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Bill Reel announces excommunication is official, as a recording of his Disciplinary Council is released.

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44 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

What?  The records of the Church are not either private or public?  What are they?  

The individuals in the meeting may not make recordings for their public or private use.

That the clerk would keep a written record for the Church was never at issue, I think.

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And yet it was promised that it wouldn't happen.  And, yet, against their own stated wishes they had someone record the events.  

I don't think your hyperliteralism is working here.  The stake president took unusual steps to stop unauthorized recordings.  Recordings for the individual's own use.

That the clerk would still be keeping a written record was axiomatic.

FWIW, I don't think the SP would have opposed Bill Reel or his wife taking written notes of the proceedings.

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You have mischaracterized and misunderstood me again.  I am only saying they should have done exactly what they outlined--it's inappropriate to record the meeting. 

I think you are being hypertechnical to the point of absurdity.  Nobody thought that the SP intended to prohibit the clerk to make an authorized written record.

Nobody.

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I didn't say anything you seem to be hearing from my words.  You are distracting from the actual discussion again.  

It sure does.  It says no one should record it.  that means they should not make record of what took place.  And they did.  So apparently they went against their words to Bill.  

Meh.  This is an unserious argument.  

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You can complain about me all day, but as quoted they are the ones who said it would be inappropriate for anyone.  They didn't put an exception in for themselves.  I mean, I'm not saying they aren't stupid for doing it, but they did say it.  

Again, meh.  I see this sort of hyper-technicality schtick all the time in court.  I once had a fellow claim that an eviction order against him was invalid because his middle initial lacked a period after it, such that the order only applied to some other fellow named "James N Smith" living at 123 Main Street, Sandy, Utah.  

Seriously, he made that argument in open court.  I'll let you guess whether the judge went along with it and rescinded the order.

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I haven't seen anything from bill on this.  I"m pointing out a clear problem with the Church's actions here. 

No, you're not.  I readily acknowledge that there are "clear problems" with the Church's actions at times.  The Church really messed up when it purchased the Main Street Plaza.  The Church's roll-out of the 2015 policy changes had some major problems.  Elder McConkie's "[Blacks were] less valiant in the pre-existence" statement, published in a book rather audaciously titled "Mormon Doctrine," was very disturbing and problematic.  And on and on and on.

I get it.  The Church can and does mess up.  And by "the Church" I include local leaders.  We can and do make mistakes, large and small.  Regularly.  That's part of life.

But your gripe here is silly.  The stake president was attempting to avoid unauthorized audio/video recordings of the council.  That the stake clerk would make a written record was axiomatic.  It wasn't specified because it didn't need to be specified.  Everyone knew going in that the clerk would make and keep a record of the council.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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15 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I agree.  The Church also has the power to establish parameters for acceptable behavior in its meetings.  Would you agree on that point?

Yes I agree, and I even stated earlier that I think if a person were being intentionally disruptive in meetings in person that this could escalate to the point of being a justifiable excommunicatable offense.  This should be the exception, rather than the rule, as I imagine most local leaders should be expected to work out unique differences for the benefit of everyone.  

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:
3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

True repentance is not only subjective, but it is only one of a multitude of factors and circumstances that contribute to these complicated scenarios. 

I would argue it is not subjective in this case.

You said the above

15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:
2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

If true repentance is objective, please explain the criteria that we can use to objectively evaluate true repentance.  

I did not say it was always objective. Just that it was definitely objectively not there in this particular case. For reference I recommend the transcript of the illicit recording from the council.

I'm still a little confused by your statements.  Are you saying that for Bill's case in specific, there is some objective criteria by which we can judge whether he is in need of true repentance?  Can you clarify?   

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15 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I've served on the HC as well, but its been a few years, and honestly I can't recall if this is a procedure that we specifically followed with respect to every council I was a part of.  

Well, do you recall there being any dissent during disciplinary proceedings? Or do you just not recall there ever being a vote taken at all? 

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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Well, do you recall there being any dissent during disciplinary proceedings? Or do you just not recall there ever being a vote taken at all? 

I have participated in several dozen disciplinary proceedings.  It is my understanding that a unified sustaining vote is highly preferred, but not technically required.

I am open to correction on that point.

Thanks,

-Smac

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16 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The individuals in the meeting may not make recordings for their public or private use.

That the clerk would keep a written record for the Church was never at issue, I think.

I don't think your hyperliteralism is working here.  The stake president took unusual steps to stop unauthorized recordings.  Recordings for the individual's own use.

That the clerk would still be keeping a written record was axiomatic.

FWIW, I don't think the SP would have opposed Bill Reel or his wife taking written notes of the proceedings.

I think you are being hypertechnical to the point of absurdity.  Nobody thought that the SP intended to prohibit the clerk to make an authorized written record.

Nobody.

Meh.  This is an unserious argument.  

Again, meh.  I see this sort of hyper-technicality schtick all the time in court.  I once had a fellow claim that an eviction order against him was invalid because his middle initial lacked a period after it, such that the order only applied to some other fellow named "James N Smith" living at 123 Main Street, Sandy, Utah.  

Seriously, he made that argument in open court.  I'll let you guess whether the judge went along with it and rescinded the order.

No, you're not.  I readily acknowledge that there are "clear problems" with the Church's actions at times.  The Church really messed up when it purchased the Main Street Plaza.  The Church's roll-out of the 2015 policy changes had some major problems.  Elder McConkie's "[Blacks were] less valiant in the pre-existence" statement, published in a book rather audaciously titled "Mormon Doctrine," was very disturbing and problematic.  And on and on and on.

I get it.  The Church can and does mess up.  And by "the Church" I include local leaders.  We can and do make mistakes, large and small.  Regularly.  That's part of life.

But your gripe here is silly.  The stake president was attempting to avoid unauthorized audio/video recordings of the council.  That the stake clerk would make a written record was axiomatic.  It wasn't specified because it didn't need to be specified.  Everyone knew going in that the clerk would make and keep a record of the council.

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't care what people knew or what you want to read into it.  I'm just pointing out what was said and then how that was violated.  Isee you want to make it about what was intended, and not what was said.  But I'm no mind reader, so I'm sticking to what we have.  You can continue to assume whatever you want, I suppose.  

As far as I'm concerned, if I were Bill, after reading what was written, I wouldn't expect anyone to record in anyway what was happening in the meeting.  If I were Bill and I went in and they were recording it, I'd take it that they were not serious when they said no one should record it--that it would be inappropriate for anyone to do so.  if they didn't mean "anyone", as you keep asserting they didn't, then they shouldn't have said that.  I can't help their mistake.   And as far as I"m concerned, depending on the note taker, it is possible to capture, and record, a more complete version of what transpired than an audio recording, unless of course the audio is able to capture everything that transpires, including non-verbal communications.  

It sounds to me you are getting desperate and unreasonable, including efforts to put into my view things I"ve not said at all.  I'm sticking to what was said.  I have not assumed what everyone knew, as you have, nor have I assumed what was meant in spite of what was said, as you have.  

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4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I don't care what people knew or what you want to read into it. 

I think you are the one reading into it.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I'm just pointing out what was said and then how that was violated. 

And I'm just pointing out that your pointing out is an exercise in hyper-technical nitpicking.

Again, that the stake clerk would keep a record was axiomatic.  Self-evident.  Obvious.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I see you want to make it about what was intended, and not what was said. 

I'm saying that if I say "Yesterday my son poured a bucket of water all over me," I don't need to follow it up with "This made me wet."  That second bit, you see, is axiomatic.  Self-evident.  I don't need to say it because it doesn't need to be said.  It's understood.  It's self-evident.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

 

I don't care what people knew or what you want to read into it.  I'm just pointing out what was said and then how that was violated.  Isee you want to make it about what was intended, and not what was said.  But I'm no mind reader, so I'm sticking to what we have.  You can continue to assume whatever you want, I suppose.  

As far as I'm concerned, if I were Bill, after reading what was written, I wouldn't expect anyone to record in anyway what was happening in the meeting.  If I were Bill and I went in and they were recording it, I'd take it that they were not serious when they said no one should record it--that it would be inappropriate for anyone to do so.  if they didn't mean "anyone", as you keep asserting they didn't, then they shouldn't have said that.  I can't help their mistake.   And as far as I"m concerned, depending on the note taker, it is possible to capture, and record, a more complete version of what transpired than an audio recording, unless of course the audio is able to capture everything that transpires, including non-verbal communications.  

It sounds to me you are getting desperate and unreasonable, including efforts to put into my view things I"ve not said at all.  I'm sticking to what was said.  I have not assumed what everyone knew, as you have, nor have I assumed what was meant in spite of what was said, as you have.  

I think what it boils down to is whether or not people are to be regarded as legalistic or robotic idiots. 

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think you are the one reading into it.

And I'm just pointing out that your pointing out is an exercise in hyper-technical nitpicking.

Again, that the stake clerk would keep a record was axiomatic.  Self-evident.  Obvious.

I'm saying that if I say "Yesterday my son poured a bucket of water all over me," I don't need to follow it up with "This made me wet."  That second bit, you see, is axiomatic.  Self-evident.  I don't need to say it because it doesn't need to be said.  It's understood.  It's self-evident.  

Thanks,

-Smac

If what you say is true, then they should not have said anyone, as I pointed out.  You keep getting after me, as if I'm doing anything but reading what was said and commenting.  You keep assuming that the participators knew it didn't really mean anyone, and that expecting them to say what they mean is being "hyper-technical nitpicky".  Again, not my fault, they said what they did.  No amount of your effort to change what was said is working for me.  

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

That would vary by jurisdiction.

I wish the people griping about the Church's policy would take five minutes to step back from their railings against the Church and consider the ramifications of the Church allowing or ordering audio/video recording of disciplinary proceedings.

Why do you folks want the Church to make audio/video recordings of people confessing to their deepest, darkest sins, and other people discussing such incredibly sensitive matters?  

What if the person being disciplined doesn't want the proceedings recorded?  Would their wishes be honored or not?  

What if the person consented to the recording, then later had a change of heart?  Would the recording be destroyed?

How would the logistical issues be handled?  Who would retain possession of and access to the recordings?  Where?  Using what storage medium and security measures?  For how long?  Would the recordings be transmitted to the Church's headquarters?  How?  And how long would the Church hold on to such recordings?

Assuming, arguendo, that the Church capitulates to this demand and starts to keep audio/video, how long would it take for other critics to jump up and harangue the Church for violating the members' expectation of privacy and confidentiality?

And these are just some off-the-top-of-my-head questions.

I'll admit that I'm a bit mystified by this.  The Church maintaining audio/visual recordings of disciplinary councils, where extremely sensitive and difficult topics are addressed, is a mind-numbingly stupid idea.  That this idea is being seriously proposed here, apparently out of nothing but unthinking and reflexive hostility to the Church, is baffling.

Thanks,

-Smac

I think I missed something. Is someone stating that the Church should record proceedings of DC's and confessions? Who is demanding that? If you're right and that's actually being asserted, that's crazy, but I haven't seen it. Can you show me where that's happening.

The confession & the proceedings of a DC should be conducted in a way that protects the confessor/disciplined person's privacy since it is about them. Personally, I don't see why the church leader's privacy would need to be protected as the leader isn't being disciplined. The only thing the leader would have to fear from a recording is A) the accused makes good points and damages the church's case (but if that happens the decision could reflect that so it would only matter if the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime) or B) The Church appointed participants do or say something inappropriate OR C) the accused doctors the recording in a way to misrepresent the proceedings and the other participants.  C would seem to be a legitimate concern. Especially in todays climate I think I might be a little worried about that possibility, especially in highly contentious cases.

Still, having participants sign an NDA before a DC seems to assume ill intent of the participants. Should a bishop/SP have every member sign an NDA the prohibits recording prior to any conversation? It doesn't seem logistically feasible.

I'm rambling here...but it's because I don't really understand either side of this. I don't understand why the church has adopted such a defensive stance on this, requiring NDA's etc before allowing a person to participate in their own DC. Whether they are or not, it makes the church (or its leaders) appear scared. What does the church gain by refusing the accused the opportunity to record the proceeding?

But I also don't understand the reason why people release recordings of their DC's, especially when they've agreed not to. I can understand why someone like Bill might want to record and keep that record for personal use, or even possibly release it IF there is a gross injustice or highly inappropriate behavior exhibited by the church participants. A recording would be very useful IF a SP or Bishop said or did something very inappropriate. It would really be the only check on bad behavior from the church.

But I haven't seen anything like that in the recordings that have been released. The person agrees not to record, but then they do, and then they release it, but to what end? It doesn't help their case and it hurts their credibility. It may provide a little bit of content for a podcast episode but...really? It's gotta be about more than that.

Having said ALL of that, I can appreciate why some audience members would be interested in listening to proceedings like this, especially if they've never been a part of a DC. For the average member who could be subject to a DC for myriad reasons, there really isn't much info shared about the proceedings. Average members don't even have access to HB1. I think people are concerned, nervous, uncomfortable with being subject to a proceeding they know very little about. Listening to something like Bill's DC at least gives them a feel for what it is and how it is conducted. It doesn't need to be a mystery but I think for many members it is. The church could easily fix that by simply making the handbooks available to everyone.

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Just now, stemelbow said:

If what you say is true, then they should not have said anyone, as I pointed out. 

I think you misunderstand the meaning of terms like "axiomatic" and "self-evident."

Just now, stemelbow said:

You keep getting after me, as if I'm doing anything but reading what was said and commenting.  You keep assuming that the participators knew it didn't really mean anyone, and that expecting them to say what they mean is being "hyper-technical nitpicky".  Again, not my fault, they said what they did.  No amount of your effort to change what was said is working for me.  

I'm okay with that.

This is a trivial nitpick.  The stake president wanted to avoid unauthorized recordings of the council by the participants for their own public or private use.  The stake president did not, as you claim, act dishonestly or dishonorably in having the clerk do what everyone knew and expected he would do, which is create a written record for the Church.

Normally, I don't really care about such trivial gripings.  Life is short, and nitpicking faultfinding is legion and endless.  But I suppose the problem not what you have "pointed out."  That's an innocuous or trivial thing.  But you have proceeded well beyond that, and have publicly accused the stake president, and by extension the Church, of having acted dishonestly or dishonorably:

  • "The Church really is acting just as unethical as Bill Reel in recording the events."
  • "[The stake president had]  little integrity and [was] being unfair and foolish."
  • "They broke the agreement themselves."
  • "So apparently they went against their words to Bill."
  • "I'm just pointing out what was said and then how that was violated."

Thanks,

-Smac

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38 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Well, do you recall there being any dissent during disciplinary proceedings? Or do you just not recall there ever being a vote taken at all? 

I think this depends largely on how the SP conducts the DC and what level of participation/feedback he is open to. I've seen 1 SP who was very open to the thoughts and feedback of the members of the HC. I recall the stated desire for consensus. Those Stake DC's were conducted well IMO.

But I've also been part of a HC with a SP who wouldn't allow HC members to ask questions or even speak during the DC. The SP made the decision and told the HC he expected them to sustain their priesthood leader. Surprise, they always did. I couldn't say for sure if it was because they agreed with the SP or if they were afraid to disagree. It was a very authoritarian approach and it was very rare for someone to voice dissent of any kind in any HC meetings because "sustaining" was the primary expectation. That was extreme, unhealthy, and counterproductive IMO.

But regardless of how the SP conducts the DC, and whether or not the HC votes to sustain unanimously or not, or whether they even feel they have the ability to dissent from the SP decision, the SP is the decision maker and his decision stands whether or not others on the HC agree.

ETA

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I have participated in several dozen disciplinary proceedings.  It is my understanding that a unified sustaining vote is highly preferred, but not technically required.

I am open to correction on that point.

Thanks,

-Smac

That is my understanding as well. As I stated above, I seriously wonder if 1 SP I worked with even preferred unity in the decision. It was super unfortunate. One very experienced HC raised the issue of how DC's were being handled. He was released within the month. No joke.

Edited by HappyJackWagon

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think you misunderstand the meaning of terms like "axiomatic" and "self-evident."

Nope.  you're wrong again.  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm okay with that.

This is a trivial nitpick.  The stake president wanted to avoid unauthorized recordings of the council by the participants for their own public or private use.  The stake president did not, as you claim, act dishonestly or dishonorably in having the clerk do what everyone knew and expected he would do, which is create a written record for the Church.

Normally, I don't really care about such trivial gripings.  Life is short, and nitpicking faultfinding is legion and endless.  But I suppose the problem not what you have "pointed out."  That's an innocuous or trivial thing.  But you have proceeded well beyond that, and have publicly accused the stake president, and by extension the Church, of having acted dishonestly or dishonorably:

  • "The Church really is acting just as unethical as Bill Reel in recording the events."
  • "[The stake president had]  little integrity and [was] being unfair and foolish."
  • "They broke the agreement themselves."
  • "So apparently they went against their words to Bill."
  • "I'm just pointing out what was said and then how that was violated."

Thanks,

-Smac

If he wanted to avoid, as you say of his intent, to avoid unauthorized recordings by the participants, then he should have said that.  Instead he chose to say it is not appropriate for anyone, which would including himself, or any note taker, to record.  It was his mistake.  You keep trying to make a fuss about me.  I'm just sticking to what was said and you keep assuming everyone knew, and he meant something he did not say.  Thanks again, but again, smac, you are wrong.  I'm happy to point that out for you, but I realize you won't accept such a notion.  

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7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I think I missed something. Is someone stating that the Church should record proceedings of DC's and confessions? Who is demanding that? If you're right and that's actually being asserted, that's crazy, but I haven't seen it. Can you show me where that's happening.

Well, that's how I understood CB's comments here:

Quote

It amazes me that the church is so ashamed at what takes place at these courts that they force the person accused of misconduct to not record the event and if the accused are unwilling to agree to that, then they are not allowed to attend and defend themselves against the accusations that may be brought up in that court.  Seems totally manipulative and just another example of how the church hates transparency. 

If what the church was doing was straight up and honorable, then I would think they would want an accurate record of the proceedings and welcome the light of day into the proceedings.  The standard policy should be, we are recording these proceedings and you are welcome to do the same.  In every incident where I was being recorded in a proceeding, the same courtesy was extended to me to record the meeting if I so wished.  It keeps the integrity of the meeting intact and beyond reproach.

CB speaks of having disciplinary council proceedings not only recorded, but publicized?  To be exposed to "the light of day?"  All in the interests of "transparency?"  Um, what?  What sort of absurdity is that?

And CB goes even further than that.  He publicly accused the Church, by not recording and publicly disclosing disciplinary proceedings, of being "[dis]honorable."

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The confession & the proceedings of a DC should be conducted in a way that protects the confessor/disciplined person's privacy since it is about them.

Not according to California Boy, who faults the Church for A) not recording the entirety of the proceedings, and B) not publishing these recordings to the world ("the light of day").  

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Personally, I don't see why the church leader's privacy would need to be protected as the leader isn't being disciplined.

I can.  I have participated in disciplinary proceedings.  Many of them.  I did so in near anonymity.  I usually just told my wife that I had a "stake meeting," and off I went.  The only people who knew I was involved was the person being disciplined (who generally either didn't know me at all, or only knew me by sight), the other members of the High Council (11), the stake presidency (3), the stake executive secretary (1) and the stake clerk (1).  The role of high council members in disciplinary proceedings is fairly limited, but they are still allowed to ask questions of the individual being disciplined and any witnesses that appear.

That limited role, and that limited participation, could potentially go out the window if the Bill Reels and Sam Youngs of the world have their way.  Take a look at this video of Bill Reel, publicly speaking outside of the church building after his disciplinary council.  He specifically calls out the participants of the council and tells the crowd that he "asked those men to come out and to visit with you and to ask you to share their stories," and that he "[didn't] know if any of them will do that, but [he was] hoping they will come out and ask [you to tell your stories]."

How long before members of the high council start having confrontations with supporters of so-called "high profile" excommunicates like Bill Reel or Sam Young?  How long before they get "called out?"  And is it possible that this sort of thing might veer into intimidation?  I know that sounds a bit farfetched, but we actually may have seen somthing like this happen previously when Kate Kelly publicly announced her bishop's employer (see here and here and here).  At the time I wrote the following email to the Ordain Women group and submitted it via their website (I never received a response):

Quote

Dear OW Group:

Kate Kelly gave an interview with NPR recently: http://www.npr.org/2014/06/27/326158669/excommunicated-mormon-says-church-cant-cant-take-away-her-faith

In this interview she identifies her bishop's employer (Exxon). I am struggling to understand why she would include such a detail in a media interview. The only reason I can think of is that she is hoping to damage her bishop's career by fomenting public sentiment against his employer (not unlike what happened recently to Brendan Eich at Mozilla - see here: http://tinyurl.com/l86v727).

As your group prides itself on encouraging discussion, I hope you will respond to this inquiry.

Thank you,

We also saw members of the Church lose their jobs for supporting Proposition 8, so that's another illustrative example.

Sensationalizing disciplinary proceedings has become a standard part of the exit strategy for people who are nominally members of the Church but arrayed against it.  Kate Kelly, Denver Snuffer, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Sam Young, Bill Reel, and so on.  These are pressure tactics that seem mostly aimed at the Church as an institution. 

But is it possible that a publicity-minded person might choose to weaponize such sensationalism even further? 

Will the day come when members of a high council and/or stake presidency are harassed and/or punished, before or after the fact, for participating in a disciplinary council? 

When they are confronted and grilled for their participation? 

Will they be hectored for asking questions during the disciplinary council, which questions have been published for public consumption, thanks to the Bill Reel-style tactic of surreptitiously recording the council meeting?

Will they be doxxed, as Kate Kelly may have been attempting to do to her bishop?  Will they run into problems with their employer, which may not want to be dragged into such matters?  Will they lose their job for participating in the council, as a form of "blowback"-type retribution such as we saw with Brendan Eich?

Are these things "out of bounds" for an "addicted to outrage" disgruntled member of the Church?  Or is it possible that we are seeing a progression of upping-the-ante theatrics in these disciplinary proceedings, such that high council members and stake presidency involved in disciplining a self-proclaimed "prominent" disgruntled member might get targeted for these things?  

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The only thing the leader would have to fear from a recording is A) the accused makes good points and damages the church's case (but if that happens the decision could reflect that so it would only matter if the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime) or B) The Church appointed participants do or say something inappropriate OR C) the accused doctors the recording in a way to misrepresent the proceedings and the other participants.  C would seem to be a legitimate concern. Especially in todays climate I think I might be a little worried about that possibility, especially in highly contentious cases.

Yeah.  Tell Kate Kelly's bishop that he had nothing to fear in convening a disciplinary council against Kate Kelly.

Again, disgruntled members who are exiting the Church, and who are choosing to sensationalize and publicize their exit, seem to be upping the ante.  I think local leaders may come to have legitimate concerns about facing "blowback" for participating in disciplinary proceedings involving a person who is out to make the Church look bad, and who is willing to punish the Church's local leaders to do it (Kate Kelly, take a bow!).

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Still, having participants sign an NDA before a DC seems to assume ill intent of the participants.

I think the assumption pertained to Bill Reel.  That the SP wanted everyone to sign it may have been to placate Bill Reel.

And as it turns out, the assumption of Bill Reel's ill intent was, it seems, well-founded.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Should a bishop/SP have every member sign an NDA the prohibits recording prior to any conversation? It doesn't seem logistically feasible.

I'm rambling here...but it's because I don't really understand either side of this. I don't understand why the church has adopted such a defensive stance on this, requiring NDA's etc before allowing a person to participate in their own DC. Whether they are or not, it makes the church (or its leaders) appear scared. What does the church gain by refusing the accused the opportunity to record the proceeding?

I think it has more to do with decorum and sanctity.  The Church doesn't allow most of its meetings to be recorded.  Just last Saturday I attended a baptism where a lady (not a member of the Church) pulled out her phone and began to record the baptism.  Her sister-in-law (a member) asked her to put it away.  That was not because anyone was "scared" about anything (baptisms are, after all, fairly mundane in form).  So the explanation must go another way.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But I also don't understand the reason why people release recordings of their DC's, especially when they've agreed not to. I can understand why someone like Bill might want to record and keep that record for personal use, or even possibly release it IF there is a gross injustice or highly inappropriate behavior exhibited by the church participants. A recording would be very useful IF a SP or Bishop said or did something very inappropriate. It would really be the only check on bad behavior from the church.

I think it's just reflexive animus.  The Church asks for X, therefore the individual reflexively does the opposite of X.  Out of spite.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But I haven't seen anything like that in the recordings that have been released. The person agrees not to record, but then they do, and then they release it, but to what end?

As an expression of contempt and disrespect and defiance, I think.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It doesn't help their case and it hurts their credibility. It may provide a little bit of content for a podcast episode but...really? It's gotta be about more than that.

That's the other reason.  Publicity.  Fifteen minutes of notoriety.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Having said ALL of that, I can appreciate why some audience members would be interested in listening to proceedings like this, especially if they've never been a part of a DC.

Yes.  Forbidden fruit and all that.  

I think the same can be said for recordings of the temple ceremony.  There's curiosity borne of nothing more than the fact that the temples are only open to TR-carrying members of the Church.  That curiosity may lead an individual to want to watch a YouTube video of the ceremony, only to find that it's not particularly interesting or controversial.  Boring, even.

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

For the average member who could be subject to a DC for myriad reasons, there really isn't much info shared about the proceedings. Average members don't even have access to HB1.

Actually yes, they do.  They may not possess a copy, but they can ask the bishop to read his copy of it.  

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I think people are concerned, nervous, uncomfortable with being subject to a proceeding they know very little about.

Then they can ask questions about the proceeding.  

7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Listening to something like Bill's DC at least gives them a feel for what it is and how it is conducted. It doesn't need to be a mystery but I think for many members it is. The church could easily fix that by simply making the handbooks available to everyone.

I suppose.

Thanks,

-Smac

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45 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

If he wanted to avoid, as you say of his intent, to avoid unauthorized recordings by the participants, then he should have said that. 

Meh.  You don't know what he said or didn't say to Bill Reel.

45 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Instead he chose to say it is not appropriate for anyone, which would including himself, or any note taker, to record.  It was his mistake. 

If so, it was an exceedingly trivial, nitpicky one.

45 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

You keep trying to make a fuss about me. 

About your casual slurs against the stake president and the Church, yes.

45 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I'm just sticking to what was said and you keep assuming everyone knew, and he meant something he did not say.  Thanks again, but again, smac, you are wrong.  I'm happy to point that out for you, but I realize you won't accept such a notion.  

Meh.  I'm not interesting really interested in the trivial semantic argument you are making.  It is the casual slur that I found objectionable.  

I've said my piece, several times over.  I'll leave you to have the final word.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Well, do you recall there being any dissent during disciplinary proceedings? Or do you just not recall there ever being a vote taken at all? 

I do remember us voting, and I also remember us having discussions where people on either side (supporting the church or supporting the individual) were allowed to express their perspective on things to consider.  I also remember that at the end of the council on a couple occasions the SP and his councilors would meet separately and deliberate and decide what the decision would be.  I can't remember if a final vote was asked for in those situations where the presidency met and deliberated on it.  I don't think it was, but my memory isn't the best on this.  

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Just now, hope_for_things said:

I do remember us voting, and I also remember us having discussions where people on either side (supporting the church or supporting the individual) were allowed to express their perspective on things to consider. 

Yes, that was my experience, too.

The "voting" was to sustain the decision of the stake presidency, not a direct vote on the issues themselves.

Just now, hope_for_things said:

I also remember that at the end of the council on a couple occasions the SP and his councilors would meet separately and deliberate and decide what the decision would be.  I can't remember if a final vote was asked for in those situations where the presidency met and deliberated on it.  I don't think it was, but my memory isn't the best on this.  

Yes, that happened every time in my experience.  We would convene the council, the SP would summarize the misconduct, the individual would be brought in and asked to share anything they want.  The high council members and stake presidency could then ask questions (these were always constrained and decorous).  The individual was then excused to wait outside.  Then the stake presidency and the members of the high council discuss the matter further (usually for a limited time, say 10-15 minutes).  The stake presidency would then retire to the stake president's adjoining office to have further discussion, to pray, and to reach a decision.  Then they would return, explain the decision reached and the reasons for it, and ask for a sustaining vote.  After the vote, the person was brought back in, the decision was given and explained to them.  The person could then make any comments he chose.  Then we would have a closing prayer.  Usually we would file out and shake hands with or hug the person as a token of affection and respect.

It was my understanding that the individual and the stake president usually privately met for a few minutes right after the end of the council, perhaps to let the individual express any further thoughts / questions / concerns.

Thanks,

-Smac

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18 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Well, that's how I understood CB's comments here:

Thanks. I hadn't seen that.

CB speaks of having disciplinary council proceedings not only recorded, but publicized?  To be exposed to "the light of day?"  All in the interests of "transparency?"  Um, what?  What sort of absurdity is that?

I think you're overstating what CB said. I read it differently. He said...

Quote

The standard policy should be, we are recording these proceedings and you are welcome to do the same

I disagree that this should be standard policy, but what I thinks he's saying, and he can correct me, is that if the accused wants to record he could also authorize the church to record so that no one could be taken out of context. That seems fair to me. If I am summoned to a DC and I want to record, I should allow the church to record as well so that I can't misrepresent them.

And CB goes even further than that.  He publicly accused the Church, by not recording and publicly disclosing disciplinary proceedings, of being "[dis]honorable."

Not according to California Boy, who faults the Church for A) not recording the entirety of the proceedings, and B) not publishing these recordings to the world ("the light of day").  

Again, you are overstating this. The truth is DC's are held behind closed doors. Most members never participate in a DC so they don't understand how they work. I think the "light of day" comment is more about bringing to light bad behavior by church representatives IF it should occur.

I can.  I have participated in disciplinary proceedings.  Many of them.  I did so in near anonymity.  I usually just told my wife that I had a "stake meeting," and off I went.  The only people who knew I was involved was the person being disciplined (who generally either didn't know me at all, or only knew me by sight), the other members of the High Council (11), the stake presidency (3), the stake executive secretary (1) and the stake clerk (1).  The role of high council members in disciplinary proceedings is fairly limited, but they are still allowed to ask questions of the individual being disciplined and any witnesses that appear.

I've also participated in many of them. I think it is debatable whether or not "near anonymity" is a good thing or not. Obviously there are some benefits, as you point out, but there is also the other side of the coin which could be viewed as negative; namely that with anonymity there is no accountability. Where there is a lack of accountability there is increased opportunity for those in power to wield their power unrighteously.

That limited role, and that limited participation, could potentially go out the window if the Bill Reels and Sam Youngs of the world have their way.  Take a look at this video of Bill Reel, publicly speaking outside of the church building after his disciplinary council.  He specifically calls out the participants of the council and tells the crowd that he "asked those men to come out and to visit with you and to ask you to share their stories," and that he "[didn't] know if any of them will do that, but [he was] hoping they will come out and ask [you to tell your stories]."

I think most people recognize that HC's really play a minimal role and have no decision-making ability. If that isn't know, it could be made known. Again, is it right for a HC to be protected in anonymity. We're talking about a proceeding that can set the course for a person's relationship with the church and even remove saving ordinances. Perhaps it would be reasonable to expect participants to open to criticism, should it be warranted. In most cases I would suspect that the Bishop or SP would really be the one on the hot seat, not the HC members.

How long before members of the high council start having confrontations with supporters of so-called "high profile" excommunicates like Bill Reel or Sam Young?  How long before they get "called out?"  And is it possible that this sort of thing might veer into intimidation?  I know that sounds a bit farfetched, but we actually may have seen somthing like this happen previously when Kate Kelly publicly announced her bishop's employer (see here and here and here).  At the time I wrote the following email to the Ordain Women group and submitted it via their website (I never received a response):

We also saw members of the Church lose their jobs for supporting Proposition 8, so that's another illustrative example.

I'm not a fan of targeting people for their political or religious positions, however, in todays world one has to expect that they are accountable for the things they say, do, or support. I don't see that as a bad thing.

Sensationalizing disciplinary proceedings has become a standard part of the exit strategy for people who are nominally members of the Church but arrayed against it.  Kate Kelly, Denver Snuffer, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Sam Young, Bill Reel, and so on.  These are pressure tactics that seem mostly aimed at the Church as an institution. 

Runnels resigned so there was no DC (IIRC) but I get your point. I think you're right that some of those being disciplined are using the proceeding to raise awareness of the church's policies and procedures. I suspect many of these people are adamantly opposed to DC's and view them as inherently unfair, unnecessary, and even unchristlike, so they are trying to illustrate their point by making it public. It is their way of critiquing the practice and obviously the church doesn't appreciate the critique.

But is it possible that a publicity-minded person might choose to weaponize such sensationalism even further? 

Sure. It happens in every facet of life. Politics, community, schools, employment, church etc. I understand why the person or group on the wrong side of the sensationalism wouldn't like it. I know I wouldn't, but that's part of life in an open society.

Will the day come when members of a high council and/or stake presidency are harassed and/or punished, before or after the fact, for participating in a disciplinary council? 

When they are confronted and grilled for their participation? 

Maybe. I think that prospect will give some pause about whether or not they want to participate. That might be a good thing. It's easy to participate anonymously and with no accountability. Maybe the value of anonymity should be challenged a bit more. You challenge me all the time about posting under a pseudonym. I assume it's because you think I say things or behave in a way I wouldn't if I wasn't anonymous. There's truth to that.

Will they be hectored for asking questions during the disciplinary council, which questions have been published for public consumption, thanks to the Bill Reel-style tactic of surreptitiously recording the council meeting?

Possibly. It means they should really think about what they say. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Will they be doxxed, as Kate Kelly may have been attempting to do to her bishop?  Will they run into problems with their employer, which may not want to be dragged into such matters?  Will they lose their job for participating in the council, as a form of "blowback"-type retribution such as we saw with Brendan Eich?

Are these things "out of bounds" for an "addicted to outrage" disgruntled member of the Church?  Or is it possible that we are seeing a progression of upping-the-ante theatrics in these disciplinary proceedings, such that high council members and stake presidency involved in disciplining a self-proclaimed "prominent" disgruntled member might get targeted for these things?  

Yeah.  Tell Kate Kelly's bishop that he had nothing to fear in convening a disciplinary council against Kate Kelly.

Again, disgruntled members who are exiting the Church, and who are choosing to sensationalize and publicize their exit, seem to be upping the ante.  I think local leaders may come to have legitimate concerns about facing "blowback" for participating in disciplinary proceedings involving a person who is out to make the Church look bad, and who is willing to punish the Church's local leaders to do it (Kate Kelly, take a bow!).

I think the assumption pertained to Bill Reel.  That the SP wanted everyone to sign it may have been to placate Bill Reel.

And as it turns out, the assumption of Bill Reel's ill intent was, it seems, well-founded.

I think it has more to do with decorum and sanctity.  The Church doesn't allow most of its meetings to be recorded.  Just last Saturday I attended a baptism where a lady (not a member of the Church) pulled out her phone and began to record the baptism.  Her sister-in-law (a member) asked her to put it away.  That was not because anyone was "scared" about anything (baptisms are, after all, fairly mundane in form).  So the explanation must go another way.

I think it's just reflexive animus.  The Church asks for X, therefore the individual reflexively does the opposite of X.  Out of spite.

As an expression of contempt and disrespect and defiance, I think.

That's the other reason.  Publicity.  Fifteen minutes of notoriety.

Yes.  Forbidden fruit and all that.  

I think the same can be said for recordings of the temple ceremony.  There's curiosity borne of nothing more than the fact that the temples are only open to TR-carrying members of the Church.  That curiosity may lead an individual to want to watch a YouTube video of the ceremony, only to find that it's not particularly interesting or controversial.  Boring, even.

Actually yes, they do.  They may not possess a copy, but they can ask the bishop to read his copy of it.  

I wonder if a bishop or SP would allow someone to make a copy of the relevant pages they wanted to study. I suspect not. But before a person can even ask to see a policy, they must know the policy exists. Without access to the HB they may not even know what they don't know.

Then they can ask questions about the proceeding.  

I suppose.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Yes, that was my experience, too.

The "voting" was to sustain the decision of the stake presidency, not a direct vote on the issues themselves.

Yes, that happened every time in my experience.  We would convene the council, the SP would summarize the misconduct, the individual would be brought in and asked to share anything they want.  The high council members and stake presidency could then ask questions (these were always constrained and decorous).  The individual was then excused to wait outside.  Then the stake presidency and the members of the high council discuss the matter further (usually for a limited time, say 10-15 minutes).  The stake presidency would then retire to the stake president's adjoining office to have further discussion, to pray, and to reach a decision.  Then they would return, explain the decision reached and the reasons for it, and ask for a sustaining vote.  After the vote, the person was brought back in, the decision was given and explained to them.  The person could then make any comments he chose.  Then we would have a closing prayer.  Usually we would file out and shake hands with or hug the person as a token of affection and respect.

It was my understanding that the individual and the stake president usually privately met for a few minutes right after the end of the council, perhaps to let the individual express any further thoughts / questions / concerns.

Thanks,

-Smac

This sounds very similar to my experience as well, and is a good recap.  I just can't remember for sure if a sustaining vote was always part of that process when I was involved, but it very well may have been.  Also, I do think that with Bill Reel's court, since the format was quite different and seemingly very scripted and organized with no deliberation by the SP and not having the person step out of the room while the issues were discussed by the council, that this lends credence to the idea that this particular type of court(higher profile) is handled a little differently than typical courts for matters of individual interest for just regular members.  I suspect that HQ gives very specific instructions about how to conduct these cases.  

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3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

You're not following the full back and forth.  I said true repentance is subjective, then someone else said it wasn't, and I asked what criteria they would use to judge it in an objective sense. 

And I thought that I would give some objective help from the the scriptures, to which it would seem that you think repentance isn't necessary, which was an entirely different question.

If Bill were to demonstrate true repentance, we would probably need to see that he confesses his sin, and then forsakes it.  

Obviously, there could be a question as to whether his confession were sincere, or if he had truly forsaken the sins.  These might be a bit subjective, but as far as I can tell, he has never made an attempt at either confession or to forsake his sin, therefore we can objectively say, at this point at least, that he has not repented (or even made any attempt).

 

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13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This sounds very similar to my experience as well, and is a good recap.  I just can't remember for sure if a sustaining vote was always part of that process when I was involved, but it very well may have been. 

I suppose that some variation in procedure can be left to the stake president.

13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Also, I do think that with Bill Reel's court, since the format was quite different and seemingly very scripted and organized with no deliberation by the SP and not having the person step out of the room while the issues were discussed by the council, that this lends credence to the idea that this particular type of court(higher profile) is handled a little differently than typical courts for matters of individual interest for just regular members. 

Perhaps so.  The stake president may be wise to convene the council in stages so as to minimize the impact of the media circus orchestrated by Mr. Reel.  That said, I think the foundational elements, such as a sustaining vote from the High Council, would still be required.  Perhaps the stake presidency reconvened the next day with the high council to finish up the necessary procedural steps.

13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I suspect that HQ gives very specific instructions about how to conduct these cases.  

Perhaps.  The stake president is facing unusual circumstances, so guidance as to navigating procedural complexities introduced by the machnications of Bill Reel and his publicity machine could be helpful.

The actual decision on discipline, however, remains with the local leaders.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:20 AM, hope_for_things said:

Not surprised about the Excommunication, the only surprise would be if any of these high profile "courts of love" didn't result in excommunication.  The outcomes are already decided on prior to the formality of the event

They are courts of love.  The main reason for excommunication is to help people start over.  When they are repentant, rarely are they excommunicated.  If they insist on harming the reputation of the Church, don't believe the leaders are inspired by God and they aren't willing or able to accept their authority, they shouldn't be members, in my opinion.

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17 minutes ago, Danzo said:

And I thought that I would give some objective help from the the scriptures, to which it would seem that you think repentance isn't necessary, which was an entirely different question.

If Bill were to demonstrate true repentance, we would probably need to see that he confesses his sin, and then forsakes it.  

Obviously, there could be a question as to whether his confession were sincere, or if he had truly forsaken the sins.  These might be a bit subjective, but as far as I can tell, he has never made an attempt at either confession or to forsake his sin, therefore we can objectively say, at this point at least, that he has not repented (or even made any attempt).

 

I didn't say repentance isn't necessary.  I asked how someone could objectively evaluate whether repentance is even necessary in the first place, let alone evaluating whether someone's repentance is "true" and approved by God.  I think these are all subjective questions with subjective criterion.  

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1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

I didn't say repentance isn't necessary.  I asked how someone could objectively evaluate whether repentance is even necessary in the first place,

That's relatively easy in some contexts.  For example, Section 6.7.3 of Handbook 1 of the CHI defines "apostasy" as follows:

Quote

1. Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.
2. Persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
4. Are in a same-gender marriage.
5. Formally join another church and advocate its teachings.

The foregoing conduct seems to be quite susceptible to "objective" assessment.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

let alone evaluating whether someone's repentance is "true" and approved by God. 

That part is considerably more difficult.  And perhaps largely beyond our purview.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

I think these are all subjective questions with subjective criterion.  

Not really.  For example, I don't think anyone can seriously dispute that Bill Reel's behavior constitutes a violation of the first item above.

Likewise, Gina Colvin joining another Church and advocating its teachings.

Likewise, a member of the Church being in a same-sex marriage.

These are not really "subjective questions with subjective criteri{a}."  They are actually fairly objective.

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Perhaps.  The stake president is facing unusual circumstances, so guidance as to navigating procedural complexities introduced by the machnications of Bill Reel and his publicity machine could be helpful.

I almost guarantee that this was orchestrated by church HQ, which is the actual machine in this instance.  Bill Reel doesn't even qualify as small potatoes by comparison to a multi billion dollar international behemoth like the LDS church inc.  Bill is microscopic in comparison (no offense to Bill).  

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