AE911Truth 2007 Form 990-EZ
Architects & Engineers for 9-11 Truth (Employer ID Number 26-1532493) does not display its Forms 990 that it must file each year with the IRS. This is a sad omission on their part, but non-profits do and non-profits don’t. The copy of its 2007 Form 990-EZ I have obtained was found at Guidestar, which I discovered thanks to a commenter at the Screw Loose Change blog. It doesn’t have a lot of detail, but AE911Truth was definitely putting the non-profit into their non-profit status that year. They spent $59,197, but only took in $45, 132 for a loss of $14,065. Ah, the salad days.
No salaries for anyone that year — Richard Gage was still working as an architect then. And the only out-of-country trip he took was to Winnipeg when he recorded the first video of the group’s PowerPoint presentation. He did travel to Boston, New York, Houston, and a few other places, but most speeches were in California. Travel turns out to be the biggest expense in “other expenses” ($6,797), but by far the major expense was Printing, Publications, Postage, and Shipping — $23,666. I’d guess those were start-up costs, DVDs of the University of Manitoba speech, and the like, and the outstanding “debt to finance operations” of $22, 431 is probably the lion’s share of that PPPS expense.
I do have a question or two, however. The entire income of the organization is listed as “Program service revenue including government fees and contracts”. We shall take the notion of “government fees and contracts” paid to AE911Truth with a grain of salt. I rather doubt the government is funding their work. It makes me giggle to think about it, but no. According to the IRS, program service revenue is:
revenues received by an organization while charging for the services for which it received tax-exemption. Examples include tuition received by schools, admissions received by an art museum, and patient payments for medical services at a hospital, as well as government contracts as described above.
So this type of income is like admission being charged for Gage’s speeches or presentations. And this would not include “contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts received,” because line 1 is where that income is reported. Yet all of AE911Truth’s income for the year 2007 is reported as “program service revenue.”
But the idea that Richard Gage charged entry fees for his speeches in 2007 is as laughable as that of the group being on the government payroll. And the first records of the group’s website at web.archive.org show that the “Take An Architect To Lunch” donation buttons were up and running by June 7, 2007. By September 12, 2007, they had their own personal store up. And they report Paypal expenses that year as well. So donations had to be coming into the organization, right?
Well, I can’t see that the merchandise sales are described as donations, the way that PBS and other non-profit charities do. You know, “give a suggested donation of $25 and we’ll send you the book?” I don’t see that happening at the store. But the “Take An Architect To Lunch” buttons are described as donations, and I’d think any income received this way would have to be reported on line 1. So either the bookkeeping system left a little something to be desired, or the lunch donation drive was a spectacular failure in 2007. Of course, I don’t see how you could mix this information up. The group was using PayPal, and there would be records if the money was coming in for a sale or a donation.
Of course Richard Gage was keeping the books that year, which leads me to my second question – the date this form was filed. Gage signed it on February 17, 2009 and it was received by the IRS on the 24th of that same year – 2009. The 2007 Form 990-EZ was filed in 2009. It’s checked off as the initial statement for the group and their status as a non-profit is pending there. And the first mention of the group obtaining tax-exempt status was April 21, 2010 in an Action Alert, after what’s described as “a long winding road.” February 2009 through April 2010 would certainly be that. So it seems to me that this 2007 Form 990 was filed belatedly as part of the initial push to gain tax-exempt status. Is that the case?
It’s also possible that this form was filled out much earlier than it was sent in. The CPA did not date his signature. Someone who had been typed onto the form as the secretary is scratched out and another person added in as secretary with pen. That first person sent me emails via this website in the middle of 2008 demanding that her name be removed from some Youtube videos, since she’d not given me permission to use the correspondence (which she had sent, according to the offending videos, as a representative of the organization). She had confused me with someone else, however. I told her as much and she acknowledged this in the last email she sent me. Putting that strange exchange together with the scratched-out name on this form, it’s possible to hypothesize that the form had been filled out in the early part of 2008, when you’d expect it to be, but then not sent in for whatever reason for an entire year, prompting a necessary change in secretary information after the first secretary’s apparent split with the group.
But then the “long winding road” would have started in 2008 to conclude in 2010. Folks, this site for me is a glorified hobby and whatever money gets spent on it comes out of my own pocket, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And doesn’t it show? I change the website around, I write when the urge takes me, and don’t when it doesn’t. But to me, I’m just debunking a woefully misguided organization whose mistakes should be readily apparent to anyone who takes a little time to think and read what they’re saying.
But AE911Truth is in their mind standing up against the powers that be to shout fraud at one of the most heinous acts of terror and deceit ever perpetrated in this country, and they can’t send a stinking Form 990 in on time?
My goodness. If I ever get to examine any other Form 990s of the group, I’ll be sure to let you all in on what I find. Should anyone in Berkeley, California go to their headquarters there and obtain copies of their 2008 and 2009 forms for me, I would be much obliged and dance at your wedding.