On May 16th 2014, SFK member Kimberly Diemond submitted a written request for financial disclosure to Shire Free Church minister Ian Bernard and Robin Hood commandant James Cleavland. Each request was for a full accounting of all income and expenses for both organizations including donations, maintenance and upkeep, salaries, and services. Non-profit organizations are required to submit an IRS Form 990 and to make the information within it available upon request.
In a letter dated May 19th 2014, Jason “Jay Freeville” Denonville responded to Kim’s request. There was no IRS Form 990 documentation or other accounting of the Church’s finances enclosed with the letter. The Board of the Church unanimously decided to flout their legal requirement to disclose their financial records.
On June 27 of 2013, Ian put the city “on notice” that the Keene Activist Compound was a now a “parsonage” for the Shire Free Church. Echoing the rhetoric of the extremist Sovereign Citizens movement, he proclaimed that the Church and its members only recognize the authority of God and would no longer endure “coercion” from the city in the form of taxes and statutes. He later announced that he no longer held ownership of the Church property (his home) as it was donated to the Shire Society. A spurious claim that was dismissed by Kim Diemond as a classic shell game:
The Shire Free Church Holdings, LLC was also incorporated in 2013, by Ian (Bernard) Freeman through a third party representative that was hired to file the incorporation documents in New Mexico (the LLC was never registered in NH). This entity was created for the purpose of transferring the Leverett Street property from Mr. Bernard Freeman the person to Mr. (Bernard) Freeman, aka The Shire Free Church aka Shire Free Church Monadnock which now holds title to the 73-75 Leverett Street property.
Essentially, with Ian being an incorporator of the Shire Free Church Monadnock (the non-profit created by Ian and his cohorts to try and “legitimize” their so-called church), the controller of the Shire Free Church Holdings, LLC (which is the current “owner” of the Leverett St property), a self-appointed minister of the church, and resident of the Leverett Street property – he has donated the property to himself –and attempts to claim a tax exemption in the process, by calling the property a “parsonage”.
The Church later received non-profit accreditation from the State of NH. Ian also amended his position on taxes and “voluntarily donated” a fraction of his owed money and donated a $1000 to a local private school as a statement against public education. On March 6 2014, Ian Bernard and Darryl Perry filed for tax exempt status. The Board of Assessors has until July 1 to make their decision.
James Cleavland has not yet provided a response to Kim’s request. Free Keene and “Robin Hood of Keene” members have continual denied making any overt claims about RH’s nonprofit status. Robin Hood’s Facebook page has it listed as a Non-Profit Organization and the group solicits for donations on its website and literature.
SFK strongly encourages you to contact the Keene Assessors Board and tell them you refuse to foot the bill for a fraudulent “church”!