- Report: #799959
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints50 E North Temple Salt Lake City, Utah United States of America
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Mormon Mormon Church LDS Church LDS church and how it manipulates its members. Blatant meddling in politics, unethical for a tax-exempt organization. Salt Lake City, Utah
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*General Comment: Please Get YOUR Facts Straight
*Consumer Comment: Lyndon,
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: thanks Karl and Lyndon
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: to "twort" not hate just Mormon FACTS
*Consumer Comment: Aha... ha... hahahaha... hahahahahahahahahaha!!
*Consumer Comment: FEDUP,
*General Comment: MITT THE MORMON SAYS 48% think
*General Comment: Why so much anger, and what are you afraid of?
*Consumer Suggestion: Mormonism Is a Cult - Is Romney Electable?
*General Comment: Mormons and Jews
*Consumer Comment: ***IMPORTANT TUESDAY MESSAGE: Please feel free to stay at this site and type in- HOME LOANS, and....
*Author of original report: Hypno Toad Loves His Warts
*UPDATE Employee: Pretty Funny
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Problem with Mormonism
*Author of original report: How I was affected personally - To Stacey
*Consumer Comment: This "Church" is a Cult 100%
*Author of original report: The Four Points
*Author of original report: Thanks Karl.
*General Comment: Get your facts straight
*Consumer Comment: all are 'false'
*Consumer Comment: To each their own
*Consumer Comment: Mormans
*Consumer Suggestion: Don't believe in false religions like the Mormons...
*Consumer Comment: Old hat
*Consumer Comment: Lyndon, Have you noticed the.......
*Consumer Comment: Oh, really ?
*Consumer Comment: SO
Four aspects of how the Mormon Church operates makes it a ripoff:
1. Since 1959, the LDS Church does not disclose their financial holdings. Why the secrecy? Simple. They are building an empire.
2. Members who do not pay the prescribed 10% have privileges withheld. This is extortion.
3. New recruits are not informed of the sordid origins and evidence contradicting the foundational claims of the faith. This is unethical.
4. Blatant meddling in politics, unethical for a tax-exempt organization.
Learn more about the LDS church and how it manipulates its members in the book, Standing for Something More. Read book reviews on Amazon.com.
FINANCIAL HOLDINGS & SECRECY
Since 1959, the LDS has not disclosed their financial vibrancy. Only in the UK and Canada, where it is required by law, does the church come clean with their financial holdings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finances_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints). The LDS church stands alone among the major religious denominations in the USA in this secrecy (The Mormon Corporate Empire, Beacon Press, 1985). Time magazine estimated in 1996 that the church's assets exceeded $30 billion. After the Time article was published, the LDS church responded that the financial figures in the article were "grossly exaggerated." Oddly, the Church remained secretive in their actual holdings rather than clear up the controversy with a simple complete and auditable disclosure. Three years later, annual revenues were estimated to be $5 billion, with total assets at $25 to $30 billion. Whatever the actual figure, about two-thirds of it is made up of facilities and the land they sit on, including thousands of meetinghouses and over 130 temples the LDS church operates worldwide, as well as educational institutions (mainly Brigham Young University). The remaining assets include direct investments in for-profit businesses managed through Deseret Management Corporation. The church's holdings include:
AgReserves Inc. - the largest producer of nuts in America (circa. 1997)
Hawaii Reserves, Inc. - Miscellaneous church holdings in Hawaii. Along with the Polynesian Cultural Center (the leading paid visitor attraction in Hawaii) and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Hawaii Reserves generated revenue of $260 million for the Hawaii economy in 2005.
Farmland Reserve Inc. - 228,000 acres (923 km) in Nebraska,; 51,600 acres in Osage County, Oklahoma; and over 312,000 acres (1,260 km) in Florida (dba Deseret Cattle and Citrus).
Bonneville International Corporation - the 14th largest radio chain in the U.S.
Deseret Morning News - a daily Utah newspaper, second-largest in the state of Utah.
Beneficial Financial Group - An insurance and financial services company with assets of $3.1 billion.
The LDS Church owns and operates at least two hunting preserves; Deseret Land and Livestock, and Westlake Hunting Preserve in Utah County. Many LDS were appalled to learn about a Church-owned/run/sanctioned hunting preserve where missionaries are called to tend to flocks of birds and other animals so that they can multiply and be hunted for profit.
Only an entity afraid of what the exposure of the truth would bring is compelled to secrecy.
Tithing in most religions is considered a gift, but the LDS Church makes it an obligation. Fear is often used as a motivator to get people to pay a full tithing. The member often hears the term 'fire insurance' associated with tithing. He who is tithed shall not be burned at Christ's' 2nd coming. Malachi 8:10 is often quoted - "Will a man rob God, yet ye have robbed me".
The guilt placed upon Latter-day Saints can be considerable. Members are not considered in 'good standing' if they are not paying a full 10% tithe. They cannot attend the temple if they do not pay in full. They cannot have temple-related callings or any high-profile positions if not full tithe-payers. And those who are full tithe-payers are often counseled to then start paying generous fast offerings, contributing to the missionary fund, etc. Extracting as much money as possible is the theme, and guilt is always knocking at the door. This is a destructive mind control technique, which in turn reinforces the escalation of commitment human bias.
Why is tithing so emphasized in the LDS Church along with the companion statement that "The Lord Does Not Need Your Money"? We are sure that the Lord does not need the money, but why does "His True Church" put so much of an emphasis on it to make it a frequent topic of Sacrament Meeting talks, to put it in the Sunday School, Priesthood and Relief Society lessons, to create a novel way of teaching tithing to Primary children (i.e. the teacher gives the child ten pennies and she is asked to put one penny in the tithing envelope and give it to the Bishop). Why are members called to tithing settlement once a year and reminded to settle their unpaid tithes? Why are ward audits held? Why do Bishops receive letters from church headquarters warning them that their wards have given out more Fast Offering funds to members than was collected from their wards, and that they need to exhort their members to contribute more fast offerings? John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, authors of Mormon Corporate Empire go on to say:
"The much publicized televangelists of the electronic church, such as the Reverends Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, and Jim Baaker, are small time by comparison [to the LDS church]. Likewise the millions of dollars of self-appointed messiahs like Sun Myung Moon, much ballyhooed by the sensationalist press, are not even in the same league."
What a ripoff!
The Mormon faith is built on the foundation of a latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith, who was purportedly called by God to restore His true church, this being accomplished by direct revelation and restoration of authority through divine messengers from the heavens in 1820. Besides taking Smith at his word, the primary evidence that the sincere investigator is given to evaluate this claim, are the revelations Smith received via translation from Egyptian-type writings; the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham, and other revelations from Smith.
What the investigator is NOT told, incredibly, is virtually criminal. The sincere investigator deserves to know a bit more than just one side of the story, including:
1. In the trial of 1826, Joseph Smith was brought before the court on charges of fraud (money digging for profit). At this trial, Smith freely admits, under oath, that he was incapable of locating buried treasures using either his peep stone or while being carried away in vision. Anyone that objectively studies the trial of 1826 will reach one sure conclusion: At this time of his life, Joseph Smith was in the business of making money by preying on the superstitions of the people. Bear in mind that this is 6 years after the reported date of the First Vision where Smith claims he saw God and was given a divine mission to the restore the true gospel. Does it make logical sense that a young man of 19 years that had experienced a visitation from God would find his way into this line of business?
2. The method of translation of the golden plates which supposedly produced the Book of Mormon was Smith looking into his hat through a peep stone. The golden plates Smith claimed he possessed were never anywhere in sight during the so-called translation. Every eyewitness account of the translation of the Book of Mormon describes Smith using this peep stone and hat method. Russell M. Nelson, Dallin Oaks, and other church leaders have also confirmed this. Does this sound like a method which would be used by a prophet of God or a con man?
3. It is a documented fact (multiple accounts diaries, personal histories, and the LDS family search website) that Joseph Smith Jr. took multiple plural wives without the knowledge or consent of Emma. If this was a commandment from God, why the secrecy? He persuaded women who were already married to marry him. Five different people (Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Benjamin F. Johnson, Mary Lighter, and Lorenzo Snow) assert that an angel of God with a sword commanded Joseph to institute polygamy or the angel would slay him. This sound suspiciously like a ruse to convince women to get in bed with Smith, which apparently worked wonderfully well.
4. The Book of Mormon cites cattle, elephants, sheep, horses, wheat, silk, chariots, steel, and glass, yet these things were unknown to native stone-age Americans when the European pioneers arrived. And the Book of Mormon makes no mention of what DID exist in abundance on this continent; potatoes, corn, llamas, buffalo, etc. Yet the LDS church claims the book represents an accurate depiction of American history. How does a culture forget how to make wheels?
5. The other LDS canonized scripture which Smith purportedly translated from Egyptian is the Book of Abraham. The original papyrus scrolls that Smith translated into the Book of Abraham were found in 1967 and authenticated by LDS and independent scholars. Over a half dozen Egyptologists, including the expert hired by the Church, verified that the scrolls are Egyptian funerary documents typically found buried with mummies, and post-date the time of Abraham by 1500 years. The information contained on these scrolls bears zero resemblance to the Book of Abraham and could not have been in Abrahams own hand as asserted by Smith. Josephs own cross-reference showing the characters and the corresponding meanings is complete nonsense, according to every Egyptologist who has examined the documents, some of which are in Smiths own hand, according to handwriting analysts. All of the participant diaries indicate that the work Smith did was purportedly a literal translation, not a revelation inspired by funerary documents and vignettes as some LDS apologists suggest. None of the participants mention anything about funerary documents or excerpts from the Book of Breathings which are actually found on the papyri. After examining all the facts, the serious investigator can only conclude that Joseph Smith was simply NOT capable of translating Egyptian. And furthermore, the alphabet and grammar that Joseph took great pride in and quoted later in life were obviously contrived gibberish. The evidence that this translation was a hoax is overwhelming and conclusive, and confirms Smith pattern of preying on the superstitions of the people to further his agenda.
The account of the first vision, where Smith purportedly received, in 1820, his calling from God and Jesus to be a prophet is not reconcilable with historical information. Neither Joseph Smith nor anyone else prior to 1838 referred to the event at all. Smith claimed intense persecution due to the vision as a teen, and it was during a time of great excitement on the subject of religion. However, no one, friend or foe, remembers any persecution or even a claim to have experienced a vision prior to 1827. The persecution that began in 1827 was tied to money-digging and treasure hunting, not associated with a claim to have seen God. Had Smiths mother Lucy heard her son say that Jesus Christ had personally instructed him to to go not after them and to not join any church because all of the ministers, creeds, and churches were an abomination in His sight, she and her several children certainly would not have joined the Presbyterians and worshipped with them from 1825 to 1828. Historians agree that the (great excitement) revivals occurred in 1824-1825, citing fifteen documented sources. No source can be found for an 1820 revival or any religious excitement that year, as claimed by Smith. Having a young man claim to have seen God and Jesus Christ would surely have been the talk of the town and found its way into local papers, letters of local inhabitants, diaries, especially the diaries of the Smith family. There are no such accounts from that time period, not from friends, family, or enemies. Such a lack of third-party evidence defies all logic and reason. Smith produced three versions of his history, the official history of Joseph Smith that is accepted as part of scripture was the third and last attempt. The first two written histories made no mention of two personages in the vision. It was only after other prominent church members began claiming that they had had visitations from heavenly beings did Joseph Smith remember that he had experienced a visitation from God and Jesus Christ, and that he had received a special directive to be the leader of the restoration. ANY trial lawyer or judge will tell you that a witness that changes his story with each telling is an unreliable witness and his testimony is always set aside. For what possible reason would a rational and reasonable person place credence in such flimsy story-telling?
Smiths own journal for May 1, 1843 says: I insert facsimiles of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, In Pike County, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides by ancient characters. I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom form the Ruler of heaven and earth. The six brass plates were actually fabricated out of copper by Wilber Fugate. Fugate admitted having used acid to burn the engravings into the copper and make them look old, then placing them where they were sure to be found. Smith fell headlong into this trap and was caught in a lie. How can a reasonable person dismiss this behavior and accept other translations by Smith in good faith?
The Church makes no apology for its selective story-telling policies. Boyd K. Packer, a high church official, has said that some things which are true are not very useful. Dallin Oaks, another high church official, said Balance is telling both sides. This is not the mission of the official church literature
What a ripoff!
POLITICAL MEDDLING AND BIGOTRY
While the LDS vehemently denies its involvement in political issues, they simply cant resist. With $30 billion net worth and great cash flow, the temptation to put some of that horsepower to work to affect the laws of the land is simply too great. The LDS church was recently caught red-handed orchestrating the crusade against same-sex marriage in Hawaii in the 1990s and Proposition 8 in California in 2008. An insider whistle-blower managed to smuggle evidence of these conspiracies to reporters. The evidence is well presented in the documentary film Proposition Eight, the Mormon Proposition. See also www.mormongate.com. How many other political involvements have there been over the years? We may never know. But even ONE involvement exposes the LDS as being unethical in meddling with politics, at the same time exposing their bigotry. My friend Lawn Griffiths sums it up quite succinctly:
"I have grown weary covering the issue of gays in the church. That gays and lesbians deserve full acceptance and participation in the life and leadership of congregations [and Government] is self-evident. That traditional marriage is threatened by gay marriage is no more valid than that adopting children will compromise the legitimacy of ones own natural children and the family unit. Or than blacks or Asians marrying whites would destroy traditional marriage. Bigotry is always an exercise in rationalization."
What a ripoff!
In summary, all the LDS church has to do is discontinue these four practices, and I will gladly retract this ripoff report. The following actions are required:
1. Disclose their full financial holdings, independently audited, each year.
2. Make paying 10% tithing voluntary, no privileges would be withheld from those who do not pay.
3. Inform all current membership and new recruit prospects of the sordid origins and evidence contradicting the foundational claims of the faith. Balanced story-telling is part and parcel to basic ethics.
4. Cease the meddling in politics.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/19/2011 07:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-Day-Saints/Salt-Lake-City-Utah-/The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-Day-Saints-Mormon-Mormon-Church-LDS-Church-LDS-church-799959. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:Search Tips
In order to assure the best results in your search:
- Keep the name short & simple, and try different variations of the name.
- Do not include ".com", "S", "Inc.", "Corp", or "LLC" at the end of the Company name.
- Use only the first/main part of a name to get best results.
- Only search one name at a time if Company has many AKA's.
Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.