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RICO Act, Proposed Class Action against the Church - it is filed

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16 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Not just Christianity; it is an assault on all religion, as in every single religion that exists. 

This is not a time for faith to exist. All faithful people must be stomped on because they don't think like they are supposed to. They should not be allowed to believe in what they choose. We live in a time of Totalitarianism of the Left. The Left is extremely tolerant IF you think like they do and act like they do. Anything else must be annihilated. It would be a good time to reflect on scripture about the end of days. Though people have been talking about this since the first apostles, it is strange how some things are happening. 

And you veer into the political swamp to bait a response. Fine, I’ll oblige.

Did a special unique snowflake get his feelings hurt because people said mean things about him and his thoughts and his church? Suck it up buttercup, it is the price of free speech.

Where did this myth of mass persecution come from? Talk to some people who have endured real persecution for their beliefs or even just existing before you think this heralds the end of days. Talking about the first apostles makes me laugh too. Are you talking about Peter and his crew who were pretty much all killed, many by torture or are you talking about apostles of the restored church who led their people from mobbing to mobbing until they could find a desert so barren no one else would want to go there. This persecution today which seems to mostly involve whining about court cases and laws on the Internet verges on totalitarianism?

To be clear this is an evil day. The temptations and enticements to violate the Laws or God are manifold and the apostles have repeatedly warned us that these enticements will grow both more blatant and more subtle but the end of free speech in the era where everyone has access to be able to speak? Not a chance. People just do not like what you have to say, disagree with it, and make you feel bad about it. Tough! The irony is these are the same people lashing out at others for whining about being victims and how everyone hates them and that just makes them sadsacks. Quite the case of projection.

And no, I am not on the other side. If you want me to rant about the Left too I can. In fact, why not now?

The Left is led politically by a bunch of mewling chickenpoops. This was especially on display when I watched the Mueller session. They simpered and basically begged a federal investigator to do their job for them and give them permission to act. Something out of Oliver Twist: “Please Sir, can I have permission to impeach?” You are in Congress for crying out loud. It is your job to make the case and publicize the report, get the contents out there, make the case, and run the case. Do your job you spineless weaklings! To be fair the Right equally humiliated themselves with their swamp fever delusions about made up conspiracies to try to lick the boots of their God-Emperor and hopefully get their clip on the news where he can see it and be accepted as a properly simpering toady. Your job is to be a check on the President, not grovel for his favor you cowering sychophants!

Then there is the flagrant hypocrisy from the Left. The bluest areas of the country also tend to have the most racially segregated school systems. Their efforts to fight climate change are showy tokens that will provide almost no mitigation. Their idealism is more abstract then real. Go out and find ways to actually make lives better instead of trying to sound enlightened or whatever. And seriously, stop apologizing for stupid stuff. The primaries are a mess of weaklings hard at work apologizing for doing their job in Congress. No one likes people who apologize endlessly over trivial stuff. Shut up! Also, make up your minds and get over this moronic identity crisis. Are you going to be the party of the people or are you going to be the party of pie in the sky? You can have some of the other but pick a lane! 

 

And a final message to everyone: You are all going to Hell! The choice between you has no right answers. A plague on both your houses! You have forgotten what government and ideology are for. They are designed to make people’s lives better. A guy reading a book at home, a group of friends at a restaurant, a family going swimming, a couple playing tennis together, an abused child finally joining a family that loves them, a beaten individual finding gainful and fulfilling employment and rebuilding their sense of worth, etc. Your job is to make those moments possible and more likely and extend their duration by providing an environment that fosters them with doses of security, infrastructure, and a system of justice that allows them to flower. When your goal is to create an idealistically pure economic system or to fix the economy or to stir up outrage and hate or whatever the hell is running through their minds you are missing the point. Focus on giving people the opportunity to be happy and fulfilled. Sometimes that means leaving things alone and sometimes it means intervening. And I am not just focusing on the leaders here. In a democratic society if our leaders are dishonest or weak or bombastic or otherwise flawed it is because we wanted that. We should stop.

 

This rant brought to you be Nehor’s Committee to Restore Sanity. No blood vessels burst or were otherwise harmed in the creation of this rant. The ancient Nephite Nehor has not endorsed this message. Reading this message may cause hysteria, flu, outrage, menstrual cramping, heart palpitations, induce psychotic rage, cause you to fall into a coma, bring about your death, and cause minor headaches. This rant is not for everyone, consult a mental health professional before consuming.

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17 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

 (For the record, I don't think I've ever denounced anyone on this Board as "evil incarnate," nor would I.  Love me or hate me or be indifferent, I don't care, but that isn't my style.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, you interrupted my nap.  (I thought it was rude, but I forgive you.)

:lazy:

Note that it was only required that the comment be labeled ‘evil incarnate’ and not me. These kinds of distinctions are why evil incarnate people like me get away with so much.

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On 8/5/2019 at 9:29 PM, smac97 said:

Preliminary thoughts:

1. The extensive references to the "Mormon Corporate Empire" are not going to go over well.  Federal judges like litigants to play it straight, particularly when they are represented by counsel.  This kind of overwrought, emotion-laded rhetoric should not be in a federal complaint (and an attorney with 34 years of practice under her belt surely knows this).

2. The factual allegations seem generally accurate until paragraph 37, which then veers into allegations about Church teachings which are "false."  The truth or falsity of religious doctrines is a question that is virtually never addressed by the civil courts.  Civil courts are simply not interested in being a forum for people to argue about religious claims.  It's called the "Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine."

3. Paragraph 38 starts a long diatribe about the Correlation Committee and it's purported "censorship" proclivities.  Oh, brother.

4. Paragraph 40 claims that members "are constantly reminded through the Empire’s {there's that word again!} various communication methods to avoid reading anything other than correlated material concerning Mormon history."  Well no, that's factually not correct.  But it's also irrelevant to the court.

5. Paragraph 43 claims that "'Lying for the Lord' is a phrase that has been used by former CES employees to describe the attitude of some CES employee administrators whereby employee instructors of young students have been told by their superiors in CES management and even apostles in the Quorum, to avoid discussion of controversial topics, because some things which are true are not very useful."  This is dumb.

6. Paragraph 44: "High-level employees in the CES have even suggested that disobedience to the edict to lie about Mormon history could result in the loss of an inferior’s employment."  Oh, brother.

7. Paragraph 49 posits that this lawsuit is based generally on a theory of "fraud."  "GADDY brings this Class Action Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (Complaint) against COP to obtain damages for herself and similarly situated persons injured by longstanding false statements of material fact and factual misrepresentations critical to the historical foundation of Mormonism. Said false statements and misrepresentations of historical fact have been and continue to constitute a fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations by the COP, through its employees and agents upon unwitting Mormons, as well as potential converts to Mormonism."

Well, good luck.  Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) requires that complaints predicated on fraud must be pleaded "with particularity."  So far I'm not seeing much in the way of particulars.

8. Paragraph 56: "Mormonism considers itself Christian, though many of its doctrines are foreign to basic Christian beliefs."

Oi!  The attorney who wrote this is seriously asking a federal judge to adjudicate what constitutes "basic Christian beliefs?"  

9. Paragraph 62: "Mormonism’s foundational facts, as taught by the COP, are that after Jesus Christ was crucified, priesthood authority essential to the true gospel was taken from the Earth..."  The subsequent paragraphs go into the Church's narrative about Joseph Smith, the First Vision, the Angel Moroni, etc.  Again, the attorney who wrote this is seriously asking a federal judge to render factual findings about Joseph Smith's theophanies in the early 19th century?

10. Things get pretty stupid in paragraph 65: "Neither Mormon historical scholars nor other academics have found evidence to support the orthodox version of Smith’s first vision, i.e. the official version."

What, pray tell, would the attorney expect the Church to produce as "evidence to support" the Church's narrative?  How would a judge in 2019 hope to be able to ascertain and evaluate competent, probative, and admissible "evidence" about whether Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, or not?

Paragraph 69 brings it home: "COP has always known, or should have known, that its official version of the first vision is false."  Really?  How is it false?  What "evidence" is there for the judge to evaluate on this issue?  Is this "evidence" competent, probative, and admissible?  And even assuming it is, the underlying question (the veracity of Joseph Smith's claimed theophanies) are about as firmly rooted in the "Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine" as you can get.  The attorney may as well as the judge to adjudicate the visions of Paul, or the resurrection of Jesus.  Not gonna happen.

The attorney harps on the Church defrauding members by withholding the 1832 account of the First Vision.  He's a bit late to the game here, as the "Gospel Topics" essay, "First Vision Accounts" specifically references that account, and provides a link to the complete text.

11. Paragraph 74 is actually kind of funny: "Young Mormons like GADDY were never taught the truth, i.e., that Smith’s first vision was a typical Christian theophany, as indicated in his 1832 handwritten account where Smith sought the Lord, who appeared and granted him forgiveness for his sins."  Here the attorney is conceding the factual reality of the Lord appearing to Joseph Smith.  And yet he wants to claim that the Church committed "fraud" by not specifically using the 1832 account in missionary lessons and such.  Weird.

12. Paragraph 78 quotes the older introduction in the Book of Mormon which describes the Lamanites as "the principal ancestors of the American Indians."  Again, the attorney is behind the times a bit here.

13. Paragraph 81 alleges fraud based on paintings in visitors' centers.  No joke.

14. Paragraph 84: "The truth is that the Book of Mormon was dictated by Smith while he peered at a stone in a hat. This manner of Book of Mormon manuscript creation may have been a divination or a reading from some document buried inside the hat, perhaps dictation by inspiration, or some combination thereof, but it does not support the claim that Smith translated (in any ordinary sense of the word) the Book of Mormon directly from gold plates..."

Oh, boy.  This is *exactly* the sort of thing judges do not want to see in their courtroom.  The attorney starts this sentence with "The truth is..."  Well, the Court is not particularly interested in adjudicating whether religious claims are "true."  These are left to individuals to accept, or not.  The attorney, in order to prevail on a fraud claim, will need to marshal evidence as to whether God inspired Joseph Smith during the translation process.  Good luck with that.

15. Paragraph 86 quotes a newspaper article from 1830 as competent evidence of how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.  Seriously.

16. Paragraph 97 asserts that "The Book of Abraham, purportedly written by the Hebrew prophet and translated by Smith, has been proven a fraud by Egyptologists," and that "In 1966, the papyri from which the Book of Abraham was translated, and which was believed to have been lost in the Great Chicago Fire, was rediscovered."  Again, the attorney is behind the times.  

17. Paragraphs 102-121 have a laundry list of "misrepresentations."  Perhaps culled from the CES Letter?  Pretty lazy writing here.

18. Subsequent paragraphs go through the personal life of the named plaintiff.  Lots of emotional rhetoric.  Poor form for an experienced attorney.

19. The causes of action cited are:

  • "Common Law Fraud";
  • "Fraud in the Inducement to Enter into an Oral Contract";
  • "Breach of Equitably Imposed Fiduciary Duties";
  • "Fraudulent Concealment";
  • "Civil RICO"; and
  • "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress."

20. The attorney, Kay Burningham, is the author of "An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case Against Mormonism."  So she has an axe to grind.

I think the Church's attorneys will not spend much (if any) time on the Complaint's structural defects (failure to properly plead fraud-based allegations), and will instead file a Motion to Dismiss based on the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine.  And I think such a motion will be granted.

I sure hope the attorney did not charge her client for preparing this complaint, because A) it looks like it is the result of considerable time and effort, and B) it is going to fail to get out of the gate.

Thanks,

-Smac

I wish I could just save this woman and the church some time and let her punch me in the face a few times on behalf of the church so we can continue to focus on more important issues. Good grief! I appreciate your post, Smac. How exhausting was it to have to rebut that? 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Valentinus said:

I wish I could just save this woman and the church some time and let her punch me in the face a few times on behalf of the church so we can continue to focus on more important issues. Good grief! I appreciate your post, Smac. How exhausting was it to have to rebut that? 

It took about 30 minutes.  I just skimmed through the complaint and made observations about the most obviously problematic parts of it.

Litigators can do this sort of stuff all day long.  It can be tedious, but not "exhausting."

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Valentinus said:

I wish I could just save this woman and the church some time and let her punch me in the face a few times on behalf of the church...

That is sweet, Val. :friends:

Edited by Calm
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56 minutes ago, Valentinus said:

I wish I could just save this woman and the church some time and let her punch me in the face a few times on behalf of the church so we can continue to focus on more important issues. Good grief! I appreciate your post, Smac. How exhausting was it to have to rebut that? 

Probably more fun to punch her.

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8 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Probably more fun to punch her.

Boys don't hit girls.  Didn't you go to kindergarten?

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55 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Boys don't hit girls.  Didn't you go to kindergarten?

I am reminded of a bit from one of Bill Burr's comedy routines.  He rejects the notion that there is never a reason to hit a woman. He says "There are plenty of reasons to hit a woman. You just don't do it!"

I'd say that there are plenty of reasons to hit a man, too, but you just don't do that, either.  

Except some people seem not to have gotten the memo.

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7 hours ago, USU78 said:

Boys don't hit girls.  Didn't you go to kindergarten?

Has feminism achieved nothing? :( 

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On 8/7/2019 at 8:37 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

 (For the record, I don't think I've ever denounced anyone on this Board as "evil incarnate," nor would I.  Love me or hate me or be indifferent, I don't care, but that isn't my style.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, you interrupted my nap.  (I thought it was rude, but I forgive you.)

:lazy:

Now that is evil incarnate😉

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On 8/8/2019 at 4:38 PM, USU78 said:

Boys don't hit girls.  Didn't you go to kindergarten?

Don't you believe in equality?

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Did anyone here teach their boys it is okay to hit another boy?  Serious question.

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25 minutes ago, Calm said:

Did anyone here teach their boys it is okay to hit another boy?  Serious question.

My only son has a mental age of two. It never came up.

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35 minutes ago, Calm said:

Did anyone here teach their boys it is okay to hit another boy?  Serious question.

My dad taught me "You never hit a girl.  Ever.  If one hits you, just walk away.  As for boys, you never start a fight, but you should always finish one."

Old-fashioned, I think, but this advice had some utility for me.  For whatever reason, during junior high and high school I tended to attract the attention of bullies.  I was in a few fights (as in numerous punches thrown and received), but always started by the other guy.  I made a good accounting of myself, I suppose.  And me defending myself did seem to result in some measure of, what, "respect?"  It may have helped reduce further bullying.  Hard to say.

I now have four sons, none of whom has ever reporting any bullying or fighting or anything in their lives.  I am glad that they have had a nicer experience growing up, but it means that I have not had occasion to teach them anything about fighting.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2019 at 4:30 PM, The Nehor said:

Probably more fun to punch her.

 

On 8/8/2019 at 4:38 PM, USU78 said:

Boys don't hit girls.  Didn't you go to kindergarten?

One of the more, ummm, shall we say creative?, renditions of the Articles of Faith I ever heard of is that of a four-year-old, who recited our 2nd Article of Faith thus:

Quote

We believe that men will be punched for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. [sic]

image.png.95fc68492d8262eb6f70124672cc5594.png

P.S.: Re: The white guy on the right.  Yeah, you may be an OK puncher, Dude, but, c'mon, man!  Do some sit-ups in training!  If Sly Stallone can do sit-ups suspended in the air by his ankles, surely you can do some of the regular kind! :rolleyes:

image.png.de09d9e41a76370f0cc4072493cd1ca2.png

 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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10 hours ago, smac97 said:

My dad taught me "You never hit a girl.  Ever.  If one hits you, just walk away.  As for boys, you never start a fight, but you should always finish one."

Old-fashioned, I think, but this advice had some utility for me.  For whatever reason, during junior high and high school I tended to attract the attention of bullies.  I was in a few fights (as in numerous punches thrown and received), but always started by the other guy.  I made a good accounting of myself, I suppose.  And me defending myself did seem to result in some measure of, what, "respect?"  It may have helped reduce further bullying.  Hard to say.

I now have four sons, none of whom has ever reporting any bullying or fighting or anything in their lives.  I am glad that they have had a nicer experience growing up, but it means that I have not had occasion to teach them anything about fighting.

Thanks,

-Smac

Defense of self ... and of others from bullies. 

By the time high school came about, few were fighting. My line: "Are you quite sure you want to escalate this?" Nobody seemed to want to.

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18 hours ago, Calm said:

Did anyone here teach their boys it is okay to hit another boy?  Serious question.

I taught my children that self-defense was okay.  I didn't raise them to be doormats.  

 

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1 minute ago, Stargazer said:

I taught my children that self-defense was okay.  I didn't raise them to be doormats.  

 

Self defense shouldn’t be restricted for only one gender. 

Women as perpetrators for physical domestic abuse is not uncommon.  They may even instigate it more often. Men are seen as more likely abusers because when they abuse it is more harmful physically and more likely to result in death. 

I am not suggesting men should be comfortable hitting women or women comfortable hitting men. I just think the same rules should apply with that rule being never use more force than necessary for self defense, walk away whenever it is possible. 

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Self defense shouldn’t be restricted for only one gender. 

Did I say "my boys" or "my children"?

4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Women as perpetrators for physical domestic abuse is not uncommon.  They may even instigate it more often. Men are seen as more likely abusers because when they abuse it is more harmful physically and more likely to result in death. 

I am not suggesting men should be comfortable hitting women or women comfortable hitting men. I just think the same rules should apply with that rule being never use more force than necessary for self defense, walk away whenever it is possible. 

I agree.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Did I say "my boys" or "my children"?

Not disagreeing with you, just expressing my opinion as part of the ongoing discussion.  So pretty much agreeing with your comment as I read it as children, not boys. I meant in case it is confusing that self defense shouldn’t be used against only one gender (men).  Men and women should both be okay, if unhappy, with defending themselves against dangerous physical abuse by men or women with necessary, but not excessive physical force imo. 

I cringe at “boys don’t hit girls” because it implies with its focus on one gender that it is okay to hit boys. It also if followed could prevent a boy from defending himself against a violent girl.  (I was going to link to an example of violence by a girl against a boy, but too depressed after finding girl killing baby and girls killing best friend plus apparent girls being violent aggressors against boys is a genre of porn)

Absolute cliches to teach behaviour that needs to be appropriate to the situation trouble me. I would be more comfortable with “we don’t hit others for fun or to hurt them”.

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, Calm said:

Not disagreeing with you, just expressing my opinion as part of the ongoing discussion.  So pretty much agreeing with your comment as I read it as children, not boys. I meant in case it is confusing that self defense shouldn’t be used against only one gender (men).  Men and women should both be okay, if unhappy, with defending themselves against dangerous physical abuse by men or women with necessary, but not excessive physical force imo. 

I cringe at “boys don’t hit girls” because it implies with its focus on one gender that it is okay to hit boys. It also if followed could prevent a boy from defending himself against a violent girl.  (I was going to link to an example of violence by a girl against a boy, but too depressed after finding girl killing baby and girls killing best friend).

Absolute cliches to teach behaviour that needs to be appropriate to the situation trouble me. I would be more comfortable with “we don’t hit others for fun or to hurt them”.

Right on, sister.

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14 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

P.S.: Re: The white guy on the right.  Yeah, you may be an OK puncher, Dude, but, c'mon, man!  Do some sit-ups in training!  If Sly Stallone can do sit-ups suspended in the air by his ankles, surely you can do some of the regular kind! 

Training in boxing is not based on aesthetics. There is a school of thought that a bit of fat can cushion body blows and increase endurance so it might be intentional.

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On 8/8/2019 at 3:03 PM, Calm said:

That is sweet, Val. :friends:

I can be reasonable.

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On 8/8/2019 at 3:30 PM, The Nehor said:

Probably more fun to punch her.

I'm a masochist. Hold my beer!

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6 hours ago, Valentinus said:

I'm a masochist. Hold my beer!

I am a sadist and I refuse to hurt you. ;) 

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