The Scientology Money Project

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: $1.45 Billion in Assets

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder interviewed Jehovah’s Witnesses on a very powerful and anguishing episode of Scientology and the Aftermath. The heartbreaking stories of shunning, sexual abuse, and suicide drove us to tears. The courage of Leah’s guests in speaking out proved that they cannot be silenced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Like the Church of Scientology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses practice the emotional blackmail of shunning and demand that their members place the organization above family and everything else in their lives. Having grown up in the Pentecostal Church, we know what it feels like when the church demands that one surrender all to God lest they face the pain of everlasting Hell and Perdition.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society listed the book value of its assets as $1,451,217,000 on its 2015 IRS Form 990-T. This places the Jehovah’s Witnesses into the same “billion dollar plus” cult status as the Church of Scientology. Click here to see $1.7 billion in Scientology assets.

In its 2013 990-T, the The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society listed its book value assets as $675,419,000:

The massive increase of $776,095,300 in Watchtower wealth between 2013 and 2015 is accounted for by the sales of extremely valuable Watchtower real estate in New York. The sprawling Watchtower facility located at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn sold for a whopping $340 million in cash in 2016.

The Watchtower sold its six building facility in DUMBO for $375 million. The 2017 sale of the Watchtower’s eleven story building located at 107 Columbia Heights fetched $87.5 million dollars.

Other blockbuster Watchtower real estate sales:

    • 21 Clark Street sold for $200 million
    • 97 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights sold for $58 million
    • 117-125 Columbia Heights sold for $18 million
    • 69 Adams Street in Dumbo sold for $65 million

It is worth noting that on Line H of these 990-T’s the Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society lists its primary unrelated business activity as “Investment Activities.” So while the rank and file Witnesses are striving to please Jehovah, the big boys at the top have sold over $700 million in prime real estate and plowed that cash into undisclosed investment activities.

The $1.45 billion listed on the Watchtower’s 2015 990-T is only the money we know about. Who knows how much the Watchtower has hidden away since it began doing business in 1884? If you have additional information on Watchtower money please contact me, Jeffrey Augustine, at scienowriter@gmail.com. I am located in Los Angeles if you want a private meeting.

And what does this great wealth do? The same thing as it does it the Church of Scientology: It protects the people at the top from the consequences of their own actions in covering up sexual abuse and protecting sexual predators. It pays for lawyers who work to cover up sexual abuses and human rights abuses. The money also paid for a $28 million court judgment that would never have happened if the “two witness” rule was not in place to protect child molesters.

Predictably, the Church of Scientology attacked Mike and Leah for exposing the evil in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The attacks by Scientology only serve to reaffirm the fact that criminals will watch each other backs when they both have a lot to lose.

Below is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 2015 990-T. This is the most current year available as 990-T’s have a lag factor of 2-3 years. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

JW.990.2015

12 replies »

  1. Both Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses promulgate double standards regarding celebrities in their churches.

    JWs including Prince, Michael Jackson and family, Venus and Serena Williams, models Naomi and Valerie Campbell, and many musicians and rappers are/were allowed to behave outrageously without reproach in this straight-laced church.

    Normal members face discipline or disfellowshipping for infractions (smoking cigarettes) that might seem minor to most of society.

    Jeffrey, thanks for opening our eyes to the finances of another oppressive group that uses the splitting of families as its ultimate weapon of destruction.

    As always, follow the money.

  2. Is the IRS Form 990 showing the stock investments owned under their “Henrietta M. Riley” Trust Fund listed in this packet? The JW’s/Watchtower has in the past also had extensive profitable yields in holding portfolios of companies manufacturing products or services that a rank-and-file Jehovah’s Witness would be committing a “Disfellowshipping” and “Shunning” Offense for. Companies such as Phillip Morris (Tobacco/cigarettes-banned since 1973), Northrup-Gruman, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Monsanto (War Weaponry, destructive chemicals – viewed as a compromise of neutrality and integrity) Time-Warner Cable, Cinemax and Lionsgate Entertainment (Entertainment featuring pornography, immorality, gratuitous violence and spiritism – all disfellowshipping/shunning offenses) have been profitable investments for the Watchtower Bible &Tract Society – all expelling offenses for any JW involved in these activities or behaviorial conduct.

  3. I wish JWs would believe something not shown or stated from the platform. They seem to think that any other sources are “Apostate-driven lies”. Sadly, that false belief system prevents folks from waking up to the Watchtower-driven lies. Apostates do not have the motivation to lie about this kind of information. Watchtower does — they’re protecting their fortune. The holy eight at the top of the pyramid want to protect their elite lifestyle at the expense of the JW members.

  4. It would be interesting to see the value of all the properties they hold deeds on of the Kingdom Halls and property nationwide. I would imagine its tremendous.

  5. Why would the value of assets go up after a property sale? The only reason I can think of is if before the sale, they were undervaluing the property they held.

  6. I’m still waiting for some shady connection to be revealed by Jared Kushners purchases of Watchtower property in Brooklyn New York.

  7. Please make up some more…
    they don’t invest money in such businesses at all.
    Make claims , show your evidense.
    Wow, pretty outragious claims.

  8. There is no one that gets these funds as you think.
    The Bethel members including the governing body get $150. Per monthh plus room and board.
    Yes thats $150 dollars not thousand
    The funds go to building kningdom halls and such , as well as disaster relief.

  9. Ted, we never wrote that Bethel leadership gets the money. All we noted was the large amount of cash Bethel leadership has at its disposal, Because JW rapists and child molesters are protected by Watchtower senior leadership, the money goes to pay for lawyers and, ultimately, legal settlements to the victims of sexual assaults. A victim of JW sexual assault was recently awarded $35 million dollars. That is where the money goes.

  10. Ted, the IRS 990 form Bethel leadership filed shows unrelated business investment. The evidence is all there if you care to look at it. In any case, you sound enturbulated. Perhaps you should go and get some auditing at your nearest Scientology Ideal Org.

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