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


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16 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I thought their saying the church was like a pyramid scheme was interesting. And them seeing the missionaries as salesmen, on top of that they're paying for their own missions. And found the mentioning of general authorities getting paid but the people below them are not. And the free labor the members give, such as cleaning toilets etc. If I wasn't a lifelong member, it would sound suspicious. 

But you are a lifelong member and you are intelligent enough to think analytically.

Then you have the viewers of this kind of "news"...

"R Needham -

A friend of mine lived in salt lake city for two years ( she's not mormon) about 30 yrs.ago.no one would talk to her and when she answered her phone and did not answer good morning lds they hung up on her. She said there's a statue of Joseph smith and he's pointing at the 1st national bank of salt lake.😀"

So yeah, I tend not to worry how the world at large views us.  You just have to read any public political forum and the intelligence gets checked at the door.  The same people pontificating on things spiritual aren't any better.

Edited by JLHPROF
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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:

And the free labor the members give, such as cleaning toilets etc. If I wasn't a lifelong member, it would sound suspicious. 

I'm a ward finance clerk, and we get audited every six months by a stake auditor.  If they discover even one penny has been incorrectly handled or misused, we get an audit ding and have to prove we've taken corrective action, so it won't happen again.  They pay special attention to any funds flowing to the bishop or anyone in his family or extended family.  They get out the proverbial magnifying glass and go through every instance of this line by line.  I'm happy to say that after a handful of these audits, they've never found any dirt on me.  Every single check to a bishop or his wife, was reimbursing them for stuff they paid for out of their own pockets, backed up by the original receipts to WalMart or wherever.  Snacks for primary, supplies for YW craft night, more buns for the ward BBQ when we were running out, stuff like that.

My favorite story is that one of the stake auditors is actually an active duty policeman, he's a criminal forensics auditor for his day job.  He shows up armed to some of his audits.  Nicest guy in the world.  I was immediately on his good side when he met me, because the first expense report he looked at, he saw that I had discovered and corrected a nine cent error in a member's reimbursement request.  I can speak from personal experience: This church does not reimburse old ladies for more than they spend on cheese at Costco.  

I've done church building cleanup, and nighttime building security checks, and shoveled snow, for years.  Happy to do it.  I've never cleaned a member's toilet, but I've been on umpteen moves, firewood hauls, fence repairs, etc.  When our old bishop was moving, many of us got together, facing the wrath of the stake, and showed up at his house and helped him move.   He was worried we'd get in trouble for providing service to the bishop.  I think we pulled it off - don't tell Tacenda! :)

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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10 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I'm a ward finance clerk, and we get audited every six months by a stake auditor.  If they discover even one penny has been incorrectly handled or misused, we get an audit ding and have to prove we've taken corrective action, so it won't happen again.  They pay special attention to any funds flowing to the bishop or anyone in his family or extended family.  They get out the proverbial magnifying glass and go through every instance of this line by line.  I'm happy to say that after a handful of these audits, they've never found any dirt on me.  Every single check to a bishop or his wife, was reimbursing them for stuff they paid for out of their own pockets, backed up by the original receipts to WalMart or wherever.

My favorite story is that one of the stake auditors is actually an active duty policeman, he's a criminal forensics auditor for his day job.  He shows up armed to some of his audits.  Nicest guy in the world.  I was immediately on his good side when he met me, because the first expense report he looked at, he saw that I had discovered and corrected a nine cent error in a member's reimbursement request.  I can speak from personal experience: This church does not reimburse old ladies for more than they spend on cheese at Costco.  

I've done church building cleanup, and nighttime building security checks, and shoveled snow, for years.  Happy to do it.  I've never cleaned a member's toilet, but I've been on umpteen moves, firewood hauls, fence repairs, etc.  When our old bishop was moving, many of us got together, facing the wrath of the stake, and showed up at his house and helped him move.   He was worried we'd get in trouble for providing service to the bishop.  I think we pulled it off - don't tell Tacenda! :)

I didn't say anything about cleaning the leader's toilets. But the youtube video that was the topic of the post with those guys, may have made it sound like that, lol. 

I know all about the audits, and how the church is always smelling like a rose in that department. But do remember the church firing a lot of janitors back when they wanted members to be more involved in cleaning the churches. We use to clean the windows, but now the deep clean is much more. Believe me, I've been there done that. My husband served in the High Priest presidency for a few years. And he was put in charge sometimes of the church getting cleaned. Sometimes it was just the two of us and another couple that showed up. I've cleaned many a toilet, mopped plenty, the gym floors. Dusted and cleaned the chapel and found some pretty disgusting things where the hymn books sit, and cleaned the majority of the areas listed on the checklist.

I'll never forgot the RS president at the time, was pretty miffed at having to clean the toilets when this first started, didn't bother me as much, but she made me feel better for having some of my thoughts. 

In some respects our church could be looked at like a Pyramid scheme. But more like an MLM company. 

Edited by Tacenda
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13 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

When our old bishop was moving, many of us got together, facing the wrath of the stake, and showed up at his house and helped him move.   He was worried we'd get in trouble for providing service to the bishop.

Why would this be a concern?  Seems a strange thing to worry about.  Perhaps if you were cleaning his toilets while he was off vacationing on the Riviera on the church's dime...

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8 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I didn't say anything about cleaning the leader's toilets. But the youtube video that was the topic of a post with those guys, may have made it sound like that, lol. 

Yep.  The intimation of the YouTube video is that the leaders of the Church are exploiting its members for their own financial gain.  I don't think that is anything close to an accurate or honest characterization.

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I know all about the audits, and how the church is always smelling like a rose in that department. But do remember the church firing a lot of janitors back when they wanted members to be more involved in cleaning the churches.

I'm reasonably confident that those who lost their jobs with the Church could find work elsewhere.  I empathize with whatever interim stresses they experienced after their employment ended, but life goes on.

Meanwhile, the Church ended up saving a lot of money that could be used for other purposes, and the members get a chance to provide consecrated service to each other.

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In some respects our church could be looked at like a Pyramid Scheme. But more like an MLM company. 

I don't think comparing the Church to an MLM is fair or accurate, either.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

In some respects our church could be looked at like a Pyramid scheme. But more like an MLM company. 

Only through a very uncharitable POV.

I wonder how you would feel if someone took the same sort of approach to publicly judging your family, always seeing members in it making choices for selfish, greedy reasons?

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54 minutes ago, Calm said:

The idea there is something wrong with taking our turn cleaning for free buildings that we use ourselves is just strange to me.

This! 

Jesus wasn't above washing the disciples feet, so I can't - for the life of me -  bring myself to get bent out of shape about having to glove-up and wipe down a first-world-country-bathroom once a quarter (at most). 

 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I have, it has been in the homes of sisters with cancer, disabled family members, and those struggling with poverty level financial issues.

The idea there is something wrong with taking our turn cleaning for free buildings that we use ourselves is just strange to me.

When the policy came down that members needed to clean the buildings vs. the janitors, what was your feeling at the very first? If you don't mind me asking. Was it at all a little startling that we would be cleaning the toilets? My first experience of doing it was extremely gross. In the men's bathroom I cleaned a chunk of poo off of the back side of the door in the stall. Because that is just me I guess, I have been taught to do a good job. And I'm guessing the poop was left by some kid more than likely. The church needn't have members doing those tasks, it has the money to pay a janitor. 

2 hours ago, Calm said:

Only through a very uncharitable POV.

I wonder how you would feel if someone took the same sort of approach to publicly judging your family, always seeing members in it making choices for selfish, greedy reasons?

It wasn't my POV, I was looking at it from an outsider's POV, that MLM's seem to be in a better light than the Pyramid scheme. Because the MLM person believes in the product, somewhat like the members of the church believe in the church.

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5 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The church needn't have members doing those tasks, it has the money to pay a janitor. 

I don't think money is the point.  I believe the purpose it to help members take responsibility for the buildings they use as well as provide an additional opportunity to serve.

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9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

When the policy came down that members needed to clean the buildings vs. the janitors, what was your feeling at the very first? If you don't mind me asking.

My response was a shrug, followed by an "okay."

On my mission in Taiwan, we regularly cleaned the Church's buildings.  It seemed a natural expression of membership in the community.

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Was it at all a little startling that we would be cleaning the toilets?

Nope.  Again, as a missionary, I did all sorts of service.  We volunteered at a Catholic orphanage for handicapped kids (most of whom, I think, had been "orphaned" when their parents abandoned them).  We also volunteered in hospitals, and an hospice-type place for infirm elderly men.  We also cleaned up parks and cemeteries.

So cleaning an American toilet?  I do it at home for my family, so why not at the church building?

Quote

My first experience of doing it was extremely gross. In the men's bathroom I cleaned a chunk of poo off of the back side of the door in the stall. Because that is just me I guess, I have been taught to do a good job. And I'm guessing the poop was left by some kid more than likely. The church needn't have members doing those tasks, it has the money to pay a janitor. 

That money can also be spent on other things.  And the members are given an opportunity to serve.  I'm glad to have both of these results.

Cleaning up after ourselves doesn't seem like too much to ask.  Honestly, if the Savior could wash the feet of His apostles, can we really say that cleaning up a bathroom is beneath us?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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34 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Was it at all a little startling that we would be cleaning the toilets?

Nope.  I had jobs at a miniature golf course where it was not unknown for drunks to use our restrooms as well as cleaning out restrooms at BYU first thing every morning for a summer....gum off the bottom of the Varsity theater seats and sticky pop off the floor.

I thought it was a great idea to create a greater awareness and appreciation of our buildings.  If you clean up a place, chances are you are more careful in not messing it up.

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The church needn't have members doing those tasks, it has the money to pay a janitor. 

But that money just doesn't sit in a bank if it isn't used to pay janitors.  It pays for buildings in places members can't afford them, for cheap educational opportunities like Pathways, for the overhead for welfare and humanitarian projects.  Pay a few salaries or help a lot of people in smaller, but often impactful ways.

Edited by Calm
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23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

My response was a shrug, followed by an "okay."

On my mission in Taiwan, we regularly cleaned the Church's buildings.  It seemed a natural expression of membership in the community.

Nope.  Again, as a missionary, I did all sorts of service.  We volunteered at a Catholic orphanage for handicapped kids (most of whom, I think, had been "orphaned" when their parents abandoned them).  We also volunteered in hospitals, and an hospice-type place for infirm elderly men.  We also cleaned up parks and cemeteries.

So cleaning an American toilet?  I do it at home for my family, so why not at the church building?

That money can also be spent on other things.  And the members are given an opportunity to serve.  I'm glad to have both of these results.

Cleaning up after ourselves doesn't seem like too much to ask.  Honestly, if the Savior could wash the feet of His apostles, can we really say that cleaning up a bathroom is beneath us?

Thanks,

-Smac

It isn't beneath me, but do you think the leaders such as the GA's clean the churches? I'd be curious to know. I believe the members are willing to do about everything if the church asks them. But should they be asked to do jobs that could maybe be dangerous? They've not been trained, often the kids help their parents. Some chemicals may not be the smartest in their hands. Hopefully there are guidelines for the young children not handling it. Plus, have you noticed the buildings aren't as clean anymore? In my current building, I went last Sunday, the floors are horrendous. Stains everywhere. And in this new ward I have taken my turn to clean the building. 

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You are all much better than I am about cleaning the church building! I must admit to being irritated EVERY SINGLE TIME our family has been tasked with the duty these last eight years. Of course I do a good job of rationalizing my response because during that time I’ve had a constant string of church callings that required 10-25 hours per week and my husband’s callings were similar. (We both work and have young children as well, so cleaning the building was never a welcome addition.)

Your thoughts have been helpful in putting things in perspective. I’ll try to keep them in mind the next time our family is scheduled. 

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It wasn't my POV, I was looking at it from an outsider's POV, that MLM's seem to be in a better light than the Pyramid scheme. Because the MLM person believes in the product, somewhat like the members of the church believe in the church.

I didn't say it was your POV.  Just that it would have to be an uncharitable one if informed (or an ignorant one depending on crap resources like this infomercial for class action lawsuits).

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

 

Anyone who is not transparent with financial information is hiding something.

Compare the price and benefits to say, the YMCA, to the price and benefits of the lds Corp and... well... 

Edited by changed
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On 9/27/2019 at 3:12 PM, Tacenda said:

It isn't beneath me, but do you think the leaders such as the GA's clean the churches? [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969] I'd be curious to know. I believe the members are willing to do about everything if the church asks them. But should they be asked to do jobs that could maybe be dangerous? They've not been trained, often the kids help their parents. Some chemicals may not be the smartest in their hands. Hopefully there are guidelines for the young children not handling it. Plus, have you noticed the buildings aren't as clean anymore? In my current building, I went last Sunday, the floors are horrendous. Stains everywhere. And in this new ward I have taken my turn to clean the building. 

You seem to move in circles where the consensus is that General Authorities live "high on the hog" (my phrase) while breaking the backs of average, every-day, run-of-the-mill members.  One of my bishops was Elder Albert Choules Jr., formerly of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.  He was a pretty humble guy: I don't recall anything with respect to building cleaning specifically, but, generally, my recollection of him is that if something needed doing, he pitched in and did it right along with the other members of the ward.

I don't know (m)any General Authorities, and I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd bet that they'd be overjoyed at the mundane prospect of cleaning a building as opposed to performing some of the other tasks placed upon their shoulders.  

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

He was a pretty humble guy: I don't recall anything with respect to building cleaning specifically, but, generally, my recollection of him is that if something needed doing, he pitched in and did it right along with the other members of the ward.

I still remember seeing my stately and very wealthy stake President helping inventory women's underwear in a run down dept store (think old kmart/Ross) at a church fundraiser back when I was 14 or so.  He went where he was assigned just like the rest of us (we were in mixed groups probably based on when we arrived).  His face was rather blank or serious while the teen girls, including his daughter who was my age, were giggling about thumbing through panties and bras.  I bet no one would have blinked if he had excused himself, but we all wanted that project done as quick as possible so him sticking around really helped (teens were paired with adults to keep us focused on the task).

He was out there picking apples in the orchard for that fundraiser too.

I would not be surprised if GAs don't help clean very often it is because their ward has enough younger individuals, they skip asking the older ones as has occurred in wards I have been in or because they are usually traveling to speaking assignments during that time period. 

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

My building complex has 11 , count 'em Eleven bathrooms ! Don't talk to me about cleaning toilets ! Oh, and I get ladies who specifically volunteer to clean them . Gotta love the saints. 

I volunteer for bathroom cleaning.  That was my Saturday deep clean the house assignment growing up.  My sister must have done the kitchen.  My brother was the yard.  It doesn't bug me and I know it bugs others....plus I have a system. ;)

Edited by Calm
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