Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges

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For those of you less familiar with the LDS church, a few things of note that should help put this in context: * The LDS church used to provide financial statements but stopped around 70 years ago, so members have absolutely no idea what the church does with their tithing * LDS Humanitarian aid numbers come out to ~$40M / year by their own reporting. That comes out to 0.04% of this amount (which is almost certainly not an exhaustive sum of their total assets) * In contrast, the church requires 10% of annual gross income for a member to be in good standing regarding tithing (and thus qualified to enter the LDS temple, participate in activities, and enter heaven after death) * There are other forms of charitable giving by the church, but much of it is locally funded through food drives and misc donations * The LDS church previously allowed members to donate directly to specific causes (funding missionary effort or food banks, for example), but started caveating their donation form by saying the church can use the donations for any purpose, regardless of member notation * Members meet with their local clergy annually in an interview to affirm that they paid all 10% tithing, or face potentially being censured/disciplined * The LDS church spends hundreds of millions on luxury temples that aren’t necessarily serving a large local LDS population, Rome is a prominent recent example. The construction companies are usually established Utah families, and costs are significantly inflated ($18k rugs, etx) * The LDS church is the largest landowner in Florida, owns the US’s largest cattle ranch, significant land in Hawaii (including the Polynesian Culture Center), their own newspapers, telecommunication services and other significant enterprises, all subordinate to the CEO of the Corporation of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, i.e. the current Prophet. Not even the top 12 Apostles have a comprehensive view of balance sheets, as they are siloed across functional groups. As a former member, my conclusion has been that the LDS has enjoyed tax exemption for years while providing marginal social good, the ostensible justification for the status. They have unreasonable influence on Utah State politics as well, with members at the highest level of government technically sworn to give all to the church. The members have the belief it is the greatest organization in the world, despite the lack of evidence. The church has far vaster capabilities than the average member is aware of, and the bar should be so much higher. The church has officially said in their highest meetings that members should pay their tithing before buying food, or paying tuition. They’ve said this in central and south America, and Africa, to impoverished communities. Lastly, from a doctrinal standpoint, members believe Jesus Christ will come again and establish a global theocracy, a perfect government that will exist at a higher plane of existence than the current planet. With that in mind, what possible value could the church have in hoarding these insane holdings? It doesn’t benefit anyone in the here and now, and if their prophecies are true, what possible need would Jesus have in their money? They are draconian, selfish, and deserve all the negative press this should garner. Please don’t give them a pass because the lay members are friendly, this is systemic corruption and greed.

lambentstar

This is going to blow up, hopefully

wxmandrew

Sadly, the Trump administration is unlikely to do anything about this, unless Romney votes to convict in the Senate trial (and even then, I doubt it). So, they’ve got $100 billion stockpiled, and for what? >According to the complaint, Ensign’s president, Roger Clarke, has told others that the amassed funds would be used in the event of the second coming of Christ. Hahahhaa, that’s just… Hilarious. And sad. Both. Crap like this is why there should be no special tax-exemption for churches. Either they follow the same spending and pay rules as the Red Cross, and Humane Society, etc, or their earnings should be capped.

Kirkaiya

>**Mormon Church has misled members** old news, tell me something I don’t already know! >**on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges** … touché, that is something I did not know

sventhewalrus

They make 7 billion a year from tithing!? holy shit

Grecksan