$1.2 billion coming, still 12 properties to go
I would describe it being more skeptical than anything.
I was in this organization for over 20 years and I'm aware that the professed truth isn't always the professed truth.
I'm basing this also on its recent receivables as well operative expenditures.
Its acknowledge that the GB play with people's ignorance on many matters, then label what they do or say Jehovah has made and provided provisions .
They know they are conning people but thats part of the game or the roll they are endeavored with.
I come to realize that the next year or two should be a really pivotal timeline in the Borg. With the completion of Warwick next year and the selling-off of these billion-dollar, cash cow, monstrosities.
Has it been eight years that they started selling Brookyn properties?
The WTS doesn't want its devoted adherents to know about its over abundance of acquired wealth thats for sure.
Much better to make it look like the organization is strapped for cash and in need of more donations.
People might begin think that just got played by a pretentious corrupt religious publishing house.
Brooklyn property sales
In 2004 the society began transferring its printing operations to its Wallkill factory complex. The move triggered the sale of a number of Brooklyn factory and residential properties including:
- 360 Furman Street, sold in 2004 for $205 million;
- 67 Livingston Street, (nicknamed the Sliver)sold in 2006 for $18.6 million.
- 89 Hicks Street, sold in 2006 for $14 million.
- Standish Arms Hotel, 169 Columbia Heights, sold in 2007 for $50 million.
- 183 Columbia Heights, bought in 1986, offered for sale in 2007 and sold in April 2012 for $6.6 million.
- 161 Columbia Heights, bought in 1988, offered for sale in 2007 and sold in March 2012 for $3 million.
- 165 Columbia Heights, offered for sale in 2007 and sold in January 2012 for $4.1 million.
- 105 Willow Street, offered for sale in 2007 and sold in April 2012 for $3.3 million.
- 34 Orange Street, offered for sale in 2007 and sold in November 2012 for $2,825,000.
- Bossert Hotel, 98 Montague Street, bought in 1983, offered for sale in 2008. sold in 2012 to a hotel developer, Rosewood Realty Group, for $81 million.
- 50 Orange Street, bought in 1988, renovated to sell 2006, and sold in December 2011 for $7.1 million.
- 67 Remsen Street, offered for sale in July 2012, and sold the same year for $3.25 million.
- Three adjoining properties (173 Front Street, 177 Front Street and 200 Water Street) sold together for 30.6 million in April 2013 to Urban Realty Partners.
- 55 Furman Street, 400,000 sq. ft., is for sale as of June 2013.
- Five adjoining properties (175 Pearl Street, 55 Prospect Street, 81 Prospect Street, 117 Adams Street, and 77 Sands Street totaling 700,000 sq. ft.), offered for sale in September 2011, under contract as of July 2013 to a three company buy-out. A sixth building (90 Sands Street, about 500,000 sq. ft., a 505 room, 30 story building) in this sale will be released in 2017, after the scheduled completion of the Jehovah's Witnesses' new headquarters in Warwick, NY. The properties are under contract for $375 million at completion of the sale.
- Two private parking lots are for sale as of June 2013.
In 2011 the Watch Tower Society was reported to still own 34 properties in Brooklyn; a 2009 report calculated "a dozen or more" properties in the Brooklyn area. In a 2010 news report the Watch Tower Society said it was "not actively promoting" the sale of eight Brooklyn properties still on the market.Watch Tower Society's remaining sixteen occupied Brooklyn properties are 25, 30, 50, 58, 97, 107, 119, and 124 Columbia Heights; 55 and 67 Furman Street; 80 and 86 Willow Street; 21 Clark Street; parking lots at 1 York Street and 85 Jay Street; and 90 Sands Street already arranged to sell in 2017. The Furman Street properties and parking lots are for sale currently as stated above.
"Money changes everything
I said money, money changes everything
We think we know what we're doin'
That don't mean a thing
It's all in the past now
Money changes everything." - Cyndi Lauper MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING
Theories abound on this subject. I am dubious of either extreme. I don't think the WTS is haemorrhaging cash and is going to be brought down by a raft of pedo claims. I also don't think the WTS is so cash rich they have it all covered for decades.
I suspect there are a number of things going on.
Firstly they can see that the long term trend is for less cash per head to come in from the congregations. The growth is in poorer countries and so, pro-rata, more shall be needed to be looked after by less. Physical literature is being reduced through (a) less being printed and (b) greater reliance on electronic delivery. Costs reduce of course but so does the nudge that people had to donate each time they picked up literature.
Secondly, they rapidly increased costs in the short term with a number of large building projects. They have also likely spent large sums on the rebrand, JW Broadcasting, animation facilities. They have also been building RTOs like there is no tomorrow.
Thirdly they have sat on a number of assets and been unable to realise their value to fund building programs etc.
Fourthly, they have conducted some kind of internal process review and concluded that they are spending lots of money maintaining hotel facilities for Bethelites. They have also seen the rise in costs for looking after older full time servants and done projections on what this will cost in the next 10-20 years.
Fifthly, they see a real risk of losing tax free status in one or more lands that provide major contributions. They are realising cash now (e.g. forgiving loans in return for donating cash on hand) and preparing for the worst.
Sixthly, I do not discount the reserving of funds to shut up the loudest claimants against the WTS regarding abuse.
I am certain that the GB 2.0 allowed spend to escalate way more rapidly than their predecessors and somewhere along the line realised the problem. They got a quick injection via the hall loan asset grab but now have the real figures on which to plan for the future. They can see the trend and now are cashing in on the property.
They have got rid of loads of full time servants that will be costing them money in healthcare over the next 10-20 years and stopped running hotels.
They are already consolidating halls and I predict further and more severe cuts here too. I do not rule out the compulsory closure of halls with just one congregation and forcing them to share 2-4 congs in a hall.
I predict further reductions in conventions with more use of assembly halls. The move to single days has two benefits. One is to allow greater occupancy and the second is to make the same money in one day that used to be in two days.
As has been pointed out many times now, this is no longer a publishing organisation. It is making it's money out of property. Some of this is buying and selling but they have also sussed that they need to be landlords as well and make the most out of property occupancy.
I could even see them pre-empting unfavourable tax status changes and simply telling the congregations that they own the hall now and charging a rent.
I do not rule out the compulsory closure of halls with just one congregation and forcing them to share 2-4 congs in a hall.
We had a visit by an LDC representative a few months back. That is precisely what their "master plan" is - 3 congregations per Kingdom Hall, world-wide.
Which is posed with the suggestion that the WTS is trying to retain as much money as it can for they are nervously paranoid that the WTS will collapse and go down the drain along with its false doctrines.
Yes, 3 congregations per KH worldwide. They can easily pull of three midweek meetings. Plus they can have three Sunday meetings. Meeting at 10 A.M, meeting at 1PM, and one at 4PM. That way they can make it look very accomdating for the rank and file. They can simply rotate the Sunday meetings yearly with the latest meeting goers having a late lunch before going or an early supper right when they get home. They will overthink it as being convenient.