Question for SBF

by Fisherman 192 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • shepherdless
    Really, more required to make a web page than print and ship hard (physical) literature? I’ll let you think about that position for a while before i bother responding.

    I never said they were "required". In fact I can't work out why there are so many bethelites, or what they do.

  • slimboyfat

    In my congregation they've got an oversupply of elders - 11 elders for 55 publishers. I know that's not typical.

  • LV101

    Yrs ago on this site or H20 Bethelites or ones in the 'know' of costs broke down the amount to produce the journals Watchtower/Awake. These magazines were produced for 5 cents or less. CDs for a nominal amount. It was a lucrative business unless they were clueless.

  • _Morpheus

    I know in florida that can be typical, slim, but thats all demographics. Older population nets more elders per pub. Not at all typical

  • Incognito

    I remember banging on doors and telling householders the magazines were 10 cents then 25 cents for both "to cover the cost for printing". I think Bibles were $3 and smaller books were 25 or 50 cents, "to cover printing costs".

    The amount of sales from selling an item does not signify income was made. If the production cost to print a magazine is $2 million/week, $2 million/week sales would only cover production and would not cover additional overhead costs. I'm not implying WT didn't realize additional funds above production cost but that only referring to gross sales is not enough info without also knowing production and other costs.

    Technology today offers alternatives to printing and handling paper when publishing a magazine or book. I see WT now taking advantage of those alternatives.

    The cost of writing text content will be comparable whether it will be sent to a press, posted to a web site or distributed as a PDF download.

    WT now have no one to develop new and plausible doctrine as they had with F Franz. I expect whoever was responsible for the overlapping generation crap, realize how much of a disaster and joke that has turned out to be.

    Although there are costs to high bandwidth internet and hosting, I understand WT is mainly keeping those in-house to keep control, which also reduces costs. If the literature produced is all digital, then trucks and drivers are no longer required, thereby reducing overhead which likely more than offsets internet and hosting costs.

    WT has now transferred the cost of printing to JWs who went out and bought tablets, computers, internet accounts and other technology so as to access WT literature. If JWs want hard copies, they will soon need to print it themselves at their own expense.

    So many Betheites were utilized for printing operations, book binding, packaging, warehousing, stock picking, shipping and trucking. By going mainly to digital literature, it then makes sense to reduce the number of Bethelites since the majority of those jobs would no longer be needed.

    Printing presses, binding machines, warehousing, machine shops, and truck repair facilities would all require a substantial amount of space and fuel. By converting to all digital content, those areas are no longer needed or can be re-purposed to house servers, TV and music production studios and animation & web site production.

    If each branch's personnel and building square footage is reduced, then personnel utilized for cleaning, maintenance and other support can also be reduced, thereby resulting in additional cut backs and cost savings.

    While you may claim all of those reductions appear from the outside to indicate financial troubles, in actual fact, none of the above prove anything except a changed method of conducting business in the 21st century.

    WT is registered as a charity and has always relied on donations, mainly from JWs.

    As previously stated, I think GB and others at the top are recognizing the reduction of JWs in wealthy nations, while continuing to grow in poorer nations. I think they are attempting to get whatever they can, while they can.

    Perhaps at some point, WT will attempt to also monetize their website, similar to online music sites which members pay subscription fees, although I suspect, that may incur sales tax.

    Personnel reductions, building size reductions and changes from physical literature to digital, do not in themselves prove financial problems. Donations and other income need to be addressed separately.

  • LV101

    Incog - " . . . a changed method of conducting business in the 21st century" is bulls eye perfect! Exactly what I've thought since they started laying/selling off implementing change to survive with the world's new dynamics. It's not collapse like I want but reality. They don't have stupid business advisers.

  • sparky1

    "Subscriptions didn't make a lot of money but they clearly weren't a loss. Because when the charge was dropped, subscriptions were dropped pretty quick too." - slimboyfat

    That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the discussion at hand. If you can't charge a fee for the Watchtower magazine on the doorstep delivered by a WATCHTOWER drone, you can't charge a fee for a subscription delivered by the Postal Service. So of course they dropped subscriptions! (The only thing you could charge for would be a shipping and handling fee) It's just plain business sense. Actually, I wish that you would stick with your original premise and stop 'going around the barn' to defend the indefensible.

    As a side note, I tried to show you that individual subscriptions consumed huge amounts of materials and labor compared to shipping magazines to local congregations. The 'gross profit margin' on an individual subscription would be much smaller than on a magazine hand delivered by a publisher. If you were never a Bethelite in Brooklyn or at Watchtower Farms I'm sure that this is hard for you to fathom.

  • Fisherman

    I suggest listening carefully to SL broadcast of 5/15 and 1/16. He also explains where is the money from the sake of property.

    According to SL, the contributions at the KH mostly finance WT and contributions don't cover operating expenses. Contributions is wt only source of income. WT is not going to tithe or collect taxes for sales. They will have to manage with the contributions by cutting expenses and selling assets. That is what they are doing. But for how long?

  • _Morpheus

    They will survive but For how long? Well according to you slim and others anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 years. Give slim long enough and he will talk himself into anywhere from they have already dissolved and we just dont know it yet to only 10,000 more years.

  • slimboyfat
    I am trying to counter your claim that the revenue from the publications was their main and lucrative source of income. $50,000,000.00 a year is hardly the MAIN source of operating revenue for an organization as large as WATCHTOWER.

    Some figures from Britain for the 1980s are available through the links shepherdless gave.

    In 1985 it shows income at the British branch: £4,303,000 came from the sale of literature whereas the total from donations and legacies was £470,000. Clearly literature sales was their main source of income in this period. (Possibly more was donated to the IBSA, but nevertheless £4.3 million from literature and magazine sales is substantial for this period)

    I find it strange that you say $50,000,000 was not much annual profit in the 1980s. Yet a billion dollars from the sale of property in 2016 is said to be a huge sum that will keep them going for years. I'd much rather an annual income of $50 million dollars (in 1980s money!) than a one off payment of $1 billion in today's money! Within a few years you'd be up on the deal.

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