Oct 282009
 

In the third and fourth points that they present, the writers of the Awake! article bring up the subject of finances and the clergy. First, point number three:

3. A paid clergy class can impose a heavy financial burden on the laity, especially when the former have lavish lifestyles.

This is a sweeping generalization that was presented with neither evidence nor example. How many of the clergy really have lavish lifestyles? Yes there are a few. In 2007, accusations of financial improprieties spawned an investigation of TV preachers including Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer and Paula White by Senator Charles Grassley who is the ranking Republican on the Seanate Finance Committee. But are these really typical of the clergy? Clergy such as those being investigated by Senator Grassley are very rare. Most clergy are not on television and do not enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

Rather than relying on generalizations based on a small minority, I did some research on just how much pastors in mainline denominations are paid. The Massachusetts United Church of Christ’s “Clergy Compensation Booklet” for the year 2000 contains salary guidelines for 2001. The salary guidelines range from $24,000 – 36,000 per annum for a pastor with 0-3 years experience serving in a church with 0-150 members to $45,000 to $67,500 per annum for a pastor with over 10 years experience in a church with over 1000 members1. The Illinois UCC guidelines for 2009 call for a base salary for a newly graduated pastor serving a church of up to 75 attendance of $32,130 and up to $46,130 for a pastor of 15 years experience serving a church of 400+ average weekly attendance2. Salaries such as these will hardly support a lavish lifestyle.

In an ancillary point, the writers try to draw a distinction between Christian clergy and Jehovah’s Witness overseers.

Christian overseers, on the other hand, care for their financial needs by doing normal secular work, thus setting a good example for others.

It is true that elders in local congregations are not paid. But neither are the elders in most churches that I know of.

The “Christian overseers” that are mentioned here evidently do not include circuit and district overseers and members of the branch committees and the governing body. All these are compensated for their work as overseers and are not engaged in any sort of secular work.

The circuit overseer is the overseer that the rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses are most familiar with. He visits each congregation about twice a year, each visit lasting a week.  At the end of each visit, the circuit overseer submits his expenses for the week to the congregation he is visiting and they reimburse him for those. He is also provided with a monthly stipend, a leased car (a Buick, last I knew), health insurance, and housing. And, as I mentioned earlier, these are members of the Order of Special Full-Time Servants and as such have taken a Simple Vow of Poverty which allows them to receive their compensation and other contributions from congregations and their members tax-free.

Along with their monthly stipend, their leased car and their other benefits, circuit overseers are often greeted by some in the congregations with the “green handshake”.  I knew of a couple of families in my old congregation who would slip the C.O. a hundred at each visit – tax-free, of course.

Bivocational Pastors

A phenomenon among Christian denominations that goes almost without notice by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that of bivocational pastors. These are pastors that also have secular jobs. Now that I have looked into this, I’ve found there are more of them than I ever realized. There are enough among Southern Baptist churches that there is a Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association. In a 2002 press release “Bivocational Ministry Emerging As Option” that organizations says “In fact, only 60-65 percent of churches have what bivocational ministers prefer to call “fully funded” pastors.”

I work with two bivocational pastors. Both have challenging positions as engineers where we work along with their pastoral duties. I was recently chatting with one of them about his schedule. He works secularly from 9:00 to 5:00 (or later) then his pastoral appointments begin at 6:30 PM and his day doesn’t end until midnight or 1 AM. Then of course, Sunday is extremely busy.

Point number 4 that the writers of the Awake! article raised speaks to the motivation of the clergy.

4. Because a clergyman may depend on others for financial support, he might be tempted to dilute the Bible’s message in order to please the parishoners.

Yet another generalization that is presented without any evidence. This is an assertion that they have made before, but with no examples. While this may occur, is it really the norm? I would say that it is much more common that a Jehovah’s Witness elder would be careful to preach and teach what he was expected to knowing that to do otherwise could cost him his family and friends rather than a few bucks.

In summary, while the Jehovah’s Witness leadership and those who write for them attempt to call into question the motives and work of the clergy, from what I have seen, most of them are people who are answering a calling to their ministries and working hard to do with is right.

  1. Clergy Compensation Booklet, Third Edition, Commission for Leadership Development, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, 2000 []
  2. 2009 Guidelines for the Call and Support of Ministry Leadership, The Ottawa Table of the Illinois Conference UCC []
Jan 202005
 

Deed to the Watchtower’s San Diego mansion

DEED

Robert J. Martin, a single and unmarried person of 117 Adams St. Brooklyn, New York, for and in consideration of the sum of Ten Dollars ($10.00) does hereby grant, bargain and sell unto Joseph F. Rutherford of 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York for and during his life on earth and thereafter to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, a corporation created and organized under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania and maintaining its chief operating offices at 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York and for the purpose hereinafter set forth.

All that real property situated in Kensington Heights, County of San Diego, State of California, bounded and described as follows, to-wit:

Lot One Hundred Ten (110) and lot one Hundred Eleven (111) of Kensington Heights, Unit No. 2, in the County of San Diego, State of California, according to Map thereof No. 1912, filed in the office of the County Recorder of said San Diego County, May 24, 1926.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD THE ABOVE GRANTED AND DESCRIBED PREMISES unto him, the said Joseph F. Rutherford for his exclusive possession, use and benefit for and during his life on earth and at the end of said limited estate then to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY in trust to be used for the purposes herein set forth, to-wit:

The grantor at the request of the said Joseph F. Rutherford who is President of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY and General Manager thereof makes this provision and condition as set forth in this deed.

Both the grantor and grantee, the said Joseph F. Rutherford are fully persuaded from the Bible Testimony, which is the word of Jehovah God, and from extraneous evidence that God’s Kingdom is now in course of establishment and that it will result beneficially to the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that Kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under the supervision of the invisible ruler Christ; that among those who will thus be the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthae, and Joseph, formerly the ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men who were name with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter. The condition herein is that the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY shall hold said title perpetually in trust for the use of any or all of the men above named as representatives of God’s Kingdom on earth and that such men shall have possession and use of said property hereinabove described as they may deem for the best interest for the work in which they are engaged.

This property has been acquired and the improvements built thereon at the instance and under that direction of the said Joseph F. Rutherford and dedicated to Jehovah God and to his King Christ who is the rightful ruler of the earth and for the express purpose of being used by those who are servants of Jehovah God. For this reason the provision is made in this deed that the property shall be forever used for the purpose subject to any encumbrances that may have been placed thereupon.

IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED that if the said JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD while alive on the earth shall be lease, deed or contract provide that any other person or persons connected with the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY shall have the right to reside on said premises until the appearing of David or some of the other men mentioned in the Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews as above set forth every such person or persons so designated by the said Joseph F. Rutherford in such lease or other paper writing shall have the right and privilege of residing on said premises until the same be taken possession of by David or some of the other men herein named and this property and premises being dedicated to Jehovah and the use of his kingdom it shall be used as such for ever. Any person appearing to take possession of said premises, shall first prove and identify themselves to the proper officers of said Society as the person or persons described in Hebrews Chapter eleven and in this deed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I the said Robert J. Martin and the said JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD have hereunto signed our names this 24th day of December A.D. 1929.

WITNESSES:

Donald Haslett Robert J. Martin
Bonnie Boyd Joseph F. Rutherford

State of New York )
) ss.
County of Kings )

WITNESS my hand and official seal the day and year in this certificate first above written.

Donald Donald Haslett
Haslett

Notary Notary Public #632
Public Kings County Register #1276

Kings Commission expires March 31/1931
county State of New York, ) ) ss. County of Kings ) I, FRED G. LEMMERMAN, clerk of the county of Kings, and also Clerk of the Supreme Court for said County (said Court being a Court of Record), DO HEREBY CERTIFY that Donald Haslett, the Notary Public before whom the within acknowledgment of deposition was made, was at the time of taking the same authorized by the laws of the State of New York to take the acknowledgments and proofs of deeds or conveyances for lands, tenements and hereeditaments situate, lying and being in said State of New York. And further that I am well acquainted with the hand writing of such Notary and verily believe that the signature to said certificate of proof, acknowledgment or deposition is genuine.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have herunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said County and Court, this 24th day of December 1929.

Fred G. Lemmerman Clerk

Kings County SEAL

Recorded at request of Grantee, Feb. 7, 1930 at 15 min. past 2 o’clock P.M.
John H. Ferry, County Recorder,
Fee $1.80 by N.C. Parsons, Deputy

 

Donation Arrangement Announcement

 Documents  Comments Off on Donation Arrangement Announcement
Dec 262004
 

This is a copy of the material that the Watchtower Society sent to the bodies of elders of congregations in the United States announcing the “complete donation arrangement”. Prior to this arrangement, Jehovah’s Witnesses placed Watchtower literature with householders for a fixed price.

February 9, 1990

TO ALL CONGREGATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES

Dear Brothers:

Our reigning King, Jesus, completed a remarkable ministry during the final three-and-a-half years of his earthly life. As the apostle John wrote, “the world itself could not contain the scrolls written” if all of what Jesus accomplished while on earth were recorded. (John 21:25) He was able to do so much because he gave theocratic interests the primary importance they deserved. As he said to his followers, “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”-John 4:34.

Putting theocratic interests first meant that Jesus had to set priorities. While visiting in the house of Mary and Martha, he counseled Martha because she gave undue attention to matters other than the spiritual food Jesus was dispensing. He told her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. A few things, though, are needed, or just one.” – Luke 10:41, 42.

First century Christians followed Jesus’ lead in this matter. The apostle Paul wrote, ”And this is what I continue praying, that your love may abound yet more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; that you may make sure of the more important things,… and may be filled with righteous fruit, which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.”–Philippians 1:9-11.

In our day the ‘faithful slave’ is equally concerned with giving theocratic interests their rightful primary importance. So that This may be accomplished, the “slave” class has directed the implementation of many programs aimed at simplification For example, in 1978 the Society standardized and simplified the district convention arrangements. This simplification did away with many job assignments and significantly reduced many of those that remained. As a result, all are now able to give primary attention to the rich spiritual food provided each year.

The August 1986 issue of Our Kingdom Ministry announced a simplification regarding the field service report of our regular pioneers. In September of 1987 further simplification led to adjustments for the circuit assembly programs, and special assembly days were inaugurated.

Jehovah has richly blessed these efforts to simplify. The work is continuing to grow worldwide at a rapid pace. (Isaiah 60:22) Additionally, many have noted that secular authorities are increasingly viewing certain religious activities as commercial. As in the past, the Society continues to see the need to highlight the spiritual nature of our theocratic organization and to clearly distinguish our activities from those of Babylon the Great. To this end, the Society is pleased to announce that starting March 1, 1990, literature distribution procedures in the United States will be adjusted. From that date, all the Society’s literature will be made available to publishers and to the interested public on a complete donation basis. This will emphasize our reliance on Jehovah’s spirit while also simplifying certain operations both for the Society and for the congregations. Some may have questions regarding this new arrangement which we would now like to consider.

What is meant by complete donation basis?

This means that magazines and literature will be provided to publishers and to the interested public without asking or even suggesting that a specific contribution be made as a precondition to receiving an item. Voluntary contributions or donations will be accepted from publishers and such interested ones to continue the worldwide work of publishing the good news. It is important that all of you and the public understand that making a contribution or donation is not a precondition to receiving a publication. Naturally, this does not mean that literature should be given to those who do not appreciate it and who would not read it. –Compare Matthew 7:6.

How does the complete donation arrangement affect the distribution of literature at the Kingdom Hall?

When a publisher or interested person wishes to pick up literature or magazines at the Kingdom Hall, he may do so without having to ‘pay for’ the items requested. The Society will simply give the individual the literature requested. No money will be expected, requested, or collected at the magazine or literature counter. Those motivated to contribute to the publishing and distribution of the literature should put their donations in the boxes marked “Contributions for the Society’s Worldwide Work.–Matthew 24:14.”

How will literature be offered in the field?

When offering literature in our public ministry, we will give our witness as usual and offer the publications to interested persons to provide them further knowledge on the subject. The recipient should agree that he will read the literature, but we will not suggest a specific donation for it. However, after the person has agreed to read the publication, we may explain how the work is done voluntarily worldwide to help people learn the way to everlasting life. It is all supported by voluntary donations. Then you may ask the person if he would like to help the Society accomplish its work worldwide by making a small donation. If he wishes to make such a donation it will be appreciated.

Any who wish to make a donation to defray the expenses of our educational work may do so, but they may receive the literature whether or not a donation is made. At the next Service Meeting, special information will be presented to demonstrate this method of literature distribution. If you note any publishers not present today, please contact them and let them know of this special Service Meeting. This new field service arrangement will go into effect immediately following that meeting.

What about subscriptions to The Watchtower, Awake!, and cassettes?

Adjustments will take place in this area as well. Subscription service to The Watchtower, Awake!, and cassettes will be discontinued as such. All publishers should immediately turn over to the brother handling subscriptions any one-year or six-month subscriptions that have already been obtained and these should be mailed to the Society this week. As of the reading of this letter, no one should prepare requests for additional new or renewal subscriptions.

The Society will continue for now, however, to honor the subscriptions currently on file. Once your personal subscription expires you should obtain magazines and cassettes for your own personal use, as well as for use in the held ministry, from the local congregation.

For many years- congregation publishers have been encouraged to have a magazine route. A magazine route will care for persons desiring to receive the magazines on a regular basis. These return visits will give publishers the opportunity to further cultivate interest shown by individuals and be a stimulus to starting new home Bible studies. The service overseer will assist publishers in developing such routes.

How will the Society’s worldwide work including the printing and distribution of its literature be financed”

Boxes labeled “Contributions for the Society’s Worldwide Work.–Matthew 24:14” will be made available near the magazine and literature counters. The amounts received in these boxes will be sent monthly to the Society. These funds will be used to defray the cost of the Society’s overall operations, as well as providing for needed worldwide expansion.

With what spirit should each one view the new arrangement’!

Jehovah is progressively guiding his people through these critical times, giving them the wisdom from above, necessary to keep the preaching work moving speedily in the face of many snares laid by Satan. (Psalm 32:8; Isaiah 30:21) Under the leadership of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have been conducted into the spiritual paradise in which we now carry on the holy work of the good news. We have tasted the joy of being part of Jehovah’s spirit-filled organization. – Psalm 34:8.

To meet changing conditions, Jehovah’s spirit guides his theocratic organization. While contributions have always been voluntary, the complete donation arrangement allows for individual initiative and conscientious attention to meet the expenses of Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization. Now each of us has an increased moral responsibility and privilege to honor Jehovah with our valuable things. (Proverbs 3:9) How we ‘respond to the leadings of Jehovah’s spirit as we make our contributions will reflect our heightened awareness that Jehovah considers us trustworthy.-l Corinthians 4:1, 2.

The Society sincerely appreciates the financial support and cooperation it has received from the worldwide brotherhood. All donations will continue to be used wisely to support Kingdom interests. We ale confident that those who appreciate the priceless truth of God’s Word and the value of all the Society’s provisions, including the production of Bible-based publications, will continue to be motivated from the heart to contribute generously toward this work right up to the end of this old system. (2 Corinthians 9:6-14) We can place full trust in Jehovah knowing that he can “do more than superabundantly beyond all the things we ask or conceive.”-Ephesians 3:20.

Your fellow proclaimers of the Good News,

Watchtower B & T Society of New York, Inc.

THE FOLLOWING WAS ON A SEPARATE SHEET

ANNOUNCEMENT

(To be read at the Service Meeting and Book Studies held during the week of February 19, 1990. If this is received too late to be read before the Watchtower Study held for the week of February 19, 1990, you should let the publishers know informally that a special letter will be considered after the Watchtower Study.)

There will be a special letter read to all congregations in the United States and its territories following the Watchtower Study during the week of February 19, 1990. All publishers should make every effort to be present when this letter is considered.

CUT ALONG THIS LINE —————————————————————————–

Week Starting February 26

Song 172

5 min: Local announcements Encourage all to obtain an adequate supply of God’s Word book and have a full share in offering it in held service this weekend. Introduce next portion of program which will consider February 9, 1990, letter to all congregations.

20 min: Presiding overseer gives two-minute summary of the first six paragraphs of the February 9, 1990, letter to all congregations. Afterwards the congregation secretary asks the presiding overseer each question appearing in the Society’s February 9, 1990, letter to all congregations. Presiding overseer reads each answer directly from the letter. They can briefly discuss the meaning of each answer. Stress the fact that the cost of producing literature and magazines remains the same and will no doubt continue to rise as inflation escalates. (Two-minute consideration of essence of material in December 1980 Our Kingdom Service insert, pages 5 and 6, from the subheading “Inflation – Economic Plague on the World.”) People who are righteously inclined will voluntarily contribute out of appreciation for the spiritual treasures found in the literature. Presiding overseer concludes with two-minute summary of the concluding paragraphs from the February 9, 1990, letter. How the literature is to be presented in the field will be handled in the following part.

20 min: “Presenting the Good News–With the God’s Word Book.” Use qualified elder who has read and studied thoroughly the February 9, 1990, letter to all congregations.

(3 min.) CHAIRMAN: Read paragraphs 4 and 5 of February 1990 Our Kingdom Ministry article “Presenting the Good News–With the God’s Word Book.” Encourage all to use these presentations during the month of March. Emphasize that the presentations to follow will obviously have Jehovah’s blessing but will require serious thought and preparation on the part of all. Ask audience to take note of how the offer is made on a donation basis.

(7 min.) Demonstration. Have an experienced pioneer or publisher demonstrate suggested presentation in paragraph 4. After showing the book, the publisher could say: “If you would enjoy reading this fine publication, I would be happy to leave it with you.” (Publisher should then hand the book to the householder who will take it and begin looking through it. ) Then the householder will ask: “How much does it cost?” The publisher replies: “We are not engaged in a commercial work. What we are doing in your neighborhood today is being done voluntarily in over 212 nations and lands around the world to help people learn the way to everlasting life. If you would care to make a donation toward this work, I would be glad to accept it. The householder says: “I would like to donate $2.00.” Publisher concludes by saying: “Thank you. Many have wondered ‘Does the Bible contradict itself?’ If you would like to discuss some interesting facts on this point, I would be happy to stop back when it is convenient for you.” The householder responds: “Good. Could you come back next Wednesday?”

CHAIRMAN: Comment on other appropriate questions that can be raised to pave the way for a successful return visit. Then ask rhetorical question: “What if the householder said: ‘I don’t think I would read the book’?” Reply that the publisher could take the book back from the householder and say: “I will pass the book on to someone else who will enjoy using it. For the present, perhaps you will find this tract interesting.”

(3 min.) Demonstration. Have elder or ministerial servant offer magazine presentation to a man. After raising questions regarding the subject in a special article in The Watchtower, the brother could say: “I would like you to note the details in this article. If you would like to read these two magazines I would be happy to leave them with you.” Householder says: “Yes, thank you. That is a subject that is of interest to me.” Brother says-. “I am glad to be able to make this information available to you. I think you will find the subject truly informative. In fact, I would like to come back next week and get your viewpoint. You will note that The Watchtower is published in 107 languages and distributed in nearly 14,000,000 copies around the world. This work is all supported by voluntary donations. If you also care to make a small donation toward this educational work, we would be happy to accept it.” Householder says: “Well I don’t have any change today, but maybe next time. Thanks for the magazines.” Brother says: “You are welcome. The next issue of The Watchtower raises the question: ‘What does Jesus’ death mean to you?’ I will stop by on Saturday with that issue. I know you will appreciate it.”

(7 min.) CHAIRMAN: Comment on the fact that the groundwork for a fine magazine route has just been laid. The same presentation could be used in the street work. Entertain comments from audience on how the publishers offered literature without asking for a specific sum. Emphasize that a donation is not a precondition that must be met before people can obtain literature. Point out that the magazines were placed with a person who was willing to read them although he was not able to donate on this occasion. On other occasions individuals who accept literature, like the householder in the first demonstration, may make a willing donation for the Kingdom work. In both instances we can be very gracious. However, literature should not be offered indiscriminately with those not manifesting interest. Those who are generous may be, provided additional literature on the initial call or a return visit. Our purpose is to teach the good news of God’s Kingdom and make disciples. All Kingdom publishers will become accustomed to the adjusted presentation and make improvements as time goes by. Stress that “we are not peddlers of the word of God.” (2 Cor. 2:17) We look for Jehovah’s backing on this arrangement.

Conclude by reminding all that while we are pleased to leave literature with interested persons who, for one reason or another, cannot donate, we still have the moral responsibility to assist the Society with our donations.

Song 14 and concluding prayer.

 

Jan 212004
 

The Watchtower Society’s  application for funds from Swiss Bank Litigation
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF
NEW YORK

In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation:
Master Document No. CV -96-4849
(ERK) (MDG)
Consolidates with CV-96-S161 and : CV-96-461

This Document Relates to All Actions :

Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Bank Litigation)
Proposed Plan of Allocation for
Jehovah’s Witness Victims and Targets of Nazi Persecution

December 7, 1999

COMES NOW, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, (hereinafter Watch Tower), the corporate agency directing the administrative and religious work of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, by its attorney, Carolyn R. Wah, requesting an allocation of a portion of the settlement fund for Holocaust education and remembrance as well as just and equitable compensation as outlined below:

As the attached report entitled “Spiritual Resistance and Its Cost for a Christian Minority: A Documentary Report of Jehovah’s Witnesses Under Nazism, 1933-1945” will show, the Nazi persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which spanned virtually the entire Nazi period, exacted a heavy physical, financial, and emotional toll on that small religious community in all Nazi- occupied lands. The report also evidences that the Witnesses’ individual and organized stance in opposition to the violent ideology of the regime was a decisive factor in the severity of the persecution, resulting in profound losses.

Although conclusive documentation may be lacking for the claims of individuals targeted as Jehovah’s Witnesses; there are three factors that argue for a favorable hearing for the individual applicants, even where the elusive “Swiss connection” may be weak:

(1) Since Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the earliest groups to be targeted for sentencing to concentration camps, they were often used in the actual construction of the camps. In some cases, the SS-run camps could, in themselves, be considered commercial enterprises that benefited from slave labor. Because the Witnesses had been in the camp system for long periods of time, they sometimes worked for the camp administration, but without due compensation, of course

(2) Witness literature often carried sharp criticism of flagrant human rights violations in Nazi Germany. This was true of Witness literature produced and distributed clandestinely within Nazi-occupied Europe, as well as Witness literature published internationally. The Gestapo was well aware of the critical and revealing content of the literature, and thus they expended extraordinary effort to expose and destroy the secret printing facilities. They confiscated printing equipment, burned stocks of literature whenever it was found, and hunted down and executed many of those involved with the underground work. Thus, the nonviolent resistance offered by the Witnesses increased the financial, material, and physical losses they sustained.

(3) The nonviolent, nonpolitical resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Nazi policies is distinctive for its duration and consistency. It is not possible to quantify the losses suffered by families whose mothers or fathers were given lengthy sentences in camp or prison because of their faith. Beyond the lost wages, lost property, and lost years are the intangible costs suffered by all victims of Nazi terror. Unlike other victims, however, most Witnesses had a choice. Generally, they were targeted solely because of their religious convictions. Witnesses were offered the opportunity to avoid persecution simply by renouncing their beliefs. Therefore, by virtue of the length of the persecution and the nature of their resistance, we ask that the court grant special consideration to the applications of Witness survivors or their heirs, which will no doubt be few in number. Further, the court may allocate a portion of the settlement to be used for purposes of Holocaust education and remembrance. Combating intolerance and indifference is extremely important work. The Watch Tower and individual Jehovah’s Witnesses have expended hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote awareness of the Holocaust and its lessons. The Watch Tower and its affiliate branch offices have made educational and academic presentations, free of admission charge, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, and most countries of Eastern and Western Europe. More than 400 seminars and exhibitions have been held in

3

Germany alone, often in cooperation with concentration camp memorials, research institutions, and museums. Important research and archival work is being conducted in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Russia, Israel, and other places.

The few remaining Witness survivors have used their waning vitality to speak to young people, educators, and scholars about their experiences and those of their martyred fellow believers. If the court sees fit to allocate a portion of the settlement fund to the Watch Tower to continue this work of remembrance, we believe it would constitute fitting recognition of individual Witnesses who suffered and died while maintaining their faith and human values.

Some Witnesses died prematurely and left no heirs to make a claim to the Swiss Bank Settlement Fund. However, the legacy of spiritual resistance that they left behind is of great value in the education of future generations about the importance of standing up for the dignity and value of human life. Representing these individuals, the Watch Tower would be pleased to devote any allocated moneys solely to the interests of Holocaust education and the remembrance of the prisoners who bore the purple triangle, according as the court might stipulate.

Realizing that thousands of survivors and heirs will apply to the court to receive a portion of the Settlement Fund, Watch Tower is not in a position to recommend a certain percentage to be allotted for the purposes outlined above, nor are we able to suggest what portion of the Fund should be allotted to individual Witness survivors. Watch Tower acknowledges that no amount of money can fully compensate for the losses of any victims of Nazi persecution. However, if the funds provided by the Swiss Banks Settlement can symbolically or practically mitigate the human suffering of survivors or their families, or if it can advance the work of education and remembrance, the money will have been well spent. In this allocation process, we rely on the court’s equity and fairness.

4

WHERFORE, in light of this information, Watch Tower, respectfully request an award in harmony with the just and equitable principles outlined in the settlement order.

December 7,1999.
Respectfully submitted,
signature
Carolyn R. Wah
Associate General Counsel
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society
of Pennsylvania
100 Watchtower Drive
Patterson, NY 12563
Tel: (914) 306-0700
Fax: (914) 306-0709