John – you have no basis to make the accusation that we, at the local or national level, are being compensated by funeral homes. We are not. The relationships that some FCA groups have with local funeral homes are merely negotiated agreements to give our members reasonable, set prices on certain services. There is nothing different about this than any other group that negotiates for volume discounts for its membership.
Our bylaws prohibit funeral directors or anyone in the industry from participating in the governance of our organization.We do not take gifts from the funeral industry (with the exception of nominal donations that some funeral directors who support our mission. And by nominal, I mean $35 to $50 occasionally, just as members of the public do). Such donors are less than a percentage point of my national office’s income – I can think of only two out of our entire donor pool.
Not only would taking funding from the funeral industry call our IRS status into question, it would be unethical and foolish. I can’t for the life of me understand why you think we’d risk our reputation as a consumer watchdog by doing that. How did you arrive at the ludicrous position? What makes you so upset with our criticism of Neptune (do you really not see all the stories of their illegal and unfair activity above? Does that not cause you to pause and think, John?) that you come up with the outlandish notion that we’re being paid by “brick and mortar” funeral homes to have our opinion?
As far as the price of cremation being high – Neptune is about twice what a reasonable price for a direct cremation could be. We always advise members and the public to aim for about $1,000 or less on such a service. I don’t care whether they get it from a fancy, high-overhead funeral home or from a simple storefront establishment. Our objections to Neptune have nothing to do with supporting entrenched funeral homes (for goodness’ sake, the first chapter of my book is all about our efforts to help break the stranglehold of the old school mortuary establishment). It has to do with Neptune’s smarmy tactics. That’s really not a complicated thing to understand, John.
You may not libel us, John, and consider this your last warning. Do not make any false accusations about us. Start arguing in good faith or you won’t be posting here any more. I’ve been more than patient with you, and you’ve used up your quota.
For anyone concerned, our finances are an open book, as the law requires. We have nothing to hide. Anyone may see a copy of our 990 tax filing with the IRS at any time.