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MORMON MONEY - SECTION 2
Topics surrounding the Church Of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day-Saints annual income and spending. A Mega-Billion dollar tax-exempt corporation hiding behind the guise of a "Church". It is estimated that the LDS Church earns an average of 60 Billion dollars a year in holdings and 7 Billion dollars a year in annual member "Tithing".
| Although it's only a few posts previous you may have navigated the long way round, so to view Part I just click here. |
Last time i focussed on the workings of the main church organisation in the UK, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Great Britain) ; this post is about it's sister 'charity', The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Welfare) Limited.
The objectives of the charity are to promote the religious and other charitable work of the church here in the UK and to relieve members of the church and others who are in conditions of need, hardship, sickness or distress. In order to do this the charity;
Invests in farms which it rents out to its subsidiary companies; any profits are returned to the charity under covenant.
Acquires land and builds purpose built meeting houses in which members can worship and receive instruction.
Assists individuals suffering through hardship, sickness and distress as needed.
Provides advice and guidance to church members on the church's worldwide welfare and humanitarian aid programmes.
From reading the 363s Annual Return
that each company is required to submit it appears that LDS (Welfare) decided to free up some cash through issuing more shares. LDS (Welfare) previously had an Issued Share Capital
of 100 Ordinary shares valued at £1 each, giving an aggregate nominal value of issued shares of £100. In 2004 they upped this considerably, increasing this to £10,000,000. All shares are held by the Corporation of the Presdiding Bishop. On 31st March 2005 the Presiding Bishop became the sole owner of the charity/company and 50 shares previously held by the Corporation of the President of the Church were transferred over. On 2nd June 2005 the company's status was changed to a private limited company
(NB On closer examination it appears that LDS (Great Britain) also released a further £10m through issuing shares and was also transferred to the sole ownership of the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop)
Some more highlights include;
- The Group (Welfare plus subsidiary companies) had a surplus of £147,000. Helped by a donation from it's sister charity LDS (Great Britain). This money went into the reserves, which now total £9,207,000.
- 'Direct Charitable Expenditure' for the year was £7,243,000. This is all well and good until you learn what counts as 'charity'; £5,279,000 was 'construction' costs' (remember, one of the purposes of this charity is to build meeting houses for the church) £37k was depreciation, £663k was on 'physical facilities', £322k on 'operating costs' and £50k on 'professional fees' (probably the auditors from PwC) which left £892,000 for 'charitable contributions'.
- 2004 was a tough year down on the farm. The trustees report that due to a wet harvest that prolonged the season there was a drop in both yield and quality, which hit profits. They indicate a 12% drop from the previous year. Yet in the accounts 'profits covenanted from farm activities' was £472,000 this year, compared with £855,000 last year. So profits might have fallen by 12% but what was passed on to the charity fell by nearly half.
- Staff costs were high, accounting for £1,142,000 over the year. There is 1 employee earning between £60-70k and 2 earning between £50-60k.
- As with LDS (Great Britain) there is an outstanding loan to the boys in Salt Lake, the amount outstanding on this one is £52,077,000. It appears on the accounts but there is no interest charge and no fixed repayment conditions.
- The last 2 pages of the submission don't seem to have been posted on the charity commission's website, i have emailed them requesting them as this generally provides a neat summary of the year.
Taking into account all of the income and expenditure of the church in the UK i have managed to make the following calculations;
- The church (GB) received £23,488,000 in 'unrestricted funds' (tithing) and £2,663,000 in 'restricted funds' (Fast, Humanitarian Aid, Missionary Support etc etc). Together with interest, profits from selling assets their total income was £27,077,000. LDS (Welfare) received £7,433,000 (£500k of which was from LDS (GB). Taking that into account the total amount of money, from all sources, coming in to the church in this country was £34,010,000. (NB The £5m from SLC i mentioned in the previous post wasn't a donation as such, but rather a cancelled loan re-payment. No actual money changed hands)
- Money that was made available to those in need by way of 'grants', 'humanitatian aid' and 'charitable contributions' by both organisations was £1,077,000. (NB I have not included the £500k transfer from one to the other, even though LDS (GB) counted this as a charitable donation, as i included it in the above calculation).
- The cost of staff, travel, admin, supplies, equipment, auditing, money lost exchanging currencies, physical facilities and operating costs came to £15,507,000. That doesn't include building new meeting houses, depreciation etc.
- In other words the church spent 14 times more money administering itself than it spent on the 'needy'; or calculated another way the church spent a little over 3% of it's incoming money on the needy.
- Fast Offering and Humanitarian Aid Fund contributions came to £1,571,000, so even if we calculate that money church members donated specifically for the needy, the church only spent 70% of that on what the members had in mind when they donated it.
This is interesting because every now and then there is talk in church of maybe supporting a charity involved in the developing world, or that specifically helps the homeless or whoever. There is always someone who sticks their hand up and cautions that alot of these charities spend money on their overheads, but you know that if you donate through the church that every single penny will find it's way through to those in need.
I think this has demonstrated that assertion to be unsupported by the evidence.
| I was in a planning meeting with support contractors to the Mormon church. In it a list of projects and projected costs were discussed. So how are the sacred moneys of Mormon Jebus being spent.
ZCMI and Crossroads Mall - Current Budget Price $5.2 billion dollars and rising. Damn Satan and his control over the water that caused hurricane Katrina!!!!!
New Planters for the Penis tower (COB) $4.5 Million dollars. It seems the cast concrete with quartz encrusted rocks are "deteriorating" and Gordy wants Granite ones.
Renovations to the Conference Center Roof System - $18.5 Million. The superstructure cannot hold the weight of the water, soil and other items on the roof. While it is not in danger of total collapse, sections are becoming a concern and have to be addressed.
Other projects - $278.5 million. Mind you these are not ecclesiastical facilities but commercial and administrative buildings.
| I am not an attorney but I am a CPA and am familiar with nonprofits. I have organized several, sat on boards and managed nonprofits.
The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a Corporate Sole with succession being the subsequent next President. That means he is the sole shareholder and owner of all businesses and holdings. Any legally required reporting would be to the President of the Church. Other than taxes, there is no legal obligation for reporting, other than to the owners. At this time, GBH is the sole owner. The Morg is tax exempt, so other than an annual information return, nothing is required. Most churches are C Corp nonprofits with Boards of Directors. The boards require financial reporting and often make these reports public.
A 501(c)(3) can have a captive or interlocking 501(c)(4) organization established as a "Social Welfare" organization and can fund political activism through the associated company. Lobbying falls under the general broad category of 501(c)(4) Social Welfare organizations. The Mormon church can fund people like the "More Good Foundation" (a Mormon Social Welfare company) to actively fight for the amendment without jeopardizing their status. Reading the letter and encouraging members to write would not be considered a significant amount of their resources. The 501(c)(4) can actively promote a candidate or position.
A 501(c)(3) can also own for profit corporations who have even fewer restrictions.
| The LDS Church recently announced that it will build a temple in the metro area where I live (Vancouver, BC, Canada). The press release (ref. http://www.lds.org/newsroom/showrelea...) states that there are 172,000 church members in Canada. Assuming that 50% are ‘active’, 20% are children age 12 or younger, and 60% of the remaining group are youth and adults who are ‘temple worthy’, that means that approx. 41,000 Canadian Mormons will be attending the seven temples (including the one in metro Vancouver). That’s less than 6,000 members using each of the seven multi-million dollar buildings. The annual cost of lighting, cleaning, heating, air-conditioning, landscaping, and otherwise maintaining each temple must be many thousands of dollars. BTW, the Seattle temple is only half-day's drive from Vancouver. Members from this area routinely go and come back in 1-2 days. |
While on the subject of expensive church buildings, in November 2002 I visited the LDS Conference Center during a visit to SLC. A tour guide, a retired medical professional, took me through the Center. He pointed out the large alabaster light coverings, pear wood panelling, super-sophisticated sound system and broadcasting equipment, massive I-beam in the ceiling that had been forged in Europe and shipped to the U.S., high-end carpeting, and other expensive elements of the building. I asked him how much it cost to build; he wouldn’t say. I then told him that I’d heard about $400 million, an amount he would neither confirm nor deny. I know that if I’d been a tithe-paying member, the response would’ve been the same. For generations, the church’s patriarchal leadership has concealed from members financial details of how it uses their tithing and other ‘contributions’. Their ‘you-don’t-need-to-know’ attitude and the church’s lack of financial transparency was one of the many reasons why I left Mormonism.
As the tour guide and I walked past large paintings depicting Book of Mormon stories, he told me about Lehi and his family sailing to the ancient Americas from Israel, the Nephite and Lamanite civilizations that spread across the Americas, native Americans descending from the Lamanites, the Brother of Jared and his lighted, submarine vessels, and other BoM stories. As we departed the area where the paintings are located, he took his gaze off of me, got a puzzled look on his face, and speaking to no one, really, he said, “If I wasn’t raised in the church, I wouldn’t believe these things.” I’d told him at the beginning of the tour that I wasn’t a member; his words were extremely revealing. Little did he know that I’d been raised in Mormonism from early childhood, went on a mission, left the church a decade before, and had studied the effects of LDS religious indoctrination and Mormon psychological conditioning extensively since 1992.
The Oct. 18/05 issue of Commercial Property News reported that the LDS Church was (is) spending US$1.5 billion to “redevelop 20 acres of Downtown Salt Lake City, focusing on more than 1 million square feet of retail, as well as housing and office [space].” (ref. http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/article_...). In 2004, the church bought the second largest ranch in Nebraska, and in 2003, 663 acres in Hawaii, with plans to build a 200-room hotel and residential subdivision on the north side of Oahu. Visitors to the church's Polynesian Cultural Center (it's not free to get in) will be able to direct even more funds to the church by staying at the hotel. As well, a couple of years ago, I read a news report that the church was the second largest private landowner in the U.K.
The Aug. 4/97 issue of Time estimated that the church’s total wealth was US$30 billion (ref. http://lds-mormon.com/time.shtml). The reported membership that year was 10,070,524. For 2005, it was 12,560,869, a 24.7% increase in nine years. Assuming the percentage of tithe-paying members has remained the same since 1997, and the church’s real estate and other investments have appreciated at an average of 5% per year, it’s no stretch of the imagination to put the church’s total wealth at approx. US$45 billion. In “Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power” (by former BYU Professor of History, Dr. D. Michael Quinn and published in Dec./94), the listed assets of the church included 48 banks, 34 lumber companies, 60 newspapers and magazines, 55 mining firms, 55 railroads, 9 hotels, a $16 Billion insurance company, and a chain of radio and TV stations.
In May 2005, President Gordon B. Hinckley told church members, “In the last 10 years we have supplied in cash and commodities hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to those not of our faith.” $200,000,000 is technically "hundreds of millions", as is $999,999,999. According to a post on xxx another xxx website xxx, as of Nov./04, total church donations for humanitarian aid since 1985 totalled US$450 million.
In the U.K., the church is required by law to submit financial reports each year (which the public can view at http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/). Here’s a summary of data for a recent year (2003):
Total funds received: £31,788,000
Total expenditures: £28,678,000
Net surplus for 2003: £3,110,000
Total of church accounts at year end: £18,849,000
Expenditure totals for the year from the report:
Physical Facilities: £8,162,000
Units Costs: £626,000
Fast Offering Fund: £500,000
Materials and Supplies: £246,000
Humanitarian Aid Fund: £193,000
Perpetual Education Fund: £101,000
Temple Construction Fund: £45,000
Total Net Book Value of Church Lands and Buildings: £216,474,000
The LDS Church (U.K.) spent 1.57% of its 2003 income on fast offering, 0.61% on humanitarian aid, and 0.32% on assisting people with their education. In total, the LDS Church (U.K.) spent only 1/40th of its 2003 income on helping people in need. The church’s income surplus for 2003 was nearly four times what it spent on fast offering/church welfare, humanitarian aid, and the perpetual education fund. The total of the church’s accounts as of Dec. 31/03 was nearly 25 times more than what it spent on helping financially-disadvantaged individuals and people requiring humanitarian assistance.
Every year, about one quarter of a million children around the globe lose their vision due to a deficiency of certain vitamins in their diet. The cost of an appropriate vitamin supplement to prevent premature blindness is $0.05/day (when purchased in bulk), or $220/child (to age 12). A donation of less than 1% of the LDS Church’s annual income could save tens of thousands of children from losing their vision prematurely.
Every year, about 35,000 people (non-combatants) around the world are killed or seriously injured by landmines. Since 1988, the HALO Trust, a British charitable organization (ref. http://www.halotrust.org/), has cleared more than 5 million of the estimated 70 million landmines buried in 90 countries. It’s annual budget is US$45 million. A donation of 3% of the sum that the LDS Church is spending on the SLC redevelopment to the HALO Trust could double its life- and limb-saving work.
Clearly, building a multi-million dollar temple in the Vancouver metro area is more important to the LDS Church's senior priesthood leadership than spending more money to relieve human suffering and save lives. Such is the 'spiritual' enlightenment of the men who run/manage the 'one, true church of Jesus Christ'.
| Some of you may know about this, some may not.
You all possibly have no idea, but I suspect some who lurk most certainly do.
The church is listed under NASDAQ as "Zion".
The church also loves land and owns not just land, ranches, but the church has many records of "residential" properties that it owns and has sold.
They own properties listed on public records as "subdivisions", homes listed as residential homes reasonably priced, for those "little people", also in the upper scale prices and over a million dollars, assessment value.
The church really, really likes Hawaii, along with California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, but are not limited to those places, with their real estate and tax division based in Salt Lake.
Their individually LDS corporations named are so great, we lost count. We stopped counting at one point. It seemed like an endless sea.
Stake centers are individually named corporations. The church has businesses listed as "active" going back as far as 1920.
Zions Bancorporation and Pioneer Bancorporation Announce Merger Agreement:
The LDS church is also connected directly to a huge, wealthy, corporate business that mixes religion with business, but extremely carefully riding that fine line with the higher leadership woven carefully into the best of both words; business and religious. It is a very sharp set up. It has a great deal of power behind it as well.
I would imagine church leaders in HQ hate public records and the Freedom on Information Act, to start with.
The LDS church HQ is a massive BILLION dollar religion that also is tied up into a massive corporation, muddled one between the other. The money they spend is by no means only for church buildings or temples.
It is a huge corporation with hundreds and hundreds, possibly into the thousands, of "corporations" within it.
They are listed as "debtor" on various business adventures, here and there, small time things compared to what all they have going on.
Make no mistake anyone, HQ are powerful, connected BUSINESS MEN. It is all about business, money, and POWER riding on the shirt tales of "the one true church". They are also very much involved in politics.
It is up the people, to be their watch dogs, which they hate and feel threatened by. They want to stay below the radar.
They want to do all they can to make sure the word "God" stays more known for their PR then the word "money".
| I remember sitting in sacrament meeting once when I was about nine or ten, and hearing a high council speaker say that no member of the church should ever be on government welfare. He said that the church takes care of its own, and that any member who was in need should approach his bishop, not the government.
A few years later, we had a local county commissioner who publicly bragged that he would tell people, "Go see your bishop," when they requested assistance from the county.
Self-reliance seems to be a common theme in Mormonism, and any kind of government social program that gives anything to poor people is viewed with disdain.
Government social programs that benefit the not-so-poor, however, are another matter entirely. If you're acquainted with any Mormon farmers, here's a website that you may enjoy exploring:
You can look up all of the USDA farm subsidies that have been paid out over a ten-year period. If people on food stamps are sucking on the government teat, some of these farmers are hooked up to a government IV.
Consider the case of D. Rex Gerratt, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. You can find his official church biography here:
You have to look elsewhere to find out how Rex (or should I call him "D"?) really feels about self-reliance. The following page shows that Rex owns 31% of Ida Gold Farms:
You'll notice that Larry Gerratt also owns 31%. Larry is Rex's brother, and is a stake president. This page shows you how much Ida Gold Farms received in farm welfare over a ten-year period from 1995 to 2004.
So, Rex Gerratt the general authority got 31% of $1.9 million and change. Ditto for his brother, Larry Gerratt the stake president. You do the math.
If you look at the top recipients in counties in Utah, Southern Idaho, Western Wyoming and other areas with a large Mormon population, you'll find a lot of prominent Mormons on the list.
Unfortunately, the database doesn't include any information on whether they pay tithing on their subsidies.
| Highlights (all figures in British pounds): |
Total value of tangible assets: 253,900,000
"The directors do not recommend the payment of a dividend, which leaves a surplus of 27,463,000 to be retained."
2005 surplus income: 17,232,000
Total charitable contributions for 2005: 641,000
Total charitable contributions as a percentage of 2005 surplus income: 3.72%
Total charitable contributions as a percentage of the retained surplus: 2.33%
Meetinghouses owned by the church: 289
Meetinghouses under construction as of Dec. 31/05: 6
Church employees in a "teaching function": 22
Church employees in "office administration": 190
Building cleaners: 255
Wages and salaries: 6,941,000
Average wage/salary: 14,863
Contributions to church funds by members:
Fast Offering Fund: 3,102,000
Missionary Support Fund: 2,001,000
Book of Mormon Fund: 44,000
Temple Construction Fund: 62,000
Humanitarian Aid Fund: 675,000
Donation to CoJCoLDS (Great Britain) from The Corp. of the Presiding Bishop of CoJCoLDS: 16,698,000 ("11,698,000 was for the purpose of covering the pension deficit").
| I reviewed the 2005, 2004, and 2003 financial statements of the LDS Church (Great Britain), which indicated the following number of "building cleaners" for each year:
2002 (reported in the 2003 report): 243
It certainly seems that the church in the U.K. has been reporting employees that either it doesn't have, or aren't employed in a building cleaning capacity (or perhaps a mix of both?). The odd thing is that the financial statements have been signed by the Director (LDS Church), who would be aware of the meetinghouse cleaning situation in the U.K. Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors) also signed the reports.
The no. of meetinghouses reported for 2005 was 289.
Are there 255 full- or part-time cleaners in the U.K. that supplement the cleaning work of the members? For a church that is very concerned about saving as much money as possible (e.g., keeping the heating down in chapels during colder months), but channels hundreds of millions of dollars into corporate real estate investments, I have a really hard time believing that the LDS Church in Great Britain employs 255 people just to help out the members/volunteer cleaners.
Who would stand to benefit from such a reporting 'error'? Is money being reported as an income expense (for the 255 cleaners), but used elsewhere in the church or siphoned off for some other purpose?
| I just came from a meeting at our corporate headquarters where the subject of instruction was the current building projects and projected projects in Utah and SLC and how we (my company) are going to meet the needs.
Some interesting facts that came from the meeting.
1. The City Creek Center:
a. Our company estimates that the true cost will be $6 – $8 billion dollars. This is based on the following facts.
1. This is a fast tract project. The construction of one 22 story tower and two 18 story towers would normally take three to five years alone. Add in all the auxiliary buildings, infrastructure (sewer, waterlines, communication lines, etc. - oh yes and the mole people tunnels), street level improvements, etc. It costs a lot of money to keep a project like this on track for the short amount of construction time available. After all they are destroying two city blocks and replacing them new in 48 months (project end date to be 2011). As the presenter stated “Imagine if two city blocks in Manhattan were to be removed and replaced, oh that’s right, the “Freedom” towers and complex are. Could that be done in 48 months? NO WAY. The “Freedom” tower alone is projected to take six to eight years.“ (by the way, the Freedom tower is only one city block).
2. Competition from current construction projects for labor. Legacy Highway, Draper Temple, South Jordan Temple, TRAX expansion, Commuter Rail, Housing projects like Kennecott Day Break, Retail and Commercial construction to service the current construction projects etc., all have placed a demand on available man power and crafts. To compete with these projects the City Creek Center construction companies (Jacobson, Oakland and Big D) are going to have to pay premium wages and salaries. This means no more day labors at $5.25 per hour. Our company projects that a helper is going to be paid $14.50 per hour. Can you say Hurricane Katrina prices?
3. Competition from current construction projects for materials. To compete with the current projects the City Creek Center construction companies (Jacobson, Oakland and Big D) are going to have to pay premium prices for materials. Even with the Mormon church buying direct from the manufacturers, the materials will be more expensive as the delivery dates will cause the materials to be rush orders. The Mormon church is notorious for waiting until the last minute to purchase materials (maybe they think that construction supplies will be found on-site every morning like “manna” from heaven?). This fact of delayed buying caused the conference center costs to rise from the projected $315 million estimate to the final cost of $1.1 billion.
4. There currently is a shortage of qualified workers. Our company estimates that when started City Creek Center will demand an extra 25 000 to 35 000 workers. Our company estimates that mid project there will be over 100 000 construction workers needed. These individuals will have to come from out of state. (So, if you can swing a hammer and bend a nail, head to SLC, hell if you own a hammer come to SLC). Funny side note, unless they make construction of the City Creek Center a mission calling, the influx of workers are not going to be Mormon. So not only are they going to over pay for the workers, they will loose 10% more of their money.
5. The cost of just getting to “zero dirt” our company estimates will be between $450 - $650 million. This includes demolition of the current buildings, moving and relocating (breaking leases) tenants out of the current buildings, removing all current utilities and replacing with new that meet up to date requirements (seismic, materials, etc.).
One of the presenters expressed the biggest concern. FAST TRACK = FAST CRAP. What he means is that the City Creek Center will be built on 7 day cures for the concrete (7 days is the minimum allowed, whereas 28 day is the best cure), hastily constructed supports, minimum welds, and every other short cut that can be done to save time.
He pointed out that the Conference center was a fast track and it is already having major problems (leaking roof, panels falling off, interior wall are wet, etc.).
Yes kiddies, believe it or not, there is more. Part 2 is coming soon.
| 2. Salt Lake Valley Temples (Draper and South Jordan)
These are a fast track projects. The construction of the two temples has been accelerated. Reason – The Salt Lake City temple needs seismic up grades so the two new temples will be constructed on a fast track schedule (one and a half years). This means crappy construction, cost over-runs, construction delays, etc. I discussed in Part 1 of my posting. Probable cost of each temple Draper – $450 million, South Jordan $385 million.
3. Ensign Plaza South
The Mormon church is concerned about the blight that surrounds the Ogden temple. Therefore they are constructing a five story office tower named Ensign Plaza South. The project is under construction at this time. The cost is estimated at $75 – 125 million.
4. Church Office Building
As I discussed in another thread, the COB concrete facing is disintegrating because of rebar corrosion. The Mormon church plans on re-facing the BIG PENIS starting about 2008. An announcement will be made that the structure is aging, needs seismic up grades and in order to preserve the continuity of Temple Square a new façade of Granite will be used to cover the steel framing. At this same time true seismic up grading (cross beam supports, shear planes, etc.) will be done. The costs will be between $350 – $750 million, depending on how much remodeling is done.
The COB was (as noted in Part 1) built on the cheap. Henry B. Moyle almost spent the Mormon church into bankruptcy with his building projects. Being the faithful that he was, Elder Moyle conveniently had a heart attack and died while on vacation so the Brethren didn’t have to excommunicate him. Faithful bastard.
5. Salt Lake City Temple
When conducting the seismic up grade to the Tabernacle, the Mormon church discovered several problems not found in the original evaluation of the structure. The renovation of the Tabernacle has become more involved and costlier. An investigation of the Salt Lake City Temple has revealed some of the same flaws. Because of this the structure has to be renovated for seismic and other requirements. Whereas the Tabernacle cost $175 million to renovate the estimates on the Temple is between $250 – 450 million.
Remember all these projects are to be completed by 2011. Total costs $10.1 billion. If you include the Conference center ($1.1 billion) the total spending in Utah not to include chapels and stake centers $11.2 billion dollars.
Yeah, they need my money for feeding the poor, nurturing the needy, housing the homeless, etc.
Question: What are the approximate square footages of the temples you note here? Having some understanding of the development/building market, I'm curious about just how off the charts they are in their unit costs. I am not in the Salt Lake market, but I do know that for example in a similarly sized western city that Class A office space builds for between $200-$250/SF. I mean even if you assume 100,000 SF for these temples that is absolutely astronomical in terms of cost. I also understand that they have some supporting on/off site infrastructure built in that number, but that doesn't come close to making up the difference. It is incredible what they are spending. Do you have any idea as to the profit margins that Oakland, Big-D, etc may be hitting on these projects? I know the reputation of the church for squeezing contractors down to the nats ass, with their leveraging power coming from being able to threaten not allowing them to bid future work.
1. Our past dealings with the Mormon church. The Conference center is my best example. Projected cost was $315 million. Actual cost $1.1 billion. These are hard numbers that came from an audit conducted by the church of all vendors, contractors and support companies to the project. For final payment if you did not complete the audit you were not paid. We lost $500,000.00 on one invoice because the Mormon church disputed our $1,000,000.00 invoice. We were told to accept the reduced price or we would never be allowed on a Mormon church project again.
2. Reasons for the increased costs:
Fast track - The Conference center was fast tracked. When you do this you work on Saturdays, Holidays, and if possible Sundays (except no one was allowed to work on Sunday except on "ox in the mire" items like concrete pours, etc.). We were paying people time and a half, double time and even in some cases triple time.
Design Build - The Conference center was a design build project that had several change orders done. These change orders included the removal of one wing of the building after it was completed.
Taxing of Supply Networks - Do you realize that the stone cladding required workers to be brought from Europe to get enough qualified people? The sub-contractors had to bring in support from out of state to meet the deadline set for the project. The stone was shipped all over the U.S. to get fabricated because the Idaho contractor could not keep up with the time table set. All this costs more money.
Fixed Deadline - A fixed deadline means more costs to meet the deadline.
Sub-Contractors - On a project this large there will be sub-contractors unbelievable. Each sub-contractor charges their own margin (profit) on the task. By having multiple sub-sub-sub-etc.-contractors these margins add up.
High Rise Costs - Construction costs increase for every 10 stories you add to a building. These costs increase by 20% for the first 10 stories and 30% for each additional 10 stories.
So yes, a high end building that is planned, designed, bid, supported should only cost $200 - $250 per square foot. BUT A DESIGN BUILD, FAST TRACKED, BALLS TO THE WALL, CHANGE ORDER INTENSIVE PROJECT CAN COST $2,000 TO $2,500 PER SQUARE FOOT.
WELCOME TO MORMON BUILDING.
| From StarBulletin.COM:
The Mormon church is in discussions with Marriott International Inc. to operate a 220-room hotel it plans to replace the aging Laie Inn on Oahu's North Shore.
Hawaii Reserves Inc., which manages property in Laie affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is seeking permits to tear down the 48-room Laie Inn and build a new hotel adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Eric Beaver, a spokesman for Hawaii Reserves, said the church hopes to break ground on the new 220-room facility during the first quarter of 2008. Completion is targeted for 2009.
In addition to the redevelopment of Laie Inn, HRI is also working on the creation of Malaekahana Mauka, a 650-unit affordable housing community, Beaver said.
| The TSCC uses the services of Edelman a PR firm. This is in an attempt to repair the damage that the truth does to the TSCC. Here is an interesting and revealing review of Edelman.
“Edelman specializes in helping industries with image problems; another important client is the American Petroleum Institutes, a Washington lobbying group that seeks to convince Americans that oil companies care about the environment and that their profits are reasonable. Edelman does its work by cultivating contacts among the country’s opinion elites, with whom it emphasizes the good news and spins the bad; by such tactics as establishing “Astroturf” groups, seemingly grass-roots organizations that are actually fronts for industry…”
The New Yorker, April 2, 2007, pg. 34.
So the sleazy Mormons reach out to the equally sleazy Edelman.
| From The Politico:
Amid heightened scrutiny because of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's White House bid, the Mormon church is raising its public relations profile, making moves that reflect deep concerns over widely held myths about the faith and internal anxiety over the need to convince outsiders that it will remain neutral as a Mormon runs in the 2008 contest.
In line with its recent restructuring, the church has ended a decade-long relationship with Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations firm, with 2,500 employees in 46 offices worldwide. Edelman won some distinction in 2002 when it helped the church navigate the Winter Olympics bidding scandal in Salt Lake City.
Otterson, in a phone interview from the church's Salt Lake City headquarters, said the church is interviewing other firms but declined to name them. Several Edelman staffers who would not talk on the record said the church sought to have increased autonomy in its media relations.
| In the November 1999 Ensign, Gordon Hinckley, the President of the LDS Church, addressed various aspects of his religion in an article entitled “Why We Do Some of the Things We Do.”
In the article, Hinckley addresses the question of “Why is the Church in business?”
“We have a few business interests. Not many. Most of these were begun in very early days when the Church was the only organization that could provide the capital that was needed to start certain business interests designed to serve the people in this remote area. We have divested ourselves long since of some of these where it was felt there was no longer a need. Included in these divestitures, for instance, was the old Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company, which did well in the days of wagons and horse-drawn farm machinery. The company outlived its usefulness.
So according to the Hinckley, the LDS Church has only a few business interests. A review of businesses owned by the LDS Church would reveal a much different conclusion. The Arizona Republic printed a detailed spreadsheet of the Church’s US corporations.
“The Church sold the banks which it once held. As good banking services developed in the community, there was no longer any need for Church-owned banks.”
Agri-Northwest (Washington state), Applied Technology Group (SLC), Beehive Clothing (SLC), Beneficial Development Co. (SLC), Beneficial Life Insurance Co. (SLC), BLIC Agency (SLC), Bluestem Co. (Oklahoma), Bonneville Broadcasting System (SLC), Bonneville Entertainment (SLC), Bonneville Holding Co. (SLC), Bonneville International Corp. (SLC), Bonneville Media Communication (SLC), Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), Brown and Co. (SLC), BYU-Hawaii (Laie, Oahu), Columbia Ridge Farms (Tri-Cities, Washington), Continental Western Life Insurance Co. (Des Moines, Iowa), Corporation of the President (SLC), Corporation of the Presiding Bishop (SLC), Cultural Centers Properties, Inc. (Oahu, Hawaii), Descal and Co. (California), Desco and Co. (Colorado), Deseret Book Co. (SLC), Deseret Farms (SLC), Deseret Farms of California, Deseret Grain ("nationwide"), Deseret Gymnasium (SLC), Deseret Industries (SLC and "national, similar to Goodwill Industries"), Deseret International Charities (SLC), Deseret Land and Livestock Co.(Utah and Wyoming), Deseret Management (SLC), Deseret Mutual Insurance Corp. (SLC), Deseret News Publishing Corp. (SLC), Deseret Ranches of Florida (Orlando), Deseret Ranches of Wyoming (Cody), Deseret Transportation (SLC), Deseret Trust (SLC), Deseret Trust of California (Los Angeles), Eagle Gate Apartments (SLC), Elberta Farms (Provo, Utah), Eleven Bar Ranch (Nephi, Utah), Farm Management Co. (SLC), Foreign Lands Corp. (SLC), Garrison Welfare Farm (Garrison, Utah), Genealogical Society of Utah (SLC), Grain Handling, Inc. (Washington state), Hotel Temple Square Corp. (SLC), Islands Foundation (Oahu, Hawaii), KAAM-AM (Dallas), KBIG-Radio (Los Angeles), KBYU-FM and KBYU-TV (Provo, Utah), Keystone Communications (SLC), KIRO-AM and KIRO-TV (Seattle), KMBZ-Radio (Kansas City), KMEO-Radio (Phoenix), KOIT-Radio (San Francisco), KRIC-Radio (Ricks, Idaho), KSEA-FM (Seattle), KSL-Radio and KSL-TV (SLC), K2H Farms, Inc. (Washington state), KZPS-FM (Dallas), Laie Resorts (Oahu, Hawaii), LDS Business College (SLC), LDS Foundation (SLC), LDS Social Services (SLC), LDS Social Services of Massachusetts, LDS Social Services of New York, LDS Social Services of Virginia, Mormon Temples (SLC), Magnolia Management Corp. (Orlando, Florida), Mormon Handicraft (SLC), Mortgage Loan Services (SLC), Nauvoo Restoration (Illinois), Newspaper Agency Corp. (SLC), Office Management of Utah (SLC), Pacific Heritage Life Insurance Co. (Portland, Oregon), Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie, Oahu, Hawaii), Promised Valley Playhouse (SLC), Property Reserve of Arizona, Proprietary Holding, Inc. (SLC), Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho), Salt Lake Macaroni and Noodle Co., Shadow Mountain Press (SLC), Sooner Land and Livestock Co. (Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas), Third Avenue Productions (Seattle), Utah Home Fire Insurance Co. (SLC), Video West Network (SLC), Western American Life Insurance Co. (SLC), WNSR-FM (New York City), WTMX-Radio (Chicago), ZCMI (SLC and national), Zion's Securities Corp (SLC).
(See Mormon Inc.: Finances and Faith: A Series About the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Appeared in THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, June 30-July 3, 1991 (Phoenix: Series Reprint, The Arizona Republic, 1991),
So who is telling the truth?
| It was early in my term in the Bishopric when the edict came down to retro-actively adorn all the buildings with prefab steeples.
We were advised of this at a monthly Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting. Several in attendance questioned the point of doing this. I offered my opinion that the church had recently (at the time) had encountered a battle from the local neighborhood in Belmont Mass while applying for a variance to erect an oversize steeple. The neighborhood observed the fact that didn’t make use of steeple on their buildings anyway so why was it important to put a massive steeple on this particular building. The issue went to the supreme Court.
By the reaction of some of those in attendance you would have thought I had committed blasphemy as this was an inspired revelation to the prophet. I invited further hostility when I suggested that it certainly was not necessary on our relatively new building which had an attractive modern steeple mounted on a high brick pedestal.
At another meeting we were advised that the stake had allocated $28,000 for the new steeple. Some of us thought that this was an outrageous price and someone openly questioned which of the Apostles had offspring in the steeple making business. I didn’t help my status as a pariah when I suggested that I had some sympathy for our 90 year-old Prophet’s inspiration to use tithing funds erect phallic monuments.
The situation went down hill later on when the leaders embarrassingly admitted that they had, because of funding limits, only allocated half the necessary funds in the current year. The actual cost would total $56,000. They put the lid on dissent by angrily asserting that the Profit had spoken and none of us were worthy to question his revelation.
The Bishop was as pissed as I was and continued to make comments about the project while they had to bring in heavy equipment to dismantle the very substantial existing steeple. After it was done they had to call back construction crews several times to repair structural problems that resulted in leaks. They would never tell me what the final cost was.
| From The Oregonian:
Supreme Court - The LDS church loses a round in a fight to keep its finances secret on religious grounds.
Oregon's top court has rejected the Mormon church's bid to shield detailed financial information about its net worth -- a closely held secret for nearly half a century.
Despite the legal defeat, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not immediately release the financial information to lawyers for a Portland-area man who claims he was molested by a church "home teacher" in the late 1980s.
"The church is considering its position," said Stephen F. English, the LDS church's lead Portland attorney. "The church respects the rule of law but has profound constitutional concerns based on its constitutional right to protect the free expression of its religion."
| From the Star Bulletin:
The acquisition of 227 acres of agricultural land adjacent to Laie will help an affiliate of the Mormon church develop affordable housing on Oahu's North Shore.
Hawaii Reserves Inc., the land management company of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yesterday bought the land for about $4 million from KRC Golf LLC, an affiliate of Turtle Bay Resort owner Oaktree Capital Management LP.
It plans to build up to 650 homes on the parcel and adjacent land.
An affiliate of the Mormon church has purchased 227 acres of agricultural land adjacent to Laie as part of a larger plan to develop up to 650 affordable homes on Oahu's North Shore.
Hawaii Reserves Inc., the land management company of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yesterday bought the parcel for about $4 million from KRC Golf LLC, an affiliate of Turtle Bay Resort owner Oaktree Capital Management L.P.
| From the Honolulu Advertiser:
Officials from Marriott International Inc. say the company is close to signing an agreement to operate a new 220-room hotel planned for La'ie.
The new hotel, which is expected to be completed sometime in 2010, would replace the 48-room Lai'e Inn, which is controlled by Hawaii Reserves Inc., the land management arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The original $30 million cost estimate given when the hotel plan was first proposed in 2004 is outdated.
| I was on my mission when the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) was announced. It is basically a micro-finance system run by the church to help members (especially RMs) pay for an education through small loans. I was very excited about the program when I heard it explained in conference. I was serving a mission in Argentina at the time, so I knew that I had companions who would benefit from this. I really do believe that education is the solution to most of the world's poverty problems.
Over the years, I have donated thousands of dollars to this fund. For a while, I decided to donate the same amount of money I would pay in tithing to the PEF. I may regret all of the tithing I have paid, but, until recently, I have not regretted the PEF funds I have donated.
Well, I was speaking with my parents the other day. They are leaving on a PEF mission. So they recently received training on the program. I was very disturbed by something that was explained to me regarding dispersion of the funds. Rather than use all of the money received each year to aid people, they place the money in various investments. They then use only the interest.
For instance, let's say I donate $1,000. Rather than use that $1,000 to finance a loan for someone to go to school, they invest the money. Then after a year, maybe they've made 6% on the money. They then take that 6% or $60 and use it to help someone go to school. That, of course, is assuming that they make money back on their investments. In a recession (like now) the return is a lot less (as anyone with a 401k is probably all too aware of right now).
My parents were quite surprised to see how frustrated this made me. They tried to explain how this was a good way of doing things, so I finally whipped up an Excel spreadsheet and showed how this was a terrible idea from a perspective of aiding people. From a perspective of generating a great investment portfolio for the church, it's a great plan.
I wish there was some way I could depend the money back and give it to an organization that will actually use it properly.
| I work for a public agency that builds long linear projects in Central California. After environmental reviews have been completed, I frequently must invoke eminent domain (public taking of private land) to achieve project construction. On several projects I have had to cross Mormon Church owned properties. I am talking about thousands of acres of church owned farms here – not a simple church building. Yes, it turns out that the Morg owns vast squares of land here in the San Joaquin Valley.
The local people running the farms are all LDS recommend holders (a condition of employment). They are pleasant enough to talk with, especially when I tell them I am a BYU alumnus. I make a comment that the Church must be doing well with all this land and food processing of corn, wheat, etc. They reply that their farming operation is a money sinkhole and runs red ink every year. Astonished I asked them how this could be. They said they fill their silos each year after harvest. The grain/corn then sits in the silo a full year until the next year’s crop is ready. The year old crop is then sold to create space in the silos for the new crop. The old crop is sold the same time every year, prices be damned. Economics 101 teaches us to sell high and buy low. The farming operation of the church does just the opposite. To sell a year old crop in a silo at harvest time is simply bad business. However, the suits in SLC have the mentality to store a year’s supply of food.
The gentleman I spoke with was getting a new assignment to run an even larger operation near Monterey. Turns out the church has a vast, even larger, agricultural operation near Monterey.
By the way, during the land acquisition process, I had to work directly with the real estate arm in SLC. The guy I worked with over the telephone was a complete dick. He refused the initial offer of just compensation, with no counter whatsoever. His words were that there was no way the church would agree to provide an easement. Not until I threatened eminent domain did he roll over. He had absolutely no negotiation tactics. Once I threatened eminent domain he accepted the first offer (a low ball appraisal). What an idiot.
| nlike the United States all charities in Canada including the Mormon Church must file a Registered Charity Information Return that includes the following information about the charity:
contact information, including Web site address;
a general account of the charity's activities; and
financial information such as income and expenditures, assets, and liabilities.
The Registered Charity Information Return may give you an idea of how much of its resources it devotes to charitable activities. Returns are available online dating back to 2000.
The Mormon Church in Canada is BN/Registration Number:119223758RR0001
The information can be found at the following website:
You can find any ward or branch by typing in the ward’s name at the following website:
Type in “Latter” and “Calgary”, and all wards with Calgary will come up.
For other wards type "Latter" and the name of the ward or branch. Some wards do not have "Latter" so just type in the ward name.
This is the first year in which compensation has been declared:
The Mormon Church in Canada had revenue of $ 159,507,000 however; they claim expenses of $185,647,000.
Total Assets: $622,663,000
Note: Compensation includes all forms of remuneration (e.g., salaries, fees, and honoraria) and benefits (e.g., personal use of a car or office space).
On average, how many permanent, full-time, compensated positions did the charity have in the fiscal period? 203
For the five highest compensated positions indicate the number of positions in each of the following annual compensation categories. Include only those positions that are permanent, full-time positions.
$119,999 and over 1
On average, how many part-time or part-year employees did the charity employ in the fiscal period? 366
What was the total expenditure on compensation for part-time or part-year employees in the fiscal period? $ 1,827,405
Cash, bank accounts, and short-term investments $63,747,000
Capital assets (at cost or fair market value) $ 545,895,000
Other assets $ 13,021,000
Total assets $622,663,000
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities. $2,245,000
Amounts owing to non-arm's length parties $47,882,000
Total liabilities $50,127,000
Total eligible amount of tax-receipted gifts $2,399,856
Total amount received from other registered charities $142,437,144
Interest and investment income $7,517,000
Other revenue $7,153,000
Total revenue $ 159,507,000
Travel and vehicle $3,064,139
Office supplies and expenses $ 1,313,480
Salaries, wages, benefits, and honoraria $15,889,025
Donated and purchased supplies and assets expensed $74,665,633
Amortization of capitalized assets $24,392,208
Other expenditures $5,242,701
Total expenditures before gifts to qualified donees $124,567,187
Total charitable programs expenditures $124,565,610
Total management and administration expenditures $1,577
Total gifts to qualified donees, $61,079,813
Total expenditures $185,647,000
| "The project's cost (of reportedly over US$2 billion, excluding the planned City Creek condominium tower) raises questions of whether this isn't a money laundering operation. For comparison, world's tallest completed building by roof the Shanghai World Financial Center's construction was valued at US$ 1.2 billion for 377,300 m2. The 818 m (2,684 ft) tall Burj Dubai project has an estimated cost of US$ 4 billion for 334,000 m2, against the 81,000 m2 of the mall (3 story high in most of it's elevation). Another comparison, The Time Warner Center in New York (where property values are considerably higher, than the Salt Lake downtown area) was estimated to have a market value of US$1.1 billion in 2006, for it's 260,000 m² (2.8 million ft²)."
There is also reason for suspicion given the use of Taubman to assistant in the development of City Creek Center. The founding of Taubman (Alfred Taubman) has an unsavory reputation.
"A. Alfred Taubman, the former chairman of Sotheby's Holdings who has a personal fortune in excess of $500 million, was judged guilty of price-fixing today by a Manhattan federal court jury. That's the "who," "what," "where" and "when." The "why" resides somewhere in Taubman's own heart.
The eight-man-four-woman jury deliberated for less than two days on the case involving allegations of a price-fixing scheme between Sotheby's (nyse: BID - news - people ) and archrival Christie's. It decided that Taubman, 76, masterminded the plot along with his Christie's counterpart Sir Anthony Tennant to fix commissions in a way that cheated art sellers out of millions of dollars."
Taubman has a history of illegal activities dating back for several decades:
"In 1975, Lindner's AFC allied with Detroit financier Max Fisher, formerly of the murderous Purple Gang; Detroit real estate developer Alfred Taubman (a Fisher associate); and Paul and Seymour Milstein, to grab a 50% controlling interest in the United Fruit Company. Drug Enforcement Administration officials had confirmed to the authors of EIR's bestselling book Dope, Inc.: Britain's Opium War Against America, that United Fruit was a major force in the Latin American cocaine trade–a business that skyrocketed following the Lindner-Fisher, et al. takeover.
The Lindner group's takeover of United Fruit was only made possible by the mysterious death of the company's chairman and largest stockholder, Eli Black, on Feb. 3, 1975. Black fell to his death from the 44th floor of the Pan Am Building in New York City, in what was officially declared a suicide.
At the same time that Lindner, Fisher et. al. were grabbling United Fruit, Lindner's AFC simultaneously allied with a group of other Lansky-linked entities to establish a formidable pool of interlocking companies that would collectively form the core of the junk-bond raiders. By 1977, Lindner owned:
40% of Saul Steinberg's Reliance Insurance Company. Steinberg had gotten his start as a business partner of Britain's Lord Jacob Rothschild and later had extensive dealings with Kenneth Bialkin, the longtime Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and a top New York City lawyer representing many junk bond pirates and corporate raiders of the 1980s."
So...the Mormon Church is working with a real estate development company that is the brainchild of a convicted felon. From the above it is evident that this company also has a record of dealings with the illegal drug trade and the mafia. Speculative? Perhaps...but if your kid spent his time hanging out with a group of kids that sold drugs and robbed people what would you suspect?
| This just in at the GA Salary section of the Salamander. You decide what to make of it.
A former stake president of the old Lynnwood Stake of the Mormon Church, a Marcus Nash, who recently became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, explained to me at length, on one occasion, that general authorities of the LDS Church receive a percentage of their professional incomes as a salary (he used salary instead of stipend) on becoming general authorities. Before becoming a full-time GA, Nash was a partner in the Staffrd Frey law firm in Seattle, and the main defending litigator for the Church in all lawsuits arising against the Church from such torts as, for example, sexual abuse condoned by the LDS Church which, by the way, has cost the Mormon Church over 20 million dollars in judgments and settlements.
Nash was pulling down, before taxes, $130,000 per year as a law firm partner. So he entered his job as GA for the Mormon Church at approximately $70,000 per year. Another Mormon associate, a high priest in one of the wards, who I knew pretty well in the Lynnwood Stake, who had known Nash very well many years before I knew him, said that, as a Church leader, "he (Nash) didn't know how to handle money, that his wife handled all his finances." A non-Mormon who was very close to the Nash family stated that "Mrs. Nash wanted the Church calling for her husband much more that Marc did. Mrs. Nash had always wanted to be in the Church limelight, and the more the better."
There are presently about 230 full-time General authorities of the Mormon Church, each of whom receive at least $50,000 per year as salary for his work. In addition, all of the full-time Relief Society Presidency women receive salaries for their church work. The specific amounts are unknown to me. The notion that Mormon tithing money is not used to pay GA salaries is ludicrous. You see, Mormon finances are so corporately entwined that you can't really separate the corporation from the church. The Church financial structure is guardedly veiled and the systematic transfer of funds from corporate accounts to general tithing accounts, to fast offering accounts, to missionary accounts, to salary accounts is done in secrecy. The Church has a Mormon accountant representing an allegedly independent accounting firm stand-up in General Conference to state that "Church finances are in proper order." That's all that is ever said publicly about Church finances and a big mistake. No organization, person, or government entity has ever sued the Church for a detailed accounting of the way Church monies are used. This has allowed the Mormon Church to use its riches for less than honorable purposes, such as quickly calling a political issues moral issues and putting millions of dollars behind getting them defeated, such as the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. - 03/08/2009 - Suasponte
For more on salaries: http://www.salamandersociety.com/foye...
| I never thought I could be so bugged when I have been out and away from the church for the better part of three years. Unfortunately, conference always brings it out in me.
During conference, we have an unknown man get up and read a letter from the church auditing department. They tell us that this unknown department is independent from all other areas of the church. This mythical auditing department, populated (we are told) with capable and certified individuals, have access to all financial records of the church. (I find this hard to believe since the church hasn't been open with its finances for the better part of a century.) The auditing department has evaluated the finances of the church based on policies that are unknown, and procedures that any member of the church do not have access to.
Why are the church finances all fine and righteous? Because an unseen and unknown "department" of the church tells us so through a letter read in general conference!
Keep in mind that in recent years, the church has done a lot of back peddling, saying "not everything said over the pulpit is doctrine or true." So what is? Reminds me of the song, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so." It stretches credulity to imagine that the only historical record we have of Jesus should be the source of all knowledge. How do we know that Jesus exists? Well, the bible says so! How do we know he died for our sins? The bible says! How do we know the bible is true? Well, silly, the bible tells us it's true!
So, how do we know the church isn't spending BILLIONS of dollars on a MALL in downtown Salt Lake while faithful saints are paying their tithing and going without and suffering in this economic downturn? Well, silly, we know that the church is spending their money righteously because they say so! Well, then, I guess I was stupid to even ask.
| A few years ago I needed an attorney and was referred to a high profile law firm in Salt Lake City. I knew one of the firms attorney's through a professional association.
I was invited in for a meeting and immediately knew that this place was somehow different. I met with two attorneys who told me what a wonderful case I had and how they could do the case on contingency at no cost to me.
A few days later I received an engagement letter that required I cough up about $10,000 to get things going. When I questioned one of the attorneys about the fee, he denied ever offering me a contingency arrangement. I was stunned. He then got quite belligerent with me, which was quite weird.
I called another attorney friend and he confidently told me that this firm is very closely connected to TSCC and this helps them when their high-dollar, out of state clientele need a friendly place to try a case. The attorneys, judges, courts, etc. are all part of the same cozy club, TSCC. Part of the money the firm makes finds it's way back to TSCC, the client gets a favorable verdict, everyone is happy.
In another case, the Olympic bribery case, I thought it was quite odd how quickly and quietly the federal case went away due to "lack of evidence."
Perhaps I'm just looking for a conspiracy.
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