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Dec 8, 2020
2020/12/8 0:16:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:


Another said this website was obviously filled with crackpots because Ian McKellen knows more about Tolkien than any of us. When it comes down to such replies replies its best to move on.

Honestly, I'm not interested in saving those kind of people from wasting their money (they are happy to be knowingly sold a pup and their aggression is cognitive dissonance). It is the people who genuinely would not have donated if given all the facts that I want to help keep their money in their own pockets.
Dec 8, 2020
2020/12/8 0:18:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Setting aside religious questions completely for a moment, I'd like to comment just on the logistics of this:

  • Project Northmoor is asking donors to give money to The Signatry rather than directly to Project Northmoor. (There are valid tax reasons for this approach for US residents, this is not the issue).
  • The Signatry states the following on their donation form:
  • "Your donation to the Fund is an irrevocable and nonrefundable donation to Servant Foundation d/b/a The Signatry." (For US tax purposes, this is a normal statement)
  • "Any advisor to the Fund has the right to recommend grants from the Fund. The Signatry’s management makes the ultimate decisions on grants made from the Fund. The Signatry’s decision will strongly consider advisor recommendations and will be dependent on the intended use of the granted amount and whether the grant would be in compliance with applicable U.S. law and The Signatry’s charitable purposes." (Shouldn't The Signatry already know if Project Northmoor is in compliance with The Signatry's charitable purposes?)
  • "Because Project Northmoor is not currently eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions in the United States, additional steps will be required before a grant is made from the Fund to support Project Northmoor." (What are these steps, and why could they not be handled before the fundraiser started, and what happens with the money if PN never becomes eligible?)
  • "The Signatry, in its own discretion, may choose to accomplish this by granting to another organization which will do the diligence necessary to grant to foreign charities such as Project Northmoor Limited. As is the case with The Signatry, any organization to which The Signatry sends a grant from the Fund will have full and exclusive control and discretion over the granted assets." (If the Signatry is unable to do this diligence, why were they selected to be the conduit for these donations?)

These are perfectly reasonable questions all potential donors should understand the answers to for the funds ($600,000 plus) already donated, and the additional millions still hoping to be raised.

There does not have to be malfeasance or nefarious purpose. This is a really unusual way to raise charitable funds, and questioning it is not attacking it.
Dec 8, 2020
2020/12/8 0:18:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

onthetrail wrote:


Another said this website was obviously filled with crackpots because Ian McKellen knows more about Tolkien than any of us. When it comes down to such replies replies its best to move on.

Honestly, I'm not interested in saving those kind of people from wasting their money (they are happy to be knowingly sold a pup and their aggression is cognitive dissonance). It is the people who genuinely would not have donated if given all the facts that I want to help keep their money in their own pockets.

Spon on!
Dec 8, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/8 0:33:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The key question about this project is whether it is fundamentally a religious endeavour engaging in a wealth transfer from the public, whilst masquerading as something more secular. I don't think religion can be kept out of this.
Dec 8, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/8 0:46:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I feel this could all have been avoided if Northmoor had been open and honest, e.g. "We want to buy, own and use Tolkien's house, which isn't currently in any danger at all -- and never can be because it is a listed building. We would like other people to pay for it".

Any debate on social media platforms is because Northmoor's core intent is based on a lie.
Dec 8, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/8 1:04:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:



I feel this could all have been avoided if Northmoor had been open and honest, e.g. "We want to buy, own and use Tolkien's house, which isn't currently in any danger at all -- and never can be because it is a listed building. We would like other people to pay for it".

Any debate on social media platforms is because Northmoor's core intent is based on a lie.

I have to agree with Stu on that last point. We all may have said some things here that I think in retrospect would be worth tidying and redacting but ultimately the arguments I have faced online all come back to "saving Tolkien’s house" and that came from the Projects own statements. And that is emphasised by the statement "I am optimistic and I believe that we will buy this House, it will be saved before it comes to other non-Tolkienist hands". We are talking a house that has remained a family home for over a century but it needs saving because this charity says so. It is pushing a fear of something that Tolkien fans can get behind to stop when all that would happen is it continues to be a family home.
Dec 8, 2020
2020/12/8 2:53:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
"The key question about this project is whether it is fundamentally a religious endeavour engaging in a wealth transfer from the public, whilst masquerading as something more secular."

I disagree. The key question about this project is whether it is "fundamentally" an "endeavour engaging in a wealth transfer from the public". Religion is far from the central issue here.
Dec 8, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/8 3:39:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

"The key question about this project is whether it is fundamentally a religious endeavour engaging in a wealth transfer from the public, whilst masquerading as something more secular."

I disagree. The key question about this project is whether it is "fundamentally" an "endeavour engaging in a wealth transfer from the public". Religion is far from the central issue here.

I broadly agree with what you are saying, though I think there are definitely two issues, one is the wealth transfer from the public (to "save" something not under threat, where saving means transferring from one private set of hands to another), but I do feel that the purpose to which the property will be used is also important, when asking for money. If the purpose is religious, then that is quite important to many non-religious people (realistically a lot of the LGBT community might care strongly, for instance). But I think the religious/secular aspect is indeed secondary.
Dec 8, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/8 12:40:15 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'll just leave that here.

Questions raised over charity seeking to buy JRR Tolkien's Oxford house

And I have to say, after the last week:

It is good to see questions are asked but the real problem remains:

A "Tolkien Centre" should be a museum, library, archive, detailing life and works of JRRT.

A residential home in a protected residential area cannot do this.
Dec 8, 2020
2020/12/8 13:15:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Urulókë The Guardian article links to the start of this thread, may want to change the OP to include your list of issues to be addressed.

Added a link to some of your questions as an interim.
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