Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Challenge

This is my most basic blog post.  I challenge Mormons to show counter evidence that the LDS corporate engine is NOT giving property to apostles.  I've presented what appears to be pretty valid documentation that at least some apostles are profiting by being called prophets.  That is damning because their motives are now suspect.  Dig out the county recorder docs and prove me wrong.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Meek Shall Inherit Multinational "Non-Profit" Corporate Laundered Monies

On yesterday’s blog, I reported that Property Reserve Inc (PRI) transferred a $600K condo to the trust of Apostle Russell Ballard’s wife, Barbara.  Some have commented that the $10 exchanged is the standard amount reported in Utah for Special Warranty Deeds.  That does seem to be the case.  Of course, this could be cleared up if only LDS Inc or even the state of Utah released the financial documents and opened up the books to financial operations within the LDS corporations operating in the state.  

Unlike most states which have full-reporting laws about property transactions, commissioners in various counties in Utah have looser rules.  They can keep quiet the value for how much land is sold and bought.  They can regulate who is allowed to divulge appraisal information.  That is, apparently (as I’m told by those working in the industry) the current owner of a property can dictate who you can and who you can’t hire as an appraiser and to whom you can divulge property values.  One could speculate that the LDS corporation, which is a major (if not the most significant) private land owner in Utah might have been a considerable influencer in the development of laws about property value reporting, so that it can keep its holdings closer to its sacred heart.

All that aside, another document has surfaced to show that not only is there no value reported for the transaction from PRI to the Ballard trust, but that less than a month after the deed was transferred, several beneficiaries were awarded portions of the value from that previously church-owned condo.  Here is the document:
(click on image to expand/zoom in)

Ballard’s trust a month after taking possession took out a $200K equity "loan" and relayed the divided $200K in ownership to six parties.  Some of these, such as H & M Murdock, D & M Roper,  CR & LS Ballard are likely children or other family.  CBB Holdings LTD appears to be owned by Craig B Ballard.  TBB Investments appears to be owned by Tamara Ballard.  And less clear, Old Oak could be one of a few entities, including Old Oak Properties LLC or Old Oak Family Limited Partnership (Though the latter seems to have expired).  Also, as a side note for what it's worth, the article on wikipedia about Russell Ballard reports one of his daughters married into the billionaire Jon Huntsman family.

What I take from this recorder document is, the Ballards received a nice gift and then shared it with the children.  This is not a property that the church is letting them just use for now, as a convenient place for them to reside close to church office buildings.  This is pure out and out ownership. 

Another very interesting tidbit is that, back in 1997, the property where the Gateway Condos stand at present were owned by Marjorie Hinckley, late wife of the late prophet.  I haven't unfolded this yet, but I suspect that the original ownership of the land was an LDS corporate entity, and Marjorie was given ownership in the investment properties where eventually the condos were built (and now sold at around $500-600K a pop).  What is the deal with apostle's wives getting properties through PRI?

If one searches the SLC county assessor page for condos at 40 N State St, one will find Property Reserve Inc owns dozens of condos there.  It’s not coincidence that the LDS corporation owns and then transfers these to its top executives.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Widow’s Might…Makes Rites

LDS sole-corporation owner President Thomas Monson likes to help widows. The LDS church likes to advertise this. On his official LDS web page, they write:
“President Monson was called to serve as the bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in Salt Lake City. Eighty-five widows lived in the ward, and as a young bishop he visited each one regularly, making sure their spiritual and temporal needs were met.”
He talks often, as prophet, about visiting widows, even recently. Widow Zella Thomas prayed that her former bishop would visit her, and he “told her that we had come because of direct inspiration from our Heavenly Father.” She passed away the day after his visit.

Tom likes helping the widows. Another pending-widow close to him comes to mind—Barbara Ballard, the wife of probably soon-to-be-deceased apostle Russell Ballard, grandson of another apostle Melvin Ballard. The Ballards have been in the church hierarchy for a long while.

Now at this point you're probably saying: “Russell Ballard is not dead, and to say such a thing is tactless and rude.” However, it seems the church is preparing for this inevitability, and helping the would-be-widow Ballard before it is too late. M. Russell, a businessman by trade until 1974 (when he was first called to full-time positions in church hierarchy) wasn’t all that successful. He took over his father’s auto-sales business in 1956, eventually running it into the ground after signing with Ford to be the first Edsel dealer in Utah. Later he tried his hand at entertainment, presiding over the Valley Music Hall in Bountiful, UT which also failed financially. Despite these monetary setbacks, with seven children in tow (some apparently still young), 46 year old Ballard was called to be a mission president, then as an area authority and eventually as an apostle six years later. He may not have had a chance to settle his business enterprises in that short time, but his star in the LDS church rose brightly.

And it’s paying off. You see, the LDS corporation recently "donated" a $600K condo to the widow-will-be Barbara. (Ok, exchanged for $10.)  Here’s the SLC assessor page (property 09-31-385-061-0000).

You may recall from a previous blog that apostle Dallin Oaks had his condo #5D (a few down from Ballard) also transferred to him a year after #7D went to Barb.  Here’s the county recorder document showing the special warranty deed transfer from Property Reserve Inc to Barbara Ballard.

For those that don’t understand this, when a special warranty deed is executed, ownership of the real property named in the deed is conveyed by the grantor (Property Reserve, Inc) to the grantee (Barbara Ballard), together with all rights and privileges belonging to that property and that the property is free from all encumbrances made by that grantor and that he or she will forever warrant and defend the grantee against any lawful claim. That is, the property is essentially gifted from the LDS corporation to Ballard.

This is Monson’s doing, I’m sure. He is so excited to take care of his widows, that he even treats his ailing friends’ wives as widows before they’re due. It’s really charitable of the LDS corporation to be thinking of the widows, present and future. I know a woman dear to me who has been alone for almost two-decades. I know a condo on State Street is just the thing to give her solace and comfort.

Jesus taught in what is called the story of the “widow’s mite” that small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant, yet proportionately lesser, donations of the rich. In the gospel accounts, Jesus condemns religious leaders who feign piety, accept honor from people, and steal from widows.

The LDS corporation could claim that they are ramping up their right teaching by not only not stealing a single mite from the widow, but giving a mighty condo, in what could be seen as a rite of passage for the widows of the church’s highest leaders. Never mind that the other 94,732.38 widows in the LDS church are donating tithing to pay for Ballard’s $600K condo. The LDS church takes care of its own. A very few, special of its own.

Now some may argue that Ballard purchased the condo from the LDS corp for a fair price.  This could be cleared up if only they released the financial documents and opened up the books to financial operations at the LDS church.  However, don't expect them to do so if they have anything to hide.