Its truly amazing the level of deliberate obfuscation that is going on in this thread by the Royal Way members. Classic stuff.
one member says..
Since when, in America, the personal pursuit of spirituality is subject to pseudo public scrutiny?
Again, that is a deliberate obfuscation of the issues. No one here is talking about your "personal" spirituality. I hope folks can see that totally conscious attempt to twist thought.
Here are the facts.
Michael Gottlieb chose in 1980 to set up a [b:bba7e576c6]TAX-EXEMPT CORPORATION.[/b:bba7e576c6] called The Royal Way. That is a hard fact. When you do this, you are subject to PUBLIC scrutiny, and even investigation by the IRS, as well as filing regular reports, and everything else. That is a fact. If he didn't want to be scrutinized, then he should have set up a PRIVATE real estate financial holding company, then its between him and the IRS. (Royal Way does appear to operate more like a real estate investment firm, not a church!) But obviously, Michael & Co want the financial benefits of not paying taxes, capital gains tax exemptions, without the scrutiny. That's not how the world or the law works. Its also pretty clear that since Michael is allegedly railing against taxes recently in a letter, perhaps they are already under review by the friendly neighborhood tax-man? Well see....
I will briefly address some of the other comments, but its basically just more DEFLECTION by the Royal Way folks.
I have said all along, if Royal Way simply produces some FACTS, like [b:bba7e576c6]financial statements audited by independent chartered accountants,[/b:bba7e576c6] and they check out, then fine. Lets see the FACTS.
But we have officers of a tax-exempt corporation, refusing to provide ANY facts whatsoever. Just vague flowery talk about how swell Michael is.
Show us the facts, and we'll get off your backs.
But you can't just make vague claims like "property" being "donated" and not show any PROOF. That dog ain't gonna hunt in this county.
Notice he also tries to warp it into a "religious bigot" issue, which is beyond absurd, and is more dishonesty.
Its really amazing the types of Thought Twisting going on by the RW folks. I do feel sorry who end up with these folks and are subject to a barrage of those types of tactics for months or years on end. It could really mess with your mind.
There are clearly some pretty smooth operators in the Royal Way group.
Those folks have an entire series of techniques for dealing with Objections. We have seen quite a few so far.
This is the classic part. Like any skilled salesmen, they give you the "come down to my office and have a coffee with me" pitch. Its the same thing Landmark does, when they get you in a room, so they can influence you on their terms. They want to get you on their turf, one on one, or one of you, and 5 of them.
Royal Way says "hey...come on down, and see me, and lets talk about it".
Then, when they get you alone, they start to play the same type of Mind Games they are trying to play in this forum.
They will move into stuff like..."why are you so untrusting? You need to learn to Trust", and blah blah, they try to turn the entire thing around on the person. Like they did earlier in the thread, trying to probe people for vulnerabilities. Scientology does the exact same thing, right after you fill out their phony "stress test". Its psychological manipulation 101.
This is how an ethical non-profit church/group should work.
You call their office, and you ask the secretary to send you their audited financial statements, fee structures, courses, etc. They say, "sure!". Then they put it in an envelope, and you get it next week, so you can look it over. Or they point you to their website. That is how a normal, decent, ethical non-profit operates.
Its all here in black and white in this checklist, and Royal Way [b:bba7e576c6]fails on every count.[/b:bba7e576c6]
Did you notice how he also tries to twist what I said about that Checklist for a non-profit church? Also notice how they are trying to distance themselves from that checklist, as they are saying they are a "spiritual" community?
Folks, that is utter nonsense, and is frankly a deliberate deception. They are a tax-exempt non-profit corporation and a church, exactly like they have said. Royal Way is a CHURCH, and its non-profit corporation, end of story.
They are subject to the EXACT same scrutiny as mentioned in the checklist above. Seriously, check out the list, they fail every single criteria. I am very impressed by that checklist, it can save people getting ripped off by slick operators, hiding behind non-profit status.
So they go round and round.
Personal attacks, obfuscation, distraction, distortion, threats, religious curses, shaming, vague flowery words, happy talk...they got the Good Cop, Bad Cop, Good Cop thing down to a science.
But they could end this right now.
the Royal Way nightmare could end right now.
To start, [b:bba7e576c6]answer these questions [u:bba7e576c6]in writing[/u:bba7e576c6].[/b:bba7e576c6]
Ask them the following suggested questions, and expect a timely, courteous and informative response. ECFA firmly believes that good charities willingly answer tough questions:
Is there an independent board that accepts responsibility for the activities of the organization and oversees its operations?
Are the financial records audited annually by certified public accountants?
Are copies of the audited financial statements provided to anyone who requests them?
Is information provided to donors about any program that the donors have supported?
How does the organization avoid conflicts of interest?
What are its guidelines and standards for fund-raising?
Is there a review procedure to assure compliance with fund-raising standards and guidelines? [/color:bba7e576c6]