The Selling of God

I often look up the financial records of these so-called Christian groups.  All of them are in the business of selling God and some of them make a hefty profit from doing it.  A few groups that I can think of that fit this bill are the American Family Association (which I often call the Don Wildmon Family Association) and Stephen Bennett Ministries.  I noticed on a blog that I have started reading (TalkWisdom) that an article was posted on the "horrors" of gay marriage.  The article was written by Gary DeMar and can be found here.  He runs a group called The American Vision.  Their mission is:

"Restoring America’s Biblical Foundation—From Genesis to Revelation (Psalm 11:3)."

So I decided to see how much money was pouring into the coffers of a group that wants to "restore" the foundation of this country.  What I found is not that different from what I found with the American Family Association–there are big bucks to be made selling God, and most of it goes to a few families.  Here is the info on The American Vision, found at Guidestar.org and is free and open to public viewing. 

 

They brought in ~$561,000 in contributions (boy, that must really irk Peter LaBarbera!!!); about $148,000 on Program Service revenue and a whopping $510,000 on the direct selling of their goods (i.e., the selling of God).  Their income for 2006 was about $1.229 million and some change.  Their total expense for 2006 was $1.201 million. 

So where did they spend all of this money (these numbers are rounded)?

$253,000 went the Executive Officers (which I’ll break down in just a bit).  They spent another $141,000 on salaries of people not the executive directors.  They don’t give a list of everyone they paid, which makes me suspicious.  Of course, they don’t have to list anyone who makes less than $50,000, so they don’t.   

I don’t want to get into all the numbers, but here are some highlights of this group’s spending habits just for 1 year:

Nearly $24,000 on supplies

~$12,000 on telephone bills

~$102,000 on postage and shipping (yes, that is correct!!!)

~$53,000 on occupancy

~$28,000 on equipment and rentals

~$34,000 on printing

~$27,000 on travel.  How much traveling can these people do???)

~$156,000 on conferences (yes, that number is correct as well)

~$27,000 on bank and credit card fees!!!!

~$106,000 on Biblical Worldview costs (whatever that is)

~$14,000 on contract labor

~$60,000 on promotional information

~45,000 on miscellaneous expenses! 

The also list nearly a million dollars on expenses related to their magazines, conferences and radio programs, and this number includes the cost of speaking engagements (over ~$100,000 worth!)

O.k., so who is spending all of this money and who is making money of this ‘non-profit’?

Brandon Vallorani, the Executive Vice President (who claims to work 50 hours/week).  He gets $66,350.

Gary DeMar, President (55 hours/week).  He gets $86,230.

Ira Moore is the Chairman (5 hours/week).  No salary

Eric Rauch, Director of Communications (45 hours/week). He gets $50,344.

Jared Vallorani, Director of Outreach (45 hours/week).  He gets %50,111.  And notice he has the same last name as the Exec. VP.  They are brothers

And Kent Thelen is the secretary (1 hour/week).  No salary

 

They also had 4 people who donated more than $21,698:

Richard B Taylor, Elsworth McIntyre, Eric Swartz, and David Melville

 

Now here is more information on what a family affair this non-profit really is.  As I mentioned, Brandon Vallorani and Jared Vallorani are brothers.  These two brothers, as well as Eric Rauch and Kent Thelen are part owners of Tolle Lege Press (see below). 

Ira Moore, Richard Vest, Kent Thelen, Gary DeMar, and Brandon Vallorani are part members of Creation Books, LLC.

This ‘non-profit’ made two small loans of $701 to American Vision Communications and $683 to Creation Books, of which I’ve mentioned that the executive directors are members of. 

And here is the family affair information:

This ‘non-profit’ paid Carol DeMar, who is the Director of Curriculum Development, ~$18,000.  She is the wife of Gary DeMar, the President.  That made their combined income over $104,000.

And not to be left out, James DeMar, the son of these two, was compensated over $16,000 for "internet/media development."

They also paid Amy Vallorani, the Offsite Transcription worker, $145.  She is the wife of Jared Vallorani.

They paid Jan Vallorani $941 for ‘temporary office work.  She is the wife of Brandon Vallorani.

Finally, they paid Max Thelen $2,322 for ‘Web development.’  He is the son of Kent Thelen. 

 

Now about Tolle Lege press:  It is run by a father-son team:  Raymond Vallorani and Brandon Vallorani (as well as Jared K. Vallorani, Jared M. Cost, Eric Rauch, Linda Vallorani and Joyce Lambert).  All they do is reprint out of print books.  It is located in West Virginia.

 

Creation Book Publishers is, not surprisingly, located in Powder Springs Georgia, the same location as The American Vision.  Their address is 3150-A Florence Road Suite #3 • Powder Springs, GA 30127.  There is no information on the website about who runs this publisher.  But American Vision loaned them $683 in 2006, the year the company was created. 

 

So there you have it.  The selling of God.  It makes a pretty hefty profit for some people.  They bleat on and on about the problems in this country, but I don’t see a thing mentioned about greed–which is something that should not be practiced by real Christians.  I guess in all their bleating about homosexuality they never bothered to look up mammon

 

 

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9 Responses to The Selling of God

  1. Robert says:

    It\’s interesting, i still get letters from my old Church to donate money. This months letter including a lashing from Pastor Jack, on how people don\’t like the truth, and sometimes that truth is giving money to the Church. I agree with giving money to the Church, but I don\’t agree with is money hungry folks, claiming it\’s for "God". The Church has become more of a business, than what I think Church should be about…..than again I\’m just a heathen by their standards!

  2. Scott says:

    The next time these nutballs go plagiarizing \’The Eternal Jew\’, and begin screaming about "homosexuals make more money than the general population" – just show how much money THESE guys make.
     
    Of course an alternative is to let them know "at least homosexuals WORKED for their education, and WORK for the money they make – which is more than I can say for you: making your living by pimping \’God\’ and \’Jesus\’ as your best 2 hookers".

  3. Joe says:

    Wow, Kevin, I feel inspired when I read these posts from you about guidestar and the money being spent to "spread" the good word.   I reminds me just how many people are starving, without heat or electric, need medicines or can\’t pay the mortgage.   When I see that these organizations are raking in the bucks, I feel angry and resentful.   I would value and respect that same money being used to feed the hungry and take care of the homeless.   I appreciate your time in doing this and send thoughts of gratitude!Thanks!-Joe

  4. Kevin says:

    Hey Scott,  I like your analogy fo the hookers!  It seems to fit here.
     
    Hey Joe,  I have fun looking up the Guidestar information–but it does take a lot of time. When I was looking around there, I noticed that the 2006 tax returns were posted for Stephen Bennett.  I haven\’t had time to go through the whole thing, but it looks like 2006 was a very good year for him and his wife.
    And even though it is fun, it is also frustrating for the very reasons you state.  These people are bringing in lots of money, but it really only benefits those who set up these non-profits.  They are only it in for the money.

  5. Joe says:

    keep in mind, I just moved to Mr. Bennett\’s area.  In fact, I was in his neighborhood today. We drove around looking at houses.   It is a pretty wealthy area.

  6. Kevin says:

    Hey Joe,
    Interesting about Stephen Bennett\’s area.  I can\’t wait to see his 2007 tax returns just to compare them to his begging for money earlier this year.  I remember him saying something about having to borrow money to pay for his mortgage.   Interestingly enough, his \’non-profit\’ took in quite a bit in 2006 (compared to 2005).

  7. snakearbusto says:

    These people need to be exposed. They tolerate racist statements and death trheats from commenters (almost surely fake “real people”) on their sites under the guise of religiosity and “patriotism”. Here’s a post I did on them: http://blog.reconstructno.org/post/2012/07/25/If-you-do-it-via-back-channels-it-doesn-t-count%3A-Right-wing-Web-site-accuses-Obama-of-Aurora-shootings
    Get in touch and let’s throw some light on these people.
    Thanks
    “Snake”

  8. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Snake! Thanks for your comments! So sorry I am late in replying!

    • snakearbusto says:

      I didn’t get notified of this, or I would have thanked you fo your thanks. I’m still keeping an eye on the ever-growing number of sites run by these same people – most of them hawking the same twisted “news” items and allowing racist hate-mongering while pretending to have a policy against tolerating it. If you have any ideas about how to find out where their funding comes from, get in touch.

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