AUSTRALIA | Jehovah’s Witnesses form new religious corporations

The governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have approved the formation of an additional management corporation for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia and the formation of a new audio visual production company.

On 11 November 2019 a new Jehovah’s Witnesses company, “Kingdom Support Services (Australasia) Limited” (KSSA), was registered in Australia to “promote throughout Australasia the advancement of the Christian religion as understood and taught by the ecclesiastical Governing Body” and to “co-operate with or provide financial assistance to persons having similar aims and purposes and to other charitable organizations having similar aims and purposes within Australasia or elsewhere”.

The structure and charitable purpose of KSSA allows it to provide benevolent disaster relief (‘financial assistance’) to victims of the current bushfires in Australia, albeit limited exclusively to “Jehovah’s Witnesses [who] practice their religion under the spiritual direction of the Governing Body”. As of January 2020, the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch committee in Australia, under the direction of the governing body, have formed two Disaster Relief Committees to provide spiritual and material help to bushfire victims in Australia that meet the religion’s criteria.

Two days earlier, on 8 November 2019 another Jehovah’s Witnesses company, “AVS Productions (Australasia) Limited” (AVSPA), was registered in Australia to “record, produce, publish, and distribute or dispose by way of gift music, photographs, film, animation, and other intellectual property of a religious or charitable nature”.

Both new Jehovah’s Witnesses corporations have registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) as religious charities.

Despite the audio visual and animation production objects of AVSPA this new corporation also claims to “support members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

These two new Jehovah’s Witnesses companies join the new and controversial management corporation, Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia) Limited (CCJWA), which was formed on 12 April 2019 to administer congregations, congregation charities, and bodies of elders. and also to “support members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

CCJWA, despite being registered as a not-for-profit corporation with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), is yet to be approved as a charity by the ACNC. On 15 April 2019 CCJWA also commenced formally trading in Australia under the business name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” despite that trading name being registered to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Limited since 31 July 2000.

Also currently operating in Australia is another legal entity called “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses” (CCJW) which was registered as a business on 3 December 2012.

For background information on the CCJWA see the JW Leaks article: Newly registered Jehovah’s Witnesses legal entity issues elders letter to destroy records.

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Kingdom Support Services (Australasia) Limited

Mark Adrian Yeomans, director and secretary

David Melville Winder, director

Joshua Luke Sapienza, director

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Kingdom Support Services (Australasia) Limited corporate documents – pdf

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AVS Productions (Australasia) Limited

Anastasios Thomaidis, director and secretary

David Andrew De Kock, director

Darren Michael Janes, director

DOWNLOAD

AVS Productions (Australasia) Limited corporate documents – pdf

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JW Leaks exposes and holds accountable the Watch Tower Society and those leaders within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization that disregard or violate the laws of the land, and that cause religious harm to sections of the community.

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