The WikiLeaks-inspired War for the Mormon Church's Deepest Secrets
Two new websites are exposing the Mormon Church, one leak at a time.
"Two websites are taking aim at the Mormon Church. Last Tuesday, Fred Karger launched Mormon Tips, a WikiLeaks-inspired website designed to go after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ tax-exempt status. The LDS Church, like many faith-based institutions, operates as a nonprofit, with its 501(c)(3) designation absolving the religion from paying taxes.
Karger, a 66-year-old gay rights activist, though, believes that the LDS Church functions more like a corporation than a nonprofit. He recently launched a series of commercials claiming that the Mormon Church is a trillion-dollar business, alleging that it brings in between $8 and $20 billion every year from its membership and spends millions on political lobbying each year, including fighting same-sex marriage. To force the LDS Church to be more transparent about its political and financial dealings, Karger is asking anonymous tipsters to leak information in order to go after the organization’s tax-exempt status.
“Help us collect any evidence on Mormon Church tax fraud and then we will file a complaint against them with the IRS,” he pleads in the minute-long commercial, which he reportedly spent $30,000 to produce. After a battle with Comcast, who initially refused to air it, the ad will be broadcast 60 times in the coming weeks.
The campaign is a means of protesting against the LDS Church’s history of anti-gay policies, practices advocates say have continued even as Mormon leadership appeared to have softened its stance on the LGBT community in recent years."