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  STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12
Total Articles: 19
Steve Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. Benson is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson.
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"Some Things That Are True Are Not Very Useful:" For Those Who Think Mormonism Does Not Teach Its Followers To Lie About Its History, Doctrine And Leaders
Friday, Nov 4, 2005, at 08:25 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
"First Caution

"There is no such thing as an accurate, objective history of the Church without consideration of the spiritual powers that attend this work.

"There is no such thing as a scholarly, objective study of the office of bishop without consideration of spiritual guidance, of discernment, and of revelation. That is not scholarship.

"Accordingly, I repeat, there is no such thing as an accurate or objective history of the Church which ignores the Spirit. . . .

"Those of us who are extensively engaged in researching the wisdom of man, including those who write and those who teach Church history, are not immune from these dangers. I have walked that road of scholarly research and study and know something of the dangers. If anything, we are more vulnerable than those in some of the other disciplines.

"Church history can he so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer. . . .

"If we who research, write, and teach the history of the Church ignore the spiritual on the pretext that the world may not understand it, our work will not be objective.

"And if, for the same reason, we keep it quite secular, we will produce a history that is not accurate and not scholarly--this, in spite of the extent of research or the nature or the individual statements or the incidents which are included as part of it, and notwithstanding the training or scholarly reputation of the one who writes or teaches it. We would end up with a history with the one most essential ingredient left out.

"Those who have the Spirit can recognize very quickly whether something is missing in a written Church history this in spite of the fact that the author may be a highly trained historian and the reader is not. And, I might add, we have been getting a great deal of experience in this regard in the past few year.

"President Wilford Woodruff warned: 'I will here say God has inspired me to keep a Journal and History of this Church, and I warn the future Historians to give Credence to my History of this Church and Kingdom; for my Testimony is true, and the truth of its record will be manifest in the world to Come.' . . .


"Second Caution

"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.

"Historians seem to take great pride in publishing something new, particularly if it illustrates a weakness or mistake of a prominent historical figure.

"For some reason, historians and novelists seem to savor such things. If it related to a living person it would come under the heading of gossip.

"History can be as misleading as gossip and much more difficult--often impossible--to verify.

"The writer or the teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment. He should not complain if one day he himself receives as he has given.

"Perhaps that is what is contemplated in having one's sins preached from the housetops.

"Some time ago a historian gave a lecture to an audience of college students on one of the past Presidents of the Church. It seemed to be his purpose to show that that President was a man subject to the foibles of men. He introduced many so-called facts that put that President in a very unfavorable light, particularly when they were taken out of the context of the historical period in which he lived.

"Someone who was not theretofore acquainted with this historical figure (particularly someone not mature) must have come away very negatively affected. Those who were unsteady in their convictions surely must have had their faith weakened or destroyed. . . .

"The same point may be made with reference to so-called sex education. There are many things that are factual, even elevating, about this subject. There are other aspects of this subject that are so perverted and ugly it does little good to talk of them at all. Some things cannot be safely taught to little children or to those who are not eligible by virtue of age or maturity or authorizing ordinance to understand them.

"Teaching some things that are true, prematurely or at the wrong time, can invite sorrow and heartbreak instead of the joy intended to accompany learning.
"What is true with these two subjects is, if anything, doubly true in the field of religion. The scriptures teach emphatically that we must give milk before meat. The Lord made it very clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy.

"It matters very much not only what we are told but when we are told it. Be careful that you build faith rather than destroy it.

"President William E. Berrett has told us how grateful he is that a testimony that the past leaders of the Church were prophets of God was firmly fixed in his mind before he was exposed to some of the so-called facts that historians have put in their published writings.

"This principle of prerequisites is so fundamental to all education that I have never been quite able to understand why historians are so willing to ignore it. And, if those outside the Church have little to guide them but the tenets of their profession, those inside the Church should know better.

"Some historians write and speak as though the only ones to read or listen are mature, experienced historians. They write and speak to a very narrow audience. Unfortunately, many of the things they tell one another are not uplifting, go fat beyond the audience they may have intended, and destroy faith.

"What that historian did with the reputation of the President of the Church was nor worth doing. He seemed determined to convince everyone that the prophet was a man. We knew that already.

"All of the prophets and all of the Apostles have been men. It would have been much more worthwhile for him to have convinced us that the man was a prophet, a fact quite as true as the fact that he was a man. . . .

"The sad thing is that he may have, in years past, taken great interest in those who led the Church and desired to draw close to them.

"But instead of following that long, steep, discouraging, and occasionally dangerous path to spiritual achievement, instead of going up to where they were, he devised a way of collecting mistakes and weaknesses and limitations to compare with his own. In that sense he has attempted to bring a historical figure down to his level and in that way feel close to him and perhaps justify his own weaknesses. . . .

"That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith--A destroyer of faith--particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith--places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities.

"One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for "advanced history," is himself in spiritual jeopardy. If that one is a member of the Church, he has broken his covenants and will be accountable. After all of the tomorrows of mortality have been finished, he will not stand where be might have stood.

"I recall a conversation with President Henry D. Moyle. We were driving back from Arizona and were talking about a man who destroyed the faith of young people from the vantage point of a teaching position. Someone asked President Moyle why this man was still a member of the Church when he did things like that. 'He is not a member of the Church.' President Moyle answered firmly. Another replied that he bad not heard of his excommunication. 'He has excommunicated himself,' President Moyle responded. 'He cut himself off from the Spirit of God. Whether or not we get around to holding a court doesn't matter that much; he has cut himself off from he Spirit of the Lord.'" . . .


( Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,"
http://www.mormonismi.net/kirjoitukset/bkp_mantteli.shtml )
______

You get Darth Packer's drift: AT THE VERY LEAST, LIE BY OMISSION--OR YOUR HEAD WILL ROLL.
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Follow Your Church Leaders Or End Up Dead: The Case Of The Murdered Missionary--And How The Bensons Blamed The Victim
Friday, Nov 4, 2005, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
When my uncle, Reed Benson, was president of the Louisville KY mission from 1975 to 1978, a horrible and tragic crime occured on his watch--one committed at the hands of a homicidal Mormon missionary.

If I remember correctly, the murder victim (the killer's companion) had been disabled as a youth in some kind of accident (I seem to recall that it involved a collision with a train, if memory serves me right).

The young man, as a result of the accident, was permanently brain damaged but was determined to serve a mission, nonetheless.

He entered the field and was assigned to the elder who eventually killed him. The murdering missionary (who apparently "snapped" from dealing with his impaired companion) horribly abused and eventually scalded him to death in their apartment bathtub.

I recall that the murder occurred, coincidentally enough, on my Uncle Reed's birthday (we share the same birthday, by the way, which accounts for my middle name being "Reed").

I also recollect that the murderer was eventually remanded by the courts to the custody of his parents and did no prison time.

I later heard members of the Benson family talk about this incident where, unbelievably, they essentially blamed the murder victim for his own demise.

They discussed among themselves how, after he was injured in his pre-mission accident, his local Church leaders advised him not to go on a mission but that he ignored their advice and went anyway.

Subsequently, he was killed by his companion, who had a difficult time dealing with the ill-fated missionary's mental impairment (caused by the accident), which slowed the unfortunate young man down and made him an unbearable challenge to work with, at least as far as his companion was concerned.

I was astounded to hear members of the Benson family laying blame for the missionary's death on the missionary himself, saying that he had failed to follow the counsel of his local Church leaders to forego a mission and, consequently, paid with his life.

- -

For an account recently posted on this board by a then-elder in Kentucky who served as a mission assistant to Reed Benson and who describes the circumstances of the murder of an "Elder Christensen, see:

http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agor...

A so-called reunion "found list" of missionaries who served under my Uncle Reed in the Louisville KY mission contains the name of one "James Christensen" who, under the category of "Home phone," is simply listed as "deceased," with no other information provided:

http://www.topomap.to/reunion/refound...

Another website, however, "Mahonri--Finding Light in the Darkness," offers a tribute to Mormon missionaries who have died while serving their Church:

In Memoria


"We want to honor and recognize the work of all missionaries on the Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial, but unfortunately we do not have a complete list of those who have given their lives in the service of the Master.

"Nor do we have a complete roster of all missionaries who now face physical, emotional and intellectual challenges as a result of accident or illness suffered on their missions.

"Further, we do not have a complete list of those missionaries whose lives were taken before being able to enter the mission field. Your help in compiling a more complete account of those we would honor will be greatly appreciated."

They did, however, have the following name and brief biographical information:

James E. Christensen, 24, Kentucky Louisville, Moroni, UT 1977


At least it was more than the pathetically meager reference offered up by the Louisville KY mission's reunion website--although the list of dead on the "Mahonri" memorial webpage is followed by a bizarre observation from Apostle M. Russell Ballard:

"'Since the day of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we've had approximately 447,969 missionaries serve in the world,' Elder M. Russell Ballard said in 1989. 'Of those 447,969, (some) 525 have lost their lives while serving as full-time missionaries,' he added. 'When you contemplate that number, it appears that the safest place in the whole world is to be on a full-time mission,' concluded the member of the Twelve."

http://www.mahonri.org/special/ppplis...

Wonderful, tell that to mentally-disabled Elder James E. Christensen: dead at age 24, due--according to family members of Ezra Taft Benson defending their own--his failure to obey priesthood authority.
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A Typical Mormon Cover-Up: My First Inkling Of What Went On Behind Closed Temple Doors Came Not From My Family But From...
Tuesday, Nov 8, 2005, at 09:33 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
A Typical Mormon Cover-up: My first inkling of what went on behind closed temple doors came not from my family but from a convert whom we fellowshipped into the Cult.

His name was Charlie and, thanks to my younger sister initially inviting one of their kids to Primary, he and his wife were eventually baptized, along with their four daughters.

Charlie was an honest, free-speaking guy, a Korean war vet with a great sense of humor, who had a way of relating to and hitting it off with the teenage young people in our Texas ward (me being one of them at the time).

On MIA nights, for instance, instead of giving the Explorers a boring lesson out of the mind-numbing manual, Charlie would let them shoot hoops and watch "Laugh In" in their classroom, while he'd sit back, shoot the breeze and play it cool.

In short, Charlie was, like, our favorite "old" person in the ward.

After Charlie and his wife had been members for the minimal year-long wait, they went through the temple to be super-glued to each other for time and all eternity, with my parents tagging along as part of the sealing support team.

Figuring I could get a straight answer from Charlie, I asked him what it was like inside the temple.

He smiled, then started hemming and hawing (as, no doubt, visions of slit throrats and disemboweled guts began dancing through his head).

Charlie said he couldn't tell me anything because he wasn't allowed to.

I thought to myself, "Man, if Charlie can't fill me in, then who can? This stuff must be serious."

But, still, I continued to press, pleading for him to at least give me something.

Finally, Charlie relented and said that there was a play inside the temple. He said that there was this Devil character in the play who was pretty neat--but that, Charlie insisted, was all he could tell me.

Fast forward a couple of decades-plus.

Charlie and his wife have left the Cult and are today living happily ever after.

(We've had a chance to chat on the phone a couple of times since he and his wife made their own bolt from the Cult. He had kept a lot of his deep, inner feelings about Mormonism bottled up for years, even after leaving. It was good to hear him finally let loose. It was the old Charlie we kids had come to know and love. :)

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Exorcisms, Smexorcisms
Monday, Nov 14, 2005, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction

Before somone here chokes on green pea soup shooting from their nostrils on a movie set, a reality check on alleged "exorcisms" may be in order.


Exorcisms Are Primitive Rituals Performed on People Who are Often Simply Mentally Ill

A 2001 book on the topic, Michael Cuneo’s American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty, found no reason to think that anything supernatural occurs during exorcisms.

After attending fifty exorcisms, Cuneo is unequivocal about the fact that he saw nothing supernatural–and certainly nothing remotely resembling the events depicted in the 1974 blockbuster film, "The Exorcist." No spinning heads, levitation, or poltergeists were seen, though many involved some cursing, spitting, or vomiting.

As far as science is concerned, possession is a mental health issue.


http://www.livescience.com/othernews/050830_emilyrose.html
_____


Belief in Exorcisms is Rooted in Ignorance of Modern Science

Belief in spirit possession flourishes in times and places where there is ignorance about mental states. . . . Psychiatric historians have long attributed demonic manifestations to such aberrant mental conditions as schizophrenia and hysteria, noting that--as mental illness began to be recognized as such after the seventeenth century--there was a consequent decline in demonic superstitions . . .

http://www.looksmarttrends.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_27/ai_95501854
_____


Repetition of Exorcism Tales Has Demonstrably Led to the Creation of False Memories

[Scientific experiments reported in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied] tell a consistent story.

When people are exposed to a series of articles describing a relatively implausible phenomenon, such as witnessing a possession, they believe the phenomenon is not only more plausible but also are less confident that they had not experienced it in childhood.


http://www.looksmarttrends.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_25/ai_68966507
_____


Exorcisms Are Often Merely Learned Behavior

In many cases . . . supposed demonic possession can be a learned role that fulfills certain important functions for those claiming it. In his book Hidden Memories: Voices and Visions from Within, psychologist Robert A. Baker . . . notes that possession was sometimes feigned by nuns to act out sexual frustrations, protest restrictions, escape unpleasant duties, attract attention and sympathy, and fulfill other useful functions.

http://www.looksmarttrends.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_25/ai_68966516
_____


Superstitious Belief in Exorcisms is Encouraged by "Modern" Pop Culture

[Author Micahel] Cuneo repeatedly reminds the reader of the role of American media in the resurgence of the belief in demonic possession. Only the most willfully naive reader could overlook the role of motion pictures, TV talk shows, book publishers, and the insatiable appetite for publicity among exorcism authors and self-styled "researchers" after reading Cuneo's perceptive accounts of the rise of demonic awareness in the land of plenty.

http://www.looksmarttrends.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_27/ai_95501854
_____


Exorcisms Can Be--And Have Clearly Been Shown to Have Been--Faked

Possession can be childishly simple to fake. For example, an exorcism broadcast by ABC's "20/20" in 1991 featured a sixteen-year-old girl who, her family claimed, was possessed by ten separate demonic entities. However, to skeptics her alleged possession seemed to be indistinguishable from poor acting. She even stole glances at the camera before affecting convulsions and other "demonic" behavior . . . .

Of course a person with a strong impulse to feign diabolic possession may indeed be mentally disturbed. Although the teenager in the "20/20" episode reportedly improved after the exorcism, it was also pointed out that she continued 'on medication' . . . .


http://www.looksmarttrends.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_27/ai_95501854


Conclusion

Silly claims of demonic dispersals are, indeed, enough to make your head spin.
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Light-Mindedess Over Dead Possums And Funky Garments: Stamping Out Ungodly Humor In The Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mission Home
Saturday, Nov 19, 2005, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
When my dad, Mark Benson, was president of the Indiana-Michigan mission in the 1970s (headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana), the expression of appropriate humor within the walls of the mission home was emphatically enforced and reverentially regulated.

The mission home was located at 4700 Old Mill Road, close to Foster Park, off of West Rudisill Boulevard, in a tired, rundown, blue-collar city which I considered at that time in my teenage life to be (for lack of a better description) the cultural armpit of the Western Hemisphere. (The desks in the study hall of our 50-year-old, dilapidated school, Southside High, were bolted to the floor, for gawd's sake).

http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=mapandq=...

The home itself was a sturdy, weathered stone structure, situated in an older part of the city dotted with heavy brick mansions from a bygone era. It was surrounded by thousands of square feet of lawn, landscaped with large trees, featured thick stain-glassed windows, boasted a circular staircase up to the second floor from the spacious living room, had separate living quarters for the mission home staff and sported a large circular driveway that ran between the main house and a roomy, multi-car garage.

The mission staff worked in a step-down office located in the basement, in what was a converted wine cellar.

During the winter of 1971-72, the temperature was particularly cold. It was not uncommon for the mercury to dip well below the 0-degree mark during the harshest months. It was so cold, in fact, that one quick breath of the icy air and your nose hairs would freeze, literally.

One particularly biting, frigid morning (me being 17 years old at the time), I stepped outside and discovered a dead possum--frozen stiff, lying on its back, feet poking into the air--in the middle of the driveway. The poor critter had apparently met its doom during the previous night.

I went back inside, descended the narrow staircase into the basement office and informed the mission staff of this frozen forensic find.

Always looking for something to lighten the load of their otherwise weary and dreary workday, the elders ascended the stairs carrying their scriptures, went outside and formed a small circle around the deceased varmit, whereupon they commenced an impromptu funeral service.

In an air of mock reverence, one of the missionaries opened up his Book of Mormon and, in a slow and solemn voice, quoted some appropriate verses to mark the occasion of the possum's passing.

A eulogy to the departed creature was then offered and a prayer pronounced, as the mission staff commended the spirit of the ice-cubed critter into the hands of our precious Redeemer who, as the Holy Word says, is aware of every sparrow that falls and every possum that freezes.

I was so deeply moved by the experience that I took pictures of the ceremony, in order to preserve it for future posterity hilarity. _____

On another occasion, members of the mission staff (apparently bored out of their minds and looking for any bit of levity to lighten the load of working long and laboriously for the Lord), cut out pictures from a Sears and Roebuck catalogue featuring young, attractive models in brightly-multi-colored, billowy, one-piece lounge wear, cuffed at the wrists and at the ankles.

They then posted the pictures on the walls of their downstairs office with captions attached, noting that this line of lingerie constituted the latest in Church-approved garments.

My dad did not regard either the possum funeral or the garmie catalogue commentary to have been at all appropriate--and firmly chastized the mission staff for having engaged in such light-minded and sacriligious behavior.

Duly chastened, the mission staff returned to its divinely-decreed drudgery.

Sigh.

Living in that place was the pits.
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Devastating News for the LDS Cult's Sinister Spin Machine: Mormon Church Growth Rate Is Shrinking, Not Growing
Monday, Nov 21, 2005, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Below are selected excerpts from a recent news analysis that blows the cover off of Mormonism's Perpetual Public Relations Big Lie--namely, that it is supposedly the planet's fastest-multiplying church.

(Section headings have been inserted for easier reading).

Headline:

"Keeping members a challenge for LDS church
Mormon myth: The belief that the church is the fastest-growing faith in the world doesn't hold up
"

by
Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
26 July 2005




The Mormon Church Is Not the World's Fastest-Growing Church

"The claim that Mormonism is the fastest-growing faith in the world has been repeated so routinely by sociologists, anthropologists, journalists and proud Latter-day Saints as to be perceived as unassailable fact.

"The trouble is, it isn't true."



Other Religious Faiths Are Growing Much Faster Than the Mormon Church

". . . [S]ince 1990, other faiths--Seventh-day Adventists, Assemblies of God and Pentecostal groups-- have grown much faster and in more places around the globe."


High Membership Inactivity Rates Plague the Mormon Church

". . . [M]ost telling, the number of Latter-day Saints who are considered active churchgoers is only about a third of the total, or 4 million in the pews every Sunday, researchers say. . . .

"[Estimated] worldwide [Mormon member] activity [is] at about 35 percent - which would give the church about 4 million active members."



The Mormon Church's Convert Baptism Rate Is Declining

"According to LDS-published statistics, the annual number of LDS converts declined from a high of 321,385 in 1996 to 241,239 in 2004. In the 1990s, the church's growth rate went from 5 percent a year to 3 percent."


The Mormon Conversion Rate Has Actually Been Measured at Zero Percent

"When the Graduate Center of the City University of New York [CUNY]conducted an American Religious Identification Survey in 2001, it discovered that about the same number of people said they had joined the LDS Church as said they had left it. The CUNY survey reported the church's net growth was zero percent."


The Highest Mormon Conversion Areas Show the Lowest Member Retention Rates

"'It is a matter of grave concern that the areas with the most rapid numerical membership increase, Latin America and the Philippines, are also the areas with extremely low convert retention . . . Latter-day Saints lose 70 to 80 percent of their converts . . .'"


The Best Indicator of Actual Mormon Member Growth Rates Is the Number of Stakes Created--and the News Is Not Good

"Perhaps the best measure of LDS Church growth is the rate of new church units, such as . . . stakes . . . Because they are staffed by volunteers, such units cannot function without enough active members.

"In 1980, The Ensign, the LDS Church's official magazine, predicted that . . . [the number of stakes would grow] from 1,190 . . . to 3,600 in 2000. . . . [T]here were 2,602 stakes worldwide at the end of 2002.

"'You can use these trends to say that the percentage is slowing, the numbers have leveled off or they are dropping.'"



The Mormon Church Is Having Difficulty Becoming a Bonafide World Religion

"One key to Mormonism becoming a world religion . . .is how well it can transcend its founding culture to become universal. . . .

"The LDS message has found a ready audience in Latin America and the South Pacific, where Mormon missionaries can tell people God did not neglect them. The Book of Mormon [tells] the story of a Hebrew family that migrated from Jerusalem to the New World and . . . of a visit to their descendants by Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

"Still, the [Mormon] church may not fare as well as other Christian religions in Africa and China, since it has no such reassurance for them . . . ."



Previous Predictions of Phenomenal Future Mormon Membership Growth Were Fanciful, Inaccurate Guesses

"In 1984, University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark . . . estimated that if [the Mormon Church] continued to grow at . . . 30 percent, there would be 60 million Mormons by the year 2080; if 50 percent, the figure would explode to 265 million. . . .

"[Stark said,] 'The [Mormon] church liked the results and people who are against the church are desperate to figure out why it won't happen . . . Everyone takes the thing too seriously. I've tried to make clear all along that I was just trying to bring a little discipline to a lot of crazy conversations.'

"It was a game of 'let's pretend,' Stark says, when he applied [a] compound interest formula and saw huge numbers of Mormons.

"He says he never meant his projections to dictate the future of Mormonism."

_____


For the complete story, see:

http://sltrib.com/ci_2890645
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If The Mormon Church Is Vulnerable Anywhere, It's Vulnerable In The Area Of Sex Abuse
Thursday, Nov 24, 2005, at 09:08 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
With the latest, and quite significant, legal ruling against LDS Inc. stemming from a Seattle-area lawsuit, it would not be at all surprising to see similar allegations of sex abuse (and their attendant lawsuits) brought against the Mormon Church.

This--without exaggeration--could constitute the beginnings of an ominous and threatening legal precedent, one which could conceivably pose a real dagger-thrust not only at the heart of the Mormon Church's supposed moral legitimacy, but at its very financial solvency.

A word of advice to Mormons everywhere: Follow your money, not your prophet. It's starting to swirl down an unrighteous rathole set aside by the leading lights of your Church to pay for guilty verdicts in its name.

Did you ever think your tithing money would be used to defend God's "One and Only True Church" in cases of Mormon sexual abuse of minors and all the dirty cover-ups that followed?

You should have learned from Joseph Smith . . .
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Please Gaze Upon My Leg: Excuse Me, But Sheri Dew Is Just Plain Weird
Thursday, Nov 24, 2005, at 09:08 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Channel surfing tonight, I came across her introducing Merrill Bateman at a BYU Women's Conference in 1997.

She said, and I quote:
"President Bateman's list of accomplishments is as long as my leg and, as you can see, that's pretty long."
She paused, cleared her throat, raised an eyebrow slightly and smiled--but there was virtually no reaction from the audience.

For one thing, the audience couldn't even see Sister Dew's leg, since she was standing behind a podium and, moreover, what kind of kinky-kooky Mormon fantasy world does the pent-up Sister Dew live in, where she's imagining people gawking at her leg?

It was bizarre--and should have prompted a bishop's interview, on the spot.
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God Tells You To Join Mormonism, God Tells You To Leave Mormonism
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
--God tells you to run for national office.

--God tells you to keep religion out of politics.

--God tells you to attack other countries and kill the infidels.

--God tells you to follow the Prince of Peace and turn the other cheek.

--God tells you he created the world through evolution.

--God tells you to condemn evolutionists to hell.

--God tells you he protected you when your plane crashed and you survived.

--God tells you it's a mystery why he allowed your God-praising church to be destroyed by a tornado and worshippers inside to be killed.

--God tells you he healed you because he needs you on earth.

--God tells you he didn't heal your loved one because he needs him in heaven.

--God tells you the Mormon church is true.

--God tells you that the Christian church down the street is better.

--God tells you where you put your misplaced car keys.

--God tells you to forget about the lost car keys--that without him you're lost.

Good gawd.
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Kill Deer And Instill Fear: In The Mormon Cult, Obedience To Priesthood Authority Trumps Respect For Life Itself
Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005, at 08:51 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
When I was a teenager growing up Mormon in Dallas, Texas, an adult priesthood member in our ward took me and several other of the ward's young men on a bow hunting trip for whitetail deer in the eastern part of the state.

We ultimately came up empty-handed as far as bagging any deer was concerned--although a friend of mine pin-cushioned to death an innocent armadillo with target arrows, put the creature's mutilated body in a paper sack and secretly wrapped it up in my sleeping bag while I was out in the bush. I didn't discover its bloody corpse until I unrolled the sleeping bag out in the garage late that evening when I was dropped off home.

The "adult" ward member who took us on this mindless, ooga-ooga hunting trip--(a reasonless ritual that served no purpose except to provide young boys the opportunity to personally, and brutally, kill animals we didn't need for survival)--let us know in no uncertain terms that even though we were getting home late Saturday night, he expected us all to be up bright and early the next morning and in attendance at priesthood meeting.

In fact, he made it crystal, Liahona clear (complete with scowling visage) that if we did not show up at priesthood meeting as commanded, he would never take us hunting again.

Well, I was too damned tired to get up the next morning for priesthood meeting and, frankly, didn't care if I didn't get another chance to go "hunting" again by opting for the covers over the covenant.

I didn't tell my father of our adult leader's order that we either attend priesthood or forego any future deer-killing forays with him; I just sleepily informed my dad when he came into my bedroom on Sunday morning to get me up for priesthood that I was too tired to go.

He let me sleep in.

What skewed priorities the Mormon Cult imposes on the vulnerable children it attempts to warp into mindlessly faithful adherents.

In the Mormon mind, it's acceptable for teenage boys to venture out to slaughter wildlife for no good purpose--but if that search-and-destroy mission causes them to miss priesthood indoctrination camp the next morning, no more deer slaying for them.

Sick.
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Prominent Modern-Day Mormon General Authorities Who Have Known (And Who Have Secretly Fessed Up To) The Fact That Joseph Smith Was A Liar
Friday, Dec 9, 2005, at 09:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
When it came to the supposed truthfulness of LDS scripture:

**Apostle and First Presidency counselor Hugh B. Brown who, according to Jerald and Sandra Tanner, admitted to Mormon amateur archaeologist Thomas Ferguson that Smith couldn't translate ancient Egyptian.

From Ferguson's letter to the Tanners:

"According to Mr. Ferguson, Apostle Brown had also come to the conclusion that the Book of Abraham was false and was in favor of the church giving it up. A few years later Hugh B. Brown said he could 'not recall' making the statements Thomas Stuart Ferguson attributed to him. Ferguson, however, was apparently referring to the same incident in the letter of March 13, 1971, when he stated: 'I must conclude that Joseph Smith had not the remotest skill in things Egyptian-hieroglyphics. To my surprise one of the highest officials in the Mormon Church agreed with that conclusion . . . privately in one-to-one [c]onversation.'"

http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no69.htm
_____


**Quorum of the Seventy member B.H. Roberts who, after extensive personal study prompted by questions from a missionary in the field, concluded that the Book of Mormon was a plagiarized invention of Smith's immature mind.

From Roberts' own writings in his landmark work, Studies of the Book of Mormon (which remained unpublished until decades after his death):

"In light of this evidence, there can be no doubt as to the possession of a vividly strong, creative imagination by Joseph Smith, the Prophet. An imagination, it could with reason be urged, which, given the suggestions that are to be found in the 'common knowledge' of accepted American Antiquities of the times, supplimented [sic] by such a work as Ethan Smith's, View of the Hebrews, would make it possible for him to create a book such as the Book of Mormon is. . . .

" . . . [T]here is a certain lack of perspective in the things the book relates as history that points quite clearly to an undeveloped mind as their origin, The narrative proceeds in characteristic disregard of conditions necessary to its reasonableness, as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency. . . .

"Is this all sober history . . . or is it a wonder-tale of an immature mind, unconscious of what a test he is laying on human credulity when asking men to accept his narrative as solemn history."


http://www.neirr.org/bomdiff.htm
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Seasons Greetings And Brow-Beatings From The Benson Household To Yours: Using Xmas Cards To Proselytize X-Mormons
Monday, Dec 12, 2005, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Every year, without fail, my Aunt Barbara Benson Walker (oldest daughter of Ezra Taft Benson) sends us a Xmas card.

In seasons past, she has included with her Xmas card a full-page story purported to detail the Christian conversion of our nation's commander-in-chief (ain't goin' there, though).

This year (complete with its Salt Lake City return address), Barbara sent us a card with a somewhat different testimonial twist.

Her Xmas greeting featured on its cover an in-relief, white-colored house, sporting a green, snow-covered fir tree in its front yard and a full-colored American flag fluttering from its front porch.

Opening the card, the printed message read:

"Wishing you joy in your world and peace in your home at Christmastime and always.

"'God bless us everyone,'

"Love,

"Barbara Benson Walker"


Handwritten beneath this message she had penned:

"Love you,

"Aunt Barbara"


But, oh, brothers and sisters in Satan, it gets better.

Enclosed with the card was a 3 X 5 color photograph of a blonde, smiling, short-haired young man decked out in a dark formal suit, carefully-knotted tie and crisp white shirt, holding up across his chest a copy of the Book of Mormon.

On the back of this photograph was printed the following:

"Our present missionary 2005, Elder Robert Matheny Udall, Philippine Mission"

Also enclosed with Barb's barb was another color photograph--this one of my grandfather and grandmother, Ezra Taft and Flora Amussen Benson, adorning a copy of their stock testimony to non-members, composed several years ago, which read:

"Dear Friends,

"The Book of Mormon has had greater influence in the lives of our family than any other book.

"This record of scripture is the account of God's dealings with His people on the American continent. It also contains an account of the ministry of Jesus Christ to these people after his resurrection in Palestine.

"We testify that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is the word of God. As you read it and pray to the Lord to determine it's [sic] truthfulnesss, we are confident He will manifest the truth of it to you by the power of the Holy Ghost."


My grandparents Book of Mormon testimony was signed by the autopen of Ezra Taft Benson, as indicated by the fact that his purported signature did not match the typed names of my grandparents that ran directly beneath my grandfather's artificially-imposed name.

Ezra's autopen signature read:

"Ezra Taft Benson"

There was no signature (real or faked) from Flora.

Beneath Ezra's signature was typed:

"Ezra Taft and Flora Benson"

Besides the obnoxiously relentless Ho-Ho-Ho Mo-Mo-Mo message, the card made it clear that in the LDS Cult, equal standing is never afforded the little ladies.

Anyway, folks, have a Merry Mormon Xmas--or you'll be eternally sorry.
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Proof That The Missionary Language Training System In God's True Church Is Run By An Out-Of-Touch, Ignorant, Miscalculating, Dumb Deity
Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
When I went on my mission to Japan, we did our language training at the then-Church College of Hawaii.

We had one missionary in our original Japan-bound group who could not get a handle on the language, no matter how hard he tried.

Try as he might--including going through long, grueling, specially-tutored lessons and much praying, crying and consternation--he was unable to memorize even a single discussion.

Not so good if you're trying to teach the god-in-the-trees First Vision story.

So, at their uninspired wits end, the Lord's servants in charge of this travesty ended up reassigning him to an English-speaking area of the Phillipines for the remainder of his proselytizing tour. The poor elder didn't even make it off Laie for Japan before he was stopped and rerouted to another country.

What do you bet that his elder's original mission call letter did not read:
"Dear Elder So-and-So:

"This is your prophet, seer and revelator speaking (not really but it got your goose-bumpy attention, didn't it?)

"You are hereby called to preach the Gospel to the people of Japan. You will be sent to Hawaii for two excruciating months, where you will completely and miserably fail in your inept attempts to learn the Japanese language. It will be the closest thing to a personal confidence-destroying hell you have yet experienced in your young mortal existence.

"After thus being frustrated, humiliated and wrung inside out--with all your prayers having gone for naught--you will be pulled up from your bloody knees and unceremoneiously shipped off to the Phillipines, where they speak pigeon English and where we think you can maybe, if you're lucky, handle things.

"We low-level grunts here in the Church Office Building would like to say 'God bless you as you embark on this glorious mission,' but we all know that's not how things work around this place."
Now, if the Moron God was truly on top of things, why would he have his "inspired" minions call this eager beaver, but insufficiently-equipped disaster of a missionary, to serve in Japan when it became clear almost immediately upon landing in Laie that he had hit an insurmountable roadblock when it came to working with nouns and verbs?

"Hey, Jehovah: We've got a problem here. How can your ill-prepared pitchmen serve in Japan when they can't speak Japanese? Why didn't you save us here on the ground a lot of grief by telling us this in the first place?"

So, the upshot of all of this was that the Mormon God ended up wasting everyone's time, energy and money who was involved in this Heruclean, but ultimately futile, effort to get this missionary to the point where he could conjegate simple verbs and parrot basic vocabulary.

Oh, and let's not forget the horrible emotional and mental trauma/drama that Mormonism's King of Kolob not only put the missionary through, but his family as well, trying to get him to a point of minimal language functionality so that he could carry out the divine commission he was mistakenly given.

Hello?

What part of the sentence, "Modern day Mormon revelation is a cruel, inhumane joke," don't Mormons understand?
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Trying To Do Editorial Cartoons For A Mormon-Owned Newspaper Can Be Trying
Monday, Dec 19, 2005, at 08:38 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Cases in point:

--Calvin Grondahl, returned Mormon missionary and premiere editorial cartoonist for BYU's Daily Universe in the 1970s, was hired away by the Deseret News without graduating from college. (His most famous cartoon done on Provo's seminarian school grounds showed a battered and bruised BYU student under a pile of rocks, muttering to a campus policeman, "All I said was, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone").

Cal lasted for only a few years at the Deseret News, where he finally quit in frustration and moved north to work at the Ogden Standard Examiner.

Cal left because the Desert News publisher at the time, Wendell Ashton, informed Cal that he had to choose between competing masters: either working for the Deseret News or doing cartoons that were being picked up by Sunstone magazine. (Many more of Cal's cartoons were also eventually published as collections by Signature Books).

Cal was, in fact, found guilty of having made available to a humor-starved Mormon public some hilariously irreverent cartoon anthologies--such as Freeway to Perfection and Faith Promoting Rumors--cartoons that, nonetheless, some in high Church circles actually secretly enjoyed.

For instance, Jack Goaslind (a personal family friend and eventual member of the Quorum of the Seventy) had visited our home in Arizona some years ago, during a stake-stumping sermon tour. After conference, we invited him over for lunch, where he sat on the couch and nearly laughed his head off, crowing hysterically as he eagerly read through Cal's books.

Apparently, this appreciation for the goofy and inherently spoofy side of Mormonism was not shared by the Deseret News' publisher.

Cal saw the writing on the wall and knew he couldn't last. _____

--My grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, initially encouraged me to try for the job at the Deseret News and even put in a good word for me there. However, I eventually began doodling cartoons down in Arizona that he found personally troubling and disturbingly out-of-line with his fiery brand of conservative thinking. (On the other hand, my grandfather also derided the Deseret News, telling me it was too liberal).

In the meantime, the editorial page editor of the Deseret News called me and asked me if I would like to come to work for the Deseret News.

He told me that they couldn't give me as much money as I was making in Arizona or as much freedom, but he did say that a benefit of moving to Salt Lake and working there would be that I'd be closer to my family. (Strike three, I thought).

I informed my grandfather that I had turned down the job offer from the Deseret News, to which he replied that it was a decision good for both me--and him.

[By the way, my syndicated editorial cartoons are still published in the Desert News, for which I would be ungrateful if I did not stand this day and give thanks. :)] _____

--Eventually, I left the Mormon Church in a rather, ahem, outspoken and public fashion--and was thereafer removed from the pages of the Daily Universe, which refused to publish any more of my syndicated work, to which it had subscribed for a number of years.

The straw that ostensibly broke the Daily Universe's back was a cartoon I did criticizing sexual harassment of female military recruits by Army drill instructors. In explaining its decision to bid me adieu, a spokesman for the Daily Universe said my cartoons were no longer suitable for consumption by its student body.

This judgment was rendered, coincidentally enough, soon after a BYU student had written to the Lord's university student newspaper, protesting the use of tithing funds to publish the cartoons of a known apostate. (Some years later, that same individual--now a former student--wrote me to apologize and to acknowledge that he, too, was now a former Mormon. He said that his demand I be removed from the pages of BYU's house organ was a futile attempt on his part to convince himself that he was a stalwart, testimony-holding believer when, in fact, his faith was actually faltering). _____

Being an editorial "harpoonist" in Zion's Camp can be a tricky business. :)
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The Allegedly Barren Salt Lake Valley: Another Mormon Lie Caught And Treed
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2005, at 07:54 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: A Barren Valley--or a Legend Barren of Truth?

Persistently-propagandized Mormons have long claimed that when Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, he and his cohorts found the place to be devoid of trees--except, supposedly, for a single cedar, tenaciously clinging to life in a desolate wasteland that the Mormons boast to have (according to scriptural prophesy, of course) resurrected to resplendant glory.

Indeed, even today, Utah promotional shop-and-spend guides portray the Salt Lake Valley of invented 1847 fame to have been a veritable no-man's-land:

"Historically, the one-time desert wilderness [of Utah] was created by settlers seeking refuge from religious persecution, and neither barren land, nor drought or a plague of crickets could dissuade the Mormons from their purpose."

http://www.attractionguide.com/salt_l...


Uh-huh. And if you believe that, I've got thousands of cricket-gorged seagulls to sell ya.


Actually, It's All Kid's Stuff

Here's a dose of reality from a Social Studies unit designed for Utah fourth-graders (which, apparently, is a learning level still far above that of many true-believing Mormons):

"There is a myth about the Salt Lake Valley. It says that the valley was a barren and lifeless desert with only one tree when the first Mormon pioneers arrived.

"Here is what the valley was really like when the Mormon pioneers first came. Much of it had rich, good soil. Wherever sagebrush grew, the soil was good, and sagebrush grew all over the valley. There were also tall grasses. Trees and bushes grew along all the streams and flowed from the mountains to the Jordan River and into the Great Salt Lake. On the mountains were forests of pine trees.


http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresou...


Chopping Away at the Tall Tale

If a basic elementary school lesson isn't enough to convince brain-gutted, gullible Mormons of the facts on the ground, LDS historian Will Bagley put the silly "Lone Tree" fable to rest, once and for all, in an article for the Salt Lake Tribune, entitled "The Lone Tree Shrine: Fact And Fiction:"

"One of the most colorful fights over Utah's history--the Battle of the Cedar Tree Shrine--concerned what the Salt Lake Valley looked like when Brigham Young first saw it . . . .

"Salt Lake City schoolchildren used to be taught that the only tree growing in the valley when the Mormon pioneers arrived was a cedar (actually, a juniper) standing in the middle of what is now 600 East just below 300 South.

"Several 1847 journals reveal this simply wasn't so. The clerk of the Pioneer Camp, Thomas Bullock, wrote that the 'very extensive valley' was 'dotted in three or four places with Timber.'

"But facts seldom get in the way of a beloved legend, especially one that celebrated the belief that the Mormon pioneers found a wasteland and made the desert 'blossom as a rose.'

"True or not, the Lone Tree tale was enshrined in bronze on Pioneer Day in 1934 when the Daughters of Utah Pioneers erected a columned 'peristyle' shrine around what was left of the cedar on the median of 600 East.

"A plaque told how the pioneers of 1847 paused beneath the shade of the lone cedar to offer songs and prayers of gratitude.

"The 1847 Mormons actually missed the tree by a mile, since they followed the Donner Party trail to present-day 1700 South and took 'a strait road to a small Grove of Cotton Wood Trees' on City Creek at 300 South and State streets.

"[Also enshrined on the marker is the exaggeration that] the tree was a favorite 'trysting place' for lovers.

"But then, on the evening of September 21, 1958 . . . someone sawed off and absconded with the Lone Tree. The Daughters' president . . . noted how hard the society worked to preserve old relics and how discouraging it was when 'vandals come along and tear down our good work.'

"That might have been the end of the story had not an enterprising reporter phoned A.R. Mortensen, head of the [Utah] state historical society.

"'Kind of secretly,' the reporter asked the state's chief historian if he believed that the cedar was the only tree growing in the valley in 1847. Mortensen burst out laughing and asked, 'Hell no, do you?'

"That afternoon the front-page of the Deseret News claimed he had called the revered Lone Tree 'a historical fraud' and 'a dead stump with little historical value.'

"These offhand remarks ignited a firestorm and brought down the wrath of . . . 300,000 Daughters [of the Utah Pioneers] on Mortensen's unsuspecting head. The controversy nearly cost him his job and led the historical society's board to denounce the 'wanton destruction' of the Lone Tree and censure Mortensen's 'unfortunate comments.' Mortensen stuck to his guns. He was, after all, right. . . .

"The Lone Stump monument still stands, graced by a 1960 plaque that acknowledged there were other trees in the valley in 1847.

"But there's a part of this tale that has never been told in print--the solution to the mystery of the stolen cedar. Not long after the desecration, Salt Lake Tribune editor Art Deck got a call telling him to check a locker at the Greyhound Depot if he wanted to know the fate of the Lone Tree. Inside the locker was a sack containing the ashes of one of Utah's most beloved landmarks."


http://www.historytogo.utah.gov/salt_lake_tribune/history_matters/072300.html
_____


Conclusion: Getting to the Root of It All

As usual, inconvenient historical facts end up proving just how easily Mormons can make, well, an ash of themselves. :)
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Drawing A Line In The Snow With The Benson Family Over Mormon Xmas Cards
Friday, Dec 30, 2005, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Prior to Xmas (as many others of you fellow ex-Mos here also experienced as well), I received (as I regularly do) a “Mo! Mo! Mo! Merry Cultmas!” card from a first cousin of mine--Holly Walker Tilleman--and her husband, Karl, along with their children

Holly is a child of my aunt Barbara Benson Walker, the oldest daughter of my grandparents, Ezra Taft and Flora Amussen Benson.

As is customary with some of the more intensely-pushy Mormon evangelizers in the Walker clan, Holly and Karl unloaded their wheelbarrow of self-righteous religious dogmatic doo-doo, via their ‘greeting' card, on me once again.

This year’s stormin’ Mormon Xmas card from them was the final straw for me (as you will see in a moment), prompting me to reply to them in writing, asking that they stop their prayerful and persistent practice of attempting my re-conversion via the post office.

Below are excerpts from the most recent in their series of continuous Christmas Cult card come-ons. It was accompanied by two photographs of their family, one showing them and their children standing in front of a lake somewhere and the other one featuring them all posing in their Sunday best:

”Merry Christmas!!! . . . Our hearts are full of gratitude for blessings of family, friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ, good health, safety and God’s love and protection. . . . [Our children] have kept busy this year with school, music, sports, homework, church and the Book of Mormon challenge. We have experienced a great deal of joy and feel very grateful to our Heavenly Father.

“May the Lord’s blessings of love and peace be yours. One of our favorite promises from ancient scripture is as follows: ‘Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ: for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.’ [2 Nephi 32:3). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to al of you, our loved ones! “

_____


Now, Holly and Karl know damn well that I am not interested in their multiple Mormon Moment missionary messages.

They know I am no longer a member of the Mormon Cult.

They know enough of how I feel about the Mormon Cult and why to realize (I would hope) that efforts on their part--or anybody else’s--to see me return to the Concentration Camp of the Cult would be unsolicited and fruitless.

Indeed, Holly and Karl are very much aware of how I openly and publicly criticized the Mormon Cult leadership (including then-first counselor in the First Presidency, Gordon B. Sneakily) for deliberately, repeatedly, self-centeredly and manipulatively misrepresenting the declining mental and physical health of my grandfather, who was so profoundly disabled in his final years that he was president of the Mormon Cult in name only.

In fact, Holly was well enough aware of my position on this matter that she wrote me a long letter back in those rather tumultuous days (a mighty Mo missive, supported by her husband Karl’s added hearty hoo-rah).

In her call to repentance, she chastized me for going to the media about the spin-doctoring engaged in by the Cult of Latter-day Liars regarding my grandfather’s actual condition.

She also took me to task for, in her opinion, shaming, disrespecting and hurting the Benson family.

Holly’s message to me was simple and direct: SHUT UP.

Below are excerpts from that letter of hers, written to me in September of 1993:

“It is my understanding that you have a difficult time believing that Grandpa could receive revelation in his state and that the leaders of the Church have deceived the members, leading them to believe that he is indeed a functioning prophet . . .

“Yes, indeed, he is aging . . . [H]e is 94 years old. There is no doubt about that . . . Indeed, it is extremely difficult for him to speak, walk and eat, etc. However, I honestly believer that he is a functioning prophet. I do not believe he performs all the duties which he once did--in fact, he can hardly do anything. BUT there is no doubt in my mind that he can let his counselors know his opinion on a certain issue, whether yea or nea
[sic] , by a simple yes or no--or shake of the head or squeeze of the hand . . .

“When I was visiting him, two of the days he was very alert--his eyes were bright, his smile was charming but the other two days he seemed a little tired and not quite as responsive. So, when you see him and he’s not as responsive as you would have hoped him to be, maybe the next time might be a better day for him. Let’s give the good man a break! . . .

“Steve . . . [w]e know that when a Prophet becomes old and even to a state where they cannot say and do anything and are totally non-responsive, who cares? It has happened before and it may happen to Grandpa also but REALLY it does not matter. It is TOTALLY irrelevant. That is why there are counselors, a Quorum of the Twelve and Councils of Seventy.

“As for the leaders’ deception, I don’t agree at all . . . President Hinckley was not deceitful at all. He was very clear and very honest. He was matter-of-fact and tactful at the same time regarding Grandpa’s condition . . .

“The saddest part of your opinions, in my view, is to see your disrespect for Grandpa. Maybe in your mind, you love him and care deeply for him and maybe you think you’re just trying to improve the system--I don’t know . . . Even if you have these opinions strongly formed in your mind, I would be careful in what you say and to whom--because to everyone else who hears, there is no respect . . .

“If you have strong feelings, I think it would be in much better taste to go to the Church officials rather than to the media, which to me and to others is a sign of great disrespect, not only to Grandpa but to all the Benson family.

“Whether you realize it or not, you are representing the family--all of us by going public with our viewpoints; and what is unfortunate is that it is totally unrepresentative of everyone’s feelings! It is one thing to have an opinion--it is another to take it to thousands and in the process of it all, break the hearts over and over again of those people WHO LOVE YOU MOST!

“If I were you, I would LET IT ALONE. You are hurting us, who are your family, MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY REALIZE! If you never change your opinions on these issues, that is your decision but I fail to understand why you have to try to influence others with those opinions.

“I understand that it is your profession to influence others and it is your right as an American in freedom of speech but at what price? The most valuable possession one has is their family and in my opinion you are defending your right of free speech at the expense of your loved ones.”


Karl added his stamp of approval to his wife’s letter with this brief, written comment:

“I agree!”
______


Sigh.

True-Believing Mormons--acting in meekly blind obedience to the commands of their dictatorial leaders and to the marching orders laid down in their cast-iron scriptures--know no personal boundaries, nor do they respect those of others.

This is particularly true when it comes to the state of mind-other-people's-business that clearly afflicts some members of my Benson clan (like Holly and Karl Tilleman, along with others in the same busy-body bloodline).

These folks ramrod-straight ragged on me while I was in the Cult of Joseph Smith of Lathered-Up Saints and have continued their relentless efforts since I made my bolt from that Cult--even up to this day--to recruit me back into its regimented ranks.

Enough, I say.

There comes a time when one needs to take these boundary-bashing Mormons firmly by the shoulders, look them right in the eye, speak slowly and deliberately to them as one would instruct a little child and tell them in no uncertain terms to back off.

In essence, they need to be talked to as one would address a misbehaving juvenile who is clueless about (and who gives every indication of not caring less about) how their invasive behavior is considered by those on the receiving end to be unwarranted, uncouth, unbecoming and unwelcome.

Therefore, in the spirit of water-cannoning the pious pit bulls of Mormonism when nothing else seems to work, this evening I composed the following letter to Holly and Karl:

“Dear Holly and Karl--

“I am happy to hear from you that your family is well, content and happy.

“Speaking of happy, I would like to make a request of you which, if you choose to honor and respect it (which I sincerely hope you do), would make me happy.

“For several years now, in your annual Xmas cards to me and my family, you have promoted and pushed your Mormon faith.

“Please stop this.

“As you know, I am no longer a Mormon, having voluntarily left that religion some years ago and, consequently, do not share your faith.

"To be sure, I will never again share your faith.

“Please allow me to be absolutely clear on this point, so that there will be no future misunderstanding or misconduct on your part:

“I consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian cult that is deeply deceitful, historically dishonest, chauvinistically controlling, absolutely authoritarian, pathologically anti-individual, patronizingly anti-woman, viciously anti-Gay, homophobically anti–Lesbian, racistly anti-Black, obnoxiously pro-White and inherently anti-American in its lack of tolerance and respect for pluralism, diversity and self-expression.

“Put another way, I regard Mormonism to be a clannish, backward religion, founded by a notorious charlatan named Joseph Smith who bedded other men’s wives, who slept with under-aged girls, who mistreated and abused his own spouse, who squinted at so-called 'peep stones' inside of his hat pretending to translate supposed 'ancient scripture,' who invented these alleged 'scriptures' out of the thin air of his own imagination (with the help of his co-conspiring friends), who never saw or talked to God or Jesus floating in the trees behind his house, who never communed with angels, who never dug up any golden plates, who was found guilty of fraud in a New York court for making false treasure-finding claims, whose 'sacred' temple endowment was nothing more than a clunky, amateurish rip-off of secret Masonic rites and who died in a hail of bullets from fellow Masons after being unmasked as a party to a patently unconstitutional effort to shut down a newspaper which had dared publish accounts of his philanderous, adulterous, polygamous behavior and the lies which he told his followers as he denied it all.

“Given my views on these matters, I would sincerely appreciate it if, in the future, you would cease and desist from any and all efforts to bring me back into the Mormon fold.

"In any future communications with me, I ask that you discontinue making reference to your religious faith, to your activities in relation to it and to your LDS 'scriptures'–all of which I personally find offensive, uninvited intrusions into my personal life and space.

“Should you choose to communicate with me in the future, I would be happy to know what you and yours are doing and that you all are hopefully doing well--but only as long as such reports are free from mention of your Mormonism and absent of any attempts on your part to proselytize me.

“That said, I hope that you have had a pleasant Winter Solstice, a Cool Yule and will be enjoying a wonderful, prosperous New Year.

“Best regards,



“Steve Benson

“P.S.--Please feel free to share the contents of this letter with any of your family members who you think may benefit from knowing that I do not wish to receive what amounts to a Mormon missionary door approach every time I open up a Xmas card from them. Thanks. (I’d add ‘God bless,’ but I’m an atheist).“

_____


Lordy, I hope that does the trick.
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A Mormon Apostle Claims That Despite Their Growing Ranks Of Dead And Injured, Being A Full-Time Mormon Missionary Is One Of The Safest Assignments On The Planet
Thursday, Jan 5, 2006, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
This, located on a website dedicated to Mormon missionaries who have been killed, who have otherwise died or who have been severely injured while on their divinely-appointed rounds to convert the planet:

"Since the day of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we've had approximately 447,969 missionaries serve in the world," Elder M. Russell Ballard said in 1989. "Of those 447,969, (some) 525 have lost their lives while serving as full-time missionaries," he added. "When you contemplate that number, it appears that the safest place in the whole world is to be on a full-time mission," concluded the member of the Twelve. [emphasis added)
_____


The website on which this astounding claim is made is called "Mahonri: Finding Light in the Darkness."

http://www.mahonri.org/special/ppplist
_____


In honor of God's young, stripped-of-life, but ever-faithful Mormon missionary Stripling Warriors killed in the line of duty, the site offers the following tribute:


In Memoria


We want to honor and recognize the work of all missionaries on the Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial, but unfortunately we do not have a complete list of those who have given their lives in the service of the Master.

Nor do we have a complete roster of all missionaries who now face physical, emotional and intellectual challenges as a result of accident or illness suffered on their missions.

Further, we do not have a complete list of those missionaries whose lives were taken before being able to enter the mission field. Your help in compiling a more complete account of those we would honor will be greatly appreciated. . . . .

_____


Up next comes a long list of dead or severely injured missionaries who came to be that way in the glorious field of latter-day, lead-them-into-the-font combat, after which follows this pious pitch for donations:

If you would like to make a contribution towards the recognition of a particular missionary or in the name of your family, company or business, please contact a member of the Board of Directors of the Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial, a project of the NextLevel Family Foundation.

The NextLevel Family Foundation (NLFF) is a non-profit organization, incorporated in the state of Utah as a 501(c)(3) charitable entity. Adonis Bronze and the Alpine Art Center and Sculpture Park are private businesses.

Neither the Missionary Memorial nor the NextLevel Family Foundation is associated with or sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . .

To share names of missionaries who may be honored on this memorial, please call David Tuttle 801 768-3933 or e-mail: dtuttle@nlevel.com or direct regular mail to 1593 N. 1400 E. Lehi, UT 84043.

_____


Rest in eternal, proselytizing peace--the hundreds of you who, in the name of your protective, loving, throat-slitting Mormon God, embarked on one of the "safest" assignments in the world.

On second thought, you are not allowed to rest.

You've got discussions to teach and quotas to reach in the spirit world of glorious missionary endeavor.

So, get up, dust yourself off and get a move on.
topic image
My Reaction To The Claims Of "Former Church Insider" (re: Mormon Mafia, Inside Stories, Mark Hoffman, Steve Christensen)
Friday, Jan 6, 2006, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
Original Article Steve is commenting on: http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_ex...

In a now-closed thread, "Former Church Insider" made some very interesting and, in some cases, extraordinary claims.

I was asked in that thread to offer my assessment on those claims and do so below:

CLAIM: I was reading the question about Steve Christensen (who died from the bomb planted in the Judge building by Mark Hoffman) in an earlier post and felt compelled to add more to the story. Steve was a friend of a friend who grew up with the family in Bountiful. Steve was a straight arrow in his church beliefs and was a bishop at the time of his death. His father, Mac Christensen owned the Mr. Mac stores in area, and unlike his brothers, Steve decided to leave the family business to strike out on his own. He was a savvy and successful young businessman and as far as I know was a stalwart in the church in spite of his access to unseemly church records and artifacts. His death was tragic and unfortunate.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

I have a former Mormon, well-connected source who personally knew Christensen and describes him in much the same way.
_____


CLAIM: As a result of his death, his brother Stan, who manages two of the Mr. Mac stores - and a really nice guy, lost his faith in the church and became inactive - and still is to this day. As far as I know, Steve's family has been well taken care of and remains active.

REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: At the time of Steve's death, the leadership of the church was in frenzy - especially PR savvy GBH, and control freak BKP. Open access by the public to the church history department (on the first floor of COB)was forever restricted by edict from BKP - with access granted only to those who had a "church" purpose for being there, with IDs and a sign in log.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

My personal conversations with Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell, held in Maxwell's Church office in September of 1993, indicated a real concern on their part with wanting to insure tight control over access by D. Michael Quinn and others to sensitive Church archival material--as well as a stunning and ugly willingness to smear the character of those (Quinn and Brent Metcalf, in particular) who were outspoken critics of the Church.
_____


CLAIM: This stemmed in part from the fact that there was much more to the Mark Hoffman story than is commonly known. Because Mark was the fair haired RM with a talent for digging up the good and bad documents about the Church, he was granted access to many documents and artifacts that were not accessible even to the "Quinn" type historians of the church in their full access heydays (long before they were Exed).

REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: The President's vault, otherwise known as "F" vault one of a series of 6 vaults located in the Granite Mountain church site in Little Cottonwood Canyon - next to where the granite blocks used in building the SL Temple were quarried. The front of the vault complex is manned and womened by employees and missionaries who duplicate genealogical microfilms to fulfill orders from church Fam. History libraries all over the world. The six vaults are connected by a corridor protected by a many ton steel door that supposedly can withstand a nuclear blast and are located far into the mountain at the rear of the complex. Each of these 6 vaults is cavernous and contains microfilm, discs, and other data files for financial, membership, genealogical and other church records. Until the Mark Hoffman episode, access to the vault was restricted to those with official church business only (although at one time tours were conducted there for the public).

REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: The biggest issue with Mark Hoffman was the Church trying to suppress the "Salamander Letter" - since Joe Smith supposedly spoke to a salamander instead of moroni. I doubt the church would have destroyed it, instead, they would have hidden it away. Why is it that the Michael Quinn types can no longer have access? The church has so many records that it doesnt even know what they have and what are they going to do, have someone go through it all and decide what to keep and what not to keep? - at the expense of someone finding out what is in there?

REACTION: Sounds credible.

Oaks personally admitted to me that the Church did not cooperate fully with a Salt Lake police subpoena regarding its William McClellin document collection because, he said, the Church unilaterally concluded that the police did not need the documents which Oaks said the Church had in its possession.

Despite claiming to me that the McClellin documents in its possession were from McClellin's younger, pro-Mormon days and were not incriminating, Oaks also told me that the Church did not even know what was actually in those documents until they were later examined by the Church during the Hofmann investigation.

In another, previous one-on-one discussion with Oaks in 1985(coming on the heels of the Hofmann bombings and arrest), he was incredibly tight-lipped, refused to speak to a reporter who was with me in Salt Lake and spoke to me stiffly from behind a desk that had been almost completely cleaned off.
_____


CLAIM: Fawn Brodie's book was based on what she had access to because of her relative David O. McKay - Why is it that the Church no longer discloses it's financial reports - because they can control and spin the information in a way that suits them. Hinkley recently said in an interview with AP that church history was an "open book". As long as it's the book that they want you to see, and not the one that exists out of reach of everyone.

Believe what you want to.

_____


REACTION: Sounds credible.

Much of what I know about the inside workings of the Mormon Church hierarchy comes from the fact that, as a member of a well-connected and powerful Church family, I was privy to inside the Cultway information which was gleaned from both my personal observations of the goings-on and from information provided to me by Church employees, Church leaders and family members.

I also know from the personal confessions of Oaks and Maxwell to me that, in fact, Church history is far from being an "open book."
_____


CLAIM: Mark Hoffman was given unfettered access to the remote "F" vault that reminded me of the warehouse in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where the Ark of the Covenant was eventually placed. It is the only vault that contains artifacts, relics and original church documents such as pioneer journals and anything related to early church history. This is probably the most secure vault in the country - with the possible exception of the US gold reserves storage at Ft. Knox. There are rumors that the vault contains Joseph Smith's Jupiter talisman and seer stones among other items. You'd think the place would be organized and items would be stored logically, but at least at the time I saw it, everything seemed in disarray on dusty shelves and in piles. But it was evident that almost everything in there was "old".

Mark was given access to this vault and apparently had a co-conspirator who worked for him at the vault complex. It was discovered after Mark Hoffman was exposed, but never reported to anyone outside the inner circle of the inner circle of those who worked inside the church around this issue, that the church had actually paid a lot of money to Mark Hoffman for documents that it already owned, and that these documents had been taken out of the "F" vault. This was too embarrassing for the church to admit to anyone, but resulted in unbelievable restrictions to church history documents. The only access by anyone, even GA's to the "F" vault is now granted only by GBH.


REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: If you'll recall in reading "Angels and Demons", the Dan Brown book, the Catholic Church also has an archives at the Vatican that no one has access to, for the same reason. Documents there have potential for harming the Catholic Church if they are disclosed in any way to the public - so they are controlled solely by the church.

REACTION: I have no sources in the Vatican (although I have a well-known, former Catholic-turned atheist friend who does).
_____


CLAIM: With regard to the Mormon Mafia - another fact about the church that is not commonly known and is a bit scary is that the overwhelming majority of church security are former CIA and FBI agents. The church's security operation is as state of the art and sophisticated as any in the world, with the possible exception of the US security agencies.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

Ray Hillam, a former BYU faculty member (for whom I worked as a teaching assistant in the 1970s and who was spied on by the Church, under direction from members of the Quorum of the Twelve, during the Wilkinson era because Hillam was considered to be a liberal threat), confirmed to me that the U.S. intelligence services recruit heavily from the ranks of LDS returned missionaries.

(I was strongly discouraged by my father from enrolling in Hillam's classes but did anyway).

I have had my own run-ins with Church Security personnel on Temple Square in my post-Mormon days. Efforts were made by Church security agents to stop me from talking to Visitor Center missionaries (who actually instigated contact with me and not the other way around). In this episode, evidence of Church security presence was pervasive and obvious, when they chose to make it known. Later on the day of my contact with these Church security agents, a member of my family was approached by a Church security employee and falsely told that I had been asked to leave Temple Square.
_____


CLAIM: Millions have been spent on encryption technology for communications. - (this resulted in part by the media monitoring church security radio traffic and reporting the death of Spencer Kimball, before the news was relayed to the first presidency). At the time of its purchase in the mid-80's for several million dollars, the church was the only owner of an encrypted communication system that was developed for and to a large extent by the CIA.

REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: Many of you will remember the Clinton white house scandal involving FBI records that resulted in the suspicious death of Vincent Foster. The Clintons were digging up dirt using FBI files on their enemies.

Similarly, the church keeps records of this type on all members of the church as well as non-members whom they deem to be a potential treat to the church. The effort is ongoing and incredibly invasive - I can tell you for a fact that this particular site is monitored for people like me, by church employed hackers who easily find and identify IP addresses of those with opinions not favorable to the church, or even as you'll recall from your recommend interviews, "those who sympathize with apostates".


REACTION: Sounds credible.

Oaks informed me that the Church keeps tabs on troublesome Mormons via the so-called "Strengthening the Members Committee," and provides (he said, benignly) news clippings and other information to the bishops and stake presidents of these targeted members because, Oaks said, the local leadership is too busy to keep files themselves.

I have former Mormon friends (who were highly visible and critical of the Church, specifically D. Michael Quinn, Maxinne Hanks and Martha Beck) who had credible reasons to believe that their phones were tapped by the Church and who so informed me.

In my own experience, I have suspicions that attempts may have been made to monitor my own phone calls around the time that I was openly critical of the Church around the time of my voluntary departure from it ranks over a decade ago.

My public criticisms of Mormon Church public officials and Mormon doctrine also resulted in me being contacted by an official LDS representative, both by letter and in person, exhorting me to back off.

Two of my bishops, as well as two of my stake presidents, also requested to speak directly with me (permission granted).

Because of my public criticisms of Mormon doctrine, one of the stake presidents released me from my position as a high councilman--after he was contacted by H. Burke Peterson of the Presiding Bishopric, who called to make inquiries of my stake president about my activities.

The same stake president was also contacted by a Mormon in the Arizona legislature, who told him that I should not be holding positions of prominent authority in the Church.

The stake president assured me that neither of these contacts had any influence on his decison to release me from my high council position.

I was also contacted directly, via phone, by my grandfather during the Hofmann episode (when I drew critical cartoon commentary of official Mormon response to Hofmann's deceptions) and told to "go easy" on the Church.

Further, after I publicly accused Oaks of lying about what he actually knew regarding Boyd K. Packer's behind-the-scenes efforts to have an outspoken member of the Church excommunicated (Paul Toscano), I was informed by a faculty advisor at BYU's student newspaper, the Daily Universe, that if the newspaper printed my claims (which had already been published in the Salt Lake Tribune), the Universe would be shut down by the university's Board of Trustees--namely, by order of the Quorum of the Twelve.
_____


CLAIM: Membership records are tagged for those who are regarded as a threat to the church - particularly insiders. Those who have been in higher leadership positions, particularly at the Stake Presidency level, will know that new move-ins, or current members records will be sometimes tagged with "do not call to leadership position" notations on them.

There are numerous ways that the church screens for potential treats. Several of the most common are monitoring sites like this one, tracking computer use at porn sites by IP address, stationing "solid" members or older missionaries in places where they can observe and record license plate numbers of individuals who visit porn shops or strip clubs, to match them with members. Persons employed in companies or in the public venue where there salary information is available will have these records compared to tithing records to ensure that tithing is paid on the gross.


REACTION: Sounds credible.

I personally know a member of the Church whose temple recommend was taken away by the member's bishop because the member in question was engaged in what the bishop considered to be inappropriate internet communication with another individual. That said, however, the activities of the member were informally reported to the bishop and were not brought to the bishop's attention via any official Church monitoring channels.

From my own personal experience, local ward members spied on activities of my own family and reported these activities to local ward authority, resulting in a reprimanding contact from a local ward leader.
_____


CLAIM: All bishops and stake presidencies are subjected to comprehensive background checks by the church prior to an official call being issued. This is to protect the church from any potential embarrassment later. There have been many frustrated stake presidents over the years who have submitted the name of a potential bishop for approval, only to find out later that the church will not approve the name, for some unknown reason.

REACTION: Don't know.
_____


CLAIM: It is also well known that the wrong remark or comment or dress or look (take your pick) to one of the, GA's, the 12 or even their secretaries, will result in a record being tagged and that individual forever being blessed with an unknown scarlet letter on his/her record. And I do really mean it's a blessing.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

I have a Mormon Utah source who informed me that an employee of the Church-owned Deseret News eventually lost his job, in all probability for having personally offended Thomas Monson with what Monson regarded as an offensive joke.
_____


CLAIM: In my humble opinion, absent the dead bodies, the church is in many ways much the same as in the avenging angel days of Brigham Young, where church members were so tightly controlled that they feared for their lives if they decided to leave the church or leave the Salt Lake Valley.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

I have personally seen Church employees express real fear and exhibit extreme caution in what they say and do--and where they say and do it, even when far outside Salt Lake City--out of concern that they might be under some sort of Church surveillance.
_____


CLAIM: Somewhere there was a prophesy that the church would fall from within. I have seen a lot of waste, corruption, mismanagement, dishonesty, and particularly cover-ups and some of the most egotistical bastards I've ever encountered in my life at the highest levels of the church.

REACTION: Sounds credible.

A Mormon source has told me that in the process of performing employment duties in behalf of the Church, this source witnessed extravagant, wasteful, thoughtless and needless spending of tithing funds by other Church employees.
_____


CLAIM: Being a former member and convert, I just wish I'd had the internet to help me find out about the "real" moron church before the missionaries talked me into baptism. I've often wondered if my life would have been the worse for not joining, I've finally reached the conclusion that it would have been much, much better.

REACTION: I agree that it probably would have (as would have also been my own).
_____


CLAIM: Steve, [p]lease give me a way to contact you and I'd be happy to either phone you or e-mail you privately. I know mike from snow very well and was acquainted with your grandfather...happened upon him in his office when I was about to visit Howard Hunter right after Spence Kimball passed. ETB was still in his office as the head of the 12, and boy did he looking bad - had his face in hands and looked like he'd been crying....they had not switched offices yet - so my mistake walking in on him.

I've got too much to lose right now with my family, etc. by getting too deep into this. Believe me, I know a lot of folks at COB and CAB, and nothing I said in my post is fabricated - and there is a hell of a lot more that goes on up there that most people don't know about. Remember Mr. Martel Byrd - used to be over Church Security after his stint ruining the self esteem of young men and women in the Salt Lake Mission Home - what an asshole? - would you put anything past that guy?

I may not be back to a computer before morning, but will respond as soon as I can.


REACTION: Sounds increasingly credible.
topic image
The Human Side Of "Former Church Insider"--And Why I Think He's Credible
Monday, Jan 9, 2006, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12   -Link To MC Article-
There are some on this board persisting in insisting that "Former Church Insider" (FCI) is not what he claims to be: namely, a person who was once employed in important positions within the LDS bureaucracy, who came to witness--first-hand--how the Mormon Church actually operates and who is now talking openly about what he saw and heard.

In response to those skeptics--and as I have said before--I am inclined to conclude that FCI is a legitimate, credible whistleblower.

In the frequent communications he and I have had lately, FCI has given indications of his unique personality, his honest feelings and his challenging circumstances that bolster that opinion.

Below are some odds and ends from our recent correspondence, posted here with FCI's written, but conditional, permission:

"You're free to post anything I tell you in private if you'd like but, for the time being, I'd still like to stay anonymous."
_____


Very well, get out the black magic marker, so to speak, and let's proceed:


FCI's Desire to Get a Lot Off His Chest

"Sometimes my mouth runs faster than my head . . ."

". . . [M]aybe [RfM administrators] think I'm a bit over the top in my willingness to 'sing like a canary,' as one poster put it."

"I can't wait to tell the board what really goes on with the Missionary Committee and how the Lard calls those kids. What a crock. [Y]ou'll see."

_____


FCI's Inner Conflicts About Possibly Being Punished by the Mormon Church Because of His Decision to Go Public with What He Knows

"I just don't want to take the chance of being called into a SP's [stake president's] office and being blindsided before I'm completely ready to make the formal exit . . . ."

"[But] [i]f I get ex'd over all this before I'm ready, maybe it'll be a blessing and someone else can pay the [hundreds of dollars] a month [for supporting my children] . . . on missons . . . .

"My utility bills have been getting higher lately and I'm looking for some relief. [To] [t]ell the truth, [if I] . . . get ex'd, [it would] save an immediate 10%, plus [the monthly mission support expenses]--and [I'd] have my life again.

"[A]ctually it doesn't sound too bad. I'll probably be paying child support and alimony, but may still come out ahead."

"You know, the way I feel now, I'm actually looking forward to the day when I get called in.

"I'll make sure I have an attorney with me when I do, though, and maybe a friend from the press. . . . [M]aybe I'll bring him along for some fun."

_____


Wanting to Know on What Topics He Should Post: Heavy or Light

"I would love to tell the story of a loony apostate in our ward . . ."

"If this [light] stuff is too trivial, let me know. I'll just stick with the hard stuff. [T]here's much more to come, folks."

"The unfortunate result of my not being specific with the names of individuals, is that much of what I bring up will not have as much impact and is less verifiable.

"Are all GAs, for instance, off limits?"

_____


Handling Attacks from Critics on the RfM Board

"It was a bit frustrating at first to be dissed by the majority of the board.

"Like you, there are a lot of things I know and a lot of things I don't.

"However, I did take note of a lot of what went on up there and could go on for hours with stories."

"At least among a core group, it appears that my legitimacy as a former insider has been established and validated through the preponderance of material."

_____


How Mormon Church Employees Advance in the Ranks

"I've also served in leadership callings at the ward and stake level and saw some pretty bizarre things at that level, as well.

"For job security and to ensure advancement within COB [the Church Office Building], you had to hold leadership callings at the ward and stake level. [F]or some positions it was a prerequisite and I'm ashamed to say now that I would have turned down a lot of calls to those positions otherwise, had I not felt the pressure to keep myself in the good graces of my employer.

"I have never looked back [now] that I've left and know that there are a lot of folks up there like me that would jump at an opportunity to leave if they could get out."

_____


FCI's Current Level of Church Activity

"[I] . . . don't wear white shirts to Church when I go and always seem to be sick on Sundays. . . ."

"[M]aybe I'll get sick right before Church tomorrow, so I can stay home and give everyone my 'real' testimony on the [RfM] board."

"I also conveniently skip a lot of meetings that I'm supposed to be to and have happily started getting a reputation in local Church matters of not being very reliable or dependable. [S]eems to keep a lot of the local leaders guessing about me.

"[A]ctually, it's been kind of fun, because they all know . . . [that] in my previous more active life I was, and am, pretty responsible.

"My . . . bishop is afraid of me . . . [T]he guy won't even look me in the eyes . . ."

"There is a guy [I know] who works [for the Church] and is a recent convert. [H]e's going through the same
gyrations that I did and now worries about how to get out with his sanity and his marriage."

". . . My 'Friday night date' [is] one of the few (emphasis on 'few') vestiges of the Church that I can continue to live with."

"It's been a lot of years since I had a beer, but maybe soon. I'll have to break the law if I drink one in Utah, though. [M]y first one will not be a 3.2%, which is all you can get here. I'll have to bring a 'real beer' in as contraband from another state."

_____


Ezra Taft Benson

"You've been pretty outspoken about ETB. I never found ETB to be as bad as some made him out to be but when I knew him and of him, he'd become pretty senile--or at least a feeble old man--and didn't know him in his ultra-conservative heydays.

"There's nothing I would say that would be that negative, just some interesting observations.

"I did, however, know a few folks that about left the Church when [ETB] took the head of the Church.

"I was quite impressed with his 'Pride' talk and was disappointed to learn later that it may have been written by a family member who plagiarized a writing from CS Lewis (at least that's what I've heard but who knows). . . .

"I used to work closely with [name deleted] at COB, what a nice guy. I think you're related to him."

_____


An Assessment of FCI's Credibility from Another Former Church Employee

This e-mail also sent to me recently:

"Reading FCI's posts made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

"I'd bet money he was a Church employee. It sounds way too familiar."
 
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Kill Deer And Instill Fear: In The Mormon Cult, Obedience To Priesthood Authority Trumps Respect For Life Itself
Prominent Modern-Day Mormon General Authorities Who Have Known (And Who Have Secretly Fessed Up To) The Fact That Joseph Smith Was A Liar
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Proof That The Missionary Language Training System In God's True Church Is Run By An Out-Of-Touch, Ignorant, Miscalculating, Dumb Deity
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The Allegedly Barren Salt Lake Valley: Another Mormon Lie Caught And Treed
Drawing A Line In The Snow With The Benson Family Over Mormon Xmas Cards
A Mormon Apostle Claims That Despite Their Growing Ranks Of Dead And Injured, Being A Full-Time Mormon Missionary Is One Of The Safest Assignments On The Planet
My Reaction To The Claims Of "Former Church Insider" (re: Mormon Mafia, Inside Stories, Mark Hoffman, Steve Christensen)
The Human Side Of "Former Church Insider"--And Why I Think He's Credible
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  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
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  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
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  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
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  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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