Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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matai
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by matai »

Jehovah's Witnesses get regular "reminders" at their weekly meetings and in their magazines as to how important it is to donate, and how they can donate, such as:
Ways in Which Some Choose to Give
Many set aside, or budget, an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled “Contributions for the Worldwide Work—Matthew 24:14.”

Each month, congregations forward these amounts either to the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses or to the local branch office. Voluntary donations of money may be sent directly to the Treasurer’s Office, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the branch office that serves your country. Jewelry or other valuables may be donated as well. A brief letter stating that such is an outright gift should accompany these contributions.

CONDITIONAL-DONATION ARRANGEMENT [Interest free loans]
Money may be donated under a special arrangement in which, should the donor have a personal need, the donation may be returned to him. For more information, please contact the Treasurer’s Office at the address noted above.

CHARITABLE PLANNING
In addition to outright gifts and conditional donations of money, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These include:
Insurance: The Watch Tower Society may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or in a retirement/pension plan.
Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to the Watch Tower Society, in accord with local bank requirements.
Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to the Watch Tower Society as an outright gift.
Real Estate: Salable real estate may be donated to the Watch Tower Society either by making an outright gift or by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. Contact the branch office in your country before deeding any real estate.
Gift Annuity: A gift annuity is an arrangement whereby one transfers money or securities to the Watch Tower Society. In exchange, the donor, or someone designated by the donor, receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor receives an income-tax deduction the year the gift annuity is established.
Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to the Watch Tower Society by means of a legally executed will, or the Watch Tower Society may be named as a beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages.

Source, The Watchtower: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2002 ... tion&p=par
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kgcayenne
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by kgcayenne »

A sore point for me is the Gift Annuity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charitable_Gift_Annuity

Christ threw the money changers out of the temple for a reason, and I interpret that reason as keeping the secular, monetary dealings1 (which opportunists would use to turn it into a 'cave of robbers'2 just like they had) out of worship altogether. I am further bolstered by Christ's discussion of taxes in that he identified currency as belonging to the secular and not the spiritual3. It is my opinion, therefore, that no organization should be engaged in the finances of its participants in this sort of manner; in essence, having control of monies and doling a portion of the returns back to the individual.

The Bible did say that wolves would infiltrate disguised as sheep4.

1- John 2:13-17
2- Matthew 21:12-13
3- Matthew 22:17-21
4- Matthew 7:15
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Thinktank
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by Thinktank »

mathieu wrote:Stocks and Bonds:
Real Estate:


If I go to a website that asks for donations, and suggests amounts of $5.00, $10.00 and $50.00
I think that website is okay. It's cool.

If I go to a website that asks for donations and has suggested amounts of $50.00, $100.00 and $250.00
I have to admit, I think that website is - filthy.

And I don't care which church it is, it could be Buddha, Scientology or the Moonies, or even a church
full of 1,000 angels directly from heaven, if it suggested stocks and bonds and real estate, it would disturb me.

It would disturb me immensely.
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TMixer
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by TMixer »

mathieu wrote:Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses provide tax receipts whenever you pay cash (if example you left your name on the envelope), by cheque or else. The tax receipt is sent from the headquarters in Toronto.

They have to be honest to keep God's favor and I believe they are (very honest as an organization and as individuals).

I agree, but as far as I know it's entirely up to you and many don't bother with the $5-$10-$20 donations they throw in the box.
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cliffy1
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by cliffy1 »

Don't most religions promote tithing? What makes the JWs any different? Religion is the business of making money.
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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cliffy1 wrote:Don't most religions promote tithing? What makes the JWs any different? Religion is the business of making money.

Yup. JWs are one of the few Chrisitan organizations that don't demand an exact amount of your income.
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matai
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by matai »

Thinktank wrote:if it suggested stocks and bonds and real estate, it would disturb me.

It would disturb me immensely.


Well, let's say I'm old, my house is paid and is mine and have no family. Why not giving it to my religion when I die so they can sell it and keep doing their work?
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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mathieu wrote:Why not giving it to my religion when I die so they can sell it and keep doing their work?


It's a lot better to give real estate to a church, who already owns $1 billion worth of real estate,
than it is to give it to some one billion poor people who live on $1.00/day, because poor people
woulc just 'eat the money up' and there would be nothing left. A church will make the wealth grow.
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matai
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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Thinktank wrote:It's a lot better to give real estate to a church, who already owns $1 billion worth of real estate,
than it is to give it to some one billion poor people who live on $1.00/day, because poor people
woulc just 'eat the money up' and there would be nothing left. A church will make the wealth grow.


You know a lot of people who earn $1 a day in Canada?

Anyways, even if you give them a house, how would someone earning a dollar a day could afford to pay the taxes and utilities?
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by concernie »

TMixer wrote:Yup. JWs are one of the few Chrisitan organizations that don't demand an exact amount of your income.


Perhaps not, but the Watchtower does demand exact amounts of time from its congregants.
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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concernie wrote:Perhaps not, but the Watchtower does demand exact amounts of time from its congregants.

I am sure this is completely false, but will have to look into this. I am certain it is not true but I'm not about to call you a liar.
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Thinktank
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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Proverbs 28:27

Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.


There are one billion hungry people on earth, living on less than $1.00/day, and rich
countries like Arabia and South Korea are doing a LAND GRAB of the best farmland in poor
countries like Ethiopia, while religions in rich countries are doing a real estate grab, like
some religions worth $1 billion dollars.

It's a crime - if there's a God.
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

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TMixer wrote:Yup. JWs are one of the few Chrisitan organizations that don't demand an exact amount of your income.


No religion demands income from people. But most religions use a weird scripture from the old testament
to scare people into paying up:

Malachi 3:8
King James Version (KJV)

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.


Funny thing - no religion cares about another old testament rule that says charging interest is a sin. No religion
ever tells people not to borrow money from the bank. Religions just choose the scriptures they like.
“In the entire history of mankind there has never been a political elite sincerely concerned about the wellbeing of regular people. What makes any of us think that it is different now?”
matai
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by matai »

I thought it says:

You may charge a foreigner interest.


now we'd have to define what exactly is a foreigner. :-P
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Re: Jehovah's Witnesses - how did they get so much money?

Post by TMixer »

Thinktank wrote:
No religion demands income from people.

Many religions demand tithes. A tithe is traditionally 10% (of gross, not net!).

If that isn't demanding income, what is?
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