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(International Business Times)   The head of the Mormon church is to appear before court on charges of fraud for basically making people believe in religion   (ibtimes.co.uk) divider line 151
    More: Interesting, Mormon Church, City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, AUB, Israelites, Book of Mormon  
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9492 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2014 at 9:54 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-05 01:43:55 PM

Some Coke Drinking Guy: The Mormon church's PR department has been ordered to crush this story at all cost.  How they plan on doing so, or why they would have to if it was just a frivolous case, remains a mystery.


That's interesting. Why not just scream oppression?
 
2014-02-05 01:44:48 PM

feffer: Abortion is forbidden in all circumstances.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication_of_Margaret_McBride


Not true by your own link:

Appel wrote that, "Like many Catholic hospitals, St. Joseph's has long had two conflicting policies regarding maternal-fetal conflict on its books. One directive states that abortion is never permitted, even to save the life of the mother, while the other notes that 'operations, treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted...even if they will result in the death of the unborn child....Until this recent incident, pregnant women could safely assume that Catholic hospitals would follow both the law and widespread standards of medical ethics in allowing the second directive to trump the first. Suddenly, that time-honored understanding appears to be in jeopardy."

Emphasis mine
 
2014-02-05 01:49:47 PM
That may have been what happened, but it wasn't doctrinally correct.
 
2014-02-05 01:50:19 PM

markfara: So much trouble would have been avoided if Jesus had just taken a few moments to address stupid.


In case others have not already done it, he almost did. It was to be part of the Beautitudes: "Blessed are the dumbfarks, for they shall never be disappointed." Unfortunately, it got thrown out.
 
2014-02-05 01:56:29 PM
I'm not a believer.  So requiring a tithe to me seems like a protection racket.  And LDS is particularly egregious because they really demand it. You can't even step foot in the local LDS temple until you release a financial statement to the church.

Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even  means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.
 
Ant
2014-02-05 02:01:34 PM

HeadLever: CheatCommando: You mean the ones that routinely deny women critical care so that they can stay right with their god?

Not aware of them denying trauma or ER care to any women here.  Source please.  Pretty sure that treating women in critical condition is consistent with their mission statement.

If you are talking about abortion (in which the 'critical' part is pretty laughable), there are plenty of places where one can get this outside of these hospitals.


http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/12/02/alcu-woman-miscarried-denied- pr oper-care-at-catholic-hospital/

In some cases, the only hospital around is a Saint SomethingOrOther. I'm not sure if that's the case with the link above, but it could happen that someone might not get the care they need because it goes against some piece of church doctrine.

If they're basing what should be strictly medical decisions on Catholic dogma, that's a problem.
 
2014-02-05 02:03:16 PM

feffer: markfara: True. Catholic hospitals often perform abortions when the mother's life is in jeopardy. It's official policy, if I'm not mistaken.

You are mistaken.  Abortion is forbidden in all circumstances.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication_of_Margaret_McBride

You may be thinking of Directive 47, which states that a pregnant woman may be treated even if the treatment may result in the death of the fetus.  But they cannot directly abort.  This means, for instance, that if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy she cannot be given methotrexate to end the pregnancy.  She has to wait until her life is in danger and then have surgery to remove the entire Fallopian tube.  Removing just the fetus is not an option because that's abortion.


I was being sarcastic in response to someone's earlier obtuse post. Thanks for playing, though.
 
2014-02-05 02:06:14 PM

hubiestubert: The one thing that they share


Also a single grasping tenant
and a tithing rule.
 
2014-02-05 02:12:34 PM

markfara: feffer: markfara: True. Catholic hospitals often perform abortions when the mother's life is in jeopardy. It's official policy, if I'm not mistaken.

You are mistaken.  Abortion is forbidden in all circumstances.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication_of_Margaret_McBride

You may be thinking of Directive 47, which states that a pregnant woman may be treated even if the treatment may result in the death of the fetus.  But they cannot directly abort.  This means, for instance, that if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy she cannot be given methotrexate to end the pregnancy.  She has to wait until her life is in danger and then have surgery to remove the entire Fallopian tube.  Removing just the fetus is not an option because that's abortion.

I was being sarcastic in response to someone's earlier obtuse post. Thanks for playing, though.


Now I has a sad.
 
2014-02-05 02:17:18 PM

Ant: I'm not sure if that's the case with the link above, but it could happen that someone might not get the care they need because it goes against some piece of church doctrine.

If they're basing what should be strictly medical decisions on Catholic dogma, that's a problem.


Since that dogma and the ethics is very much intertwined, these conflicts arise. See my post three post above yours to see how these conflicts can be a big issue.

Regardless, a hospital needs to be very up front and specific about what it will do when and then stick to this guideline the best they can.  As with any hospital, there will be times that they mess up on this.  However, when they do, they need to review and if necessary, be held responsible just like any other.
 
2014-02-05 02:27:44 PM
ts1.mm.bing.net
Well things could be worse.
 
2014-02-05 02:40:05 PM

Akambe: Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.


Annnnnnnd that is a lie.  I've known many Mormons who were required to give financial information to their temple.  I know of several instances where the Mormons have sought an employees salary information from where I've worked.

Now, this might not happen to every single Mormon, but there are temples that do this.  I assume it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?
 
2014-02-05 02:55:00 PM
Fraud charges seem kind of odd.  I think Mormon beliefs are as silly as any other organized religion, but it's not like you don't know what Mormons believe right up front; they farking travel the world telling us about it; that's the WHOLE POINT of their faith.

Throw the case out; freedom of religion trumps society's obligation to keep a fool and his money together.
 
2014-02-05 02:56:33 PM

feffer: markfara: feffer: markfara: True. Catholic hospitals often perform abortions when the mother's life is in jeopardy. It's official policy, if I'm not mistaken.

You are mistaken.  Abortion is forbidden in all circumstances.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication_of_Margaret_McBride

You may be thinking of Directive 47, which states that a pregnant woman may be treated even if the treatment may result in the death of the fetus.  But they cannot directly abort.  This means, for instance, that if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy she cannot be given methotrexate to end the pregnancy.  She has to wait until her life is in danger and then have surgery to remove the entire Fallopian tube.  Removing just the fetus is not an option because that's abortion.

I was being sarcastic in response to someone's earlier obtuse post. Thanks for playing, though.

Now I has a sad.


Meh, I've zapped myself FAR worse than that. :-)
 
2014-02-05 02:57:45 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Akambe: Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.

Annnnnnnd that is a lie.  I've known many Mormons who were required to give financial information to their temple.  I know of several instances where the Mormons have sought an employees salary information from where I've worked.

Now, this might not happen to every single Mormon, but there are temples that do this.  I assume it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?


If that is the case, it would be a local bishop, ward clerk, or councilor to the bishop procuring that information, not the temple or anyone on staff at the temple.

Just a head's up, because in my experience Mormons excell at declaring victory in an argument via pedantry.

You could even say "church officials," but due to how the temple system works I can guarantee you that it's not the temple fishing for financial info. All the temple staff see is the recommend in someone's hand. It's the responsibility of congregation leaders to hand them out (annually) to those who meet the criteria.
 
2014-02-05 03:04:59 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Akambe: Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.

Annnnnnnd that is a lie.  I've known many Mormons who were required to give financial information to their temple.  I know of several instances where the Mormons have sought an employees salary information from where I've worked.

Now, this might not happen to every single Mormon, but there are temples that do this.  I assume it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?


There's not a single temple that checks anyone's financial records.  And I highly doubt this "I know a friend who had to show tax info" is true either.  It's flatly against church policy and I've never heard of anyone ever having to do it.

Financial impropriety by a church official is a fast way to get excommunicated, and requiring tax/pay info from members counts.
 
2014-02-05 03:12:55 PM

flucto: by all means, put on your sanctimonious panties and get them as tightly wadded as you like, but this goes nowhere.


Yep, regardless of the religion in question, this is some pants-on-head stupid shiat to try and bring into court.
 
2014-02-05 03:22:27 PM

Diogenes: bigdanc: Diogenes: van1ty: Diogenes: When the mob demands protection money from someone we call it racketeering.

When a church demands protection money from someone we call it religion.

When the government demands taxes to pay for police services, and arrests you if you don't pay them, it's called life.

Difference being the police protect you from threats they don't deliberately create.

Thats a stretch because youre asserting the church knows its beliefs on spirituality to be false

You can believe what you want to or feel you must believe.

I'm not a believer.  So requiring a tithe to me seems like a protection racket.  And LDS is particularly egregious because they really demand it.

You can't even step foot in the local LDS temple until you release a financial statement to the church.


The bolded statement is untrue.
 
2014-02-05 03:24:33 PM
Egoy3k

It's nice to take a break from bashing furries, transgender kids, the GOP, the DNC, Canada, America, Russia, Japanese culture, gamers, Justin Beiber, television, non television watchers, gays, straights, McDonalds, Olive Garden, hipsters, rednecks, white people, black people, gun owners, gun grabbers, hunters, PETA, nuclear power, coal power, natural gas, wind turbines, anti-vaxxers, etc etc etc and come back to the classics every so often.
Citation please

It's amusing to watch farkers proudly being bigots against this group, then rabidly defend islam... the religion that openly preaches murder, rape and oppression of women and slam anyone who criticizes them.
 
2014-02-05 03:32:54 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Akambe: Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.

Annnnnnnd that is a lie.  I've known many Mormons who were required to give financial information to their temple.  I know of several instances where the Mormons have sought an employees salary information from where I've worked.

Now, this might not happen to every single Mormon, but there are temples that do this.  I assume it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?


Most of these statements don't even make sense. "The Temple" doesn't get information about a member's financial situation, at all. All the do is check to make sure they're holding the correct piece of paper and that it's not expired.

Particular temples don't have cash flow problems. They don't have individual cash flow. Every one of them is supported by the central church offices.

There are two people who hand out the recommend to enter the temple: the Bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency. They ask "Are you a full tithe payer?", and the person answers yes or no. There is no further documentation required. According to the handbook, neither of these two people are even ALLOWED to ask any more than that initial question. It's against policy.

If your bolded statement is actually true, every single instance of that happening was a violation of the church's protocol. You should report them.
 
2014-02-05 03:34:47 PM

redmid17: The head of the Mormon church is to appear before court on charges of fraud for basically making people believe in religion Mormonism

FTFY. The two are different.


No they aren't. Not at all.
 
2014-02-05 03:41:18 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Akambe: Well, false. Curious where you heard this, but temple attendance requires, among many other things, adherence to the law of tithing, which is defined as "10% of your income." That's as specific as the definition gets, honest. There's no releasing of any personal financial statement to the church, jeez. Once a year, you're asked to tell your bishop whether you're a full, partial, or non-tithe payer. That declaration itself isn't even tracked, and it's completely subject to your own interpretation of what "10% of your income" even means.

To enter the temple, yes, you need a "temple recommend." That's a separate interview with church leaders that asks you if you're a full tithe payer. They don't correlate that with anything you've previously "declared," they're basically asking if you're currently a tithe payer.

At no point do you even declare what your income is.

Annnnnnnd that is a lie.  I've known many Mormons who were required to give financial information to their temple.  I know of several instances where the Mormons have sought an employees salary information from where I've worked.

Now, this might not happen to every single Mormon, but there are temples that do this.  I assume it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?


Been going to the temple off and on for over 20 years in several states and more than one country. Anyone that's telling you the church validates the information given during the recommend interview is either mentally ill or lying. Don't get me wrong, I know there's some members of the Church that have abused their calling (volunteer position within the Church) to take advantage of their congregation, but those are isolated incidents that tend to get a lot of press. I guess I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's certainly outside the mandate and acceptable behavior for those that approve entry into the Temple. Heaven only knows how many people I've seen go to the temple when I knew they weren't living up to what's required by the interview and I've even gone when I wasn't exactly up to standard. If you're willing to lie to your Bishop/Stake President you can get in, regardless of how you're living.

I've been involved on the interviewing side and the "check the recommend at the door" side as well. There's simply no evidence for your assertions, and the cases that I can find where something even remotely similar to what you describe happened the people responsible were disciplined and in at least one case charges were filed.

We get bashed pretty thoroughly here on Fark, and I can definitely see where some of it is self-inflicted but I really don't like outright fabrication. Maybe you're confusing a different group that's seeking salary information from your employer for "the Mormons"? I've worked on the Management/HR side at several companies and I can't imagine any legitimate company giving up that kind of information to someone calling from a Church anyhow........

Your statement "it's mainly in cases where they suspect a person might be lying/cheating on their tithe or maybe that particular temple is having cash flow problems?" also reveals a fundamental flaw in your understanding of how the Church works. All offerings in the Church are managed centrally. Unlike many other religions there's no such thing as a single location having "cash flow problems", especially since the only thing the Church pays for, generally, is the building and utilities. If one Ward needs something they get it from the Stake they belong to, and if the Stake has issues it comes from the Region etc.

None of the Wards/Stakes/Temples etc. are independent, and all of the leadership is done by volunteers. There are manuals with guidelines for how the organization should be run (like a McDonalds, really) and any volunteer leader who steps too far from the guidelines (for example by researching someone's income) isn't going to last long in the Church, let alone their position of leadership.

Again, there have been exceptions, but they're definitely outliers based on what I can find. If you have any evidence to the contrary other than anecdotes I'd love to see/hear/read it.
 
2014-02-05 03:56:15 PM

DeArmondVI: If that is the case, it would be a local bishop, ward clerk, or councilor to the bishop procuring that information, not the temple or anyone on staff at the temple.

Just a head's up, because in my experience Mormons excell at declaring victory in an argument via pedantry.

You could even say "church officials," but due to how the temple system works I can guarantee you that it's not the temple fishing for financial info. All the temple staff see is the recommend in someone's hand. It's the responsibility of congregation leaders to hand them out (annually) to those who meet the criteria.


Case in point, the replies following yours...
 
2014-02-05 04:18:24 PM

Falin: Particular temples don't have cash flow problems. They don't have individual cash flow. Every one of them is supported by the central church offices.


We all know this because the Mormon church is 100% transparent with their budget and spending.

I find the idea of giving a "non-profit" organization money while not knowing what they do with that money quite laughable.

I think the dues at the Masons lodge is cheaper; you can learn the same secret handshakes and still drink coffee.
 
2014-02-05 04:19:56 PM
It's simple, folks:

YOUR religion is the One True Faith, no matter how absurd your dogmas are to outsiders.  It's the people who belong to the other 9,999 other One True Faiths who are deluded idiots who can't think their way out of a paper bag.

Besides, if there is a Big Man Upstairs who is everywhere and knows your mind better than you do, why do you even need an intermediary in the first place?  Why can't you connect directly with the Guy In The Sky (TM) and not throw money at the organized religion industry?

But, as P.T. Barnum might say, there's a sucker born again every minute.

BTW, isn't it funny that "Mormon" and "Moroni" are both one letter away from "Moron"?  It's as if Joseph Smith was a snake-oil salesman (and pedophile) and this is an inside joke that showed his real contempt for the suckers who bought his bullshiat?
 
2014-02-05 04:20:42 PM

Kozaru: We all know this because the Mormon church is 100% transparent with their budget and spending.

I find the idea of giving a "non-profit" organization money while not knowing what they do with that money quite laughable.

I think the dues at the Masons lodge is cheaper; you can learn the same secret handshakes and still drink coffee.


It's not like they spend the money on golden plated walls and lamps for their main office.

Oh, wait.
 
2014-02-05 04:32:04 PM

OnlyM3: Egoy3k

It's nice to take a break from bashing furries, transgender kids, the GOP, the DNC, Canada, America, Russia, Japanese culture, gamers, Justin Beiber, television, non television watchers, gays, straights, McDonalds, Olive Garden, hipsters, rednecks, white people, black people, gun owners, gun grabbers, hunters, PETA, nuclear power, coal power, natural gas, wind turbines, anti-vaxxers, etc etc etc and come back to the classics every so often.Citation please

It's amusing to watch farkers proudly being bigots against this group, then rabidly defend islam... the religion that openly preaches murder, rape and oppression of women and slam anyone who criticizes them.


Nice try dude I'm not falling for your bullshiat.
 
2014-02-05 04:33:59 PM

Ant: Pokey.Clyde: Oh look. Another religion bashing thread on Fark. How original.

Religion was asking for it


I don't bash all religions, just the false ones.
 
2014-02-05 04:42:16 PM
BTW, I was flying home from Newark International a couple of years ago and had an Evangelical as a seat mate.  He was returning from Poland where he apparently spent some time as a missionary telling these fiercely Catholic people that they were going to Hell for believing in the wrong kind of Christianity--and was wondering why he failed to convert anybody.

He did his best Campus Crusade shtick on me the entire flight after I told him politely that I was an apostate from Christianity.  He threw everything at me--Pascal's Wager, C.S. Lewis' Trilemma, First Cause Argument--and I soundly (but politely) refuted the bejabbers out of him during the 3-hour flight.  After the flight, he looked disheveled as if he went 15 rounds against Mike Tyson, and I was in a cheerful mood, wishing him and his wife a safe drive home.

His fatal flaw?  He was intelligent enough to understand when I refuted him.  A true fanatic never loses an argument because it takes a modicum of intelligence to realize when one has been refuted.  It's the religious proselytizers who are capable of some reasoning ability who are the most vulnerable.

BTW, does anybody know how the Bill Nye vs. Ham on Wry debate went?  I was hoping the Science Guy did well, but feared that simply by engaging the flat-earth fool in debate, he had lost the debate even before it started...
 
2014-02-05 04:47:34 PM

flucto: by all means, put on your sanctimonious panties and get them as tightly wadded as you like, but this goes nowhere.


If I owned sanctimonious panties I would wear them.

/currently in tighty whities with a partially torn waistband.
 
2014-02-05 04:50:26 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Kozaru: We all know this because the Mormon church is 100% transparent with their budget and spending.

I find the idea of giving a "non-profit" organization money while not knowing what they do with that money quite laughable.

I think the dues at the Masons lodge is cheaper; you can learn the same secret handshakes and still drink coffee.

It's not like they spend the money on golden plated walls and lamps for their main office.

Oh, wait.


Maybe they should have used the gold from the plates Joseph Smith found.

Oh, wait.
 
2014-02-05 04:56:42 PM
The Great Disappointment. Study it out.

/Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc came out of it
/America was awash with prophets and visions
 
2014-02-05 05:40:38 PM
After thinking about it, I wonder how this could possibly hold up. I'm agnostic, and I think Mormon religious dogma, is, of course, complete baloney, but so is the dogma of every other religion. Are we really supposed to believe that communion wine is magically changed into the blood of Christ or that Noah fit two of every animal on Earth into an Ark, or that humanity began 6,000 years ago.? Mormonism's bullshiat may be bullshiattier, but if they're going to call them out for it, why not call all of 'em out?

And then we get to the 10% tithe part. Problem is, Mormonism is not the only religion that does this. Islam does this too. Paying Zakat is mandatory in Islam. So at best you could say that the difference is that Mormonism's core tenets are provably wrong and it requires a tithe, but that's a pretty fine distinction and I'm not sure it would hold up anyways, since it seems highly likely that there are also segments of the Quran and other holy books that are directly contradicted by modern science.

So, all jokes aside, I'm going to go ahead and say that people ought to be able to believe in whatever religious mumbo-jumbo they want to believe, and summoning the head of a major religious sect to court for fraud based on his church doctrine is ludicrous.

If someone has a counter-argument though I'd legitimately like to hear it, because I'm no expert on Mormonism. And no, I don't think "Prosecute all religions for fraud" is a good idea.
 
2014-02-05 05:45:49 PM
Born in Utah, mother is a reformed Mormon, wife is even a reformed Mormon, so getting a kick.

Never been a Mormon, been inside the local temple, it was cute.  Wife had a major falling out with the church because of......Money!

Fark off Mormons.

/Utah, last segregated state in the union.
//Not kidding.
 
2014-02-05 05:49:13 PM

Need_MindBleach: After thinking about it, I wonder how this could possibly hold up. I'm agnostic, and I think Mormon religious dogma, is, of course, complete baloney, but so is the dogma of every other religion. Are we really supposed to believe that communion wine is magically changed into the blood of Christ or that Noah fit two of every animal on Earth into an Ark, or that humanity began 6,000 years ago.? Mormonism's bullshiat may be bullshiattier, but if they're going to call them out for it, why not call all of 'em out?

And then we get to the 10% tithe part. Problem is, Mormonism is not the only religion that does this. Islam does this too. Paying Zakat is mandatory in Islam. So at best you could say that the difference is that Mormonism's core tenets are provably wrong and it requires a tithe, but that's a pretty fine distinction and I'm not sure it would hold up anyways, since it seems highly likely that there are also segments of the Quran and other holy books that are directly contradicted by modern science.

So, all jokes aside, I'm going to go ahead and say that people ought to be able to believe in whatever religious mumbo-jumbo they want to believe, and summoning the head of a major religious sect to court for fraud based on his church doctrine is ludicrous.

If someone has a counter-argument though I'd legitimately like to hear it, because I'm no expert on Mormonism. And no, I don't think "Prosecute all religions for fraud" is a good idea.


Mumbo jumbo is more acceptable from people thousands of years ago, as is god ceasing to give us miracles in recent years.

Note I say more acceptably believable. Religion is bunk. I an atheist with no affirmative belief in any deity's existence.
 
2014-02-05 05:55:00 PM
I've been a ward finance clerk for several different wards, and while some of the mormons in this thread are telling the truth, they aren't telling the complete truth.  But, some the non-mormon accusations are not exactly fully true, either.

Annually, usually in December, each member has to meet with their bishop, who is the local congregation leader.  The bishop provides a printout of all their donations throughout the year, and asks them, "Does this represent a full tithe?"  Then their answer is recorded, and ultimately sent to SLC along with the amounts and answers of everyone else in the ward.  It's not official policy, but some bishops preach their personal opinion that tithing is based on gross income.  Some mormons think gross income must be tithed, others think net (after taxes) income, and a rare few even think the original wording means you tithe on whatever is left over after all your living expenses are paid first.  But generally, most think it's on gross income, even though "officially" it is left up to the individual to decide what his "increase" was, and if his tithing donations represent a full tithe of it.

To get in the temple, the question is asked, "Do you pay a full tithe?"  Also, "Are you honest in all your dealings?"  Usually the same bishop who interviews you for your tithing settlement (annual tithing status check) is one of the same two who interview you for a temple recommend.  So while it's not technically true that they check the amount of tithing you pay at the door of the temple, you must declare that you are a full tithe payer to your bishop, who sees the amount you donated, and then that amount and your declaration does get sent to SLC, and he is one of the two people who sign the temple recommend.  I suppose it's possible to lie about your tithing status to get a temple recommend, but the bishop lives in your same neighborhood, and has a pretty good idea if you are an honest, full tithe payer or not based on how much you pay, and what house he sees you living in and what kind of a car you drive.  If he suspects you are lying he can deny or postpone your temple recommend.
 
2014-02-05 06:01:55 PM

Donkey Hodie: I've been a ward finance clerk for several different wards, and while some of the mormons in this thread are telling the truth, they aren't telling the complete truth.  But, some the non-mormon accusations are not exactly fully true, either.

Annually, usually in December, each member has to meet with their bishop, who is the local congregation leader.  The bishop provides a printout of all their donations throughout the year, and asks them, "Does this represent a full tithe?"  Then their answer is recorded, and ultimately sent to SLC along with the amounts and answers of everyone else in the ward.  It's not official policy, but some bishops preach their personal opinion that tithing is based on gross income.  Some mormons think gross income must be tithed, others think net (after taxes) income, and a rare few even think the original wording means you tithe on whatever is left over after all your living expenses are paid first.  But generally, most think it's on gross income, even though "officially" it is left up to the individual to decide what his "increase" was, and if his tithing donations represent a full tithe of it.

To get in the temple, the question is asked, "Do you pay a full tithe?"  Also, "Are you honest in all your dealings?"  Usually the same bishop who interviews you for your tithing settlement (annual tithing status check) is one of the same two who interview you for a temple recommend.  So while it's not technically true that they check the amount of tithing you pay at the door of the temple, you must declare that you are a full tithe payer to your bishop, who sees the amount you donated, and then that amount and your declaration does get sent to SLC, and he is one of the two people who sign the temple recommend.  I suppose it's possible to lie about your tithing status to get a temple recommend, but the bishop lives in your same neighborhood, and has a pretty good idea if you are an honest, full tithe payer or not based on how much you pay, and w ...


That's exactly what I said. The Bishop has a printout of donations that the church received. They didn't get that from the individual, the ward financial clerk compiled it from their own records. The ONLY thing the individual is required to provide is a yes or no answer during the interviews, and no financial records beyond that. This is 100% true. There is no requirement of a statement of income. Even if the bishop suspects they're lying, he is not allowed to withhold the recommend based on that suspicion. That's just how it works.
 
2014-02-05 06:02:34 PM
LDS Church president Thomas Monson made misleading representations to induce them to pay annual tithe money to the church, according to complaints made by ex-Mormon Thomas Phillips. Phillips alleged that the Church in the UK has received $257m in member donations since 2007, and that these donations were "mandatory" for good standing in the church.

He'll win this part of the lawsuit. This basically amounts to monetary fraud.


The statements that Phillips is contesting are all core tenets of the Mormon faith, such as the claim that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyrus scrolls by the faith's founder, the prophet Joseph Smith. The complaint also challenges the origins of the Book of Mormon "is the most correct book on earth and is an ancient historical record". Other objections raised in the court documents point to the claim by Monson that Native Americans were descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC, as well as a claim that all humans alive today are descended from "just two people (Adam and Eve) who lived approximately 6,000 years ago".

He won't win anything for these claims. These are matters of religious belief, and won't be settled in a court of Law.
 
2014-02-05 06:04:28 PM
Psycat: BTW, isn't it funny that "Mormon" and "Moroni" are both one letter away from "Moron"?  It's as if Joseph Smith was a snake-oil salesman (and pedophile) and this is an inside joke that showed his real contempt for the suckers who bought his bullshiat?

Nah, the real interesting bit is that Joseph Smith was a fan of the Captain Kidd myth, and where did Captain Kidd supposedly hide his treasure?  The Comoros Islands, in the city of Moroni.  It's just a coincidence that Joseph Smith later found the gold plates in the hill he later said was named Cummorah, given to him by the angel Moroni.  Just a coincidence, folks.  Nothing to see here, move along.
 
2014-02-05 06:06:55 PM

Falin: Donkey Hodie: I've been a ward finance clerk for several different wards, and while some of the mormons in this thread are telling the truth, they aren't telling the complete truth.  But, some the non-mormon accusations are not exactly fully true, either.

Annually, usually in December, each member has to meet with their bishop, who is the local congregation leader.  The bishop provides a printout of all their donations throughout the year, and asks them, "Does this represent a full tithe?"  Then their answer is recorded, and ultimately sent to SLC along with the amounts and answers of everyone else in the ward.  It's not official policy, but some bishops preach their personal opinion that tithing is based on gross income.  Some mormons think gross income must be tithed, others think net (after taxes) income, and a rare few even think the original wording means you tithe on whatever is left over after all your living expenses are paid first.  But generally, most think it's on gross income, even though "officially" it is left up to the individual to decide what his "increase" was, and if his tithing donations represent a full tithe of it.

To get in the temple, the question is asked, "Do you pay a full tithe?"  Also, "Are you honest in all your dealings?"  Usually the same bishop who interviews you for your tithing settlement (annual tithing status check) is one of the same two who interview you for a temple recommend.  So while it's not technically true that they check the amount of tithing you pay at the door of the temple, you must declare that you are a full tithe payer to your bishop, who sees the amount you donated, and then that amount and your declaration does get sent to SLC, and he is one of the two people who sign the temple recommend.  I suppose it's possible to lie about your tithing status to get a temple recommend, but the bishop lives in your same neighborhood, and has a pretty good idea if you are an honest, full tithe payer or not based on how much ...


Except I do know of a bishop who withheld a temple recommend based on him believing the tithing paid was a full tithe.

Also, SLC does know the amount of tithing each person pays, and if that person thinks it is "full" or not.  They don't literally look up that info at the door of the temple, but they do use that info when deciding who the next bishop should be, etc.
 
2014-02-05 06:45:17 PM

Donkey Hodie: Except I do know of a bishop who withheld a temple recommend based on him believing the tithing paid was a full tithe.

Also, SLC does know the amount of tithing each person pays, and if that person thinks it is "full" or not.  They don't literally look up that info at the door of the temple, but they do use that info when deciding who the next bishop should be, etc.


Yes, I know of many people who did something they were not supposed to do. It happens all the time.

And of course SLC knows the amount each person pays. They just don't know how much the person MAKES, and the person is never, ever required to declare that, unless someone is breaking the rules.
 
2014-02-05 06:50:56 PM
Jews believe that Moses parted the sea.


img.fark.net

Christians believe Jesus could walk on water.
img.fark.net

Buddhists believe that Buddha was protected by a five headed snake king.
img.fark.net

Catholics believe that John Paul II cured a woman's Parkinson's disease, months after he was dead.
img.fark.net

Hindus believed their statues could drink milk.
img.fark.net

Muslins believe that Mohamed was taken into heaven by Buraq and the angel Gabriel.
img.fark.net

All of these religions teach miracles as truth and all of them receive money from their worshipers.  Convincing a court of law that the leaders of the Mormon church are committing fraud by teaching their believers that Mormon specific miracles really did happen and to donate money to their religion isn't going to work.  Every religion does that.  If the law is going to treat everyone equally then you'd have to arrest every leader of every religion and have them all sued for fraud.  While I'm sure there are some of you on Fark who would love to see that happen, it isn't very likely.
 
2014-02-05 06:56:25 PM

Falin: Donkey Hodie: I've been a ward finance clerk for several different wards, and while some of the mormons in this thread are telling the truth, they aren't telling the complete truth.  But, some the non-mormon accusations are not exactly fully true, either.

Annually, usually in December, each member has to meet with their bishop, who is the local congregation leader.  The bishop provides a printout of all their donations throughout the year, and asks them, "Does this represent a full tithe?"  Then their answer is recorded, and ultimately sent to SLC along with the amounts and answers of everyone else in the ward.  It's not official policy, but some bishops preach their personal opinion that tithing is based on gross income.  Some mormons think gross income must be tithed, others think net (after taxes) income, and a rare few even think the original wording means you tithe on whatever is left over after all your living expenses are paid first.  But generally, most think it's on gross income, even though "officially" it is left up to the individual to decide what his "increase" was, and if his tithing donations represent a full tithe of it.

To get in the temple, the question is asked, "Do you pay a full tithe?"  Also, "Are you honest in all your dealings?"  Usually the same bishop who interviews you for your tithing settlement (annual tithing status check) is one of the same two who interview you for a temple recommend.  So while it's not technically true that they check the amount of tithing you pay at the door of the temple, you must declare that you are a full tithe payer to your bishop, who sees the amount you donated, and then that amount and your declaration does get sent to SLC, and he is one of the two people who sign the temple recommend.  I suppose it's possible to lie about your tithing status to get a temple recommend, but the bishop lives in your same neighborhood, and has a pretty good idea if you are an honest, full tithe payer or not based on how much ...


Given that bishops are "judges in Zion" and are endowed with discernment, would it not be unreasonable to imagine that a bishop would doubt the word of a member living in a $350K house, who drives a 2014 model car, and who works at a top law firm, when said member has only paid $5K in tithing for 2013, even though that member has claimed he was a full tithe payer? If God will not be mocked, should the bishop simply rubber stamp the recommend?

Is it better to investiage a liar, or to allow a liar and non full-tithe payer into the temple?
 
2014-02-05 07:58:13 PM
Get a brain, Moroni.
 
2014-02-05 08:34:19 PM
www.lunatim.com
 
2014-02-05 09:46:38 PM
DeArmondVI:

imbide

imbibe
 
2014-02-05 10:36:26 PM
This is a transparent publicity stunt to bring attention to the defendant's website, he must know this will never go anywhere.

That said, it does do a good job highlighting the most obvious facts that disprove Mormonism:

1) The proven fraud of Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham "translation"
2) The incorrect theory at the heart basis of the Book of Mormon, that Native Americans are descended for Hebrew from the Middle East and not Asians who came across the Bering land bridge.

/Former Mormon missionary
//Current Former Mormon
 
2014-02-05 10:54:07 PM

Loadmaster: LDS Church president Thomas Monson made misleading representations to induce them to pay annual tithe money to the church, according to complaints made by ex-Mormon Thomas Phillips. Phillips alleged that the Church in the UK has received $257m in member donations since 2007, and that these donations were "mandatory" for good standing in the church.

He'll win this part of the lawsuit. This basically amounts to monetary fraud.


The statements that Phillips is contesting are all core tenets of the Mormon faith, such as the claim that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyrus scrolls by the faith's founder, the prophet Joseph Smith. The complaint also challenges the origins of the Book of Mormon "is the most correct book on earth and is an ancient historical record". Other objections raised in the court documents point to the claim by Monson that Native Americans were descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC, as well as a claim that all humans alive today are descended from "just two people (Adam and Eve) who lived approximately 6,000 years ago".

He won't win anything for these claims. These are matters of religious belief, and won't be settled in a court of Law.


Except that we actually have physical evidence that Joseph Smith claimed he was translating the scrolls, but Egyptologists have proven him a fraud. So a court should be able to make a factual assessment of the church's claims. It'd be fun if they went on to disprove scientifically any other fraudulence by the church.

I think the connection from, give us this much money because A), or something bad will happen B), because of readily disprovable false claims C), may hold some standing in a court of law.

I can only hope this sets precedent for further exposing fraud in religion.
 
2014-02-06 08:47:06 AM

Psycat: BTW, I was flying home from Newark International a couple of years ago and had an Evangelical as a seat mate.  He was returning from Poland where he apparently spent some time as a missionary telling these fiercely Catholic people that they were going to Hell for believing in the wrong kind of Christianity--and was wondering why he failed to convert anybody.

He did his best Campus Crusade shtick on me the entire flight after I told him politely that I was an apostate from Christianity.  He threw everything at me--Pascal's Wager, C.S. Lewis' Trilemma, First Cause Argument--and I soundly (but politely) refuted the bejabbers out of him during the 3-hour flight.  After the flight, he looked disheveled as if he went 15 rounds against Mike Tyson, and I was in a cheerful mood, wishing him and his wife a safe drive home.

His fatal flaw?  He was intelligent enough to understand when I refuted him.  A true fanatic never loses an argument because it takes a modicum of intelligence to realize when one has been refuted.  It's the religious proselytizers who are capable of some reasoning ability who are the most vulnerable.

BTW, does anybody know how the Bill Nye vs. Ham on Wry debate went?  I was hoping the Science Guy did well, but feared that simply by engaging the flat-earth fool in debate, he had lost the debate even before it started...


Bill Nye became a young-earth creationist
 
2014-02-06 09:05:13 AM

ransack.: Psycat: BTW, I was flying home from Newark International a couple of years ago and had an Evangelical as a seat mate.  He was returning from Poland where he apparently spent some time as a missionary telling these fiercely Catholic people that they were going to Hell for believing in the wrong kind of Christianity--and was wondering why he failed to convert anybody.

He did his best Campus Crusade shtick on me the entire flight after I told him politely that I was an apostate from Christianity.  He threw everything at me--Pascal's Wager, C.S. Lewis' Trilemma, First Cause Argument--and I soundly (but politely) refuted the bejabbers out of him during the 3-hour flight.  After the flight, he looked disheveled as if he went 15 rounds against Mike Tyson, and I was in a cheerful mood, wishing him and his wife a safe drive home.

His fatal flaw?  He was intelligent enough to understand when I refuted him.  A true fanatic never loses an argument because it takes a modicum of intelligence to realize when one has been refuted.  It's the religious proselytizers who are capable of some reasoning ability who are the most vulnerable.

BTW, does anybody know how the Bill Nye vs. Ham on Wry debate went?  I was hoping the Science Guy did well, but feared that simply by engaging the flat-earth fool in debate, he had lost the debate even before it started...

Bill Nye became a young-earth creationist


I hope you're not lying--and that Bill Nye actually smoked the hell out of Mr. Flat Earth--because lying is a sin that will make Jeebus send you straight to H-E-double hockey sticks.  Not that lying and intellectual dishonesty are cornerstones of the Cretinist movement...
 
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