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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

239: AND THEY BEGAN TO SEEK TO GET GAIN.


I recently noticed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the proud sponsors of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. In fact, the Church is not just a sponsor, but it is one of the Chairman Level Sponsors along with American Express, Wells Fargo and Intermountain Health Care.  In addition to the LDS Church, the Deseret Management Corporation is also listed as a chairman sponsor. The Deseret Management Corp is the management and holding company for all of the "for-profit" businesses owned by the LDS Church. This Corporation was established by the President David O McKay to hold already existing church assets.  The following subsidiaries of the LDS Deseret Management Company are:
  • Beneficial Financial Group (insurance, investment and retirement services)
  • Bonneville International Corp (television, radio stations, satellite company,)
  • Deseret Book
  • Deseret Mutual (medical, dental, life and disability insurance)
  • Deseret News Publishing Company
  • Hawaii Reserves
  • Temple Square Hospitality, Lion House, and Joseph Smith Building
  • Zions Securities
 
 
Large companies who have a financial interest in Utah pay to be part of the Salt Lake Chamber. Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest business association with the slogan of “We stand as the voice of business, we support our members' success, and we champion community prosperity." In order to be one of the sponsors you need to donate at least $50,000.00+ annually. According to the website, here are a few of the benefits for being a Salt Lake Chamber Chairman Level Sponsors ( full list of benefits.)
  • Guaranteed spot in each Leadership Utah class
  • Special promotion to all Chamber events
  • Special promotion on printed Chamber Material
  • Special sponsorships.
I didn't see any other religious organization listed as a chairman sponsor. In fact if someone saw the Catholic Church listed as one of the Chairman Sponsors of any business association, they might think it odd for the Church to use their member donations in such a way.
..........
 
In the upcoming month of April, the week of General Conference, the 8th annual Utah Economic Summit will be held at the prestigious Grand America Hotel (Salt Lake City's only 5 star hotel). This yearly summit has become Utah’s premier event for advancing the states local and global economic position. The slogan for the summit is "Executing the Fundamentals of Economic Development for a Better Bottom Line." The Summit is designed to enhance Utah businesses across the local, national and global marketplace... to help increase companies profits in order to get a "better bottom line." 
  
Here is the full page spread as it appears in the Deseret News.
 
 
 
All of the listed speakers at this event are LDS leaders. Governor Gary R. Herbert is the featured speaker. He was appointed to serve as governor after Jon Huntsman was appointed the United States Ambassador to China by President Barack Obama. The Keynote Speaker is Clayton Christensen, LDS author, an Area Authority 70, and professor at Harvard Business School. Additionally, Richard Marriott, Chairman of the Board of Host Hotels, will be a major speaker, son of JW Marriott who was also a Area Authority.  
 
There seems to be a desire to expand Utah businesses to other areas of the world, including China.  Many might think that this is the Lord's way of getting the missionary work into this country.

One of these companies who is expanding in China is Nu Skin. A year and half ago on September 21, 2012 it was reported that Utah-based Nu Skin Enterprises planned to triple the number of stores and sales support centers in China by 2017.
 
However, it was reported last week that Nu Skin along with the President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Financial Officer are been sued with a class action lawsuit  because of failing to disclose “its fraudulent sales practices and non-compliance with Chinese laws and regulations,”  (Ironically, Nu Skin's President and CEO is President Truman Hunt who is a Stake President for the LDS Church. Some might recognize his name in connection with a LDS author who has written a book about Church History.)  It is reported that Truman Hunt certified the Company's materially false and misleading quarterly reports. There are three law firms hired for the lawsuit in the states of Utah,  Florida, and Pennsylvania. Read more here: Deseret News Article
  
For some time, Nu Skin's China operations have been under attack by Citron Research. Citron said in early August that Nu Skin was operating in China as a multilevel marketer in which distributors earn commissions through recruiting new distributors, a business model that is illegal in that country.
 
As many know, Multi Level Marketing or Pyramid Schemes are great for those at the top, but the pits for hundreds of thousands beneath them, who become its victims.
  
Each of these men should be familiar with the question: "Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?" Local leaders such as Bishops and Stake Presidents ask this question in interviews to members seeking to enter the Temple. There should be no doubt in the members minds that these religious leaders can answer all the questions correctly. So it is somewhat puzzling to hear of prominent leaders being slapped with a class action lawsuit for being dishonest causing investors to lose billions and billions of dollars..