Blowing the Whistle on the Watchtower re: sales tax fraud
|The following letter was mailed out in quantity to
the 50 states (Sales Tax Fraud Divisions) in early 1997. The collecting of
sales tax by peddlers from customers is required in 49 of the 50 states.
For a full report on the fraudulent nature of the Watchtower in this
Watchtower Way of Laundering Money. Earlier the Watchtower
organization suffered a defeat along with Jimmy Swaggart. The
previously-mentioned article says,
"Just one month before the new policy was announced, the Society watched how the Supreme Court ruled in California Board of Equalization vs. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. California wanted to assess sales taxes on the sale of books and tapes and other items by Swaggart's ministry. The Watch Tower Society filed amicus curiae (a friend of the court legal brief) in support of Swaggart's position, that a religious organization should be exempt from such taxation. On Jan. 17, 1990, just a little over a month before the Society's change in policy, the Supreme Court ruled against Swaggart and permitted taxation. The Society's new policy avoided any liability for taxation by taking the financial transaction out of the picture (donations cannot be taxed)."
While the Watchtower's "new policy" shielded them from a lawsuit by the State of California (and subsequent others) , they continued to peddle the magazines and books from door-to-door (and to this day), mentioning contributions and although not saying a specific amount to the householder to give, the Witness peddler himself has to come up with the "value amount" of the literature and give it back to the Kingdom Hall to send to Brooklyn. If not enough funds come in according to their evaluation of the "value" of the literature, the Watchtower's literature supply desk will halt the flow of all literature to the local Kingdom Hall until the "bill" has been paid. This is still currently the hypocritical practice as of March 2003.
I also included in the mailings a copy of David Reed's book Blood On the Altar. Some states wrote back; their reply was basically "Thank you," or that they will process the request of the Watchtower's abuse.
Here is a facsimile of the letter I write in 1997:
ATTN: Certified Mail to
January 15, 1997
Dear Tax Office,
I am writing to blow the whistle on an organization I used to belong to, an organization that is selling millions of dollars of merchandise in this state without collecting sales tax. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York ships truckloads of books, videos, tapes and assorted other merchandise to their Kingdom Halls across the state. The members take these items from there and sell them house-to-house, returning the money collected to the Kingdom Hall, so that it can be mailed back to Brooklyn headquarters each month. They talk about "donations" but this is a thinly veiled tax-dodging sales operation. Dunn & Bradstreet reports for recent years show their sales in the
range, so the Jehovah's Witness are certainly selling $--millions in this state.
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