Monday, August 06, 2012

Premier Anchorage Pollster Dave Dittman Sells His Company, Applies For LDS Mission Calling To Africa

If you're wondering why we haven't seen any polls by Dave Dittman recently, there's a good reason. According to Alaska Ear, Dittman sold his company, Dittman Research, to Matt Larkin, a former officer at Wells Fargo, nearly a year ago. And Dittman must have earned a good profit on the sale, because he and his wife Terry have applied for a mission calling with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The calling would last two years, and they've asked to serve in Africa. They would pay up to $2,400 of their own money per month, and that only includes basics like housing (rent, utilities, and furnishings), food, transportation within the mission, and telephone service. And the LDS Church would still expect them to pay 10 percent tithing on any income received during that time, although the decision to base tithing on gross income or net income is left to the discretion of the individual Church member.

While missionary service is almost considered a rite of passage for young Mormon men, the LDS Church solicits older couples to fill a wide variety of missions which do not necessary include door-to-door proselyting. The most recent Senior Missionary Opportunities Bulletin dated August 3rd shows the current needs. Although the Dittmans did not reveal the nature of their requested mission in Africa, the Bulletin reveals that Humanitarian Service missionary couples are needed in Rwanda and Benin, and a Public Affairs missionary couple for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French-speaking). The latter calling would dovetail with Dittman's polling experience. If significant foreign language training is deemed necessary, the Dittmans would report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo for up to 12 weeks enroute to get the training.

The Bulletin indicates that the estimated monthly missionary costs for the Democratic Republic of the Congo Lubumbashi Mission is $2,500. This means the Dittmans would shell out at least $60,000 for a two-year mission, and that doesn't include medical and dental expenses, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, insurance premiums (health and others), internet, cable, cell phones, maintaining personal obligations back home, personal care items, clothing, and entertainment. When all is said and done, the Dittmans could end up spending as much as $100,000 on their two-year mission.

This is something that BloombergBusinessweek did not take into account in their article entitled "How The Mormons Make Money", in which they cited a study co-written by Cragun and recently published in Free Inquiry which estimates that the LDS Church donates only about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity, while the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent. The LDS Church responded with a statement in which they disclosed that some of the church's additional humanitarian and other efforts were not included. For example, Businessweek did not detail the church's operation of chapels and temples around the world, investments in higher education, local welfare programs, its Perpetual Education Fund, family history program, and missionary work. Hundreds of thousands of hours of donated service, of which no financial value is calculated, underpin Church programs such as these. Furthermore, the Church absorbs the administrative costs of these ventures.

And the Dittmans are about to donate hundreds of those unpaid hours over a two-year period on their mission. Additional information on LDS Missionary Service is available at


  1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintS Corpse-oration.

    Yes people ALL "churches" are Corpse-orations.

    And we should all know what the goal of a corpseoration is,(BIG PROFIT).

    "Furthermore, the Church absorbs the administrative costs of these ventures."

    Is that the reason why they live in poverty?

    Not to worry Dave Dittman will recoup is money many times over.It's all voo-doo people.

  2. God Bless Dave Dittman and his wife.

  3. Very lucky you can go for a mission together.

    peace to you.