It takes the Governing Body only four paragraphs to cut to the chase and blatantly ask for money in the Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses 2015.
On page 6 of A Letter from the Governing Body and after setting up the narrative by highlighting an increase and a need for more Kingdom Halls the writers go all-in with a not-so-subtle call to action:
And, whether we have construction skills or not, we all have the privilege of contributing our valuable things toward these important projects.
Cue the obligatory biblical precedent:
At the time of the construction of the tabernacle, the Israelites were so moved to give that an announcement had to be made to restrain them from giving more.
Which is followed by something I dubbed the conjoined imperative in my JW book Goodbye, Jehova!, imperative as in the grammatical mood, a rhetorical device the Governing Body loves to use:
No doubt, such Scriptural examples touch our hearts and motivate us.
And as we all learned during our stint as JW: When the Governing Body says “us”, they actually mean “you”.
By the way: A few pages on the Governing Body throws in a guilt-tripping real life experience for good measure. The story of two Georgian kids who wanted a cell phone. But instead of using money they inherited to buy one, they donated it to the Watchtower Society, saying: “Please build us a nice Kingdom Hall!” As you do, when you’re a kid.
This new call for money follows the March 29, 2014 letter and its postscript which wasn’t to be read to the congregation (featuring the brilliant indefinite-donations-scam).
To my knowledge, this is the most blunt the society has ever got in the traditional Letter from the Governing Body, which precedes the yearly reports. This space is normally reserved for a brief Thank You-note from the Governing Body and some generic motivational words in watchtowerspeak. It is the first time in at least 10 years that the Governing Body is outrightly asking for money in their introductory letter. Noteworthy, albeit not that surprising. Still, it demonstrates a stark change in policy. Only 3 years ago, the Who is doing Jehovah’s will today? brochure brandished the claim you see below: