it, you can do other things with your money than simply survive. Such as giving a little bit of money to your local church.

    So, the idea of what it takes to survive is relative to the countries and regions. For instance, you would never see an open wall assembly hall in Canada, even if it was used only during the summer, cause everyone would complain about the heat, the rain, the mosquitos, the outside noise, etc. Yet, from a Philippinos standpoint, one liked it so much that he posted a video bragging about it!

    Considering that the buildings are very modest, contributions are not expected to be much either. So, once individuals cross that poverty line, it is somewhat relatively easy to give "a little" something every month. Especially considering that they believe they are the only one true religion and that they must "seek the kingdom first".

  • jimbojones

    Keep in mind that rural halls may only have 1 congregation due to long distances between towns.

  • New Worldly Translation
    New Worldly Translation

    Ecan6 - you're creating your own definition of poverty that doesn't tally with either of the statistics from the USA or Philippines. The Philippine govnt reform act put the poverty threshold at enough per day to cover subsistence ie basic food, clothing, housing. If you want a better education, toys for children, savings etc you need income above that poverty level. You could give to the local church but you would be a large percentage of your disposable income.

    The US definition of relative poverty means that even those in the 15% of the population below that level can have a decent amount of disposable income because the average standard of living is much higher. There's also govnt services that add value to income (though this is somewhat offset by different tax rates in different countries) A better gauge of poverty is the percentage of income spent on basic foodstuffs as this also gives an idea of ppd, purchasing power per dollar.

    I'm not arguing with your broader point of why other countries should or shouldn't contribute and if there really is a need for all those new KH's. I agree that the org uses the U.S. & others to bankroll its plans around the world. All I'm pointing out is that your poverty statistics aren't equatable and so can't make the point you want them to make.

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