The money question...

by Tornintwo 50 Replies latest jw friends

  • WireRider

    I know this has posted before, but can't a non-profit be audited? If nothing else to check their status as a non-profit as not-prophets?

    Fund raiser? Auditor?

    Their non-profit status should certainly be revoked. They are a blight on society.

  • WireRider
    Why do I have to pay extra taxes for their water, fire department, police services?
  • Vidiot

    WireRider - "Their non-profit status should certainly be revoked."

    They're definately the ideal candidate to serve as an object lesson, should the Legal System ever feel pressured enough by public outrage to "make an example" of someone...

    ...and it could be a really effective campaign platform for an up-and-coming and ambitious politician to cut his or her teeth on, too.

  • NewYork44M

    Without any transparency there is no way of knowing. I suspect that the two key issues for their money woes include incompetency and litigation. They have probably had to hold a significant reserve for contingent liabilities related to pending litigation.

    I work as an auditor - sometimes it is hard to distinguish between incompetency and fraud.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim
    Yeah, I do believe that there has to be some kind of lawsuit(s) impending on the Borg. That would explain the sudden moratorium on all construction projects and countless Bethellites being sent home.
  • steve2

    I totally subscribe to Rutherford's observation, "Religion is a snare and a racket".

    Start with healthy suspicion and follow the money. There ain't no saints in accounts.

    JWs are led to believe everything is lawful and above board. But, as Lisa Rose said, it's opaque. How come?

  • JeffT

    What NewYork44M said. I'm not an auditor, but I was an accountant for a lot of years and did some internal audit work. With the WTBS you have a lot of money flying around with a lack of accountability and oversight. It's a recipe for mismanagement and fraud. The worst kind of fraud are the quasi-legal kinds. Like Simon noted, the chairs that cost three times what they should. Is that stupidity or theft? Hard to tell the difference and very hard to prove in court.

  • OnTheWayOut
    ....or if any one or group are raking off funds or benefitting financially...?

    I have to believe that any group that moves as much money as Watchtower- be it religious, political, or commercial- has those that rake off funds selfishly. I would even imagine that WTS honchos thinks it's important to grease the wheels with their lawyers, accountants, suppliers of various things. And I imagine most of the people raking the funds feel they deserve it.

    I don't honestly think there's anyone making millions at the top.

    I don't either. The GB and virtually everyone came up the ranks of pioneers, having very little along the way. They don't need millions to feel they have made it to the top. And they can look at the likes of Ray Franz- they would have nothing if they walked away or blew any whistles, and they probably can't write a book as good as his.

    they aren't going off in private jets to tropical islands or driving Bentleys.

    But don't get too sure of that. They may typically fly at a higher class and stay at upper class hotels. And if you are a GB member that wants a great vacation, give a talk at the convention in Honolulu. And while Rutherford's day of big Cadillacs are gone, who needs a permanent driver when the locals will pick you up for free in a nice SUV?

    I suspect it's more of a power trip for them than a wealth trip. The thought of 8million people hanging on your every word must be enticing for them, and they probably believe their own hype that they are gods chosen ones, christs brothers etc... Ray Franz never mentioned financial issues in his books and I would have thought he had the perfect opportunity to highlight any corruption of that type.

    They definitely are on that power trip. They have plastered themselves all over their jw. tv. And the finances today could be completely different from back then. If there is any actual corruption in finances, I don't imagine the GB initiated it and may be kept in the dark.

  • talesin
    know this has posted before, but can't a non-profit be audited? If nothing else to check their status as a non-profit as not-prophets?

    In Canada, non profits (offering receipts for taxes) are required to make their Financial Statements public. In fact, shocking to me, that they still have tax-exempt status in Canada. That would be a great project if anyone is interested in activism - the new Canadian PM comes from, if nothing else, a liberal (albeit privileged) background (and I mean liberal in the truest sense).

    It's hard to believe that is not required in the US of A. At the very least, the Financial Statements should be open. I don't know JeffT, I figured you would know - or does it vary from state to state?

  • JeffT

    Talesin, I've thought for a long time the US needs to do something about how it treats non-profits, so far we haven't. In the US the IRS does require an information form (990 in different versions based on size of the organization). These are not made public as all IRS information is supposed to be private. Private organizations are not required to release financial statements.

    I believe that what we need is something like the SEC for non-profits. It wouldn't regulate their activities, but it could require public release of audited statements so we know what we're getting for having granted them tax exempt status. My sense is this is an uphill battle.

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