Show me the money (WT as Fannie Mae?)
I posted this on the "Remodeling the KH" thread and did not get the desired feedback.
When everyone is done picking on me over in the CBS/Silentlambs thread, maybe you can turn your attention to the following questions.
1) If the Society still charges interest on the loans to the congregations, how does the Society justify this, since it is clearly unscriptural? Surely there has been a "questions from our readers" about this?
2) Who holds the property deed to the Hall? Is it the Society, or the local congregation? I don't mean a lien - if the WT holds the mortgage, they have a lien on the property, of course. But my house is "mine" as long as I make the payments, with the deed in my name. Whose name is on the deed for most halls?
3) Francois - you claim that the Society was listed as a secondary insurer. If they are able to provide insurance, they must be registered as an insurance company. This doesn't show much "trust in Jehovah with all your might", hmm? If you can find proof that they are an insurance company, they must have an AM Best rating. I was unable to find any reference to the WT at ambest.com.Tell me if the following scenario is true or not. Some of it is factual, some is speculative. - Circuit/Society decides that current assembly hall (built by volunteers) is too small/outdated/too dangerous. - Society sells old hall to Babylon the Great. - Volunteers spent countless hours working on new assembly hall. Congregations set aside special donations for the new hall. - Circuit takes out a loan/mortgage, presumably financed by the WTBTS, with interest. - Hall is ready. Circuit assemblies begin. - At each assembly, circuit is reminded of expenses for the assembly and encouraged to donate. - Society collects fees for the assembly, always greater than or equal to claimed expenses. If this scenario is true, I would love to see some reliable documentation on this.
I don't fault them for charging SOME interest since inflation eats money.
There are various fanatical brothers who love construction - needed or not.
I don't doubt your assembly hall scenario - but getting much documentation is difficult because the C.O.'s
hold that stuff.
Another popular deception - low-balling the price. You tell the friends a new assembly hall is only $800,000
and then jack it up to $2 million or so when they actually start building. The suckers never object or complain
about being lied to. Same goes for Kingdom Hall estimates - often bogus.
Ah, but I do fault them for charging interest and I don't see how they can get away with it.
One of our former elders on here must have some documentation?
I believe the Society has controlling interest in all buildings within the Corporate. When I was the Account Servant, the first time, The Society charged 7% interest on the Hall loan and set up all the required insurances, for which it was reimbursed. If the locals donated the land, build the Hall themselves, paid all the ensuing debts and expenses themselves, but in some future date had a falling out with the Society, they could and would be put out of that building and new people of the Societies choosing would replace them. They own it all, you get nothing but lead out the door and off the property! Maverick
I'm puzzled as to why this thread is going nowhere.
I always wanted to be able to get someone to donate money to me, ask to borrow some of it back to build a hall, and pay me interest on the loan. I always wondered why halls didn't just save the money they were sending to the society instead of donating money so they could borrow it back and pay interest. Talk about religion being a snare and a racket...
Perhaps I am off base here in my assumptions then. Surely if the scenario I constructed were true, someone here would have documentation or comments on it.
I can not provide documentation but I can confirm that the insurane for health care for COs DOs and specials is with the Society not an outside firm. This is now also the case with Property insurance. They decided to keep the premiums in house 8-10 years ago as I recall. The premiums were not reduced but property loss payouts were based upon replacement cost within the KH building program (materials only) not fair market value. This new arrangement saves millions and generates millions more for the Society.
I'm not too knowledgable about any of this...but here is what I know.
The society does charge interest, but I understand it to be a small amount to cover the cost of inflation so that the WT does not LOSE money by loaning it out (as Maverick pointed out.)
The hall is then built by volunteers in and around the congregation. Once the hall is built, the building is actually donated back to the WT (that's part of the whole dedication ceremony.) So the WT does own the building in the end. Not a bad racket.
Last I heard from an insider was that several years ago the society reduced the rate of interest for Kingdom Hall loans from six to 2 (or maybe 3) percent per annum.
I seem to recall the Bible saying one should not charge a brother any interest on loans, but then I forget: the GB and other WTS big shots are not "brothers" they are "spiritual masters" to their flock.
So, in that case, I guess they can charge all the interest they want. However, if a CO, DO or GB member borrowed money from an R&F dub and the dub demanded the same amount of interest, that dub would be out the door faster than than you can say "'Jehovah's Organization' sucks!"