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

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19 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Actually supports what I said. The local leaders are not beholden to Salt Lake in the decisions of their disciplinary councils.

Agreed - beholden does not seem to be the case, and I know of no evidence where a local leader was disciplined for not obeying an apostle.  But, their church careers are likely effected.  I know of some evidence of this, but they are anecdotal, and it is always impossible to make a correlary a causality.

But - You expressed doubt that apostles are heavily involved. I think telling someone to excommunicate another counts as being “heavily involved.”

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18 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Have you ever participated in a disciplinary council (as a member of the council)?

 

I’ve only been involved when I was excommunicated.

Why do you ask?

Edited by SouthernMo

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5 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The day I worry about my “church career” is the day I resign my membership in self-disgust.

Yup. But we all know people who do draw value from their position in this organization, and that sense of value can drive them to great service. It can also be used to manipulate them.

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11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Yes. A discussion and determination of the gospel’s truthfulness was not the purpose of the council. They were called to consider what, if any, disciplinary action to take against a Bill Reel. He then took an hour to elucidate why he was in apostasy. Fair enough, but it is not a defense. He was preaching to his dishonestly made recording audience. Ironic that he also boasted that no one could impugn his integrity in his comments while in the process of refuting himself.

As a practical matter no one in the council probably had time for an eight hour marathon back and forth if they did counter his points one by one and then the responses and counter arguments. Councils are specifically not a place to foster contention or any form of debate.

Indeed. This is what happens when a council becomes a debate....not a pretty sight....

Quote

Then the Franciscan Alborea, running short on arguments, started to cross the space that separated him from the Minorites, indicating in a loud voice and with words I dare not repeat his firm intention to pull off the beard of the Bishop of Kaffa, whose masculinity he called into questions, and whom he planned to punish, by the logic of an eye for an eye, by shoving that beard in a certain place. The other Minorites rushed to form a barrier and defend their brother; the Avignonese thought it useful to lend the Dominican a hand, and a brawl ensued, which the abbot and cardinal tried to quell. In the tumult that followed, Minorites and Dominicans said grave things to one another, as if each were a Christian fighting the Saracens. The only ones who remained in their seats were William, on one side, and Bernard Gui, on the other. William seemed sad, and Bernard happy, if you can call happiness the faint smile that curled into the inquisitor's lips.

As the dispute reached its climax, the archers intervened, at a sign from Bernard Gui, to keep the two factions apart. But like besiegers and besieged on both sides of the walls of a fortress, they hurled insults and rebuttals at one another, in Mediterranean fashion, one overlapping another, like the waves of an angry sea....

"Venerable brothers, venerable brothers!" Cardinal Bertrand and the abbot shouted.

 The Great Debate Between the Franciscans and Dominicans over the Poverty of Christ. Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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After reading the transcript I'd say Bill did a very good job in expressing himself.  I'm not sure anyone there was affected as he said.  They could have been, but I don't see that necessarily  (I tried listening but that was kind of "messy"😁).  I agree that the line about lacking integrity doesn't say much.  Perhaps Bill took it in a way that was not intended, I don't know.  But it sounds like he is just saying, essentially, if the Church is what Bill is saying, then it lacks integrity.  And they are there to protect the Church...or something.  

I will say, if any of the council members left feeling a bit like an Alma the Elder I'd be surprised.  Not that Bill didn't express himself well, but I don't hear anything hitting anyone.  He might have heard it and saw it, of course.  

As for his stated reasons...I think there is some room for some debate on some of them.  But for the most part I think he hit the nail on the head and was fair and pretty, reasonably accurate.  

 

I have to say I mentioned ont his forum that I feel a bit jealous for those like Bill who kind of take things as far as they do, because to me it might mean a bit of a feeling of resolve.  I feel that still, but I did feel a pretty deep sense of emptiness and separation at the news of his ex'ing as he gave it.  I think there are some serious severing of community and families going on and it's not fun to see.  

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18 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I’ve only been involved when I was excommunicated.

Were you treated unfairly?

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4 hours ago, flameburns623 said:

............................But Bill Reel doesn't know much about Reform Judaism.  ......................

Bill knows very little about religion in general, and even less about theology, philosophy, or history.  Anyone with his interests should have given those subjects serious study.

You do seem to have a good handle on Judaism.  Have you considered conversion to Judaism?

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From what people have said, half the council is supposed to look at it from the individual’s viewpoint. If so, it makes sense that one of the HC chosen for that role would try to summarize Reel’s POV so it was clear they understood what his issue was. 

Do I understand this correctly?

It would be absolutely bizarre to me that a HC would claim the church had no integrity from his own POV and nothing would be said about it. That is not a moment of awkwardness. That is a moment of apostasy and he probably just disqualified himself to hold his calling if he truly believed that. OTOH, it makes perfect sense for someone to try and distill Reel’s comments down into easily understood points that were relevant to determining apostasy, especially if he was taking an hour to list his issues.

Edited by Calm
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26 minutes ago, Calm said:

From what people have said, half the council is supposed to look at it from the individual’s viewpoint. If so, it makes sense that one of the HC chosen for that role would try to summarize Reel’s POV so it was clear they understood what his issue was. 

Do I understand this correctly?

Yes, that's correct.

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

Didn't the members of the High Council agree in writing to not record or publicly divulge the disciplinary proceedings?

So Bill Reel induced someone else to act dishonestly and dishonorably?  That is disappointing.

Some excerpts:

  • "Mormonism one last time made it clear that the truth is not only not useful, but even more directly it is antithetical to Mormonism’s mission."
  • "In regards to the Excommunication Document...it is just more of the many games that Mormonism plays."
  • "Mormonism, while not what it claimed to be was the very lie I needed to believe as a young man in order to change my life."
  • "Our Family united in valuing truth and standing up for those who are marginalized and harmed led to our being hand in hand as we woke up to our lives."
  • "A lot of folks encouraged me to resign but I went out doing what I have always done which is being a voice for those who for one reason or another don’t have a voice, standing up against the the dishonest telling of our narrative, and shining a light on leaders who lie and deceive in order to protect their authority."
  • "I am proud of how I faced the challenges every step of the way in my journey."

The same person saying all these horrible things about the Church . . . also fought against losing his membership in the Church.

These horrible claims also remind me of this quote from Joseph Smith:

Well, yes.

Meanwhile, Bill Reel and his addiction to outrage continues.  Not sure for how long.  

I hope he eventually turns from his current course and has a change of heart.

Thanks,

-Smac

Bill, Mike Norton, et al. couldn't be much worse messengers.  The message got lost by the messengers.  I commented a bunch on mormondiscussions.

This group made a DC appear like senior prank.  

Sam Young is out front cracking jokes, while weaving in horrifying stuff from worthiness interviews.  Then they hold a goofy testimony meeting with him as MC.  Dehlin is screaming stuff from the crowd and at one point posting about Reel and Reel's wife being modern Mormon heroes, what does that mean, and my God, what does Dehlin consider himself.  And...earlier in the day, Mike Norton is streaming his trespassing into the Church.  Here this dude is cracking jokes down the hall as if he's pulling off an incredible prank.  I really don't know what to say, it's all a mess.


 

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5 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Bill, Mike Norton, et al. couldn't be much worse messengers.  The message got lost by the messengers.  I commented a bunch on mormondiscussions.

This group made a DC appear like senior prank.  

Sam Young is out front cracking jokes, while weaving in horrifying stuff from worthiness interviews.  Then they hold a goofy testimony meeting with him as MC.  Dehlin is screaming stuff from the crowd and at one point posting about Reel and Reel's wife being modern Mormon heroes, what does that mean, and my God, what does Dehlin consider himself.  And...earlier in the day, Mike Norton is streaming his trespassing into the Church.  Here this dude is cracking jokes down the hall as if he's pulling off an incredible prank.  I really don't know what to say, it's all a mess.


 

It's very sad.

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It's very sad.

Some people would have been better off if videos were never invented and it was all still photographs 

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Were you treated unfairly?

Happy to share my experience and thoughts, but what do you mean by “fairly?”

Some might say that God and his Priesthood were in charge, so no matter what happened, it was fair.

Some might say that because the accuser is the judge, that it’s not fair.

I’m sure there are more examples of and perspectives on “fairness” but you get the point of why I ask. 

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You had no one to defend you?

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Just now, Bernard Gui said:

You had no one to defend you?

My wife was told she could come to talk. She showed up, then was asked to wait in the foyer, and not admitted in. 

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

You had no one to defend you?

That's a strange phrase to use.  Members of the high council participating in a council are neither prosecutors or defenders.  While half of the high council is “to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice” (D&C 102:17) they are not charged with acting in defense of the accused. 

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I'm curious; maybe I'm not looking in the right place, but what exactly did this guy do?

 

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7 hours ago, flameburns623 said:

Last night , RFM released a recording, with transcript,  of Bill Reel's Disciplinary Council.  Coyly, no one is admitting who recorded it. Speculation is that Bill had an ally among the High Council Members. I have a bridge in Saint Louis for sale to any who credits this. Link:

https://radiofreemormon.org/2018/12/radio-free-mormon-046-bill-reels-disciplinary-council-the-recording/

Following that,  early this morning, Bill Reel released an official statement confirming his excommunication:

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2018/12/bill-reel-statement-on-excommunication/

 

In reading the letter informing Bill Reel that he was excommunicated, it stated that his "views and behavior are apostate" and that he acted in "clear, open and deliberate public opposition to the church and its leaders."

What is the church's definition of "clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church and its leaders?"

In other words, at what point in time do one's personal views/convictions cross into the area of apostasy?

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Bill knows very little about religion in general, and even less about theology, philosophy, or history.  Anyone with his interests should have given those subjects serious study.

You do seem to have a good handle on Judaism.  Have you considered conversion to Judaism?

I have a smattering of knowledge of a number of religions. My BA was in Sociology and religious movements were an interest.  At this point in my life, there is nothing systematic nor academic about my interests.

But yes, I have entertained considerations about Reconstructionist or Reform Judaism.  I think that falls into the category of "spiritual envy". These bodies allow a level of dissent, debate, and intellectual ferment uncommon in Christianity,  generally.

The process of becoming an adherent of Judaism is rigorous,  taking a minimum of a year and often multiple years. Classes must be attended, a rabbi willing to be sponsor identified. Jewish history and practices are studied. One keeps the Shabbat. One learns how to keep Kosher, (even if one opts out of being Kosher as a lifelong discipline). One learns at least the Hebrew alphabet and some of the Hebrew language.  One lives all of the Jewish holidays at least one time apiece. There is an actual or symbolic circumcision for males, and a sort of baptism for all converts. One pays annual subscription to membership in a synagogue/temple and demonstrates a real desire to be part of a community.

Once received into Judaism,  one is deemed ethnically Jewish,  with no means of repudiating the status. One is an observant Jew,  not observant but Jewish, or an apostate Jew, in the eyes of the denomination which received the person. Ironically,  no matter which group receives the convert, there are apt to be those which question whether the conversion was valid. 

Ultimately,  though, Judaism doesn't believe itself necessary for someone to be righteous before God. It isn't seen as necessary to go to Heaven. Becoming Jewish means partnering with God in the task of "healing the world" and helping establish the conditions for the coming of Messiah. This involves additional obligations on faithful Jews above what God expects of other humans.  

So,  I have toyed with the idea but not with seriousness. 

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8 minutes ago, oklds said:

I'm curious; maybe I'm not looking in the right place, but what exactly did this guy do?

Nevermind; I found it.

 

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22 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

That's a strange phrase to use.  Members of the high council participating in a council are neither prosecutors or defenders.  While half of the high council is “to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice” (D&C 102:17) they are not charged with acting in defense of the accused. 

Obviously I was referring to half the HC standing in behalf of the accused. Their duty is to see that the accused is treated fairly. I’ve participated in a number of councils. 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Obviously I was referring to half the HC standing in behalf of the accused. I’ve participated in a number of councils. 

So your definition of “fair” in cases of disciplinary councils is that there are 6 men to see that there is no insult or injustice?

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8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

So your definition of “fair” in cases of disciplinary councils is that there are 6 men to see that there is no insult or injustice?

We don’t need to quibble over definitions. I wasn’t there. Do you feel you were treated fairly? Were you subjected to insult or injustice? The brothers in councils in which I have participated took that responsibility seriously. 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

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.

Thanks for your very serious (for you, kidding!) response, much appreciated Nehor!

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