Why would anyone trust Greg Locke?

I did suggest that Greg Locke’s tax exempt status be revoked, as did many other people. It is now being reported that Locke has “dissolved” his status as a 501(c)(3) organization.

However, I have to bring up two facts. (1) This is a self-assertion that has not been verified, and (2) Greg Locke is a loud-mouthed liar. I’ll believe it when I see evidence that Locke’s church has started paying taxes on his revenue.

For now, you should look at the IRS statement on tax exemptions for churches.

Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Donors are allowed to claim a charitable deduction for donations to a church that meets the section 501(c)(3) requirements even though the church has neither sought nor received IRS recognition that it is tax exempt. In addition, because churches and certain other religious organizations are not required to file an annual return or notice with the IRS, they are not subject to automatic revocation of exemption for failure to file. See Annual Return Filing Exceptions for a complete list of organizations that are not required to file.

See that bit in boldface? Most churches do not have to apply for 501(c)(3) status. Just say you are a church (I presume you could have to show that you have a congregation, etc., or I could do the same), and the IRS doesn’t require you to file an application for that status. Locke very likely has never had to apply for 501c3 communism and didn’t have anything to renounce, and will probably not pay any taxes on his church by default.

Never ever take a Christian at their word, and especially don’t trust evangelical fanatics.


  1. acroyear says

    John Oliver’s show recently (ok, thanks to Covid blurring the last 3 years I have no idea how recent) established a ‘Church’ to show how simple it is to do it. There really is no direct requirement for proving a congregation. It is insane the deference that is granted.

  2. answersingenitals says

    The significance of the 501(c)3 status is not that the church leader avoids taxes. They pay income tax like everyone else*. The main significance is that contributions to the church (which could include property, stock, or anything of monetary value) are tax deductible for the contributor. This is true for any 501(c)3 charitable organization. So a major way for people to avoid taxes, especially if it is a onetime windfall income, is to donate a portion of their income to a church (or any 501(c)3 charity). Of course, this increases the tax burden on everyone else since taxation is a zero sum (or, most often, a negative sum) process. Also, in almost every county, church property is not subject to property tax, again increasing the tax burden on these not so blessed.

    However, church official salaries are usually quite low, but are made up for with extensive perks, such as free housing, cars, travel, occasionally private jets, and dozens of other perks that are not taxable as income.

  3. acroyear says

    @2 – the workaround is that many of the leader’s ‘personal’ possessions are often bought and owned by the “church”. This was the case for that jackass who decided he needed another airplane, as well as many of the homes, cars, decor owned by some of the more famous televangelists of the age.

    So they donate a lot of their salary back to the church, but then combine that with having most of their living expenses written off not as salary but as work expenses (tax deductible) and most of their possessions aren’t theirs.

    Net result: less tax than I pay, while living a better life than I could imagine.

    I really wish I didn’t have ethics. Life would be so much easier…

  4. consciousness razor says

    The way to go is not to target the bad-apple churches that “break the rules” (or go after what you think are the worst offenders, etc.), but to end the entire practice of treating them like they’re a charity because they’re “religious.”

    The whole community/society is supporting that entity when it’s exempt, and that entity being “religious” is no kind of guarantee that the community benefits from that entity’s activities. (Never mind how easy it is to pretend to be a sincere/genuine type of religion when it’s really just some other type of scam.)

    But it’s much worse than merely lacking some kind of guarantee. It’s practically begging for stuff that will not fit with a secular, non-exclusionary, good-for-the-community-at-large concept of what a charity is supposed to be and what it’s supposed to do.

  5. Rich Woods says

    @answersingenitals #2:

    and dozens of other perks that are not taxable as income.

    Such as crystal meth and rent boys.

  6. consciousness razor says

    I’ll believe it when I see evidence that Locke’s church has started paying taxes on his revenue.

    My guess is that he’s probably still able to take advantage of any of the various rich-person exemptions that we provide for our needy upper class. I mean, it’s not like they had to found The First Reformed Unity Holiness Church of Amazon, in order to ensure Jeff Bezos got the special treatment.

    So technically, he could be telling the truth and you still wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at that.

  7. silvrhalide says

    Hmm. Knew I’d find the relevant part on the IRS website. And here it is!
    on page 4

    Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status
    All IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
    n their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual; n they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests;
    n they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation;
    n they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office; and
    n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

    But for anyone who wants to report… here’s how!

    and if you want a reward for doing so, use Form 211

    My real question is: is Greg Locke accepting tax deductible donations for his 501(3)(c) charity and if so, how is that money being spent and for what purpose? Asking because on p. 3
    Religious Organizations
    Unlike churches, religious organizations that wish to be tax exempt generally must apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status unless their gross receipts do not normally exceed $5,000 annually.

    So is it a church or a religious organization? Or just a charity? Apparently it matters.

    Also on p. 3
    Although there is no requirement to do so, many churches seek recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS because this recognition assures church leaders, members and contributors that the church is recognized as exempt and qualifies for related tax benefits. For example, contributors to a church that has been recognized as tax exempt would know that their contributions generally are tax-deductible.

    Well that’s certainly going to call into question the donations of any big time donors. Because if a donor to Locke’s 501(c)(3) makes a donation and then deducts it from his/her taxes, it would appear that that would only be allowable if the recipient organization as tax exempt which would make the donation tax deductible. Or not if the organization is not tax exempt… that’s quite a ripple effect…donors could wind up owing some taxes (and possibly penalties) for improper tax deductions. Pull on that thread… heh heh heh.

    Well well well…
    The part about inurement is really interesting too.
    No wonder Locke’s dissolved his 501(c)(3). AND contacted his lawyer. Looks as if he may need one.

  8. says

    I went to college with the founder of Pastafarinism. AKA The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As far as I can tell, they are NOT tax exempt despite being just as legitimate as any other religion.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    Besides being afraid of the PR backlash that would come with “going after a church,” I truly believe that a lot of Democrats don’t consider people like Locke to be any sort of a threat. These are just a tiny bunch of loonies out in the sticks. No one is going to listen to them and going after their 501(c)(3) would be more trouble than it’s worth. Ignore them.

    If that’s the case, I’d remind the Dems that Locke was at the Jan 6. insurrection.

  10. silvrhalide says

    @10 See the link I provided for the 501(c)(3) at irs.gov or here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

    As far as Pastafarianism (my roommate has the tee shirts BTW), if there is no parent organization, then the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (He Boiled For Your Sins!) would probably need to register.

    Church Exemption Through a Central/Parent Organization
    A church with a parent organization may wish to contact the parent to see if it has a group ruling. If the parent holds a group ruling, then the IRS may already recognize the church as tax exempt. Under the group exemption process, the parent organization becomes the holder of a group ruling that identifies other affiliated churches or other affiliated organizations. A church is recognized as tax exempt if it is included in a list provided by the parent organization. If the church or other affiliated organization is included on the list, it doesn’t need to take further action to obtain recognition of tax-exempt status.
    An organization that isn’t covered under a group ruling should contact its parent organization to see if it’s eligible to be included in the parent’s application for the group ruling. For general information on the group exemption process, see Publication 4573, Group Exemptions, and Revenue Procedure 80-27, 1980-1 C.B. 677.

    Pages 1-20 at the above link are the really relevant ones. The examples of what activities can cause you to lose your tax exempt status are… interesting, to say the least. Also relevant to the activities captured on the ranting preacher clip.

    @11 The federal government, notably the IRS and the FBI, go after religious groups all the time. Just like the police, they rely on informants and tips from the public. If you don’t want to report directly to a federal agency, you can always call your senators’ offices or representatives’ offices and report to them.
    That’s actually a thing.
    The odds of your talking directly to your senator or representative are vanishingly small; the likelier outcome is that you will speak to a staff member who will either write down whatever it is you are complaining about or else ask you to fill out whatever relevant agency form yourself, then send it on to the relevant agency via the office.

    As far as the “PR backlash” for going after (ostensibly) religious organizations, I’d like to point out that the FBI went after David Koresh’s Waco cult, they & the IRS routinely go after Mormon splinter groups for kidnapping, child abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse, tax fraud and tax evasion; the FBI & the US Marshalls went after the Ruby Ridge nut jobs for failure to appear at a firearms hearing (Randy Weaver, was, at the time running away and hiding in the mountains from the IRS for nonpayment of taxes AND hanging out with white supremacists). Being a member of a particular religion or religious organization doesn’t mean you are a target but you sure aren’t excused from your tax and legal obligations either.

    All of the idiots at the Jan. 6 insurrection–especially the morons who took a moment to go onto social media during–have had all their accounts recorded on the federal wi-fi/internet. It’s just a question of going through the records. When you use a smartphone in particular or any cell phone, your phone is automatically tracked by the carrier (Verizon, AT&T), the actual cell phone towers (because geometry and IT) and whatever network your smartphone or other device automatically jumps on to in order to make calls, make & upload videos of yourself committing treason, go onto your social media accounts, etc–all of that is captured in the hotspot/wifi logs and the service provider logs. The towers, through the miracle of triangulation and geometry and trigonometry, can tell EXACTLY where you were at any given time. So, the guy sitting at Nancy Pelosi’s desk and or smearing his feces on the wall? Your phone has you precisely pinned at the place, time and date. Dumbasses all. (Although if they were smart, would they have been there in the first place?) In case you haven’t been paying attention, lots of the Jan. 6 idiots have already been tried, sentenced and are serving time or else they pleaded out and are serving time or are scheduled to. But it takes time to go through logs, security camera footage and to trace these people down. Jan. 6 was a really big moron assembly. It takes time to go through ALL the morons.

    If you are really concerned about something, don’t whinge on a blog. Make the call.

  11. says

    Whatever happened to “render unto Caesar…”?
    Hahahaha I know.

    Christians – that separation of church and state stuff was for your protection. What a cluster of fucks.

  12. unclefrogy says

    ya what happened?
    that is why i never really took the religious claim seriously. I do not even think many of the most vocal believe in “their god as revealed” it has always looked more like it is about control, power and politics and not about any eternal god
    a nasty business

  13. birgerjohansson says

    He looks a bit like a lamprey. Don’t let him get close to you.

  14. blf says

    @16, It has been thought lampreys were related to hagfish. Hagfish are notorious for producing copious amounts of slime, similar to greglockes, albeit between the two, hagfish are more desirable. Lamperys apparently have a very simple brain, again like greglockes, albeit between the two, lamperys are more desirable. Both hagfish and (I believe) lamperys have no spine, again similar to greglockes and many others of their ilk. Some lamperys apparently have a high tolerance for iron, somewhat reminiscent of greglockes high tolerance for gold. There are probably other similarities between greglockes and one or both of lamperys and hagfish, much to the disgust of lamperys, hagfish, most other non-vertebrates, and all vegetables and vertebrates.

  15. whheydt says

    An SF filker (Robinson) once described the difference between a lamprey and a hagfish… A lamprey attaches to a host, drills a hole though the skin and sucks the guts out. A hagfish does the same, but only after the host is dead.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    A hagfish is therefore a slimy eater of dead carcasses .. . It reminds me of the way the tories/Republicans behave.

    But lampreys are more agressive, like a couple of parasitic organisms currently working as governors.