Salvation Army - Civil Rights violations, Fraud, Theft
Salvation Army = SLAVE NATION ARMY!
I’m going to try to open your eyes – the public’s eyes - and minds - to the biggest charity scam operation based in southeastern Michigan. I hope my revelations may encourage someone to do something to stop the plundering of the public under the guise of a Christian-based charity!
I’m speaking as a ‘beneficiary’ of the Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center. What I hope to expose is based on my observations, experiences and investigations of the Salvation Army’s so-called “rehabilitation” program and the operations of “thrift” stores as an ‘insider’.
I have read numerous reports from various sources on the internet, and other sources, and I empathize with all those who have filed negative reports/complaints about the Salvation Army in various forums. But all I can report on is the S.E. MI A.R.C., and its operations. I am myself, a victim of this organization’s atrocious behaviors. I’m willing to do my best to ensure this information will also be dispersed throughout numerous public forums, including: the internet, as many governmental, civil rights and news agencies as it takes to force a full investigation of the entire Salvation Army organization and to prompt appropriate action be taken to correct the wrongs this so-called Christian, non-profit charity has perpetrated against those truly seeking help… and to the general public.
What I have learned in my time there is that the abuse of the public’s trust and the mistreatment of all who seek recovery from their addictions is exploited by the Salvation Army locally and nationally, if not globally.
The Salvation Army has two ‘rehab’ (Adult Rehabilitation Center) centers in this area – the Detroit center is all male and the Romulus center is all female. The organization also operates thirty-four retail stores and a number of warehousing centers in the area.
I am a ‘beneficiary’ at the Detroit center.
During the intake process at the center, the question is raised as to whether a potential beneficiary has a ‘Bridge’ (food stamp) debit-EBT card. If so, the card must be relinquished. If not, the intake director makes arrangements to obtain one (it is guaranteed that the food stamp debit card will be approved due to the Salvation Army’s collusion with the Family Independence Agency & Health and Human Services departments). It is explained that is how your stay at the center will be paid for, and, very well may be food stamp FRAUD. Because the cardholder no longer has any control how the debit card may be used…but has been coerced into relinquishing that control to the Salvation Army.
A beneficiary can be best described as someone who is attempting to recover from an addiction, homelessness, joblessness, alcoholism, or any other alienation from family and society. Some beneficiaries are ‘walk-in’ (those who seek recovery under their own volition), and some are court-ordered, those who are forced into the program by the Department of Corrections as an alternative to probation and/or parole prerogatives. Non-the-less, they are people who may be seeking a way to better themselves and their lives.
You are then told that the program is not a rehab program, but a work therapy program! And, it is explained, that is another part of the way that your stay at the center is paid for. The S.E. MI A.R.C. administration has the audacity to call it work therapy, but it is actually slave labor. The beneficiaries are DOING THE MOST WORK! Beneficiaries are the back bone of this organization, although much of the general public has been duped into believing they are volunteers. Any area, or department a beneficiary is assigned to is included in that department’s operating budget and a salary value is attached. The beneficiary does not get a salary, the Salvation Army gets to report a salary, and the Salvation Army gets to ‘cook the books’ on operating costs in its annual report. It is just another way the ARC can get another revenue-earning deduction which is included in operating costs.
I believe a closer look at the organization’s ‘books’ should be taken by a legitimate governmental oversight agency on a continued basis to guarantee the legitimacy of this organization’s reports. I do not believe the Salvation Army would survive such scrutiny
If a person is court-ordered to participate in the ARC program, the Salvation Army receives payment from the Department of Corrections. That way, the Salvation Army is profiting three ways on court-ordered beneficiaries! The organization obtains the Bridge-EBT card, gets free labor and receives a reimbursement from the court system/Department of Corrections. These beneficiaries may get a reduced sentence/parole/probation by completing a six month program. It may sound like a good deal, except court-ordered beneficiaries are rarely able to complete the six month program because the Salvation Army tyrants always seem to find a reason to discharge these people so the only choice they have would be to go back to jail, or start the six month program all over. The Salvation Army can string these along people for up to several years for free labor.
Beneficiaries who receive a pension, social security benefits, or any other type supplemental income must sign over 75% of said monthly payments to the Salvation Army to cover the cost of residing there. This practice costs those beneficiaries from $800 to $1200 dollars per month, and they still have to work for free.
Those who complete the program and attempt to become an employee must go through an additional three months residency, as a probationary period and pay $800 per month rent. They get paid minimum wage and find themselves in a “catch 22” situation because their pay is so low and their rent is so high, they have no way to get out of the quagmire the Salvation Army has put them in.
Should they make it past the probationary period, they become either resident-employees, or they may become a regular employee and move out to a private residence. Again, with rent so high and pay so low, it is very difficult to live outside the facility. Some of the employees from the male facility have fraternized with employees from the female facility to ‘shack up’ in order for both to saved costs on their living arrangements. Fraternization is strictly prohibited by the Salvation Army’s rules, but due to favoritism this practiced is permitted.
The different charges for, and the treatment of the different types of residents are thoroughly discriminatory. That is another violation of civil rights.
And in all cases, everyone must continue to attend “classes” and attend all chapel related events!
Residing at the Salvation Army is not free! The Salvation leads the public to believe all services are presented to those in need for free! (This organization states this on its websites)
.Most of the work is done in numerous areas by the beneficiaries with little or no recognition and no real compensation at all. And, the beneficiaries are treated as if they are sub-human at the job sites.
We (beneficiaries who are hoping for recovery from our shortcomings) expect to be treated like human beings, not used to reap a profit for a corrupt organization, not exploited, not violated, disregarded, discriminated against, harassed, flagrantly punished, denied our freedom of speech, denied our freedom of privacy, treated like criminals, regarded as having no credibility whatsoever and subjected to psychological abuse - brainwashing...or…most importantly, forced into indentured servitude! Slavery!!
It is really human trafficking practiced by an organization that claims to be opposed to it.
Human trafficking (also referred to as trafficking in persons or TIP) is an umbrella term used to describe the process by which millions of people become enslaved each year. A widely accepted definition of TIP has been created by the United Nations (UN). The UN definition is as follows:
"(a) 'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of exploitation, forced labor of services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in sub-paragraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in sub-paragraph (a) have been used;
(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered 'trafficking in persons' even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in sub-paragraph (a) of this article;
(d) 'Child' shall mean any person less than eighteen years of age"
The UN definition of trafficking in persons can be divided into three parts: acts, the means used to commit those acts, and goals for which those acts are committed. At least one element from each of the three parts of the trafficking definition is required to create a TIP case.
Each year millions of human beings are subjected to the trafficking process and find themselves exploited in settings such as brick kilns, sweatshops, chicken farms, cocoa plantations, mines, fisheries, rock quarries, or for compulsory participation in public works or military service, Salvation Army operations, as well as a variety of other settings. Countless others, predominately women and female children, but also boys, are trafficked into the commercial sex industry where they are used in forms of commercial sexual exploitation like prostitution, ***, and nude dancing. Some are sold as "brides."
Slavery is Trafficking in persons is frequently referred to as modern-day slavery. an apt analogy that shocks and challenges us. Americans in particular are moved by this comparison. To us, slavery is a sordid, indelible stain on our national heritage, but nevertheless it is an evil most believe we conquered and relegated to the history books. However, news media accounts, on-the-ground intelligence from nongovernmental organizations, and reports from agencies such as the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime create a different picture. They reveal the inescapable truth that trafficking is one of the principle means by which slavery survives.
The definition of trafficking in persons is met by the Salvation Army’s actions: a) forcing beneficiaries to work in Salvation Army facilities as part of “work therapy”, b) threatening beneficiaries with punishment up to discharge from the A.R.C. if they do not comply, c) the goal being to maintain the process that produces profit for the Salvation Army. In other words, beneficiaries are kept in a state of indentured servitude.
(The above-mentioned statements are similar to those on the Salvation Army’s own website in the section on their ‘fight’ against human trafficking!)
The beneficiaries and resident employees are the prostitutes of the Salvation Army, to be pimped out to the organization’s various profit making concerns for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the Salvation Army, the most profitable, non-profit organization in the world!
The whole operation here stinks of a religion-based cult! It violates every constitutional, labor, safety and environmental law there is! (I will address these separate areas throughout this report.)
The only god worshiped by the Salvation Army is money. The program is run by relentless mini-dictators who have taken their positions to the extreme and will yield to no one and believe they do not have to answer to anyone. Their illegal practices should not be ignored any longer.
They are a disgrace to the idea of A Salvation Army and religious beliefs of all faiths.
The Salvation Army may appear to provide excellent and reliable service in helping domestically, and in foreign countries, but only when a photo opportunity presents itself, when television news and newspaper cameras are present, or when the organization stages a self-promoting event.
The program here is a total fraud and an outright failure when it comes to helping people with homelessness and addiction issues. It is what it is, “A FRONT” for a money-making machine exploiting human suffering. The only homeless, helpless, addicted, alcoholic persons it “HELPS” are the ones who it is able to SNAG into the so-called rehab programs.
This organization does not help the general public, or anyone ‘on the street’, it only tries to snare people into a program that is designed to only generate profit! This organization provides no real services for the public, no safe houses for battered women, no temporary shelters for ‘street people’, no alternatives for children who may find themselves separated from their parents, (and, as far as I have seen) no food service trucks for people on the streets. The only ‘food trucks’ I have seen are the ones that service the Salvation Army’s catering concerns. This organization does not actively seek out and help anyone who will not result in a profit. The beneficiaries are provided only donated food (a lot of it well past expiration dates), while the catering services provide first-rate, purchased food specifically for the catering services.
Their oppressive approach has created a hostile, stressful, mentally unhealthy environment for the beneficiaries and employees alike. For example: Employees and beneficiaries (after 13 weeks in the program) are mandated to attend AA/NA meetings, which may be unconstitutional and illegal due the religious nature of those meetings.
Also, it is mandatory that everyone must attend chapel services every Sunday…men and women alike…in the church/chapel at the Detroit-Fort street facility (unless they are in work therapy). Also, on Wednesday evenings, beneficiaries must attend a chapel/bible study service. We are being forced, against our will, to attend church services that most would not attend otherwise. That is a clear violation of our Constitutional rights!
You do not need a church to worship your higher power. I worship my higher power every day. I believe…as I look around at this wonderful universe I am part of, and think that this all did not get here by chance. But why is the Salvation Army permitted to tell me who my GOD should be?
Beneficiaries are required to attend various ‘classes’ throughout the week such as: Living Sober, Relapse Prevention, Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Bible Studies and various others. These ‘classes’ are thinly-veiled brainwashing sessions. They are run by facilitators, not teachers, because they are not certified as teachers in the state of Michigan. Somehow, regardless of the supposed focus of the class, the facilitators relentlessly direct all thought back to the Salvation Army’s religious point of view.
A number of the facilitators also double as ‘counselors’. Beneficiaries are required to schedule counseling sessions around their work and class times. The focus of the counseling sessions is also mainly religious in nature. Beneficiaries are required to complete ‘journals’ – religious in nature – to be permitted completion of the program.
The inmates run the asylum in Detroit. Everyone in control of anything is someone who has been through the program (sometimes several times), a recovering drug addict, a recovering alcoholic, a convicted felon, a child molester, or some other type of reprobate…and it appears they make the rules as they go along. Many are the biggest thieves and liars in the place! They run the place like a prison slave labor camp. They confiscate beneficiaries’ items, at will, and keep the items for their own use. They allow thefts from the warehouses, only to do “dorm raids” so they may confiscate the goods for their own use! They are also the first to steal as soon as worthwhile shipments come to the Detroit, Pontiac and Romulus warehouses. (Just look at their shoes, clothes they wear, electronic devices they have and various & sundry items…everything has been ‘appropriated’!) Yet, they act as if they are above the laws of society, because they are running their own kind of society! They believe they don’t have to live by the laws the rest of society must. I will be naming names throughout this report.
At the thrift stores the managers, assistant managers and paid employees are the ones who have ‘first pick’ of any valuable merchandise that is received from donors, and they take unabashed advantage of their positions. Each store has its own ‘production line’ to receive merchandise at the donation area, a number of sorters, people who price and tag goods and the people who place the goods in the store showroom. When clothing is sorted and placed in the showroom, it is never washed. So, when you buy articles of clothing at a Salvation Army thrift store you are getting clothing that some paid employee has determined to be clean enough to sell. In some cases, this practice could be a health issue.
The pricing in the stores is based on the Salvation Army’s value chart and the prices still end up being near prices you would find at any other retail stores such as: Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s and many others that sell brand new items.
The working conditions in the back of the stores are run like sweat shops. The production quotas are set at unbelievable demands. If the quotas are met…they are raised. Many times beneficiaries are working on the lines and are threatened with possible discharge if they do not perform up to expectations, or to the demands of the paid (civilian) management types. The people who are under pressure (paid management employees) from their higher ups, for quota numbers, pass their frustration on to the people working the line. And, again, the beneficiaries are the ones who bear the brunt of any retribution. They always face being penalized, up to discharge, because of some employee’s blunder. How in the world does it benefit a beneficiary, who may be truly trying to put their life back together, to continually face the possibility of being put back on the streets…and in most cases, actually being put back on the streets, because of some marginally employable person’s mistakes or incompetency?
And, this is a Christian organization? This is clearly a money making organization. Production numbers, and profits to be made, are clearly put before any beneficiary’s recovery. Money before helping your fellow man is the message here. And by claiming to be a ‘charity’ all its financials should be public record.
Many of the stores are also mini-warehouse facilities…which provides the Salvation Army with even more cubic feet of storage for merchandise that is donated TAX FREE from the unsuspecting public, sorted out, picked through and then sold back to the public (if it is not stolen first, or sent to the trash compactor!).
The three main warehouse facilities (and many other ‘hidden’ warehouse facilities in this area) affords the Salvation Army approximately over 500 thousand square feet of storage for merchandise donated by the unsuspecting public. In the more than 500 thousand square feet of warehouse storage, it must be kept in mind that the storage bins used (4’x4’x4’sized-and sometimes larger-cardboard boxes commonly called ‘gaylords’) are stacked, most times, three units high (up to approximately 16’), affords the Salvation Army the storage of more than a billion dollars of free surplus merchandise in 8 MILLION CUBIC FEET OF SPACE! This is not a poor, or suffering charity operation! They put more, perfectly good, merchandise into their compacters, as trash, than they ever present to the public for sale. Apparently this organization gets paid more for landfill trash than it would make by selling to the public living on limited means. This is for the southeastern Michigan operations alone!
An enormous amount of donated merchandise never reaches the stores, but is sent as trash to the compactors at several of the warehouse facilities and stores.
MORE TO COME!
(Additional notes and points that will be explained)
Resident employee rent increase and policies – deceptive practices toward the public and beneficiaries -The PROGRAMMING brainwashing that stinks of a CULT – violations of Labor laws, Safety laws and Environmental laws; not to mention the unconstitutionality of many of their practices – working conditions – theft – fraud - complaints by workers – rampant racism -sexual harassment - misuse of funds -employee treatment - duping the public – complaints from around the world - falsifying reports – presenting a false public image -possible cases of embezzlement – the perks and treatment of Officers coercion – intent for the institution of a class action lawsuit - the intention to contact appropriate government agencies - asking for the involvement of the ACLU and other civil rights activists – a breakdown of profits – and the homophobic stance this organization has and the actions taking in regards to lobbying against GLBT groups and related efforts to circumvent the rights of people…even though in the Detroit area operations there are a number of gays in leadership or administrative positions
Do not donate to these scam artists!