"Deficit" at JW Assembly
Thanks for all the responses guys! It's amazing how oblivious I was to this while I was a JW. I guess I never questioned these financial arrangements because even the thought that Jehovah's organization is ripping off its followers would've been a sin.
Crazyguy - Considering the attendance, it comes off at around 10 Euro per head. I think 99% of those in attendance would easily afford to donate that amount. Most probably spend more during the break while buying coffee and snacks. There's been a huge amount of economic growth in these past two decades and we live in a richer part of the country.
Our circuit (or whatever they're called these days) has some really rich JWs too, one being a millionaire football coach famous throughout the country. He's treated like royalty at every convention. You should see the car park with all the BMW and Mercedes SUVs lined up one after the other. Really makes you laugh at the hypocrisy of everyone vigorously applauding talks about leading a simple, modest life, while almost nobody is actually following this teaching.
So yeah, the amount per head is pretty affordable but to be honest I think most in attendance have donated less than that. They're pretty stingy with the donations. My parents donated 3 Euro, LOL. Really, most spend their money during the break on food, drinks, ice cream, and barely give a second thought to the donations. The apathy level is huge. Maybe the rich guys are making up for it but somehow I doubt it. They still make around 10K per assembly, which is practically like printing money for them. The hundreds of assemblies throughout the country each year must produce millions in profits.
who is the football coach Cookiemaster?
most spend their money during the break on food, drinks, ice cream,
Not meaning to derail the thread, is this a Regional convention or a District (1 day) assembly?
The JW assembly halls in this part of the world, eliminated food service decades ago so attendees wanting food or drink, would need to bring it from home or otherwise leave the assembly location to drive to a store or restaurant.
For a RC, some rented venues are located nearby to a shopping mall or city centre.
I once was appointed to count the money. There are ~4-5 people in the room at all times, and they collect and count the money pretty much every hour.
We counted ~$2500 during the noon break on the second day, having counted $1000-1500 every collection, I commented that at this rate, this will be the first assembly not running a deficit. The CO said "well, this report won't make it to the official announcement in time, it takes a long time to tabulate all the finances". I accepted the answer but also never got invited again, looking back, I think I should've noticed that something wasn't right when they announced several thousands in deficit.
I know it's anecdotal, but they collect, in rural Pennsylvania circuits (so not the richest of Americans) at least, a good $10000 a day. Then after the fact they will announce that the elders voted to donate $5000 leftover from last meeting to the Worldwide Work. There are always some that had grumpy feelings that their circuit didn't get to use the 'leftovers'.
I’ll never forget my last circuit ASSembly when the announcement was made for the deficit at that one day convention, the people actually gasped! The total was $23000 and as of that time, only $5000 or so was “accounted for”. By then I was awake and infuriated because I knew that this money was going to fund child sex abuse cases and the like.
In contrast I do remember an assembly where the cost was made by the after lunch announcement.
That was only one time in the 20 years or so of assemblies that I attended.
jookbeard - This guy is the coach. He's been more successful as a player rather than a coach though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioan_Sab%C4%83u
Incognito - This was a 1 day assembly. Here in Romania, I don't remember ever being a food service offered by the organizers of the assembly. However, just outside the gates of the assembly hall, and this is pretty much valid everywhere, there are vendors that come with their trailers, vans and tents and make their own serving areas. Sort of like open air restaurants. There are usually several of these vendors, which I believe are somehow pre-approved in presence by the JW organizers, and offer a wide variety of foods,drinks, snacks and all kinds of stuff. At larger conventions you can even find kid's toys, souvenirs, almost like you'd find at a street fair.
It's not unusual for cab drivers to hang around the area too as the assembly hall is on the outskirts of town and they use the opportunity to get lots of clients.
Anony Mous - Haha! No wonder they never invited you again. So, that's 10K per assembly day. With the immense size of the US and its JW population (relative to other countries), and factoring in that some areas could have wealthier JWs, they must be raking in a ton of money.
How are they running these huge "deficits"?
Because on one hand they like money, and on the other they forbid their people to make money. Stupidest thing ever.
The Governing Body have discovered that in doing the math . . .
($7500 + $5000) x 35 assembly days ÷ (Watch Tower x lawsuits) = Deficit.
Perhaps Governing Body member M. Stephen Lett can explain Watchtower's financial situation in Watchtower simplified, i.e. out of both sides of his mouth.
I have read of similar experiences to the back room money counting in books by people who have left the wt.
Personally, at one conv the call went out for more and I thought there is no way they could have counted the money in the time. Hmm this was one of the situations that saw me leave. This was/is a poor circuit.
Deficits are a guilt trip .