Slap Into Action: On To Phase Two
In early September, I posted a call to action regarding the registered charitable status of Exodus Global Alliance, a religious organisation that promotes “freedom from homosexuality” through prayer and something they call sexual reorientation therapy.
The medical and scientific community flatly rejects the activities of Exodus, condemning them as dangerous and capable of serious psychological harm. Yet, as a registered charity in Canada, Exodus doesn’t pay taxes and all individuals who donate money can write it off on their annual income tax forms. Worse still, Exodus dishonestly hides their principal activities when reporting annually to the Canada Revenue Agency, omitting all mentions of homosexuality and instead declaring that they “help families and individuals in pain.” (A statement, it should be noted, that is completely contradicted by medical consensus.)
The Slap Into Action campaign was started in early September to help let the CRA know that Exodus has not been honestly reporting their activities and that their mission appears to be in discord with the CRA’s own regulations.
It’s been going wonderfully.
Since autumn, hundreds of letters are estimated to have been sent to the Canada Revenue Agency from people like you. Of particular note, a letter drafted by Stuart Holtby, MD has been circulated and signed by numerous medical professionals, including doctors, psychologists, academics, psychiatrists, and even the head of psychiatry at a major city hospital. We’ve also got the attention of the mainstream media across the country. I’ve been personally interviewed for newspapers and on the radio, but others have gone even further. Recently, the Québec section of the federal New Democratic Party adopted our campaign’s position as official policy under the advice of NDP member Matt McLauchlin.
Which brings me to the next steps.
Phase Two: Strengthen The CRA’s Investigative Procedures
Exodus was awarded charitable status in Canada by slipping through the CRA’s public benefit rules. Exodus dishonestly represents themselves, repeatedly hiding their principal activities on tax forms. Unfortunately, the investigative tools and procedures within the CRA assumes that these kinds of situations aren’t possible, making the investigation into Exodus slow and opaque.
This needs the attention of parliament.
When investigating charities, the CRA appears to be primarily equipped to deal with violations of the tax act, including failure to file, misrepresenting expenditures, and other financial violations. The standard procedure begins by communicating with charities under investigation to review their books and warns frequent violators of the tax act to clean up their reporting. If violations continue, revocation is considered only as a last resort.
While the CRA officially requires that all charities must continue to uphold the articles of registration (including the public benefit test that Exodus so dutifully dodges with clever filing), their investigative procedures don’t reflect this closely enough, giving Exodus leeway to continue their dangerous, unscientific activities with full charitable benefits.
It’s time to write to your local MP. Let them know that an organisation which causes demonstrable harm according to long-established medical consensus, is operating as a charity in Canada—and that the CRA, while investigating matters dutifully according to procedure, appears to be ill-equipped to handle cases like this efficiently.
I’ve also added new materials on the page, including Stuart Holtby’s letter from the medical community and a wonderful sidebar badge suggested and created by the late Bruce McDonald of Canuck Attitude. (R.I.P, Bruce; I regret taking for granted that there’s normally time to let people like you know how much I appreciate them.)
Please get involved, contact your MP, and Slap Into Action again!