Kirby Hensley & ULC Modesto

Universal Life Church ULCHQ.COM

Racketeering , Fraud, Bankruptcy, Breach of Contract


In 1984 the IRS revoked the tax exemptions for contributions to the Universal Life Church of Modesto.

“In the past 11 months, $1.85 million was claimed for tax-exempt contributions to Universal Life in the revenue service’s office’s northern and central California service area, Mr. Sassi said. The claims were filed by 113 taxpayers.”

Read the New York Times article

In 1989 the Universal Life Church (Modesto) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy while claiming that they were not required to pay income taxes on their salary, file tax returns, or prepare financial statements for the government:

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Federal, and State investigators, uncovered that the Hensley family had amassed a considerable fortune of cash reserves and property via its Universal Life Church scam:

Universal Life Church

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Universal Life Church

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In addition to these assets, the Hensley’s held over half a million dollars in interest payments and cash in various banks:

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The Hensley family ran an elaborate scam with those that would get ordained through their church.  They accepted large sums of money from ministers under the guise of donations as a way to bypass the individuals’ income tax. In exchange the “church” extracted a percentage fee. A 1988 decision against defendant Robert V. Fike brought more government scrutiny to the Universal Life Church of Modesto.

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The US government deemed these actions worth investigating. These illegally acquired assets amounted to $3,236,986 in total; approximately $5,426,000 when adjusted for inflation. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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During the court proceedings, over 20 Universal Life Church ministers sued the Hensley operated church in Modesto; in State and Federal Courts over charges of fraud, racketeering, and more. These legal court documents show a systematic misuse of contributions from duped ULC ministers from around the country. This Universal Life Church scam has cause much apprehension, in that it raises the question: “Have the Hensley’s ever refunded the monies that were taken from these and many other ministers?”

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What Happened to the Money?


In November of 1988, the Hensley’s quietly formed a new, un-incorporated, association under the same name: “Universal Life Church”. This new organization also took money from the general public:

Universal Life Church

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The fact that the Modesto church felt it necessary to incorporate a new “Providential Investments Holding Corporation” in 1981 should have raised a red flag.

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There is no record to show that the money taken in by this new association was not simply another diversion of cash flow. This begs many big questions: Which entity holds the money? Records the ordinations? Is this still an active and legitimate church or organization or is this Universal Life Church a scam?

We strongly suggested that you get ordained or re-ordained at http://themonastery.org/. As the facts show, these ordinations processed may hold questionable legality.

When The Monastery contacted the Modesto Church (generalcontact@ulchq.com) to request clarification on this matter, no explanation was granted.

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  1. #1 by L.B. Powers - June 1st, 2009 at 20:38

    I have been following both sides of this story and I am absolutely confused. I have read about and seen the newspaper articles about George Freeman that ULC Modesto and ULC Seminary have posted. People make mistakes. It is our place to forgive and forget the past. But they are also saying that ULC Monastery is not an actual church at all. That at the dissolve of ulc.org, George Freeman was no longer a member of ULC Modesto and has not made an effort to legitimize ULC Monastery as a church, and therefore is not able to ordain legally. They claim that all ordinations since 2006 thrugh ULC Monastery are not legal and that ULC Modesto or ULC Seminary have not saved any of the records of the ordinations from ULC Monastery. And that if any minister with said ordination performs a marriage that he will be sued for fraud. Is it true that all this can be resolved if George Freeman and ULC Monastery just simply declare themselves thier own church? Or have they already and ULC Modesto and ULC Seminary are hiding that fact?

  2. #2 by admin - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:19

    From its inception themonastery.org, through 2006 along with ULC.org, worked with Modesto to ordain ministers online. In the Summer of 2006, then President Daniel Zimmerman faced a federal criminal investigation, and the board of directors voted to remove him from the AZ. corporation. At that point Vice President George Freeman assumed the presidency and the church underwent a few dramatic changes.

    Under the new leadership ULC.org/ monastery.org made the decision to operate autonomously from the ULC in Modesto. Acting as the ULC Monastery, ULC.org created their own independent principals of spirituality and began ordaining new ministers into its congregation. Since 2006, the ULC Monastery has ordained hundred of thousands of ministers that have performed legal marriages across the country.

  3. #3 by L.B. Powers - June 2nd, 2009 at 18:36

    So ULC Monastery is an independant church/entity? ULC Monastery is much more professional. They are obviously the better of the three. It seems that the only mud-slinging being done is by ULC Modesto & Seminary. All the while ULC Monastery has remained collected, professional, and mature about the whole matter. I am impressed with ULC Monastery.

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