July 12th, 2024

Fifth Estate episode unfairly attacked the LDS church

By Lethbridge Herald on January 20, 2023.


On Oct. 26, 2022 and again on Oct. 28, the Fifth Estate broadcast a program on TV which was very critical of the finances of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, identified by them as the Mormon Church.

This program was loaded with innuendos and serious slanderous and ignorant comments. They also quoted from a few members who were very biased against the church.

Having been a member of the church all my life, I take serious exception to the shabby reporting in the program. 

The church does have a respectable amount of money which is donated by people like me in accordance with the scripture found in Malachi 3:10-11 in the Old Testament. If millions of church members donate one tenth of their income to the church it will certainly be a fair amount of money which are charitable donations and are mostly tax-exempted.

The Fifth Estate was encouraging the government to tax this money for the good of the people and suggested that many people would benefit. If the Fifth Estate did a professional job of investigating (maybe they did and chose not to report it) they would have discovered that the money collected already helps millions of people all around the world, including in our own country when disasters and calamities strike. I wonder if these recipients would like the government to hinder and reduce the amount of money they receive?

Having experienced many years of life, I can only conclude that this TV show and those who produced it are being intentionally desirous to create sensationalism instead of accurate reporting. Shame on you.

Burnell Bennett


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Well Burnell I have heard one of your church leaders say “The Mormon Church is a religion that dabbles in business.”

I have also heard one of their critics ( He was a insider and one of their accountants) counter with “The truth is the church is a business that dabbles in religion.)

Last edited 1 year ago by johnny57

The Revs. Moon , Jones, the Branch Davidians , etc all have / had thier accolytes and defenders. Most cults do. Only the well organized and zealous focus more on profit than prophet.

Southern Albertan

We have acquaintances who are of the Morman faith who quietly, and privately, chafe at the 1/10th of their income tithing. Despite their President Hinckley (in this article from 2016) saying that these businesses are far less financially effective than tithing, here is an interesting list:
“Businesses that are owned by Latter-day Saints and the Church”
Prominent ones at the top of the list include: JetBlue Airways, Black & Decker Corporation, Skywest Airlines and Marriott Hotels International, Inc.
And, take a look at this!
“The Catholic Church is the Biggest Financial Power on Earth”
Although some of us describe ourselves as spiritual, there is the thing about having a jaundiced eye when it comes to organized religion, even my own experience with right wing, calvinist, protestant, christian, prosperity-doctrine religion. I no longer ‘attend.’

Last edited 1 year ago by Southern Albertan
old school

Interesting that the fifth estate suggests government taxing the church. The government has a dismal record, to put it mildly , of using money. “The good of the people”? One could only imagine where the government would squander the money. Zelenskyy, globe trotting in private jets to climate conferences, lavish retreats, special interest groups ,etc. ,the list would contain much misuse of tax dollars. In reality , the church does a better job of using the money where there is a real need. I have personally experienced that. Incidentally , I am not of the LDS faith either.


Can I use that argument when I pay my income taxes? I don’t disagree government doesn’t do a great job with money but the alternative is worse.


Was anything CBC reported untrue? If so the church has legal recourse to correct this. Are far as quoting people biased against the church who would you have them interview, church supporters? That’s the definition of a whitewash. Was the church not contacted to give their side? Religious organizations and non-profits are given tax free status and there are rules to keep this status. Using loopholes to transfer millions of dollars internationally with little to no public benefit is not one. When I drive by the numerous temples and churches in this city(of all faiths) I can’t help to think of the lost city property taxes and how ALL citizens of Lethbridge subsidize them.


churches/religion must not be tax exempt. charitable donations are one thing, but religion quite another.
as for lds, it is hard to imagine anyone buying the narrative that makes up the core of lds beliefs. and after all is said and done, you end up in a vault. good luck with that.
seems to me a church of lsd users would be more rational.

Bill McDonald

Burrell, perhaps instead of defending the church, you should question why 1 billion (yes billion) dollars in tithe collected in Canada was transferred to BYU. The members who coughed up their 10% tithe received a tax allowance but Canada received no tax dollars from this transfer.
This money is supposed to support the needs of your local members, not support a U.S. college.
Nobody is picking on the mormons, but the truth in this story raises a lot of questions about the sincerity of the practice of collecting tithe and where it will be used.