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


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19 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Each person preparing to receive her/his endowment is given a copy of Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple. This requirement is included at the beginning of the manual used to teach temple preparation lessons.

To give just one possible example, it includes the following passage:

In my personal experience, having studied from this booklet, I knew quite clearly what I was going to be promising to do.

I'm older and went in 84' and don't remember being given that book. I could have, but I don't remember it. When did you go through? I went before the changes, so maybe that is why I was very shocked/dismayed.

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13 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Absolutely nothing in the temple has ever shocked or dismayed me. In fact, the main surprise to me the first time was how something so new to me could feel so familiar. I felt like I had gone 'home'.

I only had about 3 weeks between getting out of the Army and going into the MTC.  I spent most of those few days sleeping and buying things for my mission.  My "temple prep" consisted of a few thoughts from my father as we drove from to the Provo Temple (20 minutes or so).  He gave me some pretty solid, but also very brief, advice.  

So I went to the temple with virtually no prep.  I was fortunate to have my parents there with me.  I trusted them, and they answered all of my questions while we were in there.  Then I went into the MTC, and attended the temple weekly.  That was wonderful, as I began to feel more at ease with it, and more curious about it, and more intent on understanding it.

Then I shipped out to Taiwan, and my experience of seeking to better understand the temple slowed down quite a bit.  It was hard enough to go through in English.  Going through in Mandarin Chinese was quite a different experience.  I also was only able to go to the temple in Taiwan once a month, and even then only for about half of my mission (10-11 times total).

Then I came home and began to go to the temple regularly.  My parents, particularly my father, were very good resources for helping me improve my understanding of it.  But I still have a very long way to go.

Looking back, I think it would have been helpful to have been over-prepared for the temple, rather than somewhat under-prepared (which I was).  I am reminded of a bit of dialogue in "The Mountain of the Lord," a 1993 film produced by the Church about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. The conversation is between President Woodruff and a (fictional) reporter from the eastern United States who had traveled to Utah to cover the dedication of the temple. This film, including this scene, is on YouTube (for context, start at about 51:20 and go to about 58:08):

Quote

Reporter: Might I ask you a difficult question?

President Woodruff: Please.

Reporter: Theoretically speaking, is it possible that even I might enter into the temple and receive these ordinances? 

President Woodruff: The temple is for anyone who is living in accordance with the commandments that God has given with respect to the temple.

Reporter: One doesn't just walk into the temple.

President Woodruff: No.  Even in the days of Solomon's Temple, there were certain laws of purification that had to be met before one was allowed to enter the temple.  Today, even those who are members of the Church must first spiritually prepare themselves and be worthy to receive these blessings.

Reporter: And this is because those who are not properly prepared, such as myself, might not fully grasp their meaning?

President Woodruff: In their fullness, the realities of eternity are beyond our mortal capacity to comprehend.  These covenants are given by revelation, and they can only be understood by revelation.  Just as in the ancient temples we spoke of earlier, the temple is a place to which the Saints can go and feel they are coming into the presence of the Lord.  Very important truths about their relationship to him, and the purpose of life.  This is why we build temples.

The things of the temple “are given by revelation, and they can only be understood by revelation.”  That is a good approach.

Thanks,

-Smac

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13 hours ago, smac97 said:

I only had about 3 weeks between getting out of the Army and going into the MTC.  I spent most of those few days sleeping and buying things for my mission.  My "temple prep" consisted of a few thoughts from my father as we drove from to the Provo Temple (20 minutes or so).  He gave me some pretty solid, but also very brief, advice.  

So I went to the temple with virtually no prep.  I was fortunate to have my parents there with me.  I trusted them, and they answered all of my questions while we were in there.  Then I went into the MTC, and attended the temple weekly.  That was wonderful, as I began to feel more at ease with it, and more curious about it, and more intent on understanding it.

Then I shipped out to Taiwan, and my experience of seeking to better understand the temple slowed down quite a bit.  It was hard enough to go through in English.  Going through in Mandarin Chinese was quite a different experience.  I also was only able to go to the temple in Taiwan once a month, and even then only for about half of my mission (10-11 times total).

Then I came home and began to go to the temple regularly.  My parents, particularly my father, were very good resources for helping me improve my understanding of it.  But I still have a very long way to go.

Looking back, I think it would have been helpful to have been over-prepared for the temple, rather than somewhat under-prepared (which I was).  I am reminded of a bit of dialogue in "The Mountain of the Lord," a 1993 film produced by the Church about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. The conversation is between President Woodruff and a (fictional) reporter from the eastern United States who had traveled to Utah to cover the dedication of the temple. This film, including this scene, is on YouTube (for context, start at about 51:20 and go to about 58:08):

The things of the temple “are given by revelation, and they can only be understood by revelation.”  That is a good approach.

Thanks,

-Smac

It's important to remember that not all who prep and desire revelation get it.  We even have stories from prophets where they waited a long time for certain revelations.  While I whole heartedly agree that we should prep better, there really is only so much we can do to have a better experience if the Lord chooses not to give revelation to some.

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:44 AM, smac97 said:

Kay Burningham, Laura Gaddy's attorney, has now asked the court for permission to file an amended complaint.  Here's a link to the proposed amended complaint.  

An update: The U.S. District Court granted Gaddy's motion seeking permission to file the above-referenced Amended Complaint, which was filed on May 18.

I anticipate that the next step will be for the Church's attorneys to file Motion to Dismiss pertaining to the Amended Complaint.  Gaddy will then file a response, and the Church's attorneys will file a reply to that response.  Then there may be a hearing on the Motion.

I haven't spent much time analyzing the Amended Complaint, but my recollection in skimming it was that it did not do much to fix the defects in the original Complaint.  We'll see.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

An update: The U.S. District Court granted Gaddy's motion seeking permission to file the above-referenced Amended Complaint, which was filed on May 18.

I anticipate that the next step will be for the Church's attorneys to file Motion to Dismiss pertaining to the Amended Complaint.  Gaddy will then file a response, and the Church's attorneys will file a reply to that response.  Then there may be a hearing on the Motion.

I haven't spent much time analyzing the Amended Complaint, but my recollection in skimming it was that it did not do much to fix the defects in the original Complaint.  We'll see.

Thanks,

-Smac

The process seems incredibly slow, even for the American judicial system. 

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19 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The process seems incredibly slow, even for the American judicial system. 

Gaddy's lawsuit was filed on August 5, 2019.  The Church's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss on August 27.  Gaddy asked for, and received, an extension to October 8 to file a response to the Motion to Dismiss.  The Church's attorneys likewise sought an extension, and filed their reply on November 5.  The Court conducted a hearing on February 13, 2020, and on March 31 entered its ruling.  The ruling allowed Gaddy 45 days to ask for permission to file an amended complaint, and she did that on April 28, followed by the court granting permission on May 13, and the amended complaint being filed on May 18.  

There are a lot of moving parts in this sort of lawsuit, so the timing can take a while.  All things considered, though, the pace has been fairly brisk.

Thanks,

-Smac

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/21/2020 at 11:39 AM, smac97 said:

An update: The U.S. District Court granted Gaddy's motion seeking permission to file the above-referenced Amended Complaint, which was filed on May 18.

I anticipate that the next step will be for the Church's attorneys to file Motion to Dismiss pertaining to the Amended Complaint.  Gaddy will then file a response, and the Church's attorneys will file a reply to that response.  Then there may be a hearing on the Motion.

I haven't spent much time analyzing the Amended Complaint, but my recollection in skimming it was that it did not do much to fix the defects in the original Complaint.  We'll see.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yesterday the Church's attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss.  Here's a link to it.  Some preliminary thoughts/observations:

1. Here's the opening paragraph: 

Quote

Ms. Gaddy once again attempts to use this Court as a forum for airing her religious grievances with the Church. The Amended Complaint is little more than a hodgepodge of criticisms of the Church and its teachings. Ms. Gaddy criticizes everything from the Church’s leadership structure, teachings, and scriptural interpretation to its art, films, and even children’s toys. She cites to and quotes disaffected former Church members and anti-Mormons. She is, of course, entitled to her religious beliefs. But she is not entitled to use this Court to spread those beliefs or to force the Church to defend its religious teachings.

Yep.

2. The introduction goes on to state that the Amended Complaint "simply disregards" the Court's prior ruling.  I think that's correct.  The Amended Complaint is materially not distinguishable from the original complaint.

3. The introduction notes that Gaddy has added to her doctrinal grievances, which now include "claims related to the Church’s teachings about polygamy, tithing, and the location of places described in the Book of Mormon," which are "just as ecclesiastically based as the ones raised in her original complaint," and hence are "barred by the First Amendment."

4. Here's the outline of the legal argument:

Quote

 

I. THE FIRST AMENDMENT BARS COURTS FROM INQUIRING INTO DISPUTES GROUNDED IN RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND CHURCH ADMINISTRATION.

II. THE FIRST AMENDMENT REQUIRES DISMISSAL OF EVERY ONE OF MS. GADDY’S CLAIMS.

A. Ms. Gaddy’s claims based on allegations regarding Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Abraham must be dismissed.

B. Ms. Gaddy’s new allegations are equally rooted in religious belief and must be dismissed.

C. Ms. Gaddy’s remaining claims should be dismissed.

 

5. I think dismissal of this case is a matter of when, not if.

Thanks,

-Smac

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15 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yesterday the Church's attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss.  Here's a link to it.  Some preliminary thoughts/observations:

1. Here's the opening paragraph: 

Yep.

2. The introduction goes on to state that the Amended Complaint "simply disregards" the Court's prior ruling.  I think that's correct.  The Amended Complaint is materially not distinguishable from the original complaint.

3. The introduction notes that Gaddy has added to her doctrinal grievances, which now include "claims related to the Church’s teachings about polygamy, tithing, and the location of places described in the Book of Mormon," which are "just as ecclesiastically based as the ones raised in her original complaint," and hence are "barred by the First Amendment."

4. Here's the outline of the legal argument:

5. I think dismissal of this case is a matter of when, not if.

Thanks,

-Smac

Seems to me that she could just write a book and leave it at that. Or turn it into a profession, like the Tanners did. 

Attacking religious faith itself, which is essentially what she is doing, seems wrong on its face.

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From the Reply Brief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as posted by Smac97

Quote

Ms. Gaddy once again attempts to use this Court as a forum for airing her religious grievances with the Church. The Amended Complaint is little more than a hodgepodge of criticisms of the Church and its teachings. Ms. Gaddy criticizes everything from the Church’s leadership structure, teachings, and scriptural interpretation to its art, films, and even children’s toys. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969.]

The Church of Jesus Christ has toys?  Why wasn't I told about this?!  :angry:  I want some!  "Get your Joseph Smith, Father, and Son action figures now!  Must be eighteen or older to order!"        :D:rofl:  :D

P.S.: Brigham Young and his 40 wives, sold as a set for only $59.99!  Call now!  Must be eighteen or older to order!"  :D:rofl::D

Edited by Kenngo1969
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  • 1 month later...
On 6/2/2020 at 11:40 AM, smac97 said:

Yesterday the Church's attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss.  Here's a link to it.  Some preliminary thoughts/observations:

1. Here's the opening paragraph: 

Yep.

2. The introduction goes on to state that the Amended Complaint "simply disregards" the Court's prior ruling.  I think that's correct.  The Amended Complaint is materially not distinguishable from the original complaint.

3. The introduction notes that Gaddy has added to her doctrinal grievances, which now include "claims related to the Church’s teachings about polygamy, tithing, and the location of places described in the Book of Mormon," which are "just as ecclesiastically based as the ones raised in her original complaint," and hence are "barred by the First Amendment."

4. Here's the outline of the legal argument:

5. I think dismissal of this case is a matter of when, not if.

Thanks,

-Smac

On July 14, 2020, Gaddy - through her attorney - filed a memorandum in opposition to the Motion to Dismiss.  Here's a link.

Some thoughts/observations:

1. Gaddy disagrees that she is suing over matters of "belief," and instead claims she is suing over "deceptive recruitment and indoctrination practices {and} conduct."  I don't think that is accurate.  I also don't think the court will buy it.

2. Gaddy states:

Quote

{N}o binding authority holds that religious facts are exempt from fraud claims and that only secular facts can so serve. Binding precedent merely holds that religious beliefs and doctrine cannot be adjudicated; determining the truth of those matters is beyond the ken of a secular court. United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 84, 64 S. Ct. 882, 885, 88 L. Ed. 1148 (1944).

I don't think this works.  Here's a quote from the Ballard case cited by Gaddy:

Quote

Freedom of thought, which includes freedom of religious belief, is basic in a society of free men.  It embraces the right to maintain theories of life and of death and of the hereafter which are rank heresy to followers of the orthodox faiths. Heresy trials are foreign to our Constitution. Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others. Yet the fact that they may be beyond the ken of mortals does not mean that they can be made suspect before the law. Many take their gospel from the New Testament. But it would hardly be supposed that they could be tried before a jury charged with the duty of determining whether those teachings contained false representations. The miracles of the New Testament, the Divinity of Christ, life after death, the power of prayer are deep in the religious convictions of many. If one could be sent to jail because a jury in a hostile environment found those teachings false, little indeed would be left of religious freedom. 

And this case is supposed to support Gaddy's position?

3. Gaddy claims that the "conduct" of the Church is "subject to regulation for the protection of society," but she then proceeds to describe the Church's "conduct" as relating to A) the seer stone used by Joseph Smith, B) artwork showing Joseph Smith translating "from gold plates," and C) the translation of the Book of Abraham.

The "religious conduct" to be regulated by the Court is the Church's teachings about the plates, the seerstone, etc.  Good luck differentiating such things from "{t}he iracles of the New Testament, the Divinity of Christ, life after death, {and} the power of prayer" referenced in Ballard above.

4. Gaddy equivocates pretty heavily.  She claims she should be able to sue the Church itself for "fraud" as pertaining to its religious teachings, and then bolsters this argument by pointing to instances of affinity fraud in Utah.

5. Gaddy claims that "any imposition on religious exercise by compliance with fraud laws in minimal."  Put another way, she apparently wants to prevent the Church from teaching its doctrines about the gold plates, etc. 

I've lost interest in reading it, frankly.  It seems a re-hash of her response to the first motion to dismiss.

Thanks,

-Smac

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