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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: August 06, 2019 11:42PM

Scathing Lawsuit Seeks Punitive Damages From Mormon Church

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — A federal lawsuit sure to get attention in Utah claims that the “Mormon Corporate Empire” has driven worshipers to existential crises, suicide, anxiety and depression by peddling a “scheme of lies” centered on the religion’s creation and its scriptures, a onetime member claims.

Laura Gaddy on Monday filed a scathing, 75-page class action against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Represented by Salt Lake City attorney Kay Burningham, Gaddy claims the church, which claimed 16 million members worldwide in 2018, twisted “the foundational history of Mormonism” in a “fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations.”

“The material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the [LDS] to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism’s core beliefs,” the complaint states.

The defendant is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Gaddy describes as a holding company, “which owns and/or controls several for-profit businesses.”

The complaint cites official, “whitewashed” teachings of Mormonism claiming to be the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which a divine authority essential to that gospel was taken from Earth after Christ’s crucifixion and purportedly restored hundreds of years later to church founder Joseph Smith.

According to Mormon history, an angel guided Smith to buried gold plates near his home in Upstate New York in 1823. Smith allegedly collected the plates, which were inscribed in reformed Egyptian by ancient Americans with Hebraic DNA, and translated them into the church’s signature text, the Book of Mormon, which he published in 1830.

Mormons migrated to Ohio in 1831 due to persecution for their beliefs, which included polygamy, and Smith was killed by an angry mob while jailed in Missouri in 1844. Mormon settlers arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

Gaddy claims that LDS leaders have recently and partially admitted, “albeit in an intentionally limited and ever changing manner,” that Smith did not directly use gold plates to create the Book of Mormon, contradicting orthodox narrative.

“Those individuals close to Smith during the period of Book of Mormon creation concede that Smith dictated the Book of Mormon while having his head in a hat which contained a seer stone, the same type stone he had previously used to look for buried treasure,” the complaint states.

Smith spent part of his early career in New York as a hidden treasure hunter, and was arrested and tried as a “disorderly person” in 1926, Fraser’s Magazine reported in 1873.

Gaddy claims that historically accurate accounts successfully challenge bogus LDS Church narratives of Smith’s first vision of “two personages whom he believed to be God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ” in 1820, his translation of Egyptian papyri into the Book of Abraham in 1880, and representations of Smith as a monogamist.

“When the true facts are substituted for the longstanding false orthodox narrative, the story that emerges has shocked devoted Mormons who have made life-altering decisions based upon a scheme of lies,” the complaint states.

From 2013 to 2019, the LDS Church published a series of essays via that addressed controversial aspects of its history and theology, including Smith’s first vision accounts, his translations, and Book of Mormon-related geography.

LDS historian Steven Snow said a soft launch of that information was intended to “inoculate” members about the “church’s controversial history,” the complaint states.

LDS leadership, however, did not alert followers to the existence of the essays during annual general conferences, Gaddy says, at which its highest-ranking authorities “warned that the Internet has no truth filter and that sifting through the Internet for information is akin to roaming through garbage.”

In 2015, the LDS Church removed what it claimed to be Smith’s seer stone from a vault and allowed it to be photographed.

That act “was the first in over a century where [LDS] openly admitted that its founding prophet used a seer stone to create the Book of Mormon,” the complaint states.

It continues: “Nevertheless, to this day, neither the actual seer stone nor a photo of it has been referenced or shown in General Conference or, upon information and belief, to those attending weekly services in wards or branches.”

Gaddy attended an LDS ward in North Carolina in her youth, where she “sang children’s tunes about Smith’s golden plates being a record made by [the ancient prophet] Nephi and the first vision in the sacred grove where Smith claimed to see two personages, God the Father and his Son.”

She and the proposed class dedicated their “spiritual, educational, cultural and social life to the Mormon Corporate Empire,” which is composed of distinct participation levels: paid general authorities, unpaid local leadership, relevant business entities and the “Mormon Educational Empire,” the complaint states.

The LDS Church did not respond to a request for comment.

Gaddy seeks punitive damages on seven counts, including RICO, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and emotional distress.

She claims the LDS Church’s false narratives and continuing misrepresentations “caused immeasurable emotional harm in the form of existential crises, suicides, broken families, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, of which [LDS] and members of the Mormon hierarchy are acutely aware.”

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: August 06, 2019 11:47PM

I hope she wins, or at least gets a hefty settlement, but the Morgue is pretty good at buying the silence of its critics. I imagine we'll never hear another word about it if the McDonkie lawfirm has its way.
I've got a better case than her.
She doesn't say a word about all the abuse, which is rampant in my experience.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 06, 2019 11:55PM

“caused immeasurable emotional harm in the form of existential crises, suicides, broken families, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, of which [LDS] and members of the Mormon hierarchy are acutely aware.”

Well sure, if you believe anti-Mormon lies then Lucifer has you in his power. Says so right in the propaganda film.

The right to be stupid is sacrosanct in America. How could we function without it?

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 06:10PM

On the other hand, isn’t this more of a tort case? TSCC has a defective product that harms people. They don’t do risk analysis, address safety complaints, or investigate product failures such as suicides. Plausible deniability doesn’t relieve them of liability for the provably bad consequences of their culty doctrines.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 12:15AM

Man, I've got a terrific story for them; complicity with a lying, hate-filled (now former) spouse....

They KNOWINGLY ditched their own claimed values of Honesty, Kindness, etc. in order to placate a tithe-paying Morbot.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 08:02AM

I've seen your story theme several times involving many different people. I don't doubt you. This is a common theme in Mormonism. They support the perpetrator and punish the victems. If you can't be lied to and deceived easily, then you are of no value to them. Those who lied to you and used you were future church leaders in training.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 09:05AM

I wonder how many of these here who doubt the likelihood of success of this lawsuit, have already taken the time to read all seventy-five pages of the lawsuit filing.

Any time a court filing is made, the judge considers the facts and the law. Especially in a higher profile case, the judge has to consider that his or her reputation is on the line, and that a lot of very educated people are watching. Typically, the safest path for the judge is one of applying the facts and the established laws and applicable precedence, not to go with what others say or what may be popular. So what makes this lawsuit unique? You've got to read the lawsuit to find that out. Some critical thinking and personal research might even be in order.

A lawsuit like this is not like a sporting event where you root for your favorite team or worse yet, for the team that you think is most likely to win. It's more like going to war against someone who has brought harm to you. You root for the team who should rightfully win based on ethics, and you do whatever you can to help them win. You participate, even if only to say that you have read the lawsuit filing and by stating publicly that it is justified based on your experiences. How many people here have signed-up on the website to get updates, and offered to assist Gaddy's law team if possible? If not, why not?

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 03:43AM

the cause of action, as stated, can be applied to virtually any religious organization as well as most ideologically driven political organizations...and governments.

As Babylon has indicated, people living in a somewhat free society have the freedom to be stupid. Unlike the government, religious organizations in the USA cannot legally force you to follow and comply with their brand of stupidity at gunpoint.

It's a good publicity stunt. But nothing more than that.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 04:10AM

The suit doesn't stand a chance in hell. The US and the UK are probably the worst countries in which to mount legal challenges because of their respective constitutional protections of freedom of religion.

That said, "publicity stunts" are not necessarily futile. They force the revelation of inconvenient facts, and they expose problems to public attention. Over time such efforts often do have political consequences.

Tom Phillips lost his case. He also embarrassed the church and raised important issues. It would therefore be a mistake to judge his effort a waste. He made a difference.

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Posted by: ConcernedCitizen 2.0 ( )
Date: September 12, 2019 05:02PM

...yes, it's true that a forced public exposure, however slight, can shift the proposed narrative. Spotlighting the curiosities and abnormalities in LDS history can and will cause some open thinking..........which is the worst outcome,

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Posted by: warren jeffs ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 06:31AM

A former Seventh Day Adventist or Jehovahs Witness or even Scientologist could bring such a law suit against a church like this.A suit against Scientology might get more traction.

I would have to agree that religious fraud claims in western societies are very vague and impossible to prosecute in civil and criminal courts.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 06:51AM

Although religious extremism is a real problem in America today. The courts may want a precedent that allows more leeway in controlling radicalization. Sometimes you want to give the bug man the keys to your house so he can spray for roaches.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 10:51AM

Anything that puts a tighter choakhold on the mormon church is good. If just a few more lies are exposed, a few more people resign, it's all good. Death by a million tiny cuts.

I would like to see some people actually succeed at collecting damages for a fully-disclosed amount. That'll be the beginning of the end of Mormonism as others say "...hey, they did that to me too and this person collected a million dollars? Me too, where do I file?". Let the lawsuits suck their empire dry until there is nothing left to sue and no assets left to go after.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 11:02AM

Even the headline is biased against Laura by use of the word "scathing".
Why didn't the media use the word "justified" instead ?

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 07:46PM

The article says that this is a class action lawsuit. Anyone else here sustain any mental or physical or financial injury as a result of the mormon fraud?

I plan to contact the attorney and ask who is included in the class and maybe even to do what I can to help them even if I don't qualify to be in the class. If that lawsuit is like most, the filing should be publicly available, maybe even over the internet. If not through the internet, then from physically going in to the courthouse. Maybe it could even get posted on RFM. It's likely that I'll get some recovery from reading it. I feel better already just knowing about it.

The idea isn't only to win the suit. Win or lose, the church needs to know they've been punished, even if through embarrassment and loss of members. Of course that equates to a loss of money too, which the church leaders hate most.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2019 07:56PM by azsteve.

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Posted by: Oregon ( )
Date: August 07, 2019 07:55PM

Please let me know as I would love to join this suite. Oregon USA here

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Posted by: mjonesie ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 02:38AM

Check out Kay Burningham's website, she has a place where you can register for more information about joining the class suit.

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Posted by: stillangry ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 02:26PM

You have to sign an NDA. No thanks.

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Posted by: mjonesie ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 02:36AM

Hey there - yes, I did. Mostly emotional, when I discovered all the inconsistencies in church history, and saw how much the church covered up I was devastated. My entire life changed and I struggled with depression and suicide for several months. I really don't know what to think, but it may stand a chance if they can clearly differentiate that they are not trying to claim the church is "false" or "true" - that is immaterial. The point they're trying to make is that the basis and historical facts upon which they build their claims - are false, and willfully covered up or changed. If I had been taught or found out that JS "translated" the BofM from a stone in a hat...I would not have believed the church so fervently and based my life decisions on this religion. They knowingly cover these things up because they know it's BS and don't want to lose members/money.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 08:06AM

It doesn't say how much they are suing for. But as Wally Prince said, all types of governments and religions could be classified in this category. One of my friends spent his whole career working for a US agency, who's sole directive was to cross out all the price tags to all the government contracts made available to customers and the public. There is all kinds of classified files that should be made public. A more effective way to tear down secrecy would be if more people would become whistle blowers, We need more men like Edward Snowdon.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 04:36PM

It will be a difficult case to win. Nevertheless, I like the fact that Kay Burningham frames the issue in this way (she's written a book about this subject), because if Mormonism were not a religion with special protections--all these tactics of fraud, organized crime etc. WOULD apply and a settlement would not be out of reach.

It raises important questions for individuals and society about how far we allow religions to operate without accountability.

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Posted by: Slc ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 05:19PM

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Posted by: auntsukey ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 05:58PM

Even if the lawsuit fails, it would be a victory if it forced in some way a truthful accounting of the M O N E Y!!

I don't know much about how lawsuits work but what if this suit had the effect of making the church parse their holdings in such a way a to show the co-mingling of tithing in its business dealings?

Possible positive outcomes:
•Forced financial disclosures
•Loss of tax exempt status
•Negative publicity
•Exposure and embarrassment
•Affirmation for closet disbelievers
•More resignations

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Posted by: Orion ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 05:12PM

How do I get in on this?

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: September 08, 2019 08:06PM

Why not make it a class action lawsuit?
I mean were we not all lied to and defrauded?

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Posted by: Aloysius ( )
Date: September 08, 2019 09:34PM

Umm... that's what it is.

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Posted by: Gheco ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 12:02AM

This will fail miserably, even if the case is assigned to a non mormon judge.

The only hope of a successful lawsuit against LDS Inc will come from the systematic coverup of sexual abuse and exploitation.

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Posted by: eternal1 ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 09:19AM

"This will fail miserably, even if the case is assigned to a non mormon judge."

How do you know this? Are you claiming to have prophetic powers with an ability to see into the future?

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 09:15AM

My response go Ghecko's post somehow got positioned about twenty posts up higher, below another response that I made instead of where I intended it to be.

It is about twenty posts up higher up and has to do with why Gaddy should win this suit, and by asking what others have done here to help where they can. I don't think it's fair for anyone to cast doubt when they haven't even read the court filing and don't really seem to care who wins. This isn't a game of spectator sports, it's about people's lives.

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Posted by: nolongerangry ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 12:19PM

The judge is Mormon?! That is biased and the judge needs to recuse herself for a conflict of interest. Of course the judge will side with the church, even if she claims to be following the law. Pathetic.

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Posted by: exmojosh ( )
Date: September 12, 2019 04:00AM

No, the judge is not Mormon.

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Posted by: ICEMAN ( )
Date: September 12, 2019 01:48PM

Thanks for that info...good news

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 09:06AM

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Posted by: Zeezromp ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 02:52PM

In a country where scam artists like Benny Hinn can prosper and numerous other religious scammers just like him, the best this will do is create a few PR problems for the Mormon cult and that's about it, though beneficial in it's own way and perhaps worth trying for that alone.

Religious freedom unfortunately means ludicrous claims can be made to solicit money and membership for free labour.

JW leaders have been offering it's members eternal life without even first needing to go through the dying process in it's promises to members for the last 120 or so years. They have all died (just like everyone else) and no one got a refund.

The claims are still the same for todays JW victims and additionally many kids (and adults) are being sacrificed to death over refusing medical treatment (blood transfusions) and no one has ever been found guilty of murder or even manslaughter.

That's 'religious freedom' for you.

Buyer of these religious products beware.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 28, 2019 11:12PM

With no access to the lawsuit trackers I don't know what the status is on this case or if it has been thrown out or what.

Is there a good source or blog that is tracking this case?

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: December 29, 2019 12:17AM

The court may not have certified them as a class. I'll look around.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: December 29, 2019 12:39AM

Nov 26, 2019

NOTICE OF HEARING ON MOTION re: 6 MOTION to Dismiss and Memorandum in Support Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) or, Alternatively, 12(b)(6) : (Notice generated by Mary Jane McNamee) Motion Hearing set for 2/13/2020 at 01:30 PM in Rm 3.100 before Judge Robert J. Shelby. (mjm) (Entered: 11/26/2019)

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Posted by: Kerri (mamato4) ( )
Date: December 29, 2019 01:25AM

Clearly a biased media/newspaper outlet. Owned and/or run by the church or its zombies.

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