I’m a human rights and social advocate with special focus on public policy, socio economics and government. I’ve covered politics, elections and investigative journalism spanning television and print for CBC, Huffington Post, plus many newspapers and magazines local to Ontario, Canada. Topics include the economics of poverty, the economics of the Occupy movement and the privatization of health care. In the advocacy hat I’ve worked with Oxfam regarding children’s rights/protections and the G20. I’m a spokesperson for the Ontario Association of Social Workers on matters of child benefits and inequality between classes. Have consulted for government on social assistance policy and published same for Open Government projects. When I’m not busy doing all that I’m working on a health care inquiry. Not just privatization, but a full free trade market. Stay tuned!
In the interest of time, we’ll skip the lengthy opener and refer to Part 1 (Religious Royalty) of the series. Warring for President continues examination of the Romney legacy and building the path to Mitt:
In the course of establishing Mormons as an American staple and tracking their migration to Ohio from New York, Joseph Smith founded the Kirtland Safety Society with the help of his associates including business Apostles like Grandpa Parley. It was a quasi bank for Mormons based on stock valuation, with the express intent of helping the brotherhood purchase all surrounding lands. Latter Day Saints were intent on birthing their own sovereignty and that could only begin with a territory to transform religious canon into law.
The mass purchase of property didn’t go over well with previous inhabitants, but the institution’s final demise came at the hands of insider fraud that resembles the current market collapse. The bank made continuous loans to push non-believers out of the area without having the capital to cover disbursements. This may even be where the term “ phony as a $3 bill” originated, as the bank printed exactly these worthless denominations and put all local Mormons in the poor house for holding them.
(Mormon $3 bill, Kirtland Safety Society/Bank)
Inner discord was not enough to plummet the church into shame. It wasn’t until fraud charges were announced that Smith and the Mormons would flee to avoid capture in the middle of the night, January 12, 1838. Along with the Romneys they would attempt to overtake Missouri and lay claim to the purported twin city of Zion, as the new headquarters and rightful place of Saints.
Again this wasn’t well received by Christians or presiding authorities of the new state. Heralding fantastic claims of celestial ownership, concentrating Mormons to elect their own and disapproval of polygamy were a few of the allegations against those of the colonizing faith.
At a midpoint of conflict the Lieutenant Governor attempted to mediate with Mormons and resettled them to what became Far West. In turn Joseph Smith would prophesize the new location to be Adam-ondi-Ahman; the same place Adam and Eve took refuge upon expulsion from the American Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately this effort became futile when Mormons defied the boundaries of their settlement and vigorously spilled into adjacent counties, laying claim to those as well. This swell was enabled by the defection from Ohio and spawned an Election Day skirmish that resulted in Mormons taking Judge Adam Black hostage at gunpoint to do their bidding. Under duress he was forced to sign an allegiance with Smith and once returned to safety, the state responded with criminal charges against the violent band of Latter Day Saints.
Instead of backing down, the Mormon militia torched and pillaged the homes of unfaithful Missourians, also while stealing their businesses for personal gain, committed in the name of the church. According to official entries from Major Joseph McGee,
“For over two weeks we could stand in our door… and see cabins burning. Scarcely one was left standing in the county unless occupied by Mormons.”
Members of the government felt Saints were trying to capture the entire state, as Mormon leaders were preaching to parishioners inciting violence to the bloody end. This resulted in the famous Extermination (eviction) Order commissioned by Governor Boggs, which was levied as a last resort to bring an end to the Missouri Mormon War.
As per terms of that agreement Mormons were found to owe for damage and allowed to leave in peace, if they forfeited their property to foot the bill in yet another ravaged state. There was initial rebellion against the government and only after the church executive put their settlers in harm’s way, did Joseph Smith and the twelve Apostles accept conditions to relocate their people. These circumstances included surrender of self and fellow leaders; on indictment of treason, murder, arson, burglary and larceny. All court documents can be viewed as archives, courtesy of the Secretary of State.
These judiciary pages cite Mitt’s great-great grandpa Parley as a main perpetrator in the town burning (11/12/1838 Witness Ezra Williams), in addition to being one of the few imprisoned for committing murder (3/6/1841 State of Missouri vs. Parley P. Pratt, Maurice Phelps and Lyman Gibbs). Official court record is one of few places to confirm the Romney family’s involvement, as most popular history pages have glossed over this Apostle.
But Parley did indeed play a great role as jailed leader and close partner of Joseph Smith. He was the Prophet to teach all Prophets at the School of Prophets in Missouri, where lesser Apostles were sent for counsel to grasp the doctrine he helped create. During the incarceration, they were also broken out of captivity together and fled to Nauvoo, Illinois. It is here a subsequent Mormon town was colonized and great-great grandpa Miles Romney was graciously waiting to build the next temple.
In just a few short years after the mayhem in Missouri, the Mormons were living semi peacefully in Illinois. It is claimed they sought retribution against Governor Boggs from afar and there was an attempt on his life resulting in 3 gunshot wounds to the head.
But in the shelter of their newest settlement, the Prophets took warring lessons from the past and put them to good use. They immediately sought a city charter that enshrined the right to a bonafide militia, ironically named the Nauvoo Legion – since Nauvoo means “to be beautiful” in Hebrew.
Such entitlements afforded Saints their own municipal court, police and university, from which they would construct the ultimate goal of theocracy as directed by the Book. They also made headway by assuming prominent positions within the Freemasons, to bolster community allies in their mission.
However, when harsh feelings from non-Mormons arose about that pesky issue of polygamy, Joseph Smith headed every level of the law and there was no recourse for outsiders. They had effectively taken control of a city from all possible positions. Smith was the mayor, judge, church president and commander of the militia.
Amongst the dissatisfaction Illinoisans took to founding their own newspaper the Nauvoo Expositor, but it only lasted one printing and was deemed a public nuisance by the church. Smith accordingly ordered it to be destroyed and the presses were smashed along with burning everything in sight. The only free speech in a theocratic domain would belong to Joseph Smith and the Apostles, with capable Romney editors to filter the news. This act was considered outrageous and the dissenters of heretical prophecy brought their complaints to law enforcement, but Smith was empowered as the sheriff and judge so the charges were dismissed. In fact any complaints against Mormons in the town of Nauvoo were dismissed.
At the same time the almighty Quorum of Twelve Apostles congregated to create the Council of Fifty, whose task was campaigning on the Prophet’s behalf to become the President of America. The local order they currently enjoyed was only the beginning of the true Mormon mission; to establish the government of God that was ready to rule the world upon His Second Coming. The long name of this council is The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servant (pdf study file) – but it was shortened to “The Fifty” by the number of prophets who would be given these keys to ensure a Mormon God was controlling the US government. They would only toil to get their Prophets elected and have continued these pursuits with Mitt Romney, his father George Romney and all Mormon politicians running for Governor or President before them. This is a pillar in the Latter Day Saint’s Doctrine and Covenants.
Feeling oppressed themselves, Christians approached the Illinois legislature that was compelled to incarcerate Joseph and his marauders, due to contravening matters of free speech and persecuting others with unabashed personal use of Mormon police. They were accused of employing arbitrary violence in an effort to silence their critics, apprehended by the state and placed in Carthage Jail to await trial.
Still afraid of his connections and flagrant abuse of theo-democracy through other church members, there was a backlash from non-Mormons all around. Anti Latter Day Saints finally had enough and believed there was little chance of convicting Smith or his entourage. A band of community vigilantes then decided to take assassination into their own hands. Joseph Smith died on June 27, 1844, to be worshipped forevermore as the martyr of Mormon, after that mob laid siege to his jail cell.
Apostle Brigham Young stepped in to fill the leadership; with Parley, Orson and Miles at his immediate side. Although the Book of Mormon was created by Smith’s revelation, it is Young who would become the greatest father of the clan. He set out to preach polygamy and theo-democracy even more so than his predecessor. Brigham and (fellow Apostle) Uncle Orson christened these theories into doctrine and had it reported through the church newspaper the very next day.
This created a split of sorts and Mormons who were shy about plural marriage ended up going their separate way. Politically there was still much discord and the Saints holding strong in Nauvoo were eventually stripped of their city charter by the state legislature. That action gave rise to the third confrontation known as the Illinois Mormon War and despite the dressing down, they continued to run a covert arm of religious police and government. Eventually they had to come to terms that without the legal backing, their rebellion was fairly futile.
Instead of repeating quite the mayhem that took place in Missouri, Brigham Young and company negotiated their departure and set out to build the Mormon Trail all the way to Utah, where no faithless federal government could condemn their way of rule. This is where Uncle Orson would demonstrate his own leadership by carving that path and claiming Salt Lake City in the name of Latter Day Saints (see Mathematician and Scientist).
On the paternal plane, Mitt’s great-grandpa Miles Park Romney was born in Nauvoo of polygamous parentage and he followed in his father’s footsteps. A church editor, chief of theocratic police, builder of Mormon religious temples and a studious attorney; he attempted to challenge congressional anti polygamy laws on behalf of his prophetic underlings as a young man in Utah.
Maternally, Mitt’s other great-grandpa Helaman Pratt was born somewhere on the trek between Nauvoo and Salt Lake in the winter crossing the plains of Iowa. At the age of twenty-three he would depart for Nevada and settle the Mormon religion there, in addition to performing the first baptisms in Mexico as that president as well. Miles Park Romney went with him, since both were interested in protecting their right to plural wives while the federal government of America was clamping down. They continued to chart new lands and bring the doctrine with them as leaders of the church.
Mitt Romney commands an identical post, as stake president of the Boston area. He doesn’t possess polygamous wives, but in part three of the series we’ll examine why. We’ll also take a look at the true accomplishment of the first theocratic state government, upon Mormons capturing Utah from the Indians. There’s only one more war to go before we arrive at the immediate family and the exact nature of Mitt’s inheritance.
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Theocracy, or as Mormons call it theo-democracy; is a system of government controlled by Apostles according to their God’s law. It is the way Saints believe the earth must be run to achieve their fate as inheritors of the planet and managers of Jesus’ power. Addressing the staples of Mitt’s religion was less about faith than it was to demonstrate the goal s of a political prophet. On our journey to understand his calling, we are now stopping in the state of Utah.
The western frontier was mostly their own, as pioneers forged the Mormon Trail to the great valley. Utah was deemed the new Jerusalem and new platform from which a theocratic government could thrive without the interference of Washington. Brigham Young was the equally new president of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and he picked the next Heaven on earth, while Mitt’s family were the ones to proclaim it Zion on behalf of their kin to follow.
Great-great grandpa Parley, along with Uncle Orson, was first on the scene and considered to be one of the most influential Apostles in the building of an empire. Amongst his sermons that founded the doctrine, he also created a language (beyond Reformed Egyptian) that was secretive within the Saints. The Deseret Alphabet was rebellion against the Latin based English language and relied more on phonetic symbols, known only to the creator and those he taught. Although books were translated in the new form it became too cost prohibitive to transition the whole community and the tongue of Deseret was then used as the code of personal missives. Curiously this language was important enough to mark the gold Utah currency from the Latter Day Saints mint.
(Wikimedia Commons, from LDS Mint)
(Wikimedia Commons, from University of Deseret)
In the beginning the iconic Mr. Young petitioned the federal government to create the state of Deseret. The eager proposition included most of the west (including parts of what is now California, Wyoming, Nebraska, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah), to be regulated by Saints according to the Book of Mormon. They used the Constitution to justify theocratic rule and that argument was reasonably successful, except with the Civil War approaching the ambitious land grab was reduced from Deseret to the Territory of Utah (see Compromise of 1850).
The Mormon clan formed their own legislature, ensuring only Prophets and Apostles held these bureaucratic positions. This included Mitt’s predecessors as the first senators and constitution drafting members of the legislative assembly. The government of Utah was dedicated to men-Gods and the full senate was re-baptized to confirm the purity of their hierarchy as the main condition to being sworn in (see Dec 30, 1856). They sought to build a wall around their fortress, to keep the goodness in or the evil out and as a result the religion-ruled state was finally realized.
The courts were ecclesiastical in nature and Brigham Young exercised tighter control over the lives of inhabitants than any other state as the first governor. The United Order of Enoch was established, stipulating residents would owe all their profits from commerce and trading directly to the church for the benefit of the Mormon community. The Welfare Plan was such that non Apostles could work on the farms and be fed for their contribution to the literal commune, as a means of giving the poor some purpose within their ranks. Despite many troubles gaining adoption, the most successful areas were under command of the Romneys/Pratts and this feat remains a condition to achieving world ownership according to the official Mormon Doctrine and Covenants.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints describes early Utah in these terms (see Provisional State of Deseret),
“There was no separation of church and state because the Latter Day Saints considered all affairs of the kingdom of God to be one, whether spiritual, economic or political.”
Upon the grand opening of the first Utah tabernacle (architect Miles Romney), Brigham Young delivered an impassioned sermon to command support for their theocratic version of government. He goes on to warn that any person of riches who hoards them from the church, will be condemned to an eternity of suffering and ousted from the kingdom. (Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young, Weakness and Impotence of Men, pgs. 201-203, April 1852, with access to scan of original church document.)
Current lessons for Mormons include explanation of their gospel as the only way to exaltation, noting all earthly religions before them fell short of becoming God’s rulers and are therefore part of the Apostasy. Humans were only returned to the divinity through the prophecy of Joseph Smith and the Twelve Apostles,
“The Lord began to prepare those social, educational, religious, economic and government conditions under which he could more easily restore the gospel for the last time.”
This quote is taken from Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition 1966, as presently instructed by LDS leaders. The book was revised by Mitt’s cousin and former Mormon president Marion Romney, from its original “tone” that was deemed too blunt for the masses. Although it remains a cornerstone for Bishops to teach, the church ceased printing any more copies should they fall into critical hands. When Mitt was confronted about this in April 2012, according to the Washington Post the discussion was off limits. The presidential nominee would only address his faith as opposed to the workings of it.
According to the Divine Constitution (that Mormon’s feel was angelic inspiration for the American one),
“We’re now digesting a plan which in its operation would decide forever the fate of Republican Government…. It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. Tis right politically, for a man who has influence to use it. From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get.”
More adeptly preached by Grandpa Parley in the church’s Journal of Discourses (see pg 10),
“The Jews once held the Gospel, with its Apostleship, powers, and blessings offered unto them, but they rejected it as a people and for this reason it was taken from them…. These blessings would have continued on earth and would have been enjoyed in all the ages and nations of man, but for the agency of the people. They chose their own forms of government, laws, institutions, religions, rulers and priests, instead of yielding to the influence and guidance of the chosen vessels of the Lord, who were appointed to instruct and govern them.”
They created their own money to govern themselves and since the land was essentially free, it was divvied up amongst the Saints who then donated the deeds to the church. Much of this prosperity was used to benefit the Romney family as executives of LDS and so appeared Prattville, the Pratt Ward (entire region) and numerous historical sites maintained in the Romney honour.
Grandpa Parley became a top judge who wrote many of Utah’s early laws, Uncle Orson was the stake president and polygamously-related Uncle Mathoni was named the presiding bishop. Because the family was so heavily impacted by considerable plural marriages it is difficult to outline every one of Mitt’s makers, but they all enjoyed esteemed positions within the administration of Mormonism. The founding capacity of Apostle grandparents on both sides of the tree has spawned an American made patriarchy in which every Romney may aspire for the crown. (See Romney family tree.)
Upon rebirth of the ‘ancient gospel’ to Mormons there was also recreation of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Only those special enough and called to the highest order can achieve this oneness with God and bestowal of His powers as a Prophet. Mitt is a Melchizedek Priest (see The Washington Temple). His dad was a Melchizedek Priest, as were all Romneys of Apostle heritage since the beginning of Mormon in 1830.
Grandpa Parley explains (Journal of Discourses by Parley P. Pratt, Reminiscences and Testimony of Parley Pratt, pgs 194-201, Sept 1856, with access to scan of original church document),
“I learned something of the rights of the Church…. the restoration of the Priesthood and many important truths….The man that believes in Mormonism, believes in…. the keys of the Priesthood and Apostleship, and through those keys the people are to be built up, preserved, sanctified and prepared for the coming of the Lord. These keys came from Joseph Smith who received them from…. the risen Jesus, the Redeemer of men. If we harken unto these keys we shall be saved and inherit the celestial glory and exaltation….”
Only iconic men can be Apostles and the church produces a lesson guide to teach women about the respect they must show them. Although they’re permitted to receive blessings, only males can hold these limited keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. This birthright is so protective that Prophet and father George Romney shared his testament on record while paving the way for Mitt.
As a sidebar, Cousin Marion Romney was born in Chihuahua, Mexico along with George W. Romney. Mitt’s father was a Mormon bishop, stake president and high priest who became the Republican governor of Michigan. Immediate Grandpa Gaskell Romney ran for county commissioner as a Republican and Cousin Henry B. Eyring spoke of him as the church patriarch who gifted his official blessing. This was before Henry’s exaltation as an Apostle to the Quorum of Twelve in 1995. Mitt’s polygamous but immediate other grandfather is Rey Pratt, who served as president of bringing Mormonism to Mexico. Cousin Vernon B. Romney completed missions for the Saints and sat as attorney and chair for the Utah Republican party before making his own run for governor.
Great uncle George S. Romney also completed missions and was rewarded with the presidency of Brigham Young University in Idaho. He added his name to a Supreme Court lawsuit brought by Mormons against the United States government, to recoup property in Utah that was confiscated due to transgressions by the church against federal law. He was not successful but challenged the court to the very end. Cousin Spencer W. Kimball then received exaltation to the Quorum of Twelve to make it a family affair. He then inherited the all-powerful presidency and instituted the Indian Placement Program; where indigenous children were taken from their homes to be assimilated into white culture and educated by the Mormon Church.
Marion on the other hand, went from working at the Salt Lake post office to becoming the city prosecutor, before winning a spot in the state legislature as a Democrat. However, this resulted in being called to the Quorum of Apostles so he’d resign his post under a non-Republican banner. He was tasked with chairing the Home Teaching committee which regrettably led to lawsuits that persist to this day, regarding complications with oversight and the abuse of youngsters while in an Elder’s care. The Mormon religion purports to be a Republican institution, but aside of this all Romney men have stood as general authorities of this highly political religion. Church president Marion Romney also descended from an original Apostle through polygamy, but Mitt’s particular lineage is worshipped as the most esteemed of any.
Had a rough go with polygamy not hampered his ambitions, Grandpa Parley might have succeeded Brigham Young as president of the faithful. But non-Mormons of the founding day were staunchly against the ministry of plural wives and God-dom, giving rise to tipping points that precipitated the Utah War.
The way grandpa contributed is through a mission he took to Arkansas to preach the gospel and convert those who’d never heard it. While there he celestially married another wife, Eleanor McLean, but she was already legally married to Hector and they had a few children. Grandpa Parley absconded with the lady and her little ones, although he claims to have saved them from a life of oppression without the Book of Mormon.
Needless to say Hector was angry and when stifled by the law he took matters into his own hands. Parley Pratt was murdered May 13, 1857 and his remains never made it back to Utah. What did return was word of the Apostle’s demise and this reignited the violent side of every ecclesiastic general in the Utah Mormon army, including President and Governor Brigham Young.
A plan was hatched to exact revenge but the Saints didn’t want their name on it. News arrived that a caravan was migrating from Arkansas and Mormons set out to deceive the Indians about it. They felt the people of Arkansas were responsible for not protecting the Prophet and wanted to see these 120 men, women and children sacrificed to atone for their error.
In his last confession, a fellow by the name of John D. Lee explains he was sent to spin the tale, that an emigrant group was on their way and Mormons had word they planned to viciously kill the Indians. The only option was to destroy the group and convincing them took a great deal of prodding. The orders had come from Brigham Young and the Apostles though, so Brother Lee wasn’t in a position to let them down.
After desperate negotiation he managed to sell the idea and Indians, against their better judgement, set out to snuff the allegedly threatening clan on their way from Arkansas. To their surprise the travelers were formidable and managed to fight them off, with the tribes returning to Lee in horror asking for the same help in return.
According to Plan B the Mormon army accepted responsibility to commit the act. It was a terrible ambush on September 11, when Saints befriended pioneers to gain their trust and swooped in to murder everyone when their guard was down. It was dubbed the Mountain Meadows Massacre and to this day it remains one of the darkest moments in establishing Mormonism.
In the meantime Brigham Young declared martial law in the Territory of Utah. The federal government passed anti-polygamy laws and decided to crack down on the theo-democratic violence as well. Eventually this led to the 1890 Manifesto in which Mormons would give up plural marriage and senate, in exchange for clemency (related to polygamy) and having Utah inducted into statehood with access to federal funding.
The only last bit of business was persecution for the massive slaughter at Mountain Meadows. Despite John D. Lee being unable to kill 120 alone, Brigham Young and the Elders testified against him to protect themselves and higher ranking Prophets. It’s a sad story no matter the perspective and upon his execution, Mr. Lee made rather poignant comments regarding the treachery of these Apostles.
Up next is the special Mormon doctrine focused on Blacks, Jews, Indians & Christians; followed by Good Ole Dad and how these theories make their way into real legislative and moral actions committed by Mitt Romney and his prophetic family.
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Minorities have certainly seen their share of discrimination and Mormons may be the only group who’ve bothered to canonize such indifference. The years 1978, 2000 and 2009 will come to be pivotal, but first we must describe the scripture and beliefs that led to the indoctrination of fear. Remembering Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the Romney Apostles were selected by angels, the following is essentially their description of how we should treat our fellow man according to The Book and skin colour. This is not my view and with concern, I only report to be the messenger.
This challenging conversation begins with identifying the word Lamanite, since it’s a Saintly term uniting two of the three and accounts for Native Indians as well as Mormons being the blood descendants of Israel. As with most LDS (Latter Day Saint) creations previously explained, this is another example of a word and train of thought that can’t be found beyond the Book of Mormon. (Atheists will need to bear a little longer as we sort through the logistics of doctrine, as they will illuminate Mitt Romney’s policies upon conclusion of the series. This is required reading and the last stretch of background before getting to the heart of current politics.)
The church believes Indian tribes from around the world are Lamanites and constitute part of the original Israelis scattered from the Kingdom of God. They’re fabled to escape Babylon and the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar in Jerusalem, as the unknown prophets that got away and weren’t revealed until 1830 by Mormon. Instead of following the traditional Torah or Bible this new people is said to hop on boats and settle America – where the real holy land is located and Jesus is reported to have risen. Coincidentally, Nebuchadnezzar relates to what Mormons are taught about Bible Christians and perhaps Mitt has been disingenuous when claiming to be Christian on the campaign trail (Journal of Discourses, Volume 5, pgs. 73-75).
Before we get any further it is important to explain the Book of Mormon; that it’s not a simple chapter written by a single prophet. The Book is a collection of chapters that mimic the Holy Bible; through some amount of copying and complete additions of an entirely new story. Whereas the Bible contains the Old and New Testaments; Mormon scripture contains only select lines and mixes them with new material, while failing to provide credit or explanation for where the two doctrines diverge.
A prime example is the Book of Nephi from Mormon literature, versus the Book of Isaiah from the Christian Bible. In Nephi the Saints plagiarize lines from Isaiah in the first and second half, but they add their own take from Mormon prophets unknown to Christianity to fill the middle. It is amongst these additions that we find the most trouble, especially about Blacks, Jews and Indians. LDS calls these new Apostles preachers of the restored gospel and argues Christians and Jews will be judged for their failure to accept the newest version of the truth.
Many a writer has attempted critique of the Book of Mormon, as did Mark Twain (of Huckleberry Finn fame) at the time of its inception. In his best-selling novel Roughing It, the prolific wordsmith reports on his visit with the Saints of Salt Lake valley, while passing through to the California gold rush. He also stumbled upon the plagiarism and described the scripture as chloroform, also known as a sweet tasting poison. In defence of this criticism Brigham Young University continues to refute the assessment with some unkind words of their own and as an arm of the Church directly.
Mormons believe not only that Jesus, Adam and company were man-Gods, but that new Apostles can be born every day and they harken to the Mormon faith. Therefore they created the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as the Pearl of Great Price and the Journal of Discourses, to serve as companion guides with the Book of Mormon written by present day prophets like Mitt Romney and his ancestors (Abraham 1). A Mormon Apostle has a calling to receive new revelations which are just as important as Moses or Abraham in the days of yore. Only those of the Melchizedek Priesthood are endowed with this ability, but as previously noted the presidential hopeful is indeed one of them and subject to revelations that could change the course of faith at any time (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 289).
Strung throughout the core literature we find messages that are less than inspiring. Mormons believe they are the covenant people who are righteously able to wield the power of God, especially in judgment of Jews who do not convert to the Mormon version of Christianity.
“Wherefore he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” (2 Nephi 10:16)
Let us be clear that Mormons are the only remaining, entitled seed of Israel and the covenant made with Jewish descendants was overridden by a new covenant forged with modern day Apostles in America. The Jews were deemed a wicked abomination (Nephi 1: 19-20), for which vengeance must be sought (Mormon 8: 32-41), because they refuse to accept Jesus Christ as God and therefore their church is of the devil (1 Nephi 14). The Saints are further seeking justice against Jews for committing Jesus’ crucifixion (2 Nephi 10: 3) – however misplaced.
If anyone fails to heed Joseph Smith and his Quorum of Twelve Apostles they’ll be cut from society (Doctrine & Covenants 1: 14-18). As the true heirs to Israel, they brought the Book of Mormon across the seas to America as a “white, exceedingly fair and beautiful” people (1 Nephi 13: 15). They also slur at other churches for excluding their testimony by calling them harlots (1 Nephi 13). More spectacular is their claim the Mormon Twelve will constitute the panel that sits in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel (3 Nephi 27: 27) or they became a “dark and loathsome, filthy people” as punishment for disbelieving (1 Nephi 12: 9-10 & 23). Native Indian-Lamanites could become white and delightsome if only they bond through marriage to Mormon Elders, but I’m not sure the same deal is being offered to Orthodox Jews.
Brigham Young once asked his followers if you can make a Christian of a Jew. Although the answer was no, it was decided if a Jew renounced all they knew to become a Saint, that the evil blood of Judah would be purged from their veins (Journal of Discourses, Volume 2, page 142). Therefore, in a heartfelt plea unto their brothers of Israel, the Mormons provided one last chance to repent (Book of Mormon, Chapter 7),
“Know that ye are the house of Israel. Know that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved. Know that ye must lay down your weapons of war and delight no more in the shedding of blood…. Know that ye…. must…. repent of all your sins and iniquities and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God and that he was slain by the Jews…. Therefore repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus…. And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the covenant; and if…. ye believe in Christ and are baptized first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savoir…. it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.”
This statement applies to both Jews and Indians, who do not subscribe to the practice of baptism or Jesus Christ as the one almighty Savior. These apparent blasphemers were marked with a curse according to the Book of Alma 3: 6-11, although there are countless Mormon scriptures to solidify this division and reasons for the shades of sin,
“The skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren…. who were just and holy men. The Lord God set a mark upon them…. And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that the Lord might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction. And it came to pass that whosoever did mix his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his (children).”
Pertaining to Native Indians in North America, it was Mitt’s cousin Spencer Kimball who began the Indian Placement Program as president of the church. The idea was to assimilate them into Mormon, white culture; while providing education and baptism into LDS. As with any foster parenting there were good stories and bad, causing backlash that resulted in government study during 1977. Many natives accused the service of destroying indigenous culture and eventually it was disbanded in the year 2000, however unofficially. A non-profit group named Worlds of Difference sought to explore these challenges in protecting one’s heritage and produced a documentary examining the pros and cons of this program. In it they state,
“A handful of former students told me they had been physically or sexually abused in their foster homes, but were still grateful to have found the Gospel. A great number spoke of abuse in their natural families and of mothers who used Placement to protect them.”
Those who blended successfully may have become part of the singing group at Brigham Young University:
Another contentious part of Mormon culture has raised important questions for Blacks. From plentiful scriptures we can ascertain they were cursed with blackness for smiting the white God of Nephi (2 Nephi 5: 21-23). In 1954, Apostle Mark Peterson gave an especially troublesome address to the Mormon teacher’s conference about the Negro Question. It was after the US Army desegregated and a Supreme Court decision promoted integration amongst schools that he offered this,
“I have read enough to give you an idea what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a café where white people sit…. It appears the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. This is his objective and we must face it. We must (not) feel sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have…. This Negro…. which justified the Lord in sending him to earth…. with a black skin – if (he) is willing when he hears the Gospel to accept it…. and is truly converted…. he can enter the Kingdom. He will go there as a servant….”
This belief is stirred by a number of Mormon prophets. They assert the people of Canaan were cursed with heat, a barren land and marked with blackness on all their children to be despised throughout the land. Because they were black they could claim no place amongst the Saints either, except in continued servitude (Moses 7: 8, 9 & 22).
As governor, Brigham Young delivered a speech in the legislature on February 5, 1852. Entitled Slavery, Blacks and the Priesthood; he proceeded to inform the government about the origin of African blackness. He emphatically professes it to be the curse of Cain, from whence Cain slayed his brother Abel in the first murder committed by humans. Departing from Christianity however, the theocratic governor thought anyone who produced mixed children should be murdered as a favour,
“Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse…. upon themselves, but they entail it upon their children after them and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head – and kill man, woman and child, it would do a great deal toward atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? No it would be a blessing to them – it would do them good that they might be saved with their Bren. A man would shudder should they hear us talk about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood.”
Men did hear it though from this address in sitting government. Grandpa Parley and Uncle Orson held elected posts, as they continued debating the US Constitution on this matter. By their interpretation, it had no right to undermine the Territory of Utah and Blacks should never be afforded the right to assume office.
In continued persecution, their perceived lack of intelligence was documented in the Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 290,
“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of intelligence that is normally bestowed upon mankind…. Cain slew his brother…. and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind…. and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the “servant of servants” and they will be until the curse is removed; and the abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”
It goes on to say the curse can only be lifted after all the fair people have reached the priesthood. Only then, at the very end, can Blacks be relieved of the smiting put upon them. It is clear white skin accounts for holiness to Mormons because they also compare the shades of coloured races against one another, to suggest they each remember their own filthiness when seeking a hierarchy amongst the dejected (Jacob 3: 8, 9). The term white and delightsome has been repeated many times, in many speeches and Books ( Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 336).
A more detailed account of Indian skin colour becoming whiter due to Mormonism, Jews having their blood changed to achieve Mormon repentance, the curse of Cain and the selling of Black slaves between LDS Saints, police surveillance of dissidents, a shooting, legislative denial of civil rights, oppression of Martin Luther King and a Supreme Court case preventing Blacks from becoming Boy Scout leaders can be found in a thorough investigation here (162 pages of predominantly Black history with the Church of Mormon, including historical documents from the beginning until 2004).
Whereas discrimination against others can be summarized in paragraphs; it is impossible to quote the real actions taken against Blacks in this type of overview. There’s an extensive history behind the doctrine taught to Prophet Mitt Romney and I can only encourage sitting down with the above linked document as time permits.
It was 1978 when the Church relaxed restrictions against Blacks; so they could finally receive baptism, entry into the priesthood, marriage within the temple and acceptance to Heaven beyond that of servants. Despite pressures from the NAACP and like minds, an attempt to change policy earlier was blocked directly by the church president. Some have even suggested it was Grandpa Parley who helped to usher in the original ban against them.
Cousin Spencer Kimball was in charge of LDS at the time of Official Declaration 2 and explained it as a revelation he received, as a prophet, from up above, to let the Blacks in. It coincided nicely with the church’s expansion into Brazil, since it was harder in other countries to trace the ethnic origin of participants and find anyone of pure white heritage. In an effort to monitor the Saint’s evolution, it is noteworthy their first Black African authority wasn’t ordained to an executive position until 2009, despite the policy amendment occurring 31 years prior. Other ethnicities accepted earlier have either been released or excommunicated and women are still uninvited to the table of revelations.
This goal of expanding the church to a global scale was at definite cross purposes with the deeply rooted meaning of scripture. In an effort to alleviate the growing pains and convince Black members who’d been disaffected to return, the Genesis Group was created as support through a church auxiliary unit. The homepage opens with Darius explaining how he misses the old days when his parents were slaves unto masters and the times seemed more respectful. More uncomfortable is this month’s newsletter that spiritually discusses racism in Mormonism and offers an account of church missionaries calling Obama the N word. The church’s own site goes on to say that discrimination is widespread and Blacks are still treated differently.
Technically if you wanted to make a complaint, you could send one to Mitt Romney. He’s an executive at the church and his family is the board of directors. Coming up next is Good Ole Dad, followed by Church Business. I leave you with this video of Mitt’s son, Tagg Romney, to offer a preview of what church, government and business look like when mixed together.
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By now you’re asking what all that preamble has to do with the here and now. Mitt’s faith is protected by the Constitution and proudly so, but there are still political commandments to be fulfilled that could sacrifice everyone else’s rights in favour of a literal priesthood possessing the whole kit and caboodle.
To soothe doubts that compel us to minimize, we’re investigating how far the apple falls from the tree. We’ve already seen what patriarchs Parley, Helaman, Rey, Miles Sr., Miles Jr., Gaskell, George S., Marion, Vernon, Henry and Spencer have managed to accomplish in the spirit of Mormonism. Next is George W. Romney of more modern times, in his role as High Priest and Governor; similar to what Brigham Young achieved while in the process of establishing Utah. This is the example set by good ole dad, for his progeny Mitt to aspire and continue.
In tying the past to the present it would be an injustice to overlook the “W” in George Romney’s name. It hails from Charles Heinrich Wilcken, who shared the head of family on the maternal side along with Grandpa Parley (see family tree). At first the German connection appeared to be an anomaly, but research revealed why he would rank so high as to warrant a namesake in the formidable Romney clan.
Charles Wilcken was raised in Holstein and joined the German army when rebellion struck to decide if the area would break away from Denmark. It was a brutal, uncivil war that resulted in great atrocities; including mass graves and hand to hand combat where even women would need to fight for their lives. Grandpa Charles discovered heroism and found the idea of battle suited his personality quite well, so when the war ended he was disheartened and eventually immigrated to New York.
Speaking very little English, he joined the American army for employment and received orders to march on Utah almost immediately after arriving. The Saints refused to back down on polygamy in spite of federal law and the government was taking heavy losses in light of the Mormon’s scorched earth policy. They continued to set everything around the troops ablaze so they’d have no food, supplies or livestock to carry them through the winter.
The goal was to remove Brigham Young as theocratic governor and Grandpa Charles began on the side of the US President. It was not long that he found himself at odds with American culture and upon reaching Salt Lake he defected to the Saints’ militia.
The next bit comes to us from the Juvenile Instructor, published as the first American children’s magazine designed for teaching future leaders of the LDS religion. This was written as a series by none other than Charles Wilcken and circulated amongst Bishops for use in Mormon Sunday School,
“They acted hostile toward us and as punishment we were permitted to sack the town, or in other words allowed to do what we liked for three hours. During these three hours the people suffered terribly…. The saloons and whisky shops were visited first and in a short time almost every man was drunk or under the influence of liquor. This of course, made them (us) more wild and cruel. Houses and furniture were demolished, valuables taken, women ravaged and all manner of cruelties and wickedness were committed. If anyone interfered he was simply cut down. A scene like this beggars description and the people upon whom such a fate falls are indeed to be pitied.”
Reading further explains how Grandpa Charles was disgusted with the unregimented nature of American forces, especially when he arrived in Utah to see the uniformity of Mormons in battle. Along with their military cohesion he was wooed by theo-democracy and now his story is shared with children to teach Mormon pride and their superiority over Israel,
“As a rule, the American army is made up of the scum of the nation – a lot of men that are worthless to society. The drunkard, the loafer and the depraved find, when they are at their rope’s end, an asylum in the army and become the “defenders of their country”…. Everything was so unlike German – no discipline, no care of dress, no punctuality, no order – it seemed to me more like a mob than a regular army and I soon became disgusted with my situation.
(Upon meeting the Saints of Salt Lake)
I pitied them because I thought…. they were under a religious spell…. Little did I think that I should soon change my mind and become as zealous a defender of the power as they were…. I had made up my mind to cast my lot with the Latter Day Saints….
I frequently compare our position as Latter Day Saints to a well organized army. We have our commander in chief, our generals, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants…. All of us have enlisted under the banner of Jehovah and made a covenant with Him, to serve Him with all our might, mind and strength. As good soldiers we should love our officers, have implicit confidence in them and yield obedience to their wishes and commands. They receive their orders from the great Captain of our salvation (Jesus) for our good, for our benefit and for our safety….
A Latter Day Saint should train himself to be blind to the faults and failings of his superiors…. Our only safety and deliverance from our enemies is based upon the condition of obedience…. But if we are disobedient and instead of keeping His laws break them, we must suffer the consequences…. My opinion is there will be no deliverance until Israel will humble themselves, repent of their sins and do as they are told.”
Before joining the Mormon militia and seeding the Romney family, Charles Wilcken received the Iron Cross for his bravely mentioned works on behalf of the German Reich. This is the same medal that was notoriously adorned by the chest of Adolph Hitler and I hesitantly emphasize their similar feelings toward a certain ethnic people.
Moving on, the heir to this name was deemed a moderate Republican. George Wilcken Romney claimed to support human rights and won his place as Governor of Michigan. During that time he declined political business on Sundays, in keeping with the Mormon holy day. This also allowed him to decline a march with Martin Luther King, in contrast to professing his support of the civil rights movement. In public life he rode the middle ground between electoral speeches made to gain support and conflicts with faith regarding the perception of African-Americans’ sinful origin. For this reason it is prudent to look at a politician’s actions in comparison to their words.
Under Romney’s watch the Detroit Riots occurred and police brutality against Blacks resulted in the beating of men, women and children. Others met a harsher fate and many were shot dead. Caucasian residents had previously erected a wall to bar them from entering their communities along Eight Mile Road. This is the same place Eminem tried to revive in our memories with an album and Oscar winning movie of the same title.
Events precipitating the riot included matters of housing, as Blacks were forced to pay much higher rent for much shabbier accommodation than their counterparts. Governor Romney oversaw the bulldozing of their neighbourhoods to make space for freeways that would better provide for his white and delightsome constituents. Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh had been making painstaking progress on the issue of race relations, but Romney fostered an arbitrary relationship with him as well.
On July 24 Romney overrode the mayor’s wishes, not to mention strong arming a reluctant President Lyndon B. Johnson by declaring a state of insurrection. Having already ordered Michigan State Police to take part, he now obligated federal troops to descend upon the Black and sympathetic masses. This violence spawned the type of mayhem that lives on in the darkest of infamy, to become a subject of study in most public schools.
From there, the governor attempted a run to replace Johnson as president. He was favoured to beat Nixon in the Republican primaries but bowed out before questions of his Mormon faith could become a factor. Richard Nixon of “I am not a crook” and Watergate fame succeeded in winning the White House.
Before his subsequent and scandalous resignation, he named George Romney as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Part of the mandate instructed HUD to desegregate Black housing and he was said to embrace this task with passion. However, implementation of the Fair Housing Act was lacking and George failed to meet with the NAACP or any legislative supporters to see it through.
He did get around to inventing the Ginnie Mae program though, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as integral parts of the working whole. It ushered in government-backed mortgages for low income families, to help pave the way to home ownership for the poor. On the surface it was a great triumph but in two short years and under George’s command, it became entirely defunct. Numerous lawyers and real estate agents were indicted for fraud, as the value of inner city properties was inflated and loans were made to black families who could never afford them. This resulted in massive default and left the government on the hook for every cent they owed, due to lacking oversight on the part of HUD. This other scandal was enough to end desegregation efforts and resembles the subprime crash that Obama inherited from Republicans years later.
George Romney also formed the National Recovery Administration. Again it contained a few good principles like putting an end to child labour, but it was deemed unconstitutional for industry price fixing and issues of anti-trust. The NRA placed powers of regulation directly into corporate hands, greater than even congress possessed. This led to increasing costs by a whopping 40 percent, to be borne by customers and played precisely into Romney’s Mormon ideal of “competitive cooperative capitalism”.
Despite the federal government dismantling the organization it continued rebelliously after the fact. In the campaign, if a business failed to support the platform by placing a poster in their storefront, they were punished with calls for boycott. This poster is particularly famous and served as inspiration for the Philadelphia Eagles logo (NFL), but it also inspired the Second New Deal giving unions greater purpose. In essence, this socialism for CEOs resulted in so much backlash that it propelled more democratic minds to enshrine the rights of the workforce.
Looking deeper into the mind of dearest dad we must visit the National Center for Voluntary Action, created by his hand as well. It acted as a clearinghouse of volunteer information to liaise between the private sector and government; as a privately funded entity established by executive order of the president (Nixon). Throughout some ups and downs and replication by George W. Bush, it was eventually merged and translated into the Points of Light foundation with his.
As thanks for conceding to the newer president, George Romney was honoured with the first Lenore and George Romney Award, in celebration of his lifetime achievement. Some may find it odd to win your own blessing, but we’ll leave that as it is. Lenore then became the Points of Light director after her failed Republican bid for senate. The NY Times described her as a faithful, Mormon, stay-at-home mom, who thought the ride to government would be easy with a royal (prophetic) name like Romney to support her ambitions.
Behind the scenes was a different story and one that is yet unknown. This explanation is shared by a Canadian-Korean war veteran, in the official newsletter circulated by the military organization (please see September’s PDF version or non PDF version). The gentleman provides a thorough background, stating he is the true creator of this Romney legacy (Points of Light) and he never received payment, thanks or credit for his work. George accepted the glory and this soldier was never to be mentioned.
Since George was the Governor of Michigan and LDS stake president for Detroit, both political and religious affairs put the Romneys in touch with Canada. Part of his boundary included Ontario, where the famous vacation property is located that managed to spark negative headlines. First was the dog sadly strapped to the roof and then came the irony that Mitt celebrates every Fourth of July at this very cottage across the border.
Americans may not be familiar with the significance of this campaign blunder, but their Canadian cousins attach notoriety to the Beach O’ Pines property as a matter of racial discrimination. The real story hinges on a terrible smudge in their past that resulted in a Supreme Court decision and legislative amendments.
It was 1948 when Mrs. Noble tried to sell her property in the gated community. Upon closing the transaction however, the purchaser’s attorney discovered a socially outdated and pre-existing covenant that would serve to cause him trouble.
“The lands and premises herein described shall never be sold, assigned, transferred, leased, rented or in any manner whatsoever alienated to, and shall never be occupied or used in any manner whatsoever by any person of the Jewish, Hebrew, Semitic, Negro or coloured race or blood, it being the intention and purpose of the Grantor, to restrict the ownership, use, occupation and enjoyment of the said recreational development, including the lands and premises herein described, to persons of the white or Caucasian race not excluded by this clause.”
Mr. Wolf, the purchaser, was of Russian-Jewish descent and Mrs. Noble wasn’t happy with the covenant against him either. At the height of the appeal, Beach O’ Pines residents hired their own attorney to protect these oppressive rights on behalf of the exclusive community that favoured them. It was then George Romney moved the family in and considering the high profile nature for Canadian human rights, he could not have missed knowing about the bitter fight against them. In fact, he would have purchased his home with the identical covenant on it.
As property owners the Romneys were covered by the legal umbrella arguing in favour of maintaining the race restrictions. They bought at the very moment in Canadian history, when a gated establishment was trying to prevent progress from happening. The case wasn’t settled until November 1950 and well after the Fourth of July Mitt would have spent there. It’s a battle the group doesn’t wish to speak about and a victory the Law Times calls Ontario’s dark legal past.
One of George’s last major contributions came through Brigham Young University. It was established by the first Saints of Utah and continues to be a Mormon facility, where all the Romneys graduated and then administrated or provided seminars. It contains the Marriot School of Management thanks to J. Willard Marriott, for whom Mitt Romney is named after. It also houses the Romney Institute of Public Management to instruct religious degrees in political science, as Brigham Young would have wanted.
In the next installment we’ll examine the empire of lucrative Church Business; followed by Insider Trading and finally what it means to the ultimate Church Power that Mitt wields on behalf of the Mormon Party of America. There’s a reason he won’t open the books and you’re on the cusp of understanding why.
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As an executive of the Mormon Church who was called to the Twelve and still royal heir to the throne, Mitt Romney presents conflict of interest issues that should force America to sit up straight and take notice. If elected President of the United States, Mormon lobbyists will have an easier time doing business between matters of food and coal power to overtaking the banking world. On one hand they’re a private charity and on the other they could bring the country to a halt. The Church has been encouraging apostles to seek the highest public office since its inception, to pave the way according to the financial Book of Mormon sections that have often conflicted with legal issues of anti-trust.
Whereas some faiths might hold safer products like mutual funds for the benefit of community work, the Latter Day Saints are in a league of their own. They’re worth more than Mitt and their extreme wealth has nothing to do with paying tithes. In 2001, Time magazine attempted to assess their value and came up with the ballpark of $30 billion. Earlier this year even Bloomberg tried their hand and all experts agree the true answer is impossible to know. These values don’t begin to scratch the surface and perhaps it’s so hard to decipher because the LDS (Latter Day Saints) executive keeps their business private from everyone including non-prophetic Mormons. Under the US Constitution they maintain that right as a matter of protected religion and I dare say with a little more digging that a single church company is worth more than the total projected.
It all began with Brigham Young and subsequently George W. Romney’s vision of competitive-cooperative capitalism. Just as their religion is written to reflect a theocratic political movement, it is also founded on the dogma of economics. The early settlers felt they were entitled to a real kingdom on earth and therefore profiteering was as much about faith as praying to Nephi, Adam or Moroni. Mormonism is the religion of government and financial markets that predominantly relates to socialism for CEOs. Moreover and since the early days in Utah, LDS has been training their prophets to become experts in constitutional law to keep it so.
We’ll begin with ZCMI (Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution), the inaugural company created in Utah under Brigham Young, Grandpa Parley and Uncle Orson’s direction. It was also the first American shopping mall that eventually transformed into Macy’s. The original storefront remained ecclesiastic and although Macy’s is a major brand, their signage still honoured the Mormon roots that gave birth to any profitable tenants thereafter.
Upon assuming the prominent location from Saintly businesses that moved on, the department store inherited the grand chandelier, specially made for Mormons from Austrian crystal imported from Venice, Italy. CEOs for Macy’s paid homage to the Saints once more, by donating 1,500 of the dangling pieces from that prestigious lighting fixture although they didn’t part with all of them. Each little bauble was so exquisite that it warranted a black tie event for the charities who received them. No value is offered for the chandelier in full, but it certainly crossed a few million dollars as one of the most expensive lampshades in the country the Church could afford to abandon.
Despite parting with the storefront it was only a short lived transition, in which they demolished the shopping mall to make way for a newer City Creek Centre. LDS continues to own the property no matter which high end boutique decides to take up residence. It cost more than $1 billion for Mormons to build and they vow the only money for construction came from corporate profits as opposed to tithes.
Managing such a portfolio would prove to be too much for Mormons alone, so they partnered with Taubman Centers to run the day to day operations of the new mall. This particular corporation was founded by Alfred Taubman, who had just finished ten months in prison for convictions related to price fixing and anti-trust. It would seem Mr. Taubman was practicing the Mormon’s competitive-cooperative capitalism, which was repeated by George Romney through his NRA initiative of the same nature. Both examples were held guilty of breaching federal law and yet the Mormons continue to marry themselves to this business philosophy. Taubman’s company is further headquartered in Bloomfield, Michigan; in Mitt’s Romney’s old stomping grounds.
The LDS Church is one of the largest real estate proprietors in America. Zion Securities changed its name to Utah Property Management, but is owned by Saints just the same. They formed Suburban Land Reserve Inc. to handle their industrial buildings as well. However, these are only two of many subsidiaries within the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that holds everything from apartment buildings to banks and business towers.
On the list of very important buildings is Eagle Gate Plaza that remained Church owned when it was transformed into the World Trade Center of Utah. It’s part of the New York family of WTC businesses that are home to government and international trade authorities. Lew Cramer of Mormon hierarchy was then named CEO of the center to solidify their stronghold, far beyond the capacity of a landlord (see PDF or non PDF).
Mr. Cramer enjoys trade missions to China on behalf of church-family members while giving devotional speeches and legal decoding from the Book of Mormon at his alma mater, Brigham Young University (see Oct. 2, 2012). Adding to his list of accomplishments with the Church, he began an LDS law society to unite Mormon attorneys in helping others see their light (additional interview transcript PDF or non PDF). He was in charge of recruiting Mormon volunteers for the Utah Olympics to help reduce costs and appoint Mitt Romney to the prestigious top job. Lew also headed Republican finances for the current presidential election.
The LDS property group further heads a lobbying entity to ensure the interests of Mormons are protected, including many issues such as prohibiting restaurants from serving alcohol within their structures. The Mormon president from this real estate council finds his office in the Triad Center, also owned by the Church. Triad arrives with a phenomenal explanation and another curious partnership with the likes of Adnan Khashoggi. The Saudi prince and arms dealer is better known by his scandalous actions at the heart of the Iran-Contra Affair, which facilitated the illegal sale of arms to Iran and other confirmed terrorists. He was further implicated in the Lockheed bribery scandals that caused heads to roll from the US to West Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Japan. That time it involved war planes instead of just the missiles.
When not transporting weapons of destruction to jihadists and contras, Khashoggi was kept busy pursuing business with the Mormons. The Triad Center was a joint effort, where LDS provided the land and became the predominant tenant (see half way down). It is here they set up another company Bonneville International, to house their radio and television stations. These aren’t your run of the mill Christian programs and include the Washington Post Radio as well as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Pertaining to television it’s hard to ascertain the full scope of LDS holdings, but they do include an NBC affiliate and the Church has been making moves to acquire a stake in Disney. Also located within the Triad Center is a Brigham Young University campus.
Bonneville International serves as a parent company to numerous subsidiaries. They include the Bonneville Washington News Bureau, Bonneville Media Communications, the Bonneville Broadcasting System, Bonneville Satellite Corporation, Bonneville Entertainment Company and Bonneville Telecommunications (provided futures and commodity quotes). Every one is a profit machine owned by the Mormon Church and the FCC has been called upon to regulate their control of media.
The way they manage their affairs is demonstrated through the Washington Post partner. Amidst transitioning from newspaper to radio, the Saints put an end to a popular rock music station. They handed the 35 workers from Z-104 their walking papers and replaced them with 25 Mormon-friendly staff of their own (see both pages).
To confuse matters more, Bonneville International is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation. Under this banner they’ve managed to scoop up part of ESPN. In regard to Bonneville Satellite most access to their web domains is prohibited, but they do offer services in the US, UK, Thailand, Pakistan, India, select areas of the Middle East and the home country of Khashoggi, in Turkey.
Under the wing of Deseret Management, we find other companies like Deseret News, Deseret Book, Deseret Digital Media, Temple Square Hospitality and Beneficial Life Insurance, which handles $20.3 billion in policies (stakeholders PDF or non PDF). Mormons also concocted Mstar.net to apply ecclesiastic censoring to the internet for their faithful followers; in addition to their own LDSYellowPages and a doorway to Hollywood through Excel Entertainment.
From a finance perspective, Ensign Peak Advisors manages Mormon stocks and bonds including those of the Deseret Trust Company. Next is Deseret Mutual, as a provider of financial products and employer health benefits. These services are exclusive to Church owned businesses, but their workforce is considerable and lists many LDS participants. The Church conglomerate continues to hold an extensive stock portfolio including $2 million in Burger King and $1 million in Dominos Pizza. These assets were transferred to the Saints tax free by Mitt Romney. General Authorities of the Church receive income from these investments, so in a roundabout way it benefitted him personally and all his business associates (more on this in Part 7: Insider Trading).
They continue to hold considerable interest in banks, which goes hand in hand with various footholds they maintain in the economic sector. We’ll start with Zion Bancorp, the early brainchild of the Twelve Apostles. Zion began in Utah with the Church retaining full ownership, but in 1960 fellow Mormon Roy W. Simmons, purchased a controlling share. The financial institution carried on in partnership with LDS and promoted five apostles to its board of directors. They continue to facilitate all Mormon Church business and at least one congregation member felt he was cheated out of $700,000 through their advice that only benefitted the institution.
Today Roy’s son Harris Simmons inherited the Chairman, President and CEO positions. (see officers and directors). He’s a loyal Mormon at the heart of the financial empire who happens to hold more than a million shares since the company went public. Moreover Harris is Chairman of the underlying Zions Bank (Utah and Idaho) and heads all the parent-acquired subsidiaries such as Amegy Bank of Texas, California Bank and Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank, The Commerce Bank of Oregon, The Commerce Bank of Washington, Vectra Bank Colorado, Zions Management Services Company, Amegy Insurance Agency, Amegy Investments, Amegy Mortgage Company, Contango Capital Advisors, Net Deposit, Wellman Holdings, Wellman Services, Western National Trust, Zions Credit Corp, Zions Direct and Zions Insurance Agency. Total assets of Zion Bancorp in 2010 were $51.6 billion.
Church president and primary apostle Thomas S. Monson was on hand to dedicate the newest Zion Financial Center in the name of Mormon. Additionally the building is owned by the Church under real estate holdings and the job of running local matters was given to A. Scott Anderson – another royal descendant of an original apostle like Mitt.
The wisdom of prophets didn’t save the banking empire from brushes with the law though; common to most Mormon enterprises. First they received two $8 million fines for trespasses against the Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act related to inter-country money laundering. Then they were hit with two more for $50,000 and $225,000 for operating without a proper licence, misleading representation and making false statements. During the recent financial market meltdown, Zion Bank received $1.4 billion in relief from government (a Fannie Mae repeat) and they’ve only repaid $700 million since this September. Earlier in 1999 they also faced tough opposition to the goal of merging Zion with the other Mormon bank, First Security. Due to anti-trust concerns and major publicity the marriage was called off, as the move would have resulted in a banking monopoly.
Switching gears, the Church is at the center of America’s food system. These holdings begin with AgReserves Inc in the United States, described as running investment farms and ranches. In the United Kingdom the name changes to AgReserves Ltd where apostles received $15.9 million worth of taxpayer subsidy to benefit their operations in a single year. They’ve replicated in Mexico under AgroReservas and regrettably AgroReservas do Brazil was removed from the internet when the Landless Workers’ Movement targeted the Mormon sprawl in protest. Now no information is available beyond the words of those affected and displaced. AgReserves Australia Ltd is yet another LDS company with hundreds of thousands of acres.
Those are just the larger holdings. In California they produce almonds. In Utah it’s dairy and cattle. In Oklahoma they raise more cattle and Florida produces cows along with citrus fruit. Stretches of Wyoming and Washington were bought for the sole purpose of historical value, to own the pieces of America that Mormon pioneers may have traversed. All the farms double as camps and getaways to profit from tourism as well. This is not to mention the individual ranches spread across the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Argentina because they’re indeed too many to list.
These operations are located under the Farm Management Company, which in turn is overseen by Deseret Land and Livestock. The latter not only farms but also offers paid hunting expeditions and “high quality fly fishing experiences” for profit. In a complex web to keep anyone from grasping their true worth, both corporations are controlled by another Mormon investment structure going by the name of Farmland Reserve Inc.
According to the church’s own newspaper the faithful are not meant to know LDS business, but they’re aware of millions of acres in the US and reverence as the largest private land owner in Florida along with others. In an unguarded moment, a Mormon executive praised the Church for being “the largest cow-calf operator in the nation” whilst angling to overtake Ted Turner in the business.
These acquisitions have been patient at times and purchased piece by piece until LDS assumes an entire area. In the Third World the vulnerable are begging for enough land to survive and the story is beginning to repeat in America. Even contracted farmers in Idaho of the Mormon faith are condemning the Church’s practices. They’re threatening to revoke the community’s paid participation by operating farms directly through their administration. In this way they keep labour costs to a minimum by having worshippers volunteer in the fields – as a tenet of doing Mormon business since the beginning. Furthermore the farmers are angry that LDS produces for the commercial market and this spawns an unfair business advantage that could put an end to their livelihoods altogether.
Although there is scant information available about the Mormons’ Property Reserve Inc., it too is a real estate venture of some sort. It’s involved in a Supreme Court lawsuit that extends to Hawaii, so it can’t be conducting business confined to Utah as their registration suggests. The public can only guess if these dealings are related to a shooting that took place at a Mormon temple on Christmas Day; sparked by an LDS real estate Ponzi ring that was investigated by the FBI in 2010.
Pertaining to Hawaii, the Church owns the most lucrative part of that state. When Mitt’s ancestors went on mission in 1865 they purchased more than 7,000 acres in the name of Mormon – in an effort to transform Polynesian Indians from Lamanites into the descendants of Israel. Hawaii Reserves Inc. was established to take control of Laie and one of their most renowned beaches. They operate water, sewer treatment and roads with the intent of building more neighbourhoods. It’s a sensitive area with sacred burial grounds, so Mormons employed a representative to lobby for their development interests (PDF). These services were likely necessary to build the Brigham Young University Hawaii campus, along with the Polynesian Cultural Center to serve as one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations and gainful theme attractions.
We must now address the topic of sugar and how the Church positioned itself to become an oligarch of this industry. Sugar is needed to cook nearly everything we eat and warrants our acute attention. This enterprise began with Brigham Young and the Apostles, to help found their theocratic and competitive-cooperative capitalist dream for Zion-Utah. Soon after they were investigated and convicted of anti-trust violations for the Sugar Trust, in keeping with their business theory and its successive outcomes.
In an effort to save their monopoly Saints then partnered with the Bankers Trust, who in turn found themselves the target of racketeering charges that led to the present market meltdown and the government’s intervention to regulate derivatives. In the early days this Trust helped the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company merge and grow to take full market share, under the name of Amalgamated Sugar with Mormon prophet David Eccles as the technical founder and Utah’s first made millionaire. From the riches of LDS sugar, he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the Washington, DC building was named in his honour.
During his years in power he is noted to provide the Mormon Church with interest free loans to assist in building their kingdom. Coincidentally, David’s son George Eccles founded the smaller Mormon bank First Security, that attempted to merge with Zion before regulators took notice and trust circumstances intervened. A fellowship was established in his name to promote Mormon studies and Lew Cramer from the World Trade Center Utah is one of the prominent LDS steering executives. In the Saints’ family, every power player is connected for the purpose of furthering the Church’s vision.
Still on the issue of sugar, Amalgamated is said to have merged with the Snake River Sugar Company. No information is publicly available about either company, but the latter currently shares the same business address as the original manufacturer. The Amalgamated Sugar company website redirects to Snake River as well. It appears the newer entity may have been established as a lobby for widespread adoption of genetically modified seeds to obtain the sugar (see technology at bottom).
Last in this installment is mention of the Mormon’s relationship with coal power and copper. Ernest L. Wilkinson was president of Brigham Young University as well as a Washington lawyer and defeated Republican candidate for senate. In his time he was the topic of scandal that related to the university. Wilkinson headed a spy ring within the institution, to ensnare professors who displayed anything less than a Tea Party attitude. Upon conviction they’d be fired and removed from the Mormon hierarchy. More importantly, he worked for the Department of the Interior and drafted the Indian Claims Commission legislation (see pgs. 34-35 PDF).
His partner in matters of energy was fellow LDS attorney and Bishop, John Sterling Boyden. He was the legal representation for Peabody Energy Corporation while at the same time representing Hopi, Ute and Navajo Indians. In addition to his practice, Boyden presided over these indigenous converts as their prophetic leader. (His son inherited this church standing, see second entry.)
Peabody Energy is the largest private producer of coal in the world. In 1968 it was purchased by Kennecott Copper Corporation, although due to anti-trust issues the acquisition was struck down and sold eight years later for $1 billion. For the record it is now owned by Rio Tinto, but during the time of Kennecott the Mormons were immediately involved.
H. David Burton was an executive with Kennecott, in addition to holding apostleship in the highest office of the Church. During tenure of these three Mormon figures they usurped the Black Mesa area from Natives, to strip mine their land for coal energy development that benefitted their respective companies.
Acting as the Indians’ bishop, John Boyden convinced the bands to sign a contract with Peabody. The Hopi’s didn’t have government of any sort to ratify a deal, so he ordained a tribal council from those he was able to convert to Mormonism. The tribe continues to assert these individuals had no authority to make legal decisions on behalf of all their people. In concert with Wilkinson at Church headquarters, they devised a plan to move forward regardless. Both attorneys fetched millions in legal fees from the government and tribes, to perform their services while playing for both teams.
It was deemed the Black Mesa Peabody Coal Controversy and environmental protection organizations are bitterly studying the effects of this case at present. There were numerous repercussions from duping Indians into an agreement that would only pay them $0.30 per ton when market value was $1.50, to overusing water at a billion gallons per year to process the coal slurry. The aquifers Natives depended on for survival have been bled dry and now they’re forced to walk many miles with buckets to find water. A poignant article with photographs and their testimony about the Mormon relationship can be found here (or via PDF here).
More troubling is the Church’s explanation. They believe that since these Indians didn’t appreciate money in their culture, their reward was receiving the Mormon gospel. LDS called them “backwards people” and convinced themselves it was their duty to build the indigenous up from Lamanites into their version of civility. It was their calling to obtain this coal power for the sake of constructing the kingdom in places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and so forth.
In the meantime Sylvan Wittwer was the Mormon bishop and president of Lansing Michigan Stake and he took up lobbying on behalf of coal energy to protect the Church’s interests. He hails from the neighbouring region to Mitt Romney and wrote many books suggesting carbon dioxide is good for the earth. As an executive member of the Greening Earth Society with direct relation to Peabody Energy, he argued against the science and perils of global warming. He replicated those efforts with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, with further ties to ExxonMobil.
This advice was obviously taken to heart by the Mormon Church, as they completed a land swap with Kennecott in 2011 to assume ownership of an old mining area. The company faced orders from the EPA to clean up a sensitive tailings pond, but it is now becoming an LDS neighbourhood complete with a scenic lake that no one is allowed to use.
Should Mitt Romney become the President of America all these friends will be knocking at his door. In Part 7: Insider Trading, we’ll see how closely they’re connected and who exactly owes whom.
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