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I was curious about any new articles on Truth & Transparency (fka MormonLeaks), and I found that the last thing posted was dated 3/7/2020. Could it be that there just isn’t a constant-enough stream of scandalous scuttle-butt about the COJCOLDS (+ the Jay-Dubs) to support the site? Or did the proprietors simply lose interest?

I remember when I first heard of MormonLeaks, after it leaked the McKenna Denson/Robert L. Bishop recording online. At one point it was inviting people to make submissions via the “TOR” network, which I’m sure most of us know by its other name, “the Dark Web.” thought briefly about a submitting a letter my wife found in her uncle’s effects after the latter died some years ago. It was sent by Apostle Spencer W. Kimball to my wife’s uncle sometime in the late 1940s. It was a discreet attempt on Elder Kimball’s part to ascertain whether my wife’s uncle had any serious romantic interest in a particular young lady on whose behalf Elder Kimball was writing. (Needless to say, I thought “Cupid’s helper” was a strange function for an apostle to serve, piddling though the topic was.)

I was also struck one time by a Season 3 episode of Leah Remini’s A&E series on Scientology, called “Ideal Orgs.” Scientology had been investing big money in large-scale learning centers that were hardly being utilized and lay empty most of the time. Given that Scientology hadn’t been attracting new proselytes for some years, it had started trumpeting its growth in terms of the number of these “ideal orgs” that were coming online. It made me wonder whether the COJCOLDS isn’t doing much the same thing with all the temples being constructed and dedicated. Adjusting for COVID-19 shutdowns, how many of these new temples—at least those outside of Utah and Idaho—are operating g at anything close to full capacity? It seemed like a topic that T&T might want to investigate if it could find a source of information.

(Please tell me why this is an inapt comparison!)

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3 hours ago, esodije said:

I was also struck one time by a Season 3 episode of Leah Remini’s A&E series on Scientology, called “Ideal Orgs.” Scientology had been investing big money in large-scale learning centers that were hardly being utilized and lay empty most of the time. Given that Scientology hadn’t been attracting new proselytes for some years, it had started trumpeting its growth in terms of the number of these “ideal orgs” that were coming online. It made me wonder whether the COJCOLDS isn’t doing much the same thing with all the temples being constructed and dedicated. Adjusting for COVID-19 shutdowns, how many of these new temples—at least those outside of Utah and Idaho—are operating g at anything close to full capacity? It seemed like a topic that T&T might want to investigate if it could find a source of information.

(Please tell me why this is an inapt comparison!)

Ideal orgs are more along the lines of building 'for the future' by building infrastructure that really can't be used to capacity in basic church operations. To be analogous to our church I think we would need to be building bigger stake centers and chapels where the numbers don't suggest they are needed. It is also an attempt to bring the "ideal" church program everywhere. We really don't try to push branches and small wards into stuff they can't handle and the Church is leaning more towards backing away from 'one size fits all' structures instead of embracing it.

Scientology is also buying a lot of historic buildings with lots of donations and having their members renovate them and it comes across as exploitative. Many of these building were bought and nothing is done with them. I know at least a few in Europe have governments looking at some kind of compulsory purpose (think eminent domain) to buy them back as they are not being used.

It looks like they are after the illusion of growth. Our Church is also not shrinking in most areas. We aren't seeing huge conversion rates in most of the world but membership (both gross and active only) are not currently shrinking. They might at some point but we will burn that bridge when we get to it.

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48 minutes ago, JustAnAustralian said:

The only interesting thing I ever saw there was the old payslips for a few GAs. Interesting because

  1. It showed that they paid tithing on their allowance.
  2. If people were going to call them wages or a salary then they were terrible for the amount of work they would be involved with.
  3. All GAs from the president down to the "lowest" seventy all got the same amount.

Even then, point three came from a public statement afterwards.

Yes, and D. Michael Quinn's book on the subject found that the GAs are among the most poorly paid in any denomination -- other churches and synagogues pay their clergy a lot of money and provide all manner of side benefits all out of proportion to what LDS GAs get.

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5 hours ago, esodije said:

........................ It made me wonder whether the COJCOLDS isn’t doing much the same thing with all the temples being constructed and dedicated. Adjusting for COVID-19 shutdowns, how many of these new temples—at least those outside of Utah and Idaho—are operating g at anything close to full capacity? It seemed like a topic that T&T might want to investigate if it could find a source of information...........................

LDS temples are often quite small, designed to serve a particular demographic, so as to prevent the need for long journeys to other countries or areas to visit a temple.  The growing membership actually needs them.  Also, there is a vast quantity of genealogical data available for temple rites which must be serviced.  The Pandemic has slowed things down a bit, and the need is only growing.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, and D. Michael Quinn's book on the subject found that the GAs are among the most poorly paid in any denomination -- other churches and synagogues pay their clergy a lot of money and provide all manner of side benefits all out of proportion to what LDS GAs get.

The comparison was mostly to equivalent business people. Clergy are not usually well-paid outside of some of the mega churches and television types. General Authorities are not living it up but they are also not making what your average minister of a small church makes. This is probably necessary as apostles have a lot more incidental expenses compared to your average minister.

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7 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The comparison was mostly to equivalent business people. Clergy are not usually well-paid outside of some of the mega churches and television types. General Authorities are not living it up but they are also not making what your average minister of a small church makes. This is probably necessary as apostles have a lot more incidental expenses compared to your average minister.

This used to be true.  My grandpa Smith was a Methodist minister, and he got paid nearly nothing.  However, he did get a parsonage (a house next to the church bldg), and local members brought him produce and pies.  His three boys did a lot of farming to supply the family with grubb, and cash from sales of produce.  Right into the Great Depression.

The comparison with mega-churches is apt.  The LDS Church is a mega-church for those GAs.  You can believe that a Billy Graham was always much better paid than any LDS GA, and that the suits he wore were far more expensive.  However, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was always subject to independent audit to keep everybody honest.

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12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

... The comparison with mega-churches is apt.  The LDS Church is a mega-church for those GAs.  You can believe that a Billy Graham was always much better paid than any LDS GA, and that the suits he wore were far more expensive.  However, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was always subject to independent audit to keep everybody honest.

Others' mileage may vary, but I have a lot more respect for Reverend Graham (God bless his soul) ... perhaps I should say, "... for the Reverends Graham" ... than I do for a lot of televangelists.

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