Ending the publishers charging for items they placed and then moving to a ‘donation’ arrangement was simply to avoid Sales Tax, VAT in UK as the tax men were after them. Same reason for ending the assembly hot meal serving, Taxman wanted his cut. Donations would be tax free so WT loves them.
why the watchtower is so short of money
It was over a case in the USA, not europe, but yes it was tax avoidance
Incidentally it could be argued that changes in the US tax system are largely responsible for both the rise and fall of the Watchtower organisation.
There was a significant government reduction in the cost of sending periodicals in the post in the US in 1879, the year the Watch Tower magazine began production. This change turned religious pamphleteering a viable profitable business and Russell took full advantage of the opportunity it afforded.
Similarly the threat of tax imposed on their literature in the US in 1990 prompted the Watchtower organisation to effectively abandon their publishing as a profitable enterprise, and subsequently to near enough abandon print publishing altogether.
Its not just printing they are cutting down on though.Every two months they used to have four magazines in print and online but now they have only one magazine in print AND online also.A multnational group cant afford just to put 3 magazines on line,
I think their problem is not so much their bank balance but long term sustainability. We would all agree the behaviour of Wt today is different to the one in the past.
I'm sure Sky Daddy's being upset with his earthly organization doesn't help WT's situation any. How so?
I don't think WT did itself any favors or score any points with God when they relegated and downgraded His eminence from 'Jehovah' to the initial 'J' as in JW.org!
For example, I hear through the grapevine that many rank and file even most GB members...when they pray...instead of beginning their prayers as they once did...'Dear Jehovah'...they now begin with ...'Yo J'! :-) :-)
The GB are catching hell over this big time...it can be seen from the low meeting attendance to very low baptismal rate to high anti-Jehovah's Witness movement and finally to sell-off of real estate in order to make ends meet and etc.
Maybe Jah is punishing the WTS for being corrupt commercialized false Prophets.
........ he does work in mysterious ways
So...what can WT do to get back into the Almighty's good graces after demeaning his Holy name by replacing it with the initial 'J' and thus possibly avoid sinking further into debt?
There's always the chance that an active and in good standing member has registered and has ownership of that name. WT can simply request this rank and file member to transfer this domain name over to them & possibly out of loyalty and obedience this individual may comply.
What if an ex Jehovah's Witness or worse yet an angry apostate owns this domain name and is demanding...say $5 million for it? WT should offer in good faith...say $30 million to show Jehovah himself how regretful WT is for the JW.org fiasco. WT should be willing to sell-off however many Assembly Halls and Kingdom Halls to meet the seller's demands.
Then and only then may WT without any assurances avoid the train wreck that awaits them just around the corner! :-) :-)
joe134cd - "I think their problem is not so much their bank balance but long term sustainability."
In what crazy-ass, fucked-up mirror universe are cutbacks, tithing (in-all-but-name-only), regular court settlements, and real estate liquidation...
...signs of robust financial health?
Ah, my fave subject continues.
Vid - I hope you're analysis is correct but being a skeptic -- gave up hope!
On a small scale -- not only retail but fast foods overbuilt and have closed/sold/liquidated many stores and WT just part of that equation. Kentucky Fried Chicken (lol) overbuilt here in the land of fast food/24/7 cities (may have overbuilt throughout US) but closed many stores down (all fast foods) here to downsize and survive. Think more people love fast foods than Watchtower but don't think they have any choice per today's business dynamics turning 180 in the digitized world.