President Thomas S Monson – Summonsed to British Court for Fraud

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Just  last night the Mormon Facebook world has gone crazy with the Mormon Think website releasing an article saying that Thomas S Monson President and Prophet of the LDS Church has been summonsed to British Courts on the allegations of fraud on the 14th of March this year, here are the summons letters. The Mormon Think article is well worth a look, particularly regarding some of the financial information it shares.

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Stephen Bloor and Chris Ralph  are both British ex Mormons who have very publically left the Mormon Church in the last few years. Tom Phillips (still an LDS member) who seems to be organizing this also runs the Mormon Think website and is well known for his interview with John Dehlin where he disclosed many details about a secret Mormon Temple ritual, called the second anointing.

Just this morning I saw that the USA Today Website has an article on this as well, quashing some claims that this is just a Mormon Think creation. Understandably many people are saying that this will not go far, a well thought out comment on my facebook page said this:

Can’t see this reaching a real court. Magistrate Courts deal with low-end proceedings and legal matters. The order has been signed and passed on to a higher court where it will probably be thrown out, it may even get as high as Crown Court but I think a Judge will dismiss it.

Not that it wouldn’t please me to see this play-out in court but I think it is unlikely to happen. I agree with most of the points, but it will not be aired.

There are other laws protecting freedom of religion enshrined at European level. I think the Mormon Church will have plenty of grounds to use those to defend themselves. The cases against Scientology are different as they have not managed to convince all European juristrictions they are even a religion (think in Germany they are classed as a corporation). Mormonism is better protected in these regards.

The precedence set would mean a lot of Evangelical churches could face similar claims based on Science v Church Teaching. It would open the floodgates to hundreds of speculative cases against religious groups of all flavours by ex-members and secularist groups.

Whilst the case against the Mormon Church is bigger in the sense they teach things which totally historically and scientifically incorrect. The precedence set would mean other things which are dubious or difficult to defend in other religious groups would face public trial.

This will not happen.

Even if this ends up being the case, I still think this is going to be a very interesting situation to watch, its interesting how just recently LDS.org has had various articles dealing with many aspects of Mormon History and Belief. Some of which suggesting do not necessarily believe that the earth is 6000 years old, right before this summons came. As ever the LDS Church is excellent at public affairs, however it will be interesting to see how it responds to even more of its troubling history such as the Book of Abraham issue, being told to the public, even if nothing else that may be a good thing that comes from this.

More on this as it comes.

8 thoughts on “President Thomas S Monson – Summonsed to British Court for Fraud”

  1. I am amazed what lengths some disenchanted ex members of the Church will go to self-justify their decision to leave the Church. Tithing is a biblical doctrine, no one forced Steve Bloor, Chris Ralph or Tom Philips to pay tithing, it is a free will offering to which no doubt they received blessings as promised in Malachi

    I hope that they and others enjoy the fruits of their ego trip now because they are following in the footsteps of other Anti-Christs and I am afraid unless they repent they will suffer as did Korihor.

    Jeff

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    1. You need to read your bible Jeff. Malachi was talking to the Priests, to the CHURCH, and NOT the members. What were the leaders doing? They weren’t using the money for the poor, and the people, like the Law required. God was telling THEM to trust him, to give it to the people, and the would bless them.

      How ironic that today, this is used to tell the people that THEY are robbing god. All anyone has to do is read Chapters 1 & 2 and they’ll see this very clearly. Sadly, too few bother,
      They want the SMS Wiki version of something, on a plate. 144 characters.

      Aside from this, I was a missionary once. I vividly remember telling people that they can’t be saved, or exalted, if they don’t join THIS church. They had to agree to pay tithing, on Gross. First. Before they pay their bills and feed their family. (Discussion 5 IIRC) We also told them those who don’t pay tithing will be “burned as stubble”.

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      1. I think you need to understand the Bible, tithing was instituted in Israel following rejection of the higher law which Moses first brought down from the mount.

        Eleven of the tribes were commanded to tithe and because the tribe of Levi were not given a land inheritance in Canaan the tithe was for their subsistence whilst they served the Lord in their ministry, not to distribute it to the poor. (Numbers 18:21-24)

        YOU need to read Malachi 1:1 where the Lord makes it plain that he is speaking to the whole of Israel not specifically to the Priests. The Priests were reproved for not teaching the people about the covenants that they had entered into including the law of tithing

        If you have the Spirit of the Lord, you will then understand in Chapter 3 that the Lord, speaking through Malachi, switches to our day and talks about events leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

        It is in this context that you need to understand the law of Tithing in Mal 3:8-10, where it is made plain that the Lord is speaking to Israel as a whole as an example for the whole world.

        I assume that at one time you were faithful in the payment of tithing, can you honestly say that the Lord did not open the windows of heaven bless you for this?

        I ask this question to Steve Bloor, Chris Ralph and Tom Phillips also, did you not receive back in blessings far more than you paid in tithing?.

        Why is it that some people leave the Church, but they just cannot leave it alone? To such people I say the Lord will judge between me and thee.. Jeff

        (By the way when did Rock Waterman become a prophet of the Lord, this must have passed me by.)

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  2. But what happens in the mind of a person who spent 40 years believing in a doctrine and then one day he believes a doctrine contrary? So I think that in 40 years this person will believe a doctrine still different. Faith is not a matter of years of scientific research, it is only a matter eternal, who has no time and no reason. Faith goes beyond the tiny little human scientific thought. What we knew yesterday by science today has changed a lot. And what we know today from science one day will also be different. The laws of faith always remain the same for eternity.
    This is my humble thought.

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  3. British Judge has thrown the case out calling it an abuse of the court process. ‘I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others’. He also stated the case was ‘tenuous’. He also ruled the original threat of arrest as wrong and should not have been made.

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  4. Although you gave us three updates on this frivolous summons while it was pending, you never found it worthwhile to report what the Court decided.

    It is a short opinion–only three pages–which can be found at http://img.ksl.com/slc/2516/251638/25163829.pdf

    Here are excerpts from the decision:

    ***

    “The information on which the summonses are based is contained in correspondence from Mr Phillips to the court from October 2013 to January 2014.

    ***

    “These two summonses both state that failure to attend may result in a warrant being issued for Mr Monson’s arrest. It is common ground that that is wrong.

    ***

    “The way the information was put before the court over a period of time makes it hard to isolate the essential ingredients. I have looked for a direct assertion that Mr Monson made the specific representations set out in the summonses. To this end I have read the 120 pages provided by the prosecutor [Mr Phillips]. I invited Mr Bird [Phillips’ attorney] to take me to the relevant passages. In the paperwork I find assertions that Mr Monson “has caused to be made statements of fact which are untrue”; assertions that as President of the Church Mr Monson is responsible for statements of the Church; numerous assertions that Mr Monson knew false statements were being made; and assertions that Church doctrine makes the particular statements averred. It would be relatively easy to state explicitly that Mr Monson has made these specific representations, and when and how the misrepresentations were made. This has not been done.

    “Even if Mr Monson has made the representations complained of, the basis for the complaint that he made them dishonestly (or intending a gain or a loss) is too tenuous. It is not sufficient to found a criminal prosecution.

    “I do not accept that the essential elements of the offence are present in the information as presented to me.

    “Is the prosecution vexatious?

    “It is obvious that this proposed prosecution attacks the doctrine and beliefs of the Mormon Church, and is aimed at those beliefs rather than any wrong-doing of Mr Monson personally. The purpose is to use criminal proceedings to expose the false (it is said) facts on which the church is based.

    “It is inevitable that the prosecution would never reach a jury, even if Mr Monson chooses to attend. To convict, a jury would need to be sure that the religious teachings of the Mormon Church are untrue or misleading. That proposition is at the heart of the case. No judge in a secular court in England and Wales would allow that issue to be put to a jury. It is non-justiciable.

    “I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-proflle forum to attack the religious beliefs of others. It is an abuse of the process of the court.”

    ***

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    1. Hey there if you look to the right you will see a link about the court case on my twitter feed.

      No harm intended on not posting about the outcome. I just didn’t have anything to say that was not being said elsewhere, I apologise for any negative feelings left, you are very welcome to voice your thoughts on here all you like.

      Also on a few days vacation so will leave it there but I just wanted to address that point, thanks

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