« Le Point » about Stifoellner and nice profits
translation of an article by César from the Bar de la Marine, published on Myosotis PACA January 6th 2011
His Sérénissime the supreme self-proclaimed guide will be proud this morning for once again he appears in a lovely photo accompanied by two colour pages in the national press with, all the same, the slight frustration, that in the Stifoellner couple, it’s his partner JCF who gets the larger part of the coverage (César feels that’s not really fair!)
Having said that, our spiritual guide can always claim loud and long that he is only JCF’s free counsel (not “free” in the sense of freemason, rather he claims he takes no fees !! – translator’s note), as has often been repeated, which fortunately further underlines the disinterested aspect of our venerated guide’s character.
So, thanks to our fine couple with their fine suits of blue and gold of which we are so proud, thanks to those two (and also, the third little piggy, CC, that the press has scandalously overlooked), we the masons of the GLNF, and Freemasons in general are once again shown in our best light. Our values are now fully recognised, in particular our ability to bring together that which is spread far and wide, to put together discreet interconnected financial structures in keeping with our respect of that which is best kept secret.
This recognition by the media of our ability to make nice profits should give us the idea to list the GLNF on the stock market. It is probably the ideal moment to attract small investors and move up to a higher level with well tried structures such as the property trusts and our local Truelle so well known here on the Riviera. However, there is a slight difficulty, the Stock Exchange Authority will want to look at the books. But César has thought about that; that’s no longer a problem since the last financial report successfully demonstrated that 2 + 2 = 4.
And such recognition of our Values in growth sectors such as Health and Property by Le Point, whose vocation is mainly economic journalism, should raise our esteem in the eyes of our Anglo-Saxon partners, whose culture appreciates good management. It is the UGLE who will be happy with this fine article that does honour to masonry.
Obviously at the Bar de la Marine we are particularly touched by the ability of this fine team to promote the viticultural products of out Riviera region.
For those of you whose linguistic skills need a little polishing up LML in English (at great expense to the management !!) has translated the article published in the January 6th issue of Le Point.
Freemasons: Property trusts, foundations : where does the money go ?
By Sophie Coignard
Where do the 500 euros of annual fees paid by the 43000 brothers of the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF)go, a total exceeding 20 million euros each year ? (of which approximately 8 million go directly to the head office till) The GLNF, 2nd Masonic obedience behind the Grand Orient has doubled its membership in the last decade. During those 10 years there have been 2 Grand Masters: Jean-Charles Foellner, a businessman established on the French Riviera, then his lawyer, the current titleholder, François Stifani (questioned by Le Point, both men assure us that François Stifani is a friendly advisor to Jean-Charles Foellner and not his appointed lawyer).
Even today these two men occupy most of the positions in the obscurity of the GLNF. They have created two foundations of a humanitarian character : Hôpital Assistance International (HAI) destined to supply medical material to poor countries, and the Fondation pour la promotion de l’homme, whose reason of existence is rather vague since it “works for the dignity of man and, wherever possible, to provide additional humanity and fraternity”. The president of the latter is former Grand Master Foellner. It was capitalised by Œuvre d’assistance fraternelle (OAF), an association whose president is …. Jean-Charles Foellner. Created in 1918 it centralises the beneficial funds destined to aid brothers in distress, funds raised principally by the collection at the end of each Lodge meeting, called the Widow’s Alms Box. Some ten years ago the leaders of the GLNF decided that this money would no longer be managed locally, but would be sent to the top, something most of the Brethren don’t know.
Over time the Foundation has benefited by bequests, one of which is considered to be litigious by the heirs and is currently the object of judicial pursuit. Another involved a rather original financial organisation. In 2004 a couple named Kunzli made an important donation to the Fondation pour la promotion de l’homme in the form of a société civile immobilière, an SCI (property trust is the closest equivalent in Anglo-Saxon financial structures –translator’s note) called CNL. The total amount donated, cash plus a building in Dole in the Jura was valued at 1 623 832.87 euros. Who became the manager of this SCI ? Jean-Charles Foellner. Is he remunerated for his functions ? He assures us he is not.
There is a very minority partner in the CNL SCI : Hôpital Assistance International. President of this NGO : Jean-Charles Foellner. Secretary : Didier Gomez. What does Didier Gomez do for a living ? He manages the Club Ecossais, a brasserie located in Marseilles, open to the public at lunch hour and reserved for the initiated in the evening. The Club Ecossais, as well as various rental apartments were built by the SA Immobilière La Truelle (Trowel). What a subtle reference ! Everyone knows a trowel is one of a mason’s main tools. The firm with that name is a building firm. But what does it build ? Temples, yes, but also income producing apartments. Who created it ? Jean-Charles Foellner, who handed over its running to his son, Pascal, co-opted onto the board of directors in June 2009. “The idea that Foellner presented to the Brethren was to be independent so far as property is concerned, while in certain towns the temples we rented were in bad shape”, explains a member of the GLNF. “Each of us was asked to purchase one share, and many of us did so to finance the company initially”. La Truelle has prospered; at the end of 2008 its net assets totalled 2.1 million euros for an initial capital of 800 000 euros.
Merciless Each year it makes substantial profits, mainly because if the apartments it built, but also from the temples it rents to…. The GLNF. “The temple at Toulon / La Garde is finished and has been occupied by the tenant. A lease has been signed with the GLNF.”, is given as an example in the report to the board during the general assembly of June 30th 2009.
But in this merciless world one must not forget humanity, fraternity, one must be open to the outside world. So, La Truelle has hundreds of small shareholders, those Brothers who purchased a single share when the company was created. The directors are kind to them : they are not even required to attend the general assembly. A General Assembly which is held, justly so, at the Club Ecossais, built by La Truelle , the building being owned by the SCI Foncière Trinité Quatorze. Manager : Jean-Charles Foellner. It was suggested to those small shareholders that they donate their shares to the Fondation pour la promotion de l’homme, in order to obtain a tax deduction…
On the board of this prosperous company, beside Pascal Foellner, we find a certain Michel Furfaro, administrator of the Club Ecossaise, which is a subsidiary (of la Truelle –translator’s note).
False exit Michel Furfaro is also manager of two SARL (proprietary limited companies – translator’s note) : the Société phocéenne d’applications médicales (SPAM) and Digitech Provence. Both have the same objectives laid down in their statutes, the purchasing, sales, maintenance, repairing and transformation “of all medical apparatus, all motors and machines”. In January 2005 a company took a 24% share in SPAM. Its name ? SA Foellner Holding. As to Digitech Provence it was created by two equal shareholders : Michel Furfaro and Jean-Charles Foellner. Can you believe that these two companies, whose objectives are to supply made to measure services to Hôpital Assistance International are not one of the suppliers to this NGO ? “Digitech is bankrupt and SPAM sells radiological equipment”, replies Jean-Charles Foellner. “It recovers old equipment and gives it to HAI for nothing in return.”
When he left the Grand Mastership Jean-Charles Foellner made a false exit. He is still the manager of the SCI Christine de Pisan which owns the headquarters of the GLNF in Paris’ 17th arrondissement. As an anecdote, he is also the owner of a vineyard, Château Paradis, in the Var Department. A wine which is served at the GLNF restaurant. Obedience whose Grand Master, François Stifani, is also the unpaid legal counsel of Jean-Charles Foellner, as he assures us.
Jean-Charles Foellner, a Brother happy in business. Originally Jean-Charles Foellner, from Alsace, was in the beer business. Since then his activities have diversified greatly. Property, with the GLNF at the centre: La Truelle, but also JCF Promotion and Groupe BFA, a real estate agency network, not forgetting about ten SCI in Provence, Paris and Alsace. This man from a very modest background, whom freemasonry has enabled him to progress in life, also has interests in wholesale chemical products (Agrovit) wholesale cereal and grain (Alsagrains, Coopérative agricole de céréales), womens off the peg clothing (Au choix des dames, in Thann), drycleaning (Pressing de l’Isle)… Not forgetting the vineyard (Château Paradis) and the repairing, purchasing and sale of medical equipment (SPAM, Digitech Provence).