Recently released information from MormonLeaks reveals that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sitting on at least $32 billion through various for-profit businesses and investments – money that is in addition to the tithes the church mandates from its congregation.
Just last week, the Mormon Church released a statementreferring to its own financial management. They mentioned all the things they spend money on (like buildings and proselytizing) with a brief nod to where that money comes from:
Resources used to carry out this work come principally from the tithing donations of Church members. A small portion of funds comes from businesses maintained by the Church.
… In addition to food and emergency supplies, the Church also sets aside funds each year for future needs. **These funds are added to Church reserves, which include stocks and bonds, taxable businesses, agricultural interests and commercial and residential property.**Investments can be accessed in times of hardship or to meet the emerging needs of a growing, global faith in its mission to preach the gospel to all nations and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…
The organization made no indication as to how much money it brings in from business and investment activity, but MormonLeaks has stepped in to shine a light on the Mormon Church’s growing pile of cash:
The whistle-blowing website has now released information about 13 businesses that “appear to have ties to the Mormon Church” based on their government filings — filings you only have to submit if your company manages sums over $100 million.
They’re all investment companies that manage money and, in total, they’re worth a collective $32,769,914,000.
That’s more than 32 billion dollars. With a “B.”
Ryan McKnight of MormonLeaks goes on to present evidence that each business is tied to the religious organization – businesses that either didn’t answer or wouldn’t confirm or deny a connection to the church when Knight reached out by phone.
There are several pieces of evidence that tie these 13 companies to the Church. While none of them particularly stand out on their own, together they provide room for the reasonable conclusion that these organizations are related to the Church in some way.
Domain names matching the names of each LLC are registered to “Intellectual Reserve, Inc.”, the organization tasked with overseeing and legally protecting all the intellectual property of the Church. All of them were registered on July 21, 2016. The authoritative Domain Name System (DNS) records of each of these domains is hosted on the same servers that perform the same function for lds.org, mormon.org, and other well known domains owned by the Church. The DNS records for these domains contain IP addresses that are publicly known to be owned by the Church (technical explanation here. This leaves little room for doubt that these domains are indeed owned by the Mormon Church.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Mormon Church last disclosed its finances in 1959, though the church has claimed it donates about $40 million each year to various causes.
If $32 billion in business investments is considered a “small portion” of the Church’s funding, how much money does the Mormon Church have? No wonder they can flex their muscles on political issues…
It also puts that $40 million in donations to shame, considering that’s a minuscule fraction of how much the Church has in the bank. Don’t forget that religious groups are tax-exempt, so the Mormons aren’t even paying taxes on this cash. And this is just what was uncovered so far!