I appreciate your concerns regarding `facts`. I can`t speak for
what is happening everywhere, but as far as Japan is concerned,
unlike the US, the building codes are very minimal and KHs are not
high priced due to some kind of superior quality. If anything
they are adequate, but inferior in design and quality to other construction.
The greater concern here is perhaps not so much whether or not the
society is making money, but rather the false images being presented.
Anyone who has looked throught the Proclaimers book and seen all the
glossy photos of large buildings and tracks of land the WT owns has
had the question run through their mind of `So, where is all the money
coming from to aquire all this stuff and keep it operating`. There seems to be a disconnect at this point. One the one hand the WT projects the image of being a religion which is not interested in
taking people`s money and to reinforce that image there is frequent
bashing of other religion`s financial excesses. Yet at the same time the `visible` success of the WT via buidlings,etc. is@held up as a sign of Jehovah`s blessing. In Japan, in the last three@years congregations have been closing (238 in all) and KH leases have
been given up due to lack of funds at the local level. Yet, the
headquarters is finishing up a major building project. The local
bros and sisters are kept poor, while the org. is still expanding.
Another issue of concern is exactly what you pointed out;namely,
`What is actually going on with the money?` It`s difficult to get the
facts, because the org. doesn`t tell the facts. Annual financial
reports AREN`T AVAILABLE. They are for companys and for most religious
organizations. Yet, the WT keeps the figures secret. They want to maintain the image of not being interested in money. If the org. is
making big bucks, why not be open and say `WE`RE MAKING BIG BUCKS`.
Why hide behind a facade of altruism while the very size of the buildings themselves speak volumnes regarding finances. Looking at
things objectively, I think it`s fair to say that the majority of
policy decisions (new light) are due to legal issues, growth issues
or financial issues. JWD