Friday, June 27, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses and Jimmy Swaggart


From The Watchtower - May 15, 1960, page 295: "The Scriptures justify the 'war strategy' of hiding true facts from the enemy."
Few Jehovah's Witnesses know the truth about The Watchtower Society and Jimmy Swaggart's Why did the Watchtower Society change its literature distribution program in 1990, and stopped charging for literature in the door to door work and at the kingdom Halls? Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Governing Body simply instituted a "simplified" arrangement. Few know the change really took place because Jimmy Swaggart lost his case in court and he was going to be charged tax on hte items that his religion sold. That meant that all religions would now have to be tax on items sold. So, in order to avoid paying taxes. in a February 21, 1990 letter to congregations, the Society explained the new policy this way:
By adopting a method of literature distribution based completely on donation, Jehovah's people are able to greatly simplify our Bible education work and separate ourselves from those who commercialize religion. (The Watchtower Organization never tells the truth about the changes it makes.)
However, this is what really happened:
Early 1980 State of California informs Jimmy Swaggart Ministries that tax is due for religious books and tapes sold in the state since 1974. Swaggart eventually pays the tax--$183,000.00--but sues for a refund. The case begins moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
February, 1989 U.S. Supreme Court rules it is illegal for Texas (and 14 other states) to exempt religious books from sales tax. Some states had been taxing religious books all along.
Summer, 1989 WT Society gives away "free" books released at U.S. conventions. Witnesses are instructed to place donations in contribution boxes to cover the cost.
June 22, 1989 Watchtower Society, files amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Jimmy Swaggart case. Others filing similar briefs include National Council of Churches and Society for Krishna Consciousness.
January 17, 1990 U.S. Supreme Court rules against Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, declaring that the sales tax must be paid.
February 9, 1990 WT Society writes letter to congregations announcing that literature will no longer be sold at Kingdom Hall and no price will be set in door-to-door distribution.
February 25, 1990 February 9th letter from Society is read at Sunday meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses across the United States.
March 1, 1990 New policy of distributing literature without naming a price goes into effect.
The March 15, 1990, WATCHTOWER magazine and March 22nd AWAKE!--printed earlier--still say "25 cents (U.S.) a copy" and "$5.00 (U.S.) per year." The April 1, 1990, Watchtower no longer carries a price.
March 11, 1990 Announcement is made at Kingdom Halls in the U.S. that food will be available at no cost, on a freewill donation basis, at JW conventions.
Since many JWs refuse to believe the Society actually filed a legal brief in Jimmy Swaggart's case, as evidence we have put up a photo of the Court's cover page.


2 comments:

Defender said...

The true is Jehovah witnesses don't charge for their literature not only in USA but in the whole world. why not only USA?
Because the Religious organizations today are reaping people off(Like your friend Jimmy Swaggart), and it is very easy for people today(including the governments) to think the witnesses are like the other religions, this change was necessary not only in United States.
defender-governingbody.blogspot.com

Warren Lawless said...

While it is true that this policy for not charging for the literature in the U.S. took affect in 1990, it did not become a global policy until about 2 years ago.