Question for SBF

by Fisherman 192 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • _Morpheus

    Sparky, i dont know why we continue to try, other than to pass the time, which is why im about to try again...

    sheherdless, lets consider your argument:

    For most of its history, it made the bulk of its money selling magazines (and in the early days, books) to members of the public, not so much its own members. I think one of the Studies in The Scriptures books was the third highest selling book of all time, at one stage long ago (the bible holding the no 1 spot).”

    that is 100% backwards. The primary audiance for wt litercrap is jw’s. Nobody outside the wt org gives a damn about their interpretation of the bible and damn sure dont care about their rules and regs which is what their rags

    Next up:

    Other religions tithe. “

    As i have said over and over the wt ALREADY tithes with the perpetual kh loan and will tithe on individual members when it becomes necessary. They wont call it that but thats what it will be and rank and file will accept it readily.

    “If you count elders as clergy, Watchtower has a much higher ratio of clergy to adherents than other religions”

    uhmmm... so what? What does that have to do with their finical situation? Elders are unpaid. Its irrelevant.

    “Other religions do have businesses. SDA has food companies, nursing homes, a University, and goodness knows what else. Catholics have huge property portfolios, schools, hospitals, hospices etc. Other religions are far less micromanaging. Watchtower has to come up with a new "church" service twice a week, whereas Catholics, for example, give the identical church service every 3 years. And to top it off, many Christian religions are starting to struggle.”

    none of that has anything to do with the orgs money situation. You may as well have been quoting from works of homer. Separate what you want (the orgs collapse) from whats factual. They have adherants. The adherants have money. They give money to the org. Simple buissness model. Easy to understand. Works.

  • sparrowdown

    Is WT still here! Aww damn. Up with this I will not put!

    Here I was thinking it was coitans for WT, coitans I tell you.

    They gotta go, see, they gonna go swimmin with the fishies any day now, see.

  • slimboyfat

    I think there is some confusion over what a tithe is. A tithe is a levy on membership of a religious organisation. If you don't keep up payments you are not a member. JWs don't tithe. Asking for congregations for money is not a tithe. There is no sanction or legal obligation. Watchtower may introduce a tithe as a last resort (although I doubt it) but they don't tithe at the moment.

    If Watchtower thinks it can just ask for money and receive, they'll be as disappointed as they were in 1990 when they thought JWs would pay for the literature when the charges stopped.

  • sparky1

    "Also the history of Watchtower magazine subscription is very instructive. .......... If you are making a profit you want as many subscribers as you can get." - slimboyfat

    Yes, it is instructive indeed. Lets take a look at some FACTS:

    January 1, 1985 Watchtower magazine inside cover states:

    .20 cents American per issue.

    $4.00 per year annual subscription (equal to .17 cents per issue)

    So actually, when you bundle in subscription and cover price together, WATCHTOWER was not grossing even .20 cents per issue. And the total gross revenue assumes that cash was received for each and every one of the 11,150,000 issues printed for that particular printing run. But lets not let facts get in our way. Individual subscriptions were the most labor intensive and probably the highest cost per unit shipped in proportion to their total magazine sales. Don't forget, I too was a Bethelite. Until WATCHTOWER adopted more modern forms of processing their literature, this is how a subscription was processed:

    1. Subscription form was received in the office and mistakes were corrected on each and every paper subscription form.

    2. Corrected form was sent to Graphotype and a metal plate was made for each and every subscriber under the US branch.

    3. The metal plates were sent back to the subscription office to look for errors.

    4. The corrected version of the plate was sent back to graphotype for reprocessing.

    5. The corrected metal plates were then sent back to the subscription office and stored in huge metal cabinets on wheels by state and zip code.

    6. When each zip code of subscribers was to have their magazine processed for the week, a cabinet of the metal plates was rolled over to the rappers. These were machines that processed and wrapped every single subscribers magazine. Piles or stacks of magazines were fed by hand into the machine, which wrapped the magazine in lightweight, HIGHER COST kraft paper and stamped an address on each one. There were many of these machines.

    7. Each zip code had its own canvas bag that was then stacked up to the ceiling and back to the rear of a full size trailer truck trailer! This went on day after day after day after day..........nonstop.

    The individual subscription, besides being given at a discounted price to the customer, also had to have postage affixed to it. WATCHTOWER paid the postal rate of .11 cents American per pound of shipping. ( Postage Rates for Periodicals: A Narrative History) Without even figuring in the production costs of the magazine and the handling of the individual magazine, once you figure in the freight charge, an individual subscribed magazine now grosses WATCHTOWER between .155 cents American and .16 cents American.

    So as far as GROSS income, individual subscriptions appear to be a losing proposition for WATCHTOWER all along and not the money maker that you seem to make them out to be.

  • _Morpheus

    Slim there is no confusion. As i said call it whatever you want its a mandatory donation. A rose by any other name....

  • LV101

    shepherdless -- I heard elders blathering on stage how much more money they made off of the poorer publishers because there were millions more of them to contribute. He broke it down to their contributing a very small amount of chunk change weekly and it was extremely significant compared to a small percentage of wealthier ones.

    I do know the elders were on top of the publishers paying for the literature at the congregation I attended -- I'd hear about it from some who were having a hard time paying up front and ordering cassettes/CDs/whatever. They were told they had to pay. They clearly made money on literature until 1990s or whenever they started the so-called donation arrangement.

  • slimboyfat

    If it's a "mandatory" donation, what's the sanction for not meeting it?

    If a Mormon doesn't pay tithe they can't hold any office in the church. And positions are much more common in Mormonism, much more than Elder, ministerial servant or pioneer, practically every active member has a role of some sort, and must pay the tithe. (There are exceptions for unemployed but this is somewhat stigmatised and not approved long term)

    JWs don't even have a system for monitoring what individual donate.

  • shepherdless

    Question for Sparky:

    lets say of the 11,150,000 Watchtowers of 1 Jan 1985, half were sold by subscription, and half by door to door or paid for by JWs themselves.

    11150000 x (0.16 + 0.2)/2 = $2,007,000 or about $2 million revenue?

    Also, didn't Awake sell almost as many copies per edition?

    Aren't we getting close to $2 million per week revenue, without including the sale of books, or am I missing something?

  • sparky1

    "I've searched for information on downsizing to put it into some kind of perspective. One example is General Motors which experienced poor sales and cut its workforce by around 20% in 2008/9. It needed a government bailout to keep operating............Who is going to bail them (WATCHTOWER) out?" - slimboyfat

    Nice try. I respect your intent to broaden your horizons and understand the American corporate business model better. However, I will use the same business analogy as you and come up with the exact opposite conclusion.

    FORD MOTOR COMPANY was in the same 'boat' as CHRYSLER and GENERAL MOTORS during the 'Great Recession.' There was one big difference. FORD never took bailout money from the UNITED STATES TREASURY nor did they file for bankruptcy like GENERAL MOTORS. They had previously borrowed money commercially to 'weather the storm' and combined this with their cash on hand to at least stay solvent. Today, FORD MOTOR COMPANY has gross assets of $108,461,000,000.00 and their stock is trading at $11.9457 a share even as we speak. During the 'great recession' FORD'S stock was trading at $2.29 on 12/31/2008 and at one point the stock dipped drastically to $1.01 a share for a few moments. What's my point? FORD survived without a bailout because they made sound financial decisions. WATCHTOWER is surviving without a bailout (technically) because they are making sound financial decisions.

  • shepherdless

    yes, LV101, it seems to be a high volume low margin business. Lots of newspaper and magazine publishers used to make a lot of money from a lot of individuals' small change. Not so, these days.

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