‘Mormon Stories’ podcaster John Dehlin makes $236K a year from his nonprofit. Is that too much?


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The viewers and donors for John Dehlin’s “Mormon Tales” and different podcasts have grown exponentially via the years, and so has his wage.

To properly above $200,000.

And that has raised issues from some insiders and outsiders in regards to the funds and oversight of the nonprofit umbrella group, Open Tales Basis.

Tax disclosures present the muse’s revenues from podcast contributions, occasions and direct donations shot up virtually eightfold in a decade, from $58,580 in 2010 to $464,339 in 2019, the newest 12 months for which IRS paperwork can be found.

Yearly revenues jumped by 67% within the aftermath of Dehlin’s broadly publicized 2015 excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tax varieties present, from $198,136 in 2015 to $332,678 the next 12 months.

On the similar time, as the muse’s attain and output rose, Dehlin’s annual compensation ballooned by greater than 700%, based on nonprofit tax studies, swelling from $27,429 in 2010 to $236,021 in 2019. That six-figure wage made up 60% of the group’s whole earnings from donors and podcast revenues.

[Read more about John Dehlin’s growing influence and the questions emerging from followers-turned-critics here.]

A number of staff who left the muse in 2018 have complained he “curated” its board membership to spice up his compensation and blur strains between donations and private bills amid what they assert was lax supervision.

“This proof means that Dehlin sees the Open Tales Basis as his and his alone,” a former affiliate producer, James Patterson, wrote in a 2021 criticism filed with the IRS, “with an unbiased board of administrators merely a roadblock to him attaining his private monetary objectives.”

In his whistleblower claims, Patterson additionally stated the muse maintained insufficient boundaries between donations to the podcast and Dehlin’s personal life-coaching enterprise, which the podcaster says he has since discontinued.

Dehlin, an avid fundraiser as a part of his podcasts, has strenuously denied the monetary allegations towards him and touts his group’s monetary transparency. And as he takes an more and more seen function within the nonprofit THRIVE and its in-person gatherings for former Latter-day Saints, Dehlin insists his efforts are about serving to others, not monetary acquire.

Burgeoning viewers numbers, donor assist and income development for the podcasts, Dehlin informed a THRIVE viewers in St. George, “are solely proxies for impression.

“In my thoughts, we’re serving to extra individuals,” he stated. “We’re reaching extra individuals.”

In response to Patterson’s criticism, Dehlin stated the Utah lawyer normal’s workplace audited three years of the nonprofit’s financials — and its investigators, he stated, issued a letter saying it discovered no wrongdoing. Dehlin even famous in a number of podcasts he had feared bias from Lawyer Basic Sean Reyes when the audit was initiated, given a few of his critiques of Utah’s prime prosecutor.

We have been audited by the theocracy,” he quipped about Reyes and state authorities in a December podcast. “We willingly gave three years [of] monetary data and actually the reply got here again, ‘We discover no wrongdoing.’”

Clint Martin, a fellow board member on the nonprofit THRIVE with Dehlin, stated he had additionally seen the audit letter and confirmed Dehlin’s description of it.

After months of inquiries by The Salt Lake Tribune and an open-records request, the Utah lawyer normal stated it had no report of such an audit.

In response to comparable requests, the Utah Division of Commerce, which oversees nonprofits, would neither verify nor deny it had audited the Open Tales Basis. If it had, a spokesperson stated, any ensuing data wouldn’t be public — they usually added that it was not unusual for division investigators to hunt anonymity in these circumstances.

Natasha Helfer, a intercourse therapist and motivational speaker who works with Dehlin and is a former member of the Open Tales Basis board, stated Dehlin’s compensation has been based mostly on market evaluation and comparisons with different nonprofits.

“I’m comfy,” Helfer stated, “that the board has made choices which might be truthful based on market worth.”

Dehlin stated the Open Tales board had “generously set my wage at a set stage” — one matching what he earned when he left his job as a Microsoft govt 17 years in the past.

“I informed my board I’d by no means want one other elevate, ever,” he stated. “That’s how I really feel now.”

Billionaire Jeff T. Green Resigns From Mormon Church


A billionaire from Utah, Jeff T. Inexperienced, mentioned he was resigning this week from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an unusually high-profile rebuke of the church’s wealth and place on social points.

Mr. Inexperienced, who runs an promoting expertise agency and is believed to be one of many wealthiest individuals from Utah, didn’t say what prompted him to make such a public exit this week. However he mentioned in a letter to Russell M. Nelson, the church’s president, that he was involved concerning the church’s historical past, funds and advocacy.

“Whereas most members are good individuals attempting to do proper, I imagine the church is actively and at present doing hurt on the earth,” he wrote within the letter, which was reported Monday by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Within the letter, a replica of which was dated Dec. 23, he mentioned he had stopped believing within the church’s teachings greater than a decade in the past and had spent a number of years reflecting on his points with it. “I imagine the Mormon Church has hindered international progress in girls’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and L.G.B.T.Q.+ rights,” he wrote.

The church’s press workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Within the letter, Mr. Inexperienced, 44, requested for his information to be faraway from the church and for his solely different contact from the group to be a letter confirming that he was now not a member. One in every of his buddies and 11 of his members of the family have been additionally resigning, he mentioned.

Kathleen Flake, a professor of Mormon research on the College of Virginia in Charlottesville, mentioned this kind of formal exit from the church was just like a renunciation of citizenship. To return to the church, an individual must be rebaptized.

“Renouncing it’s a political act; it’s a method of creating a political assertion, not only a spiritual assertion,” she mentioned.

She mentioned it was unlikely that the church, which has greater than 16 million members, would reply.

“I believe they care, however I don’t suppose they’re stunned by such public statements,” Professor Flake, a church member, mentioned. “They’ve merely had an excessive amount of expertise with it to suppose that they may escape this sort of public engagement with their ethical requirements.”

Mr. Inexperienced, who now lives in Southern California, was additionally vital of the church’s wealth, which incorporates an funding fund paid for with contributions by members. The fund had $48 billion value of shares as of Sep. 30, in accordance with SEC filings.

“This cash comes from individuals, usually poor, who wholeheartedly imagine you signify the desire of Jesus,” Mr. Inexperienced wrote. “They provide, anticipating the blessings of heaven.”

The administration of the fund has come underneath scrutiny lately after a former supervisor accused the church of deceptive members about the usage of the funds. Church officers advised The Wall Avenue Journal final yr that the cash was for use throughout potential financial downturns.

In September, a federal decide dismissed a lawsuit introduced by a distinguished former member, James Huntsman, that accused the church of utilizing the cash for industrial functions.

Mr. Inexperienced, the chief government of the agency The Commerce Desk, is value $5.2 billion, in accordance with Forbes. In November, he pledged to provide away greater than 90 p.c of his wealth earlier than or at his dying.

This week Mr. Inexperienced additionally introduced he was donating $600,000 to Equality Utah, a bunch that advocates L.G.B.T.Q. rights within the state.

He advised The Tribune that nearly half the cash would go to a scholarship fund for college kids in Utah, together with those that “might have or need” to depart Brigham Younger College, which is sponsored by the church and has an honor code that prohibits same-sex “romantic habits.”