Chief Mormon accused of fraud

Chief Mormon accused of fraud

ACTING on a criminal complaint lodged by a disaffected member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a British judge has ordered the head of the Mormon church – Thomas S Monson – to attend a court hearing on March 14.

The formal summons, signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, warns Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for the hearing.

In what the Telegraph described as “one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British court”, the summons lists seven teachings of the church, including that Native Americans are descended from a family of ancient Israelites as possible evidence of fraud.

It also cites the belief that the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates revealed to the church’s founder Joseph Smith by angels and that Adam and Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.

The criminal complaint was lodged by Tom Phillips, a Mormon who said he withdrew from the Church after holding positions in England as bishop, stake president and area executive secretary.

He now serves as managing editor of MormonThink, an online publication that critiques the Church’s history and doctrine.

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

Phillips’ list of Mormon teachings he claims are demonstrably false include the origins of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham, also part of the Church’s canon of scripture.

These, he insists, are not statements of mere “beliefs” or opinions or theories. They are made as actual facts and their truthfulness can be objectively tested with evidence.

Phillips alleged the Mormon Church in Great Britain has taken in $257 million in member donations since 2007. He said tithes are “mandatory” for good standing in the Church.

But there’s little likelihood of Monson ever appearing before a British beak. Legal experts in England say it is unlikely prosecutors would seek to have him extradited, and they are surprised the summonses were issued at all.

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City said:

The Church occasionally receives documents like this that seek to draw attention to an individual’s personal grievances or to embarrass Church leaders,

Neil Addison, a former crown prosecutor and author on religious freedom commented:

I’m sitting here with an open mouth.  I think the British courts will recoil in horror. This is just using the law to make a show, an anti-Mormon point. And I’m frankly shocked that a magistrate has issued it.

Phillips’ complaint is based on the Fraud Act of 2006, a British law that prohibits false representations made to secure a profit, or to cause someone to lose money. Conviction may carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Two  summonses were signed on January 31 by Judge Roscoe. A court official in London confirmed the issuance of the paperwork, which directs Monson to answer allegations that untrue religious precepts were used to obtain tithes comprising 10 percent of church members’ incomes.

Two British subjects, Stephen Bloor and Christopher Ralph, are identified as victims.

Harvey Kass, a British solicitor, referred to the summons as:

Bizarre. I can’t imagine how it got through the court process. It would be set aside within 10 seconds, in my opinion.

According to Phillips’ online biography, he converted to Mormonism in 1969 and rose through Church leadership for 33 years. Before leaving the faith in 2004, the biography says, he served as LDS area controller for the British Isles and Africa, and as financial director for corporate entities in the United Kingdom.

Phillips said his belief in LDS doctrines eroded as he began researching questions raised by fellow Mormons. He now describes himself as

A secular humanist or atheist, or whatever you want to call it. I do not see evidence of God.

Hat tip: Daz and Mike Battman.



129 responses to “Chief Mormon accused of fraud”

  1. jesse says:

    Sorry I did not realize freethinkers believed the old testement was Judaism. I thought you guys had a clue. Paul you brought up Palestine. I maybe mistaken for your reason but you brought it me. Isreal was promised to the Jews after WWI not 2

  2. jesse says:

    One more thing jewish tradition says god spoke to moses?? Most Jews realize this this is not true. I realize you are not a Jew, but you really have no clue. Please stop explaining your understanding of Judaism because the majority of what you have said is wrong

  3. andym says:

    @ Broga. You’re right. He’s pathetic and getting worse. Isn’t there a Troll School his mom could send him to?

  4. Paul Cook says:

    I would let matters by the by but I feel obliged to reply.

    Like the bible, troll jesse keeps contradicting himself.

    First he says he is a jew secular humanist. Then he’s just an atheist. And loves all people.

    Um.. being a jew a secularist and a humanist and an atheist, this seems a bit confusing.

    Then he claims he has proved all I said was wrong by saying umm nothing. I must have missed something.

    Then I ‘am dumb’ ‘ignoran’t and ‘should go on a Palin camp’. Seems no love towards me there – just personalised comments. Another contradiction to loving everyone.

    In point no. 2 OT means off topic.

    Palestine was a real place. And it still is to many.

    Then he’s been in the National Guard. Well Britain has the Right Guard. 24 hour protection and far superior day to day protection to any National Guard.

    And to cap it all he thinks this: “the country was created out of the end of WW2” means “Isreal was promised to the Jews after WWI not 2” means the same thing.
    I would suggest to read the whole sentence to the end. As created out of the second world war is not the same as being promised before it. It’s a different construct.

    I haven’t before heard of Isreal, must be some new promised land I am unaware of.

  5. Paul Cook says:

    The new testament is made up of 27 pamphlets/books, put up by may be 17 different writers over 70 years.

    The OT the jews ‘books’ is 39 pamphlets but written by so many it is hard to identify or count them all, put together over a period of at least six hundred years and more like a thousand years.

    The so called bible is oral traditions, borrowed tales, very poor and one can say fraudulent and false history and stories written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. But not one language contains a full set of the material. It is all jumbled about, borrowed, made up, falsified or copied.

    Not one is complete, contemporary or is evidence it was dictated or written by god. god was a very slow writer if that be the case. Or god had too much time worrying about side hair, wearing of different or double pieces clothing, foreskins, putting the sun to bed each night in its tabernacle or box, reversing the earth, animal slaughter, worship, listening to all those prayers, destruction of whole races of people, cities, babies, infants and turning people into stone, making snakes from sticks and burning up bushes, looking out for flying chariots, committing evil deeds, upsetting the weather, just to name a few.

    The Hebrew bible is heavily edited and the collections are stitched together. The oldest bits are from 10 or 11 BCE and most of the other bits are much later. The Pentateuch has 4 sources stitched together. This comes from the theory around for the last two hundred years known as the Documentary Hypothesis.
    If all this is wrong no doubt god will publish his second edition very soon.

  6. jesse says:

    thank you. I have no clue about the Balfour Declaration signed during WW1 And again the old testament is not Jewish its a Christian book. Please stop using the old testament to prove me wrong- Its Christian

  7. jesse says:

    I am an atheist, and you are clueless. The Torah has never changed. Hebrew bible????????????? you are the ultimate stupid

  8. jesse says:

    Please stop trying to make your point from the Christian book the old testament. Its Christian.

  9. Stephen Mynett says:

    There are books common to both the OT and Judaism, including Deterononmy, one which has been rewritten.

    If you are an atheist, why are you trying to stand up for a religion that mutilates its children, something Judaism and Islam have in common.

  10. jesse says:

    I do understand its all fairy tales. You are joking about 27 pamphlets 17 writers??????????????????????????????? Keep reading the internet its doing your brain wonders. How do you know this to be true. Never heard of such. Maybe you can teach me of something we know nothing about-27 pamphlet 17 writers. really

  11. jesse says:

    Stephen the old testament is not Jewish. Jews understand its a guide and most of it is bunk. Jews kill children????????????????????

  12. jesse says:

    sorry mutilates children??? The internet

  13. jesse says:

    Common? so you are another who believes the old testament is right.

  14. Daz says:


    Is your question-mark key broken? And yes, circumcision is mutilation.

  15. jesse says:

    You are right Daz. Most Jews understand that, many don’t. It should not happen

  16. jesse says:

    I am not defending Judaism just trying to point out what Paul is saying is wrong

  17. Barry Duke says:

    Daz, yes. Circumcision IS mutilation, and nothing will ever convince me to the contrary.

  18. Daz says:

    You’re both right, and you’re arguing past each other. Parts of the Old Testament consist of large parts of the Torah. The OT consists of Jewish folklore and “history,” not all of which is considered central to Jewish law and belief. But then, not even most Christians outside fundy-circles consider the OT central to their belief, either.

  19. Daz says:


    You are right Daz. Most Jews understand that, many don’t. It should not happen

    Interesting. Can you cite percentages for that? My understanding is that most don’t acknowledge circumcision to be abuse.

    The Great Lord Barry

    Damn right.

  20. jesse says:

    No I cant just my family and friends

  21. jesse says:

    I was taught that the dietary laws and circumcision was healthful. And they where back when men wrote the Torah. But not today. I would explain but I drunk.

  22. Barry Duke says:

    After a long hard day at the coalface, fighting a shitty Internet provider and necking more Vodka than one should do in a year, I too am drunk.But in the morning I shall be sober, but you, Jesse, will still be an imbecile.

  23. Stephen Mynett says:

    Jesse, learn to read rather than just make stupid accusations. I said there are books common to both, I did not say the OT was the Jewish bible. Can you work out “books common to to both” – it means there are some, not all, OT books accepted as part of the Jewish canon. The Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) is also part of the Torah.

    Second, I did not say Jews kill their children, I said mutilate, that is totally different. Or perhaps you do not think ripping a foreskin off is mutilation.

    I will give you credit for one thing, as trolls go you have stamina but that is it. The quality of your argument is pathetic.

  24. barriejohn says:

    I think I may have found a video of Jesse:

  25. Marky Mark says:

    Paul Cook said; (How could any one not believe that the gold plates existed. It is easy to lose that sort of stuff. Or they somehow went back into the clouds.)

    LOL…when visiting Navoo Il many years ago I asked a Mormon about the gold plates, and where they are…their reply was that god took them back. I asked why, since they would be excellent evidence …and this Mormon just looked back at me with a confused expression on her face. I’m thinking she never considered that.

    Broga said; (@Chicken Keeper: What does an angel look like? Have you met one? In the paintings they have big wings? That means heaven must have an atmosphere like earth or the wings would be useless. ) …excellent point, unless the wings are only used when the angels are here visiting people like good ol’ Joe Smith

    BTW, I visited the actual jail where they dragged good ol’Joe smiths ass out and lynched him …where was his god then? I forgot, it was the Christians who lynched him…I’m guessing their god’s dick is a little bigger than the Mormon god.

  26. Marky Mark says:

    The only reason the Mormon religion took off was because of the many wives the male members could have…so many Christian males who wanted extra nooky switched over. …that’s it!

    So Broga, be sure to let the males members of your new religion have many wives.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Polygamy is now legal in the USA:

    This debate has been going on for some time now, and the authorities in Utah stated that the law banning polygamy would be struck down a couple of years ago, so I’m not sure what happened there.

  28. […] government intends to make this an international situation by starting extradition proceedings. According to news stories, probably […]

  29. John Walton says:

    Chicken Keeper is the only person who is making any kind of sense in this whole topic, of course the Book of Mormon is true it goes hand in hand with the Bible, just prey for an answer to your questions, and if you are truly sincere you will receive your answer.