Britain Branch to Cease Printing Sooner Than Expected

by The Searcher 45 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vidiot
    Gorbatchov - "...That's what you call a sect."

    Or just "good business", depending on your POV.

  • careful


    AND still be in a good London based-location (including on the London subway network, and numberous nearby congregations.

    Doesn't it seem to be the point with the Patterson and Warwick moves that the GB wants all Bethel staff AWAY from good locations with their subway networks and nearby congregations? Isn't the German branch out in the boonies somewhere? The trend is clear...

  • Vidiot

    @ careful...

    The more an authoritarian group displays a trend to withdraw from an urban to a rural setting in response to legal problems or the like, the more extremist and culty they inevitably get.

    It's almost like they can't not do it, in no small part due to the group's need to preserve its sense of exclusivity at all costs.

    And the more extremist and cultier the WT gets, the sooner its days are numbered.

    So please, WT... by all means, withdraw.

    Withdraw to your hearts' content.

  • TheWonderofYou

    This plan includes a large printery however. (Dont click on the blue text) Its even the biggest building there.

    Who said that rumors are saying that the central european bethel in Germany would be sold after it will be refurnished and renovated with free labor and the british bethel will be ready? This will be fine after Brexit. Britains JW again will become the colonial might.

    The Construction Project
    At the heart of the site will be the printery. Office buildings and support facilities will be situated nearby. Modest accommodation will house the Bethel family. These buildings will complement the beautiful country site at Temple Farm.
    The construction of the new Britain Branch Office includes:
    • An energy centre to support the site's infrastructure
    • Water treatment plant
    • 550 residential units (one and two bedroom apartments accommodating up to 1200 residents and visitors)
    • Health and aged care facilities
    • Recreational facilities
    • A visitor centre
    • On-site parking (undercroft...) for 1,040 vehicles
    • Vehicle Maintenance & Vehicle Wash
    • Gardens, ponds, and walkways
  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i wonder how much of it will ever get built

    underneath parking for 1000 vehicles... why that many ?

  • darkspilver

    i wonder how much of it will ever get built

    Compare the two projects.....



    Full size graphic with readable names:

    hat tip to this thread:

  • slimboyfat

    My guess is they started planning and building the new headquarters before the decision to cease printing in Britain was made or perhaps even contemplated. They are making cutbacks at break-neck speed, and the impression they give is a rather hasty and chaotic retreat.

    incidentally it's simply not true that ebooks are replacing physical books in society at large. Recent figures have shown decline in ebook sales and increase in physical book sales.

    I think that the JW leadership is moving into ebooks and downloads simply because they can't make money from physical books any more. This is a consideration that is peculiar to JWs in particular, and not general to the publishing industry. It's not because books in general are in decline (they are not) but because the Watchtower organisation has been unable to charge a set price for the literature since the 1990s.

    So new technology is not forcing the JW leadership out of publishing. Rather new technology is enabling JWs to get out of publishing altogether which was already no longer lucrative for the organisation for at least a couple of decades now. The signs that publishing was simply no longer generating money have been there since the 1990s: when they stopped printing attractive hardbacks and producing cheap paperbacks instead.

    If they were still charging for the literature they'd still be making money out of them and they wouldn't be cutting back.

    I would not be surprised if the organisation stops printing altogether. It may still want to print Bibles, tracts and a few select items. But they could probably pay outside companies to do that, as they did in the early years of the Watch Tower.

    All of which does rather raise the question what bethel and headquarters are for. Other than to provide a nice environment for the GB to live and exercise authority.

    Plus if they stop printing operations then what are they asking ordinary JWs to donate money for? To maintain JW broadcasting and the website? It's a bit thin grounds for asking monthly contributions from working people and old people to hand over life savings.

  • slimboyfat

    It reminds me. Please someone else who knows the story in detail either contradict or confirm the following:

    I visited the Austrian branch in the early 2000s. From what I remember it was small but there was a whole section of the branch that was not in use. In the 1990s or 1980s they had expanded the branch in anticipation of printing lots of literature in many languages of Eastern Europe when communism collapsed. But in the event, although JWs grew strongly in Eastern Europe, it also coincided with the replacement of hardcover books with paperbacks, and printing in Europe was consolidated in Selters in Germany. I'm not sure if the Austrian branch was ever even used to print on the basis that it was intended. It lay half dormant for around two decades before the branch was closed altogether. Hardly a sterling example of efficient planning or use of funds.

  • shepherdless

    sbf and darkspilver have already said more eloquently what I would have said.

    Watchtower lost the practical ability to charge a fixed price for its magazines in 1990, which damaged the business model. In the last decade the business model was destroyed when people started to refuse to pay anything for magazines. Shortening the magazines, consolidating the printing presses, and offering them in electronic format only stems the losses. They are in decline, and haven't found a solution as yet.

    As sbf says, Chelmsford was conceived and planned before the collapse in the business model became apparent. As darkspilver points out, the Borg has shrunk the project in response. Now the Borg has to make the decision of whether to shut it down and wear the loss, or waste further funds building a big white elephant. I have a low opinion of the Borg's management ability, and my guess is that they will fall for "sunk cost fallacy" and actually build the white elephant.

    One final point; a lot of people here think the Borg is morphing into a real estate business. Maybe that is the plan, but a lot of real estate companies with better management go broke. Let them try. It will probably hasten the demise.

  • slimboyfat

    As I understand it, a lot of what passes for "real estate business" is simply riding the inflation of boom periods anyway. Making money long term from property is not easy. But if you get lucky during a boom it breeds overconfidence, as WT may be. When the WT sells its major property assets there's no guarantee they'll ever manage to recover anything like it. Free labour doesn't cover a slump or an asset sale during a particular phase of the cycle. Financially it appears WT is in serious trouble with no readily apparent solution.

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