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

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14 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Don't they usually have someone there taking notes ro the minutes of the meeting?  I wonder if so, if people are already rightly feeling traumatized if someone is recording it by note taking.  

They always have someone taking notes. I doubt anyone was traumatized. When I was the note taker I would have had no problem letting them read what I wrote if they asked and explaining who would have access though our bishop explained what the notes were for and how tightly confidential they were before we started. I have no idea if that is standard procedure but I am sure it would be answered if asked. Most who are nervous would prefer broad notes to a recording.

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

They always have someone taking notes. I doubt anyone was traumatized. When I was the note taker I would have had no problem letting them read what I wrote if they asked and explaining who would have access though our bishop explained what the notes were for and how tightly confidential they were before we started. I have no idea if that is standard procedure but I am sure it would be answered if asked. Most who are nervous would prefer broad notes to a recording.

Since you've had a lot of time in these proceedings, who better to ask? Do you guys ask questions to the one who is having the court? Because it seems like in several of these recordings I've listened to, there is only a statement and interchange with the SP only. Or are others asked to become part of the conversation? Or are they told to keep fairly quiet? 

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30 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Same here.

"His interpretation" being the key words there.

The transcribed statement from the member of the High Council does not seem to support that interpretation.

And I will go by the transcript, rather than by Bill's self-serving interpretation, because he has a motive to characterize the other fellow's words in a way favorable to him (Bill).

And if I'm "speculating," then so is Bill.

Moreover, the practice in disciplinary proceedings is to seek a unified sustaining vote from the members of the High Council as to the decision of the Stake Presidency.  In other words, it is considerably more likely than not that the member of the high council quoted above sustained the decision to excommunicate Bill Reel.

So Bill Reel's narrative is that a member of the high council agreed with Bill Reel's accusation that the Church lacks integrity (and that Bill Reel is guilty only of pointing this out, and that Bill has integrity but the Church does not, etc.), but that this same member then proceeded to sustain a decision to excommunicate Bill Reel anyway.  That's possible, I suppose.  But it sounds a bit . . . hinky.

In contrast, my reading of the transcript is that the high council member was simply re-stating and summarizing Bill Reel's position.  Not to express acceptance of it, but to clarify his grasp of it.

Reasonable minds can disagree about such things.

Thanks,

-Smac

What you're going by is YOUR INTERPRETATION of the transcript.  I trust Bill's interpretation and I can see from the wording of the transcript how it could be interpreted the way Bill explained as well.  I like critical thinking, and carefully going over wording is important, that is why I'm not ruling out your version as being possible, and Bill as being in error here.  But I think its much more likely that Bill's version is correct.  

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33 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Because it is an insult to the local leaders who have to deal with these often difficult situations and recasts them as puppets setting up preordained theatrical farces. It is also an insult to the apostles who function as cowards in this scenario covering up their involvement and sacrificing local leadership as PR pawns for decisions they are not even making.

I don't see it as an insult.  HQ is involved in a countless number of things to one extent or another.  It just makes the most sense that those things that have a broader influence on the church as a whole, get guidance from HQ.  It would actually be more concerning to me if HQ wasn't involved on important issues that have broad interest for the church.  

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5 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

What you're going by is YOUR INTERPRETATION of the transcript. 

I acknowledge that.  

I think my interpretation is more likely that Bill Reel's.

5 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I trust Bill's interpretation and I can see from the wording of the transcript how it could be interpreted the way Bill explained as well. 

As you like.

5 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I like critical thinking, and carefully going over wording is important, that is why I'm not ruling out your version as being possible, and Bill as being in error here.  But I think its much more likely that Bill's version is correct.  

I'm okay with that.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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40 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Since you've had a lot of time in these proceedings, who better to ask? Do you guys ask questions to the one who is having the court? Because it seems like in several of these recordings I've listened to, there is only a statement and interchange with the SP only. Or are others asked to become part of the conversation? Or are they told to keep fairly quiet? 

First, I have not spent a lot of time involved. I have attended a few and my experiences should not be overly generalized.

I have never been in a Stake level DC. At the ward level there is only the person involved, the Bishopric (counselors can be replaced by High Priests in good standing if necessary), and a clerk there to record it. In those it is usually more of a discussion with the bishop asking questions and having a discussion to determine what happened, clarify the facts, determine how the person feels about it, and the like. The counselors assist by also asking questions. This should not be viewed as an interrogation. The subject of the council also can ask questions, share their thoughts, and I have always seen kindness be the primary motivation behind the questions. Argument is to be avoided. The clerk usually says nothing and just listens and records as needed. Usually the person has confessed to the bishop and the bishop can ask to use that confession as evidence. The person can refuse but I have never seen this happen. Generally it is the bishop and the accused talking with a counselor occasionally asking a question or furthering the discussion.

At the stake level there are a lot more people involved. The High Council is present along with the Stake Presidency and one clerk to record. Half the High Council is chosen by lot to make sure there is no insult or injustice against the accused as set forth in D&C 102. I know less about the normal conduct outside of the official rules at this level as I have never attended one.

Witnesses can be asked to speak to present evidence or speak on behalf of the accused. The accused can ask questions of witnesses. Sometimes (usually?) written statements are submitted instead.

There are a lot of other details. The accused can object to the participation of someone in advance if they wish and if the objection is valid the person is excused and replaced. I know of at least one case where a counselor said they were too close and asked to be excused and that request was honored. If the bishop feels unable to be fair or there is a valid objection against his participation the stake should consider the case instead. If the Stake President is in the same situation they are to call Salt Lake. I am guessing that they will appoint the First Counselor to consider the case in the Stake President’s case. In theory, they could move the case to be tried by the First Presidency but I have never heard of this happening outside of misconduct by a General Authority.

I know a bit about this because I am a Church government nerd and sometimes read the handbooks in my spare time.

Edited by The Nehor
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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

Hulk Hogan is a high profile person, Whoopi Goldberg is a high profile person, Guy Fieri is a high profile person, Bill Reel is a "high profile person" in his own mind

I don't have a problem with your point here, but are those really the best three celebrities you could come up with to make your point?

:)

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22 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

What you're going by is YOUR INTERPRETATION of the transcript.  I trust Bill's interpretation and I can see from the wording of the transcript how it could be interpreted the way Bill explained as well.  I like critical thinking, and carefully going over wording is important, that is why I'm not ruling out your version as being possible, and Bill as being in error here.  But I think its much more likely that Bill's version is correct.  

Like SMAC said that is fine. But I'm calling you out for tribalism. (Just like you did to me)

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19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I don't see it as an insult.  HQ is involved in a countless number of things to one extent or another.  It just makes the most sense that those things that have a broader influence on the church as a whole, get guidance from HQ.  It would actually be more concerning to me if HQ wasn't involved on important issues that have broad interest for the church.  

I disagree. It makes a mockery of the whole thing if the decision is selected in advance.

I am also not sure that I would categorize this case as an important issue. It is bog-standard apostasy. Other then publicity there is really not much here and I have already mentioned that I believe guidance from church administration may have been given on that matter from the appropriate department in Salt Lake but that is not the alleged case wwith apostles getting involved and mandating certain decisions be made.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

They may have heard about it but I am waiting for precedent of dictating results or calling the Stake President and issuing instructions on what decision to reach.

I wish I had an easy link or reference to give here, but D. Michael Quinn was told by Elder Oaks that it was Elder Packer who directed the excommunications of the September Six in 1993.  The rest of the 12 were apparently not happy about it.

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1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

I don't have a problem with your point here, but are those really the best three celebrities you could come up with to make your point?

:)

hahahhahahahha! Were you a Koko B. Ware fan?! You didn't like the Ghosts of Mississippi or Diners, Drive ins and Dives???????? what's wrong with you?!  

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9 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I wish I had an easy link or reference to give here, but D. Michael Quinn was told by Elder Oaks that it was Elder Packer who directed the excommunications of the September Six in 1993.  The rest of the 12 were apparently not happy about it.

I remember reading that Church HQ did inform the Stake President of where Quinn was (he was believed to be keeping a low profile. And yes, church HQ can let a Stake President or bishop know something is going on in their stake or ward that they are unaware of but that is not directing excommunications.

Edited by The Nehor

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After reading the transcript, I believe that the SP was fair in what BR was allowed to do and the time frame for which he could do it.  I am prejudiced, but in my own mind...Bill ran circles around them..and made impressions of inquisitive truths to some council men there.  I don't know these people...I don't know them and yet..for the first time..I feel validated. 

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12 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I disagree. It makes a mockery of the whole thing if the decision is selected in advance.

I am also not sure that I would categorize this case as an important issue. It is bog-standard apostasy. Other then publicity there is really not much here and I have already mentioned that I believe guidance from church administration may have been given on that matter from the appropriate department in Salt Lake but that is not the alleged case wwith apostles getting involved and mandating certain decisions be made.

Well, I would agree that the court aspect in this case is just for appearances, there isn't an actual decision being made, as it has already been made.  But these aren't really courts anyway, in a traditional sense. 

I would recommend that if church HQ decides some high profile individual should be excommunicated, that they shouldn't put them through a sham court, instead they should just send them a letter and be done with it.  It would save a lot of time, and probably be less controversial in the media as it would just be one event, all said and done, not multiple events that get media attention at each stage in the process.  Just a clean break.  

 

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13 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

After reading the transcript, I believe that the SP was fair in what BR was allowed to do and the time frame for which he could do it.  I am prejudiced, but in my own mind...Bill ran circles around them..and made impressions of inquisitive truths to some council men there.  I don't know these people...I don't know them and yet..for the first time..I feel validated. 

Eye roll

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19 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I wish I had an easy link or reference to give here, but D. Michael Quinn was told by Elder Oaks that it was Elder Packer who directed the excommunications of the September Six in 1993.  The rest of the 12 were apparently not happy about it.

Are you possibly thinking of this David Haglund article in Slate?  According Haglund, it was Steve Benson (not Quinn) who supposedly received this information from Elder Oaks (apparently with Elder Maxwell present as well.)

"While Packer’s precise involvement remains a matter of dispute, what little is known hints at his interference. After Paul Toscano was excommunicated, Steve Benson, grandson of the then Mormon prophet, met privately with the apostles Dallin H. Oaks and Neal A. Maxwell, and asked them about—among many other things—the rumor that Packer had something to do with it. Oaks said Packer had met with Toscano’s stake president, and acknowledged that this was a mistake. When Benson asked why no one had stopped him, Oaks allegedly replied, “You can’t stage manage a grizzly bear.”

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1 minute ago, MustardSeed said:

  Why insult each other like this? I don’t get it. 

What do you mean?

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4 minutes ago, Steve J said:

Eye roll

Why eye roll? 

If we can be respectful of orthodox members and the validation they feel when they hear something that speaks to their truth, why can't we honor others who feel similarly, even if we may disagree on particulars.  I think Bill is a fine person and a very good example of the kind of person that Mormonism should be proud of.  

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19 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

After reading the transcript, I believe that the SP was fair in what BR was allowed to do and the time frame for which he could do it.  I am prejudiced, but in my own mind...Bill ran circles around them..and made impressions of inquisitive truths to some council men there.  I don't know these people...I don't know them and yet..for the first time..I feel validated. 

He ran circles around them? I just skimmed the transcript and they were polite and listened. The council had neither the time not the inclination nor the mandate to offer a refutation it seems unfair to say he won. They presented the evidence, he spoke for about an hour, and they had a very short discussion. Saying he ran circles around them in this case can’t mean much more then you agree with him. There was no real debate nor should there have been.

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20 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Well, I would agree that the court aspect in this case is just for appearances, there isn't an actual decision being made, as it has already been made.  But these aren't really courts anyway, in a traditional sense. 

I would recommend that if church HQ decides some high profile individual should be excommunicated, that they shouldn't put them through a sham court, instead they should just send them a letter and be done with it.  It would save a lot of time, and probably be less controversial in the media as it would just be one event, all said and done, not multiple events that get media attention at each stage in the process.  Just a clean break.  

 

I dislike calling it a court.

I do agree that excommunication was virtually certain unless he agreed to stop publicly criticizing church leaders and spreading doubt.

The First Presidency could do that but I doubt they will. It is not a sham. Contained within it is compassion and usually a personal invitation to come back. I say that is worth a little publicity in a few cases.

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27 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Bill ran circles around them.

That's bound to leave someone a little dizzy. :)

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8 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Why eye roll? 

If we can be respectful of orthodox members and the validation they feel when they hear something that speaks to their truth, why can't we honor others who feel similarly, even if we may disagree on particulars.  I think Bill is a fine person and a very good example of the kind of person that Mormonism should be proud of.  

It was the running circles around them comment that got the eye roll. If I stated that if some apologist came prepared with slides and allowed to speak to a group there not prepared to discuss those issues and said the same thing.. you, and many other posters would be out for blood. I made a relatively benign comment

Edited by Steve J
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