I was going to sit on this for a couple of days, but I just saw an article that mentions Don E. Wildmon, the founder of American Family Association, still complaining about gays and lesbians being included in hate crime legislation. Here is what Wildmon had to say (in a news organization that is owned by the AFA): By the way, they call him Dr. Wildmon, but according to his own words, he has a master’s degree–that definitely does not make him Dr. Wildmon…
Dr. Donald E. Wildmon, founder and chairman of the American Family Association (AFA), says he does not expect any retraction of accusations by homosexual activists — but he does expect them to continue their push for "hate crimes" legislation, regardless of the facts. He recalls similar reaction to a highly publicized incident in October 1998.
"This really calls to mind the incident in Wyoming a few years ago [when] a young man named Matthew Shepherd supposedly … was beaten because he was a homosexual," says Wildmon. "The truth later came out that the people who beat him to death did not even know he was a homosexual; they were robbing him."
An incident such as the Shepherd case, says the AFA founder, "gets big play early on" — but despite later findings, "it’s planted in the minds of people who don’t hear the truth."
Law enforcement authorities in Detroit say they now consider the Anthos case closed. But at least one Detroit-area homosexual advocacy group, the Triangle Foundation, is hopeful the police will take into account the testimony of Anthos and continue to pursue the case, despite the physical evidence casting doubt on his claims.
Conservative and Christian leaders have argued for years that, if "hate crimes" legislation became law, it could become illegal for pastors to preach from the Bible regarding homosexuality.
Let’s look at a bit of truth about the American Family Association, and from what I found, it should be called the American Wildmon Family Association.
I’ve gotten the information below from their tax forms, which anyone can view for free. You can see their 2005 990 tax form here. I have also summarized things at the end, in case you didn’t want to read all the gory details.
Donald E. Wildmon, on top of his salary (in 2005) (about $110,000 with benefits, plus over $30,000 in ‘expense account and other allowances), also gets a housing allowance of over $31,000. His son, Timothy Wildmon, about $100,000 and the secretary, Forrest Daniels, gets a bit over $80,000. They also give ‘scholarships’ to any full time employee at ‘any accredited college or university’! This amounted to nearly $54,000. So the kids of these people get their university education paid for, with funds that are donated, supposed to fight for the family. But it is clear the people who benefit are the Wildmon family.
In 2005 American Family Association paid over $26,000 to Neal Clement, the son-in-law of Donald E. Wildmon. He represents the FSC Securities Corporation. They own stock in this company. The 2005 return does not say how much, but it does show that they lost over a million on all of their corporate stock holdings. Their 2003 return states that they hold just over $1.6 million worth of stock in FSC Securities Corporation. They also paid $33,000 to the LTD Computer Services, which is owned and operated by Larry Durham, the brother-in-law of Donald E. Wildmon.
The non-profit also acts as a bank to not only its founder, but also its employees. Donald E. Wildmon even owed almost $21,000 at the beginning of 2005, and it appears from their tax statements that nothing was paid back at the end of the year. In 2003 he owed over $33,000 and paid back $13,000 over the course of the year. That sounds like a pretty good deal…The AFA was also owed money it borrowed to three other individuals–Edward Vitagliano (over $5,000). He works for the AFA. He made no payments over the course of the year. Stephen Ensley (over $72,000) paid back about $11,000. In the 2005 tax return, he owed about $61,000 at the beginning of the year, and owed $61,000 at the end of the year, meaning he paid nothing on the loan during 2005. So they give out interest free and payment free loans as well? Steve Ensley is the American Family Online president. And Ron Cottom (over $10,000) paid back almost $4,000. He works for the American Family Radio.
To their credit, unlike the Family Research Council which spends a ridiculous $1 million on travel, the AFA ONLY spent just under $160,000 (in 2005). They took in a little over $10 million in contributions (this doesn’t include other sources of income. I am only concerned with the total amount that hard-working people send in to this group).
In the 2004 return, it shows that Donald E. Wildmon’s salary was about $70,000 (with benefits) plus about $36,000 in expenses. He also received $36,000 in housing expenses. In 2005, as I have shown above, his salary was about $110,000, plus $30,000 in expenses. That is a pretty heft pay raise for Mr. Don Wildmon in that year! His brother Timothy received a bit over $80,000 and the same for Forrest Daniels, the secretary. Timothy Wildmon’s salary, in one year, went up by $20,000. Not too shabby!
In 2003 Don Wildmon’s salary (with benefits) was about $71,000, with about $39,000 in expenses. He also received about $36,000 for a housing benefit. His brother Timothy received about $100,000 and Forest Daniels about $84,000.
In 2005 they paid Neal Clement, the son-in-law $26,000. In 2004 they paid nearly $12,000. In 2003 they paid him almost $22,000. And once again, they bought nearly $36,000 in computer equipment from a company owned by Larry Durham, the brother-in-law of Donald E. Wildmon. In 2003 they spent nearly $36,000 on computer equipment. They also spend just over $53,000 on scholarships for any employee’s child in college/university. The year earlier they spent over $60,000.
Unfortunately I cannot examine the 2002 tax statements without being a paid member of guidestar.org. Maybe I should start my own non-profit to look into these scams and expense it! :)
Anyway, lets review and look at how the Wildmon family and the AFA secretary makes out on this non-profit (these are close estimates):
Don E. Wildmon Salary, plus expenses plus housing benefits:
2005: $172,000 (salary 110,000+30,000 expenses +32,000 housing benefit )
2004: $142,000 (salary 70,000+36,000 expenses+36,000 housing benefits)
2003 $146,000 (salary 71,000+39,000 expenses+36,000 housing benefits)
He also borrowed from the American Family Association:
In 2003 he owed almost $34,000
In 2004 he owed about $21,000
In 2005 the tax form is blank, so it is possible he paid them back.
For Timothy Wildmon, the President: Salary:
For Forrest Daniels, the Secretary:
They also paid Donald Wildmon’s son-in law, Neal Clement:
And Donald Wildmon’s brother-in-law Larry Durham:
They also spent money on full time employee’s children for the university costs (I wonder how many Wildmon children are in college that benefit from this???):
So, the next time you get an email from the AFA and you see this message at the bottom of every alert, you know what ‘us’ he is referring to:
If you think our efforts are worthy, would you please support us with a small gift? Thank you for caring enough to get involved.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association