What would happen to the assets of the JW organisation if the cult went into meltdown?

by Half banana 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    What if the JW org became publicly exposed as a repressive and harmful cult working to the detriment of society, the membership dropped away and the GB woke up to reality and quit . . . What would happen to the worldwide property and investments of the WTBTS and allied companies? Where would the money go then?

    Are there precedents for dissolving giant but solvent corporations? Or is the cash flow exclusively their lifeblood ?

  • dogon

    Although its a nice dream, I highly doubt that they will disband anytime soon. The best we can hope for is that they lose people and shrink at a rapid rate. But there will always be a hard core Jim Jones hangers on.

  • blondie

    To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, an organization must operate exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, to foster amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. When a 501(c)(3) dissolves, the organization must settle all outstanding liabilities and distribute any leftover funds according to the provision set in its charter.

    Resolving Debts

    When a nonprofit decides to dissolve, the first thing it must do with its assets is satisfy all of its outstanding debts and liabilities. If the directors of the 501(c)(3) are keeping good records, they should be aware of the outstanding debts of the organization. To ensure that the organization settles all its debts, they may consider contacting any organizations or individuals with whom the 501(c)(3) has recently done business to inquire if any outstanding financial obligations exist.

    Donating to a Like Cause

    After the dissolving 501(c)(3) settles its debts, it may not transfer any remaining funds to shareholders or board members of the organization. When a 501(c)(3) organizes, it must include a provision in its charter defining how it will distribute any leftover assets when it dissolves. Generally, it must donate any remaining funds to another organization that has a similar mission to its own, a charitable organization, or to the federal government.

    Transfer Process

    Prior to transferring the cash to another charitable organization, the dissolving 501(c)(3) must do some due diligence and take some procedural steps: First, the dissolving 501(c)(3) must acquire information regarding the recipient organization's governing structure, its financial reports for three years, a copy of the recipient’s IRS letter of determination, and an affidavit of the recipient’s board stating the recipient is tax-exempt. After obtaining this information, the dissolving 501(c)(3) may have to obtain permission from the state where it is located to transfer the assets. Once it obtains permission, it can transfer funds to recipient, generally within a specific time frame.

    Federal Filings

    When the 501(c)(3) terminates, it must inform the IRS how it is going to dispose of its funds. When it files its final annual return, Form 990, it must enclose a completed Schedule N detailing how the assets of the organization were distributed. Schedule N describes all the assets disposed, including cash, as well as detailing any transaction fees and when distribution occurred. The IRS must receive the completed Form 990 and Schedule N within 4 months and 15 days of the dissolution of the 501(c)(3).



  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Thanks very much Blondie, very detailed and authoritative.

    After the failure of the WTBTS they could give away the remaining funds to a similar enterprise! Well of course that would go against the WT grain and if the other enterprise is based on faulty Biblical reckoning as well it would be improbable that the org, in a state of meltdown would want to give it to another chancer in the doomsday business.

    I can't help thinking that its money would be more likely to be found in off-shore retirement funds before any charitable consideration!

    OK they are not immediately going under, however illogical and deceitful they are, but the fact here is highlighted that those businesses which are financially successful, as a rule have no need to stop functioning, even if the ideas they promote and the wares they sell are intellectually bankrupt. The leaders are well aware that at the bottom end of the organisation their loyal customer base will want to keep subscribing since they have a total emotional investment in its paradise claims.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have put all their eggs; their hopes and their dreams, into the WT basket. In contrast, the JW organisation at the top is a pure business, fighting its way to maintain solvency and growth in its financial empire and to hell with the truthfulness of its teachings!

    Their predictions have never proved to be true and their beliefs routinely change.

    Surely it is only its capacity for money making which keeps the JW org alive and hence in difficult times there is even greater grasping for income as we are observing now?

  • Finkelstein

    What if the JW org became publicly exposed as a repressive and harmful cult working to the detriment of society.

    It is and will most likely sustain itself nevertheless based upon the prevailing unregulated acceptance of religion in most countries.

    Some this damaging awareness has recently come forward in the information of how the WTS been handling instances of child sexual abuse within the organization.

  • slimboyfat

    When a Presbyterian congregation in the west of Scotland closed down because of declining membership, they donated their remaining funds to the local hospice. I wonder if any JW congregation has ever done that.



    What would happen to the assets of the JW organization if the cult went into meltdown?

    The ASS-ETS Would Have To Find..


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  • Finkelstein

    Being that the WTS is probably ten times richer than it was a decade ago due its selling off many of its branches around the world, highlighted by its sales in Brooklyn, the WTS isn't going to fade away any time soon.

    The GB members are very much tentative to keep it going for the overall sake of the organization and for themselves.

  • Finkelstein

    I wonder if any JW congregation has ever done that.

    Not a hope in hell slim.

    Giving toward a worldly charitable organization or non WTS has been strongly admonished by the WTS since its inception. The WTS has made standing influence toward keeping its assets within the organization, even when a Congregation dissolves.

  • kairos

    I would be very satisfied if WTBT$ lost it's non-profit status with the IRS.

    Right after losing their non-prophet status with the r&f dubs in the Feb 17 WT.

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