Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Lord is Shredding it on his mountain!

One can bet after the last blog on revealing the Mission President's Handbook and more, the document shredders in hidden offices of SLC are burning through their paper mulching motors. Computers are being erased and other items lost to who knows where.  Why? Because the secrets are getting out.

First, I received an email from stating:

Access to the item at has been disabled following receipt by Internet Archive of a copyright claim issued on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.
If you have questions about the claim or would like to review its verbiage, please let me know.
Ch**sto**er B****

The file of the MP Handbook is gone, and in its place is simply "The item is not available due to issues with the item's content."

Do not despair.  It is was linked here, but taken down due to the very official letter from LDS inc demanding it be removed. I believe it will be on wiki-leaks or other file-sharing sites soon enough.  The new file is a smaller, cleaner, higher quality copy than the poorly done one that LDSinc claimed copyright over to have removed.  Hydra is new and improved.  

That said, what we are learning along the way is getting more interesting.

Earlier I speculated that the salary of the top GAs can be inferred from corporate wikis and other documents.   Some Utah State documents have come to shine a light on the salary and benefits of the GAs.

Example:  Beneficial Life

The state of Utah examines insurance companies which provide coverage to state or other officers of the governments.  In this case, they examined Beneficial Life Insurance, owned by the LDS church corporation.

There may be many gems found within this, but by my unsophisticated glance, I see Beneficial has Stocks and Bonds as well as Real estate holdings, cash, etc that were worth about $3.5B at the start of 2008.  Also  a few GAs or family of GAs such as a Hales and Paul Evan Hill work in top leadership.

We also know that Hinckley and Monson at one time have served on the board of this (parent) company, per this video.

Another gem I believe taken from the Utah report is that the "Transactions with Affiliates" lists several offices of the GAs, including the first presidency who "indirectly controls the Company by virtue of its power to appoint the trustees..."

It is clear the board and officers would enjoy the benefits of the policies, which gives pay out at death to them by age of Half-Million dollars if under 81 years.  Usually these kind of benefits are tied with salary & compensation at the institution.

In fact an earlier Utah state report said just this.
From Page 7.

"Accident and Health: Limits:
General Authority (medical and dental) Unlimited
Senior Service Missionary Plan $1,000,000
College Student Plans (basic and catastrophic coverage combined) 120,000
Church Activity 15,000
l.i.A. Disability & Medical Coverage Based on salary
General Authority 266,000"

Based on salary, over a decade ago, the General Authorities of the church were receiving policies of more than a quarter million dollars. That policy was up to half-million in 2007, and one wonders what it is in 2012.  Their salaries are rising faster than CEO salaries...

It is interesting that the health of a GA was unlimited while the commoner member was covered by $15,000.00 for church activities.  The Haves and Have nots of Missionary Presidents and Missionaries is made clear again in the Have of GAs and incredibly lowered $15k for the average have-not member, including a bishop. This is how God sorts them in the celestial kingdom on earth.

Another aspect of the salary--oops, reimbursements--oops, forgiven loans that GAs are probably receiving and indicate how the tax laws could apply.  More than even Romney using the CRUT deferred tax shelter the "unpaid" and "forgiven" loans given to the directors and trustees of LDS Inc are another way for these spiritual LDS executives to go around, over, under and through the tax law in order to keep their money without rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

These "loans", even if they could be detected by the IRS, would probably be taxable at the highest rate, and also if not properly documented, would be direct evidence of tax evasion (not to be confused with tax avoidance or a tax shelter). If this weren't a church, then individuals on a company board which offered stock publicly would have considerable legal problems for loaning money to executives.   If ever it is determined that the Apostles, for example, were "loaned" a million dollars the day they started their calling, and that money were to come from church companies or tithing, the IRS and membership hell they'd pay would come with bars on the windows.

I speculate that the Q12 is running scared at the thought.  But there are a few others they might want to think further about.

1) If there was a trail of evidence leading to this "loan" strategy being systematic (which is exactly what it is) then we can probably add to the tax fraud, racketeering and RICO penalties.

2) If what the MPres, GAs, Q12 receive as "reimbursements" can be qualified in other countries (and eventually in the US) as salary, then there will be gender discrimination with litigation to follow.
The church owned corporations has GAs/Q12 in top positions because of their patriarchal/male-dominated priesthood.  They can never consider a woman or others not fitting the lily wonder-bread whitehood of the patriarchy.

How could the IRS find this out?  Does the church get audited by the IRS?  Probably not. All major corporations retain services internally or on contract that specialize in avoiding paying taxes, through whatever loopholes they can find. If there is a tax on "widgets" then corporations that buy widgets would simply call them "waggits" and evade the tax. Especially if they know they'll never get audited.

The Washington Post reported that:
"...more than 60 nonprofit groups have spent at least $21 million lobbying Congress and the White House..."

If nonprofit organizations (NPOs) & churches focused considerably on creating business are willing and able to spend $21 million lobbying to preserve their tax benefits, it begs the questions:  what sort of charitable organizations are they really? Or are they merely highly politicized NPOs?  Are they really just businesses exploiting the tax-exemption of being a church?


The Huffington Post reports that:
"For the past three years, the Internal Revenue Service hasn't been investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches, leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements of political candidates unchallenged...attorneys who specialize in tax law for religious groups, as well as advocacy groups who monitor the cases, say they know of no IRS inquiries in the past three years into claims of partisanship by houses of worship. IRS church audits are confidential, but usually become public as the targeted religious groups fight to maintain their nonprofit status."

The LDS church has an ace (or is it arse?) up Washington DC's sleeve.  Orrin Hatch is the ranking member on the finance committee. He has some say in the fight.

He had held the role over charity rules in finance before he became the ranking member. LDSinc has a huge arrow in its quiver in this fight. I don't see them losing their exemption or it causing most members a problem. If anything, the church will lobby to get a loophole that suits the wealthiest donating members, as a compromise built by Hatch. It will be convoluted and confusing and only insiders will get it, so it will probably get overlooked.

In the United Kingdom, one can look up a lot of financial information about the LDS Church-Great Britain, by using charity # 242451 at the website: 

I was able to get this "financial details" chart for the LDS Church in Britain.

This shows that the LDS-U.K. church collected, on average, about £38 million pounds each year between 2007-2011, and a little under £200 million total.  The operating expense left only perhaps a few million pounds remaining.   That seems like good accounting.  However, in Canada, it's been shown that the largest bulk of the expenses are transferred to US funds through BYU.  Tax report for "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN CANADA" filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) showed the following in this past tax year:

  • Cash, bank accounts, and short-term investments: $55,868,46
  • Long-term investments: $5,285,795
  • Land and buildings in Canada: $925,065,618
  • Accumulated amortization of capital assets: -$403,079,73

Total assets: $685,632,232 
Total amount received from other registered charities (branches and wards): $158,451,145

Total revenue: $180,203,856

  • Occupancy costs (of chapels/meetinghouses, presumably): $22,133,258
  • Total expenditure on all compensation: $20,240,679 (details are here)
  • Total cost of all purchased supplies and assets: $47,658,138
  • Amortization of capitalized assets: $27,831,780
  • Total expenditures before gifts to qualified donees: $129,930,777
  • Total expenditures on charitable programs: $129,542,118

Total amount of gifts made to all qualified donees (listed as Brigham Young University): $56,956,370

Total expenditures: $186,887,147

In other words, they transferred about $57 million (cda) to the US LDS owned university, and operated in Canada at about a $6 million loss.  Why would they transfer almost a third (~32%) of their donated Canadian revenue to the US and leave the Canadian members operating in loss?

Some kind of fraud is happening here.  

So what could be done, if one wanted, to hit the head of the tax-evading snake on the head?

Tom Phillips is the new managing editor at MormonThink, and had acted for many years as Financial Director for the Church’s U.K. corporate entities.   Tom has communicated the following to me.

" To report tax evasion to U.K. authorities go to
Reporting Tax Evasion to HMRC
To see that it is clear cut in the U.K. that ministers of religion are employees and all payments and benefits are taxable visit  HM Revenue & Customs - Ministers of religion: "

"It is very clear cut under U.K. tax law. The MPs are employees and the amounts paid to them or reimbursed to them as a 'living allowance' is a salary. Add to that the cash equivalent of the benefit of housing, cars, medical insurance, college fees, cook, family travel etc. This needs to be "grossed up" and tax and employee national insurance contributions paid on it.
    Also the church as employer has to pay National Insurance Contributions (like a payroll tax) on the gross less a "lower earnings limit" at 13.8%.
    They have 5 MPs in the U.K. and they used to have 8. There is no doubt this is tax evasion and has been going on for over 30 years. The amounts involved, plus interest and penalties will be in the millions of dollars.
    That's just the U.K. Think of all the other countries in which they are evading taxes, including the U.S., and you could be talking $100 million plus.
    This MP Handbook, if authentic, is very damning. It is prima facie evidence of tax evasion and certainly the U.K. tax authorities could demand full financial disclosure for those MPs in the U.K., whether American or British or whatever citizens.
    There will be financial evidence on the church's computers in the U.K. as a starting point. The HMRC can then gain further details from SLC as this is a criminal matter. "

We will see something come of this potential fraud and likely tax evasion in the coming  year.

Also, breaking last minute:
I received an email from a Dutch ex-mormon who runs told  me that he thinks it might be possible using, in part, the MP Handbook "to introduce legislation that would require any institution that gets tax breaks to publish their financial data; chances are good that we can get this done."

In the MP Handbook is this simply benign statement:

"Preserve the mission home as your family residence, and protect the family's privacy there. Teach your missionaries, including those serving in the office, that they should come to the home only by invitation or after calling ahead.

Tom Phillips wrote about the seemingly minor home-invasion clause:  
"This also clarifies the position regarding tax on benefits. If the church were to try to argue to the tax authorities the mission home is a 'business' or 'religious' premise, this quote states quite clearly it is a private family residence.  Quote "Preserve the mission home as your family residence, and protect the family's privacy there".  This is clearly a taxable benefit under U.K. tax law and, as most mission homes are worth $1 million or more, the taxable benefit is quite high."

I think the dike in Europe is breaking and the church hasn't the fingers there to plug them up.  When it bursts, the stream of financial transparency will flow to the US, and fines on their tax evasion will sail across the pond to America.  Soon enough, the fight will be on home-turf.  And probably even High Priest Orrin Hatch can't stop it.

Financial data won't be kept in for much longer


  1. Nice work, as always. You are a light on the hill! BTW, if you happen to find any decent pdf copies of the "Information and Suggestions for Patriarchs" or a better copy of vol 1 handbook of instructions (the one on scribd is not so good) would you please also post?

  2. Wouldn't Trust any religion that warns of a personal relationship or worship him

    Our Relationship with the Lord
    Now, it is no secret that many false and vain and foolish things are being taught in the sectarian world and even among us about our need to gain a special relationship with the Lord Jesus. I shall summarize the true doctrine in this field and invite erring teachers and beguiled students to repent and believe the accepted gospel verities as I shall set them forth.

    We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son, and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense--the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator.

    Christ worked out his own salvation by worshiping the Father.
    After the Firstborn of the Father, while yet a spirit being, had gained power and
    intelligence that made him like unto God; after he had become, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number; after he had reigned on the throne of eternal power as the Lord Omnipotent--after all this he yet had to gain a mortal and then an immortal body.

    1. In the early eighties I confronted my bishop with Mormon church Word of Wisdom practices which conflicted with the teachings of Christ (Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. King James Bible.)

      He told me that Joseph Smith is a later prophet and we go by the statements of the latest one, which is more "for our times." I told him I never intended to leave the teachings of Christ and they should be a shamed for calling it "The Church of Jesus Christ."

      I was sickened by the latest Mormon advertisements for Christmas in which they say, "Come worship with us, it's all about Jesus Christ."

      Every bit of that is false advertising.

      Kathleen Waters

  3. Actually both show the bankruptcy of Mormonism

    God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end." Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses Vol. 6:120

    notice how Wilford says God is not omniscience, while Book of Mormon says he is.

    2 Nephi 9:20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

    Moroni 7:22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.

  4. You exmormons are so full of yourself. The church WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL. Total hogwash!

  5. Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1
    Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie
    1954 Deseret Book Company

    ADAM HAD THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Some people have the idea that the Ten Commandments were first given by Moses when he directed the children of Israel and formulated their code of laws. This is not the case. These great commandments are from the beginning and were understood in righteous communities in the days of Adam. They are, in fact, fundamental parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the gospel in its fulness was first given to Adam.

  6. I think of all the years of cleaning the building, helping paint/roof/repair elderly/disabled member's homes and cars -- to say nothing of sometimes weekly moving families in or out of the ward, and doing so at the cost of time, family, sanity, and budget because I covenanted to do so. Sometimes I've been out in the cold and rain hauling people's goods in or out while being sick. I've mowed lawns, pulled weeds, planted flowers at various ward buildings and temples. Been there, done that at hundreds of members homes. It's service. It's all good. I thought I was following the counsel of our leaders who do likewise. But now I wonder -- do they do likewise? If they truly are so well-compensated for their calling, then is it service? Do they clean the building? Do they pull weeds? Do they go without to support poor missionaries?

    This troubles my soul.

    1. In a way, I feel like I've personally benefitted from the character-building service my family and I have given. But, in another way, it seems that this is the very quality exploited by church leaders (of many denominations) as the laymen toil without a temporal reward. I had no idea that the higher levels in the GA and MP'S were financially compensated. All my life I've been told only institute directors received a pay check. Isn' there a NT scriptuer about hidden works being declaref from the roof tops? Good sluething, Dave!

    2. The answer is "yes" they do.

  7. Seriously? Sleuthing? It's been public for over 150 years!
    You folks are just too much. Do you really expect these church leaders to give 110% of their time for the church and starve?

  8. Hmm... Well, I don't know a whole lot about money. But what I do know is that tithing money should be used to help the poor get on to a good track! Although you must consider that some people just blow their money on stupid stuff, or don't do what's necessary to make a decent income, and is thus why they're poor. It's one thing to help a poor person get on the right track, supporting them temporarily until they do, but they shouldn't be dependent on you for the rest of their life if they're able to help themselves. Not that anyone should judge poor people, even poor people like myself, and say we are where they are because we deserve it... It's just that some of us just need to learn better money skills over receiving a huge paycheck. Like how my understanding of money is almost non-existant, and I should probably be better schooled. Meanwhile it's insanity to write a gambling addict a check to bail them out of debt, somehow expecting them to be wise with the money.

    Now perhaps the leaders of the church could do better to live a small, humble subdivision... But I can't be the dictator of that. All I know is that the church has tons of money, and should apparently be more giving about it in practical ways. (Albeit, I see nothing wrong with building more temples.)

    So I guess my question is... What's your plan for the church to become a better charity donor? Not that the church will straightway accept requests, but you never know! One good idea just might lead to a chain reaction of goodness. So that as a wide range of people begin thinking of ways for the church to better use its money, something big just might happen! Like a chain reaction.