Tektonics Ministry "J.P. Holding"/Robert Turkel
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Around 1999-2000-around the time that he lost or left his job as a prison librarian-Mr. Turkel put up a page on his web site in which he asked people to send him money so that he could devote his life to Christian apologetics. People responded. Today Turkel's apologetics-for-money business is going well-and getting better. In a post on the Theology Web discussion boards, Mr. Turkel revealed the amount of income he had received from donors from 2000 to 2002. As you can see, his home-business grew by leaps and bounds.
For the record, here is Tekton's annual receipts (NOT salaries) for the past three years. It has not reached the point where it has to file a Form 941 with the IRS. That threshhold is 25K.
2000 (first year as a 501c3) - 1,742.52
2001 - 12,086.32
2002 - 16,909.97
Based on his comments on Theology Web, Turkel wants to keep the donations to Tektonics Apologetic Ministries, Inc. below $25,000. If the donations get to $25,000, of course, Turkel would be obligated to make Tektonics Inc.'s income statements public:
"Basically, all nonprofits and charities** with annual gross receipts of more than $25,000 are required to file a Form 990 with the IRS, and the Form 990 is by law a public document. Previously, nonprofits and charities only had to make their most recent Form 990 available to the public for inspection for 180 days from the date they published a notice that they had filed a return. Consequently, obtaining copies of the most recent Form 990 was an arduous process, traditionally requiring a written request to the IRS or individual charity, and typically involving many weeks or months of waiting to receive the return." "Under the new IRS regulations, nonprofits are no longer required to publish a notice that they have filed their return. However, they must provide copies of their last 3 forms immediately if a request is made in person, and must mail out the forms within 30 days if a request is made in writing, by fax, or email. Nonprofits can charge a 'reasonable fee' for copying and mailing out the form (defined as one dollar for the first page and 15 cents for each additional page). For written requests, nonprofits can require advance payment of copying and mailing fees, and in that instance, the thirty day limit would not begin until the nonprofit had received payment."
"The intent of the above IRS Form 990 regulations is to facilitate public access to Form 990s. As the SEC discovered several years ago, the internet provides the most efficient means to accomplish this. To encourage nonprofits to post documents on the internet, the IRS has joined with two nonprofit organizations, the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), part of the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and Philanthropic Research, Inc. (PRI), through its GuideStar web site, to post Form 990s. Forms obtained directly from the IRS will be available at http://www.guidestar.org and http://nccs.urban.org.990. However, it is important to note that thus far, the IRS has only been scanning and sending the Form 990s for public charities to Guide-Star and NCCS. Private foundations were not subject to adhere to the new public disclosure rules until March 13, 2000."
One can surmise that Turkel wants to keep the donations below $25,000 so that he does not have to publically reveal exactly what the money is used for, which probably includes groceries and mortgage payments.
UPDATE: Turkel says that he does in fact use the donations that he receives for groceries and mortgage payments. In a response to this page, Turkel wrote the following:
"So I want your money, but not TOO much of it, thanks...(By the way, yeah...it DOES include groceries and mortgage payments...that's what a 'salary' is usually for, when a non-profit pays its workers...)"
On the Tektonics page where he asks for donations, Mr. Turkel writes the following:
"Tekton Apologetics Ministries, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Florida on April 28, 2000. It is our personal desire to maintain the highest standards of fiscal responsibility and we will willingly provide a full accounting of all donations receved and of our expenditures upon request."
So to get a breakdown of Turkel's expenditures and to see what percentage of his donation income goes for food and mortgage payments, e-mail Mr. Turkel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farrell Till recently described Turkel's apologetics business this way:
"Turkel has his opinion of me, and I definitely have one of him. I think that he no more believes most of the stuff that he recycles on his website from books and journals than he believes that cows can jump over the moon. He does what he does for the m-o-n-e-y. He apparently lacks the charismatic personality--and certainly the physical presence--to become a successful megachurch pastor, who could dazzle the gullible from the pulpit and really rake in the loot, as do the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, James Dobson, etc.; otherwise, we would be having The Hour of Sarcasm beaming from Orlando and adding to the religious pollution of the airwaves. Hence, Turkel has had to settle for a much smaller piece of the pie baked from the fruits contributed by naive Bible-believers who deprive themselves of money most of them need themselves so that they can give millions of dollars each year to charlatans like him. As long as he can be the big fish in a little pond, he will no doubt continue to crank out internet hackwork that will give him at least a nominal PayPal income that will enable him to doodle in church during the sermons, spend only five minutes per day reading the Bible and five seconds praying at meals, while he sits in front of his computer at home munching on the little piece of the pie that the PayPal-take from his choir members has brought him that day."In the article Drooling for Dollars, Farrell Till examines Turkel's explanation of his apologetics business.
Here is Mr. Turkel's donor information page, which has instructions on how you can send him your hard-earned money. The page also describes what, ostensibly, the donations are needed for.
This .doc file, written by Turkel, describes his business and provides some information about him.
This link provides more information about the 990 tax and income information form.
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An examination of "J.P. Holding"