Preliminary Investigations Into Michael Voris' Income (Since He is So Highly Concerned About the Income of Others)
For background, see my previous paper, Michael Voris Applied for the Job of Host of Catholic Answers Live in February 2009 / Resulting Irony and Hypocrisy. In a recent video, Voris cynically aired the (already public) salaries of several people at Catholic Answers, Catholic radio host Al Kresta, EWTN figure Doug Keck, etc., then added that his own salary was $40,000.
The cynicism resided in his insinuation (not for the first time) that this money was at least partially ill-gotten gains: obtained at the price of personal integrity, meaning (for Voris) that these people are afraid to speak out against problems in the Church because they are supposedly beholden financially to the bishops (Karl Keating has since clarified that Catholic Answers receives no grants at all from bishops, and never has).
Voris' stated $40,000 "salary" must be from RealCatholic.TV (in tax year 2011) because it's not listed on the Form 990 for St. Michael's Media. (RealCatholic.TV apparently is / was for-profit and therefore doesn't have to make its return public.)
Very likely, at least a portion of Voris' income, or that of enterprises he founded, is derived from these public non-profit groups as well (something he can easily deny if he wishes to clarify), so let's take a look at that for a few moments, shall we?
1. The most recent 990, for tax year 2011, shows Voris' St. Michael's Media (Voris founded it in 2006) had gross income of $479,195. (Of that $14,394 [3%] was sale of products, the remainder [97%] came from donations.)
2. Voris is the only officer or directed listed. He is said to have worked an average of 38 hours weekly but received zero in reportable compensation and benefits.
3. The company spent $47,541 on "occupancy," which seems to be mortgage payments or rent on its building in Ferndale, Michigan.
4. It also paid a whopping $49,497 in travel expenses.
5. The biggest single cost was $174,177 for "outside services," which are not otherwise explained. Usually this is the kind of line item used to disguise income of the principals (see more on that below).
6. Presumably, Voris' $40,000 salary also doesn't include speaking fees (or anything that might be found within "outside services"). Some unconfirmed sources suggest that Voris may receive as much as $10,000 per talk, but that is unverified, and I make no claims for it at this time (please forget that I even mentioned it).
Since we are told repeatedly by his devotees that Voris is so open and friendly and transparent, I'm sure he would confirm what he charges and how many talks he gives in an average year. If anyone finds out that information, by all means share it with us, so we can know and understand how very self-sacrificial Voris is (compared to all those money-grubbing "establishment" Catholic types). But rest assured, speaking fees are part of income!: albeit not a "salary" per se.
As a comparison:
1. It could be that Voris does what Paul and Judie Brown, of American Life League ("ALL"), do. You might recall that he defended them in the first part of his video, where he attacked Catholic Answers and others.
Let me preface this by saying that Judie Brown is a huge hero to many of us in the pro-life movement. I was involved in about 25 rescues in the late 80s, with five arrests and three trials, and a little bit of jail time, so I was definitely actively involved in it, and it played a big role in bringing me to the Church; I still write about it a lot. Unlike how Michael Voris treats Keating et al, I say that she deserves every last penny she has earned, and need not feel "guilty" about it at all, as all these others whom Voris criticizes apparently are supposed to feel (because they obtain the amounts only by shutting up about modernism and corruption in the Church and never ever ever offending bishops, you see).
ALL has a budget comparable to that of Catholic Answers, about $5.5 million for 2011.
2. Judie is listed as receiving $108,387 in compensation; Paul, none, since he's not an employee.
3. ALL paid $1,197,636 to Paul's printing company for printing services. Presumably Paul had a salary from this company.
4. ALL paid $78,000 yearly as rent for a building owned by Paul Brown.
5. "The personal residence of the President [Judie] was rented to the League" for $36,000. Maybe the Browns claim they work out of their home.
6. If you add up the rents for the building and the home and Judie's salary, the total is $222,387. Then you need to add in whatever Paul takes as income on the $1.2 million he charges for printing. It's easy to imagine income approaching half a million.
7. The 990 has other line items, such as for a generous annuity, that represent, or might represent, income to the Browns.
8. Unsurprisingly, Voris mentioned none of these numbers.
As a further comparison (since we're swinging income numbers around like there's no tomorrow), consider Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis' Form 990 for 2010.
1. He is not listed as a director or officer. Mark Wyatt is president, and Bob's wife is vice president. None of the four directors or officers received compensation; three are listed as spending fifteen minutes weekly working for the apostolate, with Bob's wife spending one hour.
2. Bob is listed not as an employee but as an independent contractor, with his fee being $201,085.
3. Curiously, when Voris was listing salaries of "professional Catholics," he left out any mention of Bob -- another apologist relying on donations from widows and orphans!--who earns 80% of what Karl Keating does, overseeing a company with no employees and with a budget that was 3.3% of Catholic Answers' budget for the same period. I guess Voris would have no problem with that, huh?: even though Bob reported that 91% of his income was from donations (whereas the percentage for Catholic Answers was 69%).
Moreover, Bob is known (some would say notorious) for making all kinds of criticisms of bishops (including his own) and the Church; even to the extent of insinuating recently that Ven. Pope Paul VI was a practicing sodomite. So that may make his money "honest" in Voris' eyes (Bob shows his granite-like integrity in criticizing everyone under the sun), but it's still quite a bit, isn't it? And it still comes from a donor base: with most individual contributors making far less money than Bob does.
This story may perhaps still be developing. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, all you Voris supporters out there: if you could be so kind as to ask Michael what he charges for speaking fees (since he is so upfront about the money he makes, and of course has nothing to hide), and how much is made from that in a year, and get back to us on that, it would be much appreciated. Again, if he makes nothing from speaking (all gratis), then it is simple enough to confirm that. Thanks!
Accountants and other "business folk" out there may also have some relevant input, as to what the above data likely means with regard to Michael Voris' total income in a year.
[see also, further Facebook discussion]
Published on September 01, 2013 15:52
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