By my estimate, Fortune 500 Apple Computer has holdings of about $80 billion "cash" and owns two large corporate campuses, totaling about 2.8 million square feet of building space on nearly 200 acres of land in Silicon Valley, CA. They also have around 360 retail stores and a worldwide employment of around 64,000 persons. They're ranked one of the most valued and admired companies on the globe.
And the Mormons are giving Apple five years free rent to open a retail store in the new Mormon owned City Creek Mall.
Yes, the Mormons own a retail mall. The ~$3 Billion mall is owned by City Creek Reserve, Inc a subsidy company held by the LDS Church according to their own website (http://www.downtownrising.com/ ).
Why would a religion own a mall? In fact, that's only a drop in the bucket of what the Mormons own.
By comparison with Apple's 200+ acres of land, LDSinc reportedly owns about 1 million acres in the continental U.S., including a ranch just down the road from where I live in Central Florida. Not just any ranch, a $1 billion ranch of 300-thousand acres herding 44,000 cows and 1,300 bulls. I've been to it, just off the Dallas rd exit of 528. It's immense.
But that's just a drop in the perverbial bucket. Business week reports that a tally of the LDS corporate empire surmised it is probably "worth $40 billion today and collects up to $8 billion in tithing each year." That's tax-free tithing income. Which it doesn't report to anyone. Not even its own members. The number of subsidiaries, holdings and so forth are daunting. They probably spend a fortune on Public Relations, with a firm or two pressed to advertise and keep people from realizing just how Fortune 100 LDSinc really is. You be the judge...Just take a look:
(from Business Week)
Even considering the non-corporate, ecclesiastical holdings of the LDS church is staggering. By comparison with Apple's 2.8 million square-foot campuses, LDSinc owns three universities and a business school with square footage in the several millions. They operate Temple square and another 130+ temples of sizes ranging between 10,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet. Another 6-7000 meetinghouses, hundreds of religious seminary and institute buildings and much much more that it uses to operate a massive sales-force of "every member a missionary" to spread the word of the benefits of paying 10% tithing to the Lord's corporation. If that's not enough, they have a full-time, labor-free sales force of ~50,000 missionaries spread across the globe. These young people pay for their own food & lodging and work without any pay. Apple's sales force? Their entire employment base is not much bigger, at just over 60,000. When you add up the free labor, the ecclesiastical properties and more, that $40 billion worth sky-rockets to perhaps double.
LDSinc is a mind-boggling large, enormously well-fed, tax-exempt privately held company that seems to dwarf Apple Computer. They already have in place Mormon Orrin Hatch of Utah who heads oversight of tax-exempt organizations on the Finance Committee in the US Senate, protecting the "tax exemption" of his guys. And they have their own candidate running for the highest office of the most powerful country.
And I just stepped in the middle of them.
This past few days have showed me just an inkling of the kind of free PR and the kind of quiet, subeversive PR they may be engaging "on my behalf" (as it said in their letter of my disciplinary council).
I have had numerous emails and even a few threatening calls. I have had someone contact ex-girlfriends asking for information about us. Calls to true-believing friends/family (even my ex-wife) have been more innocuous, but seemingly probing all the same.
And I believe this could be just the beginning of a smear campaign.
No doubt many of their followers will claim I am the attacker. They are the victims.
Ok. go with that.