Jehovah’s Witnesses

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

Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and Scientology

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Leah Remini

The second episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired this evening on A&E. This episode featured Scientology’s former international spokesman Mike Rinder and his wife Christie Collbran.

This episode exposed the sadistic ways in which the Church of Scientology — using tax exempt dollars — stalked, harassed, spied on, and Fair Gamed Mike and Christie. It was shocking to watch. The Church of Scientology is always worse than you think; it really is a malicious organization whose 501(c)3 tax exemption needs to be revoked for cause by the IRS.

To say that tonight’s episode was powerful is an understatement. Leah’s show is tremendous television that reaches deeply and existentially into the Scientology experience and its aftermath.


Mike Rinder has always been very generous in sharing his time and wisdom with the media, critics, and especially those people who have left Scientology. Mike’s blog Something Can Be Done About It is a widely read blog that covers the many things that are going on inside the rapidly collapsing Church of Scientology.

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Mike Rinder

Mike Rinder granted me the first interview I did when I began my Surviving Scientology Radio podcast series. Thanks to Mike Rinder and other former Sea Org members who have so generously, and sometimes so very painfully, shared their experiences of Scientology, my podcast now has more than two million listens across YouTube, iTunes, and my dot.com Surviving Scientology Radio.

Because of the dozens of aggregators who have taken the podcasts that my guests and I have released into the public domain at no cost, I don’t know how many listens the show actually has. What my guests and I care about is that the truth about Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and David Miscavige is carried far and wide across the planet.

I have interviewed Mike Rinder several times on my podcast as I value his singular insights. One tradition my podcast has is to interview Mike Rinder at the New Year. In these shows, Mike looks back at Scientology the previous year and offers his predictions on what Scientology will face in the New Year. Mike’s predictions have been spot on.

Mike Rinder’s 2015 New Year’s Eve podcast is a classic and well worth a listen to get a sense of just how incredibly perceptive Mike Rinder is as a strategic thinker and analyst. Thanks for everything you do Mike.