(Investigator Magazine 180, 2018 May)

From Google Maps and

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 in 2009.

•    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 construction projects.

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.


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 disappointment!


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: 

DUMBO, 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 organization's staff.

    Another property in Brooklyn, 1128 Saint Johns Place, sold in May 2019 for $2.45 million.

Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: