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60 Minutes Australia: "Cooking the Book of Mormon"


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Apparently, the Australian version of 60 Minutes is doing a story about how the Church is aggressively (fraudulently?) avoiding taxes on its for-profit businesses (or something. I don't know what the specific allegations are). Is this real? Does anybody know anything about this?

 

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3 minutes ago, CV75 said:

There's a chapter about arresting a chef, the episode is known as "Booking the Cook of Mormon."

Wait, for real?

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My understanding -- which could be wrong -- is that Australia's tax office previously only recognised 75 per cent of what the Church does with local tithing in Australia as 'charitable activity' and therefore income-tax deductible. In order to change that to 100 per cent, the Church now uses that 25 per cent of Australian contributions (or maybe all?) for registered charitable activities. This is possible to do because Church HQ can easily keep the Australian Church operating regardless of what local tithes are used for.

The person at the end of the clip is Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury in the newly elected Labor government, who had promised to look into this before the last federal election. My guess is that he's going to point out that, having looked into it, this is all 100 per cent legal.

Celebrity apostate Simon Southerton and a few of his newly minted groupies seem to be driving this narrative as a 'novel' approach to taking the Church down. From what I can tell, their 'exposé' in the Sydney Morning Herald and associated papers earlier this year fizzled, so they've moved on to television.

ETA: I realised I have no clue as to the reputation of Australia's 60 Minutes. I found a couple of threads on Reddit. Here are the OPs and some top-rated comments:

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Why does everyone hate 60 Minutes Australia? American here. I enjoy the program, but it seems to have a lot of haters who think it's unreliable tabloid trash. Why?

  • Or to paraphrase, it is unreliable tabloid trash.
  • I think it always had problematic stories and did some sensationalism but nowadays its really off the charts.

 

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60 min Australia vs 60 minutes USA. Non Aussie here - Is it me or is the Aussie version infinitely trashier and more sensationalist?

  • Yeah it's basically a tabloid show.
  • You are correct, the Aussie version focuses on things like dogs with two heads, outlandish 3rd-world medical practices, and other "freak show" style topics.

 

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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I had a conversation with my Stake president  years ago in which he said that from time to time there would be a meeting of Stake Presidents with Church agents from the USA. At this meeting they had to vote to release funds that would go to the US  or elsewhere because the Stake Presidents were like corporate board members for the Canadian church. Don't know if this is still true .

What I do know is that 1 billion dollars in the hands of the government will disappear down a rabbit  hole to useless projects in the blink of an eye.

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It is legal BUT SINISTER AND UNFAIR AND IMMORAL AND IS STARVING TINY TIM!

Wouldn’t the logical response then be to, and I am am just spitballing here, amend the tax laws?

8 hours ago, blackstrap said:

What I do know is that 1 billion dollars in the hands of the government will disappear down a rabbit  hole to useless projects in the blink of an eye.

Unless it goes to DARPA and then it goes to both useful and useless projects that are all so awesome that who cares if it is a waste? What I am saying is that we should give DARPA more money so that mad scientists can do their thing.

Edited by The Nehor
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Any donations TO the church BELONG to the church. It does not matter what any specific person or member or group wants to do with those donations. It matters only what the church wants to do. When I freely buy a burger at In-n-Out, I do not then have the right to demand, because they took my money, that they start to sell tacos, or knit sweaters, or give dental to their employees. I have nothing to do with it. The fact is that the church is the best run organization in the world, and it drives the haters and jealous socialists of the world crazy because they cannot control the investments, spendings or savings of the church. 

 

As the church grows, opposition will grow with it.

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58 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Wouldn’t the logical response then be to, and I am am just spitballing here, amend the tax laws?

That's certainly one option, but amending the tax laws so that an organisation can no longer use donations on overseas humanitarian projects in order to provide a tax benefit to its members seems a bit spiteful.

So yeah, probably the exact 'fix' these people want!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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They had a Canadian version of this, something like The Book of the Mormons and now i'm getting emailed on FB from people who haven't been to Church in YEARS saying how upset they are about the Church

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13 hours ago, PeaceKeeper said:

Any donations TO the church BELONG to the church. It does not matter what any specific person or member or group wants to do with those donations. It matters only what the church wants to do. When I freely buy a burger at In-n-Out, I do not then have the right to demand, because they took my money, that they start to sell tacos, or knit sweaters, or give dental to their employees. I have nothing to do with it. The fact is that the church is the best run organization in the world, and it drives the haters and jealous socialists of the world crazy because they cannot control the investments, spendings or savings of the church. 

 

As the church grows, opposition will grow with it.

The best charitable organizations are transparent in how they spend their money. It's not analogous to In-N-Out. Dang, I wish I was back home in California. A Double-Double sounds good about now.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

The best charitable organizations are transparent in how they spend their money.

Maybe so but I think there are generally two groups of people.  One group is the people who are fine with what the church does with the funds and do not require or demand a high level of transparency from the church.  The other are those who really want transparency and then if the church was transparent, they would spend their time nit picking and complain of how and where the church spends its money.  They are a group of people that generally are not going to be happy either way.   There are of course those that may not fit in either group but they are exceptions.   So what does the church do?  Make an attempt to appease a group of people that will never be happy?   What is the point?

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2 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

Maybe so but I think there are generally two groups of people.  One group is the people who are fine with what the church does with the funds and do not require or demand a high level of transparency from the church.  The other are those who really want transparency and then if the church was transparent, they would spend their time nit picking and complain of how and where the church spends its money.  They are a group of people that generally are not going to be happy either way.   There are of course those that may not fit in either group but they are exceptions.   So what does the church do?  Make an attempt to appease a group of people that will never be happy?   What is the point?

I don't really care what the church does with its money, but I do understand why some members would like transparency. From my understanding, they stopped publishing their expenses in 1959 out of embarrassment for a rather large deficit ($8 million) between income and spending. Joseph F. Smith had started the financial disclosure in 1915, saying he was “taking a liberty that has not been indulged in very much: but there have been so many false charges made against me and against my brethren by ignorant and evilly disposed people, that I propose to make a true statement which will, I believe, at least have a tendency to convince you that we are trying to do our duty the best we know how.” If it were me, and it isn't, I'd err on the side of disclosure. But I have never demanded it nor said that the lack of disclosure suggests something shady. I gave a lot of money over the years to the church, and truthfully, I wish I could get it back, but you know, live and learn. 

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29 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

The best charitable organizations are transparent in how they spend their money. It's not analogous to In-N-Out. Dang, I wish I was back home in California. A Double-Double sounds good about now.

Off topic but they have these in Utah and their burgers are not that good.  I totally do not get the fatuation with In-n-Out. 

 

 

 =@

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4 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Off topic but they have these in Utah and their burgers are not that good.  I totally do not get the fatuation with In-n-Out. 

 

 

 =@

For me, it's mostly nostalgia. Saturday nights when I was growing up were all the same: a stake dance followed by a late-night visit to In-N-Out. My son-in-law, who is from Virginia, wasn't impressed the first time he ate there, but now he always goes there when he's in Utah or California. My dad is an addict. After his triple-bypass surgery, he had my brother take him through the drive-thru at In-N-Out on the way home from the hospital. I'm heretical in my family, but I prefer Shake Shack or Five Guys. But then, I usually go to In-N-Out when I go home, as we don't have them here in Ohio. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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1 minute ago, jkwilliams said:

For me, it's mostly nostalgia. Saturday nights when I was growing up were all the same: a stake dance followed by a late-night visit to In-N-Out. My son-in-law, who is from Virginia, wasn't impressed the first time he ate there, but now he always goes there when he's in Utah or California. My dad is an addict. After his triple-bypass surgery, he had my brother take him through the drive-thru at In-N-Out on the way home from the hospital. I'm heretical in my family, but I prefer Shake Shack or Five Guys. But then, I usually go to In-N-Out when I go home, as we don't have them here in Ohio. 

Five Guys is much better, but you are going to pay for it.  The last time we took my family of seven there (and two of those were little kids!).  It cost us $100.

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Just now, bluebell said:

Five Guys is much better, but you are going to pay for it.  The last time we took my family of seven there (and two of those were little kids!).  It cost us $100.

It's not cheap, but it is kind of fun when we go there and my wife tells me she knows the farmers who provided the potatoes. Everyone here loves Cincinnati-style chili (usually served over spaghetti with a pile of shredded cheddar on top). Meh. It's not awful, but it's not something I'd pay for twice.

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/mormon-church-invests-billions-of-dollars-while-grossly-overstating-its-charitable-giving-20220927-p5blbc.html

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Mormon church invests billions of dollars while grossly overstating its charitable giving

The church has amassed more than $100 billion in a tax-free fund that invests in multinational companies, as a former member describes it as a ‘business dabbling in religion’.

ByBen Schneiders, Tom Steinfort and Natalie Clancy

OCTOBER 29, 2022

Big and splashy!

Thanks,

-Smac

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We have had quite a few threads about some BYU students staying at BYU to finish their education even though they no longer have any belief in the Church and plan to leave the Church once they graduate.  TBM's have complained that those students were inappropriately using tithing money to help pay for their education.  Turns out no tithing money is used to support BYU.  Billions goes to BYU from a tax write off from Australia and Canada.  If the Church didn't funnel the money to BYU, it would have gone to taxes.  

You can't complain about students gaming the system when the Church also games the system.

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