B.C. polygamous leader Winston Blackmore says he took out a $25,000 loan from the bank in an effort to prepare for the end of the world.
During testimony in the Tax Court of Canada on Thursday, Blackmore said he was directed by a patriarch in the community to get the money to “prepare for the worst.”
The cash was to be used to gather supplies for a religious sect in southeast B.C., near the Canada-U.S. border, he said.
“Another deadline for the end of the world has come and gone. Some 15 deadlines have passed,” Blackmore’s self-published online newsletter later said in March 2004.
“Did you write that?” federal government lawyer Lynn Burch asked Blackmore.
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Taking a break?
“I could have wrote it,” he said.
He acknowledged there had been at least 15 predictions for the end of the world from the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, an offshoot of the Mormon church.
“Perhaps many more,” he added.
Burch asked if the predictions for the destruction of the world were part of the belief system of the FLDS faith.
“I don’t think they’re part of the tenet, but they certainly are part of the practice,” he replied.
Blackmore is testifying at a Tax Court trial as he fights a claim that he owes an extra $1.5 million for his taxes from 2000 to 2004 and in 2006.
Blackmore further testified at his landmark tax trial that he personally owned various properties which were not transferred to a trust fund for the polygamous commune he led. He admitted this contravened the dictates of the FLDS.
Under cross-examination by Lynn Burch, a lawyer conducting the government of Canada’s case against him, Blackmore admitted that one of the basic principles of the FLDS is to “consecrate” — or transfer — all privately-held property to the United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust.
The trust, of which Blackmore was the sole Canadian trustee up until his excommunication from the FLDS in 2002, held the title to the property at Bountiful, B.C.
To win his case, Blackmore must prove to the Tax Court of Canada, Judge Diane Campbell ,that it is more likely than not that the flock he led before and after 2002 is a “congregation,” as defined in the federal Tax Act.
His personal holdings and his 40-per-cent share in the large, private company J.R. Blackmore and Sons (JRB) that dominated the commerce of Bountiful could lead a tax auditor to believe that the community did not share equally in it.
That is what brings him to Tax Court.
Though Warren Jeffs’ track record shows him to be a false prophet many times over, the cult leader — serving a life plus 20 years prison sentence for charges stemming from his ‘spiritual marriages’ to underaged girls — has been mailing out lots of ‘revelations’ promising apocalyptic events should he and other FLDS members not be set free.