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Auckland Org / charity status / nosey about their money

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by degraded being, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    In light of the inquiry so far, and the failure of CCHR to get tax exempt status in NZ I would like to ask some questions about the records of AK ORG -that were submitted to the tax dept and/or the Charities Commission. Refer to attached doc at bottom of page.

    I would like others to put up questions which they think should be asked. If anyone has worked in DIV 3 it might be interesting to hear what you would have to say.

    Some of my questions are:
    Does the Charities Commission know that there is a 10 million dollar building owned by scientology in Grafton Road Auckland? Not used since it was bought 1 or 2 years ago as far as I know.
    Who owns it? Scientology AK? Scientology NZ? Scientology O'seas? The IAS?
    Is it used for charitiblle purposes? Are they renting it out?
    Are they using it as an investment?

    On the list in the attached doc, item 3 is "donations". This is income separate from income from spiritual counselling and training. What was the money donated for? What did the contributors think was going to be done with that money? What was it spent on?

    Item 4 is "Contributions from affiliated organisations"
    Who were they? What was the money given for? What was given in return? ( I can only assume this is the org selecting people to O'seas) I think there are no missions in NZ.

    Where exactly does "investment income" come from? (Item 6).

    On the "Less Expenditure list" there is the infamous "Exchange losses" $3, 164 889 in 2008.
    So what the hell was it?

    There is "contributions to affiliated organizations" $49,890
    - who did it go to? O'seas? CCHR?
    What was the "religious training for staff"?
    What was the "loss on disposal of asset" -60,000?

    I don't know if these are the right kind of questions or not.
    Any questions you would like to ask in the context of Charity Commission / tax and taxpayers ' tax exemptions etc?




    I have tried unsuccesfully to embed the attached doc as a full sized thing but can't. If anyone can put the full sized pic up that would be good.
     

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  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Yeah, those are the right sort of questions to ask.

    The elephant in the room is that figure of $3,164,889 for "exchange losses." Huh? One needs to see the details and not just the summary. It doesn't necessarily mean fluctuations in the rate of the NZ dollar. Maybe the CofS NZ has assets to the value of $5 million somewhere denominated in Polish zloties, which maybe lost half their value during the period in question (hypothetical example).

    As an ex, what interests me most is that the ENTIRE services income for the year of 2008 was $35,571. That tells the picture right there — the average weekly income for training and auditing was $684.

    What are those "donations" of $184,470? This is the CofS NZ, Inc. (it says at the top of the sheet), not the IAS or the Super Power guys. Is this for Ideal Org monies? Wouldn't they have a separate corporation for that? If not, are they spending that Ideal Org income on general running expenses? Is it begging money from local scios to cover the rent or phones? You can bet that with that low income having no toilet paper would be far down the list of things to worry about.

    They have to cover some running expenses somehow, at least in theory. The figure for depreciation is really a book entry, but things like $10,566 for light and heating have to be paid in cash monthly or so.

    Paul
     
  3. xseaorguk

    xseaorguk Patron Meritorious

    how many 'charities' do they have?

    what with all the news on charity or not charity it would interest me how many groups (front groups) they actually have.
    Are all these groups registered as charities?

    The way to Happiness
    Applied Scholastics
    CCHR
    Say No to Drugs
    etc
    etc

    I don't know all the groups they promote, but it seems they have created a load of them since I was in.
    We need to get down to the nitty gritty on these groups and how much they are actually 'beneftting society'

    No wonder they are making millions out of their charitable status, and considering that the orgs are pretty empty nowadays it makes you wonder where the money is coming from.:yes:
     
  4. Daedle

    Daedle Patron

    Wages & salaries expendature: $70,000
    Salaries expendature per week: $1346.15
    Number of paid hours worked in total on average per week: 844
    New Zealand bare minimum wage: $10.20
    Scientology pay per hour: $1.59

    That's quite a bit less than minimum wage.

    Note that these aren't listed as volunteers. They're listed as paid hours.
     
  5. Zhent

    Zhent Leakus Maximus

    The full doc can be downloaded from the NZ Charities Commission website here : http://www.register.charities.govt....0512&cid=5aa34fb9-cc91-dc11-98a0-0015c5f3da29

    ...At least you used to, the site is currently down, I hope thats the right address.

    Anyway here is the single image embedded in the mean time:
    [​IMG]

    Also I think some serious harpoons should be sent to the Charities Commission over this report, as there are such blatant issues as outlined above.
     
  6. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    Registered groups in NZ include:

    • Way to Happiness Taranaki (Registered March 2010. Moana Colosimo and Rose Denness trustees)
    • Applied Scholastics NZ Trust (reg. January 2006 - financial statement filed for 2009.)
    • Narconon (reg October 1976 – no activity shown on Companies Office site so may be due to be de-registered due to lack of compliance with legal requirement to file annual financial statements)
    • Narconon Aotearoa Trust (reg. April 1998 – no activity shown…)
    • Youth for Human Rights (reg. Feb 2006. Annual financial reports filed up to 2009)
    • The Drug Free Ambassadors NZ (reg. Nov 2003. Annual financial report filed for 2008)

    These can all be located via:

    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies

    1. “online services – do it now”
    2. "search other registers” under "dashboard" on left.
    3. “select all” for various entities listed

    Away ya go.

    There are other scientology related groups which come up on searches but they have been struck off the register. This will be due to lack of compliance with legal requirement to submit annual financial statements - inactivity.

    You will find the CofS NZ annual financial statements on this site going back to 1998. Though they are FOUR years behind in filing, last one being for 2006. Ooops!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  7. Daedle

    Daedle Patron

    Cleaning & laundry only $16 for 2007, nothing for 2008. Does this mean that they've actually spent only $16 on cleaning materials? Would this not breach health & safety?
     
  8. Outethicsofficer

    Outethicsofficer Silver Meritorious Patron

    Perhaps they were trading with money on the currency markets and lost that amount?...The thing we know is that we don't know! WTF!

    Also in 2007 they show an amount for rental income of $290K and then in 2008 $65K what property did they own in 2007 that they ceased to own in 2008 that would account for the drop in rental income and if they sold a building where is the money...show me the money!
     
  9. Daedle

    Daedle Patron

    Trading almost 10 times your income on the currency markets? Stinks of attempted money laundering and is not trading that a non-profit organisation should be doing. It's even worse than the banks.

    To clarify: If you were trading for geniune non-profit reasons then a small loss would be acceptable. Trading 10 times your income is either trading for profit or money laundering. You don't spend 10 times your income on materials sourced from overseas.

    Also,

    Contributions from affiliated organisations: $44,857
    Contributions to affiliated organisations: $44,890

    Money laundering anyone?
     
  10. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller


    Bare minimum wage in New Zealand is $12.75 (youth rates were abolished)

    EDIT: Ooops - you're right, there's the $10.20 for new entrants i.e., those aged 16 - 17 and only for the first three months.

    Also, Ferris has changed his story and now states that the drop in income was due to a one-off loan from the US in the year prior to the reporting requirements. I call bullshit.
     
  11. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller

    The more I look at those accounts, the more dodgy they seem. Scientology has well behind in its rent at the Panmure locate and not so long ago was threatened with eviction by its landlord, the Auckland City Council. So, if it is paying rent, why is it paying Rates?

    I don't know the story about the Grafton Idle Org but as far as I can tell it would be the same as many of these buildings in that the owner is some shadowy off-shore entity to which the local outfit must still pay rent.

    Think I might poon the commission with some OIA requests.
     
  12. Daedle

    Daedle Patron

    Yeah I knew that the "actual" minimum wage was a bit higher, but it's even more telling that they don't pay people enough for the new entrants min wage, let alone the actual one.

    Also if it was a loan, why was it filed under exchange losses? Why not bank charges & interest, or another field. If it's a loan then it's not exchange losses.

    It might be worth getting docs from the city council confirming that they are behind with rent before taking it to the commission.
     
  13. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller

    Bloody council is claiming confidentiality of commercial dealings. I did get one snippet of gossip about Ferris getting unelected as President of the Panmure Business Association - silly bugger didn't turn up in time for the AGM!! Those documents I probably can get as I'm mates with someone on the association.
     
  14. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    It was my feeling too, that as that sheet is looked at it will look more and more dodgy.
     
  15. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    I would say this issue of the "loan" versus ""currency exchange loss" is a perjury. That kind of loss is the sort of thing one sees occurring from a derivative bet having gone wrong. But now to claim it was a loan when the officially filed income statement lists it as currency/foreign exchange loss is to be giving perjured testimony.

    Also, engaging in such commercial activity as trading foreign exchange is likely a breach of the its charter . . . it is certainly a breach of the COSRECI charter of which the NZ church is a member.

    R
     
  16. themessenger

    themessenger Patron

    It is quite common in NZ for Commercial leases to include the paying of Rates as part of the Contract.

    Ferris needs to face it. No matter which way you look at it Scientology is a dead duck! It's just a matter of time now. If they cannot afford toilet paper or the rent for a building in Panmure how can they afford the Rates and insurance of a $10,000,000 building in the city?? Their financial statement is just the start of the airing of their dirty laundry. I want to know who is paying for the upkeep of the Idle (empty) Org because Scn NZ obviously isn't.
     
  17. mate

    mate Patron Meritorious

    This is an astute observation and one worth following up. It would be interesting to discover who owns it and whether its rates and other services are up to date.

    David.

     
  18. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It could be that donations toward the Ideal Org er, "Fund" were/are being used for (1) Building purchase; (2) Building renos; (3) Running costs including rates etc. I imagine parishioners were/are willing (so to speak) to contribute to (1), not so much but maybe to (2), and not at all to (3) if they knew about it. I certainly wouldn't if I were still in as it would be a bottomless hole — at least (1) and (2) are finite, even if large.

    Paul
     
  19. randomx

    randomx Patron with Honors

    Idle Morgue Auckland

    Here is what The New Zealand Herald had to say about the purchase.



    Scientologists snap up heritage home
    By Anne Gibson View as one page
    5:00 AM Wednesday Jun 6, 2007



    The Church of Scientology is stepping up its image and presence here, spending $10 million to buy a prominent Auckland building.

    The church, which is popular with Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, will move around 100 staff into the building perched above the Southern Motorway at Grafton and run courses from there.

    It will soon leave Panmure's industrial strip for the building now occupied by the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, which has two other campus sites.

    The college fitted the building out with art studios, a library, darkrooms, seminar rooms and a lecture hall but it is looking for new premises.

    Soon, the church will be preaching the teachings of L Ron Hubbard and the dianetics spiritual healing technology from the property.

    Real estate consultants DTZ handled the sale and spokesman Kevin Richards said the church paid $10 million for the building at 136 Grafton Rd and his firm would manage the property. The building was owned by a private partnership which had owned it for just a few years.



    "The building was not on the market and they had to pay a premium to get it," Richards said. The art school is looking to lease new premises.

    The property is listed on the Historic Places Trust's register as a category two building.

    It is also listed on Auckland City's historic schedule as a category B building.

    Church spokesman Mike Ferriss said yesterday his organisation operated from a building at 532-534 Ellerslie-Panmure Highway and the church had about 5000 members nationally.

    "We have been searching for a suitable property for a number of years with an emphasis on heritage properties. Our interest in 136 Grafton Rd started when one of our founding members suggested that it would be the ideal building for us. That was almost a year ago."

    Ferriss said the church would fully renovate and restore the building over two years and expected to move in once the work was completed.

    "The New Zealand Scientology Church was formally established in January 1955, making it the first outside of the United States and the second oldest in the world. People from all over the country come to the church in Auckland for services. The new facility should be able to cater for 200 or so students and about 100 staff."

    DTZ said the building was opened as Trinity College in March 1929 and was used as a training facility for ministers of the Methodist Church. This stopped in 1972 when the college was leased to the Education Department and, since 1984, the building had served as premises for Whitecliffe, a private education institution.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/grafton/news/article.cfm?l_id=339&objectid=10443817
     
  20. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    Auckland's $10,000,000 Idle Org.

    Here is a newspaper article from 2007:

    I have highlighted some bits and inserted comments in blue.

    The New Zealand Herald.

    "Scientologists snap up heritage home
    By Anne Gibson
    View as one page
    5:00 AM Wednesday Jun 6, 2007

    They can afford to leave a $10 million dollar building presumably vacant for 3 years?


    Facebook
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    Print
    The Whitecliffe building dates back to 1929 and has sold for $10 million.

    The Church of Scientology is stepping up its image and presence here, spending $10 million to buy a prominent Auckland building.

    The church, which is popular with Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, will move around 100 staff into the building perched above the Southern Motorway at Grafton and run courses from there.

    It will soon leave Panmure's industrial strip for the building now occupied by the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, which has two other campus sites.

    The college fitted the building out with art studios, a library, darkrooms, seminar rooms and a lecture hall but it is looking for new premises.

    Soon, the church will be preaching the teachings of L Ron Hubbard and the dianetics spiritual healing technology from the property.

    Real estate consultants DTZ handled the sale and spokesman Kevin Richards said the church paid $10 million for the building at 136 Grafton Rd and his firm would manage the property. The building was owned by a private partnership which had owned it for just a few years.


    "The building was not on the market and they had to pay a premium to get it," Richards said.
    They just *had to have that building that was not even on the market - but no problem, they got the bucks.

    The art school is looking to lease new premises.

    The property is listed on the Historic Places Trust's register as a category two building.

    It is also listed on Auckland City's historic schedule as a category B building.

    Church spokesman Mike Ferriss said yesterday his organisation operated from a building at 532-534 Ellerslie-Panmure Highway and the church had about 5000 members nationally.

    "We have been searching for a suitable property for a number of years with an emphasis on heritage properties. Our interest in 136 Grafton Rd started when one of our founding members suggested that it would be the ideal building for us. That was almost a year ago."

    Ferriss said the church would fully renovate and restore the building over two years and expected to move in once the work was completed.
    Got their hand out for tax exemptions but they can afford to plan this kind of expenditure?

    "The New Zealand Scientology Church was formally established in January 1955, making it the first outside of the United States and the second oldest in the world. People from all over the country come to the church in Auckland for services. The new facility should be able to cater for 200 or so students and about 100 staff."


    And how many staff do they have? According to their report to the Charities Commision they only have 17? fulltime and 8? part time. Very interesting.



    DTZ said the building was opened as Trinity College in March 1929 and was used as a training facility for ministers of the Methodist Church. This stopped in 1972 when the college was leased to the Education Department and, since 1984, the building had served as premises for Whitecliffe, a private education institution..."