City Contributes $150,000 to Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention

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During a closed session a month ago Raleigh City Councilors approved a $150,000 contribution to the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses convention that will be held next year at the PNC Arena.

The city has been contributing money toward the event since it first came to Raleigh seven years ago.

“This is not new,” said City Manager Russell Allen. He said the event has been built into the city’s annual budget for awhile.

The approval came during a closed session after the regular Sept. 18 City Council meeting. The meeting minutes obtained by the Record, posted below, read, “City Manager Allen stated the Council knew his feelings about the request.”

He declined when asked to elaborate on those feelings during a later interview.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Centennial Authority also contribute funding to the convention.

Dave Olsen, PNC Arena general manager, said that this is the only religiously affiliated event at the area that has a partnership with the city, the visitor’s bureau and the Centennial Authority.

Allen said that other religiously-affiliated groups and organizations typically use the convention center and could qualify for similar business development funding or discounts. But, this is the only event that is held at the arena and also receives some public funding.

According to the backup documents provided with the meeting minutes, the convention received a total of $275,000 in 2011.

The funding covers a portion of the arena rental plus expenses, said Olsen.

The convention is held over the course of two weekends during the mid-summer, when, Olsen said, business at the arena is slow. He said each day of the convention brings in about 10,000 people.

“They have been, specifically through these rough economic times, pretty consistent in attendance and the amount of money they bring to the local economy,” he said. “They’ve been pretty solid from a business standpoint all seven years.”

According to city documents, the projected revenue from the 2011 event in hotel and food and beverage sales is $7.8 million. The projected tax revenue – including sales taxes – amounts to about $301,000.

Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the city will contribute money to organizations that bring in that kind of economic boost to the city, especially during a slow season like August. She said that similar events include the CIAA tournament, which the city recently lost to Charlotte and the Ironman triathlon, which will be coming in the future.

The Give Back

In return, the group usually performs some kind of community service project at the arena.

Typically, Olsen said, the group will clean the building and the grounds for free, saving the arena money from hiring an outside contractor. In the past the group has also planted trees throughout the property.

But this year City Councilors say they want to see more outreach into the community.

Baldwin explained that in the past the City Council would encourage and suggest that the group to partner with other organizations in the community, but wouldn’t require it. The Jehovah’s Witnesses would instead perform some other kind of service work.

This year, she said they decided to tie the funding directly to the completion of a community service.

Councilors gave the group three options including providing support or volunteers for a local Habitat for Humanity project, Helping Hands Mission relocation or a food or clothing drive for one of the city’s food banks or shelters. The group could suggest its own partnership, but it must be approved by the City Council.


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27 thoughts on “City Contributes $150,000 to Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention

  1. With such an huge economic impact on the community, I can certainly understand why the city would support such an event. Wisdom!

  2. (“Councilors gave the group three options including providing support or volunteers for a local Habitat for Humanity project, Helping Hands Mission relocation or a food or clothing drive for one of the city’s food banks or shelters. The group could suggest its own partnership, but it must be approved by the City Council.”)

    A real public charity benefit by the JW group,good to go bravo!

  3. Watchtower no public charities.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses have NO significant ‘disaster relief’ only token measures. Ever seen it? Ever seen a Jehovah’s Witness mission for the poor,soup kitchen,hospital,clinic,food pantry?….no way

  4. As others have said, Jehovah’s Witnesses for most part don’t support any charities because Watchtower teaches them that the only way people will get help is through God’s kingdom so helping poor is a waste of time.
    Watchtower also teaches that the way to help people is for JWs to preach to others their message which for most part includes much misrepresentation of the group’s history, misrepresentation of many sources they quote in their magazines and basically being negligent when it comes to human live when in need of blood.
    The general statistics to calculate tax revenues from large group conventions don’t really apply to JWs as these often don’t spend the same amounts of money as another group of this size would. This may be because most JWs are generally less educated thus having lower paying jobs, many don’t even want to work full time which again puts them in the lower income bracket, and finally JWs are taught outsides are bad and will be destroyed by God so there is a limit to the “cheerful giving” that they do – which is a reason why you never seen JWs have a soup kitchen or food drive for the needy.
    Another point that the city counsel should keep in mind is how watchtower convention was caught stealing from JWs in Tacoma when they had parking included free in their arena cost but they were selling parking tickets to their own people and asking for donations to cover convention costs as if parking was not included in the fees – did the counsel ever check if watchtower convention was asking for donations from their people in amount of arena fees without city’s contribution? If not, maybe an audit of the past records should be in order.
    Just because people dress up, appear nice doesn’t mean everything is A OK .

  5. .. and yet these bastards can’t pay the mere 11 million dollars to Candace Conti?

    What two-faced liars. I hope this cult goes bankrupt very soon.

  6. JW’s give back so much by their community service work. Getting to the bottom of issues like drug abuse, immorality, alcohol abuse, joblessness, violence, etc. is what they do every time they engage in their preaching work. Instead of putting a band-aid on problems they go to the source. Soup kitchens & food pantries are fine but those would not be needed if people had jobs & enough money to feed themselves. Thus JW’s help people to get jobs & feed themselves. And when disasters strike they are usually the 1st ones on the scene to help EVERYONE, not just their own. I’m afraid the naysayers just had no idea…

  7. LOL @ DTrent!

    Facts:
    Alcohol abuse is a big problem within JW community, a hidden problem but a problem non the less.
    Joblessness, with general jw population having only high school diploma the chances are they will have harder time finding employment in our progressive societies.
    Pedophile, child abuse is a big issue within jws. Their policies are changing for better but still not only do they protect pedophiles who don’t confess to their sins but also fight for the rights of pedophiles to go door to door to unsuspecting homes. (wts should release their pedophile data base to the authorities!!)
    Disaster relief? First WTS property gets repaired, then jws and if they want some brownie points they may help few outsiders so they jump up and down and make a big deal about it and embellish on the facts for other jws to think what a wonderful organization they’ve got.
    Violence? Only recently the wts applauded a wife being beaten up for over a decade before her husband became a JW! Can today’s society imagine sending abused woman back to their abusers and telling them to be a better wife and maybe pray more so the abuser one day may stop? Often, abusers who become jws continue on their beatings but that part you don’t hear from wts, or the fact that the victims are often afraid to even go the authorities including church elders!
    By building their membership on ignorance and fear of outside world, wts can do anything they want and their members would nod with approval without ever researching anything deeper than the latest wts publication.

    If Raleigh City spend 275k on wts convention in ’11 and imagined they gained 301k in tax revenue they are dreaming! The assumed profit of 25k is nothing, but most likely there was no profit but a loss. WTS, uses jws to clean all the arenas for their convention so it’s not like Raleigh City is getting something special. Maybe they should research Tacoma, Washington or some other arenas who don’t want to deal with wts.
    If the city wants more revenue, why not tax religious property, religious incomes and include a deduction provision so that those groups who actually provide a social service for a community get a tax break where as those who don’t pay up like every other business.

  8. Dan,
    You really shouldn’t find fault with an organization that you obviously don’t know anything about. Don’t know where you got your “so called” information but it is not accurate. You said you hoped they would go bankrupt soon, however, since their backer is the God of the Universe, Jehovah, that is not going to happen!!
    I suspect you were once a witness but did some terrible sin and had to be disfellowshiped. That is why you are so bitter. But when a bad apple is in the basket it can corrupt the whole basket so it has to be taken out. However, you could get back in if you clean up your life and ask for forgiveness.
    In the meantime it would really be to your benefit if you only spoke on subjects that you are familiar with. You only show your ignorance when you try to inform others about something which you do not know the facts!

  9. It is so very sad that people full of hate post lies and negativity about jws. They are a group of people motivated by love of god & fellow humans. I joined them in 1974 and have seen true love in action for almost 40 years now. Hateful lies about us only prove the bad motives of ones who post this negativity. Love is a positive, not a negative. Don’t try to bring others down to your level. Gos is love.

  10. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The comments here are interesting to say the least. Jehovah’s Witnesses come from all walks of life, all over the world. There are over 7 million of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the world who are educated weekly at our meetings and provided research material in publications such as the Watchtower and Awake that touch on a very large variety of subjects from family life to world history. To say we are uneducated, unsympathetic, drunken slobs is not only ignorant, but outright lies. Community services such as soup kitchens to do serve a purpose, but who among those organizations spend time each week besides working at a secular job to come to your house to provide one on one Bible education, comfort from the scriptures and a true, lasting hope for the future? As far as disaster relief efforts, all you have to do is do some basic research. Because Jehovah’s Witnesses are highly organized in many, many cases we are providing relief before the government can get their tents set up. If you still are having doubts, visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention in your area next summer. It is free, open to the public and you will see doctors to housekeepers, dressed in their best, friendly, polite and respectful of each other and anyone who visits.

  11. Three cheers to the RPR for uncovering this wasteful misallocation of city funds. A huge subsidy for a religious convention is simply inappropriate for any governmental unit in the U.S. A. Period. And those economic impact numbers are a joke. If the city wants to boost tax revenues it should do something about this year’s new trend of allowing city contractors to hire illegal immigrants with impunity — breaking the law while sending our tax dollars abroad to boost economic development in foreign countries. Where are those economic estimates adjusted for all the lost local spending in our economy when workers send a big chunk of their (ever lower) untaxed wages to foreign countries? Where’s an honest economist when you need one?

  12. @Beverly: I will never forget that the Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to give away their Watch Tower publication, insisting on a 10 cent donation (this was 20-30 years ago). These re-packages Millerites are both annoying and comical. 1917! Oh my!

  13. @Dan: Great post. Tax churches, not books! 😉

    Hmmm….isn’t it the Jehovah’s Witnesses that made such a fuss we had to take pumpkins out of public school kindergarten classes? Seriously, I was told my donation of a beautiful, locally grown pumpkin was unwelcomed at my daughter’s kindergarten class some years back. How sad to have no tolerance for locally grown, native American produce. 🙁

  14. Honestly, I’m a lover of Jehovah who observe all his commandments and Jehovah answered almost all my prayers because I was praying not only for myself but for the whole world. I’m really bothered so much that Jehovah’s witnesses are constantly discouraging higher education that mostly Jehovah’s witnesses view higher education as an evil thing. I have been aware of that ever since I was yet in elementary. Almost all the elders are uneducated, and even thought they are better than the other people with higher educations. I kept in silence because I did not want to insult our own elders and religion until I came here in Felton California Congregation where I realized the elders are obviously bullies. I was considerate of the elders from the other side of the world because they are just victims and have no choice but to follow and obey what the society has commanded them to do. However, when I arrived here in Feton, I learned that the elders were kept sending false report to the society, so they could continually bully their members. Therefore I would not hesitate to say that there is/are really false prophets in the governing body. The Jehovah’s witness are greatly deceived by the impostors, and are complacent of the regular teachings at the Kingdomhalls. They don’t or maybe they are just oblivious of what’s really happening inside the organization. I’m not exagerating this, but I want to tell you the real truth. There are many thieves inside the Jehovah’s witnesses organization. Most Jehovah’s witnesses don’t even know the word stereotype because most of them did not go to college and did not take psychology classes. They are oblivious that the elders and the impostors that are members of the governing body are constantly bullying the innocent members of the organization.

  15. Before I also thought all those who stopped attending the meetings at the Kingdomhalls, and all those who were disfellowshipped committed a serious sin because that’s how we were always told. I realized now, how clever they are. Consider what the elder at Felton Congregation had done. Mitch Hutchison told me frankly when he called me for a judicial meeting. I had been attending at the Kingdomhall for about eight years. Since the very beginning that I had attended the meeting, he kept finding fault against me, which he couldn’t. At first I couldn’t figure out why the talks for eight years always about marry only in the lord, and about evolution thing, and higher education. Even the comments of the Jehovah’s witnesses were very nasty against those who married not a Jehovah’s witness, and about scientists and those who pursue higher education. I noticed the elders were diminishing, many had gone. Hutchison, the presiding overseer chose his own goons, and called me for a committee. He couldn’t find any faults against me, but he ordered his goons anyway to cast me away. I one time, answered at the Watch Tower study, assuring the other witnesses saying “Jehovah won’t allow anybody to make his organization into an occult” because I know that’s what the impostors are trying to do with the organization. Hutchison called me again. He would not stop calling me from our phone, but I stopped meeting him, because we already met twice, before he wanted to scare me that if I don’t stop commenting from the Watch Tower he would surely will disfellowship me. I was not afraid of him because it so obvious he was controlled by Satan. Because of that Mitch Hutchison ordered his goon to call a police if ever I would come back to the Kingdomhall. Two patrol cars cameby at the gate to make sure I could not enter into the Kingdomhall.

  16. My father was serving as an elder and a regular pioneer for many many years. He turned down a business that was offered to him by a millionaire Jehovah’s witness because he was focused on his service in the congregation. It turned out that my mother became the bread winner in our family because my father didn’t have a job, and we are many in the family. Since I was a little child, I kept asking supplication to Jehovah, and he answered my impossible prayer, yet when I arrived her in Felton congregation, Mitch Huchison and his goons shunned me. Jeff Cain, Mark Pfister, the two Rios elders, and Otis are all goons of Mitch Hutchison, and they are still there laughing at the Kingdomhall because they succeed. My husband attended with me in the Kingdomhall before they shunned me. He remembered Mitch Hutchison said in one of his talks, telling the audience that before there was an elder in that congregation, and he was trying to contradict him, and after that he’s gone. Nobody will succeed if they tries to contradict he said Jehovah, which of course he meant to himself. He told me after I commented that Jehovah won’t allow anybody to make his organization into an occult, he said to me, “what did you say in your comment that Jehovah won’t allow..? let’s find out.” Now he is laughing because they are successful in controlling the organization. The impostors cannot allow their members to be educated or else they will expose the fallacies in the organization. What they’ve done is no difference from what the pharisees had done long time ago.

  17. You might also don’t know the term “self-fulfilling prophecy” this term is used in bullying. That’s what exactly the impostor Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing. I would recommend everybody to watch the video called the “blue eyes, brown eyes”. Please open your eyes!

  18. @ chickenlittle: Undoubtedly you did not really want the WT publication at the time or you would have paid the menial 10cents. The literature is of no cost nowadays but anyone is welcome to donate something for the worldwide bible education work if they choose to do so.

  19. @ chickenlittle (again): There’s nothing wrong with pumpkins. There are plenty of JW’s who eat them & decorate with them. We just don’t turn them into jack-o-lanterns because that’s what makes them un-Christian. What ever school refused pumpkins because of JW’s must’ve gotten some mis-information.

  20. @ Melca: No ‘lover of Jehovah’ would use this forum to reveal such a thing whether it is true or not. You should know what you should do.
    As for education you are totally misinformed. Perhaps you’ve been away for awhile? Where have you EVER read in ANY of the publications that college or additional education is not for JW’s??? NOWHERE! It is a personal decision whether somebody wants to go to college or take night courses for making a living. There are countless JW’s who are lawyers, doctors, professors, business owners, bankers, etc. Pretty much you need more than a high school education for those types of careers.

  21. I dont think funds should be used for this or any other event. Google the religon and you see they have huge real estate holdings world wide. Selling milliions in prime real estate in Brooklyn where they are moving out to Patterson. I am what i call a reformed JW- I believe in the truth but understand how the undereducated ones try to control members. For years higher educated was put down (even now) I had old fogey elder actually call me up because i couldnt go to HIS book study cause I had to take a college class that night. Yet his buddy the presiding elder and his wife ran 2 huge business and very materialistic. They do not do charity in general and it would be looked down on in general if you did anything with a community organization. Sorry fellow jws going door to door is not community service. Frankly in our area the JWs rarely do anything for anyone unless they think it will get them brownie points. Unfortunately the organization has changed greatly over the years.

  22. DTrent- you are FULL of it! Lately the JWs have had to severly change their ways because it use to be a college degree was a luxury and could get you a job that would give you a great career. I grew up a witness and ALL during my life-it was don’t go to college-at best do vocational school or a trade to make a living. They viewed higher education as a path to the ‘world’. Everything on the program, magazines was about downsizing, being modest so one would choose the best occupation the FULL TIME MINISTRY! I recall even one budget suggestion at the district convention was to get used tires. How about all the advice about quitting your job if you couldnt get off for the assembly-remember that? Every year they said that. Now that college is almost necessary to get any kind of job they have had to lax a little. I was the ONLY one in my area (which is wealthy) that got a college education in the 80s everyone else either took on construction, painting, housekeeping because they didnt have the nerve to do it. Also, honestly its easier to go to college now coz you dont have to move (again-the young kid gets out of the JW house before). Far as all those professionals you know as good as I do many of those came in after they went to college in general. Matter of fact some of my relatives who went to college (dr too) came in after the education and it was such a big deal for many oh he’s a doctor and he chose to become one of us.

  23. hehe … all this fuss .. regardless how you all feel, no matter what … Jehovah will be cleaning out the dead wood, on his own time schedule. So how YOU stand in front of him, is what counts.

  24. That group also opposed transplants considering like cannibalism, including cornea transplants, so a Jehovah’s Witness with vision problems may go blind if he followed these guidelines

    You can call this the truth
    Awake! – In its edition of December 8, 1968, on p. 21 and 22:
    “Although thousands of corneal transplants are performed each year … There are those, such as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, considering all transplants between humans as cannibalism ….

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3680766860945&set=o.116119031816909&type=1&ref=nf

  25. Jehovah’s Witnesses view organ transplant operations as a matter of individual conscience. It is only whole blood transfusions that are not.
    (It would be advantageous to keep up with new breakthroughs in medicine.)