In the Thought of the Day thread on Monday Ray said
"how do you know that we didn't sell everything we had, came the the U.S., and gave to the poor?" I feel that Ray is trying to imply that he came to the US to lead a humble life giving to the poor. Good question Ray, how do we know? Considering this is the man who also vouched for Kent Hovind's integrity (Comfort vs. Barrier Debate) I thought I would do a little investigating.
Turns out, Living Waters Ministries is a 501(3)c nonprofit organization. One of the things about these organizations is that they must annually file form 990 and form 1203 with the IRS. These forms are subject to public examination. Form 990 for any nonprofit organization is very easy to obtain from guidestar.org after freely registering. To save you all the trouble of running over there and registering and searching I've uploaded the documents to megaupload for distribution. [2006 - 2005 - 2004] Unfortunately, requests for form 1203 must be snail mailed and I'll let you know if there is anything juicy in it once I get mine. I found form 990 to be very informative, though, and will attempt to give a quick rundown of it. (For a handy guide on making your own interpretation visit)
Living Water's Finances 2006
For 2006 Living Waters Publications sold 4.5 million dollars worth of merchandise that only cost the organization 1.9 million (a 137% markup). Living waters also took in $736,472 in donations. This gave the org a net revenue of 3.3 million to be added to the 1.4 million it had in the bank at the beginning of the year.
The expenditures for 2006 list fund raising receiving 1.2%, program services receiving 24.5%, and managerial and general receiving 74.1% of the 3 million spent. IMHO, if you are running a nonprofit and only 24% of your expenditures are going to the programs and services the org was created to address, and 74% are going to Managerial and General expenses, you're doin' it wrong.
Ray (and Kirk's) Compensation for 04, 05, and 06
Ray's compensation from living waters has increased as the org's monies have increased. In 2004, when the org had only $300 on the books, Ray took no money. This inclines me to believe that Ray also has other methods of income that are not affiliated with Living Waters. Book sales and speaking engagements perhaps? Can't say for sure, but I can speculate.
In 2005, when LW took in 2.4 million, Ray's compensation jumped up to $50,000.
In 2006 Ray was compensated with $119,784. 120k!! I am working my ass off in college to become a chemical engineer. The average salary for a 20 yr veteran chem. eng. is only 100k. I can't believe that some mustached schmuck, hocking bible tracts marked up 137%, is earning more than I prospectively ever will.
Year 2006 also marked the first appearance of Camrolio Productions Inc, which received 119k for its "professional talent services". Googling their name only returned two Kirk Cameron sites on which he listed Camrolio to be his agent. I wouldn't be suprised if hes also their only client.
Of course we can't say definitively that the compensation that Comfort and Cameron recieved weren't then given to charity after being in their hands. I would find this peculiar though. Why would you remove money from a nonprofit organization, have income taxes applied to it, and then donate it to charity. To me this is implausible and counterproductive. Plus, we can find out some things about Ray's assets. Form 990 listed Rays address, which means we can find stuff out about
Ray lives in Bellflower, CA, a suburb of LA. By visiting LA's county assessor website I found out that Ray's house has been valued at a quarter of a million dollars. Additionally, I visited the LA Times real estate section and looked at some of the going rates for houses in his neighborhood. Even if he doesn't own the best house in town, he certainly lives in a nice neighborhood. I can only wonder, as I sit in my shabby 1 room apartment, where a man owning a 250k dollar 4 bedroom house can get the gall to act as though he is suffering for his faith.
With regards to Ray's charitableness, I think we can all agree
*Edit - Upon further investigation I've discovered that Ray's speaking requirements to be
"• We do not charge a fee, but a "love offering" is requested
• The church must allow Living Waters to set-up a book table
• Two round-trip airline tickets from LAX (preferably a direct flight--this is very important)
• Hotel accommodations for two people (one room, two beds)
• If you want to schedule Ray, then there must be a minimum of 1000 people in attendance. (To schedule another staff member there need only be 200 people in attendance.)"
WTF is a "Love Offering"?