The LDS Church is being Sued for Religious Fraud

As most of you are probably aware, the LDS Church is being sued for religious fraud.

Here is a snippet from courthousenews.com

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — A federal lawsuit sure to get attention in Utah claims that the “Mormon Corporate Empire” has driven worshipers to existential crises, suicide, anxiety and depression by peddling a “scheme of lies” centered on the  religion’s creation and its scriptures, a onetime member claims.

 

(The angel Moroni, an icon of the Mormon faith.)

Laura Gaddy on Monday filed a scathing, 75-page class action against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Represented by Salt Lake City attorney Kay Burningham, Gaddy claims the church, which claimed 16 million members worldwide in 2018, twisted “the foundational history of Mormonism” in a “fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations.”

“The material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the [LDS] to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism’s core beliefs,” the complaint states.

The defendant is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Gaddy describes as a holding company, “which owns and/or controls several for-profit businesses.”

The complaint cites official, “whitewashed” teachings of Mormonism claiming to be the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which a divine authority essential to that gospel was taken from Earth after Christ’s crucifixion and purportedly restored hundreds of years later to church founder Joseph Smith.

There have obviously been countless lawsuits over a myriad of issues attempted against the LDS Church by disgruntled members of the church over the years. Some successful, most probably never see the light of day in court. The church has deep pockets and one of the most powerful law firms on retainer.

Institutional Financial Fraud

Several months ago I was contacted by another person who has accumulated compelling documentation about the intentional and secretive manipulation of and questionable use of financial funds by the church.

Additionally he has documented how the legal status and ownership of the corporation of the church has been intentionally altered to conceal how money and power is being routed. He claims these secret changes of legal status have been done for nefarious reasons and that there has been no accountability. Much of this information has not come to light because of lack of the lack of transparency which the Mormon church is famous for.

He was asking me for support and guidance on how he might proceed taking legal action against the church. I told him I did not think success would be very likely and that the costs would be overwhelming. Additionally, I did not think a credible attorney could be found that would accept the case.

The Remnant Temple Fund has over $100,000?

I have now been contacted by a disgruntled Snufferite who is claiming that the  Temple Fund lacks transparency and he feels that those behind the fund have questionable motives.

He has attempted to look into where the money is, who controls it, and how it will ultimately be used. I found the email and his detective work to be insightful and somewhat shocking as to how he has been treated when simply attempting to identify who some of the key players over the fund are and requesting transparency and accountability.

He is concerned that other gullible people are going to be bilked out of their hard earned money in the future and wants to bring this issue into the spotlight to protect future victims. I will probably be posting his email at his request in a future post.

Kay Burningham is the Real Deal

Getting back to the most recent lawsuit by Laura Gaddy which is accusing the LDS Church of religious fraud, the interesting thing about this lawsuit which differentiates it from others is that it is claiming damages based on the intentional misrepresentation of LDS Church History.

This attempt appears to be somewhat unusual. Some legal experts might suggest that the claims of such a lawsuit would be extremely difficult to prove. Obviously, a legal success in such an undertaking might just send a chill down the spine of many religious cults, not to mention all of the false prophets out there that are making outrageous claims that cannot be supported and in some cases, can easily be shown to be false.

Some casual observers of the Gaddy lawsuit may be shaking their heads and blowing it off as a frivolous lawsuit without merit that has no chance in hell of ever making it to court.

Frankly, I am not so sure this is the case.

Here are two things to consider.

  1. Many bloggers, authors and historians (including myself) have been documenting the intentional manipulation of church history by the LDS for years. There is no question about the fact that the LDS church has knowing fabricated and suppressed church historical facts that are foundational to the truth claims of the church.

    While I do not personally question or challenge foundational truth claims about Joseph Smith being a true prophet, the true New Testament Church of Christ being restored in the 1800’s, and the Book of Mormon being a true record of an ancient and fallen people, I do agree that many other parts of the current historical narrative being promoted by the modern church are unsupported and false.

    I think the modern LDS church leadership needs to be held accountable. Interestingly, the most egregious and damaging historical fabrications are not even being addressed in the lawsuit because it is being orchestrated by non-believers who only have a cursory understanding of LDS church history. They do not comprehend the deeper historical revisionism and related ramifications.

    2- The other thing to consider is who the legal counsel for Laura Gaddy is. Kay Burningham appears to be the real deal and she has skin in the game.

    She is not some low budget ambulance chasing opportunist that is throwing up a hail Mary in hopes of hitting the jackpot against a wealthy corporation. She is an accomplished attorney that has been groomed to take on such a case. She got her J.D. from the BYU  J. Reuben Clark Law School. She was a recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award” in Intellectual Property Law.

    She “is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

    Ms. Burningham has tried a variety of civil cases in San Diego Superior Court. In the early nineties she served as a San Diego Superior Court judge pro tem/civil settlement officer and arbitrator where she assisted in the resolution of a variety of civil cases. Since returning to Utah, she has tried cases in Utah District Court and has successfully argued before the Utah Supreme Court.”

    She has obviously been preparing for a case like this for years. Kay is the author of the book, “An American Fraud: One Lawyer’s case against Mormonism

Below is a link to a video of a presentation she did in 2013 on the topic of religious fraud and whether or not it is prosecutable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgotg4kM7w&t=712s

Those desiring updates on this may visit the following site.

https://www.xmoresources.org/

 

 

13 Responses to The LDS Church is being Sued for Religious Fraud

  1. One Who Is Thirsting says:

    It seemed like you could have or wanted to go deeper with this quote…

    “I think the modern LDS church leadership needs to be held accountable. Interestingly, the most egregious and damaging historical fabrications are not even being addressed in the lawsuit because it is being orchestrated by non-believers who only have a cursory understanding of LDS church history. They do not comprehend the deeper historical revisionism and related ramifications.”

    Can you share more?

    • The specific point I was alluding to is this-

      The direction of the lawsuit seems to focus on some of the surface historical issues that have been put in the spotlight in recent years by angry Mormons and exMormons.

      IMO that demographic has a very surface understanding of LDS church doctrine and history because they, collectively as a group, never got very deep into doctrine and history when they were active, and they now reject EVERYTHING about the LDS restoration movement based on the information they have.

      Therefore, they have a very shallow, myopic view of the doctrinal/historical issues that have been altered and suppressed.

      I suspect that a few textbook examples of historical issues that will be foundational to the lawsuit will be things such things as the false historical teachings that-

      1- Joseph Smith used a urim and Thummim and/or seer stone to translate the Book of Mormon,

      2- The fact that even LDS scholars are now admitting that the Book of Abraham cannot represent Abrahams authentic writings, etc.

      3- The historicity of the Book of Mormon cannot be substantiated by science

      In my opinion, the lawsuit should represent a wider demographic which includes believers of the LDS restoration who are upset about the false doctrine, revisionary history taught by the church, and lack of transparency by which they orchestrate things.

      In my humble opinion, the lawsuit would be much more powerful and be more credible if it included testimony from true believers in the foundational claims, who are upset about the intentional neglect of the scriptural mandates from the Lord on how to govern the church that have been ignored, and bringing to light the true historical events which have been altered and suppressed that have helped to created the religious façade that is represented as the Lord’s church today.

      For instance, if the lawsuit included documentation such as the official but fabricated story of how the Melchizedec Priesthood was restored vs. the true historical facts behind when and how and why the higher priesthood was restored, it would demonstrate the religious fraud that began to take place as early as the time of the martyrdom.

      Integral to that issue is the fact that Brigham Young did not even hold the higher priesthood ( which is requisite to preside over the high priests and the church) at the time that he and the Twelve wrestled the leadership control of the church away from Rigdon and others.

      Such documentation would show how religious fraud began to take place at the time of the murder of Joseph Smith.

      There are numerous pertinent issues like those that really need to be addressed to show the depth and width of the religious fraud that has taken place.

      Yes there are a few more items I can share although I want to be prudent and not saying anything that could adversely affect either side of the lawsuit.

      It is my opinion that this lawsuit has been in preparation for many years and will include testimony from some high profile people.

      I think this thing was orchestrated long before the posterchild client was identified.

      There is probably very little preparation left to be made and there will be very few curve balls that thrown by the LDS Church that have not previously been anticipated.

      Since this is a class action suit, I suspect that there will be thousands if not tens of thousands of participants.

      It is payback time for the church regarding all of the people they have excommunicated over the years.

      Lastly, I understand that the COP has filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint on the grounds that the U.S. First Amendment precludes the court from interfering in an internal dispute over religious doctrine or belief.

      I personally find that to be a weak and insufficient argument but anything can happen.

      The counsel for Laura Gaddy is arguing that if a religious organization that requires time energy and money from its members intentionally misrepresents foundational historical facts and doctrine upon which the membership has made their decision to participate, that misrepresentation is fraudulent.

      They are arguing that such fraud results in detriment and injury to various members who would not have been supportive had they known the truth.

      The bottom-line of the lawsuit seems to be the following question, “can a religious organization be held liable for fraud?”

      Arguably, this issue has never been adequately settled in Federal Court. It is possible that this will be elevated to the supreme court based on future appeals from both sides.

      I have heard rumors that some of the people on the side of Gaddy are pleased with the Federal Judge that has been assigned the case.

      Apparently he is not intimidated by nor aligned with the LDS church and their legal counsel and has possibly ruled against the church on other issues in the past.

      • LH says:

        Thanks for sharing More… Wow, if this thing gets any traction look at all the excommunicated folks that have many thousands maybe even millions invested into the financial shenanigans of the modern corporate.
        If asked would you turn in your tithing slips and tax info to the plaintiffs council?

      • Even if it gets traction, the process will be long and involved.

        I suspect the legal result could take decades to arrive at.

        Perhaps the most good that might come out of this action is a public awareness campaign that ramps up the dissemination of information about the true history of Mormonism vs. the fabricated history of Mormonism.

        Although it seems like people are suffering from faith crisis and leaving the church in droves now, something like this has the potential of putting the current “falling away” that has been prophesied of, on steroids.

        The Mormon Church has clearly been positioning themselves for a potential court battle like this for years which is why they have become a little more transparent and published the online historical articles that they have.

        On the surface it seem crazy and irresponsible from a corporate point of view to have published historical papers that have cause lots of people to disaffect, however, doing so appears to have been an attempt to become more transparent in hopes of showing good faith and increased transparency in a court of law.

        I would have no way of acquiring my tithing slips at this point in time. I am not concerned about it.

        While I do not accept the modern church as being the NT church that was restored in the early Kirtland era, I still believe that latter day saints are God’s beloved people from various ancient tribes including the tribes of Judah and Joseph.

      • One Who Is Thirsting says:

        Wry insightful. I couldn’t agree more that if it would have believing members it would have more weight. But then again most of those that are still on the fence I don’t think would jump in IMO.

  2. agreeuponmyword says:

    (I tried to submit the below comment earlier but I believe it failed to process. If this is a duplicate then I apologize.)

    I believe the entire premise of thinking we need to hold the LDS church leadership accountable is flawed; especially when applied via litigation.

    Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 6 that “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.” This comes immediately after rebuking the people for taking their brethren “to law before the unjust”. It may be ‘lawful’ for me or anyone else to take others ‘to law before the unjust’, but lawful does not equal right/correct.

    We are accountable for ourselves to God, and that applies to the church leadership as well. The Lord teaches in numerous places throughout scripture that “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay”. King Benjamin asks, “A]re we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?” Everything we have is a gift from God; we are less than the dust of the earth!

    Would I be justified in bringing litigation against the church or its leadership in order to ‘hold them accountable’ while also padding my own pockets (or the pockets of lawyers/judges) with punitive damages? I believe that the word of the Lord provides an answer of NO.

    Review Joseph Smith Luke 6:27-38 about loving your enemies and not reviling again (I will quote it only in part):
    – “it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one to judgment. Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.”

    If the Lord counsels us to live in that way, how can we justify ourselves in perpetuating or even endorsing the actions of others that violate it?

    There are laws of Justice, Mercy, and Grace. Grace is the Lords to administer. There are times in scripture he has given his judgement of justice and mercy into the hands of men. He also reminds us in D/C 29: “But remember that all my judgments are not given unto men;”. We must also remember ‘For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6).

    If it is condemned for me to personally exact justice, then empowering or supporting another (whether individual, governmental, etc) to exact justice is likewise condemned.

    • “We are accountable for ourselves to God, and that applies to the church leadership as well. The Lord teaches in numerous places throughout scripture that “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay”.

      Your suggestion that Church authorities are not to be held accountable is not scriptural. The Lord set the laws of the church up for the specific purpose of taking action against leaders that have gone astray.

      Those actions are not longer possible because of prophet worship and because of indoctrinated belief systems such as the one your are suggesting.

      Also, we are not speaking about vengeance here. For that matter, many people who might participate in the lawsuit would not even have justice as their motive. The motive is to correct the false teachings that have put the spiritual welfare of people at risk

      We have been commanded to bring the hidden things of darkness to light-

      For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
      13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
      14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

      One of the reasons that lots of people reject the message of the restoration and that existing members lose faith in the restoration is because of the many falsehoods and lies that are being taught.

      • agreeuponmyword says:

        “Your suggestion that Church authorities are not to be held accountable is not scriptural. The Lord set the laws of the church up for the specific purpose of taking action against leaders that have gone astray.”

        I agree and I appreciate your boldness. My articulation was not correct. I want to be clear that I do, indeed, believe in accountability for church leaders. I do not currently believe, however, that this currently reported method of litigation is correct or right. I believe the other scriptures I referenced teach that point and they still stand on their own merits regardless of my incorrect statement.

        Also, my use of ‘hold them accountable’ was a poor use of sarcasm. For clarity: I do not believe the motive to hold them accountable is, as you explained “to correct the false teachings that have put the spiritual welfare of people at risk”. As far as I understand it, the plaintiff and their counsel are no longer associated with the church nor do they believe the true foundational tenants. The litigation is based on their having been wronged in the past and exacting vengeance in the form of punitive damages. Wanting it to be about doctrine/truth does not make it so.

        I do not believe that participating in Babylon and partaking of the spoils of its litigation is a good thing; quite the opposite. Saying that Babylon is good simply because the correct way of holding church leadership accountable is restricted is, to be blunt, calling evil good.

      • You said:

        “For clarity: I do not believe the motive to hold them accountable is, as you explained “to correct the false teachings that have put the spiritual welfare of people at risk”. As far as I understand it, the plaintiff and their counsel are no longer associated with the church nor do they believe the true foundational tenants. The litigation is based on their having been wronged in the past and exacting vengeance in the form of punitive damages. Wanting it to be about doctrine/truth does not make it so.”

        I agree with you.

        Those behind the current litigation are angry unbelievers and they are seeking damages based on the belief that the foundational claims pertaining to the restoration of Biblical Christianity, divine mission of Joseph Smith and truthfulness of the Book of Mormonism is false.

        That is the whole reason that I think believers SHOULD get involved if the litigation should gain traction. (assuming that those behind the litigation would allow believers to get involved which is unlikely)

        You see, if the litigation should pick up traction and gain huge media attention, the whole world as well as many active Mormons will view the falsification of history as proof that the foundational claims of Mormonism are false.

        That would be very unfortunate don’t you think?

        It would probably increase the numbers of Mormons that are losing faith in the restoration and in the gospel of Christ.

        On the other hand, if the litigation was to be made on a broader platform and believers in the restoration were allowed to participate, it would show that the falsification of history is not categoric proof that the LDS restoration is false.

        Indeed, believers can show from our point of view that when the true history of Mormonism is revealed, that the foundational claims are on solid ground.

        Just because the leadership of the church has falsified history and taught false doctrine, and claimed priesthood authority that they don’t have, does not make the foundational truth claims of the restoration false.

    • agreeuponmyword says:

      Thank you for your reply and explanation. I misunderstood your initial post/reply; I took it as an endorsement of the litigation and agreement with what they are doing.

      This conversation has led me to think about being more bold about our being in the wilderness once again and not enjoying the fullness. Because without at least a basic contextual understanding of the true church history and Joseph’s role it will be easy for some to cast
      it all aside, including casting God aside in many cases! Haha, I am simply restating what you already said in your reply.

      I have recently begun such a conversation with a close family member who has not previously known my position. The scriptural phrase that comes to mind is, “how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth”! I only hope I speak under the Spirits influence.

  3. One Who Is Thirsting says:

    This affects EVERYONE who has ever paid money into the LDS church, disaffected or not.

    I just read this passage this morning and it stopped it dead in my tracks.

    “The guardians of the temple service, the guardians of the Word of God, so despised God’s name and His Word that they robbed God of His temple tithe (Mal. 3:8). The result was that the wages of the hireling were being taxed, the widow and fatherless received no support, and the needy stranger was being turned aside (Mal. 3:5). As the history of the period attests, the Levites were using the tithe to finance real estate deals, businesses, building projects and cultural events (Wacholder, Eupolemus: A Study of Judaeo- Greek Literature, pp. 1-21). These Levites had made themselves ambassadors to the nations of the ancient world. As ambassadors, they were using the tithe to sponsor cultural events! They presided over one of the greatest “tithing and loan” scandals ever known. I am sure they justified this misuse of God’s tithe as “doing the Lord’s work.””

    I read this on page 9 here: http://www.cbcg.org/franklin/The_Two_Jehovahs_of_the_Psalms.pdf

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