Dose Wt really have that much cash.

by joe134cd 48 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Lostandfound

    Technology changes on a worldly business carry a cost, Redundancy. No WT redundant bethelite walking away with a fat payoff.

    Reportedly bethel brothers in third world no longer to receive first world living standards, does this apply to the American or European bethel heavies running things?

    Worldy business shows a huge loss of redundant equipment/ surplus plant. WT simply stores it away for spare parts or out of the way. Most equipment paid for so no continuing cost. Balance sheet may show this but not cash flow.

    Cash flow has fallen off a cliff with end to literature being paid for, congregations being more and more made up of retired or retiring age people with little in the way of cash to put in box.

    It would seem that the arrangement to cancel mortgages where they applied and to apply a universal levy on congregations has not worked.

    Individual congregations cost WT nothing, so reducing number has negligible effect on outgoings, less COs maybe.

    Consolidation a new overlapping word, ' you thought it was your Kingdom Hall but you were wrong, you have been Overlapped with zzz cong'. Only benefit WT has at moment is selling off surplus halls, a once only opportunity. GB appear to be well catered for in new Warwick. Complex , if society can afford such luxury why should I give my food money to society? Only long term guaranteed income is from sheep, but they beginning to like steak not just grass.

  • shepherdless

    In response to DoC, yes I am not familiar with how healthcare works in USA. Just a question: does Medicare cover those elderly who need assistance in their home? Does that cover those who have to go into aged care or nursing homes?

    sbf: translation is another thing I wonder (not knowing anything more about how bethel works than what I read on these pages) that is overstaffed? My personal experience is that if I have to get something translated for where I work, it is not that expensive, and even a 10 page complicated document is back within 24 hours. Obviously the Borg cant do that, but I still suspect the Borg is saving peanuts in this regard, with shorter and fewer publications.

    I don't think any of us really know what is going on in WT headquarters, but the symptoms are of a business with significant cashflow concerns. The biggest puzzle at the moment, is why?

  • slimboyfat

    Are you sure translation isn't a significant cost? Remember we are talking about simultaneous translation into hundreds of obscure languages here, not just one major language into another. A reduction in text of what, 50% in the last decade or so, must be a huge reduction in labour across all the branches involved. Plus the languages they removed altogether. I got the impression it was costly when the strange story broke about the house they bought in Wales as a supposed translation centre a few years ago. At the time they seemed intent on creating many such translation centres. I suppose that has been dropped in these straightened times.

    Having said that, I suppose they will rely on computer translation at some point with minimal human input. It's becoming more and more reliable.

  • shepherdless
    Are you sure translation isn't a significant cost?

    In short, no, I am not sure (and not what I said, btw). The primary reason is, I don't know how Watchtower goes about it. If it was done in a lean manner, I would imagine that there would be 2 people assigned to each language; perhaps 3 for a major language, and 1 for a language that is really just a variation of a more common language. So for 100 languages, you might have 200 people working on them, and I wonder if there would be enough translation work to keep the 200 fully occupied.

    However, Watchtower probably has some inefficient bureaucratic process where 1000's of people are involved. There must be someone else reading this who knows far more about it.

    My original point was that printing less literature doesn't actually save Watchtower much money. That less pages means less translation work is a good point. I wonder, however, whether Watchtower has just kept the same translation teams, but they have less work to do, now, limiting the savings. Dropping some languages must result in some savings.

    This is a side issue, btw, and I freely admit I have no expertise or inside knowledge about the labor cost of translation work.

  • RichardHaley

    I thought the WTS MEPS covered most of the simultaneous translation of their literature so hundreds of translators were not needed.

    "During the 1999 service year, the Watch Tower Society spent $64,475,225.00 in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments"

    I remember when it was around 1 million... 200 million now?

    The monthly cong "expence" to the wwwork is no different than passing the plate as far as I am concerned and even worse since you are contracted to do so.

  • Crazyguy

    I think they got a wake up call about expenses a few years ago. Thier getting lots of cash but probably only from a few nations as others don't have the money to donate.

    I think Guy Peirce quote was really about weather or not they got a settlement from the toxic dumped they bought.

    I don't think they care for many retired JW, an ex Bethelite told me they make sure and send ones packing before they get to 65.

    Thier dramatically cutting back on expenses and don't even care about countries in places like Africa and they just plain pulled the plug on India.

    The big question is how much are all the lawsuits going to cost them?? So far they have been able to get away with thier policies but one good lawsuit and that could all change.

  • darkspilver

    I thought the WTS MEPS covered most of the simultaneous translation of their literature so hundreds of translators were not needed.

    But remember what MEPS actually is - Multilanguage Electronic Phototypesetting System - that means simply that it's a sophisticated form of a typewriter that can handle the typesetting of over 600 language fonts.

    Note that the acronym was later changed to represent Multilanguage Electronic Publishing System

    I believe the most recent reference to it's use is in the - still currently being used - Jehovah's Will brochure

    Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today?

    Lesson 23: How Is Our Literature Written and Translated?

    Computers speed up the process. A computer cannot replace human writers and translators. However, their tasks can be sped up by using computerized dictionaries, language tools, and research materials. Jehovah’s Witnesses designed a Multilanguage Electronic Publishing System (MEPS) by which text can be entered in hundreds of languages, merged with accompanying artwork, and composed for printing

    Awake 8 March 1986, pages 24 to 27

    MEPS — What It Can and Cannot Do

    Does MEPS Translate?

    Remember now, MEPS is a multilanguage system, which is certainly needed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, since they regularly publish in over 150 languages. MEPS is unique because of its ability to handle all of these, as well as many other languages. In fact, presently it is programmed to take care of nearly 200 languages! But what does this mean? How is MEPS able to get written text translated from say English into Spanish?

    The point to get clear is that, while MEPS can process many different languages, it does not translate from one language to another! People are used to do the actual translating. Machines are unable to replace humans as truly effective translators. The MEPS graphics terminal has been designed to display a great variety of languages. How has this been done? The keys on the keyboard have been made so they can be redefined, that is, they can electronically be altered to care for any language for which the computer has been instructed, or programmed.

    Let’s illustrate this by examining what happens when a Spanish translator, working with a typewriter, translates text from English to Spanish. The translator has the English text before him on paper. Using his knowledge of the languages, he translates the thoughts from English so that the Spanish reader can absorb the ideas that were originated by the writer in English. But the translator cannot type the Spanish text with an English typewriter. Why not? Because the Spanish language has accented characters that are not found on an English typewriter. He needs a Spanish typewriter. And that’s what the MEPS graphics terminal provides. To get the Spanish keyboard, a simple command is punched that alters the keyboard to that for the Spanish language.

    But as noted earlier, it is not simply Spanish and English that the MEPS graphics terminal can handle but nearly 200 languages! And as you may well be aware, many languages, such as Armenian, Korean, Russian, and Arabic, use an entirely different alphabet, or script. Also, there are nonalphabetic languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, for which MEPS is now being programmed. Some languages read from left to right while others read from right to left. Programming MEPS to take care of all these languages has been no small task, and there is still much to do!

    However, remember: While MEPS can handle all these languages, a person who knows the language has to do the translating, and the translated text has to be entered into MEPS.

    Some smaller branch offices and isolated translators do not have the direct need of the MEPS equipment. In many cases they use only the IBM Personal Computer, which stores what is entered on it on a thin, flexible diskette. This diskette is then mailed to a branch having a MEPS, where the material stored on the diskette is composed and prepared for printing.


    Indeed, MEPS is making publishing in many languages easier. Truly, it is an exciting leap forward in publishing, even though it does not make writing easy and does not translate.

  • Vidiot
    Crazyguy - "The big question is how much are all the lawsuits going to cost them? So far they have been able to get away with thier policies but one good lawsuit and that could all change."

    Oh, I don't know.

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that a hundred hungry piranhas can do way more damage than just one shark.

    (not to belittle the shark's contribution, of course :smirk:)

  • DesirousOfChange

    Just a question: does Medicare cover those elderly who need assistance in their home? Does that cover those who have to go into aged care or nursing homes?

    Medicare does not. It only pays for "skilled care nursing home care" when the patient is in short-term rehab with the purpose of being able to go home and live on their own. However, Medicaid (State assistance) will do both for those who are "indigent". I'm sure most former long-term Bethelites would qualify as indigent as they "gave their all" to the Organization.

    There was some skuttlebutt [gossip] on here some time back about Judah Ben Schroeder and his millionaire FIL planning to build some "retirement homes" [nursing homes? assisted living?] for JWs. Elderly Bethelites were mentioned as potential residents. I suspected the plan could be to fill them with elderly aged Bethelites at the expense of Medicaid. Also, they could work on recruiting wealthy elderly JWs who would get to hobnob with longtime "heavys" from Bethel. Assisted Living is a huge business in the US. Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) and her hubby are in the biz and are immensely wealthy.

    The Lutheran Synod is invested big into Assisted Living facilities geared to attract wealthy Lutherans who can make a sizeable "down payment" for a unit at the facility and they move them from "assisted living" to full scale nursing as their health fails.

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