How to Improve Your LDS-dar, In One Easy Lesson

A photo of the Strack family, whose parents and three youngest members were recently deceased. The photo was published in the Deseret News.
A photo of the Strack family, whose parents and three youngest members were recently deceased. The photo was published in the Deseret News.

Mitt Romney’s thinking of running for president again. That means it’s time for the mainstream media to sweep the truth about how zingy Mormonism is under the rug.

Here’s how you know “legitimate journalists” are talking about Mormons.


Utah’s GOP Governor Puts Hundreds of Legal Same-Sex Marriages on Hold

Has anything like this ever happened before? After the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on a federal judge’s ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Utah, the state’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, issued an order effectively divorcing, at least temporarily, as many as 1,300 couples who had legally obtained marriage licenses.

In California, after the Mormon Church in Utah effectively drove the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and Attorney General Jerry Brown, a Democrat — who is now the California governor — allowed the marriages of 1,800 couples to stand. Because of this, two classes of gay couples were created in the state: those who had legally married and those who were, as a result of Prop 8, prohibited from exercising that right. Prop 8 was later rescinded by court rulings.

(It should be noted that as governor, Schwarzenegger vetoed bills passed by the legislature that would have legalized marriage equality twice.)

Gov. Herbert’s decision to put a hold on the legal marriages appears to be motivated by politics — Utah is one of the most anti-gay states in the nation, which is saying a lot — rather than the law. The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed yesterday that it is reviewing the decision.

Prop 8 Revenge: Mormons Meddled in California Politics to Stop Gay Marriage in 2008, Now Marriage Equality Is the Law in Their Own Home State

A pro-marriage advocate protests Mormon meddling in the 2008 Prop 8 debate outside the LDS tabernacle in West Los Angeles

The sudden legalization of a gay marriage in Utah, of all places, will likely go down as the biggest and best pleasant surprise in the American civil rights movement last year. The fact that gay people are exercising their fundamental right to marry in a state that is a de facto right-wing religious theocracy is a huge step forward.

In California, the fact that Utah, the Mormon stronghold, has become the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize marriage equality has been quietly celebrated with a soupçon of schadenfreude. Like a nice gazpacho, as they say, revenge is best served chilled.

After all, it was just five years ago, in the 2008 election season, that the Mormon Church chose to interfere in California politics by funding a nasty anti-gay campaign that many Californians believe led to the passage of Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that rescinded marriage equality in California.


Osteen Says Mormonism is “a Little Different”

Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ.

Pastor Joel Osteen, declaring Mormonism a Christian sect. Mormonism began in the 1820s as an end-times cult when Joseph Smith claimed to have visions in which an angel led him to gold plates, which were never produced to anyone else, that told a strange history of the Americas, including how Indians were descended from Jews. This is the Book of Mormon. Smith, a polygamist with 34 wives of whom two were age 14, also claimed Jesus would return to earth within 56 years.

Helen Radkey Interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell about Mormons’ Posthumous Baptism of Noted Holocaust Survivors

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Helen Radkey
Helen Radkey
Helen Radkey, who has often contributed to Pensito Review on issues related to the Mormon Church, was interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell this week about the latest findings from her research into the controversial practice of Mormons baptizing dead people.

In the 1990s, Radkey discovered that Mormons were routinely baptizing survivors of the Holocaust — in other words, they were unilaterally Christianizing people who had been slaughtered because they were not Christians. After they’d been found out, Mormon leaders promised that the practice of baptizing Holocaust survivors would end. However, it did not. In fact, in her most recent findings, Radkey discovered that the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal — for whom the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is named –had received posthumous rites, as had relatives of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

In an email Radkey forwarded to us and others this week, she wrote:


Perry Preacher at Christian Conclave: ‘Mormonism Is a Cult’

The first real inkling that the Republican presidential primary race could devolve into a religious infighting between extreme right Christianists and Mormons — a repeat of the lowest moments of the 2008 GOP primaries — surfaced at the Values Voters Summit in Washington on Friday.

The Christian nationalist champion this time, at least for the moment, is Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The Mormons include this year’s perennial frontrunner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as well as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman,

In his introduction to Perry at the values conclave, Dr. Robert Jeffress, who preaches at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, wasted no time smearing Romney’s religion:


Mormons Deny Men in Same-Sex Kiss on Temple Plaza Were Detained, Handcuffed Because They Were Gay

George Bush and Saudi prince engage in what Mormons officials deem to be “unwanted” and “unacceptable” behavior

It’s one of the great paradoxes. Despite the fact that the punishment for being gay is death in fundamentalist states like Iran and Saudi Arabia, it is acceptable for men in those countries to kiss and hug each other and even to hold hands in public.

This practice is even legal in Texas. No one alerted police in Crawford a few years ago when macho right-wing icon George W. Bush was photographed hugging, kissing and holding hands with a Saudi Arabian prince.

Earlier this month, however, in the capitol of the American theocratic state of Utah, two men were detained and handcuffed by Mormon Church security guards and then arrested by Salt Lake City police, for doing exactly what Bush and Prince Abdullah did:


Mormon Fundamentalists from the Lists of the LDS Posthumously Baptized

© Copyright 2009, Helen Radkey

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) is an index of posthumous ordinances compiled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The IGI can currently be found online at

All who pretend or assume to engage in plural marriage in this day, when the one holding the keys has withdrawn the power by which they are performed, are guilty of gross wickedness.
  — Bruce R. McConkie – Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition

…Rulon [Allred] said, “We are not able to get into [their] temples, brothers and sisters, because they have us locked out. We’re not welcome in their [LDS] churches; we’re a bunch of scalawags because we believe in the fullness of the gospel…”
  — Ben Bradlee, Jr. & Dale Van Atta — Prophet of Blood: The Untold Story of Ervil LeBaron and the Lambs of God

A sample list of (20) names of Mormon fundamentalists from the IGI:

(IGI Baptisms) Individual wives listed
Rulon Clark Allred (1906-1977) 5 4
John Yeates (Yates) Barlow (1874-1949) 4 4
Joseph Leslie Broadbent (1891-1935 2 3
Rulon Timpson Jeffs (1909-2002) 1 1
Joseph Smith Jessop (1869-1953) 5 2
Joseph Lyman Jessop (1892-1963) 3 3
Leroy Sunderland Johnson (1888-1986) 2 1
Charles William Kingston (1884-1975) 3 1
Alma Dayer LeBaron (1886-1951) 2 3
Benjamin Teasdale LeBaron (1913-1978) 2 0
Ross Wesley LeBaron (1914-1996) 1 0
Joel Franklin LeBaron (1923-1972) 2 0
Ervil Morrell (Morel) LeBaron (1925-1981) 2 1
Verlan McDonald LeBaron (1930-1981) 3 1
Joseph White Musser (1872-1954) 5 3
Gerald Wilbur Peterson, Sr. (1917-1981) 1 0
John Wickersham Woolley (1831-1928) 9 4
Lorin Calvin Woolley (1856-1934) 9 1
Charles Frederick Zitting (1894-1954) 3 5

© Copyright 2009, Helen Radkey — Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.