I've seen claims over the years that WT is in the real estate, book
publishing business and is a for profit enterprise at it's core.
My claim is fairly close to what you state, only I claim that they have always been a for profit enterprise. The changes they made are just changes in their obsolete business model and their processes to keep up with the times and focus on areas that continue to make them wealthy.
Can those of you that believe this to be the case tell me who benefits from all this wealth?
The boards, the GB, the president, the people who are in power, sign the legal documents, and officially represent the WT. Most importantly, the WT itself as a corporation. Please understand that in the capitalist system we live in, corporations as entities have power too. The WT itself is a perfect entity with money and power to be influential.
The governing body lives in relatively humble conditions no?
That's very difficult to say. There is their image that they have for the JWs, there are their lives and earnings in tax records, and then there's reality. They may or may not be living in humble conditions. Furthermore, they do not need to live extravagantly to enjoy their wealth. There's a perception that wealthy people are supposed to have a lot and show that they are wealthy in a way that some think is should be evident. That's far from truth.
I've been curious about this for a while. I believe that, yes the
business does make lots of money, but profit is not the real goal as
that would imply some "one" or "ones" would personally gain materially.
Yes and no (IMO). Yes because I believe that profit is only one of the goals, though I do believe that profit is a real goal. No, because it's not so far fetch to think that "one" or "ones" would personally gain materially. Why would that be so impossible? Again, people managing the corporation assets have access to all their money, and they can pretty much do whatever they feel like doing with it without having a cent under their names. They write the checks, they sign the contracts. They meet with the auditors (that is, if they actually get audited).
It is a mistake to think that the leadership of a cult is going to be transparent in all their actions. Some of the reasons why cults and controlling groups like the WT exist are not necessarily based on making one person or people rich. There's a lot more to it. I think it has to be seen from the perspective of what the typical gains are for cult leaders. Typically, these are the tings that they want:
- Power over other people
- Power over a community (being political or any other type of influential position)
- Feeding their egos
- Fun over how far they can go with their charades (feeding their narcissism)
I wonder if you could elaborate more on your thoughts. What I mean is, I get the impression that it seems far fetch to you, that some people in the GB or their higher ups may be wealthy. What are your thoughts? Also, what would be an alternative reason, in your opinion? I ask in light that what they are doing looks pretty much like what all other companies in the world impacted by the changes in society are doing, that is, changing their focus, maximizing profit, downsizing labor and maintenance, and optimizing their space.