Real Estate Magnates

October 10th, 2011

The Watchtower Society is on the move! Long a fixture in Brooklyn, New York, the Watchtower is slowly and methodically selling off its vast property holdings and moving all of its operations north to Patterson and Wallkill.

Thanks to their mostly tax-free status as a “non-profit religious organization,” the officers of the Watchtower’s various corporations can sell properties they bought at fire-sale prices and then sell them off for huge profits – and keep the bulk of the money with minimal or no tax consequences.

The Watchtower Society sells its Brooklyn properties…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJTqyMKNvyA&feature=related

It’s good to be a religion. We should all call ourselves “a religion.” The advantages are far too many to list here, but the evidence is clear that the Watchtower Society has educated itself on how to manipulate its assets for the greatest gain.

The Watchtower is not just making money on the properties it owns in Brooklyn. It’s also profiting from properties it does not own, and in some cases has never spent a dime for, throughout North America. Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls, bought and paid for over the years by local Jehovah’s Witnesses, are being taken over in a land grab not seen since the forced mass migrations of American Native Indians in the late 1800s.

The sheep-like Jehovah’s Witnesses do not even realize how they are being sheared. Older Witnesses are encouraged (and often bullied) to designate the Society as a primary beneficiary in their wills. The Watchtower inherits their personal and real estate properties upon their death – not their own family members and other rightful heirs. In fact, Witnesses leaving properties and investments to their children is often considered a lack of faith – a “slight against Jehovah himself.” Many families have been left penniless, helplessly watching their inheritances signed away forever to become part of the Watchtower’s immense wealth.

The Society’s leaders are clearly on a mission to build as many new Kingdom Halls as possible to increase their property portfolios. Why? Pure profit with little or no risk.

They order local congregations to help build new Halls, sign over the old paid-for and now abandoned properties to the Society (for later sale), and then pay off the mortgages for the new buildings. After the new buildings are up and paid for (net cost to the Society = zero dollars), the Society “inherits” the buildings and starts the process over again.

Rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses have been through this process for well over thirty years – and still don’t understand the Society’s con game. With few exceptions (read our Menlo Park Kingdom Hall stories here on Ex-JW.com), they unanimously approve any and all building projects and property sales recommended by the Society’s Regional Building Committees. Then they donate more money and their own free labor to build new properties that will be added to the Watchtower’s burgeoning portfolio.

Remember – all these properties become part of the Watchtower Society’s real estate portfolio. They are tax-free when they are acquired, tax-free while owned, and tax-free when sold.

It’s a fact: It’s very, very good to be a religion…

Categories: Watchtower Scandals

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  1. Devil_fish

    This is what is wrong with the U.S. Economy. It’s not the Medicare, or the Social Security, or the Un-Employment. What’s wrong is multi-Million dollar corporations like WTS not paying their fair share, Claming Non Profit, Charity status, and then not being at all charitable wile taking huge profits hand over fist. I just want to puke.

  2. BobbyNZ

    As a member for almost 4 decades with an Economics degree, I can attest that this GREED FREE organisation, where even their most “powerful” members, the Governing Body, are given a small allowance a month, is truly Christlike where love instead of money runs the daily affairs of the organisation. Therefore, the purported wealth belongs to God where no single member has any “shareholdings” !!! This is the only yes the only true organisation for sure!!!

  3. Donald Schneider

    As for the article, all well and good. But who, if anyone, are you alleging actually benefits from this acquisition of wealth al la the Catholic Church? My perception is that the governing body of the JWs are mostly elderly and go out banging on doors like the troops. Are you suggesting that individuals at Bethel are personally benefiting and living high on the hog?

  4. Editor

    If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, or ever have been, you should realize that while most of the people working at Brooklyn, Wallkill, and Patterson are volunteers living only on small monthly stipends, there are numerous officers, department managers, and legal specialists who live quite well in spite of their “vows of poverty.” Even field positions such as CO and DO are provided late model cars, nice living quarters, and a decent living allowance – unlike their predecessors a few decades ago who had to live on the charity of the Kingdom Halls that they served. More importantly, all corporations have one purpose, to make and protect money, property and other assets. So even if no single group of people were getting rich working for the Watchtower Society, there would still be the corporate ethic that required constant inflows of more and more money. The Governing Body and other WTS officers travel first class and stay in better hotels around the world. Some of them travel frequently, often for no particular corporate reason. Yes, there are still a few older brothers who are officers and Governing Body members, but the average age has dropped considerably over the past ten years – to the point where most would be consider “middle-aged” rather than “elderly.”

  5. Editor

    The Watchtower Society’s officers, managers, and Governing Body members live quite comfortably, have all their expenses covered, travel any where in the world first-class and stay in 4/5 star hotels – all while under a “vow of poverty.” That means they get to live like corporate moguls without having to pay taxes. How many WT corporations exist? With how many officers and managers? While they may not be personally wealthy, they live as well as they dare. All of that, plus power and prestige beyond measure. Yes, there are some who are sincere and humble, but a majority of the corporate officers act like bankers, lawyers, and real estate moguls. And very few at that level actually go out and bang on doors like the average JW. When they do, they tend to make a big show of it – usually during a visit to a foreign country during an assembly, making sure to have pictures taken. Missionaries, special pioneers, and Bethel volunteers? They get subsistence and maybe room and board – often having to take second jobs or getting additional support from their families just to survive.

  6. Frank

    One CRITICAL point has been missed in this discussion –
    those who claim to be Christians are obligated to imitate Jesus Christ. Jesus did NOT seek to own property, make money, and neither did the apostles. And they still accomplished the preaching of the Good News in that time – by means of Holy Spirit.

    Secondly, Jesus continually warned against accumulating wealth: You cannot serve God and Riches. In Revelations, the congregations that were materially rich were told that they are in Jesus’ eys “poor, blind & naked” – and rejected.

    James condemns the rich ones, who hold back the wages of those who laboured in the fields. Many publishers (the labourers in the fields) live in pitiful conditions, but receive no help, either from wealthy congregations, or the studendously rich Organization that claims it loves them, but continues to seek donations.

    Lastly – IF ARMAGEDDON IS SO NEAR – WHAT DOES THE ORGANIZATION NEED ALL THIS WEALTH FOR? SURELY, EVERYTHING SHOULD BE SOLD UP ASAP AND USED FOR A HUGE, WORLD-WIDE PREACHING CAMPAIGN??

    Or is it a repeat of the Rutherford method – predict the end, and get hold of luxurious homes under pretext.

  7. David

    The law to Israel gave families hereditary land to be passed on to one’s family. If the land was mismanaged it could be assigned to another only for a time and then given back without payment. This way the hereditary land would remain in the family.

    In Christian times family inheritance, looking after ones family is important. In fact if one does not look after ones own family they are worse than those without faith.

    Organizations should not interfere with family inheritance.

  8. Gregory Chilcote

    Bastards. Their stupid money cult killed my father and has kept my family at arm’s length from me for 35 years. And it’s all a giant con.

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