Society (WTS) has often criticized other churches for passing collection plates
during meetings. Churches that organize bingo, party games and other fund-raising
efforts have also been repeatedly condemned. At the same time the WTS has
emphasized that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not solicit donations! Comments like
the following were common in WTS publications like The Watchtower and Awake!
12/1/1987 pages 30-31 ‘Where do such funds come from?’ is an often-asked
question. Unlike the churches of Christendom, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not
take up collections or send out envelopes to solicit donations. Rather,
contribution boxes-like the treasury chests of Biblical times-are set up
at their Kingdom Halls.
9/8/1975 page 26 …is it not a comfort for them to know that in the local
congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses they will never be tithed to pay out
a percentage of their income? Nor will unscriptural money-raising schemes
be imposed on them. It is at the Kingdom Hall that an unobtrusive contribution
box is located for use by those who wish voluntarily to give money to support
the work of the congregation. Donations mailed to the headquarters of the
Watch Tower Society are also unsolicited and entirely voluntary.
9/15/1974 page 559 The Kingdom Halls of this happy group are open to
you and you may attend free of charge, without having to suffer embarrassment
by a request for contributions or the passing of a collection plate.
8/15/1971 page 506 The emphasis in all giving among the Witnesses is
that it must be voluntary and spontaneous, from the heart. In fact, ever
since the earliest days of the modern witnesses of Jehovah it has been their
policy that never should there be any passing of collection plates or similar
solicitations for money.
5/1/1962 page 278 How May I Contribute? Jehovah’s witnesses have never
gone begging for finances.
like the above stopped after 1990. Why? Because the WTS began to openly solicit
donations not only from its own people but also door to door from the public-and
not only on Sundays but every day! How did this happen?
Board of Equalization wanted to assess sales tax on the sale of books, tapes
and other items by the Jimmy Swaggart ministry. The WTS filed amicus curiae
(a friend of the court legal brief) in support of Swaggart’s stance that a
religious organization should be exempt from such taxation. (The WTS considers
all other religions to be under the influence of the devil, but in this case
it joined hands with the devil!). On January 17, 1990 the Supreme Court in
California Board of Equalization vs. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries ruled against
after the Supreme Court ruling the WTS announced a new policy-that in the
USA its literature which was heretofore sold at a fixed price should be offered
free to the public and a donation solicited.
introduced this new donations policy evidently to avoid tax on the sale of
its publications. Asking for donations - something condemned for a century
- had become acceptable.
detailed appeals for donations appeared in WTS publications. Notice how no
avenue is left uncovered:
Make Donations to the Kingdom-Preaching Work
TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK: Many set aside or budget an amount that they
place in the contribution boxes labeled: “Contributions for the Society’s
Worldwide Work-Matthew 24:14.” Each month congregations forward these amounts
either to the world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, or to the nearest
GIFTS: Voluntary donations of money may be sent directly to the Watch Tower Bible
and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York
11201-2483, or to the Society’s office that serves your country. Jewelry
or other valuables may also be donated. A brief letter stating that such
is an outright gift should accompany these contributions.
ARRANGEMENT: Money may be given to the Watch Tower Society to be held in trust until
the donor’s death, with the provision that in the case of personal need,
it will be returned to the donor. • INSURANCE: The Watch Tower Society may
be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or in a retirement/pension
plan. The Society should be informed of any such arrangement.
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. The Society should be informed of
any such arrangements.
AND BONDS: Stocks and bonds may be donated to the Watch Tower Society
either as an outright gift or under an arrangement whereby the income continues
to be paid to the donor.
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. One should
contact the Society before deeding any real estate to the Society.
AND TRUSTS: Property or money may be bequeathed to the Watch Tower Bible
and Tract Society of Pennsylvania by means of a legally executed will, or
the Society may be named as a beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust
benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages.
A copy of the will or trust agreement should be sent to the Society.
GIVING: The Society has assembled information on “Planned Giving.” Those
who are planning to make a special gift to the Society now or to leave a
bequest at death may find this information helpful. That is especially true
if they wish to accomplish some family goal or estate-planning objective
while using tax benefits to minimize the cost of the gift or bequest. This
information can be obtained by writing to the Society at the address shown
below. (The Watchtower 1994 12/1 page 19)
appeals like this, one wonders how the WTS could ever have chided other churches!
And one wonders how many JWs have willed their few possessions to the multi-billion
dollar WTS while leaving their own dependents stranded.
point is that 6 million JWs donate their time to distribute WTS publications
door to door in what is called “field service” or “witnessing” or “ministry”.
This activity is said to be “voluntary” but the teaching is that JWs who don’t
do it will be executed by God at Armageddon. JWs who regularly miss field
service for entire months also face ostracism in their congregation and -
if they try to justify their slackness - excommunication.
WTS writers often implying that the main source of funding is “contribution
boxes” in Kingdom Halls, most comes from the efforts of six million JWs who
trudge the streets and knock on doors to offer WTS literature.
these same JWs are obliged to buy personal copies of all magazines and books
the WTS puts out. The WTS has millions of captive buyers expected to purchase
the publications without even looking at the contents!
produces its literature at minimal cost. Materials are bought in bulk and
every step in production is by “volunteers”.
free-literature-for-donations came into force in the USA in 1990, it came
into effect in Australia from January 1, 2000. Apparently, the Goods and Services
Tax, effective in Australia from July 1, 2000, was the catalyst.
No. 73 2000 July pp. 48-51