Mormon Civil War

CvP 6A Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War EPISODE 6A - THE THOUGHT POLICE ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’

April 06, 2021 Peter Season 1 Episode 8
CvP 6A Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War EPISODE 6A - THE THOUGHT POLICE ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’
Mormon Civil War
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Mormon Civil War
CvP 6A Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War EPISODE 6A - THE THOUGHT POLICE ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’
Apr 06, 2021 Season 1 Episode 8

Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War 

EPISODE 6A -  THE THOUGHT POLICE   ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’

- HONESTY        
- BALANCE       

Show Notes Transcript

Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War 

EPISODE 6A -  THE THOUGHT POLICE   ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’

- HONESTY        
- BALANCE       

Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War

EPISODE 6 THE THOUGHT POLICE  Part A – ‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’

‘‘Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information’

Greetings intrepid listeners! My purpose in this series of podcasts is to map out as clearly as I can why it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is facing an existential ­­­crisis now as all the drivers of growth such as convert baptisms, birthrate and retention of active members are falling fast and realistically the international Church in most regions like my own will cease to exist as a functional entity in the next 15 to 20 years without radical reforms, and the heartlands of Mormonism in Utah, Idaho, Arizona and California will not be far behind. 

The most helpful way to understand or frame this crisis I have found that seems to me both strictly realistic and also offering hope for change and a better future is to understand it as part of the ongoing struggle between two opposing philosophies or plans for how to make people better, how to motivate them to do the right things, how to save them from their weaknesses and worst impulses to be selfish and impose authoritarian control on other people, and instead elevate them towards becoming like God – loving, compassionate, fair, educated, selfless, intelligent and full of light and truth. 

In Mormon thought and theology this is the struggle that all the intelligences in the universe are engaged in.  Our origin myth goes back far earlier than the creation of the world and putting people in it to a pre-mortal ‘war in heaven’ where we all had a prolonged and heated debate and then used our freeagency in a common consent vote to decide which plan of salvation was the wise and truthful one that we would agree to live through – Lucifer’s or Christ’s.  

This same civil war and conflict has then played out again and again in every age of mankind, or ‘dispensation’ as Mormons call it, in the Garden of Eden as described in Genesis and in much more detail in the LDS Temple Endowment when Lucifer turned up personally to contribute to the deliberations, in the struggles between rule by grass-roots Judges supported by the people or a dictatorial monarchy that plays out in the Old Testament of the Bible and the Books of Mormon, in Jesus’ intensive ideological power struggle for the heart and soul of the Jewish religion with the Pharisees and in what we call the ‘Latter-days’ with Joseph Smith’s religious rebellion against the controlling and stultifying power of the Christian churches with their thought-limiting creeds and concentration of revelatory and priesthood power in the hands of a few elites families and oligarchies when he wanted to give priesthood, revelation and unlimited possibilities for learning and becoming to every person regardless of their social status and rekindle the fire of Christ’s religion of the peasants and the scholars coming together to restore foundational priorities and principles. 

And now we find ourselves 200 years later with a dominant culture that is running rampant with every pharisee idea there ever was and a tiny leadership clique that has concentrate absolute power, unimaginable wealth and all of Lucifer’s deceptive mantras into a dictatorship in our Church with no accountability whatsoever left except public shaming for their sins and mistakes, which is all they listen to now.  

So here we go again.  We have hoped and taught that the True Church was here to stay and going to fill the earth, but it seems we have a long struggle to fight still before we will be in any kind of shape to pull that off and if we don’t turn things around fast we will disappear and God is going to have to start all over again…. All over again like all the other times.  It’s really going to be down to US to decide our own fate – are we going to sit here and do nothing and have the whole project fall at the first hurdle, or instead of just talking endlessly about our core values in theory are we going to actually practice them and fight for them? 

There is plenty to love and celebrate and be deeply proud of in Mormonism’s unique contributions to Christian thought and doctrine but the things that have given me the deepest hope in this demoralising pit of reasons to despair as the Church four generations of my family have struggled to build up in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is going up in flames and down to only 15% of its members actively participating any more, and still steadily falling, are 2 truths:

1 – The Church of Jesus Christ has been here many times before and while often snuffed out, sometimes it has rallied and flourished when principled idealists among its members fought back against their generation’s incarnation of the Pharisees.  The example I am finding particularly encouraging right now is the Apostle Paul’s Civil war with the first Christian First Presidencies who went Pharisee almost immediately and threatened to derail the entire Christian revolution when it had only just started by insisting on piling on extra ritual and lifestyle requirements onto Christian converts, particularly the Gentile ones, demanding they carry on being traditional Jews in the Pharisee tradition with lots of totally unnecessary requirements of ritual, lifestyle and circumcision and entirely missing the whole point of what Jesus had been all about.  Paul, who used to be more orthodox and Pharisee than any of them as a star pupils of Pharisee philosophical legend Gamaliel before his conversion to Christianity, was acutely aware of how dangerous a threat to the fledgling Church this was so he went to Jerusalem and forced them with the power of the truth he was speaking to their power to change their ways and lift some of the mountain of man-made good ideas, programs and expectations they were crushing the flower of the true gospel with in Christians’ lives, just as once-President Dieter Uchtfdorf cried out to our Pharisee oligarchy threatening the very survival of the Church in 2015 in his talk “It Works Wonderfully.” 

Paul stood up and spoke up, and persisted, and eventually HIS vision for Christianity became the dominant one.  The New Testament now predominantly consists of his writings and adventures and Christianity went on to become the largest religion in the world despite its very messy journey and many schisms along the way.  

2 – We do not need to start a new religion or make fundamental changes to our core belief and practices to make Mormonism safe, firing joyfully on all cylinders and completely capable of embracing and winning the 21st century because all the key ingredients it needs have always been there in its best and biggest ideas and in how power was organised and exercised in its foundational years as a radical, all-inclusive democracy.  We just have to remind ourselves what that looked like and how it worked and restore it. 

But we have a really tough fight on our hands and we are going to have to rebel. We have fallen into the clutches of a backward looking clique of closed-minded, unimaginative traditionalists who simply don’t get it.  Just when we were on the cusp of greatness they moved decisively to complete a gameplan their faction of Apostles has been working on and passing on to their apprentices for decades and moved decisively to tighten their grip on the Church in a final death squeeze of public and shameless totalitarianism, forbidding any opposition or even thought in resistance or disagreement to any single component of anything they say or do, demanding to be regarded at all times as infallible and completely indistinguishable from God, and ruthlessly shunning and excommunicating anyone who challenges them.  

The Pharisee religion doesn’t actually work.  Just as its satanic author always intended, it infiltrates then kills its host, the body of Christ, the community of the disciples of the Saviour.  It’s outcome is always intellectual, spiritual and then organisational death.  So of course, inevitably, the whole thing is about to go belly up.  It already has for the majority of people alive today who joined the Church and have now left it and it has already gone tits up for more than 80% of all the young people around the world we have raised in our religion. 

Pharisaism is not something we can live alongside or tolerate and expect to have a positive outcome.  It is a fatal infection and our scriptures are specifically clear that it always has been.  But one of the Pharisee tricks is to convince everyone that they represent the most committed, the most holy, the most faithful, the most righteous people among us, the most fluffy lambs of God, when in reality they are ravening wolves killing people’s testimonies left, right and centre. 

So, like generations before us we can read all about in the scriptures, it’s now OUR turn to follow the examples of Enoch, Noah, Moses, Alma, Samuel the Lamanite, Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus and stand up, speak up, and if necessary publicly shame the leaders doing this to our people and speak the many truths they are desperate to hide and keep silent from the rooftops to their power, because of we don’t it’s game over.  

But to reform and rescue our religion, we have to fully understand what we are facing and how to defeat its enemies.  Our vision needs to be bigger than the full extent of the problems we have to solve.  We need to see it ALL, all the working parts of the Pharisee ideology and strategies and its centres of power, all the places it has infiltrated and changed; and then see that we can be bigger than the full extent of where it has reached. Our God is greater.  Our vision must be larger.  

The Pharisees are NOT totally overwhelming or too powerful to defeat and overcome even though it totally feels that way when we are in the thick of fighting its many tentacles that seem to grow 5 more every time you chop one off. As my old friend John Corbett who served in military intelligence during the Cold War and learnt Russian so he could fully understand and write down the Soviet military communications he was intercepting used to teach us in our Priesthood Quorum lessons, when you are at war you have to know your enemy intimately before you can understand their weaknesses and defeat them. 

My purpose in this series of podcasts is to bring together everything I have found out and learnt and am still learning from thousands of Latter-day Saints and former Latter-day Saints grappling with this mess and all the consequences it has had in their lives and families into one informative, and hopefully thought provoking and inspiring journey. To put all the pieces of the three dimensional jigsaw puzzle that is our experiences and beliefs about Mormonism and its wrestle with the human impulse to be a Pharisee together, to discover and describe how they connect with each other, how particular teachings and decisions by the Church’s leaders have led to a whole chain of events and further teachings and decisions that have played out in the communities and cultures we find ourselves living in, or running away from, NOW as Latter-day Saints.  

When I started on this journey to try and get a grip on the bigger picture and work out what it will take to get our religion to the end of this remarkable century, I guess around 10 years ago, it felt completely overwhelming.  Easily 50, and arguably 100 really significant areas of what we do and think collectively have become problematic, dysfunctional or even outright dangerous, and desperately in need of reforming change to fulfil their intended purposes instead of sabotaging them.  To name just a few what I’m talking about here is our broken missionary program, child safeguarding protocols, sexual shaming of children and teenagers and adults in relentless worthiness interviews by men with no training or background checks alone in their offices, hostility to the most basic science of evolution and the age of the earth, hostility to the work of skilled and qualified academic researchers in history and sociology and psychology and all the rest, proactive politicised religiously weaponised homophobia and transphobia, suppression of freedom of speech and even freedom of thought, financial corruption, dishonesty about history, obsession with clothing and appearance over your heart and mind, and the most astonishing of all, somehow making one of the world’s wildest and most mindblowing religions utterly, utterly boring.  How is that even possible?!  But they’ve done it!

But you know what?  I’m starting to cheer up.  A whole lot of stuff is making much more sense to me now.  When we free our minds from fear and persist and research and learn we can get to that place of clarity and confidence and a much clearer view of the way ahead to a better day for the Latter-day Saints.  I really think we can do it because at our best we are amazing people.  When we are allowed to by our leaders, or allow ourselves to, we can get anxiously engaged in a good cause as effectively as anyone and make extraordinary things happen.  There are thousands of us who understand what these problems and challenges are.  Usually we feel unable to make any difference because we only see one part of the bigger picture and that alone can be prohibitively daunting.  But I invite you to hold on tight and continue with me on this journey, this tour of the mayhem and the magic of Mormonism in the early 21st Century.  I want to show you ALL of it so it no longer seems too big for you to navigate confidently and change radically for the better. 

It's been a long ride already and there is a lot to see yet, but the end is in sight now and it’s going to get better and better. In Episode 1 I mapped out some of this territory by discussing the steep fall in active membership we are experiencing and began exploring some of the reasons for it, including brutal institutional racism that has still not been resolved or even acknowledged adequately, how the internet has been a challenge and a blessing as it revealed and informed us just how much the Church’s prophets and apostles have been lying to us, but has also empowered us to educate and comfort and encourage each other so they can never do that to us again; and we can use social media to unite and resist the lies and the liars; and how apostle Dieter Uchtdorf before he was evicted from the First Presidency for years used his position to speak put over and over again identifying and being honest about our Pharisee problems and what we must change to overcome them.  

In Episode 2 I explored more of our fundamental challenges such as domination by an all-powerful, and always geriatric now, backward looking patriarchy that has apparently stopped being capable of receiving revelations and guidance from God and how God is still speaking powerfully to the people of the Church through our own consciences and inspiration and core values, and the grassroots members who are stepping up to the city wall to shout truth and wisdom to their weak and crumbling power.  

In Episode 3 I focused on how the exact obedience covenant path to become a clone of the middle class Utahn General Authorities pattern constantly taught as the only possible way to please God, be happy and make it to the Celestial Kingdom is a deceptive trap because only a tiny percentage of Church members has any chance of achieving it, even if they are unusually lucky and a lot of people totally out of their control coincidentally happen to make all the right choices that make it possible. And how this system particularly leaves out, and harms, Latter-day Saint women in countless ways.  And how it is becoming even more intense and stuck in the 1950’s than it has for decades and getting worse, not more realistic or tolerant of diversity. 

In Episode 4 I tracked how the calamities we are experiencing now should NOT be blamed on The World, global forces out of our control like secularisation and trends impacting other Christian denominations, but instead can be traced back in recent history specifically the early 1990’s when the Internet suddenly exposed all the secrets and lies the General Authorities had been hiding from us, and in response to this threat the Pharisee Godfathers among the Apostles, particularly Boyd K Packer, Ezra Taft Benson and later Dallin Oaks, made the deliberate decision to double down on extremely rigid, back and white, socially conservative narratives and declare a war on intellectuals, feminists and LGBTQ people that is still going full throttle instead of learning from the intellectuals, feminists and LGBTQ people, and the scientists and social scientists and historians and all the other experts who could have told them what they were wilfully oblivious to, or are pretending they are.  

In parts A, B and C of Episode 5 I focused on the money and the raw power in the way the LDS Church is organised as an international colonial feudal system channelling money and obedience from millions of people all over the world into the hands, back accounts, universities and privileges of a tiny cabal of absolute rulers and the heavily subsidised communities they and their families dominate. I discovered how the Presiding Bishopric who manage a lot of the billions of dollars of secretly hoarded tithes and offerings wealth they have stashed in the biggest corporations in the American stock market, particularly the exact social media and search engine apps they insult by name as frivolous or dangerous in their sermons,  do not understand how the stock market actually works, including what the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression actually involved.  

I discovered how they and the First Presidency conspired to hide $100 billion from all the other Apostles as well as the rest of the Church members, and have got entirely the wrong end of the stick of all of Jesus’ most basic teaching about financial management and ethics, including saving in the fat years so you can spend and feed the donors in the years of crisis and famine and global plague, the Widow’s Mite and the Parable of the Talents. So not only is their financial deception and corruption obscene, it is also farcically and religiously incompetent. And I explored the great news that in 1907 General Conference President Joseph F Smith, the last LDS prophet to receive a proper revelation that got its own Section in the Doctrine and Covenants, prophesied and promised that God’s gameplan for Church finances was to stop asking members for a single penny once the Church could cover all its expenses from the interest earned from its investments, and how that day has definitely come.  

As promised, this Episode 6, which will also need a few parts, is going to delve into the final and perhaps most important aspect of the strategy for controlling us of the Pharisee faction of Apostles and Prophets and the most fundamental battleground in the Mormon Civil War with them:  The fight for control of our minds.  Our beliefs, our thoughts, what and who we think is true and trustworthy.  

A few of my faithful Latter-day Saints friends and leaders feel I don’t seem to be having a positive end in sight as these episodes continue, and question whether I will ever get to the promised Episode 7 which will be all about the most wonderful and future-proofed ideas in Mormonism that we can embrace and win the 21st century with, perhaps even getting back on track to becoming an actual world religion, which I think we have the potential to be. Well, that is still absolutely my plan and they will just have to be a bit more patient, and I remind them that I did NOT ask for the state of the Church now to be THIS messed up with so many complicated aspects to its present dysfunctions.  

This is NOT the religion I was taught as I grew up as a Latter-day Saint and it is NOT the religion I believe, and nor should any of them, so I’m going to finish the job properly and I hope they will see as we go now why it matters so much to talk about these things.  ALL of them.  Let’s to our level best to ensure there are no more nasty surprises we have never heard of waiting to leap out at any moment and crash our trust in what claims to be Christ’s True Church, and threaten our trust in Christ.

The vast majority of Church members I have had feedback from so far have been cheering me on and very grateful that someone is saying what they are thinking.  Over and over again their response, even from people who are VERY hurt and jaded with Mormonism, has been to tell me that what I am saying and how I frame it while validating their criticisms and concerns with Mormonism has also reminded them of, or rekindled, their hope and interest and even excitement about the best things Mormonism has to offer.  This is because they have picked up that I have been extolling those things as I go, and that with every critical analysis of the ways these General Authorities have been betraying and contradicting real Christian Mormonism there is a clear message about the opposite – the wonderful ideal that is being violated.  

I hope any listeners finding it all too negative will feel that in Episode 6 things are going to turn a corner to territory they are more comfortable hearing about – here will be plenty of robust criticism of Pharisee foolishness, and frankly sinister full-on harmful cult behaviour, but also I will be wallowing like a happy hippo in the mud in the most beautiful and uplifting Mormon ideas and statements by its prophets of all as they taught about a religion that is proactively investigating every source of truth in the world, including from infidels and scientists and whoever has some truth to offer us, and making that part of our religion, and their fearless willingness to engage in debate and dialogue with anybody challenging our beliefs, and welcome being proven wrong if they are wrong about anything so that they can correct themselves and replace the errors with something better.  


Edward Snowden said “When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals.’

These days as we watch yet another family that grew up in the Church and invested decades of their lives serving it and raising their children in it leave and the collapse in our active membership accelerates, it is very obvious why.  It’s not obvious because we are guessing or making up explanations or because the scriptures tell us.  It’s obvious because THEY tell us why they left, if we ask or listen, which too many mainstream Church members and leaders just don’t.  

Lynn and I were chatting today with an amazing young returned missionary who was the chief bridesmaid at our wedding. She would have made an awesome Stake Relief Society President one day, or Stake President when we finally get round to ordaining women, and was already a treasure just as precious to the Church.  But she had to leave.  She said she discovered how much the Church had lied to her and made her tell the same lies to investigators and her integrity, that the Church taught her to value above all else, meant she just could not stay in it any longer.  It’s that simple.  And in order to be mentally healthy she finally had to liberate herself from LDS Mormonism’s toxic perfectionism where who you are and what you did today is NEVER good enough, summed up by her mission president’s helpful mantra that “The Lord is well pleased… but never satisfied.”  She is not alone.  

I have a new friend who blogs as Arthur Ah – ‘Arthur A-H’ on his website ‘Mormon Flesh Wound’.  Mormon and a Monty Python fan - the perfect combination shared by several of my American missionary companions.  His posts there are thoughtful and powerful reflections on his experience processing the pain and challenges of his ongoing trust crisis with the Church and how it impacts us all.  He is also reflecting on what it would take to turn around our current decline and become more sustainable and healthy as a religion.  He recently messaged me to say “My son, a recently returned missionary, just filed for his name removal from the LDS Church.  They just lost a kind, hard working, God loving, future physician.  Another loss for the Church and a big gain for humanity.”

I replied “I’m so sorry to hear that.  We keep failing to deserve to keep our brightest and best young people.  If it’s not too raw to discuss, what were the key reasons for his decision? What would need to be different for him to stay?”
 Arthur said “I don't think his story is unique.  His mission was overall positive and successful, but he noticed doctrinal and cultural aspects that bothered him.  He dove deeper and cried when he found inconsistencies and cover ups about history and gospel concepts.  He still has a strong belief in God and of the Atonement.  This trend will continue with other members, young and old, until the LDS Church becomes repentant and prophetic rather than reactionary, condemning, and secretive.”

I couldn’t put it better than that – surely it is not too much to ask for our culture and our leaders to be “repentant and prophetic rather than reactionary, condemning, and secretive.” But apparently it is too much to ask for far too many of them.  They make a twisted virtue out of refusing to repent and looking to the past to preserve an imaginary unchanging tradition, that has already changed several times, unchanged rather than engaging prophetically and hopefully or useful with the future beyond repeatedly declaring that the Second Coming is just around the corner, when it isn’t and wasn’t all the times they said that to us when we were kids.        

Arthur has since messaged me with another topical and significant detail of why his son has asked for his name to be removed from the records of the Church.  When he saw the TITS videos sponsored by FAIRMormon with Cardon Ellis and Kwaku El and others attacking Jeremy Runnell’s CES Letter with a nasty word salad of personal attacks and easily provable lies he was so offended that he went immediately to read the CES Letter.  He was not alone – the This Is The Show Youtube films have led to a huge increase in interest in the CES Letter which Jeremy Runnells put together listing his concerns about the things historians and critics of the Church have been discussing for generations.  He was invited to write them down in a letter to a regional Church Education System Director to have a go at answering and resolving and never got an answer back, so they are now presented as a book and website for everyone to consider and discuss. The personal attacks on Jeremy and the revival of interest in the project has lured him out of his 3 year retirement and he is back in the game now developing the project further. 

Arthur’s son did due diligence thoughtfully investigating both sides for himself before making any judgment, like he had invited investigators to do regarding Mormonism on his mission.  He watched the TITS videos and read the CES Letter.  His conclusion was that “He did not want to be associated with people like Kwaku et al.  They did not represent the Christ-like people he wanted to be with.”

This is a very pointed and specific gotcha for the stupidity of the whole TITS debacle but the important thing to remember here is why the CES letter is so threatening to the Church that FAIRMormon got that desperate in trying to discredit it.  It simply gathers together in one place most of the key facts from our real history and what LDS prophets have said and done that prove the official correlated narrative we were taught by the Church is very inaccurate and intentionally deceptive. I got quite nostalgic reading it myself after the deep dive I had into anti-Mormon literature at University in the early 1990’s long before the CES Letter was written as very few of its ideas and content is new, which has been Jeremy’s point the whole time.  He isn’t some criminal mastermind inventing stuff to trick Mormons into losing their testimonies, he’s just an editor of what he and anyone else doing the research will find that has been out there since before we were born.  When LDS Apologists ‘ad hominem’ attack Jeremy and his motives and character personally they have already lost the argument because it isn’t about him.  It’s about the issues he put in a list.  When the desperate LDS apologists, usually the same people associated with FAIR and Daniel Peterson’s Interpreter Foundation since he was evicted from running the Maxwell Institute at BYU for similar nasty behaviour, make endless personal attacks on John Dehlin who heads up the Mormon Stories podcast they are making the same desperate mistake because it isn’t about John.  The power and the threat to Pharisee Mormonism that Mormon Stories presents is the hundreds of stories of ordinary Latter-day Saints who have been harmed by their corruptions and distortions of honesty and compassion into dishonesty and cruelty that they have simply been able to tell from their lived experiences with the Church.  

There’s nothing apologists can do to discredit those real experiences and the truth they speak, so all they have left is to try and ignore them all and attack the interviewer. It’s pathetic. And as many of his guests have described, more often than not this kind of behaviour by LDS Apologists has accelerated their departure from the Church, like Arthur’s Returned Missionary son, rather than preventing it. 

Usually there is one specific discovery of a deception that triggers people when the reason they leave is the lying, which they then investigate further, and this then opens up to their view the huge panoply of other things Church members were intentionally lied to about, or that were simply withheld and hidden from them by leaders who decided it was not good for them to have that information.  

I have served as ward mission leader 3 times over many years and developed a love and respect for the teaching manual Gospel Principles that I or the full-time missionaries taught from in the Sunday school class for investigators and new members before the current regime decided to discontinue it and throw the investigators in at the deep end in the adult Gospel Doctrine class, with no explanation as usual.  The net effect of this has been catastrophic, as it instantly turned Adult Sunday School into the SHALLOW end because everyone is paranoid about freaking out the visitors and newbies in the room with meaty doctrine or real discussion or breathing a word of all the less generic secrets in our beliefs and practices we all know we are meant to hide from them until they are embedded socially in the Church.  

The general atmosphere of fear and intolerance to anyone saying anything remotely new or controversial or challenging, or heaven forfend, DISAGREEING with each other, that had always been there anyway has now been ramped up to 11 out of 10 on the anxiety dial and at the very moment we desperately needed to do some hefty reeducating and inoculating of our older members regarding the new and somewhat more truthful official version of our history.  Most of that has stopped in its tracks and we are going backwards.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if that was an intentional move by the First Presidency who have taught repeatedly that they don’t see any need at all to know or believe anything more than that they are prophets and infallible and the Church is true.  Anything else that gets said on a Sunday should be a holding pattern entirely focused on repeating and reinforcing those principles in their gameplan, so making Gospel Doctrine class safe to go deep in and educating our investigators and new members about the wild and wonderful breadth of Mormon Doctrines as the Gospel Principles manual does is just opening up a can of worms and obvious questions they’d really rather not have to bother dealing with or answer.   

The paragraph in that Gospel Principles manual that gets endlessly quoted and repeated and turned into memes by the nuanced and post-Mormon community is from its clear and powerful chapter 31 about Honesty.   

The chapter begins by referencing our 13th Article of Faith that states “We believe in being honest.”  It goes on to say “Complete honesty is necessary for our salvation.” And “the devil is a liar. In fact, he is the father of lies (see 2 Nephi 9:9). “Those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves” (Mark E. Petersen, in Conference Report, Oct. 1971, 65; or Ensign, Dec. 1971, 73).  Honest people love truth and justice. They are honest in their words and actions. They do not lie, steal, or cheat.   Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. 

The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.  ….The Lord is not pleased with such dishonesty, and we will have to account for our lies. Satan would have us believe it is all right to lie. He says, “Yea, lie a little; … there is no harm in this” (2 Nephi 28:8). Satan encourages us to justify our lies to ourselves. Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage.  People use many excuses for being dishonest. People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Some cheat to get better grades in school or because “everyone else does it” or to get even.  These excuses and many more are given as reasons for dishonesty. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons. When we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves and the Spirit of God ceases to be with us. We become more and more unrighteous.”

It seems weird that statements of such obvious ideas and definitions of honesty should somehow become the powerful weapons and vindications that they are in the Mormon Bloggernacle, but what has made them such effective kryptonite in the civil war against the Pharisee Mormon Prophets and Apostles is that their religion believes and teaches and practices the opposite.  I have already documented in these podcasts just a few of the many examples of the General Authorities lying, stealing and cheating.  They have condemned themselves by doing every single thing Chapter 31 of Gospel Principles describes as satanic dishonesty, and they are still doing it.  They have made telling half truths and bearing false witness about history and the people challenging their lies into an artform in every teaching manual they have published for very age group from Primary to Institute and an alarming percentage of their sermons and media propaganda.

They have robbed Church members, specially the poorest of them, of an eye-watering fortune and justified it to themselves by saying their massive multi-billion stocks and shares investment portfolios and the $140,000 salaries and many additional expenses and benefits and free university education for their children they take from these sacred funds need the money more than the tithe payers do, including the literally destitute ones.  

The quote “We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth” is most often contrasted with Boyd K Packer’s infamous manifesto justifying the Church’s leaders and teachers lying to the members when he said to the Church Education System faculty in his manifesto for deception titled ‘The mantle is far greater than the Intellect’ at BYU on 22 August 1981 that “There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.  Some things that are true are not very useful.”  As we shall see, his and other Apostles’ guidance to the Church’s educators is that ‘telling only part of the truth’ to their students, which Gospel Principles defines as one of the tactics of Satanic deception, is not only justified but expected not just in their lessons but in everything the Church publishes too, and if you read all of Packer’s ‘Mantle’ talk he threatened to fire the CES teachers if they don’t.  


The symposium Boyd K Packer was speaking at was focused on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history which comes up every 4 years in the LDS curriculum cycle so that year is always a significant point to track the development of the Church leadership’s willingness to be open about or desperation to lie about the Church’s very messy history and how it is being discussed and researched in the Church and in wider society.  

Four years later on 16 August 1985 at the next CES Doctrine and Covenants and Church History symposium at BYU it was Dallin Oaks’ turn to take on the challenge of guiding the teaching staff of the Church.  And the circumstances could not have been more hair-raising for an Apostle speaking about teaching the truth about history and doctrine.  2 months later master forger Mark Hoffman would murder 2 people and accidentally injure himself with bombs, but at the time of the symposium he had succeeded in convincing the Church leaders and a lot of historians and forensic experts that his forged letters and documents claiming to be by Mormon founders and throwing a big spanner in the works of our foundational stories about how Joseph Smith received his first revelations and the Book of Mormon were credible.

The collective spiritual gift of ‘discernment’ that very Mormon youth is told means their 30,000 bishops know if they are lying to them about how often they are wanking in worthiness interviews and constantly guides local leaders as part of their ‘mantle’ of extra spiritual gifts that come with their calling had somehow totally abandoned the 15 Prophets, Seers and Revelators who claimed to have this gift in far bigger doses than mere bishops as the mantle of THEIR callings, and none of them had the first clue they were being deceived.  Poor Dallin used this talk titled ‘Reading Church history” to apply his lawyerly skills and spin how there could be a faithful way to interpret Joseph Smith being told where the Book of Mormon was buried by a salamander as kind of the same thing as the Angel Moroni doing that job:

34 m 40s “Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word ‘salamander’ in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W. W. Phelps over 150 years ago.  All of the scores of media stories on that subject, all that I have seen, apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word ‘salamander’ in the modern sense of a “tailed amphibian.”

One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of salamander, which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s. That meaning, which is listed second in my ‘Random House Dictionary of the English Language is “a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.”  Modern and ancient literature contain many examples of this usage.  For examples, see the research notes by FARMS circulated at this symposium.

A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the angel Moroni: a personage in the midst of a light, whose countenance was “truly like lightning” and whose overall appearance “was glorious beyond description” (Joseph Smith-History 1:32). As Joseph Smith wrote later, “The first sight [of this personage] was as though the house was filled with consuming fire” (History of the Church, 4:536). Since the letter only purports to be Martin Harris’s interpretation of what he had heard about Joseph’s experience, the use of the words “white salamander” and “old spirit” seem understandable, and essentially accurate.

In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship with or membership in the Church? The media should make more complete disclosures, but LDS readers should also be more sophisticated in their evaluation of what they read.

For Latter-day Saints, evaluation also has a spiritual dimension. This is because of our belief in Moroni’s declaration that “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). That promise assures spiritually sensitive readers a power of discernment that will help them evaluate the meaning of what they learn.”

Dallin was fortunately relieved of the burden of spinning ‘Salamander’ and re-writing the missionary discussions in a tragic flurry of bombings and revelations about forgery as Mark Hoffman spilled his own  beans to avoid the death penalty, but notice the usual tactics of fostering a persecution complex of a conspiracy theory that the whole world and all the journalists are out to get the Church if they publish anything that doesn’t sound like its own propaganda, and then blaming the members themselves for being lazy if they have a faith crisis because of the General Authorities’ own incompetence and deceptions. When you add those two factors together, the only people left blameless are the Apostles themselves.  They’ve thrown all the rest of us under the bus. Every problem is the world’s fault or our fault.  Never theirs. 

“For Latter-day Saints, evaluation also has a spiritual dimension. This is because of our belief in Moroni’s declaration that “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). That promise assures spiritually sensitive readers a power of discernment that will help them evaluate the meaning of what they learn.”

Dallin’s response to the concern that the entire top tier of leadership had not had a single prompting from the Holy Spirit that was helping 30,000 bishoprics and thousands of Stake Presidencies every day, and which he had shamed the entire membership in this talk for not being “spiritually sensitive” enough to have the power to discern themselves, and that the Prophets and Apostles were thus duped into giving money to a murderous forger who had concluded they were imposters when he was 14, was basically to say they are too busy,  and want to assume the best of the people they meet and minister to rather than the worst.  

He explained this in a talk given after the bombings at BYU on 6 August 1987 called ‘Recent Events Involving Church History and Forged Documents’ that was also printed in the October 1987 Ensign magazine for all the membership to read. The issue could not be avoided any longer, particularly as it had emerged by then how often Mark Hoffman had met and negotiated with the Apostles and their representatives purchasing documents from him and then passing them on to the Church, how Gordon B Hinckley representing the ailing President Spencer W Kimball had met with Hoffman and personally purchased some of the documents before they worked out the proxy system, and how Dallin Oaks himself met with Mark Hoffman on the morning of the first murderous bombings, all without a single spiritual apostolic discernment alarm bell tinkling.  

Not surprisingly this important talk proved to be another complex, revealing layer cake of mental gymnastic and misrepresentations of logic, scripture and history that is typical of Dallin in full flow and takes some effort to disentangle. 

He began his address by stoking up the persecution complex as usual, claiming the media coverage of Hoffman’s work and then the revelations of the forgery had unleashed “some of the most sustained and intense LDS church-bashing since the turn of the century” and “character assassination” by journalists just doing their job and reporting the facts, which included Gordon B Hinckley lying to the police investigators at times about the Church’s interactions with Hoffman to pretend they were less extensive than they were and the Church generally obstructing the investigation in other ways as well, which are now well documented.   After responding to several of the allegations of document hiding by the Church, Dallin eventually got to the big question:

“Some have asked, how was Mark Hofmann able to deceive Church leaders?

As everyone now knows, Hofmann succeeded in deceiving many: experienced Church historians, sophisticated collectors, businessmen-investors, national experts who administered a lie detector test to Hofmann, and professional document examiners, including the expert credited with breaking the Hitler diary forgery. But why, some still ask, were his deceits not detected by the several Church leaders with whom he met?

In order to perform their personal ministries, Church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love. In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious.”

We would still have a lot more of the 80% of our young people who have been driven away from the Church still with us on the pews if the Apostles had spent the last couple of generations teaching the Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies to have the same attitude in their interactions and worthiness interviews with the members, instead of repeatedly training them to assume the kids are all guilty dirty sinners who will go to hell if they don’t rescue them and grill them with searching questions until they crack under the pressure and start confessing everything.  

Please remember as we proceed in this episode how Dallin was vey happy to make reference to professional and qualified secular experts in a situation where the reasonableness of respecting and trusting their expertise, provided cover for the Apostles, or excuses their own inadequacies:

“As everyone now knows, Hofmann succeeded in deceiving many: experienced Church historians, sophisticated collectors, businessmen-investors, national experts who administered a lie detector test to Hofmann, and professional document examiners, including the expert credited with breaking the Hitler diary forgery.”  

Later we will hear him insisting that no such qualified expert should be trusted as a source of information in a context where they might be disagreeing with the Church’s more unscientific and inaccurate truth claims.

Also, can you see the fundamental logical flaw in his argument that the reason the ordained 
 Apostles of Jesus with their unique and superior prophetic and discerning mantle of ‘SEERSHIP’ – the ability to see things hidden from the rest of us that comes with that ability and title they have been specifically and uniquely ordained with – did not receive any discerning prompting about Hoffman’s deceptions and true nature because they choose to generally trust the people they interact with:

“In order to perform their personal ministries, Church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love. In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counselling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious.”

This doesn’t make any sense if he believes in the Gift if the Holy Ghost as he keeps teaching it. 

If the Holy Ghost is independent of their own opinions and judgments and human ideas, they don’t need to be either suspicious or trusting of people for the Gift of Discernment to happen.  The Holy Ghost is an external, independent, and perfectly capable person, not a figment of our imagination.  An omnipotent actual GOD no less, so perfectly capable of intervening with a prompting or warning as and when needed.  Prophets and Apostles constantly teach about experiences they and others have of a prompting out of the blue from the Holy Ghost, and have often taught that one of the ways to be REALLY sure that a prompting or inspiration is coming from the Holy Ghost is when the message is the OPPOSITE of what you are thinking or feeling or hoping for or expecting about a situation.  Then you can be REALLY sure it isn’t just your own mind and will projecting personal desires or interpretations onto the situation and is instead a genuine spiritual vibe being sent to your mind from the Beyond.  Our role is simply to be living worthily to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and being ‘spiritually sensitive’ to His promptings. He will do his job and intervene as needed.  There is no need whatsoever for us to live our lives being suspicious of everyone and everything in order to be warned by the Holy Ghost when a deceiver or a danger is present.  Our personal suspicion levels or skepticism about people makes no difference at all. We just need to be generally tuned in to God’s wavelength and let our holy Companion do the rest.

Isn’t it revealing that Dallin just doesn’t see that distinction?  It is not unreasonable to conclude from his statements there that he doesn’t experience the real promptings of the Holy Ghost to help him navigate his challenging calling.  It is all down to him and the trusting or suspicious frame of mind he chooses to apply to his interactions with people that will determine whether he gets a Spidey Sense to not trust the person in front of him because he is being  spectacularly lied to by a murderer.  


Another theme in Dallin’s ‘Reading Church History’ talk to the CES in 1985 was even more revealing and worrying in my opinion.  He was addressing the crucial issue of how balanced Church leaders and teachers are obliged to be when speaking to and teaching us.  Shall I bother with the spoiler?  Why not.  It won’t come as any surprise that he has of course concluded, and taught them all, that the answer is ‘not balanced at all.’ He doesn’t think any of them are obliged to teach the truth by meeting the most basic requirement of honest and truthful teaching which is to present all the evidence and all the main opinions about a matter so that listeners and students can make informed judgments for themselves about what to believe or think about it.  To Dallin the Lawyer, none of that is important or relevant to the work and teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ who told us to be completely honest and truthful in all our dealings and what we do or say:

27m 13s  “5 – Balance.  Balance is not to be expected in either official Mormon, or avowedly anti-Mormon literature.  Neither has any responsibility to present both sides. But when supposedly objective news media or periodicals run a feature or an article on the Church or it’s doctrines, it ought to be balanced.  So should a book-length history or biography.  Readers of supposedly objective authors and publishers have a right to expect balance in writing about the Church and its doctrines.  Some such writing is balanced, but much is not.  In this arena, readers should beware of writings that imply balance but do not deliver it.”  

So there you have it.  Plain as daylight.  ‘Lying for the Lord’, that oldest of accusations in anti-Mormon literature, is absolutely a thing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in modern times just as much as it was when Joseph Smith was repeatedly publicly declaring that he was not practicing polygamy and lining his harem of wives up to sign declarations of the same in Nauvoo. And it is fundamental to the training that our education system teachers have been given repeatedly year after year by their Prophet, Seer and Revelator Apostle line managers and spiritual guides.  

He will go on and on about how he expects the news media journalists and book writers to be strictly balanced in everything they publish about the Church, as he did in this talk, but he has entirely absolved himself, and our teaching staff,  and the entire Church from any obligation to be similarly honest, balanced, truthful and trustworthy or to model for the journalists how to get this right by our own example when writing and reporting about ourselves.  It just beggars belief doesn’t it - Dallin the Pharisee Lawyer justifying only teaching dishonest biased propaganda because that’s what the Church’s critics and enemies do, so it’s OK for us to as well!   Or as the Gospel Principles manual puts it, “Some cheat… because “everyone else does it” or to get even .”

Just so you don’t kid yourselves he didn’t say this stuff or mean it, let’s have a listen again:

“27m 13s  “5 – Balance.  Balance is not to be expected in either official Mormon, or avowedly anti-Mormon literature.  Neither has any responsibility to present both sides. But when supposedly objective news media or periodicals run a feature or an article on the Church or it’s doctrines, it ought to be balanced.  So should a book-length history or biography.  Readers of supposedly objective authors and publishers have a right to expect balance in writing about the Church and its doctrines.  Some such writing is balanced, but much is not.  In this arena, readers should beware of writings that imply balance but do not deliver it.”  

Right.  So what does this mean for the CHURCH’s news media and periodicals and the CHURCH’s history and biography books?  The Church owns and operates newspapers – the Church News and the Deseret News.  It owns and operates TV stations.  It produces a lot of content about its history and doctrines for the internet and news organisations.  The Church publishes periodicals for children, teenagers and adults.  The Church publishes biographies of its leaders and books of its History like the recent ‘Saints’ volumes.  Dallin Oaks was crystal clear in 1985 like Boyd K Packer before him and others since that NONE of the Church’s publications, none of its teaching manuals, none of its teaching and preaching is trustworthy. Or balanced and seeking to present the whole truth to us and the world.  It is all an exercise in biased propaganda and careful, manipulative editing.  We as autonomous adults with free-agency and education, and living in free and democratic societies where in our secular news media, and education courses, and non-fiction publishing and the professional standards in our work environments, are expected to MEET standards of honesty, and EXPECT standards of honesty and full disclosure, are being told to unconditionally and totally trust these ethically bankrupt Pharisees pretending to be Apostles of the God of Truth in His ONLY TRUE Church to make all the significant decisions for us about what information we are allowed to know and what we are to conclude about it.  That literally they do all our thinking for us and to them we are just dumb children or robots to program and control as they see fit by manipulating the information we are allowed to know about or think about and factor into our beliefs and decision-making. 

And guess who had just turned 14 and was about to begin Seminary for the first time studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History and being indicted into Mormonism’s deeper official narrative about its history a month after Dallin was telling all the teachers in August 1985 they could just lie to the kids and were under no obligation to present balanced and honest information to the students?  That would be me!  Of course.  Dallin H Oaks has been messing with my head and messing with my religion for a VERY long time, the utter bastard.  There literally isn’t a person alive who has done more harm to my personal religiosity, to my trust in my Church, to my dear friends who have been driven out of the Church against their will, or fled for their own safety from his lying and his relentless homophobic pontificating.  He is so ethically corrupted and dehumanised by his lifetime as a lawyer and an LDS General Authority that even back then 36 years ago as a new Apostle he was simply incapable of understanding that there as anything wrong with publicly declaring that deception is totally acceptable if it’s the Church doing it.  

It’s the same messed up mental gymnastics that were on display a few months ago on 27 October 2020 when he told the BYU Students that racist segregation is absolutely fine and cannot be called “racism” when Mormon God is authorising it, in his typically bizarre and irrational devotional “Racism and Other Challenges.”   And if God doesn’t cull him first, THIS is the man who will be the next President of the Church.  The man that millions of people will declare to be the only mouthpiece of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the whole world.  The man our missionaries and teachers and parents will be urging people to pray to God for a spiritual witness that HE is the prophet foreordained to be the man of the age guiding us towards Christ and salvation and the celestial kingdom. In the age of information and transparency this man who thinks the Church is completely justified in just lying to everyone and distorting truth and cannot see any problem at all with this because of his twisted Pharisee mental gymnastics justifying the indefensible and making hypocrisy his religion, demands that everyone else is scrupulously balanced and fair about everything they write about the Church and whines like a baby when he, usually inaccurately, thinks they aren’t.  

A storm is a comin’ folks if the Church has to endure a Dallin Oaks presidency.  It has already begun as he is now the dominant personality and ideologue among the Apostles.  It will really be a struggle for our already almost fatally weakened Church to survive it.  I’m hoping that perhaps it will be a catalyst for change.  

Dallin still stands by everything he said then in 1985.  The Deseret News reported that he revisited that talk, and everything in it, when he spoke in August 2008 at the Amasa Lyman exposition in Salt Lake City's Grant Stake Centre.  Including the other thing he taught in 1985 that I haven’t even got to yet.  It’s Dallin Time, so of course there are more layers to this cake of dysfunctions.  As the 2 August 2008 Deseret News article titled “Be Cautious about LDS History Articles, Elder Oaks Says” puts it:

“Elder Oaks' 1985 talk also contained the caution that "criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward church authorities, general or local." "Evil speaking of the Lords anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true."

Thankyou ‘Mormonism Live Episode 11 – The Rules of the Game’ for the helpful source references – that episode was a brilliant analysis of several of the themes I am tackling in this Episode of my podcast. 

As Bill Reel and Radio Free Mormon put it in that podcast episode, there are five rules to the game of Mormonism, I would say Pharisee Mormonism,  all of which we have seen clearly articulated by Dallin Oaks:
 Rule No. 1–We are going to hide stuff from you.
 Rule No. 2–We are going to try to keep you from finding the stuff we are hiding from you.
 Rule No. 3–We are going to lie about hiding stuff from you.

19 November 2017 ‘Face to face’ global broadcast to all the Young Single Adults: 

Oaks: “How long ago was that article?”
 Ballard: “1970. That was back in 1970.”
 Oaks: “We’ve been hiding that for a long time…” [laughter]
 Ballard: “It’s this idea that the Church is hiding something, which we would have to say as two apostles that have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time – there has been no attempt on the part, in any way, of the Church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody.”

…“So, just trust us wherever you are in the world, and you share this message with anyone else who raises the question about the Church not being transparent. We’re as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth. We have to do that. That’s the Lord’s way.

Rule No. 4–You can’t blame us for hiding stuff from you.
Rule No. 5–If you talk about the stuff we are hiding from you, we will hide you. (See Rule No. 2) Once you understand the five “rules of the game,” everything the Pharisee Apostles have been doing makes sense.

Let’s listen to Dallin talking about how we must not criticise the leaders even if the criticism is true, and we don’t have to be honest, in his original 1985 talk: 

17 minutes 30 seconds: 

“The fact that something is true is not always the justification for communicating it.
 While instructing the Corinthians Saints not to partake of meat offered in sacrificed to idols, the apostle Paul explained:
 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.“ (1 Corinthians 10:23)
 By the same token, some things that are true are not edifying or appropriate to communicate. Readers of history and biography should ponder that moral reality as part of their effort to understand the significance of what they read.
 Any contest between deception and truth pits Satan against the Holy Ghost. The Scriptures teach us that “Satan hath sought to deceive you that he might overthrow you“ (Doctrine and Covenants 50:3), whereas, “the Holy Ghost... Will show you all things that you should do.” (2 Nephi 32:5)
 He returned to this theme a bit later in the talk:
 37 m 40 s “In connection with our spiritual powers of evaluation, we need to remember that the Spirit of the Lord will not guide us if our own attitude is one of fault-finding. That principle applies to readers and writers. The Scriptures abound with the commandment that Christians should abstain from evil-speaking. (see Ephesians 4:31; 1 Peter 2:1; D and C 20: 54; D and C 136:23.)
 We should stress the positive, and seek to strengthen one another in all our communications (D and C 108:7).”
 It should be pointed out here that the truth is not evil, so speaking the truth about someone or something, the whole truth, is not ‘evil speaking’. In the New Testament verses he referenced in the written version of the speech, the word that the King James Version translates as “evil speaking“ is most commonly understood to mean “slander“. Slander involves lying about someone or something, not telling the truth about them.  What Dallin is trying to create here is the impression that honest and accurate critical analysis is the same thing as slander and lies.

He continues: “President Gordon B Hinckley gave valuable counsel on that subject in a General Conference address several years ago:  “We live in a society that feeds on criticism. Fault finding is the substance of columnists and commentators, and there is too much of this among our own people. It is so easy to find fault, and to resist doing so requires much of discipline. But if as a people we will build and sustain one another, the Lord will bless us with the strength to whether every storm and continue to move forward through every adversity“ (“5 Million members – a milestone and not a summit“ Ensign, May 1982)
 Bearing in mind our active membership has now probably fallen far below 5 million, doesn’t it seem like another world when President Hinckley was urging people to consider that number a stepping stone to much bigger ones?
 Dallin continued “Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed towards Church authorities, general or local.  Jude condemns those who “speak evil of dignities“ (Jude 8).
 Most translations have “speak evil of dignities“ meaning slandering “celestial beings”.  I’m not sure even our prophets claim to be celestial beings yet, although I suppose having given each other the secret ‘Second Annointing’ making their calling and election sure they are assuming that outcome is now in the bag.
 “Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercised corporate power or even government power.  It is quite another thing to criticise or to depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As President George F Richards of the Council of the 12 said in a conference address in April 1947:
 “When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and thus are working against the Lord and his cause. (Conference report April 1947 page 24)  

The young warrior David recognised that we are never justified in any gesture or act against the Lord’s Anointed.  Saul, the wicked king, was pursuing David without cause and seeking to take his life.  While King Saul slept with his troops around him, David and one of his soldiers stealthily crept to his side.  Declaring that God had delivered him into their hands David’s companion was about to kill Saul with his own spear. “Destroy him not,” David ordered, “for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9)

The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord’s anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that Latter-day Saint readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it.”
 So Dallin Oaks said “It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power.  It is quite another thing to criticise or to depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God.”  Well, why then is the Church’s legal name the ‘Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?’  They exercise corporate power on a scale that matches some of the biggest business corporations in the world, with similar or larger budgets and hundreds of billions of dollars in investments.  And they dominate the decisions of state and local governments in Utah and other areas with a high percentage of Mormons. So critical analysis of their decisions and behaviour on those areas is completely legitimate even by Dallin’s standards.  

Dallin said “The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord’s anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that Latter-day Saint readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it.”  

This is another example of the Pharisee mantra I have been tracking that when the Holy Spirit does His job and warns us that an ordained leader has gone off on one and is teaching his own ideas as God’s, which is surely one of the fundamental points of HAVING the Gift of the Holy Ghost whose purpose is to witness of truth and warn us of danger or something not being good and true, they want us to ignore the Holy Ghost.  To automatically assume that it must be a deceptive imitation spiritual prompting from Satan, and the sure way to know this is that it is conceptually impossible for the Holy Ghost to warn us that an Apostle or any other leader is mistaken or lying because they are infallible.  In other words, they are our true Gods and our loyalty to them should be higher than our loyalty to God and God’s truth and values, because even if we know for certain that what the Apostles are teaching or doing is wrong, we should ignore it and STILL believe and trust and obey them. This is a clear, and repeated, invitation to break the first commandments and blaspheme – to make them our Gods instead of God, even when the actual Holy Ghost, one of the Godhead, is telling us not to. 


One of the more subtle but I think most worrying examples was the 4 March 2017 Face to Face with the youth of the Church featuring Apostles Jeffrey R Holland and Henry B Eyring.  Gaslighting adults is one thing but watching adult men with great power brainwashing children just has something extra disturbing about it.  They have not yet developed the healthy skeptical and analytical faculties that adults usually develop and can protect themselves from bad and manipulative thinking with, and you can see how they are laying the groundwork of the Pharisee gameplan to ensure that they never do, even when they grow up and become the next generation of unquestioning ward leaders and Sunday school teachers. 

23 minutes in they were asked:  “How can we distinguish between the Holy Ghost and other emotions or feelings we may have, and mistaking that for the Holy Ghost?

This is a question that has popped up in one form or another in several of the Face to Face interactions of Apostles taking questions from the Church’s teenagers and young adults so far.  This must mean it is important to the Apostles to keep revisiting it.  Obviously they aren’t ACTUALLY addressing the things the young people are really asking them to answer – these broadcasts are carefully rehearsed farces where it is obvious the General Authorities have vetted the questions they want to discuss in advance and have prepared answers for in an awkwardly toe curling dance of gaslighting indoctrination of our young.  

Dallin Oaks and M Russell Ballard, the next 2 Presidents of the Church if they survive God’s Hunger Games, actually put out an advert I included in a previous episode in which they acknowledged that they were receiving THOUSANDS of questions from young people all over the world, which is an indication of their desperation to actually get some useful information or answers from their spiritual leaders, and stated on film that they were going to ignore the difficult ones.  Because yes, they ARE that stupid.  And their PR handlers clearly hate them and think they are a joke because there is no PR operative on earth, even the dumbest ones, who would have thought THAT was a clever idea to put online and invite all the young people of the Church around the world to watch.  It was kinda giving the game away!

The very tricky matter of whether an impression or prompting you are getting is your own mind and desires playing tricks on you or really from God and the Holy Ghost in action is a very important topic to discuss and get right, specially in the Pharisee religion where your options for fact-checking and including other evidence in your decision making about what to believe or do is so limited.  The Pharisee Apostles constantly tell people to deal with ALL their faith crises and challenges and questions by relying almost entirely on emotional or spiritual feelings to resolve concerns and keep people in the boat.  

That’s meant to be the way to answer all your questions about why Joseph Smith kept marrying and having sex with teenagers, the first one officially recognised by the Church, 16 year old Fanny Alger, many years before being given the sealing authority to do so, or why he kept lying about the Book of Abraham Papyrus and the Church still publishes his totally inaccurate translations of the facsimiles in our scriptures, or why God allowed most of his Latter-day Prophets and Apostles to be totally wrong about black people and lead the entire membership astray by insisting that they strictly segregate black people and deny them saving and exalting information and ordinances for 150 years.  Warm fuzzies are really not going to hack it to answer THOSE questions are they.   

So what they really mean when they say they cannot answer our questions so we have to pray about it is not “You will then actually get the answer we the Prophets, Seers and Revelators haven’t even been given, even though we made you all memorise and teach potential converts on your mission that Amos 3:7 says “Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.”  

What they actually mean is “Stop bothering us, no we are NOT going to do our job and pray for the answer to your perfectly reasonable questions so you can have them here and now.  Just wait till you are DEAD, THEN God will tell you.  And if you DO pray and get an answer, don’t you dare tell anyone else what it was because only WE are authorised to receive doctrinally significant revelations for other people, and if the answer God gives you involves any General Authorities screwing up and making a mistake and teaching false doctrine, that DEFINITELY wasn’t God answering your prayer and giving you the answer you were praying for.   

Somehow you have made a horrific mistake and must be a VERY wicked person, 13 year old Painslee Brinleee of Farmington Utah, because you know what? YOU just got a hotline message from SATAN!!! You very naughty girl.  You should probably not even risk that happening again and just stop praying from now on.  No, I don’t care if it felt right – it was definitely from Satan.  SATAN gave you that answer and explanation.  Just be patient, totally trust US in the meantime that we are infallible and know what we are doing even if it doesn’t yet feel right or make any sense to you, keep quiet and wait to DIE!  Then everything will make sense and be sorted out beyond the grave where you definitely cannot prove or fact check if this is actually going to happen because no one actually comes back from the dead these days to tell us.” 

I’m not even kidding.  When you put all the pieces of their endlessly repeated commandments about how to get an answer from God about something they cannot answer, or refuse to answer, the Pharisee Apostles and Prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may say to you sweetly with a husky catch in their throat, and a gentle fervent tear in their eye “Pray about it - the LORD will answer you one day, I promise” but what they actually mean, every time, is the way to get an answer to your difficult questions is “Do as you’re told, keep quiet and wait to DIE!”  

I’m not sure even Heartsell could manage a musically engineered spiritual witness of ‘Do as you’re told, keep quiet and wait to DIE!’ but if Dallin Oaks makes it to the velvet throne we might be about to find out.  It’s basically what they’ve been saying to music for years already, just in much vaguer language. 

The other options for answers than themselves that the Pharisee General Authorities offer are the scriptures or really orthodox Mormon family and friends to suggest what to do or think.  Also the mythical list of approved faithful and safe experts and authors in matters of Church history they also regularly refer to… but never ever ever ever actually give us.  We are just meant to know somehow who is or is not on that list.  Maybe they expect us to pray about it.  

Give me a mo…….  I’m back!  That’s so cool!  Excommunicated Faun ‘No Man Knows My History’ Brodie and Jeremy ‘CES Letter’ Runnells are totally on the trustworthy and approved by God list!  Who knew?! 

The one thing they just will not say, even though Joseph Smith said it all the time, is ‘I will pray for a revelation and get back to you shortly.  Get a quill and paper ready.  This one might end up on the Doctrine and Covenants.” 

So why is that?  Why Russell M Nelson?  Why Dallin H Oaks?  Why Henry B Eyring?  Why M Russell Ballard?  Why Jeffrey R Holland?  Why Dieter F Uchtdorf?  Why David A Bednar?  Why Quentin L Cook?  Why D Todd Christofferson?  Why Neil L Anderson?  Why Ronald A Rasband?  Why Gary E Stevenson? Why Dale G Renlund?  Why Gerrit W Gong?  Why Ulisses Soares? 

Why is your answer as the only 15 ordained, authorised, key-holding Prophets, Seers and Revelators to our questions about doctrine and the past or the future or what goes on in heaven NEVER, EVER 

‘I will pray for a revelation and get back to you shortly.  Get a quill and paper ready.  This one might end up on the Doctrine and Covenants.”    And why are we paying you a fortune to basically refuse to actually do your one job, but forbid anyone else from doing it?  And why are we allowing you to sit on way more than $100 Billion in liquid assets that we gave you from our sacrifice and poverty and do absolutely nothing legal with it for 22 years while children starve to death or grow up without a roof over their head or education? Why is that, I and millions of other questioning Latter-day Saints wonder?

The reply Holland and Eyring gave to the adorable South African teenagers asking how to tell the difference between your own mind and the Holy Spirit didn’t mention Elevation Emotion, funnily enough, but instead covered feelings of peace, compatibility with the consistent teachings of the scriptures and the teachings of Church Leaders, then segwayed into it boiling down to feeling love for Jesus and feeling love, and by implication unquestioning trust, towards the Lord’s Anointed prophets:

Eyring: “If I get a feeling about something or get what I think is an answer and it doesn’t have in it a feeling of love of the Saviour and love of the Lord’s servants, I am concerned. I think, well, that’s just my opinion, and I worry about that. The question was ‘How do you know whether it’s your opinion or not?’ I would think by and large for me I’ll feel better if I feel it’s consistent with loving the saviour and loving the Saviour‘s prophets. If it doesn’t fit there I’d say “Well, be careful” because that could be just your own thinking, not what God is trying to tell you.” 

The Apostles and Prophets talk about the Church’s Apostles and Prophet in the third person so constantly that we just get used to it and I think too often forget to remember and notice that they are ALWAYS talking about themselves.  When they testify that Apostles and Prophets are infallible, trustworthy, that they see so much further ahead than the rest of us, and we should just trust that what thy claim to be seeing there is absolutely true and reliable and make huge decisions about our individual beliefs and life choices based on those often sweeping generalisations, and model our lives and lifestyles following their examples as holy models, the people they are talking about is themselves.  They are saying “Look at me!  I am your perfect role model.  I am infallible.  I see much further than you and know better than you what is best for your life.  I am God’s mouthpiece on the earth today.  You must be loyal to ME.  You must be ‘exactly obedient’ to ME.  Your feelings and spiritual promptings are only safe and from God if they are telling you to love and trust ME.  

We are meant to focus love and reverence on God, not men, but teaching like we just heard is starting to introduce the teenagers to the idea expressed much more bluntly in other examples that the Spirit will never witness to you that a Church leader is doing or saying something that is wrong – if you think it is, you should not trust that warning prompting from the Holy Ghost.  This removes our most fundamental defence against wolves in sheep’s clothing and false prophets who are intentionally or unintentionally teaching lies and bad things or their own opinions as revelation.  As missionaries tell investigators every day, the scriptures teach us that one of the primary purposes of the Holy Ghost is to witness of truth and help us sift truth from error.  

Telling us we cannot criticise the Church leaders even if the criticism is TRUE is clearly crossing a line into totalitarianism and harmful personality cult behaviour, and abuse of power or ‘unrighteous dominion’ as we call it in Mormonism.

Dallin was very clear and very specific in his talk and the quotes he repeated.  He said there is literally no scenario in which it is acceptable or approved by God to criticise a leader and the example he taught from, rather tenuously, was the protracted saga of feuding between King Saul and King David in a royal story from the actual Bronze Age to do with the treason of actually killing a King.   But the message Dallin Oaks wanted us to get from it is clear – even if the leaders of the LDS Church are hunting you with an army trying to kill you with NO justification, you STILL cannot criticise them.  

“The young warrior David recognised that we are never justified in any gesture or act against the Lord’s Anointed.  Saul, the wicked king, was pursuing David without cause and seeking to take his life.  While King Saul slept with his troops around him, David and one of his soldiers stealthily crept to his side.  Declaring that God had delivered him into their hands David’s companion was about to kill Saul with his own spear. “Destroy him not,” David ordered, “for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9)   

Now, despite Dallin’s best efforts to sabotage my learning from the start when I began the 4 year Seminary course as a 14 year old teenager in 1985, by awesome unpaid voluntary Seminary Teachers did a great job and me and my Mormonism Geek classmates worked hard and absorbed as a much as they could teach us like sponges.  This is why teenager Peter Bleakley knows without even having to look it up again 35 years later that the entire premise of Dallin’s use of future King David here is totally inaccurate and reveals his own scriptural illiteracy.   

At the time David was being hunted by King Saul in a cat and mouse escapade all over Palestine and did this not killing him even though he could stunt to intimidate Saul into backing off, David was already in open rebellion against Saul.  He had gone WAY beyond criticising him.  And he had DEFINITELY gone far beyond making gestures or acting against the Lord’s Anointed.  David had effectively established an alternate government of Israel to King Saul’s with his own army and was fighting and winning battles against Israel’s enemies with it to protect his people because God was no longer with Saul and Saul was therefore losing too many of his.  David was steadily gaining popular support from the grassroots Israelites in preparation for the day he would take over the monarchy and try to fix the mess it had got into and God was actually on David’s side, sending His prophet Samuel to secretly anoint HIM as the next king in front of his older brothers.  

So Dallin actually chose here a perfect example or role model for dissidents like me calling out the complacent and corrupted monarchy who may have once had God’s anointing but don’t any more since the spiritual gifts of prophecy and healing have clearly left them and the kingdom is faltering and weakened under their rule, while still being fiercely loyal to the kingdom and its people and its God and doing what we can in difficult and dangerous circumstances to defend and protect our families and our people from enemies without and within, even though the monarchy is after us to spiritually execute us with excommunication.    Thanks Dallin!  You’re a complicated gift that keeps on giving.  Guerrilla Warfare Folk Hero David is undeniably a very cool badass role model.   Who knew podcasting loyal opposition could be this exciting and dramatic?! 

And let’s not forget to make sure we’ve had a look at ALL the layers in the Dallin Cake.  It’s very easy to get distracted and miss some.  Oh yes, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that in teaching us to never dare criticise or even make an unsubordinate “gesture” towards the Lord’s anointed, the example of the Lord’s Annointed we must do nothing to resist he chose was literally a murderous mad king at the height of his murderous madness.  He’s saying that if an Apostle or Prophet, …or Elders Quorum Counsellor or Now Nameless Breeding Handmaiden-in-Training Female Teenager Lifestage secretary becomes an insane raging axe murderer you are to knuckle down, say nothing, hope you don’t get chopped up during a ward social and don’t even make a gesture of resistance when they come for your kids.  That’s how absolute and utterly unconditional and unquestioning Dallin Oaks genuinely believes your obedience to him and his colleagues should be.  There are NO Exceptions.  The example he chose and misrepresented teaches No exceptions.  

“The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord’s anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that Latter-day Saint readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it.”

By referring his listeners here to “readers” as well as writers, Dallin is basically instructing every Latter-day Saint READING anything critical of the Church or its leaders to self-censor and discredit or ignore anything critical or negative being said about them.  

It is extraordinary the paranoia and sensitivity to any kind of criticism that comes through in these Pharisee Apostles’ talks. They are absolutely obsessed with shutting it down and convincing Church members never to allow themselves to think critically of them, and as I have been documenting in this podcast that message is being repeated more strongly than ever in the last few years.

Dallin quoted George F Richards saying that “When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are working against the Lord and his cause.”   Any criticism of human leaders is the same thing as being an enemy of God and His Church.  They are totally conflated with God, which is not realistic, healthy or sanctioned by God.  Jesus taught us not to trust the arm of flesh as much as God. And this idea that leaders can only be effective if everyone pretends they are perfect is really nuts if you think about it. It puts leaders, including local leaders, under incredible pressure to be perfect or at least appear to be perfect, which is too much to ask of anyone, and if we are all feeling religiously obliged by a covenant in the temple Endowment not to speak evil of the “Lord’s anointed” if we agree this is even referring to ordained or set apart human Church leaders at whatever level, and completely ignore any mistakes or sins or crimes they commit, that’s not just making our community some kind of weird kingdom of insanity like Hans Christian Anderson’s story about the Emperor With No Clothes who is walking around naked and no one is allowed to admit they can see this, it is dangerous.


It’s time to challenge their definition of the ‘Lord’s Annointed’ as meaning ordained Mormon General authorities in any circumstances, even when criticisms of what they are saying and doing and teaching us to say and do are justified and accurate.  

The Old Testament reference to Saul Dallin Oaks makes is describing a King of Israel.  It can also refer to the Aaronic High Priest who was also invested in a ritual involving anointing with oil.  Psalms uses the term to refer to the coming Messiah so a strong case can be made for the term and the temple covenant referring to Jesus, not the LDS Apostles.  And we can all get annointed in the temple Endowment washings and annointings.  I think its safe to assume that the Apostles have all been anointed as kings and gods in heaven by their wives in the secret Second Annointing ritual.   

But, either way, Doctrine and Covenants 121 is absolutely clear as I will need to keep reminding us – the nanosecond you start to exercise unrighteous dominion as a leader, your anointing evaporates.  Your priesthood power or keyholding or status or protection from God is gone.  As verse 37 says, ‘when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.”

This is LITERALLY, CATEGORIALLY the opposite if everything Dallin Oaks and his buddies are teaching here.  The scriptures say that we are never, EVER to tolerate or ignore bad or dangerous behaviour from our leaders and pretend that they still have authority over us or God’s approval and protection and anointing because they DON’T.  In fact God withdraws from them as the next verses explain: “Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.  (Remember ‘Ere he is aware – before he even realises he’s doing it.) We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.  Hence many are called, but few are chosen.”

These verses warn us that leaders who are expecting to be treated as having authority when they have forfeited it – when criticisms that can be made of them and their conduct are TRUE - are incredibly dangerous – they abuse their power.  They try to micromanage and control and dominate people, like tetchy oxen they kick back at anyone offering them guidance, they start to persecute the Church members and THEY are fighting against God and His real gospel and the real plan of salvation.  

We perhaps usually imagine that these unrighteous dominators have left the Church and are attacking it from outside by the time they are inflicting all these cruelties on the Saints, but I suggest that the reality is a LOT of them are doing this from positions of senior power within the Church and haven’t been kicked out or released from their positions of power because… they have convinced enough people to keep their heads down, look away, submit and never dare to criticise, resist, doubt, or oppose them even when we KNOW what they are teaching and doing is wrong.  

Telling the masses to never dare criticise leaders is precisely why we never deal with, or get rid of, the ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing slaughtering and feasting on the flock in our Church that they have carefully conditioned, trained, yes brainwashed to be totally helpless against their predations.

Dallin was teaching, as have all his First Presidency colleagues and several other current Apostles, repeatedly, that even if we know the criticism or concern about a leader is absolutely true and justified, that they are violating a principle of the true gospel, we must ignore it and say nothing and do absolutely nothing about it. Say nothing if they are teaching false doctrine.  Say nothing if they are asking children and teenagers and women completely inappropriate questions in worthiness interviews.  Say nothing if they are sexually abusing you or your children.  Say nothing if they are embezzling money.  Say nothing if the bishop is bonking the Relief Society President.   (It’s amazing how often THAT’s happened!)….. Now I’m assuming that anyone reasonably informed about the Church and its handbook knows for example that despite its remaining serious dysfunctions the official child safeguarding policy does now encourage people to report child abuse to the police and suchlike, so of course the Church doesn’t seriously mean that child abuse should be ignored because you are not allowed to criticise the leaders, although there are countless examples of that actually happening of course that appear in the courts every couple of months like clockwork still.  But that’s the point.  Dallin and his colleagues are teaching utter nonsense they don’t even mean.  Or maybe they don’t mean in a few cases.  I’m sure that most of the time in almost every case they are deadly serious that they don’t want anyone holding them accountable or breathing a word of their many serious mistakes and harmful decisions.   So why then do they keep teaching this idea in such absolute and uncertain terms?  

Teaching that there are NO exceptions?  That not even a “gesture” against them is to be tolerated, in any circumstances?  That ‘Loyal Opposition’ to them is conceptually impossible in their religion?  No matter what they do or say?

And why throw the Holy Spirit under the bus as well?  Who even IS their Holy Ghost? The Christian one I am familiar with would absolutely warn you of danger and to stay away from even the appearance of evil as we are constantly taught by anxious fellow Saints, not ignore and excuse or tolerate evil.  What happened to the God who says ‘I cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance’? What does that God have to say about totally ignoring literally any sin a leader might commit?  Even if the criticism of them is true? 

The real Holy Ghost is empowering.  The real Holy Ghost will DEFINITELY tell us when a leader is teaching lies.  The real Holy Ghost will DEFINITELY “guide or confirm criticism of the Lord’s anointed” if they have become a danger and a threat and are lying to us in the name of God.  And the Seminary scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 121 I was taught to memorise as a 14 year old warns us all that corruption and unrighteous dominion by ordained leaders is not just possible but in most cases inevitable, yet Dallin and the Pharisees teach that either it is impossible or we should do nothing at all to protect ourselves from it, or even make a gesture to stop it, if it does happen.  Voting opposed is a gesture isn’t it.  Literally.  

It is simply NOT acceptable for these leaders to keep teaching such totally contradictory ideas and then just blame US for not understanding properly when we get confused by their contradictions and hypocrisies …or absolutely livid about it. 

There are a lot of Latter-day Saints among my family and friends who if they’ve made it this far I know are rolling their eyes and thinking or saying ‘Why does this all really matter?  Surely Peter you are exaggerating, you raging attention-seeking drama queen! The Church isn’t THAT bad.  We’ve moved on from these attitudes you are describing.  Everything looks fine in MY ward…. If I don’t look too closely… specially at the ward list of inactive people….

I’ll give the last word to a woman from Washington State, just one of MANY who have kindly messaged me, and gave me permission to quote her:

“I’m a life long faithful member, never missed a Sunday, devoted yet nuanced, and now, I’m just trying to find peace in the world, and manage my intense anger at the patriarchy.…   I have been binge listening to your Pharisees content for a couple of weeks now. It’s brilliant, it really is. When I stopped going to church 5 years ago, I couldn’t really fully articulate why (except tragic life crisis, and I no longer met the ideal demographic and I was no longer interested in swimming around in the empty promises). Two husbands left, and here I am trying to adhere to the remnants of the ‘Proclamation to the Family’, as all three of my kids grew up to rebuke the reprehensible rhetoric of the Church despite my valiant effort to raise them in righteousness. 

I am the classic poster child for the post-modern Mormon woman struggling to figure out how to deal with the religious lies I so feverishly clung to for happiness. It all just sunk like the boat I was trying to stay in. However, just like you, I love my Mormon people, the congregants who joyously serve their communities. They are remarkable people. I just want to thank you for your vision of what the Church can become. How lessons at Relief Society (the ones I cannot abide) and in Sunday School could be richer and fuller and offer hope - perhaps I’d attend again. Although, how would the bishop take it when I actually decline any and all offers of charitable offerings? 

How I wish I could get back what I paid when I was a struggling single mother of three little kids paying tithing instead of trying to save for their futures, and mine. It’s maddening. The moral degradation of the wealth hoarding has my blood boiling. ……. I miss having a Church family, and I truly miss attending with my kids sitting on a bench alongside me. I probably enjoyed the dumbed down lessons as a way to feel like I knew the answers... that was probably me back then, but it certainly isn’t who I am today. …..I learn something new each time I tune in. Thanks for being brave and bold. It’s been a gift…… “

I’m not making it up am I?  That’s why I am doing this.  And if you are someone with the authority to excommunicate me or other people like me speaking up and saying this carnage needs to stop, and who is responsible for it, I will simply ask you:  What are YOU actually doing to help our sisters and brothers like her and to stop the abuses of power and corruption of Christ’s Restored truths and values that have broken the trust and testimonies of her and her children?  When are YOU going to start opposing the General Authorities who are doing this to us with their absolute power, their false pharisee religion, and their overconfidence and total lack of accountability because you keep unquestioningly sustaining them to carry on hurting people?  When are YOU going to realise they are just men and we are ALL responsible for not turning them into our Gods, and thus corrupting them with our compliant and unconditional adulation, and then ignoring and excusing the inevitable harm they do?  They do a LOT of bad things to our friends and our family members, but who is letting them get away with it?  It is our compliance that sustains this dystopia that is meant to be Zion. 

In this Part 1 of Episode 6 I have considered several of the many methods that the Pharisee Apostles who have taken institutional and increasingly doctrinal control of our religion have used it to deceive and police the thoughts and actions of the Latter-day Saints.  How they have broken all the rules of honesty described in the Gospel Principles manual to lie in lots of different ways, including teaching the Church’s Education System staff and all the writers of Church history, biography, journalism and magazines to withhold and hide information and be careful not to tell the whole truth, and absolved them of any obligation to be balanced, while demanding anyone outside the Church is strictly balanced when they teach and publish and report on Mormonism.  

I have traced some of the key moments when Dallin Oaks and others developed the strategies they are still following now in response to startling revelations about the real history of the Church that emerged as Mark Hoffman shone a bright and terrifying light on its occult origins, backed up by the growing weight of academic research and how they panicked and went to war with truth, experts, and every source of knowledge they did not control, ALL of it, and doubled down on feelings and spiritual witnesses being the only way to determine truth and answer questions in isolation from information, thus setting everyone up for a faith crisis when the unanswered specific questions sitting on the shelf pile up so high they become an avalanche.  

I have begun to explore how they have chosen the path of lazy, faithless terror by flatly refusing to do or even mention the job they ordained themselves and we sustain and pay them a LOT of money to do and seek clarifying revelations and answers from God to the steadily growing pile of unanswered questions…. or rather questions that the scholars have answered thoroughly but they have not got any way to respond to that preserves or proves their outdated and in too many aspects very inaccurate religion.    And how instead they have put that whole burden onto us to pray for revelations to understand while still putting severe restrictions on the answers we are allowed to have to those prayers and who we can tell them to. 

And I have investigated how they have taken the temple covenant to not speak evil of the Lord’s Annointed and perverted it into an expectation that we will not even make a gesture of resistance to anything they do or say, even if it is demonstrably deceitful and morally wrong. 

As these minisode parts of Episode 6 continue I will explore how our founders taught us to embrace all the truths that any other religion or scientist or academic expert can teach us, and how pretty much all of our biggest errors that have broken the testimonies and trust of Latter-day Saints as our Apostles and Prophets made their most damaging mistakes were cause by ignoring that wisdom. 

I will explore the big ideas deployed in the Mormon Civil War by the young attack dog apologists FAIRMormon funded and unleashed and have just thrown down the memory hole.  How the First Presidency have just told some of their biggest lies yet about their true plans to destroy the priceless Art and Crafts of the Salt Lake and Manti Temples and the Temple Endowment Ritual itself.  How they have stepped up the propaganda teaching our young people to become lunatic conspiracy theorists and trust none of the secular sources of news and knowledge, and absolutely nothing even informed experts say about the Church.  How the LDS Church now meets pretty much all the criteria for a dangerous cult.  

And as always, I will be trying to hold up with 2 hands, and where necessary two fingers, like the statue of the Goddess of Democracy and Freedom built by the students protesting against dictatorship and thought control in Tiananmen Square, a beacon of hope suggesting how we can deal with these daunting challenges.  What we can do differently and better to first save our religion from asphyxiation by the Pharisees in Sheep’s Clothing whose grip is relentlessly tightening around our throats, and then fill the world with Mormonism as the healthy and relevant world religion of the Space Age and the Information Age it was always meant to be.