THE NEW WORLD HEADQUARTERS of JWs
(Investigator Magazine 180, 2018 May)
From Google Maps and http://tjpeiffer.com/crowflies.html
The New World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses opened in 2017 near
Warwick in New York State, 47 miles "as the crow flies" NW of their
previous world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
The program to relocate Headquarters away from Brooklyn, where the JW
Organization owned about 30 buildings valued near $1.5 billion, got underway in 2004 with the sale of a 14-story
building for $205 million.
The Warwick complex of eight buildings is located on a 253-acre site with views onto a lake and surrounded by forest.
Associated with the new World Headquarters are four other complexes:
Wallkill (61 miles NW of Brooklyn) is the JW American center for the
production of literature and the location of "Watchtower Farms" which
produce food for the headquarters staff.
• Ramapo (34 miles NW of Brooklyn)
has the "Watchtower Administrative Center" on a 248-acre site purchased
• Brooklyn: Some of the original 30 buildings are currently being retained.* [See update below]
• Patterson (60 miles NE of Brooklyn)
is the location of "Watchtower Education Center" including "Missionary
Training School". Land purchases at Patterson by JWs began in 1984 and
now total 750 acres used mainly for farming. 50 acres is occupied by 27
buildings constructed from 1990 to 1996.
Officially the relocation of headquarters to Warwick is stated to be,
“for the more efficient administration of the worldwide witness”.
Other reasons may include:
1. Safety and stability issues — New York City may face future threats from terrorists and climate change;
2. Better control, indoctrination and
surveillance of staff, these being now more thoroughly sealed off from
the wider public than in Brooklyn;
3. To counteract membership loss
caused by the failed predictions for Armageddon which was predicted to
occur within "the generation of 1914" and in "our twentieth century":-
Ever since 1878 the leadership has distracted the followers whenever
prophecy failed by producing new publications, introducing new types of
ministry, formulating new doctrines, and in particular with new
Much of the construction work is done by thousands of JW volunteers and supported by others who donate money.
People who have sacrificed time, sweat, careers, and money for a sect
are less likely to defect; and others are carried along by the
enthusiasm and "progress". The failed predictions meanwhile
recede into the past and new prophetic dates are set.
Adherents who criticize get stigmatized with labels such as "disloyal"
and acting "like Satan" and are ostracized by the majority and soon
replaced with new converts. The new converts don't know the
Organization's history but some will eventually find out and in their
turn become "complainers" and be ostracized.
Meanwhile the Organization grows richer, bigger, more influential, and more powerful.
EXAMPLE OF A PROPHECY
Starting a lengthy program in 2004 to relocate headquarters for "the
more efficient administration of the worldwide witness" disagreed with
prophecies that the preaching would be completed and Armageddon occur
within the lifetime of the people who witnessed 1914.
In 1969 we read:
"People who were only
just old enough to understand what was happening to the world in 1914
are now approaching seventy years of age. Yes, the numbers of that
generation are dwindling fast, but before they all pass away this
system must meet its end in the war of Armageddon." (The Watchtower
1969 7/1 395)
In 1995 the JW Governing Body changed the definition of generation so
that a generation could go on indefinitely but added: "Does our more
precise viewpoint on 'this generation' mean that Armageddon is further
away than we had thought? Not at all!" (The Watchtower 1995 11/1 20)
Therefore in 2004, or 35 years after 1969, JWs believed that people
aged 70+35=105 would live long enough to see Armageddon! It was
obviously time for more distractions to be organized to get them through the
JWS—THE LARGEST GROUP
In 2016 the worldwide peak number of JW preachers passed 8 million and
the Memorial attendance (an annual event commemorating Christ’s death)
passed 20 million.
The Governing Body insist on total conformity in doctrine and
organizational policies among JWs in 240 countries. This probably makes
JWs now the world's largest body of people in full agreement in
religion and politics. Boosted by their new, modern World Headquarters
the expansion rate which has lately been slow may again accelerate.
* All the WTS's properties in Brooklyn have now been sold. A report dated December, 2018, says:
BROOKLYN ... The religious group announced that they sold the last
remaining piece of their former Dumbo headquarters last week … 30 Front
Street, was sold to development group Fortis Dumbo Acquisition [for] a
whopping $91 million... It was once used as a parking lot for the
Another property in Brooklyn, 1128 Saint Johns Place, sold in May 2019 for $2.45 million.