- Report: #426413
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army615 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, Virginia U.S.A.
The Salvation Army Shame on these people! Alexandria, Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas Virginia is the National HeadQuarters
*General Comment: Former Salvation Army Officer
*Consumer Comment: Red Cross, Red Kettles --It's Still a Scam to Me
*Author of original report: Sorry, you have no credibility, perhaps delusions of grandeur?
*UPDATE Employee: Very vague
*Consumer Comment: I HAVE A FEW THINGS I CAN SAY ABOUT THEM AS A RESULT OF MYUNDERCOVER STUDY OF THEM
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This organization is one of the (If not THE) richest charities in the country. They appeal to good-hearted people as a "poor" charity that "does the most good" for people. They helpp themselves, mostly.
I had opportunity to see them over quite a few years, in various locations. The scam is this:
1. Take some people that attend church for awhile, or the kids of existing officers, send them to "school" and teach them to become officers, then send them out to various cities to either become assistants, or to be in charge of the local organization.
2. Once in charge, these people are not supervised, other than whether they raise their quotas of donations and pay the higher up people a 10% share of their monies raised. Since they are generally ignorant and incompetent, but since they are "ministers", they get away with all kinds of abuse and mismanagement, as well as illegal activities in some cases.
3. To further the problem, The Salvation Army is top heavy with older officers and has huge administrative costs, which they try to disguise to donors as "program" costs. The officers rarely do anything, other than bark orders (no matter how ridiculous), so they have to hire outsiders to do their work, driving costs up even more. Most of their "program" costs are church-related activities, which are basically related to the ministers' costs.
4. The entire organization, including the National Commander, are in the "brotherhood of the church" and refuse to see anything bad or negative about the place, even with proof of problems. Their responses are to dump any complaints back to the original source, or to the persons complained about, for THEM to resolve! That's like asking the fox to resolve the issue of his eating the chickens! Why do they cover up for each other?
*Mainly, to preserve a great deal for their ministers and their families. The organization raises billions yearly (they could pay off the national debt today!), which mainly (I'd estimate 80%) goes to pay for salaries of TSA (The Salvation Army) ministers, their wives, their kids' needs, their vehicles (these are for "church" use, yet are almost always unmarked?), their vehicle gasoline, their vehicle insurance, kids drive the cars too, their home phones, their cell phones, their utilities, their houses (these are usually $500,000 homes in great areas-what's Israel live in?), their trips to "conferences", their ful medical/dental for them, spouses and kids (even adult children with them). And, they get food for free, plus petty cash for anything in between.
Not bad, but it gets worse: Each one of these dill rods also has to have an assistant set of officers to run the church, or to run programs, or just to be the whipping boy (if right out of their "college"). Yeah, each set of "assistants" is also given all the freebies listed above.
You could estimate the costs for houses, living expenses and salaries (and retirement perks deferred for them) per couple as $100,000 per year EASILY, and that's not counting the higher up people like in Virginia.
So what happens when you report fraud, mismanagement, abuse or other problems?
*First, they deny or ignore it, hoping it will go away. Then, they take anything you report, send it in total back to the origin of the complaint for them to resolve! Like washing their hands of the problem?? The minister that is responsible for the problem simply either explains it away (this is always taken at their word, since they are "ministers" too), or blames someone else that is not an officer (ie, throw them under a bus?). In the worst case, such as legal problems (there are documented reports of minister couples having violent DV situations, officers stealing money, officers' kids abusing cars or property, molestation concerns, etc) what does the Salvation Army do?
They simply move the offender to a different location far away. This is regular and common, but they call it "answering the Lord's call to move" or some silly crap, which is used for many things.
People working for The Salvation Army (regular employees) are treated very badly, including harassment by the ministers, other staff, church people. There is no recourse because of the fact the Salvation Army is seen as a holy institution, no one believes it, especially the public that keeps giving them money. They pay well below the local average in wages, explaining that the employee is working for a "poor" organization doing the "lord's work" and shouldn't expect high wages-most employees are under Federal Poverty guidelines due to the organization's own set salary scales! When the officers hire their own kids or parents to work (yep, it's nepotism, happens ALL the time), they get paid above average wages, or overpaid for less work. Nice.
Why are wages low? To pay for the extravagant lifestyles of many of the officers! They run low on money due to mismanagement, they simply lay off employees and make the remaining crew work harder-the officers don't help, they are "busy".
If a good lawyer or person that does reporting/news wanted to have a great story, investigate this place. It's amazing. Contact current and ex employees, they'll tell you the real story about the harassment and abuse by officers.
By the way, when you donate your property, it is sold and the money goes into big old trust funds that are invested to make even more money; these are used to buy the big houses the officers live in.
Start with the local Salvation Army property lists- just look at the values, go see the houses. If you investigate officers, just look at the costs in their accounting offices for just them and their families-forget the "church" cost excuses. Every local Salvation Army officer is taught to "poor mouth". They appear pious on TV and say "we're not going to be able to feed anyone this year" and look at the ground. Donations then pour in, usually more money than anything else, all is good again. Same routines with special events, toys, programs, etc. They fundraise to pay themselves/buy new cars and toys.
What a joke!
My advice to any good church person, Christian, or donor: DO NOT give the Salvation Army a dime, now or ever!! They are a classic Rip-Off. Don't believe the lies about "doing the most good". Those Red Kettles raise money that never sees a poor person, it goes into the "general fund" which is the officers' pockets! Any program run there (like shelters, food, etc) is paid for mainly by government funding (oh yes, they get HUD money, state money, local government money, FEMA) that restricts the usage-they've tried for years to circumvent government regulations to allow use in the church, to no avail.
The Salvation Army was a great organization before 1980. They were respected and built a wonderful reputation. Then, they got greedy. Now, it's all about getting a piece of the pie for themselves. In the pre-greed era, the Sally ministers were few, worked very hard and lived simply. They helped people in need, had few staff and litle administrative support. Now, it's PR directors, HR departments, Admin support, mail appeal (yes, they pay companies to raise even more money!), wills and estates experts, legal teams, IT departments- none of this crap is program related!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/20/2009 05:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Salvation-Army/Alexandria-Virginia-22313/The-Salvation-Army-Shame-on-these-people-Alexandria-Tucson-Phoenix-Las-Vegas-Virginia-426413. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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