‘Mormon Land’: Co-founders of MormonLeaks discuss their four-year ride exposing church pay, wealth and other secrets

Their Truth & Transparency Foundation is now closed, but did their work have a lasting impact?

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Church Office Building on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. The now-shuttered Truth & Transparency Foundation recently revealed a database that shows the faith's vast U.S. real estate holdings.

After bursting onto the scene in 2016 by releasing leaked videos of apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints privately discussing a range of topics — from politics and piracy to same-sex marriage and marijuana — Ryan McKnight, with help from his colleague Ethan Gregory Dodge, set up a website called MormonLeaks, which gave way to the Truth & Transparency Foundation, and began exposing the inner workings of the Utah-based faith and, eventually, other religions.

Their goal: Push churches to be more open and honest about their practices.

They revealed how much top Latter-day Saint leaders were paid. They uncovered headline-grabbing abuse allegations. And they showed slices of how much wealth the LDS Church was accumulating. Now, they’re shutting down but with one last big scoop: the widest and deepest look ever at the church’s vast U.S. real estate holdings, totaling 1.7 million acres and making the faith the nation’s fifth largest private landowner.

(Courtesy photos) Ryan McKnight and Ethan Gregory Dodge, the co-founders of the now-shuttered Truth & Transparency Foundation, formerly known as MormonLeaks, devoted to religious accountability through impact journalism.

On this week’s show, McKnight and Dodge discuss their latest findings, the work of their foundation, what it accomplished, why they’re closing shop and whether they achieved what they set out to do.

Listen here:

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