WABC: Jehovah's Witnesses leave Brooklyn and sell 34 buildings

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    Gorbatchov posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 14:27:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 162 of 513
    Joined 6/13/2009

    Jehovah's Witnesses to sell buildings, move upstate

    NEW YORK (WABC) -- In the next few years, Brooklyn could see one of the largest turnovers in real estate, all thanks to one seller. The Jehovah's Witnesses are planning to sell all 34 of its buildings as they move their operations upstate.

    The scope of the church's holdings is massive, 3.2 million square feet, more than the Empire State Building. It's being valued at more than $1 billion, and once the properties are turned over to private owners, the tax dollars will be flowing.

    The Watchtower buildings in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights have been a fixture since 1909, when the Jehovah's Witnesses began buying up properties, one by one. Church members have quietly lived and worked there for decades. But now, the church has outgrown its facilities and is planning to move upstate, leaving prime real estate up for grabs.

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    MORE: Get Eyewitness News delivered to you! "It's a beautiful location," said Richard Devine, of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. "I very much enjoy living here. Brooklyn Heights is a wonderful place to be. And we enjoy the neighborhood. We enjoy our neighbors. New York is a vibrant city. I personally have very mixed emotions about leaving the city. I really love it here."

    Part of the appeal of the buildings, aside from location, is their condition. The Jehovah's are known for their meticulous upkeep. The Leverich Towers Hotel was built in 1928, and it has been fully restored and used as apartments. The view from the roof is spectacular, and the possibilities are endless. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz knows what he would like to see.

    "I, for one, hope that in the high-tech area, that the emphasis will be on alternative energy, as well as medical," he said. "Meaning scientific applications in terms of diseases. That's what I'm hoping we'll develop here."

    The transition will take years to complete, with construction not yet underway for the Watchtower's new headquarters in Warwick. But once the buildings are sold, it could bring City Hall millions of dollars a year in tax revenue.

    The move upstate has been under consideration for some time. Seven years ago, they moved their printing operations up to Wallkill to print Awake and Watchtower. The two monthly publications have a combined circulation of 70 million.

    designs posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 14:36:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 9984 of 19161
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Had no idea that many buildings were owned by the Society.

    side note: all religions should pay taxes.

    TOTH posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 15:12:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 454 of 662
    Joined 1/9/2012

    I would like to know the REAL reason they are pulling up stakes.

    M Dogpatch posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 15:33:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 3620 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    This is all PR BS. Why would they need new buildings? They aren't growing but diminishing, in spite of their spurious cult-type attempts to, in their last desperate moments, to give a positive spin on "God's Organization."

    "Yes, we are the fastest growing religion in the U.S. [and don't mess with us]."

    It looks like a desperate attempt to use the U.S. laws regarding churches, which are the most liberal in the world, to use their P.R. influence to grab more land so they can have a hedge fund for the Governing Body. They INTENTIONALLY build new structures to be easily converted to either luxury apts and condos worth millions a pop. (THINK DUMBO.) They can do amazing things with free labor! They are investing more now in property than anything else (including the welfare of their followers). God's org. must SURVIVE at all costs! Let the publishers rot if they don't cooperate.

    I think we should demand an accounting of Watchtower business practices. Open their books, if they don't burn them in advance (considering the few records they keep), and some people will end up in jail, with sore butts.

    Once Ralph Lindem was in charge of purchasing. On an enlightening business trip with him, Tom Cabeen and Werner Bohn from Germany (circa 1978), to the GPO (Government printing offices in D.C.), my primal instincts clued me off to who he really worked for. Himself. Lindem had the capacity to defraud millions of Witnesses and the top WT leaders. I never saw any accountability or scrutiny towards him. Cronyism apparently prevented that from being investigated. Whether he did, we don't yet know. I'm not accusing him. But my BS detector went off the scale.

    Just standing within 10 feet next to Knorr told me he was an evil man. All you had to do was watch and listen. Hatred for Knorr was only eclipsed within the WT by hatred for Rutherford. Yeah, I used to talk to all the "disgruntled" older men there cutting up boxes and doing menial tasks.

    The question is, WHO is doing purchasing for the WT now? Raid the facility by the IRS, and start a massive investigation re: fraud. When is the U.S. government going to face the abuses of organized religion in this country? Religious organizations in the U.S. should be subject to the same scrutiny as other non-religious non-profit organizations. They most definitely aren't!

    Many small churches are legit. But the big ones are almost always crooks, unless they are the surprising exception. Why? Power is just too alluring. Money is secondary except for protection and comfort, at least in the WT.

    OPEN THE BOOKS . Let's start a new protest campaign. Just like with the Mafia bosses, they were so inpenetrable the govt. had to use tax fraud investidations to bring many of them down. THAT would virtually end the flow of cash to an abusive cult.

    A few years ago I was approached by an independent movie company to forget everything about their abuses and do everything in their power to get the financial figures that are so carefully hidden, or more likely non-existent, since they have such legal freedom not to have to be accountable in the U.S. But who had the ability to crack that safe? Not me.

    It was a novel idea, and likely the best approach, but I wasn't about to attempt to raise a million dollars to make their movie. It is a great idea though, and would certainly produce results if someone was persistent.

    I don't care what the WT believes and teaches, it is all mind farts. It is also a cover for fraud and corruption.

    Randy

    designs posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 15:34:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 9987 of 19161
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Cashing out and moving to the country and in the process hit the JWs up for moving costs.

    M Dogpatch posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 16:20:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 3621 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    I watched a documentary on the Vatican last night. If I read it right, the basic Vatican grounds were worth about a billion dollars. Same with the WT in New York alone, only more. Considering the ratio of JWs in the world compared to Catholics, this is truly alarming. And BOTH have billions more in assets that few can trace. (History channel 2) Rent it on Netflix.

    The Catholic church in present day gives away millions in help funds to the needy each year, and have numerous organizations to help all, including non-Catholics. Soup kitchens, much more. I am still not a fan. But they are not reluctant to admit to many past abuses from the middle ages and beyond. (Pedophilia is another issue, however).

    They are also not so ignorant as to deny the discoveries of science anymore, like evolution (unlike the fundies in the U.S.) They also are not dumb enough to accept sola scritura. Wikipedia says,

    Beyond the Reformation, as in some Evangelical and Baptist denominations, sola scriptura is stated even more strongly: it is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christiandoctrine.

    By contrast, the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy. These churches also believe that the Church has authority to establish or restrict interpretation of Scriptures because, in part, it implicitly selected which books were to be in the biblical canon through its traditions, whereas Protestants believe the Church passively recognized and received the books that were already widely considered canonical. [ 1 ]

    USE THIS ARGUMENT. So true. Often many denominations accept the votes of men in power in the first four centuries who decided what was to be "the Bible." By VOTE.

    I will cast my vote for Jesus, but not for the ones who monetized and politicized him.

    Randy

    sabastious posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 16:26:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 7451 of 9407
    Joined 2/3/2010

    The Internet + 9/11 + Hurricane Irene = Smaller Watchtower outside of the Big Apple. Times a changin'

    -Sab

    F Gayle posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 16:31:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 3347 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    Interesting, Dogpatch, thanks! More here at: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0403779.htm

    F blondie posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 16:46:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 33576 of 37655
    Joined 5/28/2001

    I would think though that the contents of the Vatican's non-building holdings are a great more than the WTS; but I get the point.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,833509,00.html

    Bankers' best guesses about the Vatican's wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate. Dividends help pay for Vatican expenses and charities such as assisting 1,500,000 children and providing some measure of food and clothing to 7,000,000 needy Italians. Unlike ordinary stockholders, the Vatican pays no taxes on this income, which led the leftist Rome weekly L'Espresso last week to call it "the biggest...

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,833509,00.html#ixzz1rT58naxM

    breakfast of champions posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 16:53:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 1392 of 4013
    Joined 5/30/2011

    The Internet + 9/11 + Hurricane Irene = Smaller Watchtower outside of the Big Apple. Times a changin'

    I would include the gentrification of Brooklyn as part of this equation as well. Higher property values, less scary-apocalyptic-newYork thing going on- just a bunch of hipsters sipping coffee and pushing strollers to Trader Joes. Upstate NY has a much more apocalyptic feel.

    WuzLovesDubs posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 17:28:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 1155 of 1151
    Joined 7/28/2003

    So given that this sale will take many years to complete I guess we should all give a sigh of relief that Jehoover has seen fit to allow us time to re enter the fold. Imminent doooooom....but He has to wait until we complete the sale of our sh*t in Brooklyn and move upstate. All these little things I feel, perhaps wish, add up to a collapse in slow motion of this cult. Its a black hole in slow motion...numbers dropping, funds dwindling, congregations closing, Kingdom Halls being sold, magazines being delivered by hand instead of mailed, then mailings stopped, then publishing cut in half, and then publishing size being cut in half again, then real estate at Mecca no less, being sold off. The sudden acceptance of the internet as being a gift from Jehoover by which they can preach as opposed to only a VERY short time ago, being the tool of Satan! And the very very concentrated effort to eliminate any contact with DFd relatives. There are a lot of other things too. There is a definite circling of the wagons going on. Who's to say they arent buying weapons and creating a self reliant Waco-esque compound with their billions and the call for all the faithful to come and live on the compound only years away?

    JustHuman14 posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 17:57:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 641 of 733
    Joined 3/24/2009

    I'm sure that they will make billions again and cash will flow to WT's cashiers box!!!

    I guess the growing Organization, is loosing the game, so they will just get advantage of their assets

    JustHuman14 posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 18:09:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 642 of 733
    Joined 3/24/2009

    WT is a money making Organization. A small example of how they are making money from nothing, it is my personal experience with a KH, that was build upon a land that was donated to the Society by a JW:

    1. I know that K.Halls, usually most of them are build upon a land that was donated to the Society by a JW.

    2. The building of a KH, materials ( usually are donated, by JW's who are in the building trade) or bought by contributions by the local JW's.

    3. Labor is FREE (JW's do the building for the KH), and since I'm in the Building Industry, Labor is the MOST COSTLY from all above.

    The result is the following: We have a KH that was build on a land that was a donation to the WT, (hence WT didn't pay anything for it, or even if they did, again the money came out from the wallets of the local JW's). The material and labor work are contributed FREE to the WT. So here is the juicy part: After the KH is finished, the WT comes and DEMANDS RENT FROM THE LOCAL CONGREGATION or CONGREGATIONS in case 2 or more are using the KH...So why pay rent to the WT, since all the local JW's, bought the land, contribute for the materials and building of the new KH? That was something I couldn't understand (at that time)

    I recall that the KH of my territory had the scenario above. The land was a gift to the WT by an elderly JW, (this land only it worth millions now!!!) So we build our KH and at the end of the day we pay for a life time rent to the WT Society. Now that KH there are 4 congregations using it. So the WT gets rent from all of them!!! Now supposed the WT decides to sell the KH for sure the money will go to the WT's cashier box, and not to the local congregations. And if the WT find a cheaper place to build the new KH, for sure the local JW's will pay again for buying the land and build their KH...

    designs posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 18:17:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 9992 of 19161
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Why do you think the Wt. Society has systematically severed all ties to the Rank and File, don't wait by the mailbox for your Dividend check.

    factfinder posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 00:36:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

    Post 1486 of 2282
    Joined 9/1/2010

    What does the wts DO with all of the money I wonder?

    sabastious posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 01:07:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

    Post 7462 of 9407
    Joined 2/3/2010
    What does the wts DO with all of the money I wonder?

    Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a small part of the Watchtowers fortune.

    -Sab

    factfinder posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 01:38:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

    Post 1487 of 2282
    Joined 9/1/2010

    Sab-

    Santa will just give you a tract instead!

    F Gayle posted Sat, 05 Jan 2013 17:57:56 GMT(1/5/2013)

    Post 3830 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    Is anyone keeping a running record of the specific 34 properties in Brooklyn and which have sold already and which are presently up on market for sale?

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