Mithryn’s breakdown of the lawsuit against Monson. Has it got a chance?
I’ve done some digging on the 2006 fraud act, and the 7 claims that are specifically mentioned in the brief may not hold up.
Of them, most claims (Nauvoo expositor was full of lies, Book of Abraham legitimacy, DNA and indians, etc.) were made publically before Jan 15th 2007, so they don’t apply to the law.
However, if Tom can show correspondence between himself or others and the General Authorities claiming these things, that might suffice.
Further the church can use Monson’s Alzheimers or “I cannot recall” as a defense at any time, but that might cost them.
Click on full text for legal breakdown and links.
I’m pretty sure British law is similar to American law in that it can’t challenge the validity of theological beliefs. So, the case will probably die quietly.
Besides, some of the doctrinal charges in the case, the Church doesn’t “officially” teach — like the strict creationism that would date the Earth as 6000 years old. My understanding is that the conversation concerning the Siberia-Alaska land bridge for the indigenous people of the Americas (which the Church recognizes as a possibility) is already earlier than that date…like 12,000 years ago.
That said, I’m not sure how much more the Church can try to hybridize with science before it renders itself abstruse among its own followers.
More and more Mormonism is acting like Scientology, positing strange possibilities like an outside force inserting “souls” into two ape-like creatures (Adam and Eve) sometime along the evolutionary chain. Most Christians, that I know of, don’t take the Bible’s creation story so literally, but Mormonism can’t help itself…since it has the BoM’s historicity to defend.
I think it’s impossible to really understand what’s going on here without a much better understanding of UK legal procedure than most American commentors (including me) have.
Isn’t the issue did the church withhold information that might have made members question what they’d been taught in order to keep them in the tithe-paying fold? The church had the information, but they suppressed it and taught an idealized/falsified history to convert people who then paid tithes and offerings which they might not have done had the church made the true facts available. Isn’t that what “truth in advertising” and “truth in lending” legislation is designed to prevent? Aren’t those laws designed to prevent manipulation and fraud? So the question is less the truthfulness of the doctrines than the honesty and legitimacy of the teachings offered to people with limited ability to ascertain the true facts, facts withheld by the church from everyone in order to maintain or increase membership ($$$). I would think that a court could come to conclusions on those issues, while steering clear of the truthfulness or value of theological beliefs. Isn’t this apples and oranges? I’m not a lawyer and am asking.
I’m curious to see how it will play out, but I doubt the US is obligated to extradite him.
Why Does A Living Prophet of God Need Lawyers? 2/18/14
The LDS church has always taught the following:
God is the creator of worlds without number.
God has all power.
God has the power to â€œsoftenâ€ or â€œHardenâ€ hearts.
God knows all things past, present and future.
God through the power of the Holy Ghost can reveal the truthfulness of all things.
God know what everyone is thinking even before they think it.
Prophets are godâ€™s living oracles on the Earth and God speaks through them.
The living prophet is more important to listen to than all the dead ones.
All of this would make a true prophet an awesome force in a courtroom!
The scriptures are loaded with stories of prophets so courageous, fearless, and powerful they seem like super heroes. In the Old Testament we read about Noah building the arc while the whole population was mocking him, Moses boldly contending against Pharaoh repeatedly, Elijah contending against the wicked priests of Baal, Daniel cast into the lionâ€™s den for praying, to name a few. In the New Testament we read about John the Baptist losing his head for his beliefs, Paul writing his epistles while in prison, Jesus being tried and executed for his teachings, and the stoning of Stephen. In the Book of Mormon we have the stories of Nephi beheading Laban to get the Plates of Brass and building a ship from scratch, Ammon boldly going into enemy territory to preach the gospel, Abinadi fearlessly preaching against wicked King Noah and being burnt to death for his trouble, captains Moroni and Helaman leading troops into one blood drenched battle after another, we could go on and on here but this should be enough to make the point. To my knowledge there is not one scriptural account of a prophet so wimpy he has to hide behind lawyers. According to the church the living prophet is easily the equal of the ancient ones from scripture. So what happened? How did God and his living prophet become such gutless weenies?
Any one of the ancient prophets mentioned above if ordered to appear in court would see it as a great missionary opportunity, fearlessly show up alone at the court knowing that the power of god was with him and at the very least deliver a powerful and convincing argument on behalf of himself and the church. If Monson really is a living prophet of God and the church really is true and on solid ground, with nothing to hide, it should enthusiastically do the same. If Monson does not appear before the British magistrate on the appointed date to answer the charges filed against him as ordered, the membership of the church and the world at large have every right to question his authority and the claims of the church.
Another serious issue is that by using strictly secular legal means to defy a court officialâ€™s order is a huge act of hypocrisy. The church is constantly condemning secularism but it will be though secular means that the church will deal with Monsonâ€™s situation. Additionally it would defy the churchâ€™s own Articles of Faith as found in its scriptures. The 12th article states: â€œ We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring , and sustaining the law. â€œ If these words mean nothing to the living prophet why should they mean something to his followers?
Surely there will be plenty of members with the same concerns as those expressed here and the great Google apostasy that the church has been experiencing the last several years will likely accelerate. The church may start asking â€œwhere is Abinadi when we need him?â€