All Along, The Watchtower: Can I Get a Jehovah’s Witness? In Brooklyn Heights, Probably Not

watch1 All Along, The Watchtower: Can I Get a Jehovahs Witness? In Brooklyn Heights, Probably Not

Brooklynites will soon need a new way to tell time

What if 3,000 people left a neighborhood of 22,000 all at once and nobody noticed?

Ask any longtime resident of Brooklyn Heights how often they laid eyes on a Jehovah’s Witness, they would most certainly answer, “Every day.”

However if you were to ask that very same person if, by dint of the cliché, how often Jehovah’s Witnesses had appeared at their door to offer them a copy of the Watchtower newsletter and recruit them into the religion, that person would likely smile benignly and say “Oh, never. Of course not.”

In Brooklyn Heights, sightings of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been more than commonplace for over a century and no one living in the neighborhood now can remember a time when those encounters have ever involved a recruitment pitch of any kind—which is odd considering Brooklyn Heights is not just home to a large number of Watchtower readers, it is actually the church’s World Headquarters.

When one thinks of Brooklyn Heights, images of The Promenade, brownstones, well-to-do families come to mind along with the visages of famous residents like Truman Capote, Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe. One might even think of the neighborhood’s two tony private schools or the fictional home of the Huxtable clan on the beloved The Cosby Show.

This is America’s first suburb.

So then how did Brooklyn Heights become the Vatican to one of the fastest-growing and best-known (if annoyingly so) in the world? Particularly as this largely white and endemically preppy neighborhood has managed to avoid the hipster transformation of neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Borough Park, its neighbors to the north and south and the famous home of religious people living outside society’s norms. Just because an estimated 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses (or “JW’s” in local parlance) live and work in service to the church within the Heights, doesn’t mean that they stand out like their black-hatted brethren.

“You wouldn’t know someone is a Jehovah’s Witness just to look at them,” admits Jane McGroarty, president of The Brooklyn Heights Association. “Well, a native to The Heights might be able to if they see their belts are a little high,” she adds with a chuckle, referring to nerd-chic style favored my most Watchtower adherents

But what might the impact be when this community disappears in a few years or decades? What if it’s nothing at all?

While the notoriously cloistered JWs will not, like so many other things they are mum about, say when they are leaving, it is a fact that eventually, the estimated 3,000 followers currently residing in church properties throughout the neighborhood will soon be moving to new facilities, which cost the organization an estimated $11.5 million, in the Upstate town of Warwick, just next door to Walkill where, in addition to the internal agricultural and manufacturing industries, much of the printing operation is already re-based.

Just last week, The Watchtower put five properties in the Heights on the market, a collection of townhouses and apartments that neighbors knew would be coming to market for some time. The church began its great sell-off three years ago, reversing just over a century of history in the Heights, dating back to when Pittsburgh preacher Charles Taze Russell first arrived on the shores of Brooklyn. (He determined the Heights, with its easy access to the East River, to be the perfect distribution point for his life’s work, The Watchtower newsletter.) Over the years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have come into possession of real estate in the range of $600 million to $1 billion. What will become of it after they leave will shape the neighborhood at the heart of Brooklyn far more than the church ever did.

Tour the newly listed townhouses of  Brooklyn’s “Kingdom of Jehovah” >>

I can personally attest to the veracity of this unique, and admittedly bizarre arrangement as I grew up in The Heights, directly across from the Promenade (where my parents still live), around the corner from ur-social/racquet club The Heights Casino (where my family remain members), and three short blocks away from Saint Ann’s School on Clinton and Pierrepont Streets, which I attended for 12 years. I have never been solicited by a member of the church or even approached for directions, despite the fact that I am almost subconsciously aware that walking down Columbia Heights at any time directly before or after 4pm on weekdays will put me in the direct path of the polite stampede of JWs that is caused by the afternoon commute for a shift change at The Watchtower printing plant down Squibb Hill, commonly referred to by the neighborhood kids as “Jehovah’s Green.”

It is extremely rare to see Jehovah’s Witnesses going door-to-door proselytizing their faith in Brooklyn Heights, an activity for which they have become a clichéd annoyance the world over.  And while an unofficial agreement with locals is the cause for this particular phenomenon that keeps a mutually appreciated distance between the two, that distance also comes at a cost to the neighborhood as JWs almost never interact with local businesses and purposefully do not foster a socio-economic bond with the community.

This reality is largely a function of the belief system adhered to by The Watchtower, which sees itself and its members outside of the authority of governmental power and, in addition to being tax exempt, therefore chooses not to interact with neighborhood or its businesses and residents. In turn, the Heights and its stereotypically stuffy inhabitants happily ignore their religious neighbors, so long as they do not intrude on them.The church even goes so far as to get all of its clothes and food from The Watchtower’s enormous property in Walkill. This symbiotic, yet non-symbiotic relationship leaves an observer with the impression that Watchtower’s presence on the Heights is almost more spiritual than physical.

“They just don’t spend money here,” says Chris Calfa, the co-owner of Lassen & Hennig’s Delicatessen, a neighborhood landmark that has been doing business at the same Montague Street location since 1939. “I don’t see how [The Watchtower] leaving could be bad for us. Bringing in new people who will spend money, that’s a good deal for us.”

“In the long run, it will be good for the neighborhood,” says a local real estate broker who has worked with Brooklyn Heights residential properties for over 20 years. “They don’t pay city taxes and their people don’t spend money in the community, so this change will definitely bring good things in that regard.”

Ms. McGroarty agrees with that sentiment theorizing “all of their properties are going to become something else, and while we don’t know for sure what that will be, you would think most of it would become residential. The neighborhood is going to feel more crowded without question.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses, she said, “lived light.”

However, while it may not have been on clothes or deli cold cuts, the Watchtower has spent a good deal of money in the community, buying up a staggeringly diverse and valuable portfolio of properties within the neighborhood, consisting of Promenade adjacent townhouses, two famed old hotels, and an impressive amount of acreage on which the church built enormous warehouses and factory where The Watchtower was produced, printed and shipped from for many years.

The value of the total holdings were estimated to be in the range of $600 million when The Watchtower first announced its intention to move in 2003, selling off its former shipping warehouse at the foot of Atlantic Avenue that very year for a reported $120 million.That property is now “One Brooklyn Bridge Park,” a luxury condo development built in anticipation of anchoring the new park project of the same name growing up over former commercial docks spanning from the bridge to Atlantic Avenue. With no small amount of irony, the warehouse-turned-condos is helping to fund the park with the very tax revenues that the church has denied the city for years.

The same scheme will be used to further fund the park when the rest of the warehouses are sold off. For years, locals have fought condo development in the park, fearing the sanctity of their Promenade views. The JW’s may have come to the rescue yet again, after State Senator Dan Squadron hammered out a deal with the mayor for the redeveloped properties to contribute their taxes to the park, a deal that has the potential to traumatize the community in another way, as it could well mean thousands of much louder and more demanding residents than JWs becoming a part of the Heights.

Yet it is the townhouses that actually have many homeowners more worried. Local fears about real estate prices being affected were assuaged when the church decided to sell its property in stages, keeping the market churning, but not playing against the Watchtower’s financial interests.

While almost all of the reasoning behind the Watchtower’s decision-making is historically inscrutable at best (the organization is notoriously media-shy and did not respond to comment on this article), the idea to sell off the portfolio in stages has been met with admiring approval (“They didn’t need a fire sale” offers Ms. McGroarty), while the timing of their sale, during the economic implosion of 2008, does raise some eyebrows.

But The Watchtower has also earned the respect of Heights residents enough to keep those eyebrows heightened in private, as many of its residential and smaller properties were acquired during the economic downturn of the late 1980’s and early 90’s, when Brooklyn Heights property costs were at their nadir and many of the beautiful old homes were falling into disrepair. The Watchtower’s impressive organization and industry is a staple of their religion and it is manifested physically in the properties that they bought and restored over the past 20 years, making the church an incongruous leader in local preservation.

Take the Bossert Hotel on Montague Street, a historic touchstone for 20th Century Brooklyn. It was most famously home to many Brooklyn Dodgers during the baseball season, putting the players only two blocks away from the team’s offices on Court and Montague, and a short trolley ride to Ebbets Field. The Watchtower bought the hotel in 1988 after leasing it for five years. By the time of the purchase, the building had fallen on hard times, its famed “Marine Roof” collapsed and the once intricately ornamented lobby in sorry disrepair. The Watchtower replaced the roof and the lobby is once again a spectacular showpiece, factors that helped the church attract buyers three years ago.

“The Watchtower has been a very decent neighbor to Brooklyn Heights in general,” Ms. McGroarty said. “They’re not participatory in almost any way, but they have done a fantastic job maintaining needy properties, The Bossert is an in incredible testimony to that fact.

Unfortunately, the Witnesses picked a poor time to sell, and the $98 million sale of The Bossert fell through in October 2008 after potential buyer RAL Companies was reportedly scared off (ironically) by slow sales figures at One Brooklyn Bridge Park. With housing still on shaky ground, observers are wary of what will happen with the newest roster of listings announced last week that includes mostly smaller brownstones and townhouses that would be best marketed and sold as single-family homes.

“On one hand it’s five all at once,” local broker said, “but on the other hand they’ve all been subdivided to better fit their housing needs. They’re in beautiful shape but they need work to be one family homes again, so they’re not really in competition with brownstones in our portfolio.”

While the tax revenues and theoretical retail spending that will be inevitable parts of new, non-observant residents is a trade off that almost everyone in the neighborhood can get behind—with the possible exception of more competition for on-street parking. The potential for problems is there, though. Just look at all the overcrowding on the L after the new condos were built.

As for the actual departure of The Watchtower and its followers, that is being met with a certain amount of ambivalence.

“It’s not a typical community of families with children, it’s a situation where adults run the show,” Ms. McGroarty said of the largely service-based, quasi-intern population of Watchtower headquarters. “So it’s hard to see what will be missed or what to expect in exchange.”

One has to wonder what the response would be if roughly one in every eight residents of The Upper East Side picked up and left all at once. It would not be outside the box to think that a certain panic would settle in over the neighborhood. The response in Brooklyn Heights to seeing 3,000 out of 22,000 residents departing is best described as ‘blasé.’

“I don’t see it having much of an effect really,” says the real estate broker.

“It could go a few ways,” says Mr. Calfa of Lassen & Hennig’s with a shrug.

Even Brooklyn Heights’ City Councilman Steve Levin offered a rather vanilla statement that seemed obtuse in its prediction, saying in part that “[The Watchtower's] departure from the neighborhood will certainly leave a lasting impact. The Witnesses’ move, along with the continued development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, will drastically change the atmosphere in the neighborhood.”

At once invisible and omnipresent, the Watchtower’s disappearance will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on the future of America’s First Suburb. But whether that mark will be positive or negative is nearly impossible to adequately predict.

Perhaps only Jehovah himself knows for sure.

 

 

Comments

  1. Bunchoclowns says:

    It’s funny but when Iserved at Bethel I went shopping for food in the local supermarket. Ate pizza and drank coffee at the local stores around the neighborhood. There was even a great Thai restauraunt near Watchtower I had the pleasure in dining in. I remember there were other Watchtower workers who did the same. That’s not to include the millions of J.W.’s who came  to tour the faclilities who also helped the economy in the Heights. Ithink the J.W.’s have done all they can to make that neighborhood a great place to live in.

    1. Gogotacotico says:

      Gotta agree.
      I ate at clarks several times a week
      And drank many pints at chip shop (with many other jw friends)
      Played botce bal in the bar next door to chip shop a ton…

      Bought all my plates and cups at fishes eddy
      Bought my suits at the banana republic on montague
      Got brunch at jack the horse after Sunday meeting
      Joya is packed with jws every night.

      If anything, I got bored from always eating out in the heights.

  2. JW tourist says:

    I saw firsthand much business brought into the Heights’ neighborhood due to the Watchtower facilities being located there.
    We rented rooms from local widows on Henry St. (as many Jehovah’s Witnesses did when coming to visit and tour) and even stayed at the Brooklyn Marriott.
    We shopped at the local markets, got bagels and coffee every morning, ate at the restaraunts – much of all of this on Montague St.
    Besides tourists, many witnesses stay at the Bossert Hotel to attend assemblies nearby. I saw them in the coffee shops and delis the whole weekend I was there, and that repeats most weekends.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Scientologists declare their outcasts “suppressive persons.”
    Another Scientology policy – called “disconnection” – forbids Scientologists from interacting with a suppressive person.
    No calls, no letters, no contact. An SP is a pariah.
    Anyone who communicates with an SP risks being branded an SP himself.

     Jehovah’s Witnesses disfellowshiped person (DF) is exactly the same as Scientology suppressed person (SP)Jehovah’s Witnesses are EXACTLY the same.Watchtower religion is the *Hotel California* you can check in but not *check out*. 

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult or high control group because they cut you off (harsh shunning) for dissent of any kind. The Watchtower demands loyalty and if any Jehovah’s Witness decides to leave because they disagree with doctrine,the remaining family members are commanded by the religion to shun those who have left. They will try to spin it so that it looks like some immorality was committed but most of the time that is not the case.
    Every member of your extended JW family and all your close friends will now shun you (basically treat you like you’re dead) simply because you changed your mind on religion.The Watchtower and many adherants will deny this (lie) to the public and media.

    –Danny Haszard born  Jehovah’s Witness in 1957
    (Please google my name for more, they won’t allow links here)

    1. Sassyblue-eyes says:

      You can’t be born a Jehovah’s witness…it is a personal choice. Your parents may have brought you up in the faith….but the bottom line is it is a personal choice. If you dont want to live by God’s standards set out in the bible….again it is your choice. There is no brainwashing – everyone makes choices each day – what to eat, what to wear, what to watch on tv etc etc – choice of worship is personal.  Adam and Eve made a choice for the whole human race, look where that has left us. Trish in Oz

      1. Jasonww20 says:

        Being born into a Jehovahs’ Witness family is certainly not a choice. Your indoctrination begins after your birth. You are raised to believe what your family believes as truth. As you get older you are not allowed to research if what you were raised to believe is true without negative consequence. Also, if you are a born-in and not baptised by a certain age, the pressure to be baptised is increased or you will just be considered weak in faith. You’re also baptised into the Watchtower Organisation not holy spirit. Being raised from birth as a Jehovahs Witness, you do not have personal choices. From infancy you’re trained to tow the watchtower line without question and accept everything you are told and behave the way thewriting committee in brooklyn tell you to behave. To be born into a Jehovahs Witness household is to be born into a cult.

  4. Adina Hope says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are used as pones by a religion that has no charity and owns more real estate than any religion with their size membership. This reality is a sad testament to mind control and the abuse of religion.   The poor kids born into this cult were told by the Watchtower not to get a college degree. Instead the parents wanted them to be full-time pioneers and wash windows for the rest of their lives.
     
    The average JW’s are well-meaning decent people. But they are greatly misled. True, this can be said of many other religions, but many others do not have the very high level control structure that reaches into the heart of families and eventually destroys them.
    No doubt in my mind Jehovah’s Witnesses is a cult. I grew up a witness. Got baptized when I was 10 years old. Went to pioneer school when I was older. Then ” the light got brighter” ( a common JW quote when questioned why beliefs change so frequently) and I left. It does ruin lives. They prey on the uneducated and less fortunate
     
    Do a search of google *Jehovah Witness Watchtower*  and find out what others who have had dealings with them say too.

    1. Sassyblue-eyes says:

      Thanks for giving me the best laugh so far of the morning….wanted their kids to wash windows – oh my goodness. My sons have trades – one is a diesel mechanic and the other is a carpenter/builder. We encourage all our kids to get a good education and into a trade of some sort that will give them a good income. My oldest son now works as abseiler/ doing building maintenance and window cleaning – utilising all his carpentry & building skills and having fun doing it. It sure paid off taking his rock wall climbing as a child. He has a good job, decent income – he chose this work because the building trade is at a low right now with economic issues.  I too dont wash windows, I work as a surgical manager.  I was born in the 50’s so I am a baby boomer, my parents had me well educated and I chose to be a nurse… I also took secretarial courses at school, so both skills have been implemented in my job.
      Trish in Oz

    2. Lee2362 says:

      I have to say. You were not ras right.. Thy tell you do what you have to do.. I no a lot of Kids going to College and get a Degree… There doing that so thy can get a good Job to FEED there Kids…  Like i say to ever body you have Good & Bad…And were not to Jug, others.. Thats God Job… And there no MIND CONTROL.. you control your self. you make it out of what you won’t in Life.. And there no Misleding. If you study and learn on your on..  The world is a cult.. With all the bad thing going on. Thay are not doing what god have ask.. And i don’t be leve you were growing up as a JW.. You wood no beather..  If you were. The God of this World got to you… I,m not Baptized.. I been studying off and on for 33 years.. My wife was a JW, My kids beleve but not all Baptized…See you make it what you Make it with.. To all out there… Do the study be for you put down..JW are like no other.. Yes thy Have good and bad.. Were all not perfex….

  5. Aunty Em says:

    Brooklyn Heights stores and restaurants won’t realize the financial impact until all the JW’s are gone.  Apparently they have no clue how much the local JW’s spend in their neighborhood and how much all the ‘tourist’ JW’s spend when visiting their mecca.  When we visited we always went to Montague St. to find a restaurant for lunch, and bought groceries locally. 

    1. Anonymous says:

      They do noit spend money. There is an article just out today where merchants says 3,000 out of 22,000 residents will not be missed. The buy at the commissary. Those are not rich workers. They get their clothes from the centers like Patterson. I have taken loads of clothing there myself and have seen the clothing and the women that mend, clean, iron. Also much is donated new. They eat at the facility. I can’t post the web-page but google whether the merchants say they will be missed from brooklyn. No. Families will come in, children, condo’s will pay taxes. etc. As for visitors yes the conventions make the merchant rich and they will lament the great fall of this great city. The merchants will weep over her. Simple Christian life shouldn’t be about money. We should be talking about the spiritual and morally that we bring.They never work Brooklyn Heights, read the article. Footstep followers of Jesus. He threw out the money changers. They bring in ATM machines. I will not cut them any slack! 

  6. guest says:

    When we visited Brooklyn Bethel, we ate out at a number of local establishments, Grimaldi’s being the fav

  7. Danny says:

    I find it strange how every single internet post about Jehovah’s Witnesses always attracts so many comments from Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    They sit around in their spiritual vacuums so mentally diseased!

    1. Ruth says:

      How right you are Danny… No surprise there. Any honest hearted person with common sense will see through the hateful lies, misinformed trash talk that always accompany internet posts about JW’s… Jesus himself faced similar hatred in his day….It’s pointless to debate with mentally diseased talk and those who pay attention to their rubbish…. Peace..

      1. Sam Duel says:

        Your words are words of hate, in contrast to Jesus’ words to love your enemies.

      2. New light says:

        Do you have an example of some of the lies? And if so why? In the same July 15th. 2011 WT article that called all ex Jw’s mentally diseased also told you that Jehovah’s “clear warning” was for you to “avoid them”. So if you’ve seen and seen through their lies then you haven’t headed Jehovah’s clear warning. In fact that same article warned you against even commenting on their blogs as you have here. I suggest you pray for Jehovah’s forgiveness as Judgment day (Armogedon) is “very Soon” in fact it’s supposed to be here in October of 1914 I mean 1915 oh wait I mean 1925 oh I’m sorry I meant to say 1941. That can’t be right oh ya it’s 1975. Shoot what I meant to say was within our 20th. Centery. Oh but aren’t we almost 12 years into the 21st. Centery? I’m confused.

    2. Sam Duel says:

      The expression you use, ‘mentally diseased’ in reference to Ex-Jw’s is now the subject of a police investigation in the UK, following its publication in the Watchtower magazine. 

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/war-of-words-breaks-out-among-jehovahs-witnesses-2361448.html#disqus_thread

      The words are words of hate, in contrast to Jesus’ words to love your enemies, btw.

    3. Monsieurhappy says:

      Perhaps it was the religion that caused the disease.  If we’re looking for a common variable.  There are only a handful of religions that seem to cause a brash of negative comments on boards: JWs, Church of Latter Day Saints(Mormons), Scientology and to a lesser extent Catholicism.  All of these organizations have been accused of some pretty nasty stuff.   These are pretty much the only organizations that have ex counseling services and therapy.  Makes you think.
      It is a clinical/scientific fact that leaving a cult does cause various stages of grief as if someone has died. 
      To quote your own founder “Religion is a snare and racket!”

      1. New light says:

        Actually it was J.F. Rutherford the second Presedent who said religion was a snare and a racket all the while turning the organization into a gient publishing company and realistate developer worth hundreds of millions of dollars as demonstrated in the above article. He did this by using thousands of volunteer workers to build the empire and under the guiz of religion paid no taxes or wages. He died in a mantion in San Diego Ca. That was paid for by all of the donations of the loyal followers of The organization. Not only did he live in that mantion paid for by the Watchtower bible and tract society but he also enjoyed two Cadillacs donated to him by a rich little old lady all while the rest of the world was suffering in the great depression.
        The first Presedent and founder Charls Taze Russell said “Organization is wholly unnessisary” guess that statement prooved to be unprofitable as new light ( Rutherford )changed that point of view as soon as Russell died.

    4. Hustleacademics says:

      oh we are mentally diseased??? last time i got a checkup, i had a clean bill of health. But i guess because I didnt get checked by a JW doctor, mine was too incompetent! Maybe your magazines can give me clarification on that? Nevermind. And please dont reference Jesus if you dont believe how he treated even the sick, or those who seek inspiration with open arms. Jesus loved those who even spoke against Him, look that up in your bible, oh nevermind, I guess WTS ran out of ink when you guys printed that section!!!! Whos mentally diseased now? 

    5. ALAN says:

      Danny, the reason many ex witnesses comment, is because they have been there, got the T shirt. They know how witnesses think and act.Most members of the public know nothing of the societies past false pronoucements, lies and double standards.
      That is why most witnesses hate it when ex witnesses spill the beans and like to call us names.

  8. Jeand_nw says:

    Most of the workers there made a pittance and survived with help from their folks back home if they were lucky-they weren’t drinking pints every night or going out to dinner or shopping at banana republic. I KNEW these young people. Their parents handed them $50 when they could and made sure they had bus fare home (Ok, I knew the ones who lived in Jersey). Their parents were giving them allowances when they were in their late 20s. You don’t go out to nice restaurants every night when you are getting an allowance.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a cult that will lie at the drop of a hat pure psychopath in their thinking,suppose to be Godly.So sad they are so frigging arrogant.

    1. Lee2362 says:

      You can say all you won’t…You don’t no a thuink. And tell you get to no them. You have your GOOD & BAD.. Just like ever body eals… I’m not a JW yet. But I be leave in them.. I been to all others. And thy rare all ways puting there hand out and saying GOD NEED YOUR $$$$…What is god going to do with $$$$…. I study off and on… You can’t jug,a book by its cover.. You need to look deap in to it..

      1. Tim Alternate says:

        There are, primarily, three kinds of people who create growth for this group:  “born-in” children of current JWs;   illiterate, uneducated, uncritical thinkers;  and those predisposed to latch on to religious belief who have suffered some kinda of traumatic event. 

        Thank you, Lee2362, for identifying your group in the above post.

      2. New Light says:

        Lee, I was a JW FOR 27 years to this day I have not been Disfellowshipped. The majority of witnesses are honest genuinely good people and the moral standards that the religion promotes are scripturally correct and beneficial. Everyone on earth should follow these moral standards. If they did the world would be a better place for sure. Imagine if you will Jesus on the mount of olives giving the sermon on the mount with the crowds gathered around him. Now imagine 4 of his disciples at each exit standing over a contribution box. And Jesus saying at the end of his beautful sermon “we can also take donations by way of check, credit card of debit card. Peter can take your information at the east gate”. Sounds silly right? That’s because it was just as nessisary for his work to be funded then as it is today. And that is it wasn’t and isn’t nessisary at all. None of the disciples or the Apostle Paul needed to be funded by their fellow brothers to accomplish their ministry in the first centery. In fact the apostle Paul supported himself as a tent maker.

        If you believe that the most important thing you could be doing for Jehovah is preaching the good news of the kingdom and all your support for this importand work can be found in the bible them great preach the good news of Jehovah’s coming kingdom to others using the only inspired writings that Jehovah has put his seal ofapproval on. The Bible. I don’t see the I don’t see the need for hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on billions of pieces of additional matiriel that is admittedly not inspired and billions of dollars worth of realistate to accomplish something that could just be past along from friend to friend as was done in the first centeryusing only the scrolls they had available to them at that time. It seems to me the only time Jesus spoke of religion in the bible was to condem it when he spoke to the scribes and Pharisees. Just a little something to think about. God bless.

  10. monsieurhappy says:

    It’s valuable real estate.  It makes perfect sense to move.

  11. Mamba says:

    The reason they are not buying anything in the area?……They work for free and have to live off a couple of dollars, for which they have to use to travel to church. I used to work at a Bethel (a HQ) too. If you are lucky,  you have enough for deodrant and and wash materials… sold to you at the HQ. Interestingly when you begin your training in HQ you have to do a week on the cleaning team. I encountered luxury rooms unlike that of the other Bethelites. These were of course the rooms of the leaders. They claimed that the rooms were opulent due to the leaders being older and therefore aquiring more possessions in life. (Quite how a long serving member was able to save and afford all that wood and brass I could never figure out, nevermind those lovely apple macs).

    I find it amazing that they have both agreed in Warwick and Brooklyn to not preach as they insist this is the greatest command from God and should be done even in the face of death.  I guess the PROFITS forgot to predict ths issue of Location, Location, Location.

    I wish we could have formal evidence of these agreements. ( A newspaper article alone confirms the Wawrick deal to not preach in the town.)

  12. Lisa says:

    I loved the ending!!! “Perhaps only Jehovah himself knows for sure”. Perfect ending for a very up and down article… I felt like I was riding a roller coaster the whole time while I was reading it. But the ending brought tears to my eyes ..   

  13. Reubarb says:

    Why are they leaving?

    1. Mamba says:

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  14. I told You no one Care about JWS LOL! You are Nothing because you Shun Family and Friends! And What did Jesus Say  LOVE….

  15. R B says:

    My son spent a few years working in Brooklyn Bethel, and he as well as most of his co-workers would occasionally patronize the local stores.  One reason why they do not visit them as often as some may want them to is that they are assigned to congregations all over New York or Connecticut or other places to be an encouragement to them, and they are very busy with their own congregations.  My son was assigned to a congregation in Bed Stuy, and he got to learn another language there, and it is there that he and other assigned Bethel brothers have congregational teaching assignments, and go out in the field ministry in that community.  It wouldn’t make sense to have 3000 witnesses go out and visit a community of 22,000 as often as we typically do this work.  This reflects the God who is a “God, not of disorder, but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

  16. Agoodplumber says:

    Why cant we all just get along, why look for things to be in conflict with each other, no one is perfect.  You just have to let things go, and be happy. Overlooking mistakes will lower your blood pressure. Live long and prosper :)