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Moose International

Posted:    

Un ethical business practices

Complaint Rating:  75 % with 44 votes
75% 44
3.75
Contact information:
Moose International
Illinois
United States
As a leader in a local Moose Lodge organization, I have been observing some unethical business behavior to solicit & harrass local lodges for membership & fees to support their questionable charitable busisness model. Their model totally rests on 2 entitlement programs that have accelerated losses taking place over the past several years. Moosehaven, a retirement community for past Moose members, is based out Florida & has a vast majority of Florida residents as beneficiaries. Mooseheart, a foster school in Illinois, has majority of attendees from this state. The business model in question, does not benefit the majority of the national membership. In 2010, the organization changed their accounting practices, to shadow the heavy losses to organizational members. It is very difficult to understand the financial position of this organization. As membership fees have escalated to hold up these entitlements programs, operating income to the local lodges has decreased, forcing a high level of lodge closures. The "unethical practice" the International takes possession of the lodge real estate, and produces additional revenues on asset & property sales. "Force the membership into closure & take possession of properties is permitted in the organization by-laws. In these very unusual economic times, we & other lodge representatives question these practices. This organization needs to be investigated!!
Complaint comments Comments (25) Complaint country United States Complaint category Non-profit Organizations

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A  20th of Mar, 2011 by    -1 Votes
I agree... As a former Moose International officer, I have witnessed first-hand, many unethical practices in order to support a business model that is obsolete. Moose International uses its system of lodges to perpetuate their scam by using the façade of providing for “those in need” as motivation for fundraising. When in reality, Mooseheart and Moosehaven are providing services that are available from governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Most of their funds are derived through legal and illegal gambling that in many cases goes unchecked because of the perception that the funds are going to a “good cause”.
N  5th of Apr, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I agree... a top down investigation is in order! I know of a lodge that is itself "under investigation" now. Moose International(MI) refuses to give the local Membership ANY information on what they are doing and why. Calls placed by the Lodge's own internal Audit Committee to MI have not been returned. MI has suspended one of the most service orientated, honest, moral and ethical men known to the local community (I have first hand knowledge and can vouch for this man.) The lodge building and property happen to be very valuable... MI may be setting this lodge up to grab its real estate! It seems there is no way to stop them if they really want the property. (There is a lot more to this story that is still unfolding, none of which paints MI in a favorable light.)
A  7th of Apr, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I agree with all of the above, I also know a lodge in Md. that this going through something like what is being described. I have been a member of that lodge for seven years, and have saw a lot going on. The past two years have been the best that this lodge has run in that time. When MI comes in, they take over and do not give any information to the members who are paying the bills at the local lodge, they tell us that they work from a different set of by-laws. They can do what ever they want basically as they have done in this lodge. Came in March 18th. changed the locks on the doors and as of today April 7th they still haven't told us why!!! Every new member MI gets most of the money is this a pyramid scheme??? MI leaders make six digit salaries, while local lodge members volunteer their time to make them money, they tell you it is for Moosehaven and Mooseheart but is it really????
A  23rd of Jul, 2011 by    -1 Votes
Update in late April MI released one officer and reinstated him as a Moose member. Suddenly on July 18th they removed the same officer because of an ongoing investigation. Other officer is still "UNDER INVESTIGATION" as of July 22nd is still SUSPENDED with never having been charged with any wrong doing as of now. They installed one of their GOONS as a paid employee $ 600.00 a week, not bad he is not always even there for 40 hours. No recourse because he is a salaried employee. Money is disappearing at an alarming rate soon they will be broke. Then MI gets the building approx. value $ 1.5 not a bad take.
N  29th of Jun, 2013 by    0 Votes
Moose International is a real looser. If you’re willing to give up your pride and dignity you will go far in this corrupted organization. You have no voice and they let their Regional Manager’s make up their own rules. They hurt those who are honest and caring people and reward their sick and underhanded staff members. They are not interested in the truth but what they can get away with. There was a time I would do anything for the Moose I sure was irresponsible to think I could trust them. They are losing members by the hundreds each year. The reason is this people are fed up with not having a voice.
A  28th of Dec, 2013 by    0 Votes
I totally agree with all the above comments. My lodge in OH is a laughing joke. Our Admin. was a joke, besides the barmaids. They totally ran the lodge an did whatever they pleased. One of the barmaids hit a female member, an not one things was done to the so-called barmaide who is as old as dirt. The Admin told lies to the lodge besides Regional Manager who also is a joke: an also the WOTM regional manager. They have told so many lies about myself to all the members an MI that has destroyed my life living in a small town. Besides they took me before a so-called House Committee Hearing with no complaints/written compaints noone present to complain about me!!! And I was permantely suspended from my Lodge. Which at this time I was Senior Regent. This took place in January of 2012. The Admin. Thought he had me totally out of Moose not thinking I was SR Regent, so he went even farther. He got the women then to want me out by telling more lies. Then at the end of March 2012 the WOTM brought in the womens regional Manager and District Manager to get me out of WOTM. MI would not even take the time to look at any of my proof of the wrong doings going on with WOTM besides The Adim., The Lodge. I still have gotten not one phone call from the Pres. Of MI nor from the Grand Chancellor. So I have no help in finding anyone out there to help me clear my name in this SMALL MINDED TOWN. If anyone out there can help me I would love to hear from you on here!!!
N  27th of Mar, 2014 by    -1 Votes
Our lodge was taken down by the regional manager. I heard him several times say that he was going to make sure it was shut down. Then he got two of the biggest liars and thieves to bring him in to take over. Six months later it was shut down, sold for taxes, and now the vultures are swarming to clean it out. And last I heard the regional manager was promoted. Meanwhile, the administrator who was removed is still on the liquor license and is still responsible for all their screw ups since he left ( fines, not paying bills, etc). Tried getting his name off everything and the new admin lied and slandered him all over the place. And the old admin had his wages attached for the moose, and they kept his income tax return, again! They said it's his personal debt but won't let us in to show them the paperwork to prove it! We are suffering and they are all lying! And the moose is gone.
N  29th of Apr, 2014 by    -1 Votes
Anyone interested in helping to expose this organization that misrepresents its true purpose? Please respond on this site. I have done some research on my own and have not been able to get a financial statement for the Moose in the four years I have been looking. Does anyone else have a copy of MI financial statements for any of the past 4 years? There is definitely something not right with how this organization operates and it needs to be exposed to the general membership and public so people can make an educated decision as to maintaining their membership or whether they would like to join.
N  12th of Jun, 2014 by    -1 Votes
I am a bartender for a lodge in Florida and the Administrator's wife is also a bartender. I have been threatened, degraded, humiliated by these two people. The bartender is the one who always sends me texts messages but she lets me know that her husband (the administrator) told her to do so. I received a text from her today stating and i quote "DO NOT FORGET WHO YOUR BOSS IS AND WHO IS WIFE IS". My hours have been cut because they said i put the lodge in a bind the day my brother died and i had to call in to work.
However i worked the next two days and then left to go out of town to bury my brother. I always thought that the moose lodge was a family organization and i have been a member off and on for over 25 years but since i work there i see things a lot differently now. I have to say i would not recommend any one join the moose at this point.
N  26th of Jun, 2014 by    -1 Votes
I am in the WOTM as the junior regent in a small town in Ohio. I am willing to help and I have a lot more complaints than what is on this board please contact me @ 3307855117 or email me @ sarahjane_2324@yahoo.com, I need some help. Is anyone willing to help me as well? If your from my chapter and reading this, I don't care! I have two degrees and am willing to expose what I know in hopes to improve the organization that I would have done anything for months ago.
A  21st of Jul, 2014 by    0 Votes
I am not a member yet but I was very badly treated after making a complaint to there Governor about a woman who is the president of the woman's auxillary. I was thrown out. I am also a person with a disability.
A  23rd of Nov, 2015 by    -1 Votes
On Feb 7th of this year both my wife and I were assaulted by a drunk bartender at the St.Charles Il Lodge. I complained to the Lodge Gov and admin. got no reponse, two attempts at complaining to the international get same will call you back and they never do. This Lodge has over 2000 members but u can only find the same 20 people in it all the time. THEY HAVE RUN A GOLDMINE INTO A LOW RENT HONKEY TONK NOT A FAMILY CENTER AT ALL. I let my wifes women of the moose membership lapse this summer
Mine will lapse next month.
Tell me that a 56yr old women of the moose recovering from brain surgery needs darts throw at her head.
N  21st of Feb, 2016 by    -1 Votes
On Feb.19th 2016 my wife also (Senior Reagent) was at the Hillsborough Family Center Lodge #1893 helping prepare for a Community Fundraiser for a 13 teen year old boy from our Community who is in the Hospital needing a HEART TRANSPLANT. Upon arrival to the Lodge we realized the refridgerator in the kitchen was locked, so they had no where to store their items for the next day event. The ladies called 3 Lodge Officers and all said they have no key. They call the Governor he informs them it was locked for a reason and they did not need to use it. My wife called him back and received his voicemail and she left him a stern message of how sorry their actions were. He comes to the Lodge along with the other two Officers who were contacted and called the local Sheriff's Dept. and had her trespassed from being on the property. Is this the way the Lodge wants to be portrayed that we really don't care for our Community anymore. My question is then why is the Lodge still operating. Steve Baker
A  2nd of Apr, 2016 by    0 Votes
I used to be a Moose member but is no longer one due to the treatment and Drama that followed but my Husband is still a member...my complaint is... we have been in Hard times several times and our lodge as done nothing to help us.My husband had a bloodclot and pnuemonia which nearly took his life and was hospitalized for a week.The Lodge was aware but still did nothing.On Jan 30th of this year my husband had a stroke.The Lodge again did nothing to help us.Why do only a few people with non threatening issues get benefits done for them and the ones who really need it don"t get anything done for them.Our Lodge shows favoritism and its not right.Its a Family fraternity and all members should be helped.We are raising 2 young grandchildren and could have used the help.I no longer have the respect for the Lodge I once had.Lodge 2219 in Easley S.C.
N  29th of May, 2016 by    -1 Votes
I haven't been a Moose member for very long, and I'm not comfortable revealing where I am a member but I can say this: our Lodge has gone from a social quarters worth 3 million in 2006 (sold) to a social quarter worth 1.5 million (2016) and must move again be cause we are nearly 100k in arrers int axes. When I ask where the money went I get a lot of generalizations with no specifics. The former Governor will likely be promoted to Regional Governor even though he presided over three years of not paying property taxes. How does that work? The Junior Governor (also a past Governor) has a "friend" who claims to be a broker that they want to contract to sell the current social quarters. That "friend" is also the Junior Governor's landlord. I've looked everywhere to try and find this guy's credentials for commercial brokerage and I can't find it.

I asked the State MI liaison what happens when a Lodge loses its social quarters, and he said the Lodge is the membership. The reality is when a Lodge loses its social quarters, the membership often dwindles to the point where the charter is revoked and MI seizes the assets. There is a neighboring Lodge which is currently going through the process. The process goes like this: 1. don't pay taxes; 2. Sell the social quarters to pay off debt; 3. membership dwindles; 4. Revocation of Charter; 5. MI seizes assets. While it seems like a more productive model for MI to invest in its Lodges, the oppostie seems to be happening.

I think Mooseheart and Moosehaven are great ideas, fifty years ago. Essentially they are an orphanage and a poor farm which as a communal organization were great ideas. These days there are enough government programs to keep children in private homes, and senior citizens in their own homes.It would be interesting to see how many residents of Mooseheart went on to become members of the Lodge in their adult lives. But as someone stated previously on this board, you can't even get an annual report from MI.

I will probably continue to be a member, mostly because I want to see how things turn out.
N  1st of Jun, 2016 by    +2 Votes
Questions?
As I read all this, it sounds like this same things have happened in the past 15 years to lodges all over the country!
What is International's answers to all these complaints? Sounds like each lodge was closed because of the buddy system operations...
In the past 25 years it seem as MI and the local lodges became Buddy Systems operation instead of a Family run organization!!
I have been associated with the Moose since 1962 and have seen some great thing happen in the early days, (but as I traveled around the country, work related) I visited some Great run Lodges with great people!! I start seeing a decline in the Lodges in the late 70's and it got worst in the 90's.
Saw several Lodges closed because of poor management and MI let it go unchecked.
I keep my member ship up because of Mooseheart, but I think that has gotten away for it original intent!!!
Being in the 4th largest city (soon to replace Illinois as 3 largest city) had several Lodges, but today has 0!!!
A  25th of Jun, 2016 by    +1 Votes
I found the MI 990 Form on-line and will post the link here:

https://pp-990.s3.amazonaws.com/2014_11_EO/36-1408120_990O_201404.pdf?X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAI7C6X5GT42DHYZIA%2F20160625%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20160625T142530Z&X-Amz-Expires=1800&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=da320e97e1152a82929138b7af2338a56b10afa78f176d5a8490a1d0e65d703e

If you take the time to peruse it, you will find that MI has oodles of money, including 78% ownership in a direct mail marketing company "Diamond Marketing Services" worth 33 million. The former President of MI earns 220k, is that compensation or pension? If Mi wanted to, they could invest some money into their Lodges.

The following link shows the membership triage in Washington State:

http://www.wsnima.org/Membership/MembershipSummary.pdf
N  30th of Jun, 2016 by    +2 Votes
There are things going on where I am too. Good old boy system hard at play and some mysterious money issues, which is why I googled moose complaints. Interesting to see that it's not just at my location. I don't really care enough about it to make it a federal case but I really can't stand liars and thieves and it now seems like the whole organization is full of them, except for a handful who are trying to do the right thing. From the looks of it, the ones who are getting paid just keep wanting more money and time from everyone else.
D  16th of Sep, 2016 by    -1 Votes
The problems of Moose Lodges start when the members stop being a part of the Lodge and participating in the regular Lodge meetings. You can not govern a Moose Lodge from a bar stool. Moose International provides guidelines for Lodges to operate called the General Laws and if the Lodge members and officers do not operate under the guidelines then sanctions must be made. Moose International is not in the business of closing down Lodges. Moose International provides several training classes to help educate the members and officers on how their Lodges should operate. It is up to the Lodge officers to pay the bills of the Lodge and operate as a proper business. Their should be a committee in every Lodge made up of members called the Audit committee if they are doing their job then the money should be accounted for and the taxes and other bills should be paid.
N  4th of Dec, 2016 by    +2 Votes
@Active guy Interesting comment. I was appointed as a trustee to our Local. When i asked to see the books, there was a fair amount of posturing and defensiveness. I was never allowed access to them. One of my responsibilities as Trustee is to take inventory. When I asked to see the previous inventory sheets, for guidance at least, they could not produce one, or was unwilling to produce one. The Lodge's former social quarters sold in 2007 for 3 million dollars. They then bought a new property for 1.125 million dollars, put (according to them) $400k into, although I have never seen any record of it. Now the current social quarters are up for sale. Somewhere in that tne years over a million dollars "disappeared." When I would ask them about it, more defensiveness and posturing, but no answers. The realtor who is selling our current social quarters is also the landlord for the Acting Administrator. When I suggested there may be a conflict of interest, more defensiveness and posturing. This "realtor" is also retired, has no website, no marketing. I suspect the Lodge will have no home in six months, as it already is under foreclosure by the County for not having paid property taxes in over three years. In addition, there is an outstanding loan from the International. Our Regional director has done nothing to address these issues which I believe is necessary as the Acting Administrator operates with impunity. I've certainly tried my best, but I see no future in this particular Lodge.
N  13th of Aug, 2017 by    +1 Votes
@Active guy Thank you. I appreciate seeing the truth on this page. As with any organization, there are rules to follow. There are always going to be some people who want to look at the organization as a place to come drink. Maybe the leadership at the top is making a lot of money, as they should. Have you checked out what leaders of other organizations make? The Moose organization is not a non profit organization. I know that in our state of Kentucky, there are several people who travel around to the lodges to make sure everything is being run as it should. They do it to protect the integrity of the organization. They do everything they can to keep lodges from closing. They even sit with them and help them learn how to fill out reports in a timely fashion, and account for all their money. We have a good Regional Manager, and others who help him. It is sad to see a lodge close because of poor management.
A  19th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
As a former Governor in a medium sized lodge in west Phoenix, I can tell you that our Lodge is as corrupt as it could get. Not only did the Admin do whatever the hell he wanted, but MI backed it. Before they changed the rules, my board of officers fired the Admin. The next morning, District was in the office threatening to remove me and the other board members. After going through past meeting minutes and finding several forged documents, the district officers TOOK THEM. MI reinstated the Admin. We all tried to play nice, but the Admin started rumors and told lies about myself and several others that caused too much turmoil, so a bunch of us quit. I cannot be a part of an organization that claims to be an institution of morals and standards only to lie cheat and steal. BTW... ever wonder how much money goes into the annual convention? Millions. But Mooseheart looks like run down military housing built in the 50's.

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