Jeff T. Green, the 44-year-old CEO and chairman of advertising tech firm The Trade Desk, has resigned his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a scathing open letter. In it, he accuses the church of financial improprieties, hypocrisy, and of political lobbying in the United States.
Green, reportedly the wealthiest native resident of Utah with a fortune valued at $4.9 billion, said that he unofficially left the church “more than a decade ago—not believing, attending, or practicing,” in its beliefs. His letter, obtained by The Daily Beast, marks his formal withdrawal from Mormonism…and a stunning condemnation of the religious sect.
“The church leadership is not honest about its history, its finances, and its advocacy,” Green, a former Mormon missionary and Brigham Young University graduate, wrote to church President Russell Nelson. “I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.”
“Although I have deep love for many Mormons and gratitude for many things that have come into my life through Mormonism, I have not considered myself a member for many years, and I’d like to make clear to you and others that I am not a member,” Green further elaborated.
Green then went on to accuse the church of holding “more than $100 billion in assets,” while doing little to help its members or the poor.
“Instead, I think the church has exploited its members and their need for hope to build temples, build shopping malls, and cattle ranches,” Green accused, “rather than alleviating human suffering in or out of the church.”
“After today, the only contact I want from the church is a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member,” he concluded.
Green further announced that in addition to leaving the church, he will donate $600,000 to Equality Utah. He noted that “almost half of the fund will go to a new scholarship program to help LGBTQ+ students in Utah,” including any Brigham Young University students who may want to leave the school over its homophobic policies.
Green’s sentiments join a rising choir of former Mormon voices critical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, particularly over its treatment of queer people. Former Mormons Dustin Lance Black, Dan Reynolds, Brendon Urie and Christina Aguilera have all criticized the church’s stance on LGBTQ issues. Furthermore, the 2000s saw the church endure wide criticism after it was revealed to have clandestinely spent millions of dollars to fund anti-marriage equality initiatives.