In another thread, poster "Phazer" asks:
". . . Has RfM ever been threatened to delete threads linking to the legal obligations outlined by LD$ Inc non-disclosure agreements (NDA)Have GA or COB employee NDA documents been leaked?vCan someone with knowledge about the COB employee process and signing of these documents please disclose and share why this document has yet to circulate the interWebs?
"I suppose during the hiring process of some high level free position dealing with money you sign the NDA and other legal documents in some 2 hour welcome package meeting. You review the documents and don't have a lot time to read the NDA. The hR rep quickly outlines agreements, mentions Jesus is in charge and knows what is best, and moves on. Once the NDA and other contracts are signed all original documents are taken elsewhere and copies of some signed documents might be available to you and copied, but never the NDA.
"Does anybody have one these NDA docs? Do CES employees have to sign an NDA? Or is it just specific to jobs that handle Money? It's not like their are trade secrets the IP reserve is keeping. It's just protecting the brand, image, and Churning out puff pieces that promote lds and to appear relevant to the world. Does Grant Palmer, Steve Benson, Hans mattsson have these NDA docs. Did ETB keep a copy, Steve?"
("LDS NDA Document Link," posted by "Phazer," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discusson board, 20 October 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1410067,1410067#msg-1410067
I replied that I never got to see any NDA from ETB since I think he probably was bound by the limits of a NDA not to disclose his NDA.
However, the Mormon apologist fan-clubbers for the faithful--otherwise known as FAIR--has admitted that the Mormon Cult operates under the rules of Non-Disclosure Agreements (which it clearly prefers over the "modern-day revelation" that it has no access to).
Let's look at what FAIR says about the use of these LDS NDAs, plus some other informative stuff on how LDS Inc.keeps a sock stuffed in the mouths of its leaders/employees who have access to info Elohim doesn't want shared inside or outside the Cult.
--FAIR's Confession that the Mormon Church Employs Non-Disclousre Agreements on Its Leaders to Keep Things Under Wraps:
FAIR acknowledtes that LDS Inc. is a corporation which, as a matter of business policy and practice, muzzles its 'profits" a on matters of, say, their paychecks and other financial perks through the imposition of NDAs:
"Question: 'I have a friend who says that General Authorities are paid more than $300,000 per year. My friend also says they receive a large sum of money when they are called. According to him, they have to sign a contract promising to never divulge to anyone what they are paid. He said that he got this information from the husband of a secretary who worked for President Hinckley and actually saw the contracts. If true, this does not seem like a modest living expense as the Church claims the General Authorities receive. What can you tell me about this?'
"Answer: This type of criticism seems intended to imply that General Authorities perform their duties out of greed, rather than sincere belief. This seems implausible, given that most are at or beyond retirement age when called, and many have been highly successful outside of Church service. Furthermore,
Non-Disclosure Agreements are standard practice with regard to salary and compensation."
("Mormonism and Church Finances/No Paid Ministry/General Authorities Living Stipend." at: http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_finances/No_paid_ministry/General_Authorities_living_stipend
More information is provided below on LDS, Inc.'s NDAs
--Categories Covered by GA NDAs:
"FAIR, does admit that the [Mormon] Church uses Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), which is where the basis of financial opaqueness is founded. NDAs are to financial transparency what blackout curtains are to the sun.
"Keeping financial opaqueness, the LDS Church refuses to disclose:
"1) complete or even basic tithing & offerings income,
"2) corporate income,
"3) Church operating expenses,
"4) salaries of leaders and many Church employees,
"5) the form and even existence of the Non-Disclosure Agreements,
"6) source of investment monies (tithing?),
"7) investment gains/losses. . . .
"[Mormon GA Dieter] Uchtdorf's two, $700,000+ homes come decades after retiring. Because the GAs sign non-disclosure agreements, we can't know how, for example, Boyd Packer as a BYU Religion Teacher ends up with just under $2M in property in Utah alone. Or how Monson, retired from advertising at Deseret Book and Deseret News apparently at 36 years of age (two years from 31-33 as a Mission President), ends up with over $1M in property. If they would forego their self-mandated NDAs (they are the executives, after all) and just produce financial transparency," it would clear it up. A lot of Fortune 500 CEOs, ExVPs publish their compensation packages.
("Finding Hidden Finances, Documents and Other Disclosures on Mormon Leaders," by David Trat, 7 October 2014)
--Additional Indications of Probable Operative NDAs Imposed on the GAs:
" . . . I have received corroborating statements (rumors) about some of the less probable and some speculative claims [regarding Mormon Church NDAs] . . .:
" . . . [A] COB [Church Office Building] lawyer affirmed that all high-level Church employees and volunteers who have access to any financial information at the Church sign non-disclosure agreements . . . .
"The NDAs are life-long binding agreements whose violations have strict civil penalties and can result in having any and all property used by the employee/worker/volunteer removed immediately; force repayment of all past and current considerations, benefits and perks retained or enjoyed by the employee; revoke any and all associations, contracts (book deals) or other financial arrangements owned, leased or facilitated by Church companies; and potentially revoke academic or other honors bestowed upon the employee or family of the employee which are assigned to them through their association with Church companies, universities or other institutions. " . . .
" . . . Grant Palmer and Tom Phillips have been informed that likely all General Authorities receive their Second Anointing which is another covenant to keep loyal to the Church and not reveal its secrets; though not as binding as a legal NDA, it is much like a fraternity of life-long business and political associates who pledge at Ivy League."
("Rumor Rumor Everywhere, Nor Any Fact To Think? [Blog Assesses 'LDS Church...Not-True' Revelations]," by "Colornian," 9 August 2013, at: http:///focus/religion/3006016/postshttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3006016/posts
--Report by Grant Palmer on Mormon Church-Imposition of NDAs:
"Apostle Boyd K. Packer said to Michael Quinn when interviewing him for a history position at BYU in 1976, 'I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth. The truth is not uplifting, it destroys,' (uoted in, 'Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History,' editor, George D. Smith, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992), 76n22)
"Gregory Prince, who wrote a seminal biography of President David O. McKay, related to me that when he interviewed Hugh Nibley, a professor at BYU in 1995, that '[a]t one point in the interview he [Nibley] asked that I turn off the tape recorder, which I did. He then related a curious anecdote relating to McKay and the Book of Mormon,' indicating that McKay did not believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon (emails exchanged between me [Palmer] and Greg Prince on June 22, 2005. These documents are located in The Grant H. Palmer Papers, Accn 2071, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah)
"Thomas Stuart Ferguson, a California lawyer, Church member and avid amateur archeologist, took the Egyptian papyri that was gifted to the Church in 1967 to several Egyptologists at Berkeley, and as I recall Brown University and had them independently translated. All said the papyri were common funerary rites from the Book of the Dead. Ferguson then took their statements to apostle Hugh B. Brown, and after reviewing the evidence 'with Brother Brown he said that Brother Brown agreed with him that it was not scripture . . . that Hugh B. Brown did not believe the Book of Abraham was what the church said it was' (journal entry of Ronald O. Barney concerning Thomas Stuart Ferguson on 19 April, 1984. Barney, now retired, worked at the LDS Library and Archives at Church headquarters, in Salt Lake City). Ferguson also said the same to Jerald and Sandra Tanner on December 2, 1970: 'Mr. Ferguson had just visited with Mormon apostle Hugh B. Brown before coming to our house, and said that Brown has also come to the conclusion that the Book of Abraham was false' (;etter of Gerald Tanner to Dee Jay Nelson, December 10, 1970)"
("Three Meetings with an LDS General Authority, 2012/2013," memorandum by Grant Palmer, posted with Palmer's permission April 6, 2013, at: rneyofloyaldissent.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/6/)
--The Mormon Church's Mission President's Handbook (see 2006 edition, particular Appendix B) Orders Non-Disclosure of the Financial Details of Their Church Work to the Government, to Personal Financial/Tax Advisors, to Friends, to Family, to Missionaries or to Other Missionaries--As Well As Directs Mission Presidents Not to Open Local Bank Accounts for Deposit of Funds Paid to Them by the Mormon Church to Cover Personal Expenses
"[Quoting from] the Handbook under the fair-use clause for educational purposes[:]
"The Handbook advises the mission president that 'any funds reimbursed to you should be kept strictly confidential and should not be discussed with missionaries, other mission presidents, friends, or family members.'
"Mission presidents are warned that they 'should not open a local bank account for personal funds received from the Church . . . especially if the account would produce interest (and thus raise income tax questions.' Instead of allowing mission president control over their personal funds, 'a joint personal bank account at Church headquarters is established for you and your wife.'
"The tax issue raised is addressed more fully in the handbook. The Church avoids tax issues by carefully defining the relationship between themselves and the mission president as a 'volunteer religious service' so that 'any funds reimbursed to you from the Church are not considered income for tax purposes; they are not reported to the government, and taxes are not withheld with regard to these funds.'
"In order to keep quiet the situation, not only are the mission presidents told not to discuss any funds they receive with any member (as quoted above), but also to 'not share information on funds you receive from the Church with those who help you with financial or tax matters' . . . [and] [t]o 'never represent in any way that you are paid for your service.' And [to] . . . 'not list any funds you receive from the Church, regardless of where you serve or where you hold citizenship.'
"This secrecy listed in a secret handbook that was formerly only accessible to mission president[s] and General Authorities raises the question about the Church’s lack of financial transparency. First of all, ]f mission presidents get the benefit of all living expenses (necessary and beyond) paid by the Church, including highly expensive benefits like college tuition and gardeners, what do the Quorum of the 70 receive? What do the 12 Apostles earn?". . .
"Secondly, the pretense that the mission presidents are unpaid volunteers is akin to saying the CEO’s of corporations aren’t millionaires when paid only a $200,000 salary but are gifted $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 bonuses and stock options. What does the IRS say about such lucrative back-door payments (i.e., 'reimbursements')?
"IRS document http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc417.html
"'A minister who receives a housing allowance may exclude the allowance from gross income to the extent it is used to pay expenses in providing a home. Generally, those expenses include rent, mortgage interest, utilities, repairs, and other expenses directly relating to providing a home. The amount excluded cannot be more than the reasonable pay for the minister's services.' . . .
"Hold on, even though the mission presidents do receive a large allowance, they are told to never claim any pay, so there’s no gross income from which they can exclude these “reasonable” expenses. Tricky, tricky.
"The latest managing editor of 'Mormonthink' 'warned the Church that payments to mission presidents should be reported to the UK tax authorities as they were "employees" under UK tax law. We understood 'it was discussed at a First Presidency meeting with the Presiding Bishopric and they decided to continue not reporting, and pay any fines when, and if, they were discovered.'
"The disclosures found in the well-guarded Mission President's Handbook show that not only are the Pay Lay Missionary policies fraught with intentional concealment, but give near direct evidence that the General Authorities and apostles receive generous benefits and reimbursements for most of life’s 'necessary' expenses. Likewise, they wouldn't pay tithing on moneys given them by the Church. That is, General Authorities don't pay tithing (even though they regularly preach paying it to members.) Perhaps these are justifiable on some level. If so, why wouldn’t the Church acknowledge them and do more than barely meet the legal requirement rather than the acclaimed 'obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law'?"
(“Pay Lay Missionary,” by David Trat, 8 December 2012)
--NDAs Use in Suppressing Details on Mormon Church Child Sexual Abuse Scandal (see the last line for a summation of the LDS Church's use of NDAs):
"Synopsis: 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latte-day Saints is finding itself the subject of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. As with the incidents within the Catholic Church, Mormon officials are accused of knowing about the abuse, not reporting it to the police, and trying to contain the information. NPR's Howard Berkes says dozens of lawsuits are now being prepared against the Mormon Church.' . . .
"Narrator: 'Another lawsuit was filed this past week involving priests and bishops and sexual abuse, but the suite does not target members of the Catholic Church. This suite, and at least two-dozen earlier cases, named the eleven million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The suites charge that Mormon leaders failed to protect children from abusers. From Salt Lake City NPR, Howard Berkes reports.'
"Berkes: 'Seven summers ago, a woman we'll call Kathleen worked in her home office in a quiet neighborhood outside Salt Lake City.'
"Kathleen: 'And it was just after school had let out, my daughter was eleven, my son was seven. They were rollerblading and I just, just this feeling came over me that something wasn't right.'
"Berkes: 'Kathleen asks we not use her real name to protect her daughter's identity. The funny feeling that day, grew out of something she was told when she moved into the area shortly before. A 53-year-old male neighbor had molested kids.'
"Kathleen: 'She came home, I asked, I just asked her if something was going on that she needed to tell me about him. And she said, she just started crying and said ‘yeah' and told me what he had done.'
"Berkes: 'The neighbor fondled Kathleen's daughter and tried to lure her into his hot tub. Kathleen called police. The neighbor called his Mormon bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Bishops are lay leaders of local congregations called wards.'
"Kathleen: ' . . . and wanted to go to the Bishop. Because this evidently is how this man handled this in the past was to go to the Bishop, tell him that he was sorry, and then they just supposed to let it go.'
"Berkes: 'The neighbor was a high priest, a designation given to most adult Mormon men. It signifies readiness for leadership. But he was no ordinary High Priest. He's accused in a lawsuit filed last month of hundreds of abusive acts over three decades with a dozen boys and girls. All members of the same Mormon ward, and all before the incident involving Kathleen's eleven-year-old daughter. Some of the abuse was reported to at least three local Mormon officials. None went to police. Kathleen was contacted by her regional leader known as a atake president.'
"Kathleen: 'He told us that we needed to not press any lawsuits. We needed to keep harmony in the neighborhood. Basically we needed to forgive and forget. And, I had a really hard time with that one…(pause and begins crying) because when your daughter's been abused you can't forgive and you can't forget. This went to court. It finally went to court. And the Stake President showed up at the court to support the perpetrator, not my daughter.'
"Berkes: 'The neighbor pleaded guilty. Was placed on probation and excommunicated from the Mormon Church, but he still attended services. Kathleen and her daughter chose not to sue, but their experiences are familiar to the attorneys involved in two dozen law suites in the last decade. Dozens more are being prepared says attorney Jeff Anderson who filed hundreds of cases against the Catholic Church and says the Mormon Church is next.'
"Anderson: 'The Mormon Church seems to be in a place very similar to where the Catholics were two decades ago. That is they have a practice of keeping secrets, denying responsibility for molestation when it happens, and doing everything they can to prevent it from becoming known, and as a result, the children are not very well protected in that church.'
"Keech: 'There is absolutely, positively no pattern.'
"Berkes: 'Von Keech is an attorney for the Mormon Church.'
"Keech: 'There is absolutely, positively no not one instance that I have ever found, where a priest leader has been told, or has otherwise come to a conclusion, that he should cover up or not fully report it.'
"Berkes: 'And relatively few law suites, Keech says, accuse the Mormon Church.'
"Keech: 'I've been doing this for 12 years and there are fewer than two dozen cases. A far cry from what the other churches are seeing. We're, we're not a perfect people. There have been blips on the radar screen where local leaders have not handled the situation perfectly. There have probably been a dozen or so of those over the 10 years that I've been doing this. Certainly not a pattern.'
"Berkes: 'Keech says the problem cases occurred before the church established training programs and a telephone help line for its lay leadership. Bishops and stake presidents receive brochures, video tapes, and opportunities for training every few years. They're instructed to call the Help Line if they have any questions about handling abusive situations. There's also a system for tracking abusers from one Ward to the next. Harold Brown heads the Church department responsible for the program.'
"Brown: 'It's a pretty good system. You train them. You have a telephone call. Are we perfect…no we're not. But you, you show me an organization that does what this church does. To, to prevent and deal with child abuse. I'd like to see it.'
"Berkes: 'Critics see the imperfections as significant. Training is voluntary and there's no punishment for failure to train. There's no clear message on the moral or legal duty to report to police. Instead there's advice to research and follow state laws, which aren't necessarily clear even to lawyers. And some clergy seem to view abuse as a religious problem, emphasizing salvation for the abuser rather than prosecution. All this overlooks something fundamentals says Tim Kosnoff, another attorney targeting the Mormon Church.'
"Kosnoff: 'Mormon bishops and stake presidents don't have the authority, the qualifications, or the understanding to be investigating crimes and child sexual abuse is a crime.'
"Berkes: 'It's also a complicated social and psychological phenomenon best handled by professionals and not volunteer clergy says Dave Fowers, a Mormon and sexual abuse therapist.'
"Fowers: 'When I sit here in the office I have to wonder and worry when I see some of the decisions that are made, I'm…I'm heartbroken because I don't think that even with the desire to do right that you can always do that, especially with victims of perpetrators. It's such a complex dynamic.'
"Berkes: 'How complex is it to dial 240-1911…the help line?'
"(Harold Brown of the Mormon Church) . . . : 'We understand what he is saying, how can a bishop in a year learn everything that I've known in 30 years. He can't, but he can memorize a number. And when he picks it up, he's got the expertise that this man has in 30 years right at his disposal.'
"Berkes: 'That didn't seem to be enough in a case filed last month in Washington State. It involves another high priest who sexually molested his daughter and stepdaughter. The abuse was reported to a Church social worker, bishop, and stake president, but they didn't go to police. The church says they didn't have to under Washington law. The prosecutor in the case disputes that, noting to that the Church officials were not protected by the First Amendment privilege that keeps confessions to clergy private. Still Mormon Church attorney Von Keech sees mischief in this and other lawsuits.'
"Keech: 'We do it the best way we know how with the best of intentions and that's why allegations, like these, are so outrageous to us. There has been an environment created out there by these lawsuits around the country against other institutions. And I think there are attorneys, who intend to profit from that environment by setting their sights upon organizations like the Church. I would say, where, where is the proof?'
"Berkes: 'It'll probably take depositions, discovery, and sworn testimony to sort out the proof and the truth. But details will likely remain secret in lawsuits settled before trial. Settlements today typically include non-disclosure agreements at the insistence of the Mormon Church.'"
("NPR Weekend Edition Broadcast Transcript, Sunday, July 7, 2002, produced by Howard Berkes, NPR News," Salt Lake City, Utah, at: http://kosnoff.com/Articles/Articles103.html
; to listen to the full audio interview, go to: "Mormon Scandal, July 7, 2002," at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1146280
Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2014 06:47PM by steve benson.