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Mormons

tastyintestines

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You can call any desk sergeant. That's what you're supposed to do with non emergencies.
 

PeniG

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Okay, so why does she have the number for the desk sergeant in El Dorado? I guess she could call directory assistance. That seems like organized behavior compared to her previous hoaxes, which placed herself at the center of the action. However, it's hard enough to get a sense of a person's interior state when you're standing next to her; can't expect to work out motivations from newspaper stories.

Speaking of which, for what it's worth:

http://www.woai.com/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=06841d05-4067-45e5-a870-52377ddbfe02

Key teen witness in sect case denies state's claims

Last Update: 5:07 am

(CNN) SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A 16-year-old girl is a key witness in the Texas effort to pursue criminal charges against members of her polygamist sect. But she says she was never abused, despite the claims of investigators.

The girl, a daughter of the group's jailed prophet, is supposed to testify before a grand jury today. But she says she's never been married in the sect and doesn't have a baby. She also says church elders aren't influencing her testimony, and that she wants to fire her lawyer.

The state can't even prove the alleged abuse happened in Texas.

The girl's attorney, Natalie Malonis, was also subpoenaed, according to a lawyer for the girl's mother, who is trying to have Malonis removed from the case.

It's not clear what, or whether, criminal indictments of sect members may result.

©2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

IvanVolle

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... all the news footage of the FLDS women and their distinctive outfits seems to have started a fashion trend........

FLDS women offer handmade clothes for sale online
30 Jun 2008,

"The women of a polygamous sect are selling their distinctive handmade children's clothing online.

The enterprise was initially started to provide Texas Child Protective Services with clothes for the 440 children seized in an April raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' ranch at Eldorado, Texas.

Now, the polygamous sect's women hope to earn a living from the site. The venture has drawn queries from across the U.S. from those seeking modest clothes for their kids.

"We don't know what to expect on demand, but we have had a flood of interest," said Maggie Jessop, an FLDS member. "Our motive is not to flaunt ourselves or our religion before the world. We have to make a living the same as everyone does."

The sect is offering many items of clothing including dresses, overalls, shirts, pants, nightclothes, onesies for babies and ankle-to-wrist underwear. Women's apparel could be added if there is demand.

FLDS mothers took to their sewing machines after children in state custody were pressured to stop wearing their unique underwear and don "gentile," or conventional, clothes. CPS said they had no source for purchasing FLDS-style clothes.

"We said, 'Yes you can. You can buy them from us,'" Jessop said."
(from Fox News article)

Official FLDS merchandise site:
http://www.fldsdress.com/clothing.php?Cat=Dresses
 

PeniG

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The case bobs to the surface again. This is an unsatisfactory story - why these five guys? Is it related to information uncovered in the raid? Did any of these people have kids who were taken away? What about the one who wasn't returned? But it's what I've got.

Five Polygamist Sect Members Arrested

Last Update: 4:47 am

Print Story | Email Story

(2008 Newport Television LLC.) Five members of a west Texas polygamist sect are now in jail, after turning themselves in to police Monday.

Police say four of the men have been charged with sexual assault of a child. A fifth was charged with failing to report child abuse, and one of the five was charged with bigamy.

According to state investigators, the sect has forced underage girls to marry and have sex with older men. This is the same group that had their ranch raided by the state in April.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the five men were indicted last week with Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Abbott commented Monday on Jeffs' status.

"He's in a jail cell in Arizona," Abbott said. "Our game plan will be to extradite him."

The FLDS church has not commented on the arrests.
http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=da9f8db3-0acf-4a76-9d13-f1e84a0bdf1d
 

PeniG

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Another little update, with the usual paucity of concrete detail. It's impossible to form an opinion of this case on the information provided in the mainstream online news sources, and I'm afraid I don't care urgently enough to seek out more in-depth coverage. My policy on this sort of thing is to wait for the books to start appearing. If anything dramatic happens, though, I'll let y'all know.
http://www.woai.com/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=5adb4848-c657-483d-af6f-671ddc553ccc

Texas officials want eight sect kids back in custody

Last Update: 5:09 am

(CNN) SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - Some of the children taken from a polygamist sect's ranch, placed in foster care and then returned to their parents could be headed back to foster care again.

Texas child welfare authorities have asked Texas District Judge Barbara Walther to put eight children, ranging in age from 5 to 17, back in state custody, alleging their mothers have refused to limit contact with men accused of being involved in underage marriages.

Individual hearings for the four mothers involved are scheduled to begin Monday.

"We continue to have concerns in particular for these eight children, which is why we have asked the judge to review the case," said Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner.

None of the children currently live at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, where authorities swept roughly 440 children into foster care in April. Officials said at the time that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which established the ranch, was forcing girls into underage marriages and grooming boys to be adult abusers.

Six weeks after the children were placed in foster care, the Texas Supreme Court forced CPS to return them to their parents, ruling that the agency presented evidence of no more than a handful of teenage girls being abused. Many of the children taken into CPS custody were infants and toddlers.

In the new CPS petitions seeking foster placement for the eight children, the agency detailed alleged underage marriages involving the children's fathers or stepfathers, though only one faces any criminal charges.

Rod Parker, a church spokesman, said that even though the families are getting individual hearings this time, the argument that they shouldn't be allowed to retain custody of their children remains unfair.

The issue, as it was in the earlier case, is "whether the children are in any immediate danger simply because their parents choose to raise them in this religion," he said. "The substance of what they're doing here is fundamentally the same."

Parker also noted that the church issued a statement in June saying it would not bless underage marriages.

The FLDS church believes polygamy brings glory in heaven. It is a breakaway sect of the mainstream Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which officially renounced polygamy more than a century ago.

Sect leader Warren Jeffs and four followers were indicted in Texas last month for sexual assault of a child. One of the followers was also indicted for bigamy.
A sixth man, Dr. Lloyd Hammon Barlow, was indicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse. Authorities want custody of his two daughters, saying he didn't report the babies he delivered to underage girls and that he married a 16-year-old.

Jeffs, already convicted in Utah as an accomplice to rape, awaits trial in Arizona on charges of being an accomplice to sexual contact with a minor, all stemming from alleged underage marriages within the sect.

©2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

PeniG

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No dramatic action yet, but that Bishop's record isn't something I've seen described before and it's a nice big stick that no amount of making nice will turn aside. The defense is going to have to discredit it.

Most recently charged FLDS men pay bail

Lisa Sandberg - Express-News Austin Bureau AUSTIN —
Three men from a West Texas polygamist group surrendered to authorities Monday after being charged last week with sexually abusing young girls.

Lehi Barlow Jeffs, otherwise known as Lehi Barlow Allred, 29; Keith William Dutson, 23; and Abram Harker Jeffs, 37, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were each released from the Schleicher County jail after posting bonds of at least $100,000 apiece, Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran said.

Lehi Jeffs and Abram Jeffs face additional bigamy charges.

“It was uneventful. They turned themselves in at around 11 o'clock, (paid their bail money) and were out in an hour,” Doran said.

Five other men from the polygamist group, including FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs, face similar felony sex abuse charges in Schleicher County related to purported unions with underage girls. Warren Jeffs was convicted in Utah of sexual abuse, received up to life in prison and now sits in an Arizona jail, awaiting trial there in connection with underage marriages.

Authorities say the polygamist group, which bought a 1,700 acre ranch on the outskirts of Eldorado in 2003, forced teenage girls to “spiritually marry” older men — and kept detailed records of the unions.

Attorneys for the group say the charges are baseless — concocted by the state to destroy an unorthodox religious movement.

The three latest suspects were shown to have wed underage girls in so-called “Bishop Records” released in May by the state in connection with a custody battle. (In April, hundreds of the group's children were sent into foster care but returned two months later.)

Lehi Jeffs was listed in the handwritten document, dated March 2007, as having three wives — including one who was 16.

Keith Dutson was listed as being in a monogamous union with a 16-year-old. The document, which the state says it seized from the ranch during a raid in April, indicates Dutson was 22 at the time.

Abram Jeffs was listed as having five wives, including one who was 16.


Texas law prohibits sex between an adult man and a child 16 or younger, except in very narrow circumstances.

The same Schleicher County grand jury that returned felony indictments against the eight men is scheduled to reconvene in November to consider additional evidence, a spokeswoman with the Schleicher County district clerk's office said.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Most_recently_charged_FLDS_men_pay_bail.html

The "very narrow circumstances" do include parental consent to a marriage, but this will not apply in bigamous cases. No one wants to open up a can of worms about how voluntary parental consent was. Dutson's age at the time of his marriage is relevant because statutory rape charges don't apply if the age difference is two years or less - had he been 18 and she had her parents' permission, he wouldn't be touchable.
 

ramonmercado

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Canada charges two with polygamy
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7818364.stm

Mr Blackmore is said to acknowledge having an extensive family
Canadian police have charged the leaders of two rival religious sects in an isolated community with polygamy.

Winston Blackmore was alleged to have had 20 wives, while James Oler is accused of having had two. Canadian law outlaws the practice.

The two men lead fundamentalist breakaway Mormon sects in the town of Bountiful in British Columbia province.

Mainstream Mormons gave up polygamy in the 1890s so Utah could enter the US.

But the sect members believe that a man must have multiple wives to enter heaven.

Rival groups

The case was the first test of Canada's polygamy's laws, said British Columbia's attorney general, Wally Oppal.

"This has been a very complex issue," he said. "It's been with us for well over 20 years. The problem has always been the defence of religion has always been raised."

Mr Blackmore, 52, ran the Canadian branch of the Utah-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) until 2003 when he was removed by that group's leader, Warren Jeffs.

James Oler then took charge of Bountiful's FLDS congregation and Mr Blackmore went on to lead a rival group.

Abuse allegations

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police began investigating allegations of polygamy in the mountain community of Bountiful in 2005 and recommended charging the two men and possibly others.

Two subsequent reviews by special prosecutors said the government should get a court ruling on the constitutionality of Canada's Victorian-era polygamy laws before pressing charges - in case they were dismissed as going against freedom of religion laws.

A third special prosecutor, appointed by Mr Oppal in 2008, reviewed the cases and recommended pressing charges.

The issue is complicated by allegations of sexual abuse related to the marriage of underage girls to older men.

Former residents of Bountiful have alleged for more than 20 years that underage girls were being married to older men.

RCMP Sgt Tim Shields said the force's investigation showed some girls were married "well before the age of 18".

Mr Jeffs, the FLDS's American leader, is in jail in Arizona awaiting trial on charges of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor linked to the sect's practice of marrying young girls to church leaders.

He has been convicted in Utah of being an accessory to rape for performing a wedding between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl.
 

ramonmercado

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British Columbia court to rule on anti-polygamy law
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11817322

Map of British Columbia

A Canadian court has begun hearings on whether Canada's anti-polygamy law violates rights to freedom of religion guaranteed by the constitution.

The case focuses on a break-away Mormon sect alleged to practice "plural marriage" in British Columbia.

Authorities have asked the court to affirm the ban is constitutional in order to prosecute alleged polygamists.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has 10,000 members in the US and Canada.

The provincial government in British Columbia is deciding whether and how to crack down on alleged polygamy in a church community in the south-eastern corner of the province.

Craig Jones, a lawyer for the provincial government, warned a British Columbia Supreme Court judge on Monday that if the law was overturned, Canada would become the only Western country to allow polygamy.
'Rights protected'
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

Today we have a much fuller appreciation of the social harm of polygamy”

End Quote Craig Jones Lawyer, British Columbia

Authorities had previously declined to prosecute alleged polygamists, fearing the 19th-Century law would be declared unconstitutional.

But on Monday, lawyers for the province of British Columbia told the Vancouver court they had changed their minds.

"Today we have a much fuller appreciation of the social harm of polygamy," Mr Jones said.

Thirty-six witnesses, including some women in polygamous relationships, are expected to testify before the court in Vancouver.

The church and its supporters say the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows it to practice its religion, including plural marriage.

"Consenting adults have the right - the Charter-protected right - to form the families that they want to form," British Columbia Civil Liberties Association lawyer Monique Pongracic-Speier told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"In some polygamous families, as in some monogamous families, there are abuses and there are difficulties, and it's those abuses or those difficulties that ought to be the target of legal intervention, not the form of relationship itself," she said.

But critics say the relationships subjugate women, who are at times forced into marriages with much older men.

The case is expected to continue until January.
 

rynner2

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Mormon polygamists shared the flaws of the fruit fly
Biologist Michael Wade of Indiana University has found that a harem lifestyle was bad for a female rate of reproduction
Robin McKie, science editor The Observer, Sunday 27 February 2011

In Utah, women used to marry young. In particular they married Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon Church. The religious leader had 55 wives by whom he had 56 children before he died, aged 76, in 1877. His followers had similar polygamous marriages.

But scientists have now uncovered an odd fact about 19th-century Mormons: the more women in a household, the lower the average birthrate. In other words, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce.

"Although it is great in terms of numbers of children for successful males to have harems, the data show that, for every new woman added to a male's household, the number of children that each wife produced goes down by one," said biologist Dr Michael Wade, of Indiana University.

The result is intriguing, because this is the first time scientists have observed humans being affected by what is known as the Bateman gradient, a phenomenon that gets its name from the geneticist who first observed it in fruit flies. The more sexual partners the male fruit fly had, the lower was the fecundity of each of those partners, the 20th-century geneticist Angus Bateman noted.

In fact, examples of the Bateman effect were generally rare, said geneticist Professor Steve Jones of University College London. "The decrease in fecundity of females in these circumstances is not well established. The only other example that I can think of is the Soay sheep. Males fight furiously for females, but after a few weeks the most sexually active males are firing blanks – they have zero sperm left – which means their mates are not being fertilised."

In the study of Mormon families, published in the US journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, the researchers surveyed birth, marriage and death records from the Utah population database, which covers nearly 186,000 adults and 630,000 children who lived or died between 1830 and 1894.

It was during this period that polygamy was slowly being phased out under pressure from state legislators. The results were clear: the more women partnered with a man, the fewer children each of those women had. Exactly why is not clear. Like the Soay rams, men may simply not have had the stamina. Wade says: "It could be owing to competition between women within a plural marriage for shared resources, or it could be owing to other unknown factors."

Neither was polygamy a great deal for males. For every man who had multiple wives, there were many who had none. "For every male that has three mates, there must be two who have none," said Wade. "If a male has even more mates, then the disparity among male reproductive haves and have-nots can become quite high."

The failure of the Utah polygamy experiment should therefore not be seen as that surprising.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/ ... -fruit-fly
 

rynner2

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Student basketball star suspended for pre-marital sex

A university in the US state of Utah has suspended a star basketball player for having pre-marital sex with his girlfriend in violation of the school's strict "honour code".

Brandon Davies was dropped after admitting the transgression to staff at Brigham Young University (BYU).
His team, ranked 3rd in the nation in college basketball, went on to lose against an unranked team on Wednesday.

The BYU honour code requires students to be "chaste and virtuous".
BYU officials have defended the decision after the news was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, saying that students are fully aware of the rigorous code, and often choose the school because of it.
"We live this. This is who we are," said Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director.

The Utah-based university is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. All students agree to abide by the honour code, which reflects Mormon values.
The code includes prohibitions on drinking, smoking, drugs, tea, coffee, swearing and sex, as well as a commitment regularly to attend church.

Mr Davies suspension has garnered headlines across the country because it comes at the beginning of the prestigious NCAA tournament - a nationwide contest for university teams, often called "March Madness".
The BYU team, the Cougars, were set to enter as first seed.
Mr Davies has reportedly apologised to his teammates.

In America, honour codes are mostly associated with military academies, but a number of universities, including the University of Virginia and Princeton, also enforce them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12652669
 

ramonmercado

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Cain, Bachmann sidestep questions about Mormon faith
http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre798 ... ign-faith/
Posted 2011/10/09 at 11:41 am EDT

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2011 (Reuters) — Republican presidential contenders Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann refused on Sunday to wade into a controversy over a Texas pastor's comments about rival Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.


Republican U.S. presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks during remarks to the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit in Washington, October 7, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

"I am not running for theologian in chief," Cain, a former pizza executive who is rising fast in polls, said on CNN's "State of the Union" show when asked about the views of Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress.

"I am not going to get into an analysis of Mormonism vs. Christianity. I'm not getting into that," said Cain, who said he was a lifelong Christian.

Jeffress, who backs Texas Governor Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential race, said at a conference of conservative voters on Friday that Mormons were a cult and were not Christians.

Jeffress, pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, introduced Perry at the conference. Perry, who is an evangelical Christian, rejected the comments by Jeffress and said he did not believe Mormons were a cult.

Bachmann, also a conservative Christian, called the controversy "inconsequential" and said jobs and the economy were the topics of concern to voters.

"We have religious tolerance in this country," said the congresswoman from Minnesota.

"I don't think that I'll be judged based on my faith as president of the United States, I think I'll be judged based upon the good ideas that I have to turn the economy around and have job creation."

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
 

JamesWhitehead

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" . . . the Cougars, were set to enter as first seed.
Mr Davies has reportedly apologised to his teammates."


"Guys, what can I say? All that creamy goodness spent on some skirt. Hope the game went OK anyway. Who got the cookie?" :?
 

ramonmercado

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They've gone to far this time.

Mormons baptise parents of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17036046

Changes in the Mormon genealogical database in 2010 were designed to prevent proxy baptisms

Related Stories

Is US view of Mormons changing?
Obituary: Simon Wiesenthal

The Mormon Church has apologised for posthumously baptising the parents of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

Jews Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal were baptised in proxy ceremonies in the US states of Arizona and Utah in January, records show.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman Michael Purdy said the Church' s leaders "sincerely regret" the actions of "an individual member".

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the news.

"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, a spokesman at the centre.

The Mormon religion allows baptism after death, and believes the departed soul can then accept or reject the baptismal rites.

An agreement in 1995 was supposed to ban the practice of baptising by proxy Holocaust victims, after it was discovered the names of hundreds of thousands of those who died had been entered into Mormon records.

Simon Wiesenthal's parents are long since deceased, with his father dying in World War I and his mother perishing in the Holocaust.

Wiesenthal himself died in 2005 after surviving the Holocaust and dedicating his life to documenting Nazi crimes and hunting down perpetrators.

'Serious breach'
Mr Purdy told the Associated Press news agency that the church considered the act "a serious breach of our protocol".

According to Mr Purdy, the names of the Wiesenthal family were simply entered into a genealogical database by one person.

"We have suspended indefinitely this person's ability to access our genealogy records," he said.

The name of that individual or the individuals who performed the rite were not released.

Evidence that Wiesenthal's parents had been baptised was found by Helen Radkey, a researcher and former Mormon, AP reported.

She regularly checks the Church' s database, and also recently found the names of Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and several family members on the Mormon list.

"None of the three names were submitted for baptism and they would not have been under the Church' s guidelines and procedures," said Mr Purdy, the Mormon Church spokesman said.

Rabbi Cooper said any further discussion of the problem was useless.

"The only way such insensitive practices would finally stop is if church leaders finally decided to change their practices and policies on posthumous baptisms, a move which this latest outrage proves that they are unwilling to do," he said.

The Catholic Church has also objected to posthumous baptisms of its members.
 

rynner2

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Park Romney: Why he turned against the Mormon church
By John Sweeney, BBC News

Mitt Romney, the front runner in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination for the White House, is a devout Mormon, but his cousin, Park Romney, also in the past a committed member of the church, now denounces it as a cult.
"I became convinced that it's a fraud," Park Romney told the BBC, explaining his reason for leaving the Mormon fold.

The two visions of Mormonism the Romney cousins present could not be more starkly opposed.
Park Romney, 56, is a former Mormon high priest, who turned against the church.

On the stump Mitt Romney, 65, has avoided mentioning Mormonism, instead talking generally about his faith, but he has been an active lifelong member of the church.

He was a Mormon missionary to France in the 1960s, studied at the almost-exclusively Mormon Brigham Young university and rose to become first bishop, then "Stake President" (diocesan leader) in his home state of Massachusetts.
He led Sunday services, ran Bible classes for children and looked after a 4,000-strong congregation in Boston for five years in the 1980s.
Like all Mormons, he is expected to give 10% of his annual income - no-one knows how much he is worth, but it is estimated at anywhere from $150 million to $1 billion - to the Church and not drink tea, coffee or alcohol.
Committed Mormons wear special under-garments, and Romney is believed to follow this tenet of his faith too.

Park Romney's criticisms of the church are fundamental.
Along with other ex-Mormons, he questions founder Joseph Smith's prophecies - for example Smith's translation of an Egyptian scroll, part of the Mormon book of Abraham, which Egyptologists say is a fraud.
"There's compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and wilfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable," says Park.

Such accusations are rarely heard in the US, a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion.
"It's not something you're supposed to talk about," says Prof Robert Putnam of Harvard Kennedy School.
"Whenever the issue of Romney's Mormonism has come to the surface, there's been lots of condemnation across the political spectrum for raising the issue of his religion," says Putnam.
"I'm not saying it's not relevant, but it's not talked about in polite company."

Mitt Romney's biographer, Scott Helman, agrees.
"There are plenty of ways in which people try to cause alarm among some voters over it, but it's not something you're allowed to say explicitly," he says.
"But a certain function of reminding voters who might have some predisposed notion about Mormonism that maybe it is strange, maybe it's weird."

Ex-Mormons tend to be the church's most outspoken critics.
One thing that particularly agitates them is "shunning" - allegations that former church members are denied access to family members who remain in the church.
Park claims this has happened to him.
"I am alienated from my family," he told the BBC.
"Their doctrine, their protocol and their culture as enforced by bishops encourages the families to disassociate themselves from the apostate."

Mormon Church elder Jeffrey Holland denies shunning occurs.
"We don't use that word and we don't know that practice.
"If I had a son or a daughter who left the Church or was alienated or had a problem, I can tell you I would not cut that child out of family life," he states.

The Mormon Church maintains that it does a great deal of good. Its leaders say they have given more than $1bn in aid around the world since 1985.

The allegation that the Church is a cult, made by Park Romney and other ex-Mormons, is denied by Elder Holland.
"If that is what they believe, it's probably a good thing they leave, because we're not a cult.
"I have chosen this church because of the faith that I feel and the inspiration that comes, but if people want to call us a cult, you can call us a cult," Elder Holland says from behind his desk.
"But we are 14 million and growing."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17487873
 

Mythopoeika

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The oddest thing here is that their parents called them 'Park' and 'Mitt'.
 

ramonmercado

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Mythopoeika said:
The oddest thing here is that their parents called them 'Park' and 'Mitt'.

At least they don't call their kids Trig and Track like Sarah Palin does.
 

Anome

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Be fair, Mitt's first name is actually Willard. Which isn't an especially odd name. But he chooses to be called by his middle name.
 

ramonmercado

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Anome_ said:
Be fair, Mitt's first name is actually Willard. Which isn't an especially odd name. But he chooses to be called by his middle name.

Willard? Rats!
 

OneWingedBird

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Ran into a nice Mormon lady in the municipal swimming pool this morning, was mentioning how young Mormon 'elders' are, and she told me she'd known an Elder Berry, Elder Young and Elder Elder. :lol:
 

ramonmercado

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Mormons must have instructions on who to approach in the street. I've never been approached when in a suit (but they passed me) but have been stopped when wearing denim jacket etc.
 

Mythopoeika

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ramonmercado said:
Mormons must have instructions on who to approach in the street. I've never been approached when in a suit (but they passed me) but have been stopped when wearing denim jacket etc.

Suit = at work, no time to talk, no nonsense.
Denim jacket = not at work, casual personality, easy to bullshit.
 

kmossel

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Dutch royals posthumously baptised by Mormons

National daily Trouw reports that several members of the Dutch royal family were baptised by the Mormon Church after their deaths.

The paper writes that the late Queen Juliana, her husband Prince Bernhard and Queen Beatrix’ late husband Prince Clause were baptised posthumously. Trouw’s report is based on secret data obtained from the Mormon Church’s global genealogical data base.

Under the laws of the Mormon Church members can only have their ancestors baptised posthumously, but many Mormons ignore these rules and have others baptised as well. Anne Frank’s Mormon baptism sparked fierce protests from the Jewish world.

Trouw writes that Prince Claus was baptised in 2004 – two years after his death – in the Brazilian city of Campinas. A spokesperson for the

Mormon Church in the Netherlands says the baptism was performed by “overzealous members.”

The paper does not say when and where Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard were baptised. Trouw says that King Willem I, King Willem III, Queen Emma and Queen Wilhelmina were also baptised by Mormons.

The government information service has not reacted to the Mormon baptisms of members of the royal family.

The Mormon Church has found itself in the spotlights because US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

From http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutch-n ... 26206.html

On a Dutch news site, I saw that the Mormon church has now issued official apologies for the baptisms, but I haven't found an English-language version of that report yet.
 

rynner2

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Here's a beaut of a cross-threader! So I toss a coin, and it goes... here!

Damian Thompson
Damian Thompson is Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. He was once described by The Church Times as a "blood-crazed ferret". :D
Where Mormonism meets Scientology
By Damian Thompson
US politics Last updated: July 6th, 2012
From Saturday's Daily Telegraph

We can take it for granted that Tom Cruise – whose divorce proceedings are already such a catastrophe for Scientology – will never talk in public about Xenu. The existence of this intergalactic emperor, who flourished c 75,000,000 BC, was top secret until the Church’s enemies took to the internet. Advice to journalists: if you ask Cruise about Xenu, the doors of Hollywood (where the Church wields immense influence) will slam in your face.

On the other hand, it’s safe to ask any Scientologist about Kolob. This is the star, or possibly planet, that is closest to the throne of God. Astronomers haven’t found it – yet – but it served as the inspiration for the planet Kobol in Battlestar Galactica.

Why is it safe to ask Cruise about Kolob? Because it’s Mormon, not Scientologist: it appears in The Book of Abraham, “translated” from Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. I use inverted commas because Smith couldn’t read Egyptian. The papyri were funerary texts.

The person you mustn’t ask about Kolob is Mitt Romney. The teaching isn’t a secret, but Latter-day Saints aren’t keen to discuss it. These days they stress their similarity with Christianity, and there’s no Kolob in the Gospels.

Admittedly, from a secular point of view, eating bread in the belief that it’s the body of a carpenter-turned-preacher who rose from the dead is as bizarre as hooking yourself up to an E-meter, like Scientologists, or baptising the dead, like Mormons. Yet there are striking similarities between the sects founded by Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard. These brilliant mavericks used popular culture to produce cosmologies that they marketed aggressively, though reserving some esoteric details for senior initiates.

Smith invented a journey by ancient Hebrews to America – a typical fantasy of the time – and dabbled in the occult. Hubbard mined the seam of mid-20th-century American science fiction, and also devised a brain-cleansing technique called Dianetics that was supposed to produce perfect recall. It failed hilariously.

Critics accused Smith and Hubbard of telling porkies. The former’s interpretation of the Egyptian papyri, which he encountered in a travelling mummy exhibition, is plain embarrassing. As for Hubbard, his war service was a work of the imagination to rival the science fiction he wrote before he discovered religion and its tax-exempt status. Both organisations are extremely interested in money, and very good at acquiring it.

The two prophets were heartily interested in the opposite sex: Smith acquired some 33 wives, while Hubbard encouraged teenage girl “officers” to wear hot pants.

Also, both religions went down the paramilitary route. We’ve read this week about the “Sea Org” that Katie Holmes allegedly feared her little daughter would be forced to join (a claim denied by the Church). But that’s nothing compared with the Mormon militia which fought in the Mexican-American war. Later, Mormon “avenging angels” were implicated in blood-curdling murders after they moved to Utah.

The Latter-day Saints cleaned up their act. But they were the Scientologists of their day – and they’re still evasive enough for the public to make the subliminal connection.

That’s why Mitt Romney, who dresses like a Mormon but flashes a Scientologist’s smile, must be worried by the Cruise-Holmes divorce. This year of all years, he doesn’t want the word “cult” splashed all over the front pages.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damia ... ientology/
 

Mythopoeika

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It's all a load of Kolobs.
 

ramonmercado

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The Time Mormons Baptized Adolf Hitler and Vlad the Impaler
http://io9.com/5962336/the-time-mormons ... he-impaler
Keith Veronese

You probably knew that Mormons can baptize people who are already dead — but you probably didn't know quite how many historical figures the Mormon religious leaders have managed to baptize over the years.

Most of the time, when Mormons are baptizing the long-dead, it's because a current member of the faith wants to recruit his or her ancestors into the church. But at least some high-profile baptisms skipped over this requirement — arousing more than a little controversy. Like the time they decided to baptize Hitler. And hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims.
Top image: Doctor Who, "Let's Kill Hitler"

Releasing the dead from Spirit Prison
So where does baptism for the dead even come from? It started at the same time as the Mormon faith itself: in the first half of the 19th century. Founder Joseph Smith endorsed this practice, as part of his spiritual revelation.

Currently, Mormons believe baptism is necessary for an individual to exit from "Spirit Prison" – a place akin to purgatory in the Catholic Church. Anyone outside the Mormon faith enters Spirit Prison at the time of their death.

By baptizing the dead, Mormons offer the people in Spirit Prison the option to accept Mormonism, and enter the Celestial Kingdom.

Full size
So how do you do it? Here's the process: A proxy, often a young adult over the age of 12, is submerged under water while a name or list of names is called out by an officiant, with the act of recitation confirming the baptism. These baptisms can only occur at Temples, of which there are 139 around the world.

The baptism, in the eyes of Mormons, does not make the baptized a Mormon. The act only gives the baptized the option to select Mormonism, if the church's view of the afterlife turns out to be correct. Taking this option into account, many Mormons look at this process as a "quantity over quality" situation, attempting to baptize as many individuals by proxy as possible.

Through this relatively mundane process of recitation and submersion, Mormon church members have baptized a number of historical figures. This list includes some particularly evil ones, like Vlad the Impaler and Adolf Hitler. Serial killer Ted Bundy is another individual to add to the "evil" category — but at least Bundy had practiced Mormonism while alive.

Full size
Constant Controversy
To aid in proxy baptism, the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The $8 million building allows members of the Mormon faith to research their desires to baptize their deceased family members. Over two billion names are currently within the genealogical database.

The LDS maintains a free geneological site, Family Search, as well as a user-restricted site, using this database.

In the course of baptizing as many of the dead as possible, Mormon followers baptized between 300,000 and 400,000 Jewish Holocaust victims, garnering the ire of religious groups across the world. Members also baptized Pope John Paul II four times in 2006.

The church claims that it no longer baptizes the deceased, unless they are direct relatives of a living member of the Church. Controversial baptisms can still occur, however, since a church member could submit almost any name for baptism, without any outside approval needed.

Baptizing family members outside of the Mormon faith is common, to ensure that the family is not separated in the afterlife. In 1993, church members baptized Mitt Romney's deceased father-in-law, Edward Roderick Davies, a life-long atheist.

Also, Mormons have baptized Richard Feynman, George Carlin, and Eazy-E, making for some interesting moments in the afterlife if the Mormon concept of life after death is correct.
 

ramonmercado

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Mormon Chorley temple tax 'not human rights breach'
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-26441993

European judges ruled the Mormon church must pay tax on a Chorley temple closed to the public after leaders claimed it was a breach of human rights.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was told in 2005 it was not exempt from business rates because it is not providing a public service.

Leaders claimed discrimination, though the temple is eligible for an 80% reduction due to its charitable status,

But judges agreed with the House of Lords that the tax should be imposed.

'Sacred temple'
They ruled that denying the full rate exemption does not violate the church's members rights to show their religious beliefs.

Judges said the purpose of the exemption law was to benefit religious buildings which provided a service to the general public, and imposing the tax did not discriminate against the religion.

Though the Mormons have many chapels in the UK open to the public, they believe the temple is sacred and entrance is restricted.

Malcolm Adcock, UK spokesman for the Mormon faith, said the church respects the Strasbourg court's decision.

The religion has about 190,000 members in the UK.
 

ramonmercado

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Mormon leader Thomas Monson fraud case thrown out
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26666144

Thomas Monson

Mormon leader Thomas Monson will not face prosecution in the UK

The head of the Mormon church will not appear in a British court over claims some of its teachings amount to fraud, a judge has ruled.

A former follower brought a private prosecution against Thomas Monson, president of the US-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Tom Phillips claimed Mr Monson breached the Fraud Act by seeking money using "untrue or misleading" statements.

But District Judge Howard Riddle called it an "abuse" of the court process.

Speaking at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the judge said: "I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others."

The summons alleged that, between February 2008 and December 2013, Mr Monson induced two men to pay an "annual tithe" based on teachings which were untrue.

These included that:

there were no deaths on Earth before 6,000 years ago
all humans are descended from two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago
Joseph Smith translated the Book Of Mormon from ancient gold plates and it is historically accurate
Native Americans are descended from Israelites who left Jerusalem in 600BC
The summons, signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, had ordered Mr Monson to appear at Westminster and threatened arrest if he did not.

But Judge Riddle ruled the threat of arrest was "wrong" and should not have been made.

He described the attempted prosecution as "tenuous", with no chance of ever making it to trial even if Mr Monson attended.

"To convict, a jury would need to be sure that the religious teachings of the Mormon church are untrue or misleading," he said.

"No judge in a secular court in England and Wales would allow that issue to be put to a jury."

Neither Mr Phillips nor Mr Monson was in court for the hearing.
 

ramonmercado

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Mormon Transhumanist Conference coming up, April 4
By: Philip K. Dick
Published: March 15, 2014
http://hplusmagazine.com/2014/03/15/mor ... p-april-4/

mta-thumb

Whether or not you agree with Mormon Transhumanist Association leader Lincoln Cannon that Mormonism is the most transhumanist religion, if you can make your way to Salt Lake City on April 4, you're sure to find yourself in the midst of some interesting discussions!


The 2014 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 4 April 2014 from 9:00am to 6:00pm in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Salt Lake City Public Library. Speakers and artists will present on the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. Keynote speakers will be Transhumanist designer and Humanity+ chair Natasha Vita-More, and Mormon philosopher Adam S. Miller. The conference is open to the public.

Natasha Vita-More, no doubt familiar to many readers, is a designer and theorist. She is a professor at the University of Advancing Technology, who received her doctorate from the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, United King dom, where her thesis focuses on human enhancement and radical life extension. She is the designer and author of “Platform Di verse Body, Substrate Autonomous Person (fka “Primo Posthuman” - a future whole body prototype.) In 2013, she co-edited The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future. In 1983, Vita-More authored the “Transhuman Manifesto”; and founded Transhumanist Arts and Culture in 1993. She was the Chair of “Vital Progress Summit” 2004, establishing a precedent for discussion of human enhancement. She was the president of the Extropy Institute 2002-2006. Vita-More is a proponent of morphological freedom and enhancing human biology. To give credence to her arguments, Vita-More supports the Proactionary Principle. In addition to academic works, she has exhibited at National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Brooks Memorial Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Women In Video, Telluride Film Festival, United States Environmental Film Festival and “Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age”. She is published in more than two dozen journals and a contributing author to numerous books.

Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He and his wife, Gwen Miller, have three children. He received an MA and PhD in philosophy from Villanova University as well as a BA in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University. He is the editor of An Experiment on the Word (Salt Press, 2011) and the author of Badiou, Marion, and St Paul: Immanent Grace (Continuum, 2008), Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Kofford, 2012), Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology (Fordham University Press, 2013), and Letters to a Young Mormon (Maxwell Institute, 2014). He is the co-editor, with Joseph Spencer, of the book series Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture, published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and serves as the current director of the Mormon Theology Seminar.


The Mormon Transhumanist Association is an international nonprofit organization that promotes radical flourishing in compassion and creation through technology and religion. Although we are neither a religious organization nor affiliated with any religious organization, we support our members in their personal religious affiliations, Mormon or otherwise, and encourage them to adapt Transhumanism to their unique situations.
 

rynner2

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I'm having problems with an article about a conference next month, written by someone who died in 1982... :?
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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rynner2 said:
I'm having problems with an article about a conference next month, written by someone who died in 1982... :?

Time traveller?
 
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