LDS Congregation Told Not to Research Sex Abuse Case by Bishop
A recent scandal revealed a bishop in the Mormon Church told
a congregation not to look into the details of a child sex abuse crime in their
stake and ward. ABC4
Utah received an audio recording from a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, depicting how a bishop chose to explain, or, not
explain the circumstances surrounding the case.
According to the bishop, a member of the Mormon Church was
arrested for creating and possessing giant amounts of child pornography. The bishop’s
name reveals anonymous, along with the name ad location of the LDS congregation
in question, to protect the victims’ identities.
“We knew at some point that this day would come and we would
have to make an announcement and let you be aware of what’s going on and the
facts so that there would be no speculation,” the anonymous bishop said in the
recording. “The appropriate measures have been taken in a ward and a stake
arena to talk to families who he was near or who associated with him and it’s
been discussed with them.”
However, following this statement, the bishop proceeded to
ask the church members to not look into the details of the abuse.
“It’s up to us to stop the speculation and the discussion,
it’s not our news to discuss, it’s our burden to share and help provide an
atmosphere that the family can start to heal at some point.
The bishop followed up with asking the congregation to come
to him personally if they want more information.
According to experts in child sex abuse cases, communication
and open communication is extremely important in order to prevent future cases
of abuse, not silence. ABC4 Utah interviewed Laurieann Thorpe, Executive
Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) who provided advice for those
wondering how to address sexual abuse reports.
“The number one thing is to talk about it, with the
appropriate terms so that we’re openly addressing that there is a possibility
always in any circumstance of child sexual abuse,” Thorpe explained.
To read the full story and learn more about how to help
prevent child sex abuse, click
here. To come forward and talk to a lawyer about your rights after being
abused in the Mormon Church, call us today at 877.537.2889.
Whistleblower Claims Mormon Church Mismanaged over $100 Billion Intended for Charitable Works
Complaint Urges IRS to Strip the Mormon Church of its Nonprofit Status After Reports of Tithing Mismanagement
The former investment manager the Mormon Church’s investment division filed a complaint to the IRS alleging the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stockpiled $100 billion intended for charitable purposes. The complaint, received November 21, claims LDS leaders not only mislead church members as to how they were using the money, but potentially deceived the IRS and breached federal tax regulations.
The Washington Post reported their findings after acquiring a copy of the complaint. The complaint was filed by David A. Nielson, a senior portfolio manager for the church’s investment division until September of this year. The 41-year-Mormon formerly worked at Ensign Peak Advisors, an LDS-sanctioned company located near the church’s headquarters.
Religious groups are typically categorized as nonprofit
organizations in the United States, meaning they are exempted from paying taxes
on their income. The Post says since Ensign is legally registered as a
“supporting organization and integrated auxiliary of the Mormon Church”, it is
also permitted to function as a nonprofit and not pay taxes on their income.
However, Nielson claims Ensign has not met the requirements of operating as a nonprofit and failed in their legally sanctioned role to function strictly for religious and charitable purposes.
According to the complaint, the church collects around $7 billion annually through members’ tithing. Tithing is a practice many faith groups use where members give 10% of their income to the church.
Of the $7 billion income generated, the Mormon Church uses approximately $6 billion for operating costs, and the leftover $1 billion is transferred to Ensign. Ensign allegedly puts that money into “an investment portfolio to generate returns.”
The complaint alleges that since 1997, the inception of Ensign, this portfolio has grown to approximately $100 billion. According to Nielson, this money should have been used for charitable purposes.
What Does This Mean for the Mormon Church?
In the complaint, Nielson advocates for the IRS to remove Ensign’s nonprofit status, insinuating Ensign could owe the government upwards of billions in taxes. As a whistleblower, Nielson could receive a reward from the IRS for reporting Ensign. If the IRS does find Ensign guilty, Nielson will receive a cut of the unpaid taxes the IRS recovers.
According to the Post’s whistleblower analyst Philip
Hackney, Nielson’s complaint provided “legitimate concern” about whether Ensign
should maintain its nonprofit status and reflects poorly on the trustworthiness
of Church-sanctioned businesses.
“If you have a charity that simply amasses a war chest year
after year and does not spend any money for charity purposes, that does not
meet the requirements of tax law,” Hackney stated. Hackney, as a former
official for the IRS, states that the Church must show Ensign “furthers a
charitable purpose exclusively on its own” in order to maintain its nonprofit
To read the Washington Post’s full story, click