Anyone with experience doing accounts at assemblies?

by seattleniceguy 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • seattleniceguy

    I was just wondering a few things:

    What is the average take? How much of it is sent on to the Society? Does it really cost $8000 for a two-day assembly?

    With regard to the latter question, I remember always listening to the accounts report at the Circuit Assembly with keen interest, because of two things. First, I wondered how it was really possible for an assembly with no food in a paid-off building to cost $4000 per day. Surely electricity and water don't cost that much. $8K per weekend times about 50 assemblies a year = $400K to run the place? Seemed a little hard to believe.

    And secondly, I couldn't help but notice that when they did the accounts report, they would announce the funds collected so far, and then announce the cost, and we were always a couple grand short. Every single time. I remember clearly on one occasion, because the amount they announced as having been collected so far was significantly greater than normal, and I smiled, expecting to hear for the first time that we actually had enough on hand to cover the assembly already. But the cost had somehow jumped two grand higher than what we had on hand!

    Anyway, I thought it would be cool to hear some experiences from people who were actually involved.


  • Euphemism

    I'll bet JT will have a comment on this, but FWIW he posted about this a while back:

  • seattleniceguy

    Wow! That answered all my questions and then some. That is an incredible post. The per publisher formula is really ridiculous. I guess the eternal deficit makes sense now.


  • startingover

    I used to work in that department too. Everything JT said is right on.

    I remember seeing that big negative and after the first day the take was never enough to make up for it. When I first started I remember worrying Saturday night when I went home that we wouldn't take in enough on Sunday to make up for the deficit, based on what I saw come in on Saturday. I felt so good filling out the form that showed a big negative to give to the convention overseer to read, as I thought that would surely inspire the brothers to contribute on Sunday and we would at least break even.

    It only took about 2 assemblies before I figured out the scheme ( I guess I was a little slow, or naive). Looking back, the situation and how I could manipulate people by giving them such a misleading report gave me a sense of having power. I'm sure that same feeling controls alot of what happens in the organization.

  • Caveat

    I have worked on the department as well. I figured out the scam early but always thought that I was somehow cynical about the whole thing. I work both circuit and district conventions and the numbers here posted are consistent with the ones I’ve seen.

    As I grew professionally I made numbers for my area and JT’s accounting also makes sense.

    I will love to point out some of the things that I noticed that got my personal attention.

    Working there is for the elite. Even the young boys trusted to gather and organize the bills by category where profiled thoroughly before being included in. As I advanced I was admitted into the inner circle where the numbers where squared. Man we got to hear the most of the program on speakers, with A/C eating snacks. Not to speak of the special badges that got you trough the tight security.

    We kept an eye on each other since ‘sin’ is intrinsic on humans ( J ) Bros with experience on banking or accounting will always try to mock the ones in there that were helping but did not have professional experience in the field. It was the JW manner of elbowing yourself to the top of the pile.

    Man in there you get up to date on the gossip of the last six months. Since it was advised that a group was kept there for any issue that may arise.

    You got an excuse to delegate menial jobs to underlings because you were busy doing the big thing.

    We got so happy when at the end of the long Sunday the number always showed big bucks over the red line figure.

    Eventually that messed up my ‘spirituality’.

    I started asking myself questions:

    On the security issue I always thought on why will god need such complicated arrangements to protect paper? Don’t we have his protection?

    And why repairs where made by volunteer skilled brothers if we always had the money for maintenance? We never went home with a substantial deficit.

    Why not thank the congos with a letter saying we covered the expenses of the last convention and got X amount of surplus? Of course people will start cutting back on donating if they knew this.

    Many issued did arise while being there smelling the coffee and gossiping about the CO…

    I’ll love to hear other accounts from participants

    “Delenda est Carthago”

  • SixofNine

    ..."and that brother is WITH US TODAY!!" *thunderous applause*

    Welcome to the forum Caveat

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    Well I have it on good word that canadian congregations in Ontario Circuit 4A and 4B are now being asked to send in a small amount of money each month directly to the Circuit Property Fund as of December 2004 to help in covering the costs of the circuit overseer residence. Its also supposed to make deficits less likely at their assemblies according to the letter that was sent out. It was something small like $0.40 a publisher, but I guess that means the contributions are really going down after all.

  • AlmostAtheist

    I never got to actually touch the money -- can't blame them, I wouldn't trust me either -- but I did "enjoy" the "privilege" of getting to stand guard and only let in the brothers that had the special badge. One jerkwad elder made a move to barge in without his badge, so I stopped him and asked to see his badge. He smiled broadly and said, "Good job. I was just testing to see if you'd stop me." So he sat back down at his little station and I sat down all happy that I'd proven I was the man for the job. Later, a brother came out of the room, then returned some time later. He of course had left his jacket (with his badge) in the room that you can't enter without your badge. I stopped him, he explained that I'd seen him walk out and now he was walking back in. I didn't remember him, of course, so I offered to follow him in and let him show me his badge. He did, all the while saying, "Will somebody please tell this brother I'm allowed to be in here?!"

    Arrogant jerks. I never did "guard duty" again. When they offered it, I said I'd prefer something else, which always earned me the "rejecting an assignment from Jehovah?" look. Screw their look, I was never doing that again.


  • Odrade

    When I worked the counting tables, we would bundle the money for the bank, but not tally anything till the very end of the day. I remember one convention, as they were reading the accounts report at the beginning of the afternoon session, thinking about the $5k (from our table--and there were four counting tables, two for paper, and two for change wrapping,) or so sitting in a box with sticky notes attached that I knew hadn't been tallied yet. Those contributions had been collected before the morning session. We counted that during the morning and lunch. The lunch break contributions would be sorted during the afternoon sessions to be tallied at day's end.

    By my estimation, that day's accounts report could have been short by $25k worth of collections by the time it was read.

  • VM44

    Is one reason so many conventions, assemblies are held each year is to generate revenue from the Witnesses?

    Sounds like the conventions are deliberately set up to be very profitable.

    If so, then the WT will never cut back on such a source of $$$$!


    P.S. This profit motive for the assemblies explains why the congregations still collected money for parking at the Tacoma Dome a few years ago, when they explicitly signed a contract with the "Dome" stating No Parking Fee was to be charges! No problem...just tell the brothers to pay for parking anyway and collect it at the Kingdom Halls, The Dome Officials will be none the wiser. Talk about being dishonest!

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