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RICO Act, Proposed Class Action against the Church - it is filed


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3 hours ago, smac97 said:
On 9/27/2019 at 3:29 PM, changed said:

I think all non-profits, including religious non-profits, should be required to be 100% transparent about all the finances.

 

[...] calls for further "Financial Transparency" would be followed, endlessly, by more calls for "Financial Transparency."  Because the objective of the critics is digging for dirt, that's about it.

Let's test that out.

Hey @Changed, here is a link to the Church's 100% financial transparency document about all the finances for all of Great Britain.

http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends51/0000242451_AC_20171231_E_C.PDF

All good for Great Britain?

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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25 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Let's test that out.

Hey @Changed, here is a link to the Church's 100% financial transparency document about all the finances for all of Great Britain.

http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends51/0000242451_AC_20171231_E_C.PDF

All good for Great Britain?

What!?  There is no breakdown of the reported annual operational costs for church buildings!  Just a lump sum.  What is the Church hiding?

Only a lump sum for the 2017 missionary efforts.  What is the Church hiding?

It only provides highlights of "Community Outreach and Interfaith Outreach" efforts.  There is no complete list.  What is the Church hiding?

It only provides a lump sum for "Meetinghouse Addition Projects" for buildings in Catford, Chester, Inverness, Lincoln, Peterborough."  How much did the Church spend on drywall for the addition to the Inverness building?  How much did the Church spend on roofing materials for the building in Chester?  What is the Church hiding?

😁

Thanks,

-Smac

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23 hours ago, smac97 said:

What does "100% transparent about all the finances" mean?

There is a pretty good blog entry on this topic (written by an accountant): The Folly of LDS Church Financial Transparency.  Some excerpts:

Hence my suspicion that calls for further "Financial Transparency" would be followed, endlessly, by more calls for "Financial Transparency."  Because the objective of the critics is digging for dirt, that's about it.

More from the blog:

I think these are fair questions for you.  What do you propose to do with the further-disclosed information about the Church's finances?

And more (emphasis added):

Yep.  I think that's the endgame intended by critics demanding for more "transparency."

And one more bit:

Well said.

Poppycock.

Thanks,

-Smac

I've stopped caring what "changed" thinks about the Church.  Wrong was done to her, seriously bad wrong, and she now looks through a glass, very darkly.  I don't blame her for her feelings, I'm not walking in her shoes, after all, but what she is doing to herself is the true evil.  When one cannot see the good when good predominates, and all there is to see is the wrong that is actually quite rare, then one is seriously blind.  And with such dark glasses, how can one see the truth?

Edited by Stargazer
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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I've stopped caring what "changed" thinks about the Church.  Wrong was done to her, seriously bad wrong, and she now looks through a glass, very darkly.  I don't blame her for her feelings, I'm not walking in her shoes, after all, but what she is doing to herself is the true evil.  When one cannot see the good when good predominates, and all there is to see is the wrong that is actually quite rare, then one is seriously blind.  And with such dark glasses, how can one see the truth?

To the bold, that is just plain wrong. Those are fighting words to me.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

To the bold, that is just plain wrong. Those are fighting words to me.

What is this, broadswords at dawn?

You're entitled to disagree.  But I believe she is blinded by what happened to her, and though I surely appreciate that what happened is a huge burden, I believe that she is doing herself a great disservice.  For she sees evil everywhere, even where it doesn't exist, and refuses to see that what happened to her was an outlier, a very evil outlier, yes, but an outlier nevertheless.  She cannot see the good that is genuinely inherent in the Church, and this blindness will not lead her to peace.  This is my assessment, at any rate.  Every post she makes reinforces this to me.  But I do wish her peace.  I just don't think she will find it in the route she is taking.

I wrote:

1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

...but what she is doing to herself is the true evil

This angers you?  I know you do not believe that the LDS Church is what it claims to be, so perhaps your anger is reasonable.  But what if the Church is what it claims?  Then fighting against the Church may lead to one's eternal destruction, which is evil.  So she would be doing it to herself. 

But the greater condemnation is for those who did the evil, and those who refused to come to her aid in the matter; I am certain that they will face bitter fruits from what they did that they shouldn't have done, and what they should have done and didn't do.  And in time they will have to face the fire of their guilt.  I expect that in the end the Lord will judge changed mercifully.  For who can face such wickedness and come away unscathed?

In Alma 39 we read about how Alma's son Corianton was responsible for the failure of the missionary efforts among the Zoramites:

11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.
12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;

It says that Corianton, by his conduct, led away the hearts of many people to destruction.  Yet it needn't have been the case for all of them.  Perhaps some of them saw past Corianton's misconduct to the truth of the message that was being given to them. Perhaps in time, when changed's heart has softened, she will be comforted by the Spirit sufficiently to see past what was done to her by those who should have known better -- and recognize that it was fallible men who did it unto her, not the Lord.  

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On 9/30/2019 at 12:35 PM, smac97 said:

What!?  There is no breakdown of the reported annual operational costs for church buildings!  Just a lump sum.  What is the Church hiding?

Only a lump sum for the 2017 missionary efforts.  What is the Church hiding?

It only provides highlights of "Community Outreach and Interfaith Outreach" efforts.  There is no complete list.  What is the Church hiding?

It only provides a lump sum for "Meetinghouse Addition Projects" for buildings in Catford, Chester, Inverness, Lincoln, Peterborough."  How much did the Church spend on drywall for the addition to the Inverness building?  How much did the Church spend on roofing materials for the building in Chester?  What is the Church hiding?

😁

Thanks,

-Smac

Ah, well.  Perhaps FearlessFixxxxxxer will tell us. :rolleyes: 

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On 10/1/2019 at 5:44 PM, Tacenda said:
On 10/1/2019 at 3:31 PM, Stargazer said:

I'm not walking in her shoes, after all, but what she is doing to herself is the true evil.  

To the bold, that is just plain wrong. Those are fighting words to me.

I am going to take this a little bit further.  Perhaps explain better where I am coming from.

In a recent issue of BYU Studies Quarterly, there is an article talking about the 1863 Bear River Massacre, where a band of the Shoshone Indians was nearly wiped out by US Army soldiers.  Without getting into the gory details (you can Google this if you want), there were few left of the band, including only one of the chiefs, Sagwitch.  He had plenty of reason to hate whites, the Army and even the Mormons.  The Church wasn't directly involved, but the conduct of some Church members left a lot to be desired.  Yet, ten years later, something miraculous happened. 

"...in the winter of 1873. Native American leaders began to have dreams and other spiritual manifestations. One night, Chief Sagwitch was visited in a dream by three men who told him of the existence of a god who existed among the Saints. He was told that their god was the only true god, and he must send for men who would tell them what they must do. The next day, Sagwitch traveled to Ogden, Utah, to meet with his friend George Washington Hill. Hill had served a mission to the Lemhi Shoshone, in central Idaho, some seventeen years earlier and was skilled with the language. Hill told Sagwitch that there was order in the Lord’s church and that he was no longer called to be a missionary. This same exchange took place for the next two days. 

"A week later, George Washington Hill was called to the office of Brigham Young, who told Hill that he had a great burden upon his shoulders, and it was now about to be Hill’s. The prophet then called him to once again be a missionary to the Shoshone people. As Hill arrived home that evening, there sitting on his porch was Chief Sagwitch. He told the old chief that he was once again given the power to preach and that he would now come and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told Sagwitch to give him a few weeks to get his affairs in order and he would then come."

To make a long story short, nearly every member of the tribe joined the Church.  They established a community, which they occupy still, and compared to some native american tribes who live on reservations with multitudinous problems, they have mostly assimilated into the national culture, while remaining one people. And are by all accounts very successful.

What would have happened if Sagwitch and his people had held an implacable grudge, and rejected what they later accepted? -- surely justifiable from a certain point of view.  

The point is, if the Church is true, what else matters?  And if it is true, then doesn't fighting it constitute cutting off one's own nose to spite own's face?

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24 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I am going to take this a little bit further.  Perhaps explain better where I am coming from.

In a recent issue of BYU Studies Quarterly, there is an article talking about the 1863 Bear River Massacre, where a band of the Shoshone Indians was nearly wiped out by US Army soldiers.  Without getting into the gory details (you can Google this if you want), there were few left of the band, including only one of the chiefs, Sagwitch.  He had plenty of reason to hate whites, the Army and even the Mormons.  The Church wasn't directly involved, but the conduct of some Church members left a lot to be desired.  Yet, ten years later, something miraculous happened. 

"...in the winter of 1873. Native American leaders began to have dreams and other spiritual manifestations. One night, Chief Sagwitch was visited in a dream by three men who told him of the existence of a god who existed among the Saints. He was told that their god was the only true god, and he must send for men who would tell them what they must do. The next day, Sagwitch traveled to Ogden, Utah, to meet with his friend George Washington Hill. Hill had served a mission to the Lemhi Shoshone, in central Idaho, some seventeen years earlier and was skilled with the language. Hill told Sagwitch that there was order in the Lord’s church and that he was no longer called to be a missionary. This same exchange took place for the next two days. 

"A week later, George Washington Hill was called to the office of Brigham Young, who told Hill that he had a great burden upon his shoulders, and it was now about to be Hill’s. The prophet then called him to once again be a missionary to the Shoshone people. As Hill arrived home that evening, there sitting on his porch was Chief Sagwitch. He told the old chief that he was once again given the power to preach and that he would now come and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told Sagwitch to give him a few weeks to get his affairs in order and he would then come."

To make a long story short, nearly every member of the tribe joined the Church.  They established a community, which they occupy still, and compared to some native american tribes who live on reservations with multitudinous problems, they have mostly assimilated into the national culture, while remaining one people. And are by all accounts very successful.

What would have happened if Sagwitch and his people had held an implacable grudge, and rejected what they later accepted? -- surely justifiable from a certain point of view.  

The point is, if the Church is true, what else matters?  And if it is true, then doesn't fighting it constitute cutting off one's own nose to spite own's face?

Thanks for the story, but I clicked on the highlighted reference and it didn't work. Do you have the precise link? I'd love to read and follow up on this. 

Also, is there a way to say it and not use a word like "evil" being done?   

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On 9/30/2019 at 11:46 AM, JAHS said:

Only a very experienced tax accountant could tell you that.  

Actually, that report has little or nothing to do with taxes.  Having been an auditor for part of my career, and a forensic accountant for most of my career, I can say this based on a cursory review of the linked report:  the auditors - Grant Thornton - are a reputable firm, on the whole, and they expressed an opinion stating that the financial statements are properly stated under UK GAAP, that there is no evidence to indicate that the organization is in any immediate danger (read, within one year) of being unable to meet its financial obligations, and that there are no inconsistencies between the financial statements and any of the representations and disclosures in the attached report.  I've made no attempt to analyze or evaluate the reasonableness of the expenditures, but the auditors found nothing to indicate fraud or material error in the accounting.  One notable item is that despite a relatively significant increase in operating and repairs and maintenance expenses on the buildings, the overall revenue (e.g. tithing and other donations) appear to have been relatively stagnant.  That could be a problem in the long term if the increase in expenses continues to outpace any increases in revenue/donations.

Edited by ttribe
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2 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Cleaning toilets teaches you humility.

I find cleaning anything can be a teaching experience. At a minimum, it has taught me how to better care for things. And I find cleaning the Lord's house to be an act of worship.

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On 9/30/2019 at 10:00 AM, smac97 said:

What does "100% transparent about all the finances" mean?

There is a pretty good blog entry on this topic (written by an accountant): The Folly of LDS Church Financial Transparency.  Some excerpts:

Hence my suspicion that calls for further "Financial Transparency" would be followed, endlessly, by more calls for "Financial Transparency."  Because the objective of the critics is digging for dirt, that's about it.

More from the blog:

I think these are fair questions for you.  What do you propose to do with the further-disclosed information about the Church's finances?

And more (emphasis added):

Yep.  I think that's the endgame intended by critics demanding for more "transparency."

And one more bit:

Well said.

Poppycock.

Thanks,

-Smac

Let's see a list of homeless shelters owned and operated by the church.  How about a list of hospitals owned and operated by the church.  ... I know of malls that are owned, of great and spacious buildings owned by the church...

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

It doesn't exist.

I know...

 

These are the corporations that I know of or could find. Add more if you know more!


Deseret Management Corporation - http://www.deseretmanagement.com/
Beneficial Financial Group - http://www.beneficialfinancialgroup.com/
Bonneville International - http://www.bonnint.com/
Bonneville Communications - http://www.bonneville.com/
Bonneville Interactive Services
Bonneville Satellite - http://www.bonnevillesatellite.com/
35 Radio Stations
1 Television Station (KSL)
Deseret Book - http://deseretbook.com/
Excel Entertainment - http://www.xelent.com/
Deseret Morning News - http://deseretnews.com/dn
Hawaii Reserves - http://www.hawaiireserves.com/
Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) - http://www.polynesia.com/ and http://www.polynesia.co.jp/
La'ie Shopping Center
La'ie Park
La'ie Cemetary
Hukilau Beach Park
La'ie Water Company
La'ie Treatment Works (sewer)
Mstar.net - http://www.mstar.net/preportal/index.asp
Temple Square Hospitality - http://www.htsc.net/ and http://www.hoteltsc.com/
Weddings (JSMB and Lion House)
The Inn at Temple Square - http://www.diningattemplesquare.com/
Lion House Pantry - http://www.diningattemplesquare.com/
The Roof Restaurant - http://www.diningattemplesquare.com/
The Garden Restaurant - http://www.diningattemplesquare.com/
Passages Restaurant - http://www.diningattemplesquare.com/
Zions Securities Corporation - http://www.zsc.com/

Farm Management Corporation (commericial farms and agricultural properties)
Deseret Land and Livestock
200,000 acres of land in Rich, Morgan and Weber counties (Utah)
Sun Ranch (Martin's Cove)
Deseret Ranches of Florida (Orlando) (largest ranch in Florida)
Deseret Farms of California
Rolling Hills (Idaho)
West Hills Orchards (Elberta, Utah)
Cactus Lane Ranch (Arizona)
(more)

Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CPB)
Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Deseret Trust Company
LDS Family Services
Property Reserves Inc. (PRI)
Ensign Peak Advisors - http://www.imno.org/articles.asp?qid=123

Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators (DMBA) - http://www.dmba.com/

Brigham Young University (BYU) - http://home.byu.edu/webapp/home/index.jsp
BYU - Idaho - http://www.byui.edu/
BYU - Hawaii - http://www.byuh.edu/index.jsp
LDS Business College - http://www.ldsbc.edu/

 

Subject:

It used to be MUCH worse... A must read!!

Date:

Jul 22 16:47

Author:

Deconstructor


I thought you might find interesting this transcript of the US Senate Committee case regarding Mormon Senator Reed Smoot. Where did Mormon Church President Smith find time for meditation, let alone revelation?

Senate Committee Testimony Transcript:

Mr. Tayler (Senate Attorney):What is your business?
Mr. Smith (Mormon Prophet and President): My principle business is that of president of the church.
Mr. Tayler: In what other business are you engaged?
Mr. Smith: I am engaged in NUMEROUS other businesses.
Mr. Tayler: What?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution.
Mr. Tayler: Of what other corporations are you an officer?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of the State Bank of Utah, another institution.
Mr. Tayler: What else?
Mr. Smith: PRESIDENT of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company.
Mr. Tayler: What else?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of the Utah Sugar Company.
Mr. Tayler: What else?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company.
Mr. Tayler: What else?
Mr. Smith: There are several other SMALL INSTITUTIONS with which I am associated.
Mr. Tayler: Are you associated with the Utah Light and Power Company?
Mr. Smith: I am.
Mr. Tayler: In what capacity?
Mr. Smith: I am a director and PRESIDENT of the company.
Mr. Tayler: A director and the president?
Mr. Smith: Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler: Had you that in mind when you classified the others as 'small concerns'?
Mr. Smith: No sir, I had not that in mind.
Mr. Tayler: That is a 'large concern'?
Mr. Smith: That is a large concern?
Mr. Tayler: Are you an officer of the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad Company?
Mr. Smith: I am.
Mr. Tayler: What?
Mr. Smith: PRESIDENT and director.
Mr. Tayler: Of what else are you President?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of the Salt Air Beach Company.
Mr. Tayler: What else, if you can recall.
Mr. Smith: I DO NOT RECALL JUST NOW!
Mr. Tayler: What relation do you sustain to the Idaho Sugar Company?
Mr. Smith: I am a director of that company and also the PRESIDENT of it.
Mr. Tayler: Of the Inland Crystal Salt Company?
Mr. Smith: Also the SAME POSITION THERE.
Mr. Tayler: The Salt Lake Dramatic Association?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of that and also a DIRECTOR.
Mr. Tayler: Are you president of any other corporation there?
Mr. Smith: I DO NOT KNOW. PERHAPS YOU CAN TELL ME!! I DO NOT REMEMBER ANY MORE JUST NOW!
Mr. Tayler: It would seem that the number has grown so large that it would be an undue tax upon your memory to charge you with naming them all.
Mr. Smith: What relation do you sustain to the Salt Lake Knitting Company? Did I already ask you about it?
Mr. Smith: No sir, you did not.
Mr. Tayler: The Salt Lake Knitting Company?
Mr. Smith: I am PRESIDENT of it, and also a director.
Mr. Tayler: The Union Pacific Railway Company?
Mr. Smith: I am a DIRECTOR.
Mr. Tayler: Are you an official of any mining companies?
Mr. Smith: Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler: What?
Mr. Smith: I am the vice-president of the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Company.
Mr. Tayler: The Deseret News?
Mr. Smith: No, sir.
Mr. Tayler: You have no business relations with that?
Mr. Smith: NO SIR.
Mr. Tayler: Is the Deseret News the 'organ of the Church'?
Mr. Smith: Well, I suppose it is in some sense the 'organ of the church'. It is not opposed to the church, at least.
Mr. Tayler: It has for years published, has it not, at the head of its columns, that it is "the organ of the church", or the "official organ of the church"?
Mr. Smith: Not that I know of.
Mr. Tayler: Do you know who owns it?
Mr. Smith: How is that?
Mr. Tayler: Do you know who owns it?
Mr. Smith: I know who owns the building that it is in.
Mr. Tayler: Who owns the building in which it is published?
Mr. Smith: The church.
Mr. Tayler: The church?
Mr. Smith: Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler: Tell us what you know about the owners of that newspaper.
Mr. Smith: It has been for a number of years past owned by a company --- AN INCORPORATED COMPANY.
Mr. Tayler: What is the name of the company?
Mr. Smith: The Deseret News Publishing Company.
Mr. Tayler: Do you know who its officers are?
Mr. Smith: No, it is not owned by that company.
Mr. Tayler: Oh, it is not?
Mr. Smith: No; it is not.
Mr. Tayler: What do you know ----
Mr. Smith: But I say for years it was owned by a company of that kind.
Mr. Tayler: What do you know about its present ownership?
Mr. Smith: I presume that the present ownership is IN THE CHURCH.
Mr. Tayler: You suppose the present owner is 'the church'?
Mr. Smith: Yes, sir; the church.
Mr. Tayler: I do not want to have any misconstruction put upon your use of the word 'presume' because you do not know that it is so owned?
Mr. Smith: I really do not know so that I could tell you positively.
Mr. Tayler: Who would know?
Mr. Smith: I PRESUME I could find out.
Mr. Tayler: Could you find out before you leave Washington?
Mr. Smith: Perhaps so.

(SOURCE: Reed Smoot Case transcript, Vol. 1, pp. 81, 82, 83, 86, 87, and 88)

A day later, because the ownership of the Deseret News and its articles were keys to the case, Joseph F. Smith testified:

Mr. Tayler: In what form does your church have title to the Deseret News property?
Mr. Smith: It owns the deed.
Mr. Tayler: I am speaking of the newspaper, not the building.
Mr. Smith: The press; yes. I would like to state that when I was asked that question before, Mr. Tayler, I was not aware of the fact that I have since learned from my counsel here that during the trusteeship of Lorenzo Snow the Deseret News plant was transferred from the Deseret News Company to Lorenzo Snow, trustee, in trust. I was not aware of the fact, Mr. Chairman, when that question was asked me yesterday, I believe it was. I have since learned that that is the fact and that my counsel who is here made out the papers for the transfer. .....
Mr. Tayler: So that it is now in YOU as trustee in trust?
Mr. Smith: NOW I OWN IT AS TRUSTEE IN TRUST. Furthermore, I will say that I have discovered since yesterday that there is published on the second or third page of the Deseret News the statement that it is the "organ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"
(Reed Smoot case, Vol. 1, page 158).

As you can see, the Mormon Church has been about business for a very long time

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12 minutes ago, changed said:

I know...

I hope this is merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg! I love getting a glimpse of the Church's wise stewardship of my consecrated contributions, and I revel in the fact that in my short lifetime, we've gone from struggling to build chapels to being able to build pretty much whatever the Saints need, to take just one example. Wonderful.

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27 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I hope this is merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg! I love getting a glimpse of the Church's wise stewardship of my consecrated contributions, and I revel in the fact that in my short lifetime, we've gone from struggling to build chapels to being able to build pretty much whatever the Saints need, to take just one example. Wonderful.

 

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7 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me that I'm glad the Church has the capacity to protect the environs of the Lord's temples. I wish it had that power everywhere His temples are located around the world!

Luke 11:42-44.

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