True North Organizing: an illegally run non-profit in Humboldt Area Foundation’s headquarters?

Things have been awful quiet on the Humboldt Area Foundation front as of late, haven’t they? It sure seemed like HAF’s subsidiary, True North, had ramped down their community-compromising efforts. (It also doesn’t help your organization’s activities when your Director gets a DUI. Shape up, Terry!)

Thanks to a faithful THC reader, however, they’ve come back into the spotlight. We received a message which pointed out that True North, which often and loudly claims to be a  community based non-profit, isn’t actually registered as non-profit with the California Registry of Charitable Trusts.

Which means that HAF, like pretty much everyone else, are total liars on Facebook

Which means that HAF, like pretty much everyone else, are total liars on Facebook

We honestly figured it was a mistake. But, we checked around, and it would seem that the most recent available data from the State backs up the notion that True North really is not a non-profit. Check it out, from the Registry of Charitable Trusts website:truenorthnotregistereddoublecheck

Also from the Attorney Generals website:

  • “The Registry of Charitable Trusts administers the statutory registration program. All charitable trustees and fundraising professionals are required to register and file annual financial disclosure reports with the Registry…..”

That’s weird, huh? Even weirder, of course, is that True North actually is incorporated. Just not as non-profit. From the Secretary of State website:truenorthcorporationAlso note that Terry Supahan is the “Agent For Service of Process” a.k.a. the person responsible for True North. As Supahan just took over within the last 6 month or so, it goes to reason that the records aren’t just out of date.

They just show that True North has been happily masquerading as non-profit while hiding under the umbrella of the Humboldt Area Foundation. And HAF has been shielding them from any further scrutiny.

So, the question that we’ve been asking about the shady activities of True North (and, by extension, their parent organization Humboldt Area Foundation) remain unanswered: just what the hell is True North Organizing Network, and why do they insist on presenting themselves as something they are not?

More importantly, why is Pat Cleary and the HAF mafia so intent on supporting them and covering for them? That’s not just a turn of phrase, either. As you know, HAF houses True North in their headquarters. That’s extra special treatment.

And so is funneling donations through the Foundation directly into True North.

truenorthdonateIt seems like an awful lot of support for an organization that isn’t publicly claimed as a component of Humboldt Area Foundation.

Of course, we cannot speak to the veracity of the claims made by our reader/tipster aside from what is reflected on the State’s official websites. Judging from those sources, however, it would certainly seem that something pretty fishy is going on.

This is taken directly from our tipster’s e-mail:

truenorthemailcaptureSo, we’re not 100% sure how this works, but it would seem that by donating money to HAF and then having it funneled into True North allows for otherwise taxable donations to be funneled into True North. Hmmm….

All interesting points, and so we put it to you, readers, to provide us your thoughts on just how that relationship between HAF and True North checks out.

We’ll update with a copy of HAF’s 990 form soon, too.

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19 Responses to True North Organizing: an illegally run non-profit in Humboldt Area Foundation’s headquarters?

  1. Arcatan says:

    If this is all true then Humboldt Area Foundation and True North should lose their non-profit status for colluding to defraud benefactors and not following state law. I wonder if there are criminal repercussions?


    • Henchman Of Justice says:

      True North Organizing is not a non-profit, that’s the point being made that leads a reasonable person to critique the situation as THC does.


  2. Azalea Mom says:

    Can people who have made donations have problems if they deducted contributions to a bogus non-profit? I’d hate to see a lot of families have to redo their tax returns. That happened to me a few years ago due to a bank reporting error and it took months to fix and even temporarily screwed up my credit. That would be awful for everyone who donated to Humboldt Area Foundation.

    btw, It’s now been months and no one at HAF has returned any of my calls to answer my questions about their shady dealings.


    • Hi Mom! Welcome back! You have a couple interesting questions and regrettably we don’t have an answer. Hopefully no innocent scholarship contributor gets worked over by the IRS just cuz they unwittingly contributed to a shady non-profit. We recommend that anyone affected by HAF underhandedness consult with their tax professional for way better advice then they will get from us. After all we have been procrastinating our own tax’s for years.

      As far as a call back from Cleary and Co. we think you should just give up.


  3. King Salmon Buzzard says:

    Am I hallucinating? The forms you show PROVE they are non-profit. They are a “Public Benefit” organization organized for “Charity” according to RTC and the Secretary of State shows them as a “Domestic Nonprofit Corporation”.


    • We agree it’s a bit confusing. We noticed the same thing but after settling in with a couple cold bottles of Mike Hard Cider and a second review of the Attorney Generals site we think we have it figured out. Apparently the Secretary of State is NOT the principal governing body for charity reporting but the Registry of Charitable Trusts is. They make it very clear that you better report to them or you’re out! Guess what? True North isn’t on the reporting list. Check it out for yourself. It’s all available on the site. Of course it is possible that Pat Cleary and Terry Supahan didn’t file their paperwork simply cuz they were just way too blitzed.


  4. John Chiv says:

    THC, this link says California Attorney General. It also says you have to register, even an individual before soliciting donations. Another site says also adds the California Franchise Board.

    Department of Justice
    Office of the Attorney General
    1300 I Street, Suite 1130
    Sacramento, CA 95814916-445-2021

    Department of Justice
    Office of the Attorney General
    Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
    P.O. Box 944255
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2550


    • Hi John, Yes, it seems that enforcement and reporting is all run through the Attorney Generals department. We checked with a friend who works at a legitimate non-profit and he told us that the rules are made really clear when you receive your non-profit status. Didn’t totally make sense to us but then again not much in Sacramento does. Just thinking about it calls for another Mikes. Cheers!


      • Henchman Of Justice says:

        “We checked with a friend who works at a legitimate non-profit and he told us that the rules are made really clear when you receive your non-profit status.” ~ THC

        You are correct about Sacramento. The statement reads as if a party A) receives non profit status first THEN B) rules are made really clear……..seems backwards. Going by that interpretation, one could argue no non profit status exists because TNO did not know what the rules are as the rules can only be released once non profit status is actual, so obviously TNO is in a vacuum for some state level lack of due process claim, lol.


      • John Chiv says:

        Mike’s does sound good.


  5. Mitch says:

    Although I’m not a lawyer, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more open-and-shut case for libel.

    For you to be de-anonymized and sued would be justice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Chiv says:

      Mitch, you are not a lawyer. By your logic, Tuluwat Examiner could and would have been sued since it’s inception.

      Or does TE get special treatment?

      All TE or THC would do is file an anti SLAAP lawsuit. Libel is hard to prove, but not impossible. Trust me, I have researched this a lot.

      To be deanonymized, there are certain criteria, THC does not meet it, so far.


  6. Arcatan says:

    Mitch, I think you should read a little further into the law as well rereading the post. I’m no lawyer either but I did take a second look at the post and found THC to me asking more questions that anything else although the questions are certainly phrased in a provocative way. Actually THC never says the HAF or True North actually did anything, only that it seemed as if they might have and honestly it does seem like there’s a problem. Remember, the truth is an absolute defense. They are undoubtedly allowed to post information from government websites. Finally, to make the issue totally moot, I’m pretty sure there is an exemption for reposting information provided by others even if factually incorrect. This is clearly stated several times in the post so unless they made up their electronic source it’s end of issue.

    I’d also point out that if you were correct and this is all it takes to be sued for libel then the Herald would have been sued a thousand times over but I guess in your mind the laws wouldn’t apply to your friends anyway.

    I for one appreciate being informed about the back room dealings of our local institutions and government. So far, THC seems to be generally accurate in their facts. To be sure they are partisan but half the time I can’t tell for or against whom.


  7. Mitch says:

    They just show that True North has been happily masquerading as non-profit while hiding under the umbrella of the Humboldt Area Foundation.

    Arcatan, the above is a lie. It seems obvious to me that it is made with malice.

    The link I provided in my earlier comment says:

    The elements of a defamation claim are:

    publication of a statement of fact
    that is false,*
    has a natural tendency to injure or which causes “special damage,” and
    the defendant’s fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence.

    As for the Herald, I’m not aware of any equivalent lie the Herald made, though I know Heraldo or Heraldos had an obvious hatred of the Arkleys (which I emphatically do not share). I invite you to either deny that the quote I’ve called out above is a lie or find anything similarly deceitful in the Herald.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arcatan says:

      Mitch, This post seems to have struck a particular nerve with you. More typically I have found your comments to be better thought out and complete. Out of curiosity I went to the link you provider earlier. I suggest reading the section labeled, “Privileges and Defenses” and the sub-links, “fair report privilege”, “opinion and fair comment privileges”, “substantial truth”, and “Publishing the Statements and Comments of Others”. It’s your link, you should read more then the parts you want to hear. They all apply to varying degrees. You are dreaming or stoned if you believe that the THC post comes anywhere near the required standard. Your suggestion that the Herald didn’t cross the line further and more often verifies your utter lack of objectivity. I shant bite on spending my day searching through old post to substantiate the obvious.


  8. Mitch says:

    It also seems pretty clear to me that Humboldt Area Foundation has made a decision to ignore “The Humboldt Consequential.” That may well be the wisest decision the Foundation can make.

    However, it does not change the fact that The Humboldt Consequential lied in this article, with malice, with a tendency to injure, and that its lying rises at least to the category of negligence, if we use as a definition of negligence “failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another.”

    The best defense would probably be stupidity, as evidenced by making an assertion that True North is not a non-profit (“masquerading as a non-profit”) in an article decorated with a document showing that True North is a non-profit.

    I suppose the legal defense might be: stupidity is not negligence.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Arcatan says:

    “It also seems pretty clear to me that Humboldt Area Foundation has made a decision to ignore “The Humboldt Consequential.” That may well be the wisest decision the Foundation can make.”

    On this point we agree. HAF is probably best of ignoring self-professed drunks and numskulls. The only other response they might consider is cleaning up their act. There have been more than enough uncontested facts that have come out to substantially affect their donor base and community credibility. They probably shouldn’t respond here but respond they should.


  10. Henchman Of Justice, I was involved with two non-profits in Willow Creek a number of years ago . and when it came to what one of the two non -profits could and couldn’t do, I went to the Eureka library and the info was there. (Had to do with transferring land from the non-profit to the community services district so a loan grant could be accepted to pay off the park. (of course that matter was handled by lawyers)
    I left the area in the 80s but still have friends there so I keep up by reading the local papers and blogs.
    Where I live now I was involved with a group which was non-profit (only accepted donations for lectures) they didn’t have the government recognition. The people who rented them the facilities found out it wasn’t a CA recognized charity said ‘get official or pay a higher rent’. Seems a property owner gets a discount on rental property that is let to a bona fide non-profit. It helped that the org already had an IRS number and filed a return but the stuff they had to do for California wasn’t that demanding. Yes, you have to have good records (they did…) and have people willing to be on the board (ditto) and an official notify person of record (I guess that’s in case there’s a problem reaching the board members) who was a friend of the lecturer who was a retired lawyer.
    It made for a discount of a couple thousand dollars per year in property taxes. It also meant people could give larger donations and have tax benefits.
    Me, I wasn’t involved in the filing but I heard about it and the people who did it were happy it was as easy as it was.
    As far as non-profits not doing the right thing, I’ve been a listener-supporter of KPFK for years but unfortunately, I’ve become all too aware of this charity (non-profit) not doing the right thing…
    The Attorney General has warned KPFK several years for not having proper financial records and may remove their non-profit status. (that’s not the only problem they have and I guess KPFA and other Pacifica stations have similar problems).
    So while there are departments which oversee some of the things charities have to do, it’s the Attorney General’s office that makes sure the laws are enforced.
    So Henchman, you don’t have to be a lawyer or have gone to college, you can go to the website thc wrote about and look the things up themselves.

    with so many politicians saying so much about so little, it’s nice to be able to actually read what a law says (just like reading the voter handbook to know what you’re voting on) so you don’t take someone else’s opinion without verifying it. And if they’re wrong, quote HOW they’re wrong, and if they’re right, ‘fess up and admit it. And be happy you learned something.

    From what I saw (the pictures) it looks like True North (etc) isn’t registered but if they aren’t why aren’t they? People who can organize other people should be able to organize the paperwork…
    and if there are other reasons why they haven’t applied, it would be good to know that also.
    From panhandlers to high powered charity solicitors sending letters, calling, people asking for donations for this or that church outside a market–everyone wants my money but I want to know where my money is going to go before I part with a cent of it. It’s made me cynical and cold–to the ones who spend less on benefits and more on overhead.


    • Henchman Of Justice says:

      The 1980’s decade is Pudding cake compared to 2010+.

      The Attorney General abdicates it’s responsibility often, so not sure how much praise is guaranteed fact based upon results.

      Nothing is as easy as one would presume, but ya think those who do “whatever” all the time make less mistakes, you’d think.

      Good to read your personal experience.


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