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…
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…