Sam Redman's Musings

Random thoughts on a variety of subjects

Asking for donations from easy street

Wayne Bent , the would-be messiah, is in prison (with a ten year sentence) and now his crew is asking for donations so that they can launch an appeal.  They are saying that, although they have the income and the assets so that 50 people can live on a grand 350 acre estate without any of them having to hold a job,  that they are too poor to hire an attorney for an appeal for their former leader and so now they are asking the public to contribute to pay those expenses.

If the “church” were to do a full disclosure of all assets and income, then what they represent (about their state of poverty) would be believable.  Most reputable non-profit organizations asking for solicitations go to great pains to make their internal financial records transparent (not just public, but certified by a nationally recognized accounting firm).  Wayne often used the expression that they lived on a “sea of glass,” meaning that nothing they did was hidden, that everything was open to public scrutiny, which is a rather obtuse interpretation of the Revelation 15:2 reference to the sea of glass. But, irrespective of the accuracy of that meaning,  it is significant that Bent frequently proclaimed how totally open they were in everything they did.  However, that is just simply not true. They don’t reveal anything other to give hints which suggest that they are reputable in their financial arrangements, like to say that they have put their assets into a “trust.” However, trusts can have many definitions and some are revocable.  Trusts may be created purely for privacy. The terms of a will are public, the terms of a trust are not.  Unless those terms are made public, I am highly suspect that this is just another way to hide assets (this is not at all what you would expect from a religious group, seeking donations). 

And saying they can’t work. How ridiculous.  They are internet savvy.  Lots of money is able to be made offering your services as internet professionals without leaving home.  Plus, it would not hurt for a few of them to take a sabbatical from their lives of ease to go away and work somewhere else for a while.  Many locations in the country are booming. Like Dallas, Texas, where hundreds of illegal aliens still stand at six job pickup locations around the city every morning. They are hired for ten bucks an hour and more… all that want to work are placed by eight a.m. every day. Skilled workers (who are computer competent) can get jobs here easily (they don’t have to stand on corners).  If they move here,  I will help them find employment in a few days (and temporary apartment suites are rentable at very low rates).  What a “crock” to say, “we are so poor, because we are stuck here living in luxury on our sprawling estate with a guaranteed income.”  Nonsense. 

Actually, I (personally) have no problem with Jeff Bent raising money.  I say “milk it” for all it’s worth.  They have provided a lot of great entertainment (and they should be compensated).  Ben Anthony made money off of them.  National Geographic has… BBC has.  I am happy for Bent’s crew to cash in.  They are continuing to provide entertainment with their ongoing drama (that fast should be good for several weeks of good wholesome fun).

But, I do think that they are very dishonest in their pitch…  sticking all of your assets into a trust doesn’t make it where you can’t afford an attorney, because whomever manages that trust could free up funds for the defense.  Total expenses for that appeal process, all the way until it’s ultimate resolution (denial) will only be about $15,000 (unless they think it’s constitutional… and that would take quite a bit more).  If they don’t plan to pursue it as a constitutional question (like freedom of religion) then it is a fairly routine procedure. They have land they could sell (as described previously).  And for anyone to say that it hasn’t sufficient value in today’s real estate market… that is a ludicrous statement. Without listing it (you determine your own asking price) you don’t know what you could get.  If you don’t get offers… then you can describe its lack of marketability, but not until then. 

But even though it seems that they are lying about needing the money, I still wholeheartedly support them in their efforts to try to grab some bucks from a gullible public.  It’s a business  (and they have learned how to work the system and be a tax-free paradise) and improving their situation (to make the estate richer) is a worthy goal (I support business ventures), because they have earned it providing the high level of entertainment which they have to so many.  I am looking forward to the next stages in the saga… I pay for movies, why not  for their knock-em-dead performances?

— Sam

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This entry was posted on January 10, 2009 by and tagged , , , , .