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Robert Schuller is Evil III: Nepotism Pays

December 8, 2010

I suppose we should have seen this coming…

Schuller Family Benefits From Church Bankruptcy

Crystal Cathedral insiders received hefty compensation, housing allowances.

robert-schuller Financial documents filed Wednesday in the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy case show that the church gave generous compensation to insiders and family members in the year before the Garden Grove-based mega-church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The documents show the church paid out more than $1.8 million to 23 insiders and members of founding pastor Robert H. Schuller’s family in the last year. That sum included $832,490 in tax-exempt housing allowances given to eight people.

Churches and other religious organizations are permitted under federal tax law to give housing allowances to ordained, licensed or commissioned ministers who perform certain duties, though it is unclear if the eight housing allowance recipients meet that criteria. These allowances are exempt from federal income tax.

The U.S. Trustee overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings has already objected to the $132,000 housing allowance paid to one insider, saying there was “no justification whatsoever” for an allowance of that amount. The insider, Chief Financial Officer Fred Southard, said it was a benefit he is entitled to as a minister ordained by Crystal Cathedral.

“benefit he is ‘entitled‘ to…” Entitled? Really? Entitled? Our business/social club is tens of millions of dollars in debt, but I am entitled? You are on TV asking people to double their tithes to save the ‘church’ but you are entitled to a tax-free $132,000 payment? Non-expletive words fail me, but I imagine there are more than a few ministers that would have some biting commentary to that attitude.

The newly filed documents show that at least three additional people received housing allowances of more than $100,000: Schuller’s son-in-law Paul Dunn, who writes and directs the annual Glory of Christmas pageant; Schuller’s daughter Carol Milner and his son Robert A. Schuller.

Founder Robert H. Schuller, who still sits on the board with his wife Arvella, also received an allowance, as did Schuller’s son-in-law James Coleman, who is president of Crystal Cathedral Ministries; James Penner, another son-in-law who produces the “Hour of Power” television program; and CFO Southard’s son-in-law William Gaultiere, who is part-time pastor of Spiritual Formation Ministries.

Dunn, who lives in Hawaii, received more than $300,000 in housing allowance and vendor payments in the last year and was still owed $64,758, according to the financial statement filed Wednesday.

Notice a pattern?

“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Ti 6:9–10.

Robert Schuller is Evil I

Robe Schuller is Evil II: The Double Down

HT: J-Walk Blog

4 Comments leave one →
  1. frcraig permalink
    December 8, 2010 12:19 pm

    when you preach a ‘gospel’ that ‘it’s all about me,’ what do you expect from your pastors (entertainers)?

  2. December 8, 2010 1:19 pm

    This is certainly a respectable business here. They market a product for which willing dupes are voluntarily paying whatever is asked. Like the present episode on Wall Street, these jokers are deftly separating the mark from his money, promising unbelievably high ROI, spending the investments profligately, and then seeking government protection when the scam falls apart while continuing to lavishly reward themselves for their minimal efforts.

    I submit that if the entity in question were instead named “Crystal Cathedral Investments, LLC,” this would be fairly normative business practice.

    In fact, this is even better than an investment bank: if the investment fails to pay off, the goobers who coughed up the funds in the first place will believe it was some hidden sin in their lives, not the mismanagement of the funds, that caused the failure of rewards to materialize. It’s “heads I win, tails you lose” all over again! Brilliant!

    What a bunch of tools. A just bankruptcy court would require reparation to all donors in the last two or three years, at least. With interest. Of course, justice has no place in the American legal system.

  3. Chris E permalink
    December 8, 2010 5:27 pm

    I think it was another commentator here who pointed out that the vast majority of these churches are basically run on the family business model – which makes a lot of sense of the figures above.

  4. Dorcie Lacy permalink
    February 24, 2013 7:44 am

    Schuller and his ministry helped me so very much. Learning to develop yourself is good theology. My life was invested in very conservative Bible churches. I became very discouraged and depressed when I went through divorce and my past husband died of a brain tumor. I had done everything in my life with prayer and Bible verses. How can bad things happen to good people ? I learned I needed to support myself. I returned to college , graduated with a BA in Psychology from CSUF worked on my masters degree and spent 15 years working with other single women for the County of Orange to get their lives together. I now live a wonderful retired life. I am financially independent . I know hundreds and no doubt thousands perhaps millions that have benefited from this ministry. Schuller will go down in history as one of the greatest ministers of this age . So let the prophets of doom and dispair continue they will be embarrased in years to come at the evil words they speak of this great man. No matter who owns Crystal Cathedral bldg, it will always be R. A. Schuller’s cathedral and nothing or no one can take this fact away from our knowledge or history.

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