With Friends Like Cantor and the Young Guns, Who Needs Republicans?

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Boehner (Left) and Eric Cantor

In 2010, Paul Ryan (R Wi), Eric Cantor (R-Va) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) released the book “Young Guns” on Sept. 14, timed for the closing two months of the midterm election campaign. Essentially this book was a road map of their agenda to essentially privatize Social Security and pass other very unpopular legislation that could prove to be the undoing of the party. They were banking on Americans being uninformed, which is generally the case, as they would never vote for them if they really knew their true intentions. 2010 was the year the Teaparty launched their reign of terror, making the 112th Congress the least effective legislative body in recent history, headed by John Boehner. Boehner has the impossible task of trying to maintain a balance between traditional Republicans and this new batch of fringe lunatics. If you recall, 2010 also brought this country a rash of horrific governors, like Michigan’s Snyder and Wisconsin’s Walker that make Attila the Hun seem compassionate. Little did folks know by 2012, these representatives and governors would be highly unpopular, yet popularity is not their primary concern.

This generation of far right extremist Republicans have put their party in peril by taking a stand so extreme, 53% of Americans believe them to be far too ultra-conservative and reactionary. The results of the November 2012 election notwithstanding, they are going to legislate from the far right no matter what the country wants. This GOP Speaker Boehner still holds the third highest office in the land, but for how long? In a press conference on Friday, December 21st, a reporter asked Boehner, “If you’re not worried about losing your speakership, shouldn’t you be?”

With Mr. “Bitchface” himself, Eric Cantor, salivating behind Speaker Boehner, this question seemed particularly poignant. McCarthy and Ryan are obvious TeaParty vermin with a very corporate agenda. But the Virginia Congressman is especially treacherous. He always seems to be there, lurking in the background, especially when Mr. Boehner fails at his endeavors with his caucus. It was hard to miss the devilish smirk Majority Leader Cantor was unable to contain after Speaker Boehner announced House Republicans rejected his “Plan B” proposal to counter the President’s offer. This brazen display of gloating and defiance has become more common as the Speaker and Cantor seem to be at odds with each other more and more. Last summer during the debt ceiling debacle, he forced Boehner’s hand into placing the United States in a treacherous position that lowered our credit rating for the first time in history. A former congressional staffer said this:

Cantor is the Republican leadership Brutus. Cantor is willing to risk, and Republicans would be blamed for, a global economic crash because Cantor is a poodle for millionaires and conglomerates that pay no taxes and will risk the economic future of the nation to pursue his ambition as he plunges the knife into the back of John Boehner.

One would think after the overwhelming support President Obama earned this past election, the GOP might be humbled to legislate more towards the middle. Not these “Young Guns,” as they insist on pushing the party so far to the right, Mussolini would be excommunicated from their caucus for being too liberal. The most extreme of all challengers has to be Eric Cantor, a man who vetoed the Violence Against Women Act (December 7) because of a key provision which protects Native American Women. Cantor also has an A+Rating from the NRA, in case anyone thought he was concerned with the safety of children over the profits of gun manufacturers. During his reelection campaign this October, Cantor supporters spray-painted baby killer and N-Word Lover on his opponent Wayne Powell’s offices. Cantor had no problem defeating Mr. Powell with $5 million from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. It seems Mr. Cantor is very much on the radar of folks like Adelson because of his zero taxes on business stance and his partiality to Adelson’s Zionist causes.

The Roman Senate has nothing on these guys. John Boehner is in the unenviable position of damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Once he makes a move contrary to the capricious nature of the Teaparty, he’s going to end up a lot like Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Someone ought to tell Boehner to beware the Ides of March. Perhaps his demise will occur even sooner, when Congress reconvenes (January 3).

Guns Don’t Kill People, GOP Laws Kill People

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Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, has been the big selling point for the defense of the antiquated Second Amendment. Would there be cybercrime without the Internet? Do you ever hear drugs don’t kill people, people doing drugs kills people? Would there be homophobic bullying if it weren’t for religion preaching its alleged immorality through indoctrinated hate? Why is it the preponderance of guns is NEVER the reason for gun violence? With less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States is home to roughly 35–50 per cent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, heavily skewing the global geography of firearms and any relative comparison. Our culture of guns has armed our citizens with roughly 88 guns per 100 people.

The main reason is because the NRA, with the help of ALEC and the Heritage Foundation rule America through the Republican Party (and a few Democrats as well). Most of the nation’s most lax gun laws are passed by Governors with GOP administrations, such as Rick Scott in Florida. The GOP has an alleged “family values” message, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the well-being of the American people in favor of oligarchical and corporate interests, and insane fundamentalist religious groups. Gun rights, not human rights, are far more important. This is only befitting of a party who takes the wrong side of every single issue since the New Deal.

The attack on anyone who comments on the easy acquisition of firearms is generally brutal. Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock candidly voiced their opinion on our gun culture after the tragic murder suicide of Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher. This was met with disbelief by those who, let’s face it, cling to their religion and their guns. I found it to be an absolutely honest and heartfelt observation where they admit handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. If Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today. Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy. More convenience store confrontations over loud music will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. The outrage was not directed at the actual murders or the easily accessible guns, but at those who criticize our gun laws!

The gun-rights zealots’ criticism can be aimed at politicians or any public figure who dares challenge their insane logic. So our culture, enhanced by strong-arm tactics by powerful lobbies and hate groups, is obsessed with guns. I can easily understand someone’s right to defend themselves or hunt, but why the need for large capacity ammo clips or assault rifles? When is it going to end? Can I get my own personal surface to air missile just in case I want to shoot down a potential enemy drone or if I’m paranoid about my “Socialist-Marxist government?” Why is it President Obama has done absolutely nothing to restrict gun owners’ rights yet the number of hate groups who advocate the most lenient gun laws is at an all time high? Largely because they have managed to appeal to the American psyche by invoking Jesus Christ, the most popular deity in America, to their cause.

These hate groups masquerade as religious organizations promoting their version of family values. MVP American Family Association Executive Director and radio host Bryan Fischer was discussing the NRA’s latest conspiracy theory, about how the United Nations is supposedly plotting to take away guns and destroy American’s Second Amendment rights though the Arms Trade Treaty. During the discussion, Fischer claimed that Jesus preached the right to self-defense and therefore his teaching is “virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment.”

This psychosis fostered by hard-right wingers creates a culture where any organization trying to promote peace and minimize destruction is looked upon suspiciously. The TeaPartiers in the Senate recently voted to reject a UN treaty essentially promoting the world’s adoption of OUR very own ADA which intends to treat the handicapped in other countries with greater dignity and equality. Led by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and SenatorJim DeMint (R-SC) (who recently announced his retirement to head the Heritage Foundation), they convinced enough of their sympathizers to humiliate the handicapped in their very own chamber, especially esteemed GOP Senator Bob Dole. The Teaparty is still trying to convince its NRA-obsessed sympathizers that we are truly turning into a Marxist-Socialist nation. It’s no coincidence the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council, a huge supporter of DeMint, as a hate group.

So what recourse do sane, thinking Americans who love this country and the Constitution have? Based on the most recent elections we have already begun by sending a few of these hard line crazies back home. Hopefully, the NRA and its Religious Right organizations will be emasculated to the point of impotence. Firearms must be more closely regulated than they currently are. If the TeaParty could lose its grip on our government, perhaps there will be more regulations placed on gun show sales and will discourage the emotionally volatile from arming themselves to the teeth. Our Constitution was designed to protect our citizens not just from tyrannical government, but from general anarchy and violence. Stand Your Ground and other such flawed laws must be amended to do what they should do: protect ALL Americans.

Blind Obedience and Mitt Romney

Helen Radkey, Researcher out of  Salt Lake City, Utah wrote this paper on the blind obedience required by the Mormon Church (or any other organized religion in my opinion, Mormonism being the most egregious).  With her permission, I am sharing her work in its original form.  Thanks to Park Romney for passing this on to me. 

In what may be one of the most  controversial exposés written about The Church  of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), my report unmasks blind  obedience within the LDS Church, and how this Mormon  requirement could affect Mitt Romney. I address abusive  Mormon behavior, with emphasis  on Church  disciplinary councils, used to control and discipline members.  Months of planning and over 100  hours went into the piecing together of this unique report, which  draws from personal experience, interviews with involved parties,  and Church communications. My account is jammed-packed  with information that demonstrates how Mormons are expected  to blindly following LDS leaders. Multiple Mormon abusers are  named.  As a card-carrying temple Mormon,  Mitt Romney is part of the Mormon system of rules—an  intrinsically abusive system.  Romney may not be mentally equipped to fairly govern all the citizens of this nation. Can  America afford to take this risk?   

Blind obedience and Mitt Romney

By Helen Radkey

October 27, 2012

Mormon blind obedience

Since the days of the founding “prophet” of Mormonism, Joseph Smith Jr., presiding officers of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have mandated obedience to Church officials. The LDS Church is a patriarchal religion rooted in the traditions of the Old Testament. Unquestioning loyalty to LDS leaders is an immutable demand placed on Church members—and a fundamental characteristic of Mormonism.

Mormon culture emphasizes the need for members to be obedient to the authoritarian control of Church leadership. LDS authorities believe they have a divine right to impose their will upon others. A member cannot be considered a good Mormon unless he or she is subservient to LDS leaders and demonstrates compliance with Mormon teachings. Mormons may insist they sustain Church officials on a voluntary basis, but if they do not conform to the directives of their leaders, they may be judged to be in a state of apostasy.

Blind obedience compels the subordination of individual LDS Church members to the hierarchical superstructure. It is the invisible glue that binds the LDS Church and the principal ingredient that fuels the wealthy and powerful Mormon machine. Questioning the edicts of LDS authorities is viewed as subversive behavior that undermines religious faith. Blind obedience keeps Church members in check, via an uncomplicated, orderly world, where dissent is largely prohibited and Mormons obediently do as they are told—a psychological pattern generally valued above critical thinking by faithful Mormons.

The oppressive Mormon system

Mormon officials who preside over local LDS congregations, known as wards and stakes, or branches and districts for smaller congregations, are required to exercise strict control over their flocks. They are taskmasters who must ensure members abide by the rules.

A Church member who has violated Church rules is generally subjected to a Church disciplinary council—known as a Church court—an ecclesiastical trial during which the member is tried for violations of Church standards. Serious violations of civil law, spouse or child abuse, adultery, fornication, rape, and incest, usually generate Church discipline. Depending on the gravity of the charge, a disciplined member may be given “cautionary counsel,” or put on formal probation, or disfellowshipped, or excommunicated.

Formal probation involves restrictions of Church privileges for the offender as specified by the Church council. A disfellowshipped Mormon remains a member of the LDS Church, but is no longer in good standing. Disfellowshipped members are not entitled to hold a temple recommend, exercise the (exclusively male) priesthood, partake of the “sacrament” in Church, serve in any Church position, offer public prayer, give a sermon, or teach a lesson at Church. Excommunication is the most severe judgment a Church court can impose. Excommunicated parties are no longer considered members of the LDS Church and are denied all privileges of membership, including the payment of tithes.

Apostasy ranks high on the list of reasons for excommunication from the LDS Church. An apostate is a member who deserts the faith, a renegade dissenter who once embraced Mormonism, but now rejects it. Turning or falling away from Mormon gospel teachings, especially teaching or following “anti-Mormon” doctrines, and acting in opposition to the Church or its leaders, is perceived as apostasy—spiritual death—alienation from God.

Mormon apostates are “axed” to protect the interests of the LDS Church. When dissidents are labelled with “excommunicated” status, it creates the impression they have sinned. Expelled parties are likely to be discredited, stigmatized, and shunned by other Mormons, thus reducing the “anti-Mormon” influence of ousted members within Mormon ranks.

The LDS Church fails to provide a healthy environment for independent thought. Members are expected to readily accept Church dogma. Many Mormons, including dissident scholars, have been disfellowshipped, excommunicated, and fired from Church–related jobs, for writing and teaching alternate views on topics such as Mormon racism, Mormon feminism, gay rights, genetic science, and Church history. Speaking publicly in opposition to Church policy or doctrine is not tolerated. It does not matter how much supportive evidence, including documentation, is presented, members found guilty are punished through Church courts because they disagree with the “official” LDS position.

LDS officialdom is overly preoccupied with the performance of Church members. The “worthiness” of individual Mormons is measured by their degree of obedience to LDS leaders and the Mormon cause. LDS membership is influenced by the “we alone are right” persuasion, in a delusional world of domination and submission, where the “carrot-and-stick” approach is used to induce members to conform to Church standards.

Church members are offered a combination of rewards and punishments to regulate their behavior. Obedient Mormons are rewarded with social acceptance, Church assignments, and the promise of eternal salvation, godhood, and happiness with their families forever. Unmanageable Mormons may be reprimanded and threatened with disciplinary action.

General Authorities of the LDS Church are implicated in abusive behavior because they empower local LDS leaders to maintain “the law and order of the Church” through private, faultfinding Church courts that—more often than not—guarantee the “tarring and feathering” of non-compliant members who make a noise—especially a public noise.

In a spiritually abusive system such as the LDS Church, where the belief in an authoritarian priesthood power is extolled, LDS leaders require the place of honor. Mormons are encouraged to place their leaders upon pedestals. Members are taught to never criticize Church leaders, past or present, even if the claims are true. Not only do some LDS officials expect special recognition, they may use their Church status to coerce members by instructing them to deny their inner voice and decision-making process.

Charles Parsons, an LDS bishop in Hurstville, Sydney, Australia, offered me a ward secretarial position, in early 1975, when I was still an active Mormon. After I declined his proposal, Parsons insisted I should have prayed for the strength to fulfill the “calling” and not prayed and asked if the position was God’s will for me—as I told him I had done. After the run-in with Parsons, I received no Church assignments for the next six months.

LDS leaders may give counsel in any area, not just in spiritual matters. Church members do not need to ask their bishops for permission regarding mundane daily acts. Mormons are encouraged to “choose the right” in every aspect of their lives. They are counseled to read the scriptures and pray about private matters. If a personal choice involves the offer of a Church “calling” or work assignment initiated by a Mormon official, like Parsons, for example, the Church requirement would ordinarily take precedence over personal responsibilities. If a member wishes to remain in good standing, he or she will obediently accept all formal Church demands and put his or her “shoulder to the (Mormon) wheel.”

Common consent and rigged Mormon record-keeping

There is a democratic principle in Mormonism, known as the law of common consent. “Callings” to positions in the LDS Church are made by authorized leaders and then brought before appropriate Church congregations to be sustained or opposed. Church members do not nominate persons to office, but are asked to give their sustaining vote by raising their right hand in agreement, or they may give an opposing vote in the same way.

It appears members exercise their “free agency” when they accept or reject names, but this function is more or less perfunctory. Mormon congregations have been intimidated into conformity. Members are expected to sustain names presented to them, based upon the assumption that these names have been chosen by Church leaders who represent God.

There are times when common consent becomes a figment of the imagination. Acts of protest by members against Church leaders—especially acts of protest in opposition to a group of LDS officials—are viewed as rebellion and will not go unpunished. The issue is always seen as disobedience. There are no structural safeguards against the abuse of Church members who question. Protesters will be accused of not sustaining LDS leaders.

In June 1976, I attended a Sydney Australia South Stake conference, with seven other adult Mormons, to vote in opposition to the stake presidency and stake high council. The LDS officials, whom I voted against, had been responsible for the excommunications of four men—all devout Mormons—in 1975. Before the stake conference, I had interviewed about a dozen key witnesses and became convinced the accused men were innocent.

Retaliation was swift. A letter was hastily hand-delivered to my Sydney home, informing me I had been disfellowshipped from the LDS Church, on March 21—over three months earlier. The letter was signed by Hurstville Ward bishopric members, Bishop Charles Parsons, and “Bro” Allan D. Murrin, 1st counselor. The Church decree listed penalties and suggestions, but gave no reason for the bishop’s court outcome. I was advised I could no longer speak or participate in meetings or attend any assembly of Church officers.

My diminished Church standing was likely conjured up by Parsons, in collaboration with John Daniel Parker—stake president of Sydney Australia South Stake. Disfellowshipped members cannot vote to sustain or oppose the election of Church officers. My disfellowshipment status gave Sydney Mormon authorities an official reason to discount my opposing vote against them at stake conference. My vote could be safely disregarded.

The telltale dates on the letter I received from Parsons told the story. The letter was dated May 31, and was delivered on June 30, which was 101 days after the date of the action. According to the (Church) General Handbook (1968), a disfellowshipped member should be notified of the conditions of that penalty when the penalty is imposed. If that person does not attend the trial, he or she should be notified by two Melchizedek Priesthood bearers or by registered letter. Parsons violated Church rules. I did not attend the trial on March 21 and was not notified of the result until June 30. My disfellowshipment status appears to have been quickly determined after my opposing vote at the June conference.

Those subject to Church disciplinary sanctions have a right of appeal. An accused member may appeal the decision of a disciplinary council within 30 days of the decision. Parsons dated his letter, May 31, and it was handed to me on the night of June 30, exactly 30 days later. Parsons and Parker had strategically managed to block my right of appeal.

Records of LDS Church disciplinary proceedings that result in disfellowshipment or excommunication should be sent to the LDS First Presidency, as stated in the General Handbook. Nearly four months after the bishop’s court, Church headquarters had not received the record—another reason why my disfellowshipment did not occur in March.

When I protested to LDS officials in Salt Lake City, a letter, dated July 9, 1976, from the Office of the First Presidency stated “…according to the Confidential Section of the Membership Department…” the record of my trial had not reached General Church Offices. The letter also stated: “There is no provision for receiving direct testimony on an appeal to the First Presidency since all appeals are handled only on the basis of the official record made by the lower court.” I was advised I would first have to appeal to the high council court before an appeal to the First Presidency could be entertained. In other words, I would have to appeal to Parker concerning the judgment of the ward trial.  Parsons had also signed the disfellowshipment letter on behalf of Hurstville Ward bishopric member, Hugh Nugent, 1st counselor to Parsons. A year later at my home, in June 1977, Nugent told me in front of witnesses that he had no idea why I had been disfellowshipped. All three members of a ward bishopric are expected to participate in bishop’s courts which have jurisdiction over all ward members. If my disfellowshipment had occurred on March 21, Nugent should have been aware of the reason for the verdict.

The Hurstville Ward bishopric was part of a Church hierarchy that was more concerned with status than pastoral care. Running amok with Church-sanctioned authority—with the support of LDS General Authorities and back-to-back LDS mission presidents in Sydney—LDS officials in south Sydney bullied members on a ward and stake level, until all Mormons who objected to their overbearing behavior were driven out of the Church

Sustaining “right or wrong” and kangaroo Church courts
The sustaining “right or wrong” belief has its roots in early Mormonism, in a secret, oath-bound vigilante group known as the Mormon Danite band or “Destroying Angels.” Mormon Danites took oaths to support a brother “right or wrong” even unto the shedding of blood. They were expected to sustain, protect, defend, and obey Mormon leaders under all circumstances. Members of the Danite band considered themselves as much bound to obey the heads of the Church as to obey God. To disobey was punishable by death.

My rude awakening to the modern-day version of the sustaining “right or wrong” Mormon rule came through Charles Parsons, when he unexpectedly stopped by my home on February 11, 1976. Parsons demanded that I meet with Parker that evening or a Church court would be convened. My Church membership was on the line, according to Parsons. When I asked him why I should meet with Parker, he insisted, “there could only be one voice in the stake and that was the voice of Stake President Parker.” Parsons then said I was required to sustain Parker “right or wrong.” I refused those terms on the spot.

It is commonly taught in the LDS Church that members should support all actions by presiding Church officers. If these actions are flawed, Mormons believe the leaders—not the members who support the incorrect actions—will be held accountable. According to Parsons, if the excommunications of the four Mormon men occurred in error, I was still expected to sustain Parker regarding those stake disciplinary council judgments—even though I believed all parties were innocent of any violation that could justify such action.

The issue at stake was the 1975 excommuncations of four Mormons—Wallace Brown, Jeffrey Watts, Brian Watts, and Paul Knightley. These men lived in Bankstown Ward, adjacent to Hurstville, in the Sydney Australia South Stake, presided over by Parker. Jeff Watts, an associate of Wallace Brown, was the first to be excommunicated. Brown was allowing LDS missionaries to use his home to teach prospective converts. Watts was upset when missionaries abruptly stopped coming to Brown’s home. They were teaching two people there and Watts was concerned the couple would be lost to the LDS Church. He phoned Earl Carr Tingey, president of the Australia Sydney Mission, and asked for an explanation. Tingey refused to respond. Watts questioned Tingey, at a Sunday meeting at Bankstown Ward, a few days later. After Tingey brushed him aside, Watts told Tingey his behavior was unlawful. Jeff Watts was speedily excommunicated by a stake high council court, upon the basis of “evidence” from LDS mission president, Earl Tingey.

The final point put to Jeff Watts at his excommunication trial was, “Do you accept what we say as leaders of the Church in this stake?” Watts replied, “Yes, in righteousness.” According to Watts, the court’s answer to his response was, “No, right or wrong!” After the trial of Jeff Watts, there was an attempt to excommunicate Wallace Brown, the following night. Brown had challenged a stake presidency edict that prohibited his wife, Taisa, from asking the children in her Bankstown Ward classes to kneel in prayer to maintain reverence. Taisa was told this behavior was too much like the Roman Catholics. Wallace Brown claimed stake officials had interfered with his wife’s prerogative.  Brown had also corrected Maximilian Forstpointner, the bishop of Bankstown Ward, who had tried to arbitrarily change the time of Sunday priesthood meetings without an elder’s quorum vote. Brown asked Forstpointner to obey the Church law of common consent. Forstpointner condescended and allowed the elder’s quorum to vote. Shortly thereafter, Brown received a scribbled carbon copy charge sheet summonsing him to a stake high council court. With no verifiable charges presented against him, Wallace Brown was disfellowshipped at his first Church court, which lasted nine hours, until the cock crowed.

Bishop Maximilian Forstpointner confronted Brian Watts and Paul Knightley soon after Brown’s first trial and demanded to know if they would support him “right or wrong.” These two young men stood firmly against Forstpointner’s requirement and they were soon summonsed to a Church court. The question of sustaining “right or wrong” was put to them a number of times, and they were drawn into nasty disputes and name-calling by those who presided over the court. Watts and Knightley were excommunicated because they refused to sustain local Church leaders, especially Forstpointner, “right or wrong.”

Brian Watts and Paul Knightley were probably excommunicated to eliminate them as witnesses so they could not testify against Forstpointer. They were present when he attempted to change the priesthood meeting time in violation of the common consent law.

Wallace Brown was excommunicated from the LDS Church three months after he was disfellowshipped. Independent witnesses, who were waiting outside the court at Brown’s excommunication trial, claimed he was verbally abused in an “unchristian-like manner” by LDS authorities during his rowdy second trial. Brown openly criticized this court for excommunicating Brian Watts and Paul Knightley. Facing no specific charges—and dealing only with personal harassment—Brown declared he was “in the synagogue of Satan…” He left the room and was subsequently excommunicated from the LDS Church.

In November 1978, while still listed as a disfellowshipped Church member, I prepared a seven-page pamphlet, Free Agency and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia, with the assistance of another member, John Mitchell. The pamphlet outlined the “…disintegration of respect for the rights and freedom of the individual within certain quarters…of Sydney…In the Church in Sydney, a number of individuals have been removed from the fellowship of the Church for failing to sustain their local leaders right or wrong, i.e., obedience to authority without regard to personal feelings, conscience, personal revelation, any second witness, self respect, or right of choice…”

Copies of the Free Agency pamphlet were mailed to the presiding officers of every stake, ward, district, and branch of the LDS Church in Australia, each Mormon apostle in Salt Lake City, various LDS mission presidents around the world, and selected Church members in Sydney. John Mitchell and I were promptly excommunicated, along with Stuart Olmstead, who had financed the distribution of the tract. Parker had been replaced by Graham Sully as stake president. Prior to my excommunication trial, when Sully handed me the court summons, he accused me of “causing confusion in the Church.”

The non-specific “conduct in violation of the law and order of the Church” charge was given as the reason on paper for the excommunications of Wallace Brown, Jeff and Brian Watts, Paul Knightley, John Mitchell, Stuart Olmstead, and myself. In actuality, Sydney LDS authorities had overstepped their boundaries—expected unquestioning obedience— and overreacted when they were faced with objections to their behavior. They responded the only way they knew how, by taking punitive action against the members involved.  A number of Mormons in Bankstown and Hurstville wards were familiar with the details of the seven excommunications—and did nothing—along with other members who did not want to know the facts. In spite of the tendency to look the other way, around the time of my exodus from the LDS Church, in early 1976, roughly 30 Mormons left the Church because of the excommunciations and the sustaining “right or wrong” requirement.

Death to the “Ark-steadiers”

Two years after I moved to Salt Lake City, Wallace Brown died in Sydney, in July 1986. After I received the news of his death, I met with Mormon bishop, Larry Shaw, at his home in Salt Lake City. I notified Shaw of Brown’s death and informed him that Brown had been unjustly excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1975. I also advised Shaw I intended to publish an account of my LDS experiences—as a tribute to Wallace Brown.

Shaw compared the LDS Church to the legendary Ark of the Covenant, built in the time of Moses. He flatly stated that God had killed Uzzah, as recorded in the Old Testatment book of 2 Samuel 6:6-7, because Uzzah had tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant when he was not authorized to do so. God would also strike me down, predicted Shaw, if I committed any action (such as publications) which could harm the LDS Church.

The present-day Mormon interpretation of the story of Uzzah is applied to the relationship between members and the LDS Church. Members are instructed they should not correct Church leaders or Church policies, despite any good intentions. Mormons are taught the leaders of the Church are in charge and it is not their place to correct them.

On September 11, 1986, I sent a letter to the First Presidency, the highest-ranking governing body of the LDS Church, advising them I wanted my name cleared of any wrongdoing implied on Mormon records. I requested Church records show I was no longer a member of the LDS Church because I requested this and for no other reason. I objected to the sustaining “right or wrong” mandate imposed by Sydney Church officials.  At my Salt Lake City home, in August 1987, Paul Mecham, stake president of Salt Lake Granite Stake, showed me a letter, dated December 1, 1986, from the First Presidency, affirming my excommunication from the LDS Church. The letter had been signed by each member of the First Presidency, Ezra Taft Benson and Gordon B. Hinckley, both now deceased, and Thomas S. Monson, current Church president and “living prophet.”

Thomas S. Monson, and other LDS higher-ups at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, who were flooded during the 1970s with appeals of concern regarding the abuse of power by Sydney LDS leaders, were complicit in backing blind obedience. Without exception, they rejected all pleas for help and “rubber-stamped” the Sydney excommunications.

Former LDS bishop, Larry Shaw, resurfaced when he phoned me from Atlanta, Georgia, on February 27, 2012. At the time, my research discoveries on the proxy baptisms of well-known Holocaust victims, such as Simon Wiesenthal’s parents and Anne Frank, were receiving extensive media coverage and would prompt Mormon officials to make technological changes that would block my access to their database of proxy rites.

During the hour-long phone call, Shaw attempted to pressure me back into the LDS Church through forceful persuasion. He refused to accept my complete renunciation of Mormonism. I interpreted his call as personal harassment because of the work I had done to uncover posthumous rites for non-Mormons, which had damaged the reputation of the LDS Church. Shaw asked me about my health, three times, and implied that I might soon be going to the other side because of my age. He had called to silence me as a dissenter.

Mormon temple oaths

Faithful Mormons believe their first and foremost duty is uncompromising loyalty to the LDS Church and unquestioning obedience to Church leaders. Obedience is perceived as an active demonstration of implicit trust in the Mormon faith. Mormons who participate in LDS temple ceremonies are locked into a loyalty-to-Church mindset through the rites performed in LDS temples, which include oaths of loyalty and sacrifice to the Church.

The endowment ceremony serves as a rite of adult initiation in LDS temples. During the temple endowment, Mormons take oaths to obey Mormon gospel laws, which include:

  • The Law of Obedience requires participating temple patrons to promise to obey the law of God. Mormons understand the LDS Church to be the one true source of God’s law.
  • The Law of Sacrifice requires participating temple patrons to covenant to sacrifice all that they possess, even their own lives, if necessary, in sustaining and defending “the kingdom of God.” To a Mormon, the term “the kingdom of God” means the LDS Church.
  • The Law of the Gospel includes an admonition to avoid speaking evil of the “Lord’s anointed [Church priesthood leaders].”
  • The Law of Consecration requires participating temple patrons to consecrate themselves, their time, their talents, and everything the Lord has blessed them with, or whatever he may bless them with, to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the building up of “the [Mormon] kingdom of God on the earth…”

Mitt Romney’s Mormon indoctrination

Mitt Romney has been exposed to Mormon authoritarian rule since infancy. Mormonism has been the dominant influence in the forging of his core values and identity. Romney has internalized a theology that unreservedly claims that the LDS Church is “the only true Church” and rejects divine authority in other faiths. Mormons believe the United States was created and chosen by God, as the latter-day “Promised Land,” where Mormonism could come into existence and flourish as the “restoration” of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many Mormons believe the USA will eventually become a Mormon-ruled theocracy.

As an oath-taking temple Mormon, Romney has consecrated his life, talents, and worldly goods to the LDS Church. To be faithful to his temple vows he must also support Mormon ecclesiastical rule. That means following directives from Temple Square as well as his local Church leaders. The issue is whether Romney would be able to separate his actions as president from Mormon doctrines, edicts, and rules governing human behavior.

Differing views on faith have no place in the secular political sphere and the shaping of political policies. The multicultural USA includes Mormons, millions of believers in non-Mormon religions, and non-religious citizens. We should not be governed by a president who has taken private oaths to prioritize the advancement of Mormon agenda above other interests. Flexibility in the rule of law is the hallmark of a successful government.

Mitt Romney is a religious authoritarian whose zeal for Mormon rules mirrors that of his Church. If Romney was the commander-in-chief of this country, he would probably expect to be supported, without question, as he has undoubtedly done in the past when he served in Mormon leadership positions. Like many—if not most LDS leaders—Romney is likely to be insistent on the “rightness” of his position. As a Mormon bishop and stake president in the Boston area, he was used to dictating actions and having members obey his instructions. He did not have to make a case, or answer questions, for his decisions.

In Church, Romney frequently spoke about obeying authority and God’s fixed standards. During Mitt Romney’s years as a bishop and stake president, he would have disciplined Church members and played an active role in excommunicating Mormons. Romney has reportedly said he would support any Mormon bishop who initiates an excommunication from the LDS Church. He has also said he would not question the reasoning behind the excommunication, even if it was for differing views, and not misconduct. This attitude demonstrates Romney’s blind trust in the Mormon system, his one-eyed support of rank and file LDS officials, and his sustaining of Church court judgments “right or wrong.”

Mitt Romney is part of an aggressive Church that demanded blind obedience to its leaders in the past, expects it from members today, and will likely expect it in the future. If Romney is elected as president of our nation, we Americans may soon be required to sustain the White House “right or wrong,” in conformity with the Mormon imperative.

© Copyright 2012 Helen Radkey—Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Massachusetts Would Be Wise To Avoid Romney and His GOP

Perhaps Massachusetts’ flirtation period with the GOP is in its twilight. Current Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) said, “I can tell you,…he was a great salesman who was more interested in having the job than doing it,” describing Mitt Romney’s tenure as Governor of the New England Commonwealth. This seems to be the same attitude he possesses about the job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He wants the power, but really has no intention of using it to benefit the majority of his “subjects.”

This was a man who never concerns himself with minutia like the passage of bills to fund the prevention of hate crimes, he’d rather keep his state on a par in job creation with then Katrina-ravaged Louisiana . While governor, the state’s total job growth was just 0.9 percent, well behind other high-wage, high-skill economies in New York (2.7), California (4.7), and North Carolina (7.6). The national average, meanwhile, was better than 5 percent. Dismal as these numbers are, what’s more telling is Romney’s current poll numbers in his “home” state. President Obama leads Romney 60 percent to 38 percent in the Bay State, a veritable beat down of epic proportions, a pummeling he richly deserves. This similar performance by his TeaParty darling supporter, Senator Scott Brown shows just how little these men care for the state they so poorly represent.

Senator Scott Brown and Willard Romney

Former Cosmopolitan Magazine centerfold and Wall Street favorite, Scott Brown, has shown little concern for the majority of the citizens of Massachusetts. Although he is trying to distance himself from Romney’s 47% remark at a private fundraiser, he has shown he holds a similar world view. He’s a pro-big oil, anti-women, anti-welfare, teabagging Conservative who seems to be losing his allure. He recently proclaimed Justice and Fascist Antonin Scalia as his favorite member of the Supreme Court.

Massachusetts has an abysmal record of electing women in US Senate races, as there has never been a female Senator from the state. Remarkably, his opponent, Elizabeth Warren, has a lead in most polls. If Massachusetts has more sense than the folks in Missouri poised to elect legitimate rape advocate, Todd Akin (R), we should, by all accounts, see the first female Senator from the state. Even with the ugliness of the racial attack on her Cherokee heritage, she still has a fight on her hands that the rest of the country is watching closely.

It seems Massachusetts has gambled with Republicans in the state whose politics has been primarily formed by a Kennedy legacy of service. JFK, RFK and Ted Kennedy, among other greats from the state, have served their populace with dignity and consideration. These nouveau right wing figure heads who have shown nothing more than a politicians look with zero substance are perhaps just a blemish on the Democratic history of Massachusetts. The state was and still is a great voice in a democracy that has no use for shallow, morally bankrupt men like Willard Romney and Scott Brown.

White Collar Mafia Style Bust-Outs Make Romney Very Rich

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last year, you know Mitt Romney was a pivotal figure in the creation and operation of Bain Capital. Willard, a.k.a. Mitt, touts this as his “private sector” experience, which undoubtedly qualifies him for the highest office in this land. He apparently feels being a man with any type of experience in the financial world is far more important than being a Constitutional Law Scholar, like our President, Barack Obama. Our President, unlike the Mormon Bishop, isn’t practiced in masterful money manipulation and debt creation. The Republican Party holds Mitt’s business acumen in such high esteem, they’re literally banking on it by throwing billions at this unsavory candidate.

I have learned of Bain’s questionable legal practices by following some of the companies raided by Willard and his gang at Bain and the tribulations faced by those whose life he destroyed. In addition to the information I’ve come across, Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Article Greed and Debt: the true story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, and the PoliticusUSA’s (RMuse) The Vampire Squad: Meet Romney’s Bain Team that Sent Jobs Into the Twilight both elucidated aspects of Bain Capital’s corporate raider practices.

Willard Romney at Bain, hard at work undermining the American worker

The concept is called “busting out”. White collar crooks described bust-outs as “the perfect crime.” They explained that, by using existing business laws and practices as a cover, they were able to loot and pillage, then pocket the booty without fear of criminal prosecution because, as they noted, it’s not illegal to fail in American business. “So we’re lousy businessmen,” they claim when authorities, regulators or judges would ask them what happened to all the money. Vulture capitalists, not satisfied with the loot alone from these scams have their standards. And what kind of professional bust-out artist would allow big chunks of their ill-earned dough to be siphoned off by – of all people – the feds, in form of taxes? So, total tax avoidance at the end of a successful bust-out is considered mandatory in order to maintain the first rule of a well-executed bust-out: nobody gets paid, not the banks, not the creditors and certainly not the feds. Which brings us to the world of off-shore banking and countries like Bermuda or Panama come into the picture. When full autopsies are performed on the more spectacular bust-outs you almost always find the “equity partners” hiding their identities behind opaque off-shore shell corporations (such as Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors) . Even the members of the boards of directors of these smoke-and-mirror paper corporations are “proxy directors,” these are off-shore lawyers who make a living doing nothing but pretending to sit on the boards of hundreds, even thousands, of paper corporations.

We know Bain saddles failing companies with debt, and somehow profits whether the company makes it or goes bust, as in the case of Kay Bee Toys. When they see they are going to fail, the manager (CEO Michael Glazer who was also with Mitt Romney’s Stage Stores) paid himself and Bain Capital $100 million and then filed bankruptcy. Then Bain Capital is represented by the attorney of eToys (whom sold eToys to Bain Capital/Kay Bee basically for free). The one who asked to prosecute the special bust out was Paul Traub (who was the creditors attorney in eToys and was also with Romney’s Stage Stores). Simple open and shut case, where Bain owns all the parties involved. In essence, no matter where they go or how they do it, even in literal “fire sales” to themselves, they never lose and everyone else gets fried. It’s a brilliant yet extremely insidious plan.

This is surely not the type of business model that is good for America. In fact, (using Taibbi’s words) Willard Romney is “one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time.” Matt Taibbi, Rmuse and special councel Laser Haas have only scratched the surface. There’s a lot more if we just look. If this man and his corporate backers are going to try to do this to America, it is our obligation as patriotic citizens to stop them.

Special thanks to @Laserhaas01 for his valuable assistance with the eToys Petters Fraud case.

Recent development: the case has been reopened, this time not in Delaware but in the New York Supreme Court. See:eToys IPO Suit Against Goldman Moves to NY High Court for more information. Justice will be served! Great News.

Sanctioned Terrorism in the USA by the NRA

In 1994, Democratic Senator Feinstein co-sponsored a ban on nineteen different assault weapons and it was signed into law by President Clinton. Naturally, George W. Bush, whose every act as President was designed to destroy America in one way or another, allowed the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004. Kowtowing to the NRA, the ban has yet to be renewed. President Obama tried in March, 2009 to reinstate the ban, but with sixty-five House Democrats opposing the ban, he and Attorney General Eric Holder could not get this through Congress. Too many are beholden to Wayne Lapierre and his terrorist organization, the National Rifle Association. He and his faithful are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans every year and Wayne seems to wield the power of a fascist dictator among Washington’s inner sanctum.

It appears the perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado massacre legally acquired all weapons and ammunition to carry out this heinous crime. It is mind-blowing how easily one can obtain 6,000 rounds of ammunition online, but can only find one legal facility to have an abortion in Mississippi. I suppose this means the lives of the already born are not as valuable as the lives of the unborn. That’s what Jesus wanted and I’m sure you can find it in the Republican Bible.

NRA President Wayne Lapierre. Sanctioning terrorism in the USA

The NRA is responsible for legislation that creates abysmal firearm-murder statistics for the citizens of this country. Yet the NRA and its apologists continue to mutter this fallacy: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” True – but without easy access guns-as-toys nobody would be killing anyone with such reckless abandon. In fact, the self defense claim is utterly nonsense. According to FBI and Justice Department sources, in 2007 “self defense” claims were used by people charged with crimes involving a shooting in more than 5,000 cases nationwide, including murders and felony assault with a deadly weapon. Courts agreed the defendants acted in self-defense fewer than 250 times. In other words, of the known 5,000 cases, at least 4,750 shootings had nothing to do with self-defense. So when you’re driving behind someone with a bumper sticker saying “If Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns,” you can rest assured, the feeling of revulsion in your stomach is justified. These NRA lunatics are abhorrent and dangerous.

The comparisons with other Western Civilizations are utterly insane. Most of these countries have a fraction of murders by firearms when compared with the statistics from the United States. It’s truly embarrassing. The ease of acquisition of these weapons of death definitely shows how completely ridiculous the notion of arming everyone to increase safety is. The NRA truly has its head up its ass on this premise. If everyone in that movie theater were armed, who knows how many more innocents may have perished by gunshot.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The placement of the comma in this Constitutional Amendment has perverted our sacred document to suit the bottom line of ammunitions and weapons manufacturers. After this latest tragedy, war criminals Cheney and Bush are probably saying, oh well, sometimes innocent people die. This was their attitude when launching a false invasion of a nation, why not keep some of the mayhem for the good old US of A? Apparently this sick, perverted attitude has been bought and paid for by the NRA and their lobbyists.

Until the power of these megalomaniacal murderers is put in check, we will continue to see tragedies of this magnitude. Since the United States constitutes only 4.52% of the Earth’s population, don’t you think it’s a bit insane we purchase over 50%, roughly 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide? Having murder rates as high as we do, we do have a few options. The easiest way to prevent mass casualties is to reinstate the assault weapons ban and try to implement more stringent laws prohibiting the sale of online ammunition. These laws, however, will never be under consideration due to the sheer power and influence of the NRA, our own homegrown terrorist organization.

Scalia’s Fascist Roots Run Deep

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986. He has spent twenty-five years on the bench thus far, ruling always in the direction of the Right. His views are considered almost fascist. In fact, he almost fits the definition of fascism. He is a strict Constitutionalist believing in strong Executive Branch powers. He’s against the Civil Rights Act and has said he would’ve sided with the dissenters in the 1896 Plessy vs Ferguson where legalized segregation was upheld. We are talking about a guy who just might have sided with the Confederate States in the Civil War as he firmly believes in states’ rights. Simply read his dissent to overturning Arizona’s SB 1070, a Draconian law on immigration enforcement. The majority rule said the law infringed on the federal government’s jurisdiction over immigration enforcement, even if the feds may, at times, have fumbled their role.

Scalia: Always Conservative

How did Antonin become the curmudgeon he has evolved into? Perhaps we need simply to look at his dad, Eugene Scalia. He had enormous influence on Justice Scalia. He sent his son to military school where they had to pledge allegiance to Mussolini, Alan Dershowitz has asserted. Scalia Sr. founded the American Fascist Party in 1934 only two years before Antonin was born. Apparently a 60 Minutes interview included extensive biographical information on Justice Scalia and his family, where they identify his father as “a professor of romance languages at Brooklyn College” and failed to disclose that he was a member of the American-Italian Fascist Party during Mussolini’s regime in the 1930s. He’s a man who is well in the tradition of Franco and Mussolini. He’s not an anti-Semite – there’s no bigotry or racism in him at all. But he is somebody who has these views which would have been very comfortable in fascist Italy or fascist Spain.

Cheney and Scalia: Hunting Buddies

Mr. Scalia went on an infamous hunting trip with Dick Cheney in 2004 to his vacation spot in Southern Louisiana. It seems Mr. Cheney’s trip raised growing questions about the propriety of a Supreme Court justice going on a hunt the same time Scalia was hearing a case involving the vice president. The case, which has to do with whether Cheney must reveal who serves on his energy task force. Further complicating the question: The host of the hunting trip is a prominent member of the energy industry. Of course, he did not recuse himself from the case and The Court ruled in Cheney’s favor.

In that same 60 Minutes interview, he told Leslie Stahl and the American people to “get over it” with regards to the legitimacy of the Bush v Gore decision. A puppet of the Bush administration and a staunch enemy of most democratic principles, it’s easy to see why. His father’s allegiances lie with people who were sympathetic with the ways of the Nazis, who basically believe that every function of government should be run by private corporations, that government should be strictly authoritarian, and that there should be no freedom for people within a country. They supported the Nazis in the lead up to World War II. In a notable case, Senator Prescott Bush, an erstwhile member of the American Fascist party, was sanctioned for doing business dealings with the Nazis even after World War II started. It’s no wonder Scalia is the way he is. A corporatist, a segregationist and a big advocate of state’s rights, he may as well be a plantation owner in the Antebellum South. I don’t think his interpretation of the Constitution is what it’s supposed to be. He has a conservative agenda and will always rule for the wealthy corporations. If Willard Romney had been elected, he would have only appointed more like him on the bench.