‘Mormon Land’: Director of Canadian documentary about LDS finances discusses a church ‘in crisis’

Questions about the faith’s money practices and its skirting of taxes raise eyebrows in Australia and Canada amid calls for reforms and governmental investigations

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Cardston Alberta Temple stands a symbol of the faith's presence in Canada. But questions are arising about how the church deals with its finances in the country.

The financial dealings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to make headlines around the world.

We’ve documented its vast landholdings. Its multibillion-dollar reserves. And the ups and downs of its staggering stock portfolio. Now, the latest twist comes from Canada, where “The Fifth Estate,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s version of “60 Minutes,” detailed how the Utah-based faith funneled $1 billion in the past 15 years to its Brigham Young University campuses in the U.S.

Most of that tax-free money came from the tithes and donations of the 200,000 or so members who live in Canada. Although Canada’s laws allow the practice, it nonetheless deprives its treasury of hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used to support services in that country.

On this week’s show, Timothy Sawa, the producer and director of “The Fifth Estate” documentary, discusses the expose, how it came about, what else it uncovered, the faith’s financial tangles in Australia, its response and calls for reform and governmental investigations of a church “in crisis.”

Listen here: