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Vision Forum Property


justlurking

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As I was googling info on Vision Forum tonight I came across this Ministry Watchmen thread where a poster provided property info on Vision Forum Ministries--most interestingly, on a piece of property that could be Dougie's house. If you go to this website and type "Vision Forum Ministries" into the search box you will get three listings. The first, appears to be for the house. The second appears to be a gymnasium of some sort--which I'm guessing is the VF warehouse. The third appears to just list upgrades to the house.

I'm not very good at deciphering such information, but the house's value appears to be rather low for all the amenities and improvements it has (pool included). When I look up the address on google maps the house appears to be rather large and certainly looks more than what it's currently valued at.

Is Texas really affordable or something? I'm from New Jersey and you practically couldn't get a townhouse for the price of Dougie's "mansion".

*Special thanks to raineymott for showing me how to hyperlink! :bow-yellow:

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Real estate values in Texas are low, certainly much lower than NJ. Not sure if a place with an indoor pool would be in line with this or not since I also live in a land of god-awful property values (Ca)

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Yes, you can get a house like that for that price in Texas. The house may be worth even more, and the price seen may just be tax value.

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The house appears to be 3500 square feet with a 1712 square foot "enclosure". And a pool. And a greenhouse. And sits 9/10ths of an acre. And has a whopping property tax bill. Texans like to talk about how they don't pay state income tax...well, this property has an $11,756.00/year bill.

Oh yeah, and most people in Texas don't and can't live like this.

The "gymnasium" has a $23,000 tax bill, but because VF is presumably a 501©3, there's not a penny due. Yes, you too are helping support VF with your tax dollars. PFFFFTH.

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Notice how Dougie doesn't own the property, nor does Vision Forum INC. It's owned by Vision Forum MINISTRIES. So if the business arm goes tits up and Dougie goes bankrupt (unlikely I know), the Ministries side of things will survive and Dougie gets to keep his nice, little house.

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Notice how Dougie doesn't own the property, nor does Vision Forum INC. It's owned by Vision Forum MINISTRIES. So if the business arm goes tits up and Dougie goes bankrupt (unlikely I know), the Ministries side of things will survive and Dougie gets to keep his nice, little house.

And he doesn't pay property tax on it either.....

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From the one plot map, it also seems overbuilt for the neighborhood, and mirele's report that it's on 9/10ths of an acre would confirm that.

BTW, how are you all finding the info on the pool and such? I couldn't get any of that. Granted, I was working from a smartphone.

Now I wanta know the deets of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Phillips' living arrangements. Has Doug surpassed his dad? Isn't that part of the American dream?

ETA a desire to know about the ownership of "Brown's barn" - the prefab building that Scott, Deborah and now just Claudia, I guess, live in, over in North Carolina. Someone on the old board was married to a guy who knew Scott as a landlord/businessman in (IIRC) downtown Raleigh, NC.

The barn stands on some gorgeous property with water features, as I recall.

Also, FWIW, I might've had opportunity to look up the Sreven land ownership in eastern Missouri some time ago, and the house and property there is indeed owned by Marcus & Cheryl and not a "ministries" or "church." Again, FWIW. Not all of these guys are dodging. Which I like knowing.

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From the one plot map, it also seems overbuilt for the neighborhood, and mirele's report that it's on 9/10ths of an acre would confirm that.

BTW, how are you all finding the info on the pool and such? I couldn't get any of that. Granted, I was working from a smartphone.

Now I wanta know the deets of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Phillips' living arrangements. Has Doug surpassed his dad? Isn't that part of the American dream?

Well, if you check out the house on google images, it doesn't look too overbuilt in comparison to other houses. Looks like he lives in a fairly affluent area. You can find the info on the pool under the "Improvements/Building" section of the Bexar CAD site.

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And he doesn't pay property tax on it either.....

Which will save him a bucket load of money as Texas doesn't have state income tax apparently. The deficit from that is made up in property taxes. So Dougie is quids in.

If you look at VF Ministries tax forms you can see that Dougie gets around 50K a year from there, then there is what he pays himself at VF Inc. What with no housing costs, travel expenses which are tax deductible and no doubt no end of other expenses fed through the ministry, that man is on a nice little earner.

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So far as I understood, Jim Leiniger bought that house and the VF facilities to set up VF. Doug's house was part of the deal when Leininger bankrolled the original organization. There was another house that was provided for him initially before he moved up East of Boerne, out towards Sisterdale (where I'd looked at a couple of houses, but we couldn't afford them).

I lived and shopped for homes in that area. The acreage is much cheaper in that area -- usually not more than 10-15K per acre, but the houses are valued higher as well. We ended up buying in Bandera, a little further out and to the West; Boerne was to the north of San Antonio. You could get much more for your money that way.

Our school taxes are paid separately and are based on property values, and ours in Bandera skyrocketed when we lived there. Doug would have likely had a school tax bill every year of at least 12,000 - 15,000K on top of property tax (which is substantially lower -- probably only about 5K a year by comparison). Just a guess, based on what we paid and what houses went for there where I looked and looked for a bargain near Boerne. We just couldn't get what we wanted for the money, so we went west.

We also had to pay an outrageous amount of money in homeowners insurance which I did not anticipate when we made an offer on our house because it was not X number of miles from a fire hydrant. There are no fire hydrants out there in the country where Doug lives, and there is often a shortage of water. They figure that into the cost into homeowners insurance, because the water has to come from the town in trucks. He would have to pay at least $2500 a year minimum for homeowner's insurance because of fire issues, and flood insurance is separate.

Who pays those expenses? Does Doug pay them, or does Vision Forum?

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Put it this way -- If they pay less than that, I'd be very shocked. I think that we did better financially in Maryland when we owned a home there where acreage was valued at $68,000 an acre where we were, just for the land. We didn't pay school tax, if I recall, and the property taxes were nominal by comparison.

If you rent in SA area, it isn't so bad, but the high school and property taxes and the extras like insurance are outrageously high.

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I'd venture a guess that Vision Forum bankrolls all those pesky insurance costs for Doug. I wouldn't be surprised if they paid his taxes, too!

This stuff should really go on a website somewhere.

I'd be curious to know about the Botkins, too. Their county's land records aren't online.

Edited to add: I did find Western Conseratory online and it supposedly had $344,902 income last year. I had to subscribe to Guidestar to get it, but the Form 990 was "interesting". Supposedly they made $100,000+ in "investments" this past year, among other things. Also, I managed to pull a tax card on the Botkin home. The owner is one "Danielle Taylor" and the utilities appear to be in the name of Isaac Botkin. I wonder who Ms. Taylor is?

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I'd venture a guess that Vision Forum bankrolls all those pesky insurance costs for Doug. I wouldn't be surprised if they paid his taxes, too!

This stuff should really go on a website somewhere.

I'd be curious to know about the Botkins, too. Their county's land records aren't online.

Edited to add: I did find Western Conseratory online and it supposedly had $344,902 income last year. I had to subscribe to Guidestar to get it, but the Form 990 was "interesting". Supposedly they made $100,000+ in "investments" this past year, among other things. Also, I managed to pull a tax card on the Botkin home. The owner is one "Danielle Taylor" and the utilities appear to be in the name of Isaac Botkin. I wonder who Ms. Taylor is?

Hmmm, do they rent from a single woman?

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Erm, isn't it a bit fishy to have the utility bills in your kid's name? Is there any good reason to do that? Seems to me you would only do that if you couldn't get credit in your own name.

Daddy doesn't do much, other than prance around in a lab coat once in a while, yet his kids are the ones doing all the work - writing the music, the books, running the websites, etc etc. So it would not surprise me at all if there were some financial shenanigans going on.

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I would guess that the bills in the kid's names are there to prove residency?

I know when I got a Driver's License, when I had to prove what state I lived in, bringing utility bills and the like was seen as proof. Perhaps they have to do that sort of thing to prove that the adult children live at home, for business license purposes and whatnot?

But I still think it's fishy.

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I would guess that the bills in the kid's names are there to prove residency?

I know when I got a Driver's License, when I had to prove what state I lived in, bringing utility bills and the like was seen as proof. Perhaps they have to do that sort of thing to prove that the adult children live at home, for business license purposes and whatnot?

But I still think it's fishy.

In general, if you have a driver's license, voter registration card or pretty much anything else by way of ID, you don't really need to have utilities in your name to prove residence. I'd love to know in what names are on the lease.

Also, if you register for Guidestar, you can review the group's Form 990. I couldn't get it to scan and reprocude here, but that is some interesting reading. My money games radar was tingling, but I'm not an accountant or tax expert, so I couldn't really tell you specifically what is wrong with it.

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So far as I understood, Jim Leiniger bought that house and the VF facilities to set up VF. Doug's house was part of the deal when Leininger bankrolled the original organization. There was another house that was provided for him initially before he moved up East of Boerne, out towards Sisterdale (where I'd looked at a couple of houses, but we couldn't afford them).

I lived and shopped for homes in that area. The acreage is much cheaper in that area -- usually not more than 10-15K per acre, but the houses are valued higher as well. We ended up buying in Bandera, a little further out and to the West; Boerne was to the north of San Antonio. You could get much more for your money that way.

Our school taxes are paid separately and are based on property values, and ours in Bandera skyrocketed when we lived there. Doug would have likely had a school tax bill every year of at least 12,000 - 15,000K on top of property tax (which is substantially lower -- probably only about 5K a year by comparison). Just a guess, based on what we paid and what houses went for there where I looked and looked for a bargain near Boerne. We just couldn't get what we wanted for the money, so we went west.

We also had to pay an outrageous amount of money in homeowners insurance which I did not anticipate when we made an offer on our house because it was not X number of miles from a fire hydrant. There are no fire hydrants out there in the country where Doug lives, and there is often a shortage of water. They figure that into the cost into homeowners insurance, because the water has to come from the town in trucks. He would have to pay at least $2500 a year minimum for homeowner's insurance because of fire issues, and flood insurance is separate.

Who pays those expenses? Does Doug pay them, or does Vision Forum?

If VF Ministries own the house, then it's reasonable to assume that the insurance will be paid via the ministry. The ministry is technically Dougie's landlord as he doesn't own that house. I would imagine he would insure his home contents himself - but hey who knows, these people tend to see insurance as something bad. He wont pay taxes on the house but he'll have all other taxes like income tax etc.

Mind you, how much income tax will he pay? He has a large family and doesn't the US have tax credits/deductions for dependant children? So surely his income taxes will be reduced somewhat.

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So far as I understood, Jim Leiniger bought that house and the VF facilities to set up VF. Doug's house was part of the deal when Leininger bankrolled the original organization. There was another house that was provided for him initially before he moved up East of Boerne, out towards Sisterdale (where I'd looked at a couple of houses, but we couldn't afford them).

Brainsample, what is Leiniger getting out of the deal? Very few people would agree to bankroll another person's dreams without there being something in it for them. Is Dougie really a sock puppet and Leiniger runs the show?

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Brainsample, what is Leiniger getting out of the deal? Very few people would agree to bankroll another person's dreams without there being something in it for them. Is Dougie really a sock puppet and Leiniger runs the show?

Well, if it's a donation, Leiniger gets the tax writeoffs. He has quite the fundie nonprofit empire. I know he also helped bankroll Patrick Henry College into existence and IIRC, he's still on their board.

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Well, if it's a donation, Leiniger gets the tax writeoffs. He has quite the fundie nonprofit empire. I know he also helped bankroll Patrick Henry College into existence and IIRC, he's still on their board.

He's a big advocate for homeschooling, and I think that was the hook. This is interesting, too. Right after Doug got down there, VF published Leininger's daughter's book on Abigail Adams. Doug hates that character because she was not their version of what is acceptable for a woman, but I think that he was beholden to Leininger to do it. It is no longer for sale, and I've been unable to find a used copy of it anywhere.

Lots of homeschooling advocates get in line to meet and hit Leininger up for money. He likes to support good causes, and I'm told that if you have negative things to say about one of his causes, he will basically cover his ears and will shut you down fast. He wants to remain innocent of anything negative about anyone or group that he supports. (includes Bill Gothard, Huckabee, George W. Bush, and the aforementioned Patrick Henry College, etc.) He's a super nice guy who likes to support super great causes so that he can feel super good about what he does, I understand.

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The house appears to be 3500 square feet with a 1712 square foot "enclosure". And a pool. And a greenhouse. And sits 9/10ths of an acre. And has a whopping property tax bill. Texans like to talk about how they don't pay state income tax...well, this property has an $11,756.00/year bill.

Oh yeah, and most people in Texas don't and can't live like this.

The "gymnasium" has a $23,000 tax bill, but because VF is presumably a 501©3, there's not a penny due. Yes, you too are helping support VF with your tax dollars. PFFFFTH.

I apologize sincerely, for I am evidently exceeding thick, this week: Where are you finding all this info? When I click on "improvements" I only get data about the 'gymnasium' in town, not the house on Blanco.

Sincerest TIAs!!!!!

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The Blanco Road address is the Vision Forum facility and warehouse, in San Antonio proper. This is not where Doug lives.

A few years ago (early 2009 maybe), Doug ticked off the City of SA officials by complaining about all of the support of homosexuality in the city. Well, I don't think that anyone cares so much about anything moral in that town -- people generally follow the acquisition of money as their morality in that town, and people joke that the State approved religion is high school football.

He lives a pretty fair drive away (by Yankee standards, not Texas standards) from his home to the East of Boerne, very near a little down called "Sisterdale," though I've been gone so long, I don't remember any of the road names but could drive it. The BCA church thing is not too far from "Doug's" home and north and a little West of Boerne, if I recall correctly. I haven't lived there in 7 years, and I haven't been out that way in ten.

Doug lives in a huge home with an indoor swimming pool. I was invited to a Bible study with Beall and went to the property, but I could not bring myself to go on it once I got there. Broke a cold sweat and was concerned that I'd come out of there as blank brained as the person who invited me. I knew another person who started going to these Bible studies, and after two, her whole disposition with me changed concerning BCA/Phillips. Her expression would go flat, facially and verbally, and she repeated stuff that she said she heard there. It made me really creeped out, and I couldn't do it. It was not worth it. I was enough of a pariah at the Presby church there.

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So, does Doug live in a VF-owned house to get out of paying property taxes? Cuz I'm pretty sure that is fraud of some sort.

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So, does Doug live in a VF-owned house to get out of paying property taxes? Cuz I'm pretty sure that is fraud of some sort.

I think that because there is lots of entertaining done there related to the church and VF, it may be seen as acceptable. People are wined and dined there to solicit funds, and events are held there at their home, like the Bible study with Beall which is probably still conducted there at their home, I would guess.

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