For the very first time, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder met with former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In their special 2-hour episode, they invited a panel of contributors to open up and share their personal stories of growing up in the secretive Watchtower organization. The hosts allowed the participants to describe their experiences candidly and without any restrictions.
The audience heard stories of tragedy and loss that included family members who died because they refused blood transfusions. Others told of siblings and parents they lost to suicide; families are torn apart by the practice of disfellowshipping (shunning); the belief that women are inherently inferior; and the organization’s alleged failure to punish child abusers or even to believe in claims of abuse. An audience was in the studio to join Leah and Mike as they learned how another organization (besides Scientology) subverts and exploits belief on an even larger scale than Scientology.
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.
Not unlike the Church of Scientology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses practice the emotional blackmail and the use of shunning to 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 dollars plus” cult status as the Church of Scientology. Click here to see $1.7 billion in Scientology assets.
In its 2013 990-T, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
The original version of this article that was published by The Scientology Money Project provides an expanded version of the Watchtower Society’s 2015 990-T tax document. Please click on the “title” link below to go to that article and inspect the tax document for yourself.
“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:”
PLEASE NOTE: The above article was adapted from an announcement and overview article published by A&E. We acknowledge their copyrights to the article and the Leah Remini TV program. Our objective is to advertise and recommend that our readers watch the program for themselves while it is available to North American Television viewers. Once again, this is a link to the original article.