A Tale of a Greedy Charity.

Neighbors were completely surprised to learn that when modest-living Hector Guy Di Stefano and his wife Doris died, they left a $264 million estate to be divided equally among 8 charities, among them them the Salvation Army [wiki] and Greenpeace [wiki].

But there was a snag: the couple left the money to Greenpeace International Inc., but before they died, Greenpeace International Inc. was dissolved and absorbed into a larger outfit, Greenpeace Fund. All of the charities had no problem with this technicality (after all, they weren't expecting any money - the Di Stefanos didn't tell them beforehand). All, except for one: the Salvation Army.

Apparently, $33 million wasn't enough for the Salvation Army - it sued to prevent Greenpeace from its share of the bequest, arguing that the entity the Di Stefanos had left money to no longer existed and that the money should instead be divided equally amongst the remaining 7 charities! The rest of the charities stood to gain an extra $6 million, but no one wanted to come near Salvation Army's lawsuit.

Earlier this May, the Salvation Army and Greenpeace settled their lawsuit: it seems like the Salvation Army will get the $6 million extra share of Greenpeace's slice of money, while Greenpeace will still get about $27 million.

Ain't that a crazy story?

Links: Seattle Times | LA Times articles - via Don't Tell the Donor

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Hi I live in Ausralia and my experience is that the salvation army is definately a cult. I spent three days in a detox unit. We were pushed (I would go so far as to say brainwashed) all day long to enter a rehabilitation centre that they owned. The inmates of this programme gave all their income to the salvation army, do eight hours unpaid work for the salvation army, intensely study the doctrines of the salvation army all in exchange for a seedy boarding house type room, donated food and medical care that the government pays for anyway. Most of the people in the detox facility were there A) to avoid jail time B) because their children had been placed in foster care and were attempting to regain custody or just plain homeless. I saw dozens of cases of bad practice but most people were unwilling to complain do to the reasons I already stated. Myself and an elderly gentleman were not in any trouble with the law, owned our own homes and our children were adults. We spoke out and from then on he was threatened to put him in a nursing home for the elderly, I i was threatened with a mental hospital (I suffer from anxiety attacks) Although I knew they did not have the power to do this We felt so under their control that we were frightened.They used group sessions in the beginning to find out our fears, incidences of childhood abuse etc and then used tis information to mess with our heads. I had a lucky escape and I thank God I was only there three days
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My fateful association with The Sally Ann as their known here in Canada began at the age of 7 and my mother had decided that I would go to their Brownie Pack because our Anglican/Episcopalean church didn't have one and one of the further criteria was that you had to go to their Sunday School - they start early and my father was totally freaking - he was an Anglican Chaplain in the war and while he lauded as most people did, their efforts to appear on the battlefield with coffee, blankets hot donuts - we all have heard the stories! - once home he had trouble relating to them as colleagues on various ecumenical/interfaith councils because there is a lot of private resentment from other Ministers about their total lack of of education - they don't even have an undergrad degree -

My father had 11 years of training before being ordained and Priested - following 2 years in the Deaconate - they go to their own Training College for two years before being commissioned and I don't know what authoritative body is actually doling out licenses to these people to marry people - but it's quite appalling -

I would once again get involved with them in a more vulnerable time in my life following the premature death of my father and certainly found them to be a brainwashing cult like so many people have already described - and TOUGH to ultimately get out of! - they literally swallow you up - I was years deprogramming and decompressing and trying to wash them out of my hair - I did so privately and in total isolation -
which translated into a lot of lonely Christmas' as well - And when I think back to my teens and early 20's - I WAS NEVER ever home and literally LIVED at other people's houses because they condition you into believing that they're better even than your own family - and when I think back to it - my own family didn't even know where I was half the time so it must have been very worrying for them - I even vacationed with them - and did try to put in the usual daily perfunctory call - but still - all that time away from home with The Sally Ann wasn't really all that necessary or healthy! -

They've been projecting since the 60's - 'The Decline and Fall of Christianity' so Church has gained a little more perspective here in Canada because of two people in the workplace and more career opportunities for women - I went on to become a Government Speech Writer - and the need for families to cocoon, connect and catch-up - like we do - It starts with 'Friday Family Fun Night' on the weekend - your life no longer revolves around Church, thankfully - if you go at all it's usually for the more watershed moments in your life - Christmas, Easter, Weddings, Funerals and Christenings - even women can be ordained in the Anglican church now - But I think the worldwide numbers speak for themselves! - 700 Million in The Catholic Church - 80 Million in The Anglican Church and a laughable 2 Million in The Salvation Army - they've had to close the Training College here in Toronto - the 6 or 7 Cadets they do get have to train in Winnipeg - they're closing and amalgamating churches all over the city - we recently went to hear a trumpet player from a prominent group who was extended family to us - and I debated over and over again whether or not to cancel soon as I found out it was with the Army - and I'm certainly glad we didn't - there were 25 people came to the concert including us -but they were ALL 65 plus year old men - so it's not a self perpetuating group anymore - there were more people on the stage/platform than there were in the audience - but we rushed away for a late dinner - and I couldn't wait to get away from there - they give me the creeps and it all comes back - I didn't even have anyone from the Sally Ann at my wedding either - some didn't even know I'd married -

And what's with all the rules and NO Make-up - the women all look very strange and homely and - pale AND could certainly benefit from some lipstick, blush and mascara at th very least -

The defining moment for my life was when I got into a professional symphonic choir here at the age of 17 instead of going to Training College and they HATED it that they could no longer control me - BUT it was the conductor who ultimately talked some sense into me for about 45 minutes one night and persuaded me to follow another path in life, which I did, I was born with 3 creative genes - Singing, Writing (like I said earlier -I became a Speech Writer for Cabinet Ministers here in Ontario!) and decorating - interior design has since become my cherished hobby - and he happily gave me away at my wedding - I think he knew there was very little respect for The Army out there and they were in fact an extremist Christian Cult that brainwashses people -

I made the mistake of working in their bookstore for a mere 80 dollars a week - and they were so upset/jealous by my being in this other choir - that they were going to fire me - AND I could have reported them to the authorities and The Ministry of Labour - trust me - they've HEARD all out the Army and their discriminatory hiring practices - especially against gays - and at least once a month or once every twomonths - I would be taken upstairs by the Major running the store to be brow-beaten, brainwashed and interrogated about my personal life and who I was dating etc. - did I LOVE so and so - that I was in no way good enough to marry into that particular family because of my family background - I wasn't allowed to decorate the store - use the word 'dainty and feminine', which I actually am - I'm 5 ft. 2 in stature - ', so I listened to her and totally extracated it out of my vocabulary - And I wasn't allowed to play classical music either -

I was lucky - our Bandmaster's wife hated The Army as much as I did - SO she got me another job with her insurance company - Transmerica - and it gave me a 3 year window to relax - gain some perspective - save some money - and decide what I ultimately wanted to do with my life -

Because of the disproportionate number of women to men - competition to find a mate is 'rife' and as I mentioned before - they do it with NO makeup, whatsoever (ha,ha) in the Salvation Army and most of the single women are sexually frustated - and talk about sex non-stop - this woman even talked about oral sex at 9:00 in the morning when we were dusting -

But I do like the writings and article called 'Return of the Salvation Army' by Christopher Hutcheon and I invite those struggling with this outfit to read it - but he says - 'Once a mass movement - The Salvation Army can be laughed off by anyone with any degree of dignity and intelligence and has already gone the way of many other evangelical buffooneries -

But that says it all - DAINTY, DAINTY DAINTY!!! (ha,ha) I see where this particular Major recently passed away - she actually hailed from a part of Canada where people are known not to be terribly bright so it translates - she did try to stay friends after I left The Army and I would understandably have nothing to do with her - but I'm very happily married back in The Anglican Church for 30 years and Free, Free, Free of The Salvation - Hallelujah - Really!!!
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I grew up in The Salvation Army and had officer parents. What everyone has said is absolutely true. The organization has sold its soul to the devil in exchange for money, recognition, power. I went to their international youth conference in capetown, south africa 10 years ago and was floored when I saw the head of the organization, the General(he's like the Pope)and his wife, being chaffeured in a new, black, Mercedes Benz! I have since left the organization which I firmly believe is a cult. Is there anything that can be done to expose their mishandling of the public funds?
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I, too, have had extensive dealings with The Salvation Army over the years...I was the intake director for one their ARCs in Chicago, IL, for several years. I was considered "senior staff." It is my considererd opinion The Salvation Army is far and wide the most corrupt organization I have ever encountered. They are greedy, unscrupulous and downright cruel. They take the denizons of society: the addicted, the homeless, the socially inept, the down-on-their-luck and they give them a roof over their head and some food (bad and not enough) and put them to work in their sweatshops for free...this is hard, backbreaking work, forty hours a week. At the end of six months there is no "after care" program...the "beneficiary" (the army's euphemism - they LOVE their euphemisms - you can't even "die" while at The Salvation Army, you're "promoted to glory.") is simply kicked back to the curb. Chris24601 has it exactly right. The ARC program is essentially indentured survitude, nothing more, nothing less. In addition, the officers, all theives to the last one, as far as I could see, live like kings, new car every year, new houses, children go to college for free, no taxes (they are, after all, "ministers"), the Army takes care of everthing...This is a dangerous cult, pure and simple, and somehow, God knows how, they've managed to hookwink America into thinking they are a "charity" that helps people.
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This has got to be the worst charity in the United States, and I recommend that no one ever give a dime to them or donate any goods or services to their stores or any of their service centers. In my 3 years of experience with the Salvation Army, I have found that just about every officer and most of the rank and file are corrupt and dishonest. In Indianapolis, just about every set of officers that's run the Adult Rehabilitation Center has been caught embezzling funds and outright stealing large amounts of donated goods including cars, boats, furniture, jewlery and clothing among other things. This "Rehabilitation Center" takes people looking for help and puts them to work in their thrift store operation for no pay, except the roof over their head, which leaks (they require clients to pay for their meals with food stamps, and they must pay for every meal whether they eat it or not.....FOOD STAMP FRAUD). Every employee takes what he or she wants, while a "beneficiary" (the laughable term they give to their clients) will be kicked out for taking a pair of shoes. The "resident manager" is a convicted murderer, and most of the staff are felons of one stripe or another. I know of two honest employees who have been laid off and the ARC refuses to pay their unemployment claims, stating that they are a charity and don't have to pay. And this is just the ARC. The Corps in Fountain Square has a set of officers that behave much the same way, keeping whatever they like (the chapel is full of large amounts of musical equipment that the Captain claims is his personal property, and goes largely unused). Just a little further south in Johnson County, the youth pastor has been arrested for and admitted to molesting three 13 year old parishioners, one of whom is now pregnant with his child. This man has a long history of this behavior as he has worked at other Corps in the US, since his parents are Corps officers and he travels and lives with them from post to post. AWFUL!!!!!!!!!
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