What business is the WTBTS in anyway?

by Room 215 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    What prompts this question is my personal experience in attempting to obtain WT literature: I tried through my wife, who still attends a meeting or two, to obtain, via special order, two large print Bibles (one in a major foreign language) and a Concordance. It turned out to be a cumbersome process that took a full SIX MONTHS to fill the order!

    I don't know whether my experience is an aberration, but I've heard similar complaints from others regarding the length of time it takes Bethel to deliver on the goods in anything but magazine orders.

    Watchtower BIBLE AND TRACT Society? What would happen to a publicly traded company that took six months to deliver its principal products to a consumer not 70 miles from their source? And what does all suggest about their current priorities and the sinceriy f their commitment to publishing and disseminating the ``life-giving Good News of the Kingdom?''

  • truthseeker1

    I believe the problem lies within the congregation, not the publishing company. For large books to come through the congregation, the cong must pay for them. They don't get them until the money is sent to the publisher. Its kinda like a layaway situation. You put the order in and make payment until you can afford the books. Then you send off for them and you get them. This is just what I heard, correct me if i'm wrong guys.

  • Room 215
    Room 215


    Thanks for your observation. That still doesn't absolve Bethel. If the current procedure is cumbersome, it's because that's how it was designed to be... by the big boys, not the locals.

  • writerpen

    It seems deceiving that they would charge the congregations for any literature being that they advertise that it is available at no cost. Are you sure about the congregations having to pay for the books? If so, this is totally new news to me.

  • ozziepost

    Interesting points raised here.

    The situation downunder is just the same as your experinece Roomie. Campaign literature is easy to obtain, but special items are very slow in arriving. Why the delay?

    Here in Oz we receive our supplies of books from Brooklyn, so when an item arrives, it comes by the carton-load. You can have an oversupply of one item whilst no supply of another. When a consignment arrives in Shipping, the congregation orders are filled and if any are left over, an announcement is put in the KM. In practice, we found that a congregation has to be pretty quick off the mark to get an order filled from an announcement. Thus, the unfilled orders are put on "back order" to await the next consignment from the States, and that could take quite a while.

    The easiest method is to go direct to Bethel and buy direct. Of course, this is discouraged!!! Why wouldn't it be, it's breaking the rules!!!

    Roomie's point is valid and highlights the poor distribution offered from "God's earthly organisation" (so-called). It certainly is a problem.

    Do the congregations bear some responsibility? Of course they do. Most times the literature servants are not the most positive of characters. From what I've seen, they'd prefer to under-stock than over-stock. Well, they've got to count the stuff, haven't they? And they don't want to make a "rod for their back". They also often seem to be, well let me try to be tactful, not the brightest of guys. Good solid men, maybe, but not exactly Type A personalities, for the most part. Getting them to actually be "on the ball" could be difficult, and if the Service overseer is a lazy guy, then the poor pubs haven't got much hope! That's why in the Sydney region, each day there's a stream of individual Dubs arriving at Shipping to get personal orders filled.

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • new boy
    new boy

    The real reason for the wait

    Most people don't contribute enough money for those big books. So by waiting some of the old folks will die in 6 mo. Or also Armageddon could come, and save them some money too.

    Room 215 where you at bethel or not?

    Why will you not answer?

  • Farkel


    There's only a 20% gross margin on the Concordance, since the society doesn't publish it. WTS publications on the other hand deliver a 200%-300% gross margin.

    While considering gross margins in their shipping and ordering priorities is certainly Bible-Based(tm), carrying large inventories of non-WTS literature is certainly not high on their priority list. This too, is all Bible-Based(tm).

    Hope that helps.


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