We are a part of a religious non profit organization. About two years ago, we requested to see their public financial information; tax record, charity records, etc.. We did not ask who received the money, but we were asking who handles dividing the contributions to charity.
The Board of Trustees which are six members and one member is a Lawyer who was on the board. They including the lawyer stated and refused to release any information as they stated that they are not a part of the US law and they don't follow the US law. Is this true? Can they pick and choose which laws they follow? Does the lawyer have the legal right to claim that he does not need to follow the US law?
In our last meeting, they decided to close the meetings and the meeting will be behind close doors and no one shall attend unless they are invited or write a request to why they want to attend.
My question is:
Is there any laws for Non profit organization Religious Section 501c3?
Is it true that they can make their own law because they have a lawyer as a member of the board?
Can they close meetings and not have any meetings open?
Do you need reason to ask for information pertaining to financials? They stated that "what is our intention for asking for such information".
Which organization can I talk to, who controls this type of Non profit?
We are Maryland state.
Any help is greatly appreciated.