Mormon Prophet Summoned to British Court

Yesterday (5 February 2014) The Arizona Republic reported:

“The leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear before a magistrate in England on fraud charges filed by a disaffected ex-Mormon who disputes fundamental teachings of the religion, according to documentation obtained by The Arizona Republic.

ThomasMonsonThomas Monson has been summoned to appear in a British court on 14 March 2014 to “answer accusations that key tenets of the LDS faith are untrue and have been used to secure financial contributions.” This is a criminal complaint filed by ex-Mormon atheist Tom Phillips. The Arizona Republic reports,

“Phillips’ complaint is based on the Fraud Act of 2006, a British law that prohibits false representations made to secure a profit, or to cause someone to lose money. “Conviction may carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

“The summonses were signed on Friday by Judge Elizabeth Roscoe. A court official in London confirmed to The Republic on Tuesday the issuance of the paperwork, which directs Monson to answer allegations that untrue religious precepts were used to obtain tithes comprising 10 percent of church members’ incomes.”

According to the summons, these “representations” that were made to the victims (i.e., things that the Church knew were “untrue or misleading”) include:

  • The Book of Abraham as a literal translation of Egyptian papyri
  • The Book of Mormon as an ancient historical record, the most correct book on earth, translated from ancient gold plates
  • Native Americans as descendants from an Israelite family that left Jerusalem in 600 B.C.
  • Joseph and Hyrum Smith killed as martyrs because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • The Nauvoo Expositor was necessarily destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith
  • No death on earth prior to 6,000 years ago
  • All humans alive today descended from two people who lived 6,000 years ago

President Monson must make this court appearance. The summons warns, “Failure to attend may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.”

As The Arizona Republic reported, Tom Phillips wrote,

“These are not statements of mere ‘beliefs’ or opinions or theories. They are made as actual facts and their truthfulness can be objectively tested with evidence.”

Most people think that this case will not get very far. Indeed, it may not go any further than this summons before it is dismissed. The Mormon Church seems to see it as nothing more than a nuisance:

“’The Church occasionally receives documents like this that seek to draw attention to an individual’s personal grievances or to embarrass Church leaders,’ said Eric Hawkins, a spokesman at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, who said he had not seen the legal document. ‘These bizarre allegations fit into that category.’”

But a comment posted at exmormon reddit suggests that Mr. Phillips might have something very specific in mind by instigating this lawsuit.

“As an attorney, I would be very surprised if Phillips’ legal team hasn’t already thought several more steps down the road. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t care what any church official said about whether they truly believed the church’s claims, or whether they claim the freedom of religious belief. That doesn’t matter. That wouldn’t be the goal. Document discovery would be the goal. This case involves claims of historical fact that are falsifiable. So the question would be, did the Brethren have access to internal information showing those claims to be false, or likely to be false? In a civil suit against a corporation, executives can claim ignorance, but that opens the door to internal records and communication to see whether the executives are being truthful, or whether they should have known of wrongdoing given the internal information that they had access to. This kind of discovery is done all the time.

“So what could they conceivably go for? Oh, just all of the First Presidency’s correspondence, meeting minutes, diary entries, archives, records, writings, studies, etc. Pretty much anything in the First Presidency’s vault. The argument to get access and make the church produce it is easy: there might be information showing either that a) Monson and the Brethren and their predecessors knew that the claims weren’t true, or b) should have known that their claims weren’t true, or c) withheld factual information that could have materially altered the decision-making of converts and members if that information had been disclosed. It’s obviously relevant to the question of what information they had through the years to either support or weaken their claims to the church’s veracity. At this moment, I can’t imagine a strong argument to protect it from discovery. I don’t see a relevant privilege at issue. The church could claim that it is sensitive material, but they would then have to explain why. The ‘why’ would have to be an argument that the disclosure of such evidence might be embarrassing or damaging to the church or its membership, but that goes to the fraud claim (i.e., if there’s something so embarrassing or earth shattering that the First Presidency has been hiding because it could damage members’ belief in the enterprise, that is fraud by concealment). Moreover, the argument would be made that if the Brethren truly believe it all, then the material in their possession should support their belief and they should be happy to disclose it to the world…

“In my mind, the document discovery is the banquet they’re going for. This personal summons to Monson is just setting the table…”

Joseph F. SmithWhile it is unlikely that the Mormon prophet will, in the end, actually be questioned under oath in an open court on these historical claims, that scenario is not without precedent. In 1904 LDS Prophet and President Joseph F. Smith was questioned during the senate hearings for Mormon senator Reed Smoot. During the three days he was interrogated, President Smith admitted to several surprising facts including: the violation of federal laws in the continuation of the practice of polygamy by Church leaders, years after the Manifesto supposedly discontinued it; President Smith’s own disregard of both the Manifesto and the law, demonstrated in his fathering of eleven children by five wives since 1890; and that he, though a prophet, had not received any revelations up to that point in his life.

However, during these hearings President Smith’s testimony also included “false statements” and

“evasive answers, half-truths, and responses wherein he claimed not to remember some of his own statements, meetings he had had with church leaders, the words of fellow LDS authorities, and documents circulating throughout the church. He even denied knowledge of the beliefs and practices of LDS missionaries and elders.” (Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, 338)

It will be interesting to see how this British summons plays out. Though people are divided on whether anything will come of it, most agree that the world will not see a “restoration” of the way ancient prophets answered their accusers. The attorney’s comment from exmormon reddit that I quoted above concluded:

“Peter stood in front of the Sanhedrin and declared with boldness that ‘by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.’ Paul stood before King Agrippa and declared ‘I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.’ But now, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the ‘prophets, seers, and revelators’ of God’s alleged one true church will send their lawyers to object, deny, tie legal knots, and build a trans-Atlantic wall of weasel words.”

As stated by another commenter elsewhere, with a Mormon twist and perhaps a bit more succinctly,

“I do not think we will see Abinidi boldly standing before King Noah this time. God uses lawyers in the latter days.”

Find continuing information on this news story at

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in LDS Church, Mormon Leaders, Prophets, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to Mormon Prophet Summoned to British Court

  1. johnnyboy says:

    I asked Tom Phillips if he could outline the legal process in order for this to arrive where it is now. Steve benson replied that he and Tom will be releasing that info shortly without divulging any evidence that has bearing on the case.

    Apparently in order for this to even be happening, a magistrate and judge had to be shown evidence. There were also specific depositions that occurred over the past few months.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But Tom Monson has already thrown the 12th article of faith under the bus.

  2. falcon says:

    This is just one more example of God’s One True Church and its prophet being persecuted.
    …………does that pretty much sum up the response that will make its way through the sanctuaries and corridors of the LDS church buildings?
    It will be the same old “Blah, Blah, Blah” coming from the faithful echoing the voices of the leadership. So in a way, at a time when people are leaving the LDS church in droves, the leadership can claim victim-hood get some sympathy, collect some “poor me” stamps for their stamp books and keep the well oiled corporation spinning along.
    What I think will make a difference though is the repition of the Joseph Smith narrative and a reveiw of all of the things the LDS church would rather stay buried.

    HAY grindael………………..maybe you could get into this vault!
    Grant Palmer did years ago and saw the magic rock. LUCKY!!!!

  3. MJP says:

    As an attorney myself, this is fascinating stuff. If I were defending the LDS, I would question standing and venue/jurisdiction in Britain. I would argue that the matters in question are indeed not of fact but of interpretation and personal belief.

    I don’t know enough of British law to know exactly what’s going on, but the results are potentially astounding.

  4. Kate says:

    I first heard of this on one of our local New stations at six last night. I turned it to channel 5 which is th LDS owned station to see if they would cover it. They didn’t. I checked their website and no mention there either. They do have a story there about the Pope being pressured to act on abuse after UN rebuke. I guess they only air the dirty laundry of other churches and their leaders. I wonder if Mormons believe the Pope is being persecuted?

    I doubt Monson’ s legal team will let this go as far as showing up in London, but I do pray that every news outlet in this country will report on this. It would have a huge impact on prospective converts. The more people that can be saved from the lies and heartache of Mormonism, the better.

  5. Kate says:

    On second thought, it would be great if it made World News! Somehow I don’t think Thomas Monson is a big enough fish for the World News. Not like the Pope is. One can dream……

  6. faithoffathers says:

    Former crown prosecutor of England, Neil Addison, has said of this suit, the “…British courts will recoil in horror. This is just using the law to make a show, an anti-Mormon point. And I’m frankly shocked that a magistrate has issued it.”

    “The summons are bizarre,” British solicitor Harvey Kass told the Republic. “I can’t imagine how it got through the court process. It would be set aside within 10 seconds, in my opinion.”

    It is very interesting watching the response from the evangelical critics of the church. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power to see where this type of campaign against religion could end if given legal legitimacy. But then again, I have heard evangelical critics say that they are more vehemently again the church than they are against pornography. It is truly fascinating human behavior.

  7. falcon says:

    You wrote:

    “But then again, I have heard evangelical critics say that they are more vehemently again the church than they are against pornography.”

    You’ve heard this? OK, provide for us a reference please for what you “heard”. I don’t mind you telling us what you’ve “heard” but I’d be very interested in knowing who said this. I’m naturally curious.
    If you don’t have a reference, as far as I’m concerned it’s just bearing false witness.

  8. MJP says:

    I seem to remember a case in Italy a few years back wherein the plaintiff sought to prove Christianity wrong. It did not go far.

    This is apparently not a new tactic. I don’t think it will go far for a number of reasons, but the potential there is huge to alter the freedom of all religions, not just LDS.

    FoF, why the addition of your claim to have heard Christians less concerned with porn than with LDS? This is just smear, even if you have a source.

  9. faithoffathers says:


    I have had multiple evangelical individuals state this directly to me online in debates and discussions. Their reasoning is that our doctrine is “spiritual pornography.” Where do you go with that?

    Stephen Robinson was once invited to work on a community panel to fight against pornography in a southern state. He said several of the evangelical ministers on that panel refused to continue working in the group of Robinson was included. So, Robinson stepped down from the panel. He talks about that experience in How Wide the Divide.

    MJP- my comment was relevant because the religious people who spend their time criticizing our religion very often seem to place and extraordinary amount of weight on discrediting the church, even when doing so would seem to hurt their own religious freedoms or standing. And this lawsuit is a fairly good example. On other website, I have seen many of our critics who are evangelicals really enjoy the controversy of this lawsuit. Kate’s comment above reflects this attitude as well.

  10. MJP says:


    I don’t object to the ultimate message you are giving. Nonetheless, the example you use to make it is to smear. I for one don’t think this lawsuit will go far. But you have to admit the consequences to your faith, more so than ours, are potentially huge.

  11. Kate says:

    I am familiar with Tom Phillip’s story, he and his wife have had second anointing. Mormons need to realize that this man was high up in the LDS church. He most likely knows more about what is going on than the average Mormon. It will be interesting to see where this leads. I can’t imagine that Mr. Phillip’s attorneys aren’t prepared. For a judge to sign off on this there has to be evidence. Maybe we aren’t privy to everything that’s going on?

    “I have heard evangelical critics say that they are more vehemently again the church than they are against pornography. It is truly fascinating human behavior.”

    Out in left field once again…..sigh………

  12. johnnyboy says:

    Ah fof,

    How this must bother you.

    As I and other commenters on other forums have pointed out the “experts” that the Arizona press had on speed dial are publicity hounds. One isn’t even a barrister. He’s a solicitor. Which is significant. One commenter made this point:

    ” I suggest you google the experts so that you understand where they are coming from. One is an after dinner speaker available for rent an the other has admitted a soft spot for Mormonism.”

    Also, this is not a lawsuit and it is not about religious beliefs.

  13. Old man says:

    As I live in the UK & have a little knowledge concerning English law there’s a few things I can add to the discussion. First of all let me say that this is not a trial, it’s a hearing in a Magistrates court to determine if there is a case to answer. The Judge who allowed the case to be brought to court is apparently convinced that this is so or she would not have issued the summons. As regards Monson appearing in person there is a little uncertainty, the LDS is a corporate sole so in legal terms at least he is the only member of ‘his’ church & should appear. If the magistrate(s) decide there is a case to answer it will be moved to a Crown court for trial by Jury.
    In the event that Monson does not appear without giving an acceptable explanation to the court & the Magistrate has decided there is a case to answer, there is no doubt that a warrant for his arrest will be issued & if necessary an extradition request will be made to the appropriate authorities.

    Now, a couple of things in response to FofF comments,
    Neil Addison is a Barrister specialising in religious matters. Barristers, much like American lawyers specialise in different aspects of the law & this case concerns fraud, it has nothing to do with religious freedom & I’m quite sure that in this case at least the judge who granted the summons is more conversant with fraud cases than Mr. Addison.
    Harvey Kass is not a practising solicitor as such; he is the head of the legal department of a national newspaper, the Daily Mail. While the D.M. has some good features it was or appeared to be an avid supporter of the LDS in this country not so long ago. I would not expect an employee of that newspaper to say anything other than what FofF reported.

    Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, this case has nothing at all to do with religion, the charge is one of fraud pure & simple; did Thomas Monson know or have reason to suspect that certain beliefs of the LDS were or could be untrue or misleading?

    Let’s move on to the recently produced so-called essays. Is it a coincidence that they were placed on the LDS site just a month ago, shortly before the case was made public & some time after the LDS became aware that a summons was about to be served? The very fact that these still deceptive essays were written are in themselves proof that the LDS has been misleading people & if it can be shown that they are a recent addition no further proof would need to be produced in court.
    If further proof is needed, & I know that Tom Phillips has much incriminating evidence, then we need look no further than declarations by former leaders, for example, ‘the truth is not always useful’ or ‘milk before meat’ both statements being indicative of a desire to mislead.

    Ps. FofF this is NOT a lawsuit, it is, or will be unless the case is dismissed in the magistrates court, a criminal trial for fraud

    More to follow later.

  14. faithoffathers says:


    I think the principle and point is valid here. The religious critics of the church absolutely love to see the church face difficulty, criticism, and legal battles, even if the implications of those challenges will at some point affect those critics. It is just something I have made mental note of and have noticed when these types of things come up. Just go on to any newspaper report of this legal issue and read the comments from readers. In those that I have read, every one includes several comments from people who insist that all religions are fraud and should be sued, etc. And I just wonder how the folks here and other evangelical critics feel about that.

    Honestly- I don’t think the consequences of this specific legal filing will be significant. I think it will be dismissed fairly quickly. But it is establishing the legal precedent of diminishing religious freedom and further estranging religion from society that I fret about. I have no doubts that the church will grow and achieve its divine destiny. But the bottom line is that religious people will increasingly suffer as a result of this general campaign against faith and God. I really don’t think we are in different situations as far as the law and legal threats go.

  15. Kate says:

    “On other website, I have seen many of our critics who are evangelicals really enjoy the controversy of this lawsuit. Kate’s comment above reflects this attitude as well.”

    Please re read my comments. You are judging my heart again. I stated that “The more people that can be saved from the lies and heartache of Mormonism, the better.” You don’t know me or the heartache I went through learning the lies the LDS church told me for 40 years. Those lies may be exposed to the world in the next few months. What’s hidden in the vault in SLC may have to be exposed. I’m sure even you don’t know what’s in there. Nothing may come of it in the courts but maybe word will get out about it at least and prospective converts will see enough to warrant a little investigation before signing up. I’m not “enjoying the controversy” I’m applauding a man who has the courage to speak out against a multi billion dollar corporation. Truth matters. Maybe not to you, but it does to me.

  16. falcon says:

    What’s that “spiritual pornography”? Hmmmm Mormonism is spiritual pornography. Well let me ask you a question FOF. What is Christianity to Mormons; specifically the LDS sect of Mormonism? In-other-words, how does the LDS institution out of SLC view Christianity? We could look at the history of that I guess but everyone on this blog, including you, know the answer. So don’t go all whiny on us because someone on a blog some where (undocumented by you thus far) told you Mormonism is spiritual pornography.

    Anyway, here’s a good article from MRM on the topic.

  17. johnsepistle says:

    I’m very skeptical that anything will come of this. Old Man is much more familiar with the British legal system than I am, so he can fact-check me on this, but isn’t it the case that the Crown Prosecution Service can simply take over a private prosecution and then unilaterally choose to dismiss it? If so, then should things even get that far, I can scarcely imagine that the CPS wouldn’t do so in this case.

    I hope that this doesn’t just fizzle out – not because I want Monson charged with fraud, and not because I like seeing the LDS Church embroiled in legal struggles, and not because I like seeing the members’ persecution complexes reinforced, but rather because I’d quite like to see the results of a document discovery in this case. To me, the simple fact that the First Presidency refuses to make certain records available to researchers, is itself enough reason to be very suspicious about the motives of LDS Church leadership. If, as the one quoted source says, there’s a chance to gain access to even a portion of “all of the First Presidency’s correspondence, meeting minutes, diary entries, archives, records, writings, studies, etc.”, well, I do like that notion quite a bit, even if I have concerns about the ethics of how they’re moving toward that goal and even if I’m quite doubtful of its efficacy.

  18. I’m putting my moderator hat on, folks. I don’t want to see this thread diverted to a discussion about name-calling between evangelicals and Mormons. Enough has been said. Future comments about “spiritual pornography,” or “theological pornography” (as LDS Apostle Vaughn Featherstone categorized information that was critical of Mormonism), will be deleted from this thread.

  19. MJP says:


    Before responding to your comment here, I urge you to review the last few threads and what remains outstanding there. There are significant issues out there that you have not responded to.

    Onto what you say here: I say let the naysayers sue my church! On what grounds do they have to sue? Demands for money come from local congregations, not national churches. We don’t claim to be a restored church. The evidence for the veracity lies 2000 years ago as recorded in the Bible. If there is a claim, it is against smaller congregations and will likely be smaller in nature.

    I am sure someone could come up with some way to sue any given national denomination, but there is nothing like what is before your church now. We don’t have secret documents, or any promises from any national organization. We don’t claim a history that is not readilly available for all to witness.

    Now, I do agree this will not go far, and I agree that we should be on the watch for attacks against our faith. They are there, but this development is a very different animal from where we stand.

  20. faithoffathers says:


    It has nothing to do with your personal history or challenges. None of that changes what I said and is really beside the point. Evangelical critics very often celebrate any challenge the church faces, even if those challenges eventually result in decreased religious freedom and a more filthy moral environment of those evangelical critics. It is the shortsightedness among these particular critics that is amazing to me.

    You say that you can “dream” of this matter making “world news.” If that is not enjoyment or celebration, what is?

    falcon- I am not whining. I am pointing out what is ultimately, to some degree, irrational and self-destructive behavior.

    Old man- just visit a newspaper website and read some of the discussions going on in response to this issue. There are many statements about all religions being “fraud.” This could affect all religious people in western societies. I don’t think it will now. But do you really think your religious and faith claims would be seen differently under the law than mine?

  21. Inquisitor says:

    I doubt anything will come of this.
    I feel that most Mormons will see this as a persecution attempt to discredit the LDS Church and will not affect their beliefs much. If you want to believe something strong enough You’ll believe regardless of the facts. It is the same with Warren Jeff’s followers. They continue to sustain him as a prophet and refuse to see him for the horrible things he has done. Having come from a Mormon fundamentalist background I understand the mindset of both groups. Coming to the realization that Joseph Smith is a false prophet is the most bitter pill I have ever had to swallow. What even compounds the difficulty of my decision is the fact that my wife and children still believe. In fact my son is set to leave on an LDS mission to Guatemala next month.

  22. Rick B says:

    I have a question for you, You keep calling us “critics of the church”.

    Did you ever once stop and think, it was your prophet JS who claims he heard from God about what we as Christins believe, and what we believe is wrong. And according to your BoM, their are only two churchs, one is true, and one is of the devil. And we both know, LDS view their church as the true church, and all else are of the devil.

    So since it was JS the first LDS prophet to attack what we believe and teach, under the guise of, God told him so, dont you think it is fair of us to defend what we believe and look into what your prophet said?

    I know I have asked this of many Mormon Missionarys who have knocked on my door, so far not one has ever said, No, you cannot defend what you believe. If you claim I can, then you cannot really call us critics of the church, but on the other hand, if you claim we cannot then remember the words of your second prophet BY.

    “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

    From what I can tell, your church is not able to stand up to the test, and you know it, so you call us critics of the church.

  23. Kate says:


    Are there LDS missionaries out in the world? Are they trying to convert people all over the world? Then absolutely I would like to see this in the world news as a warning to those potential converts. People need to know the information the missionaries and the LDS church withholds. If LDS missionaries were open and honest about Mormon doctrines and laid it all out on the table for them then I wouldn’t have a problem with this. People could make an informed decision. Instead of trying to baptize them 20 minutes after knocking on the door, maybe they could take a year and teach them all about Mormonism. Missionaries commit fraud everyday by lies of omission, just as the LDS church leaders do. The world needs to know the truth not just those of us in the US. That’s why I added the world news to my comment.

    ” But do you really think your religious and faith claims would be seen differently under the law than mine?”

    Yes they would. My religion doesn’t require that I pay for blessings or Salvation/exaltation. Yes we Christians donate money but if we choose not to, it doesn’t affect our Salvation. We are still Saved. In Mormonism you cannot fully participate in the religion unless you pay a full 10% of your earnings. Blessings are withheld and life with God isn’t possible. You have to pay. This is fraud. In Mormonism if a temple going single mother stops paying her tithing because she can’t even afford to feed her 5 kids, and her 6th child is getting married in the temple, she can’t attend. She cannot participate in her child’s marriage ceremony unless she starts paying tithing months before the ceremony and in some cases, not until she catches up the tithing she is behind on. Don’t compare Mormonism to Christian religions because it is way off the mark. I am not called in to my Pastor’s office every December for “tithing settlement” to ensure that I am paying enough to continue receiving the blessings of the LDS god.

    Old man,
    Thank you for clarifying your legal system for us. I find it all very fascinating!

  24. Old man says:

    “Old Man is much more familiar with the British legal system than I am, so he can fact-check me on this, but isn’t it the case that the Crown Prosecution Service can simply take over a private prosecution and then unilaterally choose to dismiss it?”
    You’re on the right lines my friend but it’s not quite that simple, whilst it’s true that the CPR can dismiss a case where it believes there is not enough evidence to convict, the claimant in this case has spent several months appearing before various Judges & has presented enough evidence to convince them that the case has merit. Now, please don’t think I’m an expert on these matters because I’m not but I have been in touch with Tom for some time & I do know that this case would not have been allowed to proceed had the evidence to ensure a measure of success not been available. This hearing will take place on the 14th March & only then will we know what direction it will take, if any, after that. If I was asked my personal views on this I would say, from what I know of Tom & the evidence he has at his disposal, that it has every chance of being successful, if it is then the CPR may well decide to take it on in a crown court as a criminal prosecution. It should be borne in mind that this is not the only issue facing the LDS in the UK & dependant on the time factor that issue could help determine the outcome.
    FofF said
    “But it is establishing the legal precedent of diminishing religious freedom and further estranging religion from society that I fret about.”
    As I said earlier this case has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with diminishing religious freedom, it’s about FRAUD, unless of course you believe that certain extremely wealthy religious organizations have the right to enrich themselves at the expense of the less well off.

    “Old man- just visit a newspaper website and read some of the discussions going on in response to this issue. There are many statements about all religions being “fraud.” This could affect all religious people in western societies. I don’t think it will now. But do you really think your religious and faith claims would be seen differently under the law than mine?”
    I am making NO religious or faith claim, I am trying to explain how the law works in this country. I have read a great number of discussions & to be honest I really don’t care what they say, this case has NOTHING to do with religion, fraud is fraud whether it’s practised by a church, any church, an insurance company, a car salesman or any other organization you care to name.
    It might be an idea for you to brush up on English law before making such blanket statements.

    More later

  25. MJP says:

    I would argue the fraud case is terribly relevant to LDS as their methods of conversion and member management involves techniques involved in the claims of fraud. It does not have to with religion per se, but the effects definately affect religion, at least LDS religion. I know of no other religious system that involves techniques that are under question here.

  26. faithoffathers says:

    RickB- I will say this once again. The passage of scripture from 1 Nephi which you refer to is in the context of a great separation of the people of the earth that will occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Please consider that before going on again about how we think all other churches are of the devil.

    If there ever was a true critic of anything on the earth, it is the group of evangelical critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We all convince ourselves that we are justified in what we do. Not sure why you think you would be any different. You see dark and oppressive conspiracy in a 4 minute object lesson wherein a man tries to teach a boy how to keep himself spiritually safe from temptation by reading scriptures and praying. You see evil and deceit in everything LDS. I cannot think of another group who is more focused on finding the negative in another group than you guys.

    And I think it is that focus and extremely narrow view of things that keeps many from seeing the broader issues- including the negative consequences of legal challenges against the LDS church. Did any of you enjoy seeing the church take criticism and PR hits in the wake of our stands against same-sex marriage? It is just so incredibly irrational in my view. It feels like you guys are more about standing against something (LDS) than standing for anything.

    Kate- “Require?” Funny how you guys use language. Are you contending that tithing is not a choice? Do you think the courts should hear complaints about salvation?

    Back in the Democratic Convention of 2012, I was amazed and said to my wife after watching, “they are celebrating failure.” I was tickled when I heard Mitt Romney say the very same thing. I hear the very same rationale and reasoning in so many of the arguments from the religious critics of the church. So often utilizing the exception to the rule or a victim to make your points and pain the church as uncaring and demonic.

  27. MJP says:


    I don’t think anyone likes negative PR. But this is not about negative PR. Its about truth. I certainly want society to view Christianity in a positive light, but I know it won’t. We are told it won’t, and we are told we will have society against us, and it will get worse. So, I am left to say, its not about PR.

    Several of us have demonstrated important differences between your assertions and the apparent reality of the LDS case. Someone is bringing something akin to a civil suit against your church in the UK on the claim of fraud. It appears a hearing has been set on the matter. The basis for the suit appears to be the requirement of tithing among other things. You cannot say with a straight face that other issues surround other denominations, Catholics aside.

    You seem more concerned about the PR here than anything else. This is in line with my earlier question windering if you were more concerned with protecting Smith than with the truth. You even through a former member of the 12 under the bus to protect Smith, and his interpretation of Smith’s comments support our contention of Smith.

  28. falcon says:

    I was just out snow shoeing (I didn’t want to go given the cold but the dogs were exerting great pressure on me) and I was thinking about what the LDS church should be required to tell potential converts. I don’t want to make this a legal matter but just for the sake of argument I’d like them to tell folks that:

    1. The LDS god is not the same God as that of normative Christianity. I would also include Jesus in this as well as the Holy Ghost and another entity known in Mormonism as the Holy Spirit.
    2. I would like prospects to know all about the significance of the temple rituals as it relates to the LDS belief that the men will become gods, the women goddesses and the ruling of a personal planetary system.
    3. I would like people to know about how much time per week a member is expected to be engaged in LDS church related activities.
    4. I would like people to know about the significance of tithing as it relates to entrance into the temple.
    5. Baptism for the dead and why it’s done.
    6. Just for fun, have prospects watch videos with presentations by former Mormons discussing why they left the church.

    That’s a start.

  29. faithoffathers says:

    MJP- so in essence, you want the courts and the law to distinguish between the religious truth that you believe in and the faith claims of other people. That is fantastic. Where exactly do you think that leads to? Some place good? Like I said above, the “ends justify the means” mentality is alive and well in many minds that spend their time criticizing the church.

    I am not as concerned about PR as much as you guys. And that was part of my point. I have expressed no concern about the PR here. I have pointed out the fact that you guys love the negative PR that comes our way. Whether it is a result of standing up for traditional marriage or religious freedom or the ability to have faith in something that you cannot prove with science- you guys are willing to throw principle (or traditional marriage, etc.) under the proverbial bus if it means LDS get hit with bad PR. (That is not a statement of my concern of PR, in case you don’t get that). It is very unrealistic and naive to think that this is an isolated, narrow attack on my church relating to a peculiarity of my church that does not also infringe on your religious freedoms. What will you do when somebody sues your church for misrepresenting the history of humanity or the age of the earth or something of that nature?

    Do you really support a law that would take away the right of a church or churchgoer to pay or receive tithes? All this because we believe the Book of Mormon was translated from a set of plates? Or because we believe that Lehi and his party are among the ancestors of the natives of this hemisphere? Or that we believe in an Adam and Eve from whom humanity has descended? Or because we esteem Joseph and Hyrum as martyrs for the cause of the gospel? Because these are the claims that Tom Phillips is insisting we lie about. The claim is that the church has lied about these things. You really want the law and governments to pry open whatever a church has in its archives to openly prove the leaders of the church really believe these things? Because that is absolutely astonishing if this is what you desire or are OK with.

    (Who knows, maybe that passage from 1 Nephi about there being only two churches is getting closer than I thought)!!!

  30. johnnyboy says:

    @old man

    Thank you for your comments. They are much appreciated regarding this issue. I miss England so much. I plan on returning there soon. Id love to take you to lunch when I return there!

  31. Old man says:

    Thanks for that johnnyboy, you will have to let me know when you arrange your next visit, I’m sure we could arrange something. 🙂

  32. Rick B says:

    Wow FoF,
    Again you dodge the question, what a surprise.
    First off, you never addressed the issue of why JS could “attack” us and our belief, then as I have pointed out before and even though I did not bring it up this time, you either are aware of it and ignored it, or your not aware of it and dont know as much as you think.

    It was your prophet that said this.
    Read pg 188 of Doct of Salvation vol 1.

    CHURCH STANDS OR FALLS WITH JOSEPH SMITH. MORMONISM, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. Their is no middle ground. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed: his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false

    Now I know you wont and dont care, but not only did your prophet say this, but your first prophet claimed my God told him everything I/we believe is wrong. So Like it or not I will defend what I believe.

    Also The Bible tells us to search the scriptures to know if these things are true, I search your scriptures and dont see truth. The Bible tells us to beware of False Prophets and that wolves will come from with in and they will seek to destroy us.

    According to you, you reject the scriptures because not only did your prophet go after what we believe, but if the Bible warns us and we do search your scriptures and you fight us on it, then your in the wrong.

    Also despite what you say, you dont answer questions, run from the facts, and slander and lie about us.

    lets see, you avoided the question I asked about JS and why he can go after us, but we cannot respond. You claimed in a different topic we slander and use false quotes, yet as I pointed out, unless you can prove that, your slandering us. As I said, we use quotes from your leaders, and for you to claim they are wrong, means either your leaders are wrong, or you are wrong.

    You keep doing these things all the time, which shows how dishonest you really are, and then can call us critics.

  33. Old man says:

    Just one small matter that might be worth thinking about, Kate in one of her posts mentioned that Tom Phillips had received his second anointing & of course she’s absolutely correct. I wonder how many Mormons are even aware of a second anointing never mind what it means, couldn’t that be described as withholding information from the members?
    Anyway, that wasn’t the point I wanted to make, FofF asked if I had looked at any of the discussions taking place & of course I have & one of the things that stand out is all the comments referring to Tom as a ‘disgruntled ex-Mormon’. That is totally untrue, Tom has never resigned from the church & he CANNOT be excommunicated because he has received the second anointing, he remains a member of the Mormon church. His salvation & elevation to godhood is already assured & nothing he says or does can change that fact.
    I haven’t seen a single Mormon mention these facts, I’m sure they believe that he resigned or was excommunicated years ago & I don’t see the leadership correcting this assumption, yet more dishonesty? Before adding their comments the newspapers the misled Mormon members & the religious commentators crying foul need to check on their facts.

    “Do you really support a law that would take away the right of a church or churchgoer to pay or receive tithes?”
    That’s not only complete nonsense it’s also completely untrue. Have you read the charge, have you read anything I have said? I quote from the summons:
    “….dishonestly & intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another or a loss or risk of loss made or caused to be made representations to Stephen Colin Bloor which were & which you knew were or might be untrue or misleading…..”

    So where in that charge is a law that would take away he rights of a churchgoer? Is it your intention now to follow your leaders & make emotive & misleading statements, appealing to the imagination rather than the facts?
    This is about FRAUD wilful deception for gain, how many times must I say it?

  34. fifth monarchy man says:

    Hey all,

    I have some advice to everyone here.

    If your church has a single individual who rightly could be summoned before a judge to answer for the actions of the church you are doing it wrong.

    Christ is the head of the Church. If an outsider can point to a human individual that is in charge of your church you are doing it wrong.

    If someone could assume that your church is exchanging something of value for money you are doing it wrong

    If an outsider could make a reasonable case that your church is knowingly teaching falsehood you are doing it wrong


  35. falcon says:

    My problem with the LDS church has always been that they are simply not up front with people regarding what their deal is all about. I’m talking about basic doctrines. Hence the slogan “milk before meat”.
    If someone is told up front that Mormons believe that there are many gods and that by performing temple rituals men can become gods, the closing rate on the sale goes way down. That’s just the beginning of the parade of withheld, altered or lied about information.
    What are Mormons told about polygamy in their church? Joseph Smith never practiced it, these were just spiritual unions, that early Mormons did this because there were so many widows and it was a sort of welfare program.
    We had an article within the past few months regarding one of the LDS authorities saying that members are leaving the church at an unprecedented rate. Why is that? It’s because once people learn the truth about Mormonism the glass is shattered and it can’t be glued back together.

    Old Man…………………………….
    Did you know that Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles debut in America on the Ed Sullivan show? While I’m observing it my wife is being real grumpy because all it means, she says, is that we’re old!

  36. Old man says:

    I wasn’t aware of that & I had to laugh at your comment. I don’t even know what your wife means to be honest, we’re not old, we’re wellllllll, mature……….sort of 😉

  37. falcon says:

    I’m glad that someone brought up the fact that because Tom Phillips and his wife have received the LDS second anointing, they have their place in the Celestial Kingdom secured. They earned their godhood merit badges and no one can ever take them away. I understand that the Phillips’ are now divorced. Well that’s going to be interesting for the Mormon god to sort out when these two are reunited in the Celestial Kingdom.
    I would call this the LDS version of “eternal security”. We’ve had LDS on this blog continually bang away at the Christians for the Calvinist doctrine of perseverance of the Saints. It’s the “P” part of the TULIP acronym. In Calvinist and general normative salvation doctrine however, a person can’t earn their salvation. In this LDS version of eternal security, that’s exactly what an LDS member does. By doing enough, the lucky stiffs who get picked/recommended for this designation, have secured their place for eternity. It can’t be rescinded. WOW, and it’s all secret stuff.

    An article appeared yesterday in the Salt Lake City Tribune. An excerpt reads:

    John Dehlin, a doctoral candidate at Utah State University, has studied the reasons why members leave the LDS Church and empathizes with them.
    “One of the most common themes among those he studied was a feeling of being misled by the church,” Dehlin said. “Tom Phillips is not alone in feeling that the church hasn’t been forthcoming about its history.”
    The USU researcher believes Phillips’ goal is publicity, and judging from traffic on, where Phillips is the managing editor and his case was first described, he’s succeeded. Dehlin said the site racked up more than 800,000 page views Tuesday, the largest day in its history.
    For his part, Phillips maintains that his only desire is to get the Mormon prophet to “answer my questions.”
    (End of excerpt)

    OK, notice how many “hits” on Mormon Think. Who is going there and reading the material? I can guarantee you it’s not evangelical Christians most of whom know nothing about and have little interest in Mormonism. Odds are these are Mormons or former Mormons. I’d say that Tom Phillips has already hit the jackpot on this deal.

  38. MJP says:

    FoF, this has already been addressed by several people, but there is no threat to collecting or giving tithes. If you own a home and have a mortgage, or if you have financed a car, you signed a document called a Truth In Lending form. This is more a violation of that than it is a religous violation or an attack on tithes. No one is going to take that away, and at least in the States, there are numerous and significant hurdles for one to overcome to even start going there. You concern is over something that is a non-existent threat.

    Your paragraph on PR is babbling, as far as I can tell. It makes little sense to me, and I am not sure how to respond. It ultimately sounds like a whine, a victim’s cry to get attention. Its as if you really have no idea what it is we believe, what our politics might be (infused with a sense of what they should be), and no idea what our criticism of your faith is.

    Look, believe it or not, there are differences in political beliefs within the Christian church. Apparently there is in the LDS church, too, as Harry Reid is a member. Its simply assinine to complain that all of Christianity fails to take a position you find important. I happen to share that, but not all people do.

    Regardless, that is irrelevant to the topic at hand, which is the legal proceeding facing your church in England, and that proceeding will not result in the catastropohic result you point to. Further, I say let people sue my church over those same issues. As someone above said, if they get to the point where they are sued, they are doing it wrong. There is no reason for a church to hide its history or finances, and that is precisely what is at issue with the LDS in England.
    You accuse me of this: “So in essence, you want the courts and the law to distinguish between the religious truth that you believe in and the faith claims of other people.” No, it is not about distinguishing truths. It is about requiring full disclosure. People can still determine their religious beliefs, but should be given an honest chance to know what exactly they are choosing. That is the point. Now, I don’t think courts or the law should tell religious institutions what they have to reveal, but it is a fair question if money is involved to ask an institution to be open and honest. Failure to be honest leads to serious questions about the integrity of the institution.

  39. falcon says:

    Any of the “rights” we have in our country have limitations. I don’t care which amendment we want to cite, there are limits. Let me give you an example. I have a concealed carry gun permit and I can lawfully carry a concealed handgun in thirty-three states. However there are certain places, depending on the state, where concealed carry permit holders cannot carry. In my state that includes schools and government buildings, for example. I happen to have been in a neighboring state the other day and when I approached a store they had a sign that said “weapons” were prohibited. I think the sign and store prohibition on handguns is stupid, but I went back to my car, removed my handgun from my person and locked it in the glove compartment of my car. I clearly understand the limits of my second amendment gun rights.
    That’s a long way of saying that there are limits on religious freedom also. In the case we are discussing here, it’s all about the LDS church and whether or not they are committing fraud through deceptive practices. Does the LDS church know that certain things are not true but continually promote those things? It would be no big deal except for the fact that the LDS church extracts money and a lot of free “volunteer” work from its members.
    Another thing to take into account. When an LDS member stands up and gives their testimony what is it all prefaced by? They say, “I know”. They don’t say, “I believe”. There’s a big difference between testifying about what we “know” as opposed to what we “believe”.
    So the bottom line is that at least in this country, there are limits on any of our rights. Secondly, anyone who knowingly promotes something that they know to be false is committing fraud.
    GBH, former prophet of the LDS church openly lied on the Larry King show when asked about the man to god program. That’s fraud!

  40. Old man says:

    This is not an argument but something I want you to think deeply about. Can you imagine how my ex feels? She’s a pensioner with very little money & has given thousands to your organization, something she now bitterly regrets since finding the ‘real LDS’
    She is overjoyed that the church is being tried for fraud because that’s exactly how she feels, that she’s been defrauded. She gave 10% of her pension money to an extremely wealthy organization that never at any time gave full disclosure. It was quite by accident, or more likely, Gods touch that started her on the road to truth. In other words she started reading the New Testament & that ultimately led her into researching the BofM (provably false) Mormon doctrine & Mormon history in general.
    My ex was promised ‘blessings’ if she tithed, but was gradually, over the years driven deeper & deeper into debt. It’s true that the church helped her out on one occasion but was that a blessing? It most certainly was not because if she hadn’t given so much to them she would never have needed their assistance. In any event, the help that was given was just a tiny fraction of what she had given to the church. My ex has now returned to the real God, the God of the Bible, she feels free & has more money to spare than she has had in years.

    Finally, to show just how deeply indoctrinated into a false religious cult some people can be I would like to use as an example the words of a home teacher who recently spoke to my ex. When she (my ex) pointed out to her that much of the New Testament was in conflict with LDS doctrine she said, & these were her exact words.
    “Oh, I rarely if ever read the New testament”
    She then advised her to start reading the BofM again.

    Enough said.

  41. Rick B says:

    I also have my carry and conceal permit, buy unlike you, I don’t care what the sign says. The safest person in a gun free zone is the shooter.

    The laws says we cannot shoot and kill innocent people, but that does not stop people from doing it.

    Its like the lds church, they claim they don’t lie and decive. The follow God’s laws and government laws, but we all know that’s not true. Then we have mormons getting mad at us for expousing them, kind of like me taking a gun in to a store despite what they say.

    I would rather risk getting caught with a legal weapon and defend my family, than to risk them getting hurt or killed because someone cares less about the truth or the law. But that’s just me.

  42. Kate says:

    I have given this some thought this morning as I have read several American News sites. A lot of people are saying this won’t go far. Maybe in our country it wouldn’t, but this is not happening in our country. Laws in the UK are a little different. Are we being arrogant Americans? Applying our own American rights and our own American Constitution to this issue? This case has already gone far in the UK, it has been signed off on by a judge and the head of the Mormon corporation has been issued a summons to appear in a British court to answer allegations of fraud. Do people really think this judge would take a hit to her career for doing this if she didn’t see valid evidence? I think Americans are hung up on the 7 questions on the summons that are religious in nature. Old Man is right, this is not about religion, it’s about fraud. Just because the fraud allegations are being aimed at a religious corporation doesn’t mean that corporation should get special treatment or be allowed to hide under freedom of religion.

  43. falcon says:

    There are preachers in this country that I think defraud people with the “sow a gift into this ministry”, and then they go into a whole riff on the blessings that will be bestowed on the person.
    Here’s an example. It’s all pretty much boiler plate:
    You can say, “Oh, God, I need money! The rent is due. The baby needs shoes. And what about my breakthrough?” But if you haven’t sown financial seed, how can you expect a financial harvest?……………….Friend, it is not God’s will for you to live in poverty and experience shortage all the days of your life. It is also not God’s will for His agenda of promoting the Gospel throughout the earth to be hindered, because Christians are low on cash! However, none of this is going to change until we realize that as Believers, we must sow—give—plant! It is time to take authority over our finances and to not be ruled and dominated by lack. To make this happen, we must operate according to the rules that govern a harvest—the laws concerning giving and receiving.

    These folks are always promising a “break through”.
    In Mormonism the shake down is getting the temple recommend. A person can’t become a god unless they tithe.
    What was the motivation of your wife tithing to the LDS church? Since you weren’t in the program, was she supposing that the Mormon god would assign her to another man in the CK?

    There are all sorts of religious quacks who promise all kinds of benefits to people if they’ll just do XY and Z. It’s just a lot of spiritual/emotional manipulation.
    That’s why people have to stay in God’s Word and question everything anyone tells them. My guess that the only people doing serious questioning in the LDS church are those who are heading out the door. The entire program is set up on being submissive to the leaders. Once the machine loses the ability to dominate and control through fear and subtle intimidation, they’re out of business.

  44. Mike R says:

    I personally don’t think much will come of this . In a small way I feel this is not the best
    way to achieve the ultimate goal — which I assume is to have church leaders divulge
    sensitive information ?
    The Mormon people find themselves in a church ( allegedly the very same church Jesus
    established 2000 years ago ) that has morphed into a multi billion dollar religious
    organization the powerful leaders of which have made it difficult for rank and file
    members to be get information they rightly deserve to know , such as how much
    money their leaders individually receive for their work in the church . That’s one
    example . Powerful organizations can become less accountable and can resort to
    restricting /hiding important information that members deserve to see —like the
    way Mormon leaders operate their historical archives .
    But I don’t think trying to force President Monson into court will solve much .
    I personally would’nt sign a petition in favor of this type of litigation .

    Last note : I noticed that Fof F continues his rhetoric against those here , he tries
    very hard to paint us as some kind of Mormon haters , and his mission of judging the
    hearts of those here is consistently on display . He is a critic who does’nt have to much
    good about those who he calls ” Evangelicals ” .
    I personally have said many times that I believe the Mormon people a decent people .
    I know them to make great neighbors , and friends . Sadly, in their striving to serve
    God they have been detoured by counterfeit apostles, men who have misled them to
    embrace a imitation gospel . We see how Paul’s warning in Gal 1:8 has come true in
    the advent of Mormonism , and my heart hurts for these precious people . That being
    said , I do separate the rank and file church member from their leaders . These men
    are the ones who are deceiving sincere people , they are of whom Jesus warned would
    come in the latter days —Matt 24:11 .

    Fof F said to Rick , ” The passage of scripture from 1 Nephi which you refer to is in the
    context of a great separation of the people of the earth that will occur before the
    second coming of Jesus Christ . Please consider that before going on again about
    how we think all other churches are of the Devil . ”

    People reading that statement should also consider something , namely that even
    though some Mormons may be embarrassed to use that that verse to refer to all
    other churches outside the Mormon church as being in large part what constitutes
    the church of the Devil , Mormon leaders have not been hesitant to do so . Since 1830
    there are two churches on the earth —according to Mormon leaders . 1 Nephi 14:10
    lists them , the church of the Lamb of God is the Mormon church , the other church
    is what all of us non Mormons on this blog find ourselves in —according to
    Mormonism . But it’s trendy in recent years for PR type Mormons to downplay or
    deny that fact .

  45. falcon says:

    I think this might be a good place for this presentation. We are talking, after all, about fraud and the current state of the LDS church. It was done at the 2012 UVU Mormon Studies Conference.

  46. Old man says:

    Just a brief response to one of your points as it’s after 1:30am here & I need my beauty sleep. 😉 It’s quite a coincidence that you should ask about my wife’s motivation for tithing, sorry, ex-wife, as we were talking about that very thing a few hours ago. She told me that although she could ill afford to tithe felt she had no choice because she would lose her Temple recommend & the door to paradise, if I can put it that way, would be closed on her.
    I don’t think she understood at that time that the CK was, much like the Muslim Paradise, pretty much a ‘men only’ affair in the sense that a man was needed to ensure her safe arrival. I don’t think there was any thought at that time of being assigned to another man & if there was she was unaware that she could be just one of any number of wives. I well remember her yelling “That’s not true” at me some years ago when I mentioned the plural wives of Joseph Smith to her.
    Now for another coincidence, you mentioned another man for her in the CK, well, that’s exactly what the Bishop said to her when she last spoke to him about the church at the beginning of January. When he said that she could have another husband in the CK she replied,
    “I don’t believe that any more, I know what I’ve read in Matthew 22:30 & there are no marriages in Heaven”
    He tried telling her that she didn’t understand what Christ was saying but good for her, she stood up to him & told him it was ‘he who didn’t understand’

    I believe that she will be posting here fairly soon to tell something of her escape from Mormonism.

  47. MistakenTestimony says:

    The Corporation will continue it’s decline without this.

  48. Madeline says:

    Here is a statement from the two named accusers:

    “We contend that anyone faced with making a demanding financial commitment to the LDS church, deserves first to be presented with the full evidence concerning LDS truth claims, so that they may make up their minds without being misled. In the UK, such onerous financial commitments are usually undertaken with appropriate warnings and additional information, otherwise they are deemed “mis-sold”. We believe that any person seeking to join the LDS church in Britain, and all British members wishing to place their trust in the family sealing powers claimed for the LDS temple, first ought to be told, at the very least, why The Book of Abraham is not accepted by the rest of the world as an authentic translation, and why The Book of Mormon has much more in common with a 19th century novel than it has with 1600 year old Native American artefacts; they should also be informed of the real reasons which led to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, including the shocking details of Joseph Smith’s polygamous and polyandrous extra-marital unions, in the name of God, with women and girls, some as young as 14.

    If, knowing these details, candidates choose to proceed with their baptisms or temple ordinances, none will later be able to claim, as we now do, that they have been deceived. At present however, that is very much not the situation, for most tithe-paying temple-attending members have little or no idea about the true history of their religion, or the profound lack of evidence supporting many of their tenets.”

  49. Rick B says:

    Old man said

    I believe that she will be posting here fairly soon to tell something of her escape from Mormonism.

    I cannot wait to here about it. I am so happy she left, and I hope to hear about her escape soon.

    Now if only FoF would leave the church.

  50. MistakenTestimony says:

    This is the culmination of the Mormon Moment, which in the end was just a long series of losses. The religion face of the Corporation lost when they became laughed at en masse with the BoM musical, they lost when Romney lost the election, and now they are losing with each day that this drags on by dragging Joseph Smith’s legacy through the mud. Just an observation.

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