Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of Ame

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of Ame

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:20 am

Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion
by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.
© 2012 by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.





Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon tradition is revealed as no real religion but a cult invented by a charlatan, a disguise for a subversive ideology opposing all that is best in the American tradition. The British recruited Mormon leaders into their 19th century plot to break up the US, leading to the cult's strategic occupation of Utah territory. Mormonism has never abandoned its secrecy and its enmity to America. Mitt Romney is the hoped-for figure who will fulfill Mormon prophecy and take over the United States. This book provides warning insights into a possible Romney presidency by exploring over 182 years of Latter-day Saints tradition. As Romney is a notorious liar and flip-flopper, it is useless to examine his political positions at any given moment. He attempts to pose as an ultra-patriot, but his family considered the barbaric Mormon practice of polygamy more important than loyalty to the United States. Romney spent years attempting to recruit for the cult, in which black Americans were regarded as inferior. Although Romney demands an aggressive foreign policy, nobody in his family every served this country in uniform -- although at least one ancestor fought against the Union in the attempted 1857 Mormon secession of Utah. As president, Romney would rely on and build up the Mormon Mafia in the intelligence community. He might try to carry out Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith's apocalyptic White Horse Prophecy, which calls for a Mormon takeover of the United States, followed by a campaign to conquer the world for their theocracy. Every voter needs to read this book.


• APPENDIX C: THOMAS CARLYLE'S 1854 DRAFT ESSAY ON THE MORMONS [Clyde de L. Ryals, "Thomas Carlyle on the Mormons: an Unpublished Essay, Carlyle Studies Annual (XV) 1995, pp. 49-54.]
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:21 am


"All writers should be put in a box and thrown in the sea."

-- Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, 2002. [2]

On Monday, September 17, 2012 American public opinion was shocked by a tape of the cynical remarks made on May 17 by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney before a group of wealthy backers at the home of his fellow private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida. On this occasion Romney, a Bishop of the Mormon Church, made the following remarks before his fund-raising audience:

"There are 47% of the people who wi II vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." [3]

Rarely has a presidential candidate been caught expressing so much contempt for the American people. The premise of the Romney presidential campaign is that this wealthy Mormon businessman is more American than the community organizer Barack Hussein Obama, but Romney's elitist criticism caused even Republicans to doubt that he could govem. A dramatic example came from Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, who wrote in his column:

"The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney's disparaging comments about 47% of us came from a conservative friend who e-mailed: 'If I were you, I'd wonder why Romney hates America so much.'" [4]

This book attempts to provide part of the answer, specifically in the tradition of hatred, resentment, and vendetta of the United States of America historically cultivated by the Salt Lake City Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons. This is the tradition of Mormon Bishop Willard Mitt Romney, a tradition which goes back to the 1820s in upstate New York. It is a tradition which is insufficiently known to modern-day voters.


Bishop Romney's church tradition implies a resentment against all Americans. The great Mormon grievance is that most Americans refused to embrace the mountebank Joseph Smith as their savior, and that an American mob slew the prophet and his brother. Mormon tradition also implies hostility to certain specific groups inside our population. The Mormon Church was founded in polygamy, which we must interpret as an animus against modern women and the rights they have been able to assert. Mormon theology, both in the Book of Mormon and the Book of Mormon, is explicitly racist in its hostility to people with black or brown skins -- the descendents of Ham and the Lamanites. [5] Romney has personally shown contempt for Latinos and Hispanics, demanding that they prepare to "self-deport." Romney's business activities at Bain Capital are a sad catalog of his aggression against American working people of all ethnic backgrounds, with emphasis on asset stripping American factories and shutting them down, or else exporting the jobs to low-wage countries abroad. The Mormon Church has been a reactionary political force in American history over the past century, with hostility to trade unions being combined with vilification of Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, plus an eagerness to appease Nazi Germany. Romney has also told us that he hates Russia. For most Americans, Romney's enemies list may already be much too long.

Those who wish to avoid some very unpleasant surprises under a Romney presidency should read on.

Romney's campaign biography th is time around is entitled No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. [6] Romney argues that Obama is un-American, not sufficiently patriotic, unwilling to accept American exceptional ism, in denial about the greatness of this country, and above all obsessed with apologizing for US superiority. Romney mocks Obama for his "American Apology Tour," which he says has featured the President badmouthing the USA in speeches in France, England, Turkey, Cairo, at CIA Headquarters in Langley Virginia, at the National Archives in Washington, DC, and at the United Nations in New York City. [7]

The Romney camp also hopes to benefit from the widespread impression that Obama is secretly a Moslem, and this is perhaps the reason why Obama drinks so much beer in public and chows down in the daytime during Ramadan. But, if this question is relevant for Obama, then it is certainly relevant for Romney. Of all the world religions, the one most explicitly hostile to the United States over the past two centuries is arguably the Mormons.

In a campaign appearance on August 24, 2012, Romney famously quipped that it was public knowledge he had been born in Michigan, and no one had ever asked to see his birth certificate. The reference to Obama's problems in documenting his own past is clear enough. But equally clear is Romney's unspoken premise: that Romney and his wife Ann too are prima facie Americans, who do not need to prove anything, and whose loyalty can be taken for granted.

At the same time, a new movie entitled 2016: Obama 's America was playing in theaters. This movie was based on a book by the discredited reactionary writer Dinesh D'Souza, and was produced by Rocky Mountain Films, a production company based in the Mormon stronghold of Utah -- in Romney country. D'Souza's argument was that Obama had imbibed the radical anti-colonial project of his late Nigerian father, and that the purpose of the current administration is to reduce the influence and power of the United States so as to make American exceptionalism a dead letter. In reality, Obama's anti-colonialism is nonexistent, as we have seen in his escalation of the Afghan war against Pakistan in his West Point speech of December 2009, and the bombing of Libya in 2011, but this does not prevent D'Souza from attempting to build up a contradiction between Obama's strategy and D'Souza's Chamber of Commerce platitudes about the American tradition.


Oligarchy seems to be D'Souza's religion, and he made matters worse for himself by joining a very nasty reactionary clique operating at Dartmouth College in the early 1980s under the influence of that elderly degenerate, William F. Buckley. In a recent C-SPAN lecture, D'Souza recounted an exchange he had with Jonathan Alter of Newsweek. Alter objected to D'Souza's method of using the ideology ofObama's father to discover the hidden belief structure of the current tenant of the White House. Ronald Reagan's father was an alcoholic, Alter pointed out, but this was not a staple of Democratic Party propaganda in the same way that D'Souza was trying to use the anti-imperialism of Obama pere. D'Souza conceded that this was true, but added that Reagan had never written a book entitled Dreams from My Father. D'Souza therefore felt justified in using the career and views of Obama's father, whom he hardly knew, as a gloss on today's president.


We can concede this point to D'Souza, having done this job in two books four years ago. But what is sauce for the goose (Obama) is sauce for the gander (Romney). As the first non-Christian president, coming from what in practice is a separate nation, and as a person belonging to an embittered, secretive, totalitarian sect with a history of violent hostility to and hereditary grievances against the United States, Romney merits the most thorough scrutiny, lest he use his presidency to settle old scores with the United States in precisely the way D'Souza attributes to Obama.

Voters are by now familiar with these charges, and will become more familiar with them thanks to the exertions ofthe Republican Super PACs, funded by wealthy reactionaries at home and abroad.

Nor will it be enough to limit this examination to the life and career of Michigan governor and Nixon cabinet official George Romney, the father of the current candidate. We will need to go all the way back to Joseph Smith and the foundation of Mormonism in the years around 1830. The need to do this is documented by Romney himself, who has portrayed Mormonism as a multi-generational tradition which binds him to certain beliefs today:

"I believe in my Mormon faith, and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the Faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs,"

said Romney during the 2008 campaign. [8]

Barack Obama the elder may have been an anti-imperialist of some note in Kenya, but he was hardly a Ho Chi Minh or a Che Guevara. But Romney's great-great-grandfather Parley Parker Pratt was a figure of far greater magnitude in the world of Mormonism. Parley Pratt is now celebrated as the St. Peter and St. Paul of the new faith. Therefore, you need to probe several generations of Romney's background and tradition all the more urgently. D'Souza apparently has plenty of money from wealthy reactionaries for his research fund and even to make it into a movie. This book tries to account for Romney on a somewhat more limited budget.


If D'Souza can argue that Obama's Dreams From My Father contradicts the American dream, then voters have a right to know about the Mormon Oath of Vengeance, which is nothing less than a pledge to God to carry out an implacable hereditary vendetta of blood atonement against the United States of America and its people to avenge the slaying of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith in 1844. If D'Souza can argue that Obama rejects American exceptional ism, voters need to be informed about the Mormon claim to represent God's chosen people -- a claim which excludes Gentile Americans, meaning everyone except the Mormon Saints.

It does not appear that Obama has anyone in his family tree who waged war against the United States. But Mitt Romney certainly does -- one of his ancestors, George Romney, manned the 1857-58 Mormon-held trenches in Echo Canyon, Utah to prevent the passage of United States troops acting under presidential orders through our own national territory during the Mormon Rebellion, America's first civil war. Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, was a domestic employee of the infamous Brigham Young, who ordered the massacre of 140 peaceful Arkansas pioneers at the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 -- a massacre which Romney's great-great-grandfather, Parley Pratt, contributed to causing through one of his polygamous escapades.

And if D'Souza thinks that Obama swore an oath against the United States while weeping on his father's grave, he should compare that to Joseph Smith's White Horse Prophecy, an apocalyptic prediction of the collapse of the United States followed by a Mormon theocratic seizure of power in the United States and in the entire world, for which Mitch Romney has been touted as the executor since his days at Brigham Young University.

Many in the Republican Party also believe that Obama is a secret Moslem. That allegation must be compared to Romney's emphatic public profession of a religion which includes a polytheistic paradise, in which faithful Mormons become gods ruling over other planets in polygamous harems with the help of Freemasonic underwear, symbols, passwords, secret names, and handshakes. We do not know what Obama's creed is, but we know that Romney's creed includes the proposition "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." If Romney believes that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are brothers (as Reverend Huckabee once pointed out), that there is no Trinity, and that God is a material being, he cannot claim to be a Christian.


Five weeks before the 2012 election, Jon Meacham of Time magazine attempted to gain insight into what a future Romney presidency might look like by examining "The Mormon Identity" in a cover story. Meacham remarked that "observers have long sought clues to Romney's character and worldview in his Mormonism .... Viewing Romney through the lens of the Mormon understanding of history helps explain his ambition, his devotion to personal liberty and his comfort with expediency." This is the approach followed here, and Meacham is right to use it. But Meacham's analysis is limited to the most fragmentary and superficial account of Mormonism, from which the main political and theological issues have disappeared. Mormon notions of white supremacy do not appear. Mormon communism, which they find embarrassing because of their current reactionary profile, is glossed over. Celestial marriage cannot be avoided, but we are asked to believe that "polygamy, the most notorious of Mormon practices, was linked to practical concerns; the church needed new members." This is the standard LDS cover story for polygamy, spouted by Romney to defend the harem of his great-grandfather Miles P. Romney, portraying this practice as a purely pragmatic measure designed to overcome the demographic crisis caused by the mob murders of Mormons. In reality, Salt Lake City at least generally had more men than women, meaning that a class of permanent bachelors was created in order to provide harems for the Mormon hierarchy -- not what a serious policy of natal ism would have required.

Using this tissue of cliches, Meacham can celebrate as Mormon pragmatism the systematic alteration of the most basic articles of faith, based on mere expediency -- what some might consider unprincipled opportunism. This allows Romney to be explained as a pragmatist devoted solely to expediency, accounting for his flip-flops and also reassuring the Time readership that Romney is normal enough to be president.

But Mormon theocracy and secessionism also have to be whitewashed to preserve this result. Meacham follows Kranish and Helman of the Boston Globe in arguing that Lincoln did not crush Brigham Young's dictatorship during the Civil War because the Union needed the Mormons to "stay out of the conflict." But that goal was so minimal because the Mormons themselves were always threatening to secede, and never lifted a finger to save the Union. Meacham thinks that the Mormons "had their own concerns and did not need to invite a war with the Union." But, as the reports of General Connor cited below demonstrate, the Mormons were only waiting for an Anglo-French intervention or a collapse of the Union armies to stab the United States in the back.

Meacham is aware of Joseph Smith's apocalyptic White Horse Prophecy, but fails to understand its hideous implications. He quotes Marion G. Romney, a relative of the current candidate, in a 1976 speech speaking of America's "final great and glorious destiny, Here Zion is to be established and the New Jerusalem is to be built. From here the law of God shall go forth to all nations." This is a frightening call for theocratic world conquest going far beyond the fragmentary horrors of George W. Bush, but Meacham cannot grasp the meaning. [9]


Backers of the Romney candidacy fear an extensive discussion of some of these issues. Glenn Beck continues the Mormon reactionary tradition of witch-hunting ideologues like John Birch Society guru Cleon Skousen. In early September 2012, Beck falsified history on his television program by trying to explain Mormon polygamy as a mere pragmatic response to the heavy casualties the Saints had suffered in their conflicts with their neighbors. He also referred to the Mormon temple garments or magic underwear, complaining that they were uncomfortably warm in the summer. But he did not show his viewers even a peak of his own undershirt. And he warned that any satiric references to these garments would be considered hurtful. But if the President of the United States is going to be wearing magic underwear in the Oval Office, the American public has a right to know. Surely Romney's underwear is just as important as Obama's Blackberry.

What voters may not know is that Brigham Young, revered by the Mormon Church as apostle, second prophet, and American Moses was in fact a hardened traitor -- worthy of being included with Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, and Jefferson Davis in a quadrumvirate of everlasting infamy. And by the way -- as Romney, perhaps influenced by Richard Nixon, whom he resembles, is fond of saying -- Romney, his wife, and his five sons are all devoted alumni of Brigham Young University, named after this same traitor.

Do Obama and liberals indulge in a cult of victim hood? They could hardly do so more pathetically than Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other leading Mormons who are the architects of the tradition which Mitt Romney claims to revere.

If Romney is so hyper-American, why did the religious establishment to which he belongs hate and revile great American nationalists like Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, Justin Morrill, and Ulysses S. Grant?


Romney has said repeatedly that he is a loyal Mormon. If this is so, then he can in no way be considered a Christian. The Mormon faith, whatever its merits or demerits, is separate and distinct from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which Mormons condemn. It is sui generis -- in a class by itself. And it is not only a separate faith; it represents a separate nation, historically distinct from the United States over many decades. In many ways, Mormonism lies outside of Western or Judeo-Christian civilization.

Four years ago, the present writer was concerned enough about the dangers of an Obama presidency to dedicate not one but two books to warning the American public in a timely fashion of what a Wall Street Democrat like Obama might represent, while urging them to find a candidate who could realize the tremendous political potential deriving from the reactionary Republican collapse of 2008. [10] This book in no way reflects a partisan commitment to Obama.

There is indeed an element of contempt for working people which can be observed in Obama's behavior, and this has unquestionably been a factor in his disastrous performance as president. In the spring of 2008, Obama told some of his own moneybags in San Francisco:

" ... In a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing was replaced them .... So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." [11]

This is the same Obama who says that he is "eager" to reach a grand bargain with the reactionary Republicans during the December 2012 lame-duck session of Congress, where he is likely -- under the shadow of the GOP's "fiscal cliff' propaganda hysteria -- to consent to catastrophic cuts in the New Deal, New Frontier, and Great Society social safety net programs which represent the inalienable economic rights of the American people, and must not be tampered with under any circumstances.

Even so, Obama's resentment of the American people may still be somewhat milder than Bishop Romney's. And, as of the late summer of 2012, Obama is the devil we know. What of Romney, the devil we hardly know? One salient fact about Romney is his lifelong devotion to the Mormon Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney's biography leaves no doubt about his ironclad loyalty to this institution. But at the same time, Romney as a candidate shows himself to be extremely reluctant to mention the Mormon Church in any way. Romney is a lifetime Mormon, having worked for the LDS as a missionary in France, as a bishop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as a "stake president" in the New England area. [12]

The Mormon Church is not just any church. It is certainly one of the most remarkable and singular religious organizations in the world. Some religious organizations can be considered sedate, mainstream, sated, and complacent. They have come to terms with the world as it exists, and they are factionalized according to the political divisions in the rest of society around them. These might include the mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics, and the reformed Jews. Another kind of religious organization might be regarded as sectarian, activist, aggressive, and perhaps nursing a catalog of bitter grievances. Here the primary unit cohesion of the religious denomination is much stronger than the factional splits that divide the outside world. Marriage outside the faith is vigorously ostracized. It can be argued that the Mormon Church is closer to this second category than to the first.

There has never been a US president who professed the Mormon faith. Romney would therefore represent a significant first in American history.


Perhaps, therefore, it is time to examine Mormonism from a primarily political point of view, to see what a Mormon might do in the top US political office of the presidency. The finding here is that the Mormons or Latter-day Saints represent a religious denomination which, perhaps more than any other, is characterized by a long history of aggressive animus and outspoken hostility against the United States of America. This hostility is rooted in the tragic history of the Mormons during their first decades in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Utah -- especially in the 1844 assassination of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith in Illinois. During this time, the Mormons developed a catalog of grievances, some doubtless very real, but some others imaginary and hypocritical, for which they wanted revenge from the United States.

Professor Stanley P. Hirshson of Queens College in New York City, a distinguished biographer of Brigham Young, pointed out in his 1969 book that "Mormonism continues to grow in power and influence ... because neither Gentile nor Saint has studied much of its history." [13] This book is an attempt to change that. We can do it all the more readily because the Mormon Church has been a political movement from its very beginnings, with the quest for theocratic power here on earth always being at least as important as the quest to become a god ruling a planet with a harem in the afterlife.

Having experienced the negative consequences of Obama's resentment against the United States, we ought to be all the more concerned about a presidential candidate professing a theocratic religion in which the tradition of anti-American thought and action is, if anything, more vehement and more vindictive than in the case of Obama.


To be sure, Obama carries heavy baggage, containing such figures as the Weatherpeople Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and much more. But Romney's baggage includes his transition director and likely White House Chief of Staff, former Republican Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, a leading Mormon activist who said in 1998 that it was quite possible that polygamy was legal in the United States under the First Amendment provision for religious freedom. It also turns out that Mike Leavitt covered up in recent years for the Mormon role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, in which one of his direct ancestors was a participant in the butchery. And further: since Romney wants to show off his family, we are more than justified in asking about his great-grandfather, Miles P. Romney, a polygamist who chose to leave the United States and settled in Mexico, rather than give up a practice which the Republican Party once considered along with slavery as a "relic of barbarism."


Leavitt can already be seen as the harbinger of an unprecedented wave of Mormon nepotism in the upper reaches of the US federal government, especially in domestic and economic affairs. Mormons have a positive duty to get each other promoted, and the solidarity runs deep. Another effect of a Romney administration would be a huge increase in the number of polygamous households in the United States, with all of the terrible problems this will create for the young women who are victims of this system. We can already see from Mormon politicians like Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, and Mike Leavitt, that mainstream Mormons will never lift a finger to combat polygamy so blatantly practiced by their cousins, the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS), whose most famous living representative is currently the convicted felon Warren Jeffs. This is the real content of the "Mormon Moment" hoped for by so many Saints.

For foreign policy, Romney has already surrounded himself with neocons to vindicate the honor of faction through new wars in the Middle East. These figures include John Bolton, Robert Kagan, Eliot Cohen, Robert Joseph, and Dan Senor. Romney himself has been a close personal friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since 1976. There is every reason to believe that a newly inaugurated Romney administration would be likely to attack Syria in early 2013 if they saw an opportunity to do so.


Digging a little deeper into Romney's Mormon baggage we find Brigham Young's "Oath of Vengeance," which demands an eternal blood vendetta against the United States of America, and which was included in the official Mormon temple liturgy until just two decades before Mitt Romney was born. Digging still deeper, we find Joseph Smith's White Horse Prophecy, which speaks of a Mormon seizure of power in the United States. We find that in 1857-58, the Mormons were responsible for the first episode of secession and civil war in US history. We find that the Mormons stubbornly refused to assist Abraham Lincoln in his struggle to save the Union. We find that the first time that an American president ever referred to terrorism, it was James Buchanan talking about the Mormon theocratic dictatorship which was ruling over Utah and beyond.

Because of all this, it is imperative that American voters acquire a basic familiarity with the political tenets of Mormonism, and be able to locate these in the historical context over the past two centuries.

The Hobson's choice between Romney and Obama ought finally to lead politically conscious Americans to the urgent need for a new political direction capable of solving the problems of economic depression with an economic recovery, while promoting a positive conception of the United States in the world -- all in the tradition of the New Deal, the Good Neighbor Policy, and the Bretton Woods system of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Mormon history has traditionally been divided into two camps -- the hagiographers and the demonizers. The first see only Mormon Saints, and the second see only Mormon devils. But we can learn more from the second than the first. These two approaches cannot be put on the same level, since the hagiographers in their quest to maintain a respectable facade for the Mormons have had to deny and obliterate a vast mass of empirical material embarrassing to the Saints. In the case of the demonizers, embarrassing material which is historically true is mixed together with inventions, fabrications, and exaggerations.

Fawn Brodie attempted to strike a balance with her landmark biography of Joseph Smith, and was excommunicated and vilified by the LDS for her pains. Juanita Brooks tried to tell the true story of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but she veered away from acknowledging that Brigham Young had ordered the killing.

The New Mormon History which has developed since the time of Fawn Brodie and Juanita Brooks is billed as an attempt to reach an objective synthesis on these highly controversial events. Results have been mixed. A problem with the New Mormon History is that it has been pulled very far in the trendy direction of social history and cultural history. It is therefore hardly capable of total history (Gesamtgeschichte). In particular, the covert operations, intrigues, and machinations of figures like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are much neglected. The New Mormon History also tries to steer clear of any notion of preconcert or conspiracy, and shows very little interest for the inner workings of organisms like the Council of Fifty, Joseph Smith's vehicle for attaining political power.

The most salient point at which this study differs from virtually everything published on the subject of Mormonism so far is the emphasis placed here on the political and later geopolitical function of Joseph Smith's political agitation against Henry Clay in 1844, and then of Brigham Young's empire of Deseret, as gambits of British imperial policy against the United States. The Mormons were certainly promoted by John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, and the intelligence division of the British East India Company in London.

There has never been any secret about the cordial support extended to the Confederate States of America by the British Foreign Office. There is now a growing awareness that Confederate secessionism was mightily stimulated by the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite Freemasons, who were ultimately a satellite of London. It is time to recognize that Mormon theocracy and Mormon secessionism were just as desirable from the British point of view as the creation of the Confederate state.

Just Too Weird is a common response to Mormon theology and church practices. [14]

This book has attempted to glean a kind of meta-history from the vast secondary literature on Mormonism. In doing so, we are pleased to acknowledge profound indebtedness to trailblazing studies like those of Fawn Hall, which can now be supplemented by the work of the pro-Mormon scholar Richard Lyman Bushman. The best biography of Brigham Young is still Stanley P. Hirshson's The Lion of the Lord. The greatest recent achievement of Mormon historiography is unquestionably The Mormon Rebellion by David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, a tour de force on the Utah War of 1857-58. Will Bagley has also contributed Blood of the Prophets, an exhaustive examination of the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 which goes beyond anything hitherto produced on this subject. Our indebtedness to Bigler and Bagley will be evident. And, since Brigham Young's machinations cannot be understood apart from British imperial strategy before and during the American Civil War, E. B. Long's The Saints and the Union also deserves attention.

Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.
Washington DC,
September 20, 2012



2 Lawrence Wright, "Lives of the Saints: at a Time When Mormonism Is Booming, the Church Is Struggling with a Troubled Legacy," New Yorker, January 21, 2002.
3 David com, "Secret Video: Romney Tells Billionaire Donor What He Really Thinks of Obama Voters: When He Doesn't Know a Camera's Rolling, the Gap Candidate Shows His Disdain for Half of America," Mother Jones, September 17, 2012.
4 E. J. Dionne, "At Odds with America," Washington Post, September 20, 2012.
5 According to Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon, the Lamanites were dark-skinned American Indians who descended from one of the tribes of Israel. Their skin was darkened in punishment for their refusal to support the Mormon Jesus in his conflict with Lucifer over the fate of the planet earth.
6 Min Romney, No Apology: the Case for American Greatness (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010).
7 Ibid., pp. 25-26.

8 Kranish and Helman, p. 31.
9 Jon Meacham, "The Mormon in Mitt," Time, October 8, 2012.
10 Webster G. Tarpley, Obama: the Postmodern Coup, the Making of a Manchurian Candidate; and Webster G. Tarpley, Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography (Joshua Tree CA: Progressive Press, 2008).
11 Mayhill Fowler, "Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turned Bitter," Huffington Post, April 11, 2008.

12 In Mormon terminology, a bishop is the equivalent of a parish priest or minister in Christianity.  A Mormon stake president more closely approximates a Christian bishop. Romney thus qualifies  as a bishop both in terms of his title, and in terms of his functions.
13 Hirshson, Lion of the Lord (New York: Knopf, 1969), p. 326.
14 The phrase "just too weird" appears on the internet in relation to Mormonism in some 323,000  instances.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:24 am

Part 1 of 2


"Indeed, such is believed to be the condition to which a strange system of terrorism has brought the inhabitants of that region that no one among them could express an opinion favorable to this Government, or even propose to obey its laws, without exposing his life and property to peril."

-- President James Buchanan, April, 1858 [15]

If Mitt Romney is really the orthodox Mormon he claims to be, his goal in life is to become a god ruling over a planet, probably not our earth, together with a harem of celestial spirit wives, engendering progeny in the hope that they, too, can rule over planets. In order to attain this status, he will expect to appear before a three-judge (oligarchical) heavenly tribunal composed of Elohim (the Mormon Jehovah), the convicted con man Joseph Smith, and the Mormon Jesus, who happens to be Lucifer's brother. In order to increase his chances of entering paradise, Mitt Romney will go to the Oval Office each day wearing special underwear -- the so-called "temple garments" -- covered with freemasonic symbols and hex signs designed to ward off the evil eye. Romney presumably believes that his late father George Romney, the former governor of Michigan and member of the Nixon Cabinet, is already ruling over a planet in this way.

But beyond these peculiarities, the main objections to a Mormon presidency are political. Mormonism has always considered itself not just as a faith, but also as a political faction and as a system of government with boundless ambitions to take power in the United States and in the world. Mormons control Utah and have decisive influence in nearby states, including the Las Vegas gambling interests. Mormons represent formidable factions in the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, the US intelligence community and in the Federal Government generally. They are a power bloc. They have a huge financial and business empire, a fact not unrelated to the success of Romney's Bain Capital. They display strong elements of institutionalized racism and anti-woman and anti-labor ideology. Mormons tend to be authoritarian, and often vote as a bloc to maximize their impact on elections. Organized Mormonism unmistakably takes its place as one of the most reactionary components of the modern-day Republican Party: Mormons were an important part of the Bush-Cheney regime, and supported its signature policies. A special administrative apparatus inside the Mormon Church attempts to enforce ideological uniformity on its members, generally in a reactionary direction.

Willard "Mitt" Romney is a bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormons. For seven generations, Romney's family has been part of a small group of allied families, sometimes referred to by insiders as "The Compound," which dominate the Mormon Church. Parley Parker Pratt, Romney's great-great-grandfather, was one of the founding twelve apostles of the Mormon or Latter-day Saints Church. Mitt Romney does not like to talk about his Mormonism, and habitually dodges questions about this topic with his standard statements, "I love my faith." If Romney is elected, it will mark, so far as is known, the first time that a bishop of any church has ever become President of the United States. This fact alone justifies an examination of Mormon tradition with a view to seeing how it might impact a possible Romney presidency. A Romney presidency would also be the first time a non-Christian has entered the White House.


Mormon theology is also fair game, if only because Romney defends it. When journalist Bret Stephens observed: "It's out there that it's a 150-year-old version of Scientology," Mitt Romney answered: "It's not." [16]

In his public statements, Romney is always adamant that he is a completely orthodox Mormon believer. "I believe my faith" he said on one recent occasion. "I love my faith, and I would in no way, shape, or form try to distance myself from my faith or the fundamental beliefs of my faith." [17] On another occasion, Romney told his fawning biographer Hugh Hewitt, "I love my faith. I am proud of my church." [18] Just what he is proud of is also a political question, which must be examined here.

Romney has five sons -- Tagg, Matt, Josh, Dan, and Craig. Each one attended Brigham Young University. Every one of the five has served abroad as a missionary for the Mormon Church. Each one of them has chosen to marry a Mormon wife in a ceremony carried out in the Mormon Temple. [19]

Before becoming a bishop responsible for a district or ward of the Mormon Church, Romney had to advance from the status of the Elder, or priest in the Aaronic priesthood, to the status of High Priest, or holder of the Melchizedek priesthood. Melchizedek status was also necessary before Romney could become stake president, presiding over several Mormon congregations in Belmont Massachusetts, in the Boston suburbs.

On New Year's Day 1982, Romney was awarded the Keys of the Priesthood, conferring on him the title of Bishop and with it the ability to lead the flock: "Mormons believe the resurrected apostles Peter, James and John gave the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, the long-lost keys to God's kingdom in 1829. (The Mormon theory is that Christendom had become degenerate in 570 AD, because of the activities of Pope Gregory the Great.) A century later, the Church president, Joseph Fielding Smith, declared that "those who hold the keys" have the "power and authority to govern and direct all of the Lord's affairs on earth." Romney soon received the keys of one of Mormons' flagship congregations, the Longfellow Park Chapel on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [20]

In the fall of 1986, Romney was chosen by the Mormon hierarchy in Salt Lake City to be promoted to the post of stake president for the New England region of the Latter-day Saints, with headquarters in Belmont, Massachusetts. Romney served as stake president until 1994, when he ran unsuccessfully for United States Senate against Teddy Kennedy. The "stake" refers to the idea that each Mormon regional organ ization can be considered a "stake in the tent of Zion," or a component of the New Jerusalem, according to the rhetoric of Joseph Smith.

We must also assume that Romney constantly wears the traditional Mormon undergarments or "magic underwear." Some photographs of the candidate allow the outline of the characteristic magic undershirt to be visible. An enterprising reporter needs to ask him about this. When asked by correspondent Sridhar Pappu, "Do you wear temple garments?" Romney was evasive: "I'll just say those sorts of things I'll keep private." [21]

When Mitt Romney was president of the elite, lily-white, and plutocratic Cougar Club at Brigham Young University, he attended monthly "fireside testimonies" or sacramental meetings, at which each young Saint was expected to recount how he had lived in heaven as an unborn spirit before being born on earth into an elite Mormon family. Members were further expected to state their beliefs in the imminence of the last days, and to put all faith in the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Book of Mormon as the revealed word of God, and in the Mormon Church as the sole path to salvation. [22]

In estimating the role which religion might play if a certain politician becomes president, we need to decide whether the religious denomination in question is an older, established, mainline, and generally sated church, or whether it is a bitter, sectarian, cultist, tightly-knit, extremist formation with a catalogue of grievances and a belief structure in sharp conflict with natural theology and natural law, and with the established political order. If we can agree that the Roman Catholics and mainline Protestants belong in the first category, we must also observe that the Mormon or LDS Church has during long periods of its history veered into the latter category.


Because the Mormons are a very aggressive sect, sending young male missionaries in pairs around the country and around the world to recruit new members, it is assumed by many that they are simply another entry in the squabbling world of Protestant denominations. This is a mistake. Mormonism is not a form of Protestantism, nor is it a fonn of Christianity. It is an entirely new religion designed to subsume and surpass all existing faiths, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Much evidence suggests that Mormonism aims or has aimed at world domination. As part of this commitment, Mormonism in its heart of hearts regards the existence of the United States as an aberration which must be remedied, somewhat in the way that Al Qaeda is said to regard all existing governments as illegitimate because they are not the caliphate.

Mormonism represents in many ways the most extreme denomination among those originating in America. Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Scientists, and Charismatic Pentecostalists each have their peculiarities, but these are dwarfed by the historical and doctrinal Mormon commitment to racism, polygamy, theocracy, secret police, blood atonement, secessionism, and ultimate seizure of political power in the United States and in the world. For example, the Seventh-day Adventists -- founded just a few miles away from Joseph Smith's home in upstate New York, and currently the fastest growing Christian denomination worldwide -- were once criticized because of their legalism, and because they claimed to predict when the end of the world would occur, and later because of their emphasis on a healthy diet. But these issues shrink into triviality when compared with the Mormons' theocracy, polygamy, Danites, secessionism, and insurrection. And the Seventh-day Adventists have generally practiced racial integration, even at times when that was not the rule: the young Malcolm X., for example, grew up as a Seventh-day Adventist.

From the point of view of a Roman Catholic, Mormonism would be regarded as a heresy. The Southern Baptist convention has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult, and a number of Baptist ministers spoke out against Romney during the 2012 Republican primaries. Public opinion polling also shows that the US electorate in general has doubts about Mormonism, which is probably why Romney attempts to dodge this topic. About half of US voters say that they know little or nothing about Mormonism, but about one third classified Mormonism as outside of Christianity. Fully 42% express that they would feel "somewhat or very uncomfortable" with a Mormon president. About two thirds of those polled said that "Mormonism is very different" from their own religion. 18% said that the connotations of Mormonism were positive, being described as good, dedicated, honest, and friendly, while 24% said that the associations of Mormonism were negative, with key words like cult, polygamy, restrictive, and strange. Some 30% had no opinion. About half of registered voters polled knew that Romney is a Mormon. [23]

A 2011 American Values Survey poll revealed that 50% of Democratic voters, 36% of Republican voters, and 38% of independent voters were at least somewhat uncomfortable with the notion of a Mormon in the White House. Among millennial voters aged 18 to 29, 54% would be at least somewhat uncomfortable with a Mormon president. Among senior citizens, 39% would be at least somewhat uncomfortable. About 36% of registered voters do not believe that Mormonism is part of Christianity; about half think that it is. Among white evangelical Protestant voters, 49% see Mormonism as outside of Christianity. [24]

Back in 1999, 17% of those polled told Gallup that they would not vote for a Mormon. In mid-2006, a Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll concluded that 37% of those responding would not vote for a Mormon in the presidential election. In September 2006, Gallup reported that 66% of those questioned thought that the United States is not ready for a Mormon president. In November 2006, a Rasmussen poll found that 43% would not consider voting for a Mormon. [25] In other words, public suspicion of Mormonism grew during the first decade of the current century, perhaps because Romney has posed the question of a Mormon president for the first time in recent memory.

Those who have studied his political career have no doubt that Romney's policies have been deeply influenced by his Mormonism. As Sally Denton observes, "the influence that Mormonism has had on him has dominated every step of the way. The seeds of Romney's unique brand of conservatism, often regarded with intense suspicion by most non-Mormon conservatives, were sown in the secretive, acquisitive, patriarchal, authoritarian religious empire run by 'quorums' of men under an umbrella consortium called the General Authorities. A creed unlike any other in the United States, from its inception of Mormonism encouraged material prosperity and abundance as a measure of holy worth, and its strict system of tithing 10% of individual wealth has made the church one of the world's richest institutions." [26] Moreover, at the beginning, the Mormon Church was a thoroughly collectivist and communal economic system ("the Order of Enoch"), a form of primitive communism. The right-wing, market-fetishist, Mormon apostles of today are thoroughly embarrassed by any reference to the communistic phase of their faith.

Apologists for Mormonism complain that singling their church out for such negative attention is unfair, and amounts to bigotry. As one Mormon apologist wrote in the New York Times after Romney had secured the Republican nomination, "Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good. Imagining Mormons as intolerant rubes, or as mental deviants, Americans from left and right can imagine they are, by contrast, tolerant, rational, and truly Christian. Mitt Romney's candidacy is only the latest opportunity for such stereotypes to be aired." [27] Unfortunately, this does not answer any specific charges, of which there have been plenty, from Joseph Smith down to Warren Jeffs. Moreover, we must distinguish between theological questions, which can also be legitimately discussed, and the political reality of Mormonism, which has often striven for political, and indeed theocratic power, and which operates as a political cabal or combine today.


The Yale English professor Harold Bloom has voiced the deep suspicion of Mormonism among establishment intellectuals. Mormons, he argued, are set apart from Christianity and Judaism by their system of many gods, known as polytheism, which is still kept as an esoteric or "shelf' doctrine: "The accurate critique of Mormonism is that Smith's religion is not even monotheistic, let alone democratic. Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer openly describes their innermost beliefs, they clearly hold on to the notion of a plurality of gods. Indeed, they themselves expect to become gods, following the path of Joseph Smith. There are other secrets also, not tellable by the Mormon Church to those it calls 'Gentiles,' oddly including Jews. That aspects of the religion of a devout president of the United States should be concealed from all but 2% of us may be a legitimate question that merits pondering." [28]

Bloom was much criticized by reactionaries because of these views, but he is on firm ground when he expresses alarm over political implications of a Mormon in the Oval Office. How, for example, could Romney ever be the president of all the people? Bloom doubts it: "Mormons earn godhead through their own efforts, hoping to join the plurality of gods, even as they insist they are not polytheists .... The Mormon patriarch, secure in his marriage and large family, is promised by his faith a final ascension to godhead, with a planet all his own separate from the earth and the nation where he now dwells. From the perspective of the White House, how would the nation and the world appear to President Romney? How would he represent the other 98% of his citizens?" [29]


The public has the right to know that Joseph Smith, the Prophet and founder of Mormonism, was a practitioner of polygamy, the form of marriage in which one man has many wives. It is sometimes referred to as "plural marriage," and its female victims as "spiritual wives." (In the way that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy, it often translated also into polyandry from the point of view of the women involved, since many of them were married women who ended up with two husbands when they received the "celestial" attentions of the Prophet.)

Writers favorable to the Mormon point of view have been forced to concede that Joseph Smith was just as much a polygamist as is Mormon traditionalist Warren Jeffs in our own time. Joseph Smith's wives included one 14-year old girl. Jeffs' youngest wife was twelve. Apologists for the Mormons list 33 women among Joseph Smith's plural wives, plus another seven who may have been inducted into the Prophet's celestial harem while he was still alive.3D An additional seven women are listed by these sources as posthumous marriages, in which the women involved were married with (or "sealed to") Joseph Smith after his death, thus ruling out the possibility of consummation. Even so, Mormon doctrine would still maintain that such women, and many others who have followed, are indeed among the founder's heavenly concubines.

Fawn M. Brodie, the 20th century's leading expert on Joseph Smith, set the number of Joseph Smith's wives at 48. She notes that Jerald and Sandra Tanner, the authors of Joseph Smith and Polygamy (Salt Lake City, 1969), estimate that the Prophet had no fewer than 84 "spiritual wives." [31] In theory, the Mormon Church stopped practicing polygamy as a condition for statehood in the mid-1890s. But many Mormon families, including the Romneys, continued to practice polygamy for a long time after that. The Romney family's commitment to polygamy was so great that it trumped any loyalty to the United States they may have had, leading them to expatriate to Mexico in order to remain faithful to Joseph Smith's signature practice. The Romney camp claims today that Romney's father and grandfather no longer practiced polygamy, but it is evident that earlier generations certainly did.

As for Joseph Smith's successor, Brigham Young, who led the Saints to Salt Lake City, he practiced polygamy openly, calling it the Order of Jacob. Brigham Young is estimated to have had 55 wives. He married one of these when she was 15, and three others when they were 16, according to published accounts. Ann Eliza Webb was forced to marry Brigham Young in April 1868 when she was a 24 year-old divorcee and he was 66. Ann Eliza Young was then able to secure a divorce from the Prophet in 1875, after which she devoted herself to writing and speaking against the horrors of polygamy. Her autobiography, Wife No. 19, is an entertaining and shocking account of the dismal lives of polygamous wives. This book is the basis of Irving Wallace's 1961 biography, The Twenty-Seventh Wife (1961), and of David Ebersdorff's novel, The Nineteenth Wife (2008), which has been made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. In reality, Ann Eliza Webb underestimated the depravity of Brigham Young: she was in fact his wife number 52.

Polygamy was one of the biggest factors which made it impossible for Mormons to coexist peacefully with other Americans, since their neighbors were always concerned that their wives and daughters might be carried off to a Mormon harem. Indeed, the inner instability of Mormonism, especially during its early decades, was due in large part to quarrels which started when Joseph Smith directed his celestial attentions at the wives and daughters of his principal lieutenants; one of these incidents set the stage for Joseph Smith's assassination in 1844.

At the foundation of the modern Republican Party in Philadelphia in 1856, the platform stated: "It is the duty of Congress to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery." The first of these points was explicitly aimed at the Mormons. Now, in 2012, the GOP has come full circle, and has a Mormon candidate.

The founder of the Anglican or Episcopal Church was the 16th-century King Henry VIII of England. who had six wives, but not simultaneously, according to the official record. There have been a number of Episcopal presidents. But what can American women expect from a president who subscribes to a religious doctrine founded by a man who had between 33 and 48 wives?


The public also has a right to know that the Book of Mormon, the founding text of the sect, explains dark skin as the heritage of permanent inferiority. It was inflicted on the descendents of certain angels who remained neutral in the struggle between the Mormon Christ and the Mormon Lucifer, in their struggle on Elohim's planet Kolob to determine the fate of this world. Except for momentary reasons of political opportunism, as for example when Joseph Smith wanted to run for president in 1844, blacks were excluded from priesthood, meaning they could not be confirmed in the Mormon Church. Visitors to Salt Lake City even today are often struck by the fact that it is probably the most lilywhite major city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, and perhaps on the entire planet.

This built-in doctrinal racism of the Mormon Church contrasts sharply with the universalism of the Biblical Jesus Christ, who told his disciples to preach the gospel unto all nations, without exception. The Roman Catholic Church had explicitly black African Saints in the 15th century, and these were soon joined by dark-skinned saints in Latin America. This feature of Mormonism made the church attractive over many decades, especially after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to reactionaries and racists who wanted a racially segregated denomination. This racist principle of selection has contributed much to the demographic makeup of the Mormon Church today, and has certainly not been transformed by the superficial changes of the past three decades.

Fawn Brodie called attention to this phenomenon in 1971, writing in the second edition of her classic study that "if the Mormon Church does not modify its racist practices, it seems likely that its future converts in large part will continue to come, as they have in recent years, from right wing groups who are hostile to black people under any circumstances." [32] These right wingers and racists were Mitt Romney's partners in fellowship for the first three decades of his life, and it is impossible to believe that this has not influenced his outlook on many issues.

Today, Mitt Romney makes much of his enthusiasm for the 1978 decision of the Mormon hierarchy to declare blacks eligible for the Mormon priesthood, thus supposedly opening the church to them. (Black faces are still impossible to find among the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve, the highest administrative bodies of the LDS.) But it must be pointed out that the partial rehabilitation of African-Americans took place only at the level of church regulations, and not in the Mormon holy writ. The Book of Mormon continues to brand blacks as ineligible for the priesthood (confirmation), even if the Mormon Church finds it expedient to disregard this disqualification in its day-to-day operations.


Historically, Mormon doctrine has been adamant that political power and religious power (or temporal and spiritual power, as they are sometimes called) belong in the same hands. This is a Byzantine principle which is utterly alien to the civilization of Western Europe and the Western Hemisphere. For Joseph Smith, the only acceptable form of rule is theocracy, which he attempted to make more palatable to American audiences by calling it "theodemocracy." All power was to be concentrated in the hands of the high priest of the mystery religion, who was obviously Joseph Smith.

The Mormon project was to create the Kingdom of God on earth, with Joseph Smith as its ruler. After Smith had founded the faith near Palmyra, New York in 1830, the center of gravity of Mormon recruitment shifted to Kirtland, Ohio, where Sydney Rigdon, an established sectarian leader, had been recruited. When Andrew Jackson's Specie Circular of 1836 exploded the frontier real estate bubble in the panic of 1837 (a distant mirror for Romney's financial speculation, as we will show), the bankrupt Saints were driven out of Ohio and took refuge in northern Missouri. Here, they entered into conflict with the local population when Joseph Smith announced to the rest of Missouri that they could choose between allegiance to him or death: " ... if they come on us to molest us, we will establish our religion by the sword. We will trample down our enemies and make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean ... Joseph Smith or the Sword!" [33]

After the Mormons had been driven out of Missouri by armed mobs, they took refuge along the Mississippi River in Illinois, where they founded their holy city of Nauvoo, which soon became almost as big as Chicago, as Mormons from Missouri and Great Britain emigrated there. Here Joseph Smith was made the mayor, the head of the city council, the chief judge, and the lieutenant general of a local militia so numerous that it was almost half as big as the entire U.S. Army. On the bluffs of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith and his advisers planned to create one of the world's most powerful fortresses to control the traffic on the Mississippi River, in much the same way that the Confederates used Vicksburg two decades later. Here Joseph Smith was declared King of the Kingdom of God, or in other words the political ruler of the world. The Prophet's boundless megalomania was cut off in June 1844 when he and his brother Hyrum Smith were slain by a mob.

Mormon leadership passed into the hands of Brigham Young, who actually implemented some of Joseph Smith's most daring plans. Following a brief period of regroupment after the slaying of the Prophet, Brigham Young led the Mormons in 1847 to Salt Lake City. At this time, Salt Lake City and the entire Great Basin were part of Mexico. Brigham Young set to work creating an independent country hostile to the United States, and generally oriented in favor of the British Empire. This was the Mormon state of Deseret, a name drawn from the Hebrew word for the honeybee. Deseret was admirably situated to cut the eastern United States off from California, the Oregon Territory, and the Pacific Ocean. Here once again all power -- religious, political, military, economic, and judicial -- was concentrated in the hands of the Mormon supremo, now Brigham Young. Brigham Young was the de facto commander of the military forces. For many years he was governor of the territory, having been appointed by Millard Fillmore. When he was ousted as governor by Buchanan, he fell back on his control of the judiciary, including the judges and juries in the territorial probate courts, which had arrogated to themselves original jurisdiction in all state and federal cases.

When Salt Lake City and the rest of the Great Basin were ceded by Mexico to the United States of America as a result of the treaty ending the Mexican War, and when Americans began crossing the Great Basin on their way to California in the Gold Rush after 1848, Mormon hostility to the United States only increased.

Brigham Young's personal ties to the British Empire included a sojourn of a number of years in England, where he had been sent by Joseph Smith to recruit new members for the church. The fact that this activity was not suppressed by the British government provides an unmistakable indication of British sponsorship, at least in part, for the Mormon project. Mormonism collected defenders, including Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and Charles Dickens -- the first two with British intelligence pedigrees. Converts from England, Scotland, and Wales probably constituted the majority of the Mormon Church in the middle of the 19th century.

Today, as Harold Bloom points out, Mormons "help stock the CIA, the FBI, the military .... A Mormon presidency is not quite the same as an ostensibly Catholic or Protestant one, since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints insists on the religious sanction for its moralistic platitudes. The 19th-century Mormon theologian Orson Pratt [Romney's great-great-great uncle], who was close to both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, stated a principle the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never repudiated: 'any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God."' [34] That represents a direct attack on the US Constitution which Mormons have always claimed to revere.


By 1857, military units controlled by the Utah Mormons were interfering with parties of pioneers on their way to California and Oregon, and there was concern that they might do the same thing with the Pony Express. In that year, Brigham Young issued a provocative statement which declared the independence of Deseret from the United States. This is the first case of fully implemented secessionism in the history of the United States, more than three years before South Carolina attempted to leave the Union in December 1860, thus starting a civil war. Need we add that secessionism inherently represents anarchy and treason?

Brigham Young started the first US civil war. President Buchanan, for a complex of reasons, decided to send a significant part of the United States Army to Salt Lake City to restore the authority of the United States government. The Mormon forces avoided direct conflict with the US Army, but massacred about 140 peaceful pioneers from Arkansas who were trying to get to Southern California. This was the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, the greatest act of terrorism between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The record will show that the first American president ever to refer explicitly to terrorism was James Buchanan, and that he did so in a public statement condemning the actions committed by Brigham Young and his Mormons.

President James Buchanan warned that Brigham Young and the Mormons had imposed 'a strange system of terrorism' on the people of Utah Territory." [35]


Brigham Young, the Mormon theocratic dictator of Utah, did not shrink from the label of terrorism, but rather embraced it quite openly. He said in his sermon of August 31, 1856 that, starting from its creation, God's Kingdom, meaning the Mormon power, had been "a terror to all nations," he said. Its goal was to "revolutionize the world and bring all under subjection to the law of God, who is our law giver." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 91)

Brigham's son had to concede privately that his father's methods amounted to terrorism. A few years later, Brigham Young Jr. wrote in his diary entry for December 15, 1862 that the religious revival instituted by his father in 1857 had been a "reign of terror." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 95)


During these years, the Mormons helped to originate the combination of idolizing the U.S. Constitution, while vilifying every policy and every official of the US government established under that Constitution. The Mormons argued that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, possibly because they sought the protection of the laws of the United States for polygamy, although that option began to be closed by the Morrill Act of 1862, which banned polygamy. When this law withstood challenge before the Supreme Court about 15 years later, Mormon chances for perpetuating their peculiar institution were driven underground.


During the Civil War of 1861-1865, Brigham Young confirmed himself as a hardened traitor to the United States, pouring scorn and invective on Abraham Lincoln and his government, and preparing another bid for secession, especially in case of British intervention in the wake of some landmark Union defeat. President Lincoln, raved Brigham Young, was a "cursed scoundrel." [36] At other times, the Mormon boss stated that Lincoln was "wicked," [37] "subject to the influence of a wicked spirit," [38] and "fully adrift on the current of radical fanaticism." [39]

The Utah Territory, as it was by then, was the only part of the United States which took no part in the great conflict between freedom and slavery. The Mormons, still nursing their grievances of their slain Prophet, refused to mobilize for the Union. They did not respond to the call for volunteers in April 1861 after the firing on Fort Sumter, and they prevented conscription into the Union Army under the draft law of 1863. If the Mormons really believed that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, then their refusal to choose sides in the struggle for the Union made them, in their own terms, a kind of political Lamanites.


The standard Christian argument, starting with the treatise of St. Anselm of Canterbury about why God had to become man in order to save humanity, is that the sacrifice on the cross of Jesus Christ, Son of God and at the same time a human being who had never sinned, satisfied the demands of divine justice by atoning for the sins of the world. In Brigham Young's view, this was not the case. Brigham Young argued that certain sins, which often turned out to be offenses against Mormondom, were so heinous that they required the sinner to be killed on the spot. This was Brigham Young's infamous doctrine of blood atonement, which was applied in practice to the 140 peaceful Arkansas pioneers, including many women and children, who died at the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857. In reality, of course, Brigham Young was attempting to intimidate the notoriously weak Buchanan and prospective Western settlers in general by showing his ability to interdict the passage of Americans through their own territory in the Great Basin. But he was also motivated by a desire to avenge the death of Mormon apostle Parley Pratt, who had recently been killed in Arkansas by the outraged husband of a woman with whom he had initiated celestial relations, with a view to installing her in his harem. There were also suggestions that some of the Arkansans had links to the Joseph Smith assassination in Illinois in 1844.

In the history of the United States, many ethnic and religious groups have acted as a bloc over long periods of time, but no Christian denomination has maintained the relentless consistency of goals as the Mormons. When Mormons arrived in Ohio, or Missouri, or Illinois, or anywhere else, they often frightened the inhabitants by their bloc voting and across-the-board political lockstep. Their goal was always to seize all available power. The notion of checks and balances or separation of powers is utterly foreign to Mormon political thinking.

The Mormons also possessed and evidently still possess a political secret police, the Sons of Dan or Danites. The Danites started out as the bodyguards of Joseph Smith. They then expanded to include the Mormon private army. Today, the Mormons represent powerful factions of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US federal government in general. These may be thought of as the modern Danites. In this context, we should also mention the considerable Mormon political intelligence capability around Cleon Skousen and similar figures. Cleon Skousen is rumored to have originated the profoundly disorienting slogan of "The New World Order," which has been misleading low-information right wingers and libertarians ever since. Mormons have contributed a great deal to the Ron Paul counterinsurgency program of the last several years, as we will show in detail. Suffice it at this point to say that theocracy enforced by Danites can be ranked second only to polygamy as causes of friction between the Mormons and surrounding populations during the 19th century.


Brigham Young thus ranks as a leading secessionist who beat Jefferson Davis and the other Confederate leaders to the punch by more than three years when it came to the attempt to break up the United States of America. The curious case of a certain James Strang, who proclaimed himself the independent Mormon King of Beaver Island, Michigan, can serve to show that Mormon secessionism was not a matter of the individual psychology of Brigham Young, but was deeply rooted in the doctrine of Joseph Smith and thus in the entire religion. The Utah War or Mormon War of 1857-1858 was America's first civil war, started at the initiative of the Mormon Saints.

For Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, "American" was a dirty word. For Joseph Smith, Americans were "the Gentiles," an inferior population to be regarded with total contempt. Mormons referred to those "Damned Americans." This feeling was reciprocated: when the U.S. Army finally arrived in Salt Lake City in 1858, Colonel C. F. Smith blurted out that, as far as the US Army was concerned, it "would like to see every damned Mormon hung by the neck." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 324)

Down to the present day, several sources report, Independence Day is not the biggest holiday in the month of July in the Mormon Mecca of Utah. That honor is reserved for Pioneer Day, which takes place on July 24. In Salt Lake City, the Fourth of July comes in as a distant second: "Normally the Fourth of July was yawned at in Utah Territory -- as it still is in today's state -- while all of the excitement was reserved for Pioneer Day, twenty days later, which celebrates the anniversary of Brigham Young's arrival in Salt Lake Valley." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 86)


The standpoint of this book is that the American public has a right and indeed the duty to learn and know everything, without any exceptions, from the individuals who are asking for their votes in order to be elected president. Ever since the emergence of nuclear weapons, the powers of the presidency have been practically absolute. Presidents have access to the nuclear launch codes which can unleash World War III, which might well spell death for vast numbers of the population at home and abroad. If you want to get your hands on the nuclear button, we need to know everything about you. There can be no secrets. Another reason for this is that presidents who do keep secrets can then be blackmailed by intelligence agencies and other forces to get what they want -- a phenomenon which may have contributed to Obama's disappointing performance.

We argued for this standard in regard to Obama, demanding to know the exact circumstances of his birth, his college transcripts, what he was doing during certain lost years of his biography, and other pertinent facts. These inquiries are contained in Obama the Postmodern Coup (published April, 2008) and in Barack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography (published August, 2008).

Now we want to know about Romney: we want to see his tax returns back to the early 1980s, covering the entire time he worked as a predatory asset stripper at Bain Capital. We want to know everything about his relation to his close friend, Israeli Prime Minister Biniamin Netanyahu. We demand that Bain Capital release the full particulars of what happened to the American companies that they bought up and looted, sometimes driving them into bankruptcy.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:24 am

Part 2 of 2


Recent research suggests that Bain Capital enjoyed a special relation with the Mormon Church of Latter-day Saints. According to reporter Jason Horowitz, "the Church Hierarchy in Salt Lake City ... sometimes called on the Mormons at Bain for informal consultation." Along with Romney, there was Bob Gay, "a Bain colleague who once sat with Romney on the Church's High Council." As president of the Boston stake or diocese of the Mormon Church, "Romney appointed his Bain colleague, Darrell Rigby, to teach an alternate tradition class" to Mormons. By now, the brutal exploitation of working people by the asset strippers at Bain has become well known. What deserves to be better known is that these methods apparently reflect the corporate culture of Mormonism. [40]


While campaigning for the Pennsylvania primary, Romney attempted to humanize himself by sitting at a picnic table with some Republican voters. The hostess served some cookies. Romney responded by complaining about the quality of the cookies, suggesting that they had come from the local Seven-Eleven, and were of inferior quality. It was incredibly rude and boorish, but it is also part of a pattern which characterizes Romney.

On the eve of his visit to London for the opening of the Olympics in late July 2012, Romney was asked by Brian Williams whether he thought the London Olympics would be a success. Romney started out by saying that he was troubled by some of the organizing problems that had emerged. He also expressed doubt as to whether Londoners and the British people in general were really ready to host the games. It was another incredible gaffe, insulting his hosts and benefactors in advance. British Prime Minister Cameron commented that it was easy to organize Olympics "out in the middle of nowhere" -- meaning Salt Lake City. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London mocked Romney before an audience of 60,000 people. Romney was promptly dubbed as "Mitt the Twit" by the London tabloids. Even European right wingers find Romney "bizarroide" -- beyond bizarre.

These attitudes can be compared to the Mormons of 1857-58, one of whom asked a coreligionist if he had American guests in his home, wanting to know what he was doing with "those damned Americans about his house. '" (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 72)


By now, Romney is so notorious as a flip-flopper who has supported both sides of virtually every important issue that examples are hardly necessary. Romney has been for and against gay marriage, for and against an individual mandate in healthcare, for and against gun control, and so forth. Remarkably, Romney flip-flops with absolute impudence, seldom offering a reason with these changes, often arguing that no change has taken place. But can Romney's flip-flops also be rooted in the traditions of Mormonism?

At any given time, the Church of Latter-day Saints has claimed to be in possession of absolute truth, as revealed to Joseph Smith. But at the same time, Mormon views on many fundamental issues have changed from one thing to its diametrical opposite. If we take the example of polygamy, we find that the Book of Mormon expressly forbids it, saying: "Hearken to the word of the Lord: for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none .... " [41] This represents a blanket ban on polygamy as of 1830.

But, impelled by his celestial urges, we find Joseph Smith and his top lieutenants practicing polygamy, while loudly denying that they were doing so. Then, under Brigham Young, the Mormon Church in 1852 openly proclaimed the "Order of Jacob," meaning the absolute imperative of plural marriage for men who wanted to avoid menial status in the afterlife. Then, around 1895, the Mormon Church officially prohibited polygamy, but it was continued by certain doctrinaire diehards like the Romney family, and also surreptitiously by some of the top leaders, which may again include the Romney family. This is a record of flip-flops worthy of Romney himself.

The official explanation offered by the Mormon Church for these drastic reversals came from Prophet Gordon G. Hinckley in 2002, who said: "Polygamy came by revelation, and it left by revelation." Outsiders may be forgiven for wondering about the relation of such revelations with pure political expediency and opportunism.

Concerning the status of black people, the Book of Mormon, as already noted, makes dark skin the sign of those spirits who refused to take sides in the struggle between the Mormon Jesus and the Mormon Lucifer. But when Joseph Smith wanted to run for president in 1844, he was at least willing to grant black slaves the hope of being freed, while paying compensation to their owners out of the sale of US public lands in the West. Then, during the Brigham Young era, black people were once again the objects of abuse and discrimination. Then, in 1978, the Mormon Church proclaimed that it no longer discriminated against blacks, based on a new revelation. Again, the doctrinal flip-flops of the Mormon Church can only remind us of the flip-flops of the current Republican candidate, Romney.

For many people, and even for many politicians, such a consistent, pervasive, and outrageous pattern of flip-flops would impose a tremendous psychological burden. Such a flip-flopper might come to feel like a total buffoon, destined to never be taken seriously again by anybody, Much less be elected president of the United States. But Romney does not seem to be afflicted by these psychological difficulties. He flip-flops with reckless abandon. In doing this, he resembles the Mormon Church, which always claims absolute authority compared to the abomination of all the Christian churches, but at the same time feels free to make changes in its absolute belief structure, obviously according to the needs of political expediency. Romney is never more of a true Mormon than when he flip-flops, even as he demands that the voters put him in the White House.


Mormons are known to practice posthumous baptism, inducting departed spirits into the true faith with no way of ascertaining the wishes of the interested parties, or even their families. It is estimated that some 200 million departed souls have been given this treatment, including numerous world leaders and the nominally Roman Catholic members of Paul Ryan's immediate family. Posthumous baptism got the Mormons into trouble when they began applying it to the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and they have now promised to back off in this regard. Posthumous baptism is yet another radical divergence between Mormonism and Christianity, since the latter regards only thoughts and deeds ofthis mortal life as the basis of salvation.

During the 2012 campaign, the issue arose as to whether Romney had indeed continued to work at Bain Capital between 1999 and 2003. He had sworn to the Securities and Exchange Commission in a series of SEC filings that he was indeed a top official of Bain through 2003. He also swore, in a series of filings presented to the Federal Elections Commission, that he had no longer worked for Bain after 1999, and that he left to work on the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. We note in passing that swearing one thing to the SEC and something contradictory to the FEC would normally constitute a premeditated case of perjury in one or the other of these sworn statements.

But Romney thought of a way to get out of this difficulty. The Romney camp sent out the veteran political hack Ed Gillespie to make the case that Romney had "retired retroactively to 1999." This was a novel concept: how could anybody retire retroactively? This appeared an argument redolent of Mormonism, in which not just individual actions, but one's whole life can be altered in retrospect with a ceremony and the stroke of a pen, nunc pro tunc.


One aspect of the Romney campaign which has attracted sustained and negative attention is the secrecy of the candidate. Romney has refused to make public more than two years of his federal income tax returns, and one of those years will be available only in outline form. Romney has refused to provide details about his offshore tax shelters and how they work. Even though he claims the presidency on the basis of his supposed track record as a successful businessman, he refuses to provide details about his role at Bain Capital and his participation in certain deals which led to plant closings, layoffs, and the massive transfer of pension liabilities to the federal government. Romney has also not made public his medical records.

Instead, Romney and his wife have become indignant when pressed for these details. Even when their secrecy has exacted a considerable political price, Mitt and Ann have insisted on stonewalling, a tactic which almost never works in modern American politics.

In his late July speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada, Romney repeated his usual line that Obama is unpatriotic and apologizes for the greatness of American exceptionalism. Romney demanded to know more about leaks of national security information coming from the Obama White House, an issue being raised by a group of reactionary Swift Boaters, veterans working to get Romney elected. "The time for stonewalling is over," and "Americans are entitled to know" so they can receive "a full and prompt accounting of the facts," claimed Romney. The Romney campaign relies almost exclusively on Bush-Cheney neocons when it comes to foreign policy and national security, but it was still grotesque that the campaign sent out Eric Edelman to put some extra spin on these remarks for the press. Edelman had been implicated in an exhaustively documented case of leaking when he worked for Scooter Libby in Cheney's office during the years of Bush the younger. Libby was found guilty in federal court of divulging the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to journalist Robert Novak.

When Romney was called in to cover up the role of the Mormon hierarchy and leading Mormons in $1 million in corrupt payments to the International Olympic Committee, in connection to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he initially promised "complete transparency." But then his operation became totally secret. He refused to tell the Utah state officials supervising the Olympics what his budget was. Most of the key documents about the 2002 Winter Games were destroyed a few days after the event ended. The records of Romney's operation are stored at the (Mormon-controlled) University of Utah, where they are still not open to the public.

The Romney campaign claims that the records were destroyed by Romney crony Fraser Bullock of Bain Capital, who took over the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee when Romney left to run for governor of Massachusetts.

At the end of his term as governor of the state of Massachusetts, Romney spent $100,000 of Massachusetts taxpayers' money to replace computers in his offices. Mark Hosenball of Reuters has described this san itizing effort as "part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret." According to Hosenball, 11 top Romney aides "bought the hard drives of these state-issued computers to keep for themselves." Romney's staff also made sure that e-mails and other electronic communications generated during the Romney administration were deleted from the Massachusetts state's servers. "Those actions erased much of the internal documentation of Romney's four-year tenure as 4) governor," says Hosenball. [42]

Romney is deeply convinced that central questions of public policy should be handled in secret. He has said that controversial issues like income inequality should be discussed in "quiet rooms," presumably meaning in the board rooms of zombie banks. He has also suggested that the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory should be considered behind closed doors. These attitudes are bound to generate negative attention in an age which elevates transparency to the status of an end in itself.

Thus, the salient features of Romney's life -- his time at Bain, his records as governor of Massachusetts, and his administration of his quarter billion dollar personal fortune -- are all top secret for the public. Why would Romney choose such a strange public profile? Does he really believe that he can be so secretive, with impunity? Perhaps the answer here is once again to be found in his Mormon background.

The Mormon Church has also practiced this secrecy from the very beginning. Polygamy was at first a secret practice. Even today, the interior of every Mormon Temple is secret, held strictly off-limits to outsiders, and even to Mormons who do not have a certification that they are members in good standing, called a "temple recommend." The liturgy used in divine services in these temples, called the "temple endowment," is also a secret. Mormon theology, as we have seen, is also largely secret. Until little more than two decades ago, individual Mormons swore an oath that they would willingly be deprived of their lives by having their throats cut or by disembowelment if they were to divulge certain of these secrets.

The archives of the Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah and elsewhere are far more secret than the Vatican Secret Archive in Rome. The common complaint of researchers who have attempted to consult these closely-held Mormon records is that they have received no cooperation, and sometimes that they have received discouragement.


Mormonism, as the words "Latter-day" in its official title suggests, is a religion which expects the second coming of the Messiah and the end of the world as we have known it to occur soon. In other words, Mormons agree that we are currently living in the End Time. Any sect making this claim runs at least one obvious danger: antinomianism. In this context, antinomianism would be the belief that, since the second coming of the Savior is at hand, the moral law is suspended, at least for the elect (the "Saints"). Another path to antinomianism comes from the belief that the individual has a direct line to God by way of some sort of extra scriptural revelation, be this through mysticism, or because one has attained the status of a prophet, as Joseph Smith claimed he had. This belief has been observed frequently in Christianity, but it is by no means limited to this faith, since we have had examples of antinomianism in Judaism as well, to go no further than this.

The early phase of Quakerism displayed unmistakable antinomian tendencies. If an individual Quaker were told by his or her inner light that some activity was not a sin, then all the Law and the Prophets were rendered inoperative for that person. George Fox and other Quaker leaders took measures to subordinate the inner light for the "sense of the meeting," but -- in a tightly knit denomination like the Quakers -- examples of antinomianism have continued to occur centuries later. Richard Nixon and Lyndon LaRouche are examples, since both were raised as Quakers, and as leaders veered into antinomianism.

In the case of Judaism, antinomianism is associated with false messiahs like Sabbatai Zevi (Shabtai Zvi) around 1666, and with the movement around Jacob Frank in the following century. If the Messiah had indeed returned, then the Mosaic Law was suspended, they argued.

The Mormons exhibit a very strong tendency towards antinomianism, first of all because of their core belief that the second coming of the Messiah is at hand, and secondly because they maintain that oracles, prophecies, and revelations have not ceased, but continue to be generated down to the present day, above all by the "Prophets" in command of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

Any account of the history of the Mormons would have to include fraud, counterfeiting, theft, perjury, adultery, and murder. Joseph Smith on one occasion said he would authorize everything but murder, and there is plenty of evidence that his successor Brigham Young removed that exception and was willing to authorize any actions whatsoever in the name of the Mormon Church.


The killing of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844 was seen by Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders as the central event of human history and the starting point in a blood feud or vendetta between the Mormon Saints and the United States of America, including all government institutions and the entire American people. Brigham Young, acting in this spirit, succeeded in getting an oath of vengeance inserted into the Nauvoo Endowment, meaning that it became part of the official liturgy for divine services at the most prestigious place of worship of the entire Mormon denomination.

A reasonably reliable version of the Oath of Vengeance reads as follows:

"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets [Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith] upon this nation [The United States of America], and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation.'' [43]

This Mormon obsession with bloody revenge is absolutely anathema to Christianity. This was not a metaphor or plea to God, but rather a pledge of armed struggle for the violent overthrow ofthe United States. In 1849, William Smith, the surviving brother of the slain Prophet, warned President Zachary Taylor about Mormon activities out in Deseret. He pointed out that Brigham Young had led 1500 Mormon Saints in swearing "to avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this nation," to "carry out hostilities against the nation, and to keep the same intent a profound secret, now and forever.'' [44]

Increase and Maria van Deusen, two ex-Mormons who became indefatigable propagandists against the Saints, told of an oath of vengeance being administered as part of the Nauvoo Temple endowment in January, 1846: "We are required to kneel at this altar, where we have an oath administered to us to this effect; that we will avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this Nation, and teach our children the same. They tell us that the nation has winked at the abuse and persecution of the Mormons, and the murder of the Prophet in particular. Therefore the Lord is displeased with the nation, and means to destroy it, and this is the excuse for forming this leak or conspiracy." [45]

Parley Parker Pratt, the ancestor of Mitt Romney, was personally associated with th is treasonous oath. In 1854, John Hyde described a Mormon temple endowment or ceremony in February 1854 in the Salt Lake City Council House. According to Hyde's description, he was awarded his celestial name of Enoch by none other than Parley Pratt. When Hyde was inducted into the first and then the second degrees of the Melchizedek priesthood, the Oath of Vengeance was sworn: "For allowing persecutions of the Saints and not avenging Joseph Smith's murder, those present vowed everlasting enmity toward the United States and promised to inspire their children with this spirit.'' [46]

Ann Eliza Young, who had successfully sued Brigham Young for divorce, and then gone on to write a lively book about her experiences under Mormondom, recounts her experiences in the Salt Lake City Temple in detail. As part of the temple endowment, she reports that the congregation "swore also to entertain an everlasting enmity to the United States government, and to disregard its laws so far as possible; we swore that we would use every exertion to avenge the deaths of our Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum upon the Gentile race, by whose means they were brought to their unhappy fate, and to teach our children to foster this spirit of revenge also; and last of all, we swore never to reveal the mysteries of the Endowment House.'' [47]

Evidence of the Mormon Oath of Vengeance against the United States can also be found in the court records of the day. "During an 1889 trial in which the denial of citizenship to an alien who had taken his vows was upheld, Andrew Cahoon, a Saint for forty years and a bishop for eighteen, and Franklin D. Richards, the church historian, both admitted that the endowment preached revenge for the murders of Joseph and Hyrum. Richards further revealed that his arm had been anointed to avenge their blood. Bloodthirsty oaths and polygamy for the masses became Young's legacy to his people.'' [48]

After Utah had finally been admitted to the Union, Senator Reed Smoot, a Mormon, was chosen as Senator by the Utah Legislature in 1903. Many senators wanted to deny Smoot his seat. They accused him of being a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the ruling body of Mormonism, and therefore responsible for the continued practice of polygamy, especially in Canada and Mexico, where the Romney family, among others, was continuing to live according to Joseph Smith's Order of Jacob mandating plural marriage. Smoot was also held responsible for the Mormon opinion that church revelation was superior to the Constitution and laws of the United States for Mormon theocracy, and other abuses. The illegal activities of the Danites, the Mormon political Gestapo, were cited, along with the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The resulting Senate hearings lasted from 1904 to 1907, and attracted tremendous public attention. During that time, more than 100 witnesses gave 3,500 pages of testimony. When the Senate finally voted as to whether or not to expel Smoot, the motion to oust him fell short of the required two-thirds vote. With a view to keeping Smoot in the Senate, Mormon president Joseph F. Smith had reaffirmed the ban on polygamy in a special statement in April, 1904, which stated that Mormon officials anywhere in the world, as well as the participants, would be excommunicated if they contracted a polygamist marriage.


One of the issues raised in these Smoot hearings more than a century ago was whether the binding Mormon oath of obedience to ecclesiastical authority included actions by the individual Saint in his capacity as an official of the United States government. As David John Buerger writes, "one of the most painful events in 20lh century LDS history was the hearings of the United States Senate subcommittee to determine whether elected Utah Senator and apostle Reed Smoot should be allowed to serve in the Senate. Among the many issues the committee heard testimony on were the 'secret oaths' of the temple endowment ceremony. The committee's concern was whether the Mormon covenant of obedience to ecclesiastical authority conflicted with the Senator's oath of loyalty to the Constitution. Not surprisingly, in the course of these hearings the oath or prayer of vengeance attracted the committee' s sustained interest." [49]

One of the principal accusations against the LDS was that Mormons were compelled to swear oaths pledging to seek revenge against the United States. The transcripts of Senate hearings from 1904 contain the testimony of a number of witnesses who told the Senate about the Mormon Oath of Vengeance. One J. H. Wallis said he had been told to swear "that you and each of you will never cease to importune High Heaven for vengeance upon this nation for the blood of the prophets who have been slain." August W. Lundstrum recounted that in an endowment he attended, "We and each of us solemnly covenant and promise that we shall ask God to avenge the blood of Joseph Smith upon this nation. There is something more added, but that is alii can remember verbatim. That is the essential part .... It was in regard to teaching our children and children's children to the last generation to the same effect." Mrs. Annie Elliott recalled: "One, I remember, they told me to pray and never cease to pray to get revenge on the blood of the prophets on this nation, and also teach it to my children and children's children."


In 1919, the First Presidency of the Latter-day Saints under Heber J. Grant decided to revise the Mormon liturgy, and appointed a committee to carry out this task. The revision was led by Apostle George F. Richards, and was carried out between 1921 and 1927. Richardson informed the presidents of the six Mormon temples functioning at that time that "all reference to retribution" was purged from the endowment ceremony, and that there should be no more talk of "avenging the blood of the prophets." A few years later, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched his Good Neighbor Policy towards the nations of Latin America, Mormon publicists began calling the abolition of the Oath of Vengeance the Mormon Good Neighbor Policy. But how sincere were the changes?

There remains the very real possibility that the Oath of Vengeance has been maintained as a shelf doctrine, no longer imparted to the mass of the faithful, but carefully cultivated among the inner elite. The liturgical changes of 1927 might have no more value than the repeated assurances of Joseph Smith up to the day he was killed that he never practiced polygamy.

Michigan Governor George Romney, the father of the current Republican contender, was born in Colonia Dublin, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907. Since the Romneys were devoted Mormons who had fled the United States in order to continue the practice of polygamy, Mitt Romney's father George spent the first 20 years of his life in a church where hatred of the United States was a compulsory article of the faith. We notice that the liturgical changes of 1927 do not seem to include the abjuration of the Oath of Vengeance by those who had already taken it, and this necessarily would have included George Romney.

Since some versions of the Oath of Vengeance prescribed that the Mormon vendetta against the United States of America has to be carried on for four generations, we can therefore say that the Oath of Vengeance sworn by George Romney would bind not only Mitt Romney and his generation, but also the generation of Romney's five sons, and also the generation of Mitt Romney's grandchildren.

If George Romney ever repudiated his Oath of Vengeance against the United States, candidate Romney has a responsibility to tell the voters. Otherwise, we must assume that Mitt Romney continues to be bound by this pledge of eternal hostility against this country.

The Oath of Vengeance should not be confused with a better known oath which, according to some reports, was part of the Mormon liturgy until it was removed around 1990. This was a pledge of secrecy in which the adept promises never to tell the secrets of the Temple on pain of death. It also is punctuated by two vigorous slashing gestures, one across one's own throat, and one across the abdomen. These are supposed to signify readiness to have one's throat or belly cut in case a violation of the oath. A 2012 BBC documentary entitled The Mormon Candidate and produced by John Sweeney contains confirmation from former Mormons about some details of his oath. The former Mormons interviewed were convinced that Mitt Romney had sworn this oath on numerous occasions, and therefore continued to be bound by it. The Mormon Church was upset enough about this documentary to send two representatives from the public relations and lobbying firm APCO Worldwide to hand deliver a protest note to the BBC Media Center at White City in London. [50]

The question before the American voter is therefore whether it is advisable to choose Mitt Romney for president, even wh iIe knowing that he is a member of a cohesive and authoritarian religious organization, some of whose most emphatic doctrines have included, even within the last hundred years, the imperative of exacting revenge from the United States of America and from the American people. Surely there is a strong prima facie case that Romney is thus disqualified from holding nationwide federal elective office.

To pronounce a final verdict on this question, it will be necessary to discuss the history and traditions of Mormonism, especially in regard to its connection to British intelligence, and especially in the 19th century. Within that framework, the story of the sometimes polygamous Romney family can be situated. It will finally be necessary to judge whether these elements of tradition, history and biography allow us to forecast, at least to some extent, the future destiny of a possible Romney administration.



15 James Buchanan: "Proclamation-Rebellion in the Territory of Utah," April 6, 1858.Online by  Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=68308.
16 Hewitt, p. 7.
17 Hewitt, p. 208.
18 Hewitt, p. 209.
19 Hewitt, p. 209.

20 Jason Horowitz, "Mitt Romney, as a leader in Mormon church, became a master of many keys." Washington Post, August 20, 2012.
21 Sridhar Pappu, "The Holy Cow! Candidate," Atlantic Monthly, September 2005.
22 Sally Denton, "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy: a close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" (Salon.com, January 29, 2012).

23 "Romney's Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not in a General Election," The Pew  Forum on Religion and Public Life, November 23, 2011,_at pewforum.org.
24 2011 American Values Survey, Public Religion Research Institute, November 8, 2011.
25 Hewitt, p. 220.
26 Sally Denton, "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy: a close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" (Salon.com, January 29, 2012).
27 J. Spencer Fluhman, "Why We Fear Mormons," New York Times, June 3, 2012.

28 Harold Bloom, "Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough?" New York Times, November 12, 2011.
29 Ibid.
30 Todd Compton, "Fawn Brodie on Joseph Smith's Plural Wives and Polygamy: a Critical View," in Newell G. Bringhurst (ed), Reconsidering No Man Knows My History (Logan, Utah: Utah State University press, 1996), pp. 175-187.
31 Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: the Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet (New York: Knopf, 1971), second edition, p. xi.

32 Brodie, p. 425.
33 Brodie, pp. 230-231. 
34 Harold Bloom, "Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough?" New York Times,  November 12, 2011.
35 Bigler & Bagley, The Mormon Rebellion, p. xi.
36 Saints and the Union, p. 50.
37 Ibid., p. 67.
38 Ibid., p. 37.
39 Ibid., p. 106. 
40 Jason Horowitz, "In Church, Romney Mastered Many Keys: As a Mormon Church Leader,  Romney Was Methodical, Deeply Spiritual," Washington Post, August 20, 2012.
41 Book of Mormon, Jacob, 2, 27.
42 Maureen Dowd, "Hiding in Plain Sight,'· Falls Church News-Press, July 26-August 1, 2012.
43 David John Buerger, The Mysteries o/Godliness: a History o/Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco, 1994), p. 133.
44 Hirshson, p. 102.
45 Increase and Maria Van Deusen, The Mormon Endowment; a Secret Drama, or Conspiracy, in the Nauvoo Temple, in /846 (Syracuse, New York: N. M. D. Lathrop, 1847).
46 John Hyde Jr., Mormonism, Its Leaders and Designs (New York: W. P. Fetidge & Co., 1857); Hirshson, p. 136. 
47 Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy (and Hartford, Connecticut: Dustin, Gilman and Co.), p. 368. online at openlibrary.org.
48 Hirshson, p. 136. 
49 Buerger, p. 133.
50 Ben Dowell, BBC Employee Criticized after PRs Hand Deliver Mormon Documentary  Complaint: PR and Lobbying Firm APCD's Representatives Enter BBC Building to Complain  about John Sweeney Documentary," Guardian, March 27, 2012.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:27 am

Part 1 of 3


"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam .... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I."

-- Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:408-409.

Joseph Smith was the founder and principal prophet of the Mormon or LDS religion. Through a burst of activity in the 20 years before his death in 1844, Joseph Smith founded a religion which is separate and distinct from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He may have started off in his own mind with the goal of completing and fulfilling Christianity in the same way that Christianity had attempted to fulfill the Old Testament, but the outcome has been unquestionably an entirely new faith. Attempts by the Mormon hierarchy to disguise this fact, such as their decision around 1981 to begin subtitling the Book of Mormon as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ," should not be allowed to obscure this central fact.

Joseph Smith considered himself a god, and perhaps even as God Almighty Himself. The New Testament warns against assuming that salvation can be obtained exclusively through merit and good works, and adds "lest anyone should boast" as a warning against the sin of pride, always the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins, because ranking oneself above God leads to all the of the deadly sins. Joseph Smith boasted that he and he alone held the keys to heaven. According to some versions of Mormon theology, every soul will stand in judgment before an oligarchical heavenly tribunal composed, not of the Christian Trinity, but rather of Elohim, the Mormon Jesus, and Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith himself left no doubt that he personally had eclipsed Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles when he stated:

"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam .... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet."

-- Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:408-409.

But Joseph Smith's cosmic ambitions were not limited to the spiritual realm alone. They also aimed unmistakably at a totalitarian and dictatorial power over the affairs of this world. If modern Wahabites proclaim that all Moslem governments are illegitimate because they do not represent the caliphate prescribed by Mohammed, Joseph Smith and his lieutenants similarly argued that all the governments of the earth are intolerable because they do not represent the Kingdom of God. Joseph Smith proclaimed that he would soon provide a military solution to this problem, and thus set the stage for the Apocalypse. In this sense, a religion like Mormonism can be seen as a universal destabilization of all the existing systems of politics and government. Coming as it did at the zenith of the British Empire, it is not hard to imagine who would benefit from the spread of such a doctrine, and this issue will be addressed.

These were the ambitions nurtured by a poor farm boy from Vermont growing up in the backwash of the great awakening of the 18th century, who lived in the shadow of economic crisis from the reckless and irresponsible Jefferson embargo to the Andrew Jackson/Van Buren panic of 1837. Joseph Smith's family background is dominated by antinomian ism, the belief that under certain circumstances the moral law may be suspended for the elect, who are therefore authorized to run wild -- a note which has always accompanied Mormonism. Joseph Smith in his early youth was considered a mountebank, a charlatan, a con artist. He played the role of the village necromancer, magus, and diviner, taking advantage of the gullibility of ignorant marginal farmers. Just before the Angel Moroni guided him to the fabulous golden plates on the hill of Cumorah near Palmyra, New York, Joseph Smith had been convicted in a New York state court of swindling one of his gulls. Within a few years, Joseph Smith was the charismatic dictator of a sect which managed to attract the attention of much of the United States and far beyond.

It is impossible to understand Joseph Smith without understanding the historical stage on which he played his gesticulating and histrionic role. This means that one must bear in mind the situation of organized religion in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. But it also requires attention to the world geopolitical stage on which the political exertions of the Mormon Saints were unfolding. If the first of these has been neglected, the second has been passed over in almost total silence and incomprehension.

Since Joseph Smith did not hesitate to compare himself quite favorably to Jesus Christ, we can carry the comparison a little bit further in terms of two key components of the life of Christ. First, were there any religious movements that foreshadowed the coming of the Mormons? Secondly, were there any remarkable individuals who prepared the way for the Mormon Prophet?


In the case of Jesus Christ, the precursors have often been identified as the Essenes, the third grouping in Judaism at that time, which was distinct from the Pharisees and the Sadducees. In the case of Joseph Smith, we must address the issue of the burned-over area of the northeastern United States, an area which had seen many religious revivals followed by a relapse into indifferentism, skepticism, and cynicism. Many people had been converted and born again several times, and then relapsed. A frenzy of activity was often followed by spiritual torpor. The evangelist Charles G. Finney deplored that the post-enthusiastic hangover convinced many jaded souls "that religion was a mere delusion." (Brodie, p. 15) This would become the initial recruiting ground for Mormonism.

The burned-over area is generally equated with the western part of upstate New York, but the concept needs to be seen more broadly. The Connecticut River Valley between New Hampshire and Vermont was a burned-over area in its own right, owing to the long hangover which followed the vindictive Calvinist rantings of the fire and brimstone demagogue Jonathan Edwards, the key founding figure of the Edwards-Aaron Burr family which has played such an overwhelmingly negative role in American history. Mormonism can be thought of as an abreaction to the excesses of the Jonathan Edwards-George Whitefield "Great Awakening" of 1737-1743, arising among persons still stunted by the horrors of Edwards' infamous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The Calvinism of Edwards knew no charity; nor did Mormonism.


The Prophet Joseph Smith was born in eastern Vermont, in the valley of the White River. During the 1790s there appeared in this state, not far from the Massachusetts border, a utopian and collectivist community of about 40 persons known as the Dorrilites, named after their founder, who, appropriately enough, was a retired redcoat officer from the British Army. Was this Dorril a stay-behind operation of the British Empire? The importance of the Dorrilites is that they offer a substantial repertoire of those organizational and doctrinal features which will later characterize Mormonism. Like the Mormons, the Dorrilites had communist property relations, but no political democracy, since the Britisher Dorril demanded total submission to his divinely inspired commands. He imposed a rigorous regime of vegetarianism, banning even leather shoes. The Dorrilites were accused by local ministers not just of doctrinal deviations, but also of holding bacchanalian orgies. The Dorrilites collapsed when their leader was unable to deliver on his revelation that "no arm can hurt my flesh," meaning that he and his followers were immune from pain. But Dorril showed pain when he was physically assaulted by a skeptic, and his hypnotic hold over his congregation waned. This phenomenon, coming as it did in the decades after the Great Awakening and the Revolutionary War, left a pervasive hangover in the valleys of Western Vermont. [51]

As nearly related to this branch of our subject, it has been remarked that Free Masonry was first known in Europe among these people, a fact that will have its weight among Latter-day Saints. In the middle ages these lodges of free masons built the cathedrals of Europe, and it is asserted that "the English cathedrals appear to have been built after the fashion of the temples that they frequented previous to their conversion to Christianity. And these cathedrals, it has been observed, seem evidently to be built after the design of the temple at Jerusalem. Like this, they have their most holy place, the altar, and their holy place, choir; and the court outward from thence for the body of the people." It is also somewhat remarkable that the only Gentile people of old, among whom anything like Free Masonry was found, were the Ionians, for whom we stated in a previous chapter some claim an Israelitish ancestry. Their temples dedicated to Bacchus and other heathen deities, were built by lodges, who had secret signs, etc., and conducted their affairs much after the manner of the masons of the middle ages.

-- Are We of Israel?, by Elder George Reynolds


Another candidate for the role of the Essenes in relation to Joseph Smith are the New Israelites, founded in Middletown, Vermont by Nathaniel Wood in the 1790s. This charismatic cult leader gave his name to the Wood Scrape, which occurred when the local militia were called in to maintain public order on the day for which Wood had foreseen the arrival of the "destroying Angel," and thus of the Apocalypse. Here even more explicit Mormon motifs are on display. The New Israelites of Vermont claimed to be one of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, a major theme of the Book of Mormon. Wood preached immortalism, a doctrine perhaps not very different in the eyes of the average person from Joseph Smith's eternal progression understood as the possibility of becoming a god. The followers of Wood, like the later followers of Joseph Smith, practiced spiritual wifery and polygamy. Both groups engaged in divination. Both groups thought it was important to begin building an edifice for worship which they called a temple. Behind the scenes, both groups were notorious for counterfeiting bank notes.

According to some accounts, the New Israelite movement may have included Joseph Smith Sr., who was later to become the father of the Mormon Prophet. Joseph Smith the elder apparently got his introduction to money digging during his time with Wood. Money digging generally meant the hunt for buried treasure, usually practiced at the expense of a debt-strapped and desperate farmer who could be conned into believing that there were vast riches hidden on his land. Here, as in the later history of the Mormons, the need and desire to be duped plays perhaps an even greater role than the bravura of the con artist.


Another member of the New Israelites was probably William Cowdery, the later father of Oliver Cowdery, the expert with a divining rod who was part of Joseph Smith's circle of friends at the time that the Book of Mormon was being prepared. Another Wood veteran who found his way to the Palmyra, New York region was a certain Justus Winchell, a counterfeiter and treasure hunter. According to Professor Daniel Ludlum, "Winchell and Oliver Cowdery, subsequently moved from Middletown [Vermont] to Palmyra in New York State, and there became acquainted with another transplanted Vermont rodsman, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism." [52]

If these were Joseph Smith's possible Essenes, is there also a candidate for the role of St. John the Baptist preparing the way for the Mormon Prophet, and also coming into immediate personal contact with him? One individual who might fill this bill is, according to the work of the trailblazing scholar Fawn Brodie, a certain Walters. Brodie calls our attention to a '''vagabond fortune-teller" named Walters, who so won the confidence of several farmers that for some months they paid him three dollars a day to hunt for buried money on their property. Walters had crystals, stuffed toads, divining rods, and the "scryer's usual paraphernalia." But he also claimed to have an ancient Indian manuscript which specified the location of hidden treasure hordes, which he would read aloud to the illiterate farmers. According to a reporter, this was actually the Latin text of Caesar, or perhaps Cicero's Orations. According to a press account, when Walters had to get out of town, Joseph Smith did everything to take over his niche. (Brodie, p. 19)

The atmosphere in Joseph Smith's family was redolent of antinomianism. We have just seen his father's background. Joseph Smith's mother was Lucy, the essence of whose religious convictions was "simply the core of Antinomianism -- the inner life is a law unto itself; freedom and integrity of religious experience must at all costs be preserved." [53] Lucy was not bound by any specific confession, but was "devoted to the mysticism so often found among those suddenly released from the domination and discipline of a church." (Brodie, p. 5) Joseph and Lucy Smith reflected an antinomian abreaction against the crushing burden of the law in Calvinism as preached by Jonathan Edwards. (Brodie, p. 4) In Joseph Smith, this abreaction would go all the way to hedonism.

Vermont was in economic depression because of Jefferson's embargo on all foreign trade, and also because of the dislocations caused by the War of 1812. Lake Champlain was still a hotbed of smugglers and counterfeiters, who liked this area since they could always flee to Canada if things got too hot. (Brodie, p. 7)

Joseph Smith later became famous for his cultivation of spirituality, but the adolescent Joseph Smith seems to have shown little interest in the needs of the soul. After reviewing development sources, Fawn Brodie concluded that Joseph Smith had not projected the image "of an adolescent mystic brooding over visions, but of a likable ne'er-do-well who was notorious for tall tales and necromantic arts and who spent his leisure leading a band of idlers in digging for buried treasure." (Brodie, p. 16)


Joseph Smith later claimed that God the Father accompanied by Jesus Christ had appeared to him around 1820, and warned him not to join any existing religious denomination, because all of them had become lost in the wilderness. In March 1826, when Joseph Smith had reached 21 and had therefore come into his majority, he was convicted of disturbing the peace at a New York state court in the town of Bainbridge, New York on charges that he was "a disorderly person and an imposter." Here Joseph Smith confessed to practicing magic and money digging in quest of buried gold. (Brodie, p. 16)

Joseph Smith claimed that certain rocks have magic powers and could help to find a buried treasure. These were called "seer stones" or "peep stones." They were used by putting them in the crown of a hat, and then covering one's face with the hat. In the resulting darkness, the stones were said to come alive and show visions of the desired treasure troves.

There is an abundant literature on the barren and misspent youth of Joseph Smith, mitigated by very little in the way of exculpatory evidence. When Joseph Smith had published a Book of Mormon, the editor of the Palmyra Reflector, the local paper, published a series of muckraking articles about the Prophet as a young man. These appeared under the nom de guerre of Obadiah Dogberry in 1830 and 183 I. (Brodie, pp. 16-17)


Later, in 1833, when the Mormon Church was absorbing large numbers of new converts, a disillusioned refugee from Mormonism named Hurlbut collected affidavits from more than a hundred persons who claimed to have known the pre-prophetic Joseph Smith. These testimonies were overwhelmingly negative, and in 1834 appeared in book form edited by Eber D. Howe under the title Mormonism Unvailed. [sic} For example, fiftyone of Joseph's former neighbors testified that he had been "destitute of moral character and addicted to vicious habits." (Brodie, p. 18)

Because of the animus against Joseph Smith displayed by many of those interviewed, Mormon historians have later tried to argue that Hurlbut had collected a self-prejudicing sample. (Brodie, p. 17) But recent scholarship has tended to validate the essential facts cited by the Hurlbut affidavits, which together with the court record and the Dogberry editorials constitute a strong prima facie case against young Joseph Smith. [54]

Elmira, New York was in the middle of the Erie Canal boom country. Joseph Smith was so poor that he had to find sponsors to travel out of town to court his future wife, Emma. Between 1826 and 1830, Joseph Smith, who had little to no formal education, produced the Book of Mormon and then used that text to found a new religious sect.

The story is well known: Joseph Smith reported that he had been approached by the Angel Moroni, and had been shown the location of gold plates buried in the ground on a hill Moroni called Cumorah. Various apocryphal traditions place either a toad or a white salamander on top of the plates as their guardian. His gold plates had allegedly told the story of the Nephites, the now extinct white people who had dominated the New World until they were defeated at the hands of the Lamanites, the ancestors of 19th century Indians. Both groups were considered to be lost tribes of Israel, a view which had been espoused by Ethan Smith (no relation) in his book View of the Hebrews in 1823, a work which may have inspired the Mormon Prophet. Mormon had been the last great leader of the Nephites before they were wiped out.

Joseph Smith claimed that these plates were written in "Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics." No person other than Joseph Smith ever saw the gold plates, and when the translation into English and transcription of the Book of Mormon was complete, Moroni took the plates to heaven for safekeeping. Since it would have been instant death for anybody but the anointed Joseph Smith to see the gold plates, Joseph Smith would work on them behind a curtain. But it later transpired that Joseph Smith did not work directly from the gold plates, but rather employed two seer stones, Urim and Thummim, sometimes presented as a pair of celestial goggles. When used together with Joseph Smith's hat to create the necessary darkness, these two seer stones would present the correct English expression for the "reformed Egyptian hieroglyph" that was to be translated.

In transcribing the contents of the golden plates, Joseph Smith got help from his wife, from Oliver Cowdery, and from neighbors. Joseph Smith was able to convince a prosperous neighboring farmer named Martin Harris to mortgage his property to get the money to publish the manuscript. Harris' wife was indignant about her husband's gullibility, and tried to sabotage the project by destroying the first 116 pages of the translation, which Joseph Smith had unwisely agreed to lend to Harris. Mrs. Harris said that, if the plates were real, Joseph Smith would be able to translate them again. Faced with the exposure of his entire complicated imposture, Joseph Smith announced a revelation giving him the plates of Nephi, the story of the same events written from a slightly different point of view.

The first edition of the Book of Mormon was published with the help of Harris's money by Egbert B. Grandin of Palmyra, New York in 1830. Proclaiming that this constituted a new revelation supplementing the Christian Bible, Joseph Smith immediately proceeded to found the Church of Christ on Tuesday, April 6, 1830, with a total of six members. One month later, the congregation had grown to forty. (Brodie, p. 87) Baptism was by total immersion, and involved acknowledging Joseph Smith as "Seer, a Translator, a Prophet, An Apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder of the Church, through the Will of God the Father, and the Grace of Your Lord Jesus Christ." [55]

The Book of Mormon was a clever pastiche, with heavy borrowing from the King James Bible in both style and content. The principal novelty was that Jesus Christ had returned to the earth after his ascension and had preached to the inhabitants of the New World. It therefore could trade on being unmistakably American. As Brodie points out, Joseph Smith was a glib and clever writer with great sensitivity for the intellectual trends and unspoken needs of people in his time, but he was also incapable of grasping the principal issues at stake in theology. As for readability, Mark Twain once quipped that the Book of Mormon was "chloroform in print."

The book also provided explanations of the origins of the Indian tribes, as well as of the burial mounds found in New York State and elsewhere. These issues were the objects of lively debate at the time. Many of the place names appear to be borrowed from localities in the northeastern United States. No archaeological evidence of the flourishing Nephite civilization has ever been found, nor have tombs or inscriptions confirmed the existence of the main dramatis personae of the Book of Mormon. As for the American Indians, DNA analysis suggests that their origin is to be sought in Asia, and not among the Israelites.


Many aspects of the Book of Mormon were later repudiated by the Latter-day Saints in theory and practice. Polygamy was expressly forbidden by the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith had backed up this canonical prohibition with a revelation of February 1831 which stated: "that shalt love thy wife with all my heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else." [56] But it was not long before Joseph Smith and others began cultivating this forbidden practice on a grand scale.

In line with the anti-Masonic political movement of 1828 to 1838, the Book of Mormon promises destruction for those in league with the Freemasons. By the time Joseph Smith reached Nauvoo, Illinois a decade later, Mormonism was pervaded by Freemasonic forms, signals, handshakes, and other practices. This is the peculiarity of Mormonism, which claims to have absolute truth in any given moment, but has a hard time accounting for why absolute truth is constantly changing. This tendency notoriously lives on in the Romney campaign.


One of the first new recruits to be attracted by the new Book of Mormon was Parley Parker Pratt, Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather, and one of the central figures of the early decades of Mormon ism. Pratt borrowed a copy of the Book of Mormon from a Baptist deacon, and then proceeded immediately to Palmyra, New York in the hopes of meeting Joseph Smith. Parley Pratt soon became a convert to Mormonism, and he proceeded to recruit Sidney Rigdon of Ohio, an established minister of some note. Parley Pratt soon became the author of A Voice of Warning, the most effective Mormon tract of the 19th century.

In Palmyra, Joseph Smith and his growing band of followers were subjected to constant harassment by groups of neighbors that were behaving increasingly like mobs. He was also chased from county to county by constables. Joseph was arrested as a debtor. He tried to clean up his act by jettisoning his seer stones and divining rods, or at least announcing that he had. One of Joseph Smith's revelations of 1830 specified that the purpose of the new religious movement was to build the City of Zion somewhere out west, on the border with the Lamanites, or Indians. [57] Like many other Americans, the Mormon Prophet and his followers wanted to move west and seek success on the frontier. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon decided to get the Mormons out of Palmyra and take them towards two destinations farther west. These were Kirtland, Ohio, today an exurb of Cleveland, and Independence, Missouri, where the Mormons thought that the Garden of Eden had been located. In general, the poor Mormons went to the holier site in Missouri, while the wealthier ones preferred the unconsecrated but more built-up Kirtland, called Zion's Camp. Joseph Smith gravitated to the latter group.


The choice of Missouri was self-destructive in the extreme, and seems to reflect a desire on the part of somebody to cause trouble. A more rational choice would have been some location in the upper Midwest not inflamed by slavery and sectional resentment. Local potentates feared the influx of new settlers with no vested interest in slavery. This salaam was magnified by the Mormon habit of monolithic bloc voting, which seemed to others to represent a naked power grab. But there were problems in Kirtland as well. On one occasion, a mob surrounded Joseph in his house and proceeded to tar and feather him.

In the midst of these events, and under the influence of the nullification crisis between President Jackson and the state of South Carolina, Joseph Smith issued his infamous Civil War Prophecy on December 25, 1832. A civil war, starting with the rebellion in South Carolina, was imminent, he intoned, and the secessionists would soon seek the help of Great Britain.

By now he was calling himself "Joseph Smith The Prophet." In Kirtland, the Saints began practicing primitive communism, according to that passage of the Acts of the Apostles which specifies that the early Christians "had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need." The vehicle for this collectivism was called the United Order of Enoch, with center of gravity in Kirtland. A Mormon temple was soon under construction, but the settlement in Missouri grew even faster, thanks to the management skills of Edward Partridge.

Trouble emerged first in Missouri, where slaveholders were heavily represented among the older settlers. The Mormons, by contrast, were overwhelmingly Yankees without slaves. At one point a Mormon publication discussed the advisability of bringing free black converts to Missouri, which filled the slaveholders with the fear of an uprising fomented by these more knowledgeable outsiders. The Mormons also seemed to do everything humanly possible to antagonize the existing population. The established Missourians were told that their religion was an abomination, and that the Mormons would soon inherit all of their property. One of the old settlers complained: "We are daily told ... that we, [the Gentiles], of this county are to be cut off, and our lands appropriated by them [the Mormons] for inheritances. Whether this is to be accomplished by the hand of the destroying angel, the judgments of God, or the arm of power, they are not fully agreed among themselves. '" (Brodie, p. 131) The Mormon Saints were driven out of certain locations in Missouri, and had to take refuge in other counties north of the Missouri River. Established settlers disarmed the Mormon gangs, which they called militia. Joseph Smith responded by accentuating his tendencies towards a theocracy in arms. He began raising what he hoped would be a Mormon militia of 500 men between Kirtland and Missouri.


In June 1835, the British oligarchy established what looks like their first significant contact with the Mormons, with the arrival of Rev. John Hewitt. Hewitt had been dispatched for contact talks by a congregation of charismatic Pentecostalist Christians in Barnsley, England. Their interest had been attracted by a Mormon publication, and the English faithful hailed them as "kindred spirits." The Barnsley group was affiliated with the Catholic Apostolic Church, which enjoyed the support of Foreign Secretary George Canning, and the interest of the famous Victorian man of letters Thomas Carlyle, who was also an admirer of the Mormons. Hewitt's visit raised the question of affiliations and alliances with other religious movements in the 1830s." (Bushman, pp. 270-71) Subsequently, Joseph Smith would order two of his top lieutenants to Britain in 1837, followed by the entire top leadership in 1839-40. From that time on, Great Britain -- and not the United States -- would become the principal source of new converts for the Mormon Saints. The Mormons would become increasingly British in composition and mentality.


In 1835, Joseph Smith was visited by an itinerant exhibitor who was touring with a show featuring four Egyptian mummies and several papyri. Joseph purchased an Egyptian papyrus showing mortuary practices and depicting the Egyptian deity Osiris. Since he had a reputation as a skilled translator of Egyptian hieroglyphics, he had to proceed to produce a translation, which he called the Book of Abraham (no such book is in the Bible). Naturally, the resulting text in no way represents a faithful translation of the original Egyptian document, but rather must be seen as invented out of whole cloth by the Prophet. Here we learn from Abraham that the center of the universe is constituted by the star (or planet) Kolob, which is situated close to the throne of God. Kolob and other celestial bodies are inhabited by numerous eternal deities. Among these deities there is a rank order of intelligence, just as there are differences in magnitudes among the stars. This talk of intelligences and of the plurality of worlds is a reflection of the doctrines of Emmanuel Swedenborg and of a 17th century Italian, Giordano Bruno, both favorites of European freemasonic circles.


The Book of Abraham also represents a decidedly pragmatic turn towards racism. Joseph Smith was aware that he now had converts in the slave states, and he wanted to increase his recruiting operations there. Here is another example of Mormon behavior, dictated in reality by pure expediency, which is nevertheless portrayed for the credulous as the outcome of the Divine Revelation. The Book of Abraham furnishes the theological basis for the anti-black racial segregation policy of the Mormon Saints, which was officially in force until 1978. In Joseph Smith's garbled text, we read that Abraham had considered the Pharaohs of Egypt as not entitled to "the priesthood," since they "sprang from the loins of Ham and Egyptus." [58] (Brodie, p. 423) Out of this obvious forgery, Joseph Smith and subsequent Mormon theologians manufactured the Jim Crow ban on blacks in the priesthood. In reality, it was an opportunistic concession to the growing Slave Power. Joseph Smith, as we can see, was a doughface in theology.


As early as 1832, rumors had been circulating that the handsome and magnetic Mormon Prophet had been indulging in the sins of the flesh. Joseph Smith, always anxious for learning and respectability, had procured a grammar tutor, one C. G. Webb. This tutor later recorded that some time in 1835 a teenage orphan girl living in Joseph Smith's house was no longer able to "conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the Prophet," and was expelled from the Smith home by Emma Smith. (Brodie, p. 181)


As a result of this and other scandals swirling around the Mormon Prophet, the sect in August 1835 issued its first formal denial that polygamy was being carried on. The Church conference of that months announced: "Inasmuch as this Church has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." (Brodie, p. 185) By 1852, this and other denials were declared inoperative. We can see that Romney's flip-flops are deeply rooted in the history of the Church to which he is so devoted.

In 1836, Aaron Burr's close associate Andrew Jackson successfully attacked the Second Bank of the United States, which had provided this country with the financial stability necessary for economic development for two decades. After that, the United States witnessed the rise of the state chartered pet banks, which began receiving US government funds in 1833. Easy money and nonexistent regulation soon lead to a Western land boom in the form of a classic speculative bubble.


Joseph Smith, although he was supposedly a prophet, had never stopped being an unscrupulous businessman, so he joined in this orgy of speculation with great gusto. The Saints soon decided to create a bank of their own, which was to be called the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Unfortunately, just as they were preparing to issue their first bank notes, word arrived that the Ohio State Legislature had refused to authorize this new venture. The banknotes had already been printed, so the Saints decided to recycle them by stamping them with an "Anti' before the "Bank," and an "ing Co." at the end, yielding "The Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company." Some were fooled, but not for long.


This dubious entity never had the reserves prescribed for the amount of bank notes it tried to float. Inside the bank vaults were numerous boxes, each marked as containing $1,000 in specie (gold and silver). But the boxes actually contained sand, lead, scrap iron, stone, and coal, covered by a thin layer of fifty cent coins. Customers who were skeptical about the bank reserves were invited to view these boxes. (Brodie, pp. 196-97) But then came Jackson's 1836 specie circular, which specified that only gold and silver would henceforth be acceptable in payment for public lands. Combined with events in Europe, this immediately unleashed a banking panic in which the state-chartered pet banks were among the first to fail. The pro-deflationary faction of the Democratic Party, also known as the Locofocos, had the upper hand and proceeded to wipe out the wildcat banks which had stoked the inflationary land bubble. (Brodie, p. 196)


Joseph Smith had not shown himself a very competent prophet on this occasion. He was caught in disastrous long speculative positions as the bottom fell out of the real estate market. During the inflationary bubble, he had also contracted a crushing burden of debt. A census of Joseph Smith's indebtedness showed "outstanding Kirtland loans, "which amounted to more than $33,000," plus two large loans of $30,000 and $60,000 borrowed in New York and Buffalo in 1836." In aggregate, "the Mormon leaders owed to non- Mormon individuals and firms well over $150,000." (Brodie, pp. 201-02) Joseph Smith's sharp business practices live on in the asset stripping vulture capitalism of his ideological descendent, Mitt Romney.

All over the Mormon world, distressed merchandise sales were the order of the day. Zion's Camp in Kirtland was soon in chaos. There, the temple, a structure worth $40,000, was auctioned off for $150 to pay a financial judgment. The local sheriff was about to confiscate the Mormon printing plant to make good a $2,000 judgment which had been entered against Smith and Rigdon for floating very illegal banknotes, but the building mysteriously burned to the ground. Early on December 22, 1837, Brigham Young, already an important Mormon official, fled the town. The Mormon account of this embarrassing exit is that the Lion of the Lord decamped "in consequence of the fury of the mob spirit that prevailed in the apostates," but the reality is that he was trying to stay two steps ahead of his creditors. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon held on a little longer, but in the dark night of January 12, 1838, they absconded in the direction of Missouri, hounded over 200 miles by an angry mob of "human blood-hounds, armed and thirsty for their lives." (Hirshson, pp. 26-27)

In fact, the flight of the two Mormon chieftains represented interstate flight to avoid prosecution for white-collar crime. Joseph had finally decided to flee "when word came that Grandison Newell had secured a warrant for his arrest on a charge of banking fraud .... " (Brodie, p. 207)


During this phase, Joseph Smith's charismatic leadership underwent a number of challenges. One came in the autumn of 1836, when "several of the Twelve, the three witnesses to The Book of Mormon, and some other church leaders tried to make [David] Whitmer the head of the church, Young, Father Smith, and Kimball opposed the scheme." (Hirshson, p. 23)

After the indecorous exit from Kirtland, these tensions increased. By now, half of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were arrayed against the Prophet. Even Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather was in polemic with Joseph Smith. On May 23, 1837, Parley Pratt admonished Joseph to pay up:

"And now dear brother, if you are still determined to pursue this wicked course, until yourself and the church shall sink down to hell, I beseech you at least, to have mercy on me and my family, and others who are bound with me for those three lots (of land) which you sold to me at the extortionary price of 2,000 dollars, which never cost you 100 dollars." (Pratt to Smith, May 23, 1837, online at josephsmithpapers.org)

Here Joseph Smith sounds as predatory as a Mitt Romney of the Jacksonian era. In retaliation, Joseph said he would excommunicate any Saint who sued a fellow Mormon, and tried to put Pratt on trial. But the council was split and the trial never happened, saving Mitt Romney's current position as Mormon royalty. (Brodie, p. 203)

Joseph Smith now refurbished the earlier Mormon theory that Independence, Missouri was the original location of the Garden of Eden. He now embroidered this idea, saying that the town of Adam-ondi-Ahman (Adam of the Ancient Days), somewhat to the East of Eden, had been the home of Adam after the expulsion from the garden. The town of Far West was identified as a place where Cain slew Abel. (Brodie, p. 211)


Joseph Smith also embarked on the foolhardy venture of trying to oppose the Missouri mobs and militia with an armed force of his own. This is the origin of the infamous Mormon soldatesca known as the Danites. Founded around mid-June 1838, this secret society was variously called the Brothers of Gideon, the Daughters of Zion, the sons of Dan, or the Danites. Its first commander was Sampson Avard, who was excommunicated before long and became an inveterate enemy of the Mormons. (Brodie, pp. 213-14)

According to one high-ranking Mormon eyewitness, Avard on one occasion recommended starting a plague among the Gentiles by "by poisoning their corn, fruit &c., and saying it was the work of the Lord; and said Avard advocated lying for the support of their religion, and said it was no harm to lie for the Lord." Here again the note of antinomian ism is unmistakable.

Joseph Smith gave de facto encouragements of these designs by assuring the Danites that God would send angels to fight on their side, and that they would be impervious to Gentile bullets. Two Danites, he promised, could defeat 10,000 Gentiles in pitched battle. One Mormon later recalled that he had been convinced by his exhortations to the point that "If Joseph should tell me to kill [President Martin] Van Buren in his presidential chair, I would immediately start and do my best to assassinate him, let the consequences be as they would." (Hirshson, p. 31) This was too much power for one man in a democratic society. Skirmishes and other armed clashes between Mormons and local vigilantes now became increasingly common.

Joseph Smith was guilty of financial corruption, because he allowed his revelations on the conduct of the Church to be colored by his own economic needs. After ousting an opposition faction, he attempted to revivify the United Order of Enoch, his primitive communist administration. On July 8, 1838 in Far West, Smith announced a new revelation urging the Saints to transfer the title of all of their property to the Mormon Church. In return, each man would receive a tract of land for his "everlasting inheritance," with the number of acres increasing with the size of his family. (Brodie, p. 220)

Since many had already been skinned in Kirtland, Joseph asked the Saints to lease their property to the Mormon Church "without consideration or interest" for terms varying between 10 and 99 years. What he had in mind was a kind of theocratic corporate state: "The whole church was then to be divided into four huge 'corporations' -- farmers, mechanics, shopkeepers, and laborers -- which would utilize the land, machinery, and skills of the church members for the common good." (Brodie, p. 221)

In another measure which modern reactionaries would immediately brand as communist, the Mormon corporations would offer jobs and wages of one dollar per day. Any profit realized by the corporation would then be distributed "according to the needs and wants (not according to the property invested) of each family, annually or oftener if needed .... " (Brodie, p. 221) The farming corporation was developed more than the others. This was a combine of cooperatives doing business as the "Big Field United Firms." Each of the cooperatives was responsible for the "communal farming" of about 7,000 acres of farmland. Mormon overseers assigned tasks and allotted horses and machinery. (Brodie, pp. 221-22)


As Sydney E. Ahlstrom has written of the Mormons, "when Joseph went west in 1838, this situation was becoming precarious, and it must be said that he soon made it hopeless. The point of no return was probably passed on July 4, 1838, when Joseph Smith delivered a major speech containing a "spine chilling promise to wreak vengeance on his oppressors. [59] As he reached the peroration of his address, he exploded in a crescendo of violent threats against his Missouri adversaries, but also against the entire American people, declaiming: "If the people will let us alone, we will preach the gospel in peace. But if they come on us to molest us, we will establish our religion by the sword. We will trample down our enemies and make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. 1will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was 'the Alcoran or the Sword.' So shall it eventually be with us -- 'Joseph Smith or the Sword."' (Brodie, pp. 230-31) This flourish was injudicious in the extreme, and left Joseph Smith sharing the responsibility for the tragic outrages that were about to be visited on the Mormons in Missouri. And since the Mormons absolutely lacked the military means for carrying out this retaliation, this must be considered one of the first signs of the Prophet's decline into megalomania and violent fantasies.


Tensions between the Mormons and their neighbors escalated on August 6, 1838, which was election day in Missouri. The Mormons were practicing their usual policy of monolithic bloc voting, and they came into collision with slaveholding Southerners. When the first Mormon tried to vote in the town of Gallatin, "a grinning settler barred his path. 'Davies County don't allow Mormons to vote no more than n****rs,' he said." (Brodie, p. 225) After this, the sporadic violence became more and more intense.


On October 27, 1838 Governor Boggs of Missouri issued a shocking and illegal order that the state militia act ruthlessly against the Mormons, writing: "The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary, for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description." (Brodie, pp. 234-235) Even if a strong president had wanted to interfere, there was at that time no Fourteenth Amendment to prevent a state from depriving persons of life, liberty, and property without due process of law.

After more fighting, Joseph Smith, Parley Pratt, and other Mormon leaders were imprisoned in the jail of Liberty, Missouri, where they were confined from December 1838 to April 1839. Smith was accused of "treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny, and perjury," and he and the others faced the death penalty. [60]

While in the Liberty jail, Joseph Smith found time to defend himself against repeated accusations of polygamy. He wrote to the Saints: "Some have reported that we not only dedicated our property, but likewise our families to the Lord, and Satan taking advantage of this has transfigured it into lasciviousness, a community of wives, which things are an abomination in the sight of God.''' (Hirshson, p. 41) But, Joseph Smith had married, among many other women, Helen Mark Kimball, who was the 15-year-old daughter of Heber Kimball. In gratitude for his allowing this marriage, "the Prophet now gratefully promised that Kimball's estate in heaven would adjoin Smith's on the north." (Hirshson, p. 41) Here we see once again the naive materialism that seems to be an integral part of the Mormon creed.

In April 1839, Joseph Smith -- perhaps with the connivance of some of the locals -- was able to escape from the Liberty jail and successfully cross the Mississippi River into Illinois. Here the Mormons fleeing from hostile Missouri created new settlements across the river from Keokuk, Iowa. This he called Nauvoo, which he said meant "beautiful plantation" in Hebrew. Nauvoo was situated on bluffs above the Mississippi River, and was surrounded by lowland swamps. Within a short time Nauvoo had 3,000 inhabitants, and had become the second-largest city in Illinois after Chicago.

In Nauvoo, Joseph Smith insisted on trying to influence political developments. The goal was now to secure some kind of governmental protection for the community of the Saints. Smith and Rigdon went to Washington during the winter of 1839-40 to secure some support from the Democratic President Martin Van Buren, a creature of the Astor banking interests in New York City who had been Andrew Jackson's chief political lieutenant. The Mormons were continually haunted by the fear that the violent Missourians would cross the Mississippi and attempt to enforce the outstanding warrants against Joseph Smith and the other top leaders.


So Joseph Smith and Rigdon asked Van Buren for help. '''Help you!' the President shouted, 'How can I help you? All Missouri would turn against me.' After arguing with his guests for several minutes, Van Buren rose, left the room, and did not return." But with his usual diplomatic finesse, Joseph Smith told a newspaper reporter that Van Buren was "not asjit as my dogfor the chair of state, for my dog will make an effort to protect his abused and insulted master, while the present chief magistrate will not so much as lift his finger to relieve an oppressed and persecuted community of freemen, whose glory it has been that they were citizens of the United States." Although he was a supplicant, the Mormon chief was also unable to refrain from ill-timed threats. Van Buren was visibly putting on weight, so Joseph Smith said he "hoped he would continue to grow fat, and swell, and before the next election burst!" (Hirshson, pp. 38-39) Irenic and conciliatory our Mormon Prophet was not.

In addition to reaching out for political support, Joseph Smith also looked for ways to enhance Mormon recruiting abroad, specifically in Great Britain. In 1837, the Prophet had sent Kimball and Hyde to seek converts in England. In 1839, he ordered the entire Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to go to Britain and establish a recruiting mission there. Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, Romney's ancestor Parley Pratt, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, John Taylor, William Smith, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, and Lyman Wight were all impacted by this deployment, and thus the entire top leadership was Anglicized.

Now Mormondom began to attract as converts licentious men who were specifically interested in the pleasures of polygamy. One of the most fateful of these was John C. Bennett, an Ohio medical doctor who joined the Saints in late 1840. Bennett was an admitted religious cynic, but he soon became Joseph Smith's great favorite. Bennett was more skilled as a political operator than the irascible Joseph Smith. He went to the Illinois State Capitol at Springfield and made a deal with Democratic Judge Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas got the Illinois State Legislature to issue three charters. One made the city of Nauvoo practically a self-governing entity. A second charter established the University of the City of Nauvoo. The third set up a militia called the Nauvoo Legion, with Joseph Smith as the lieutenant general in command, and Bennett as major general. Joseph Smith now outranked all the generals in the United States Army. He ordered the Mormons to vote Democratic. In 1842, Joseph Smith, showing that pride which ever goes before a fall, boasted to the New York Herald that he could "already dictate to the State of Illinois." (Hirshson, p. 39)

In Nauvoo, Joseph Smith continued the career of spiritual profiteer which he had begun in Kirtland and continued in Missouri. In addition to all of his titles and offices, he also had dominant economic interests in the town. He had a hotel where liquor was served. He owned a store. The Mormon leaders were back to land speculation, since they felt they could count on a continuous flow of Mormon converts coming into town. "At Nauvoo, he, Young, and the Twelve speculated in land." Showing that his kingdom was most emphatically of this world, Joseph Smith demanded cash payment for the real estate he was offering for sale. A new convert came to him one day while he was being interviewed and said, "I wish to buy a piece of land for which I will pay trade of various kinds to the amount of $500, will you sell me some?" Joseph gave the man a hardhearted answer worthy of his contemporary Ebenezer Scrooge, saying: "My lands are all good titles, and I must have the money for them." (Hirshson, pp. 39-40)

In Joseph Smith's general store, the invariable rule was cash on the barrelhead, and no credit whatsoever, not even for Saints. Some of the faithful became disgruntled when they saw that even Gentile merchants were willing to put some purchases on the tab. The rule of tithing was enforced, meaning that the Mormon Saints had either to deposit 10% of their earnings, or else to spend one day out of 10 quarrying rock for the expansive temple Joseph Smith wanted to erect. Already, the Mormon Prophet was acquiring a deserved reputation for greed. It is also notable that while antinomian ism pervaded all things, it was not allowed to interfere with Joseph's demands for cash payment. (Hirshson, p. 40)
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

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Part 2 of 3

Fawn Brodie, referring to the work of psychiatrist Phyllis Greenacre, has argued that Joseph Smith should not be considered exclusively as a conscious fraud, but ought rather to be classified as an imposter in psychoanalytic terms. The present writer would argue, based on first-hand experience of charismatic leaders, that Joseph Smith probably relied on a form of mental self-management which can be labeled as "multiple personality order." 61 Significant parts of his psyche remained those of a failed village necromancer, but these coexisted with the personality of the charismatic Prophet of God assigned to conquer the world. Certain aspects of Joseph Smith's behavior indicate that he was able to control which of these personalities was on display. An important piece of evidence in this regard comes from the documented moments of self-awareness, in which Joseph Smith momentarily, and not without self-deprecating humor, revealed some interior distance between his apocalyptic and megalomaniac outward pretensions, and how he actually felt about himself.

Multiple personalities would be coherent with so much about Joseph Smith. In cosmology, he asserted the infinite plurality of worlds. In theology, he was an aggressive polytheist. In his personal life, he was polygamous. Many worlds, many gods, many wives, many personalities.

Asked about how he could exercise so much power, Joseph slyly replied: "In your hands or that of any other man, so much power would, no doubt, be dangerous. I am the only man in the world whom it would be safe to trust it with. Remember, I am a prophet!" The remarkable thing was that this last sentence was delivered "in a 'rich, comical aside, as if in hearty recognition of the ridiculous sound they might have in the ears of a Gentile." [62]

On another occasion, the Prophet was visited by the significant British agent, Edwin de Leon, who went on to become a mainstay of the Confederate foreign service. De Leon asked Joseph about the attractive females he observed going in and out of the Prophet's dwelling. Joseph said that these were his nieces. De Leon expressed some skepticism. Then, "There was a slight twinkle in the prophetic eye, as he poked me in the ribs with his forefinger, and rebuked me, exclaiming, 'Oh, the carnal mind, the carnal mind!' and I thought it discreet not to press the subject." [63] (Hirshson, pp. 44-45) On another occasion, the Prophet confessed to an associate, "Whenever I see a pretty woman, I have to pray for grace."

This cynical self-awareness also extended to the dialectical relationship between the Prophet and his cult following. At a Mormon gathering where Joseph Smith was introducing the Whig politician Cyrus Walker, Joseph commented to him: "These are the greatest dupes, as a body of people, that ever lived, or I am not so big a rogue as I am reported to be." [64]

But now, in the last several years ofthe Mormon Pompeii in Illinois, the results of polygamy were coming home to roost. At the April 1842 church conference, both Joseph and his brother Hyrum had to issue another denial of polygamy. Responding to charges that top Mormons had tried to convince a girl to become a plural wife, the Prophet declared that "no person that is acquainted with our principles would believe such lies." When Joseph was asked similar questions by influential Mormon leaders, he had to admit that the charges were true. But he claimed that he had heard bad things about the girl, and was testing her virtue. (Hirshson, p. 44)

Joseph Smith received decisive help from Brigham Young in convincing the Mormon Saints that polygamy was divinely ordained. Brigham Young asserted that Adam was Elohim, the Mormon Jehovah, and that humanity had been divinely commanded to live under seven dispensations or divine plans for human affairs. The final dispensation was the one borne by Joseph Smith. According to Brigham Young, Joseph Smith's publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 was a sign of the end time, in part because it came 1,260 years after the Roman Catholic Church had become degenerate in 570 AD. Mormons associate this state with the centralizing activity of St. Gregory the Great, who extended a church administration over much of Christendom. The Catholic Church, needless to say, Brigham reviled as the Whore of Babylon. The year 570 AD also marks the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. In addition, the Mormons assert that at this time the Holy Grail was definitively lost. But the resulting corruption of God's Word in a universe where God's priesthood had become extinct had now ended, and the time was now right for the second coming of Christ. The beginning of the final dispensation brought with it fundamental changes, including the imperative of polygamy. In addition, the Mormons stressed the doctrine that God/Elohim/Jehovah/Adam had once been human, but had advanced to the level of divinity with the help of his faithful wife Eve. (Hirshson, p. 46)

Heaven was therefore imagined by the Mormons as a community centering on a complex of allied oligarchical families whose leaders were carrying on polygamy. Durkheim and Feuerbach might easily see in this a religious concept which in fact involves the naiVe projection of human social relations onto the plane of the divine. The Mormon heaven was a kind of Olympian pantheon based on polygamy, understood as the highest expression of oligarchical and patriarchal power. It was polylatrism [65] and polytheism. And polytheism, when it arises in the context of Western civilization, must be seen as paganism.

The Mormon leader Lorenzo Young summed up this proposition with a pithy aphorism: "As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become." This went beyond notions of theosis, divination, or deification. It went beyond the mystics' quest for direct communion with the divine. If Horatio Alger had become rich and powerful on earth based on a philosophy of ceaseless striving onward and upward, what could such a greedy, carnal radical subjectivist hope for in the other world? He obviously could hope to become a god, or even to become the God. His ambition might include the ability to rule over larger and larger planets, and to cavort with a more and more numerous harem of goddess wives, engendering infinite numbers of divine offspring who could themselves rule over new planetary empires. People who thought that the religious opinions of George W. Bush were disturbing may soon be confronted by a reality of a far greater order of magnitude.

Under Joseph Smith, polygamy tended to be reserved for the top leaders. The women were told that these celestial relations were a sure ticket to paradise for them. (Brodie, p. 297)

"Neque nubent," said St. Paul according to the Latin Vulgate -- the souls in heaven do not marry. [66] This was not good enough for Joseph Smith, who thus demonstrated once again that his doctrine was alien to Christianity. In the words of Mitt Romney's ancestor Parley Pratt, "'the result of our endless union would be offspring as numerous as were the stars of heaven, or the sands of the seashore."' [67] (Brodie, pp. 299-300) The Romney family tradition is thus polytheism with a vengeance.

On the other hand, those who failed to yield to the polygamous imperative would not fare well. A man who was sealed (Mormon-speak for married) to only a single wife would be separated from her in heaven as she was given to a polygamist as a reward. The man would be doomed to spend eternity as a ministering angel, a kind of heavenly flunky, forced to carry out the orders of the true polygamous elect. (Brodie, p. 300)

In one of his celestial courtships which started in 1834, Joseph Smith was able to convince a woman to become his polygamous bride based on his fanciful allegation that an angel was threatening his life in case the union were not consummated. Joseph said he was terrified, because the angel had visited him three times, and the last time with an unsheathed sword. (Brodie, p. 303) In another case, Joseph Smith informed the object of his affections that, if she did not yield to him immediately, the door of paradise would forever slam shut in her face. He also threatened Emma with the divine revelation that, if she did not cooperate with this celestial hanky-panky, she would be "destroyed."

Since it was the Victorian age, resistance to polygamy came from many quarters. Joseph Smith was on bad terms with his brothers, and one of them, Don Carlos Smith, vigorously opposed polygamy. In 1841, he stated his conviction that "Any man who will preach and practice spiritual wifery will go to hell, no matter if it is my brother Joseph." [68]

Joseph tried to seduce Sarah M. Kimball, the wife of his top lieutenant Heber Kimball, in 1842, but she rebuffed him, telling him to teach the concept to somebody else. However, she kept his unwelcome celestial advances a secret from the Welfare Society, the principal Mormon ladies auxiliary. He made an attempt on Mrs. Orson Pratt, who also declined, and did tell a few friends.

A watershed case was that of an intelligent eighteen-year-old English girl, Martha Brotherton, whom Joseph Smith and Brigham Young lured into a room above Joseph's general store and then tried to browbeat into becoming the celestial spouse of Brother Brigham. If she accepted, Brigham Young promised her a passport to paradise, adding that the union could be consummated immediately and she could go home, so that her parents need know nothing of this celestial liaison. (Brodie, p. 306-07)

Martha Brotherton said she needed to go home and pray, but when she had escaped the clutches of the two holy satyrs, she informed her parents and proceeded to write an account of the attempted celestial seduction. She escaped with her father and mother via steam boat to St. Louis, where Martha's account was published in the St. Louis Bulletin of July 15, 1842, and was soon widely copied by the national press. (Brodie, p. 307) Kimball and Brigham Young issued denials in defense of Joseph. Martha had two sisters who were induced by the Saints to swear in public that Martha was a liar and a harlot.

Interestingly for us today, one of these two cruel sisters, Elizabeth Brotherton, soon married Parley Parker Pratt, Mitt Romney's great-great grandfather. In one of her love letters to Parley, Elizabeth Brotherton wrote on April 20, 1842 that her own faith was intact, but that her sister Martha had been spreading "falsehoods of the basest kind." In atransparent celestial proposition of her own, Elizabeth Brotherton told Parley·' I believe it is your privilege" to see how sincere our faith really was. She added: "Oh! How I long to see you and enjoy your society, and unbosom all my care to yoU."69 After Martha had died in 1886, Elizabeth caused Martha's children, who had predeceased her, to be sealed to the departed Brigham Young. Martha had courageously resisted Brigham's theocratic bullying, yet this did not prevent her sister from giving the Mormon Moses custody of Martha's children. This is another instructive example of Romney family values.


In the meantime, John C. Bennett had been using the celestial marriage argument to seduce large numbers of young women. Bennett had also been promising abortions on demand to the women he approached. "Zeruiah N. Goddard, repeating the gossip of Sarah Pratt, reported that 'Dr. Bennett told her he could cause abortion with perfect safety to the mother at any stage of pregnancy, and that he had frequently destroyed and removed infants before their time to prevent exposure of the parties and that he had instruments for that purpose."' [70] (Brodie, p. 311-12)

The beginning of the end for Joseph Smith came when he clashed with Bennett, who had become his rival for the affections of the attractive nineteen-year-old girl Nancy Rigdon, the daughter of Sidney Rigdon, the Mormon second-in-command. (Brodie, p. 310) Joseph alleged that Bennett was trying to get him accidentally shot while he was attending target practice with the Nauvoo Legion.


Bennett later alleged that when he came to see the Prophet in his office, Joseph had locked the door, pocketed the key, and pulled out a pistol. The Prophet then declared:

"The peace of my family requires that you should sign an affidavit, and make a statement before the next City Council, exonerating me from all participation whatever, whether directly or indirectly, in word or deed, in the spiritual wife doctrine, or private intercourse with females in general, and if you do not do it with apparent cheerfulness, I will make catfish bait of you, or deliver you to the Danites for execution tonight -- for my dignity and purity must and shall be maintained before the public." [71]

Bennett was soon expelled from the community of Saints. He retaliated by writing a lurid but partly factual account of his experiences in Mormondom, which was serialized in major newspapers, and then published as a widely read book, The History of the Saints (Boston, 1842). The New York Herald printed the installments of Bennett's The History of the Saints, and also censured them as 'obscene and licentious in the highest degree. '" (Brodie, p. 317) [72]


One of Bennett's most important charges against Joseph Smith was that the Mormons intended to create a secessionist Confederation of Western states and territories, over which Joseph Smith would rule as the King. This puts the Mormon Prophet squarely in the tradition of the arch-traitor Aaron Burr, who had attempted to create his own breakaway Western Empire between 1804 and 1806, taking advantage of the weakness of the Thomas Jefferson administration and of the collusion of Burr's cousin Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury. This conspiracy had been sponsored by the British, who would also have been the beneficiaries of Joseph Smith's evolving Western plans. Bennett alleged that the Nauvoo Legion had already acquired 30 cannon and large quantities of small arms at the expense of the state of Illinois. (Brodie, p. 314) With 30 guns mounted in fortified emplacements on the bluffs at Nauvoo, the Mormons would have been able to block traffic on the Mississippi River in something of the way that the Confederates were later to do using the fortress of Vicksburg.

The Nauvoo Legion, said Bennett, had sworn the Danites oath and would obey the commands of the Prophet without question, no matter how illegal they were. Bennett also spoke of a super-secret inner elite within the Danites. These were the Destroying Angels, representing a kind of palace guard with the intelligence function of spying on the adversaries of the Prophet and murdering them, preferably at midnight, while wearing white robes and a red sash. (Brodie, p. 314-15)


Owing to Bennett's shocking revelations, coming as they did from a recognized top-level insider in the Mormon sect, the genie was now out of the bottle as far as Mormon abuses were concerned. The reputations of Joseph Smith and of the Mormons in general had now been irreparably damaged.

To make matters worse, during the summer of 1842, Joseph Smith was forced to evade capture on charges that he had been part of a recent attempt to assassinate former Governor Boggs of Missouri, the man who had issued the infamous extermination order against the Mormons. (Bushman. p. 468)

During the entire period from) 835 to 1852, Joseph Smith and the Mormons had vehemently denied the practice of polygamy, even as they systematically indulged themselves. The specious basis for these denials was in many cases a mere quibble: when they were asked about spiritual wives, plural marriage, or polygamy, the Mormons were able to lie convincingly because they told themselves that celestial marriage according to the ancient Order of Jacob was worlds apart from the vulgar practices about which they were being questioned. This was because the initiation of celestial relations was always supposed to be preceded by a solemn ceremony of sealing the bride, be it limited for time in this world, or be it extended to all eternity.


Joseph Smith always argued a hedonistic theory of the world: the purpose of human existence, according to him, is the pleasure principle. As Fawn Brodie notes, the maxim that "Man is that he might have joy" represents one of the first "significant pronouncements in the Book of Mormon .... " Joseph Smith was working towards the polar opposite of the Calvinism of Jonathan Edwards, but on the same empiricist and subjectivist plane. The result was an eclectic mix of science fiction, occultism, and materialism, promising a hedonistic heaven filled with eternal pride, power. money, and sex." [73]

As noted, in the spring of 1842, Joseph Smith became the rival of John C. Bennett for the favors of Nancy Rigdon, the daughter of Sydney Rigdon, who was theoretically the second ranking Mormon leader. Nancy had been warned by his rival that Joseph Smith was coming her way, so she burst into tears and threatened to scream unless Joseph Smith agreed to leave her alone. After Nancy Rigdon had rebuffed the celestial advances of Joseph Smith, the Prophet imprudently dictated a letter to her in which he expounded his hedonistic theory of the purpose of human existence: "happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it. ... " [74] Christianity, in contrast, has traditionally argued that the purpose of human existence is to carry out the will of God and to work for the greater glory of God. "Ad Maiorem gloriam dei" has been a favorite slogan of numerous Christian factions, and expresses the idea that the happiness of the individual is subordinated to the working out of God's plan of salvation. Mormonism is not Christian.


It was during the time in Nauvoo that the already implicitly Masonic character of Mormonism became heavily accentuated. The temple endowment, or liturgy for divine services in the temple, was heavily larded with freemasonic symbols, gestures, secret oaths, handshakes, secret names, and the like. The famous temple garments or magic underwear are evidently related to the freemasonic apron, and the garments carry symbols and hex signs designed to facilitate the ingress of the wearer to Paradise. The Nauvoo Temple was also heavily festooned with freemasonic symbols and artifacts. At the time of his assassination in the Carthage jai I in 1844, Joseph Smith attempted to secure help from freemasons on the scene by raising his extended arms above his head and reciting the freemasonic SOS of "Oh Lord my God, is there no help for the widow's son?" Joseph Smith was said to have been simultaneously promoted through all thirty-three degrees of the freemasonic hierarchy, evidently thanks to the fact that Mormons had seized control of the Illinois freemasonic lodges. Later, other freemasons are said to have put the Illinois lodges into receivership and replaced them with their own appointees. Joseph Smith was said to carry with him at all times the so-called "Jupiter Talisman," a kind of amulet to which he attributed supernatural powers. All of these elements point unmistakably to the fact that Mormonism had long since become a separate religion, not to be confused with Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. And we should bear in mind that the mother lodges of freemasonry were located in London.


On April 7, 1844 Joseph Smith addressed the conference of the Mormon Church and in his speech recalled the recent death of a Mormon stalwart by the name of King Follett, who had been killed in a construction accident. This sermon represents one of the most important statements of Joseph Smith's theology during the last days of his life. [75] The theme was the nature of God, and how God came to be God. Posing the question "what kind of being is God? Does any man or woman know?" Joseph Smith answered that "God himself was once as we are now, and he is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible -- I say, if you were to see him today you would see him like a man in form -- like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man." Many religions have obvious anthropomorphic elements, but few so explicitly as this.

The central point of the sermon was this: "in order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see ... it is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea that God himself, the father of us all, dwelt on earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible."

Joseph Smith's ontology, moreover, was explicitly polytheistic. He preached that "the head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world. The grand counselors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at that time." And again: "in the beginning, the head of the Gods called the Council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it."

Joseph Smith's method was therefore to start from the beliefs and prejudices of his own mind, of his associates, and of his age, and to project them onto the plane of eternity. America was radically egalitarian, and heaven had to be the same. The Mormons were run by an oligarchy of committees, and heaven had to be the same. Joseph Smith had multiple personalities, and this implied that the universe had to be polytheistic.

For Bushman, the key point was that "God was one of the free intelligences who had learned to become God. The other free intelligences were to take the same path. (Bushman, pp. 534-35) Smith elaborated: "You have got to learn how to make yourselves God, king and priest, by going from a small capacity to a great capacity to the resurrection of the dead to dwelling in everlasting burnings .... You have got to learn how to be a god yourself in order to save yourself -- to be priests & kings as all Gods have done -- by going from a small degree to another -- from exaltation to ex[altation] -- till they are able to sit in glory as with those who sit enthroned. [Christ said:] I do the things that I saw the father do when worlds came into existence. I saw the father work out a kingdom with fear & trembling & I can do the same & when I get my K[ingdom] work[ed out] I will present [it] to the father & it will exalt his glory and Jesus steps into his tracks to inherit what God did before." [76]

Bushman tries to argue that Joseph Smith has not created a polytheistic pantheon like the world of Greek mythology, because the free intelligences must be in harmony with the overall divine will. He sees a plurality of gods who have formed an infinite alliance, in the kind of idealized version of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (Bushman, p. 535) Mormons generally do not like to be labeled as polytheistic.

Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker asked the late Prophet Hinckley whether Mormon theology was a form of polytheism.

"I don't have the remotest idea what you mean," Hinckley said impatiently.

"More than one god."

"Yes, but that's a very loose term," he replied. "We believe in eternal progression." By that he meant that human beings can evolve toward godhood by following the Mormon path. "You want to be a reporter always?" he said. "You want to be a scrub forever, through all eternity? We believe that life, eternal life, is real, that it's purposeful, that it has meaning, that it can be realized. I wouldn't describe us as polytheistic." [77]

Mormonism tries to escape the troubling paradox of free will and divine predestination and the clash between Erasmus and Luther on that score through means which resemble the Pelagian heresy. As Bushman comments, Joseph Smith "made individual persons radically free .... Rather than God being the sovereign creator of all things from nothing, He was the most intelligent of the free intelligences. The universe is a school for these free, self-existing intelligences .... This discourse envisioned a far different universe than the God-created universe of traditional Christian theology. The universe was composed of a congeries of intelligences and self-existent matter that God organized rather than made. He was bringing order out of chaos rather than making something from nothing." (Bushman, p. 535-6) Here again, the freemasonic influence is evident.


The geopolitical designs of the Mormons had long been an object oflively speculation in the press. In 1841 New York Herald editor James Gordon Bennett editorialized that "we should not be surprised if Joe Smith were made Governor of a new religious territory in the west, that may rival the Arabians one of these days." The Mormon Empire, thought Bennett, might "one day, control the whole valley of the Mississippi, from the peaks of the Alleghanies to the pinnacles of the Rocky Mountains." (Bushman, p. 518) This was in fact the direction in which Joseph Smith began to tend.

Joseph Smith now began to wander not just west, but into the wild blue yonder of acute megalomania. In December, 1843, he addressed a petition to Congress requesting that the Mormon city state of Nauvoo be made an autonomous Federal territory, something like a state, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia. He also wanted the Nauvoo Legion to be federalized into the United States Army, with the mayor of Nauvoo [Joseph Smith] being in power to mobilize federal troops whenever he thought it necessary. The implication was that these troops would be fighting the state militia of places like Missouri or Illinois. Fawn Brodie saw this gesture as one of Joseph Smith's gravest political blunders. Under the Constitution, carving up the territory of any state was exceedingly difficult, and there was no way a majority could be found in Congress. In addition, the idea of carving a piece out of Illinois was guaranteed to create a backlash among any residual supporters of Mormondom that might still be found in Springfield. (Brodie, p. 356)

Sometime after April, 1843, Joseph Smith entered into a celestial marriage with Mary Ann Frost Pratt, the wife of Romney's ancestor Parley P. Pratt. On December 7, 1844 Mrs. Parley P. Pratt gave birth to a son named Moroni Pratt. Scholars like Fawn Brodie suggest that Moroni Pratt may have been a biological son of Joseph Smith. [78]

Part 3 of 3


But Joseph Smith's manic political ambition did not stop here. In March 1844, he created a new political vehicle, which he called the Council of Fifty. The Council of Fifty was radically different from all of the governing bodies of the Mormon Church, because the Fifty were designed to include some token non-Mormons alongside the Saints. In other words, the Fifty were distinct from the Saints, and subsumed them. The Prophet was evidently aiming at a united front that would allow him to mobilize forces beyond the bounds of his own church. One thinks of the government of the now extinct German Democratic Republic, which allowed a significant if token presence of so-called "block parties" of liberals and Christian Democrats to be elected to the People's Chamber alongside an overpowering majority of Communists. The idea was to represent and mobilize these broader strata. Research is needed to examine the possible parallels between the Council of Fifty and the ruling body of the contemporary Chinese Taiping.


Brodie regards the Council of Fifty as one of the best-kept secrets in the Mormondom. Bushman, certainly no adversary of the LDS, complains that, halfway through the first decade of the 21st century, the "council's original records are not available to researchers." It is known that one of their first actions was the coronation of Joseph Smith as "King of the Kingdom of God". Many of the components of the Fifty were just as imbued with the radical Jacksonian etiology of democracy as the subjects interviewed by de Tocqueville at around this time. And yet, here they were repudiating the bedrock of the American creed in favor of a temporal and celestial monarchy. They were similar to the dupes of Aaron Burr a generation before, but they compounded their crime by pretending that it was pleasing in the sight of God. (Brodie, pp. 356-57)

Apparently, the post of King of the Kingdom of God was an elective monarchy. In that April 11, 1844 meeting, one Mormon recorded, President Joseph "voted our P[rophet] P[riest] and K[ing] with loud Hosannas." According to Bushman, "the office of king came out of temple rituals where other Saints were anointed 'kings and priests .... " Joseph also acquired the title of "King and Ruler over Israel." At the same time, he remained chairman of the Council of Fifty. (Bushman, p. 523) Joseph Smith's theory of kingship appears to have been that of the sacral king rather than that of the absolute monarch known in Western Europe. His approach was closer to the Byzantine concept, and to caesaropapism. (Bushman, p. 524)


The Council of Fifty saw itself as the ·'the summit of all earthly powers." a universal empire. Mitt Romney's ancestor Parley Pratt wrote in April 1844 that the Council of Fifty represented "the most exalted Council with which our earth is at present Dignified" -- a one world government if there ever was one. When Joseph Smith declared his candidacy for president shortly after his apotheosis through the Fifty, Lyman Wight said to him, "You are already president pro tem of the world." (Bushman, pp. 520-21) Years later, Parley Pratt had a town in Utah named after him. This was Parley's Park. The name was later changed to Park City. Mitt Romney owns a palatial residence there. In late June 2012, when Romney wanted to gather his own Council of Fifty for a weekend of fundraising and strategizing, he gathered them in Parley's Park. This continuity points once again to the overwhelming importance of Mormon traditions in the way the current GOP candidate operates.

In the view of Hirshson, the Council of Fifty embodied "the earthly Kingdom of God, the organization destined to plan and control the westward migration ... the Kingdom was to prepare the world for the coming of God." As King of the Kingdom of God on Earth, Joseph Smith appointed fifty-three princes to assist him. "Unlike the Twelve and the Seventies, the Council of Fifty was an independent organization and theoretically had nothing to do with the Mormon hierarchy." But in reality, its leaders were the same people who controlled the church. The Council of Fifty became Smith's election committee for the 1844 presidential campaign, and also finished building the Nauvoo Temple. (Hirshson, pp. 79-80)


Bushman stresses that the Council of Fifty had an explicitly political mission, which was directed against existing governments. He argues that "as the council's original records are not available to researchers, its exact nature is hard to determine, but the council may have considered itself the incipient organization for millennial rule, a shadow government awaiting the demise of worldly political authority and the beginning of Christ's earthly reign. In early April 1844, Joseph 'prophesied the entire overthrow of this nation in a few years. '" (Bushman, p. 521)

Nor did the Council of Fifty become extinct with the assassination of Joseph Smith in June 1844. In 1848, Romney's ancestor Orson Pratt said this of the Fifty:

"It is the only legal government that can exist in any part of the universe. All other governments are illegal and unauthorized. God, having made all beings and worlds, has the supreme right to govern them by His own laws, and by officers of his own appointment. Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the Kingdom of God.' For the past thousand years no 'true and legal government' had existed. 'All the emperors, kings, princes, presidents, lords, nobles, and rulers, during that long night of darkness, have acted without authority. Not one of them was called or anointed a king or prince by the God of heaven -- not one of them received any communication whatsoever from the rightful sovereign, the Great King." [79]

Parallel to these institutional preparations for world domination, the Mormons were conducting a military buildup. The Nauvoo Legion now had almost four thousand men, and an arsenal and a gunpowder factory were in the planning stages. The New York Sun pointed with alarm to the huge military dictatorship that was emerging along the Mississippi. (Brodie, p. 357)

The Council of Fifty was acting more and more like a sovereign state, especially by sending Lucian Woodworth as its own ambassador to Texas with instructions to negotiate a treaty -- an action barred by Joseph Smith's supposedly beloved Constitution. (Brodie, p. 360)


Now, with the manic phase in full career, the Mormon Prophet escalated his insatiable demands on the US government even further. In March 1844, the Council of Fifty, acting on behalf of Joseph Smith, petitioned Congress to appoint the Prophet as an officer of the United States Army with the power to call up 100,000 volunteers to secure the US Western borders from Oregon to Texas. At this time, the entire United States Army numbered fewer than 15,000 troops. These 100,000 armed volunteers were supposed to maintain order, repel foreign invasions, and protect settlers against Indians, robbers, and criminals. They would not be formally a part of the US Army, although they would carry out military tasks, and were touted as a way to economize by not creating a large standing army for the West.

The spirit of Aaron Burr was once again abroad in the land, but this time with the kind of bombastic theocratic impudence which Burr never possessed. Joseph Smith had demonstrably lost all sense of political reality and proportion. On May 25, 1844, the US House of Representatives rebuffed him by refusing to allow his petition to be read on the floor. (Brodie, p. 360-1, Bushman, p. 519)


The Mormons had a history of bouncing back and forth between the pro-Jackson Democrats and the anti-Jackson Whigs, who included an authentic nationalist faction. During the 1830s, the Mormons generally supported Democrats like Jackson and Van Buren, but when Van Buren rejected Joseph Smith's direct appeal for help after the Mormon war in Missouri, the Mormons switched to the Whig William Henry Harrison in 1840. The help the Mormons received from Stephen Douglas in Illinois moved them back into the Democratic column in 1841, but this was reversed when the Democrats supported the expulsion of Joseph Smith to Missouri in 1842, in connection with the shooting of former Governor Boggs, while a Whig judge let him off.

In 1843, Joseph Smith pledged his support to the Whigs. But, at the last minute, Hyrum Smith announced that he had received a revelation that it would be better to vote for the Democrats. The Democrats then won thanks to Mormon votes, and the Whigs, according to some accounts, began thinking of how to get rid of the Mormons. (Bushman, p. 508-9) Here again, the inherent dangers of monolithic bloc voting were presented in sharp relief.

Joseph Smith now wrote letters to all of the prospective presidential candidates for 1844, asking them for assurances that they would help protect the Mormons. As the result of unsatisfactory responses to Joseph Smith's circular letters to the candidates demanding protection for the Mormons, on January 29, 1844 the Twelve Apostles nominated the Prophet for the office of President of the United States. (Bushman, p. 514) Joseph Smith got William Phelps to ghost write a presidential platform, which was duly published under the title of General Smith's Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States. (Bushman, p. 515) "General" was now his favorite title.

Joseph Smith joined the Democrats in supporting the annexation of Texas as a slave state, but also recommended that slavery be abolished in Texas after statehood, with compensation to the slave owners being paid out of the sale of US public lands. The Mormon Prophet expressed what was fundamentally a plan for world conquest in terms of universal harmony, intoning "Come Texas: come Mexico; come Canada; and come all the world -- let us be brethren: let us be one great family; and let there be universal peace." Smith supported the reinstitution of a national bank. (Bushman, p. 516) It was a middle position designed to siphon votes away from Clay.

The major party candidates for 1844 turned out to be James Knox Polk for the Democrats, and Henry Clay of Kentucky for the Whigs. Clay was the great patriot of the age, and advanced the classic program of the American System of Political Economy. This included a Hamiltonian National Bank, a protective tariff to promote industrialization, and internal infrastructural improvements paid for by the federal government when they were of national utility, even if they happen to be located in a single state. Clay was also not enthusiastic about the expansion of slavery.


From the profile of Joseph Smith's campaign, which partially mimicked the Henry Clay Whig program of the National Bank and the gradual phasing out of slavery, it is possible to discern that the Mormon Prophet's candidacy would in practice have siphoned votes away from the Whigs, to give victory to the Democrat Polk. In the event, Polk's victory depended on another minor party, the abolitionist Liberty Party of James G. Birney. Slave owners and British imperialists united in their support for Polk, who would strengthen the Slave Power by the admission of Texas into the Union. Henry Clay's 1844 presidential bid may be considered as the last best chance for the United States (apart from the later Zachary Taylor presidency) to reestablish a national bank, restart the process of vigorous economic development which had been interrupted under Jackson and Van Buren, diminish the importance of slavery on the national scene, and thus avoid civil war. From this point of view, Joseph Smith's attempt to construct a countergang against Henry Clay emerges as profoundly dangerous for US national survival.

The Mormons immediately launched a robust nation-wide campaign. Their center of gravity was in Nauvoo, but they also had organizations across the United States. They had a newspaper in New York, and one in San Francisco, among others. In April 1844, forty-seven campaign conferences were to be held in 14 states. Some 339 Mormon elders were pressed into service as political operatives. (Bushman, p. 517)

In a manner similar to Mitt Romney's use of the Latter-day Saints Church apparatus and the Mormon-dominated Utah state government bureaucracy, Joseph Smith mobilized the Mormon Saints to help him become the decisive swing factor in the election. The King of the Kingdom of God might not become president, but he would surely be a kingmaker.

The New York Herald understood that the Mormons were seeking to gain political power by controlling the outcome of the election, writing on May 23, 1844 that the Saints "claim possession of from two hundred thousand to five hundred thousand votes in Nauvoo and throughout the Union, and with that they calculate that they can hold the balance of power and make whoever they please President. Well, if so, they may be worth looking after .... It seems by this movement that Joe Smith does not expect to be elected President but he still wants to have a finger in the pie, and see whether something can't be made out of it.'" (Brodie, p. 363)


Modern libertarian ranters against Big Government can look back with admiration at Joseph Smith's assault on the modern secular state. "The world is governed too much, and there is not a nation or a dynasty now occupying the earth which acknowledges Almighty God as their lawgiver, and as 'crowns won by blood, by blood must be maintained,' I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a Theodemocracy, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness. And where liberty, free trade, and sailor's right, and the protection of life and property shall be maintained inviolate, for the benefit of ALL." (Bushman, p. 522) Joseph Smith's answer to Big Government was to promote Big Theocracy, which turned out to be far more oppressive and destructive. The alternative to the partisan clash of political parties was a one-party state dominated by the Mormon party of God. Notice also that Joseph Smith endorsed British free trade, the hallmark of the anti-national opponents of the American System, as the work of Friedrich List and Henry Carey made clear.


In practice, theodemocracy meant the usual dictatorship of Joseph Smith as messenger of God. But this time he was dressed up as a kind of guide to democracy, in which the Church authorities would allow self-rule, but intervene if the people went astray. The Mormon Prophet lectured the Nauvoo High Council that theodemocracy was "the principles of democracy that the people's voice should be heard when the voice was just, but when it was not just it was no longer democratic, but if the minority views are more just, then Aristarchy should be the governing principle. i.e. the wisest & best laws should be made." (Bushman, p. 523)

Some politicians could understand that the Mormons were a ticking time bomb, and tried to get rid of them by sending them west as far as possible. One Illinois politician wanted them to go all the way to California. (Bushman, p. 520)


But now the final crisis ofthe Nauvoo theocracy was at hand. Once again, despite repeated purges, a dissident group of marginal Mormons had emerged as a kind of internal opposition to the Prophet. The leader of the malcontents was William Law, who had been excommunicated in the spring of 1844. Once again, the principal grievance cited by the opposition was polygamy, since the Prophet had attempted to initiate celestial relations with Law's wife.

Because of Joseph Smith's notoriously unscrupulous business practices, the Mormon dissidents also had economic grievances. Law alleged that the Prophet was using church funds collected through tithing in order to buy land which he then intended to sell at exorbitant prices to new Mormon converts as they arrived in Nauvoo. (Brodie, p. 368) Some of the dissidents wanted to break out of the autarkic command economy which Joseph Smith had mandated. They bid against him to buy lumber, and began building houses and other structures in Nauvoo. These breakaway entrepreneurs paid their workers in cash, while Joseph Smith offered only goods and payments in kind, supplemented by Nauvoo scrip or local funny money. When workers preferred to sell their labor for actual money, a crisis broke out in the Nauvoo labor market, with Joseph Smith averring that his projects were more important because salvation depended on them. (Brodie, p. 368)

The dissenters chose a course of robust muckraking, but they appear to have regarded Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet rather than a con artist. They still venerated the Book 0/ Mormon, and wanted to go back to the early days when spiritual wifery had not been an obvious problem. "What they hated was polygamy, the Kingdom of God, and the 'tyranny' of Joseph Smith." (Bushman, pp. 537-38) Joseph Smith kept denying polygamy until the end. "What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can find only one," he quipped in 1844.

These were the goals of the Nauvoo Expositor, the dissident Mormon newspaper which appeared only once, on June 7, 1844. This journal announced its intention to "explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredomes." It also took exception to Joseph's teaching of polytheism, specifically his authoritarian doctrine "that there are innumerable Gods as much above the God that presides over this universe, as he is above us." (Bushman, p. 539) The dissidents also rejected the idea that Joseph Smith was a King, since this title had to be reserved for Christ alone.


Brodie points out that Joseph Smith could have chosen this moment to go on the offensive, confess that divine revelations had long dictated polygamy, and announce the beginning of the great trek towards the Rocky Mountains. But, in her opinion, the Prophet was now crushed under a burden of "secrecy, evasion, and lying" which robbed him of coverage and initiative. His earlier charismatic demagogy deserted him at the most critical moment. (Brodie, p. 376)

So when the paper exposing a catalog of abuses was distributed in the town, Joseph Smith responded by ordering the Danites into action. They proceeded to destroy the printing office, smashed the press, and burn all the copies they could find. On Joseph's orders, the city council had declared the publication libelous. Joseph Smith thus trampled on the First Amendment of the Constitution which he always claimed to be divinely inspired. It was a colossal example of Mormon doublethink.

And then he did more; he called together The Nauvoo Legion, his private Danite Army, and pledged before God "that this people shall have their legal rights, and be protected from mob violence." (Brodie, p. 379) Of course, when it came to the small group of dissidents, the majority Saints were themselves the mob.


Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were now arrested and jailed on the charge of treason, because they had declared martial law and mobilized the Nauvoo Legion to fight off a posse of militia which was coming to arrest the Prophet. Joseph, Hyrum, and some other Mormon leaders were imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois. Concerned to his last day about revenge, Joseph had wanted to save Hyrum so his brother could "avenge" his own death -- not a Christian sentiment. Anti-Mormon militias from nearby towns, including the Warsaw militia and the Carthage Grays, massed outside the jail, and then stormed the premises. The Smith brothers defended themselves with firearms, and hit some attackers, but they were overwhelmed and killed. John Taylor and some other top Mormons survived.

Some Mormon historians have attempted to develop a conspiracy theory according to which the militia mob action that killed the Smith brothers in Carthage Jail had been fomented by the leaders of the Illinois Whig party, the friends of Henry Clay.8o But the case they have made so far fails to convince. It is characteristic of the Mormons that their hostility should be directed over decades against the most positive figures of the American tradition, including Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, Justin Morrill, and others.


What are the main beliefs of the faith which Joseph Smith founded? The task of answering is difficult because some points of Mormon doctrine are kept secret, while others are obscured. Mormonism, so far as is known, has never announced a Creed, although such a Creed may exist as an esoteric or shelf doctrine. So, we are left with guesswork to some extent. Still, a number of writers who know Mormonism well have attempted to sum up the main Mormon articles of faith. One was the nineteenth-century British publicist William Hepworth Dixon, who wrote a book critical of Mormonism. In it he included the following surmise of the "Mormon Creed":

"(1) God is a person with the form and flesh of man. (2) Man is a part of the substance of God, and will himself become a god. (3) Man was not created by God, but existed from all eternity, and will never cease to exist. (4) There is no such thing as original or birth sin. (5) The earth is only one of many inhabited spheres. (6) God is president of men made gods, angels, good men, and spirits waiting to receive a tabernacle of flesh. (7) Man's household of wives is his kingdom not for earth only, but also in his future state. (8) Mormonism is the kingdom of God on earth." [81]

A more recent summary of the key tenets of Mormonism was offered by the Associated Press on January 16, 2008, when Romney was competing against McCain in the GOP primaries. Here we read:

"Nature of God: God once was a mortal who became an eternal being after a great trial.

Jesus Christ: Christ was God's first-born spirit child, his only earthly child and the only perfect mortal.

No Trinity: Mormons reject the idea of the Christian Trinity -- God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as one ethereal being. Instead, they believe the three are separate beings joined in a common purpose.

Pre-existence and the afterlife: Before their mortal birth, humans existed in pre-mortality and were born in the spirit world to heavenly parents. Mormons also believe in the resurrection and teach that most people will receive some measure of salvation and have a place in a three-level eternal kingdom.

One true church: Mormons say their faith is not Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox but holds a unique place as 'restored New Testament Christianity.' Founder Joseph Smith said God told him none of the existing churches were practicing Christianity as it was intended.

A living prophet: Mormons believe the head of their church is a living prophet, seer and revelator who can communicate with God." [82]

The late religious broadcaster and author Walter Martin, known for his radio program "The Bible Answer Man," summed up several points which represent the specific personality of Mormonism as a religion:

"The Bible is the Word of God in so far as it is correctly translated. There are three sacred books in addition to the Bible: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

The Earth is one of several inhabited planets ruled over by gods and goddesses, who were at one time humans on other planets. Mormonism is polytheistic in its core.

The Trinity consists of three gods born in different times and places; the Father begot the Son and the Holy Ghost through a goddess wife in heaven.83 Humankind is of the same species as God. God begot all humans in heaven as offspring of his wife or wives, who were sent to Earth for their potential exaltation to godhood. Salvation is resurrection, but exaltation to godhood, for eternal life in the celestial heaven, must be earned through self-meriting works." [84]

Martin's evaluation of Mormonism is well-informed and severe. He writes that "Mormonism, with its apostles, priesthood, temples, secret signs, symbols, handshakes, and mysteries, claims to be 'the church of the restoration'; but at its heart, in its doctrine of the Messiah, it is found to be contrary to every major biblical pronouncement." [85]


Martin also rejects the Mormon three-tiered heaven with telestial, terrestrial, and celestial levels in ascending order, like first class, business, and economy accommodations on an airliner. He points out that "even in the celestial kingdom godhood is by slow progression, and in the end each who becomes a god will, with his family, rule and populate a separate planet of his own. It is almost superfluous to comment that this entire scheme of the consummation of Mormon salvation is the antithesis of the biblical revelation, which knows nothing of godhood, either constituted or progressive, and which teaches instead that in heaven the destiny of the redeemed will be the special providence of God himself. ... [86]

Martin was also well aware of the esoteric theology of Mormonism (the "shelf doctrines"), which tend to mask what is really professed. He observed that

" ... the Mormon religion utilizes biblical terms and phrases and even adopts Christian doctrines in order to claim allegiance to the Christian faith. Mormons have also come to lay much stress on public relations and take pains to make certain that they do not use language that might reveal the true nature of their theological deviations. We have also seen that the Mormon Church considers itself alone the true church of Christ in our age, and further that they consider all other groups to be Gentiles and apostates from the true Christian religion .... From these facts it is evident that Mormonism strives with great effort to masquerade as the Christian church complete with an exclusive message, infallible prophets, and higher revelations for a new dispensation that the Mormons would have us believe began with Joseph Smith Jr. But it is the verdict of both history and biblical theology that Joseph Smith's religion is a polytheistic nightmare of garbled doctrines draped with the garment of Christian terminology. This fact, if nothing else, brands it as a non-Christian cult system." [87]

Accordingly, Martin directed his efforts to helping his readers avoid or escape "the spiritual maze that is Mormonism." [88]

Mormonism was thus an entirely new religion, radically separate from Christianity. It was also a program to create a new theocratic nation at the expense of the United States.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

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51 Daniel M. Ludlum, Social Ferment in Vermont 1791-1850 (New York: Columbia University  Press, 1939), pp. 238-244, online at olivercowdry.com
52 Daniel M. Ludlum, Social Ferment in Vermont 1791-1850 (New York: Columbia University  Press, 1939), pp. 238-244, online at olivercowdery.com
53 Brodie, p. 5.
54 Rodger I. Anderson, Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Re-Examined (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990), for example, argues that many of those interviewed by Hurlbut were eyewitnesses to and participants in the escapades described.

55 Ahlstrom, p. 505.
56 Brodie, p. 187.
57 Brodie, p. 93.

58 The relevant section reads: "The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the  daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which  signifies that which is forbidden. When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who  afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in  the land .... Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of  Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham .... " The  point of all this is that Ham was supposedly black. (Brodie, p. 424)
59 Ahlstrom, p. 506.
60 Brodie, p, 243.
61 See the appendix for a discussion of Joseph Smith and other cult leaders in terms of "multiple  personality order."
62 Online at brainyquote.com, Joseph Smith Jr. quotes.
63 De Leon, online at ebooksread.com.
64 Journal of Discourses, 2:30.

65 Polylatrism is a form of polytheism in which some gods are actively worshipped, while other gods are thought to exist but can be ignored.
66 Matthew xxii, verse 30.
67 Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography, p. 329, online at books.google.com.
68 Shook, True Origins of Mormon Polygamy, p. 63. online at books.google.com.

69 R. Steven Pratt, "The Family Life of Parley P. Pratt: A Case Study of Mormon Plural Marriage," in Armstrong, Grow, and Siler, eds., Parley P. Pratt and the Making of Mormonism (Norman OK: author H. Clark Co., 2011), pp. 53-54.
70 Online at FAIRMormon.org, 1839-1844.
71 Bennett, History of the Saints, p. 287, online at books.google.com. 
72 Bennett compared the Saints to the Anabaptists in Germany during the Peasant War of the  1520s. Under the prophet Thomas Muntzer, the Anabaptists tried to destroy all earthly authority  and create the kingdom of God on earth. Like the Mormons, they practiced primitive  communism. Bennett wrote that the Anabaptists "appeared in the year 1525, in Germany, during  the religious excitement and confusion produced by the attempts of Luther and his coadjutors to  reform the papacy. They so remarkably resemble the Mormons, that it is quite evident the latter  have taken them for models, and have copied their doings with as much accuracy as the spirit of  the age would permit. The first leader of the Anabaptists was a low, ignorant fellow, named  Thomas Muntzer, who, like Joe Smith, was at the same time their Prophet and military  commander. They, precisely again like the Mormons, gave themselves out for 'Latter-day Saints,'  and profess to be chosen by the Almighty as instruments to produce the promised millennium  reign of Christ on earth. They believed, likewise, that they were especial favorites of heaven in  every respect, and that they were, when they wished it, favored with familiar personal intercourse  with the deity, and from him constantly received revelations and instructions." (Bennett, p. 304)


Introduction: On the basic issues of Christianity, most of the Anabaptists and Reformers were in total agreement. They held to the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the atonement, the authority of the Bible and the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Anabaptists were neither deep theologians nor interested in forming doctrinal creeds, although they did set forth their beliefs about the church in the Schleitheim Articles (1527).

Church and State: The Anabaptist movement was actually a reaction against the close ties between church and state in both Catholic and Protestant domains. In the Protestant churches great masses of people would come into the church when a city council or prince would join the Reformation. Because most of the citizens of the state were also members of the church, the bond between church and state was very great. In many cases, even though the Reformers took away the external aspects of Roman Church ritual, the personal lives of the people in the external church were not touched. Also, many used the teaching of justification by faith as a license to sin.

Mormonism, as the words "Latter-day" in its official title suggests, is a religion which expects the second coming of the Messiah and the end of the world as we have known it to occur soon. In other words, Mormons agree that we are currently living in the End Time. Any sect making this claim runs at least one obvious danger: antinomianism. In this context, antinomianism would be the belief that, since the second coming of the Savior is at hand, the moral law is suspended, at least for the elect (the "Saints"). Another path to antinomianism comes from the belief that the individual has a direct line to God by way of some sort of extra scriptural revelation, be this through mysticism, or because one has attained the status of a prophet, as Joseph Smith claimed he had. This belief has been observed frequently in Christianity, but it is by no means limited to this faith, since we have had examples of antinomianism in Judaism as well, to go no further than this.

The early phase of Quakerism displayed unmistakable antinomian tendencies. If an individual Quaker were told by his or her inner light that some activity was not a sin, then all the Law and the Prophets were rendered inoperative for that person. George Fox and other Quaker leaders took measures to subordinate the inner light for the "sense of the meeting," but -- in a tightly knit denomination like the Quakers -- examples of antinomianism have continued to occur centuries later. Richard Nixon and Lyndon LaRouche are examples, since both were raised as Quakers, and as leaders veered into antinomianism

In the case of Judaism, antinomianism is associated with false messiahs like Sabbatai Zevi (Shabtai Zvi) around 1666, and with the movement around Jacob Frank in the following century. If the Messiah had indeed returned, then the Mosaic Law was suspended, they argued.

The Mormons exhibit a very strong tendency towards antinomianism, first of all because of their core belief that the second coming of the Messiah is at hand, and secondly because they maintain that oracles, prophecies, and revelations have not ceased, but continue to be generated down to the present day, above all by the "Prophets" in command of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The Anabaptists demanded a strict separation of church and state, for the purity of the church and for the protection of the church from persecution by the state. This was carried to such an extreme that they were completely pacifistic, opposed to all military service, and took no oaths and held no government offices.

It was during this time that Brigham Young introduced the Mormon Oath of Vengeance against the United States of America into the Mormon Temple Endowment or ceremonial liturgy. The late Prophet Joseph Smith's son William, who was the leader of a Reorganite congregation in Covington, Kentucky, warned President Zachary Taylor and Congress about the activities of Brigham Young. William Smith compared Deseret to Sodom and Gomorrah, and told the US government that Deseret should not be admitted to the Union, because it was a theocracy. He accused Brigham Young of entertaining "treasonable designs against the liberties of American free born sons and daughters .... Their intention is to unite church and state, and whilst the political power of the Roman pontiff is passing away, this American tyrant is endeavoring to establish a new order of political popery in the recesses of the mountains of America." Raising the alarm against the Oath of Vengeance specifically, William Smith told President Taylor that "At Young's insistence fifteen hundred Saints had sworn to 'avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this nation,' to 'carry out hostilities against the nation, and to keep the same intent a profound secret, now and forever. '" (Hirshson, pp. 101-102)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Liberty of Conscience: The Anabaptists, because of their doctrine of separation of Church and State, stood for liberty of religion and for a "free church." They opposed the establishment of any faith by law, asserting freedom of religion, and believing that there should be no basis for persecution whatsoever. They taught that a man was free to believe according to the dictates of his conscience, even though he may be wrong. A person was free under the Reformers in their different domains only as long as he agreed with them. Simply put, there was little or no religious liberty under the Reformers.

The "Champion of Liberty," as Rigdon was called by his admirers, was more bombastic and more denunciatory than usual. He surpassed himself in invective, and maddened the already prejudiced Missourians, who were only waiting for some excuse to quarrel with their unwelcome neighbors. Among other absurd things, he said:

"We take God and all the holy angels to witness, that we warn all men to come on us no more for ever. The man or set of men that attempts it, does so at the expense of their lives. The mob that comes to disturb us we will follow until the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us. We will carry the war into their own homes and families. No man shall come into our streets to threaten us with mobs; if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place. We this day proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and determination that can never be broken. No, never! No, never!! No, never!!!"

This speech fired the excitable nature of the Saints, and they were aroused to a high pitch of warlike enthusiasm. Already, in imagination, they saw Missouri conquered, and the church in possession of the entire state. There could be no doubt of the final result, for this was the Promised Land into which they had been led by the hand of the Lord.

With the superstition which characterizes this people, they turned every accident or occurrence into some sign from Heaven, and it was always interpreted to promise success to them and confusion to their enemies. On this day of celebration the Mormons had erected a liberty-pole in honor of the occasion; in the afternoon it was struck by lightning, shivered to atoms, and fell, its flag trailing in the dust. There was rejoicing among the Mormons; that was certainly an omen of the speedy downfall of their enemies. It seems now as though if it must be considered an omen of anything that it was prophetic of the uprooting and scattering of this people, so soon was it followed by their expulsion from the state.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Purity of the Church: The Anabaptists believed that the external, visible church, as nearly as possible, should be made up of regenerate, baptized people. For them, the church was not an institution as the reformers held, but simply a local fellowship of believers. They believed in "voluntarism" — that a man comes into the church because he knows he is saved, and that he cannot be born into the church. Often, the Reformers thought that to renounce Rome was enough, but the Anabaptists demanded that a man know that he was saved before entering the external, local church.

Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promises of my Father which he made unto Abraham.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Anabaptists believed in the "ban," which gave the church the right to discipline its members. A Christian came into the church by his own choice and voluntarily placed himself under the government of the church.

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 King James Version (KJV) [THE "BAN"]

7 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.

More than half a century ago the Lord, through Joseph Smith, in speaking of the lost Ten Tribes, says: (Doc. and Cov., Revelation called the Appendix). "They who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear His voice, and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And they shall fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim."

-- Are We of Israel?, by Elder George Reynolds

Believer's Baptism: Anabaptists were inflexible on this point. They opposed infant baptism as unscriptural, and felt this was the basic reason that so many inside the Catholic and Reformed Churches were not really saved.

Immersion: The Anabaptists in their early days did not make any issue over the mode of baptism. We know that many practiced pouring for years before they came to the conviction that immersion was the mode of baptism in the New Testament. They also believed that any Christian could baptize another Christian, and that this was not the responsibility of ordained ministers only.

The ordinance of baptism, as administered by the Mormons, does not differ very materially from that of the Baptist churches. It is always by immersion. Nothing else is ever considered efficacious. It must be a literal "watery burial," and a resurrection therefrom. The officiating elder, with his candidate for the rite, repairs to some place which has been previously appointed, and where there is a sufficient quantity of water to immerse the entire person. Not the least portion of the body must be left above the purifying fluid, else it could not be termed a "perfect burial with Christ." In the early days it was necessary to perform this ordinance in the open air, in some river or pond; but lately fonts have been built in most ward meeting-houses, so that it can all be done under cover, and there is less danger of suffering ill results from exposure.

The elder officiating takes the candidate by the hand and leads him or her, -- as the case may be -- down into the water, until a sufficient depth is attained; he then raises his hand, and, calling the person by name, commences the ceremony as follows: "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen." He then plunges the candidate under the water, bringing him forth into the newness of life, and fully prepared to enter upon a series of ordinances, all of which are attended with covenants calculated to bind the person more strongly to the church.

Following the baptism comes the confirmation, or the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost....In the Church of Latter-Day Saints the "Melchisedec" and "Aaronic" priesthood are authorized to perform the ordinance of baptism, but the latter has no power to administer in spiritual things. Hence only a priest after the holy order of the Son of God, or the order of Melchisedec, can perform the ordinance of confirmation, or laying on of hands for imparting the Holy Ghost, which is to lead the newborn Saint into all truth, and teach him the things to come; thus protect him from all falsehood and imposition, and placing him in the most perfect state of progression which, if real, would be a state of the highest felicity and most assured salvation.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Millennialists: A great many of the Anabaptists believed in the premillennial return of Christ, in which Christ would establish a kingdom on this earth for 1,000 years. A few Anabaptists were fanatical about prophecy and brought a bad name on the Anabaptist movement as a whole. On this point, the Anabaptists opposed the Reformers who were held to a millennial theology. These Anabaptists may have been the only group in the Reformation that was looking far the imminent return of Christ.

Ernest R. Sandeen, in his 1970 Roots of Fundamentalism, places the Mormons in the millenarian (i.e. end time) tradition launched in Britain in the first half of the 19th century: "Joseph Smith taught an apocalyptic and pre-millennial eschatology; the Mormon periodical was entitled the Millennial Star; and as they gathered for worship, the Latter-day Saints could choose from dozens of hymns ... which focused their attention on the daunting glory and the imminent judgment ... as their headquarters moved from Ohio into Missouri and then Illinois, the Mormons began to concentrate more upon Zion as a place than upon 1843 or 1844 as a date [for the end of the world] .... Their expectations about the future, however, remained curiously mixed. The triumph of the Mormon cause was anticipated through a cataclysmic judgment rather than the gradual conversion of the world; and since natural calamities had been predicted as one of the indications of the nearness of this judgment, reports of fires, wars, and railroad and steamship disasters were regularly reported in the Millennial Star under the Heading "Signs of the Times" ... But while the Latter-day Saints waited anxiously for the fulfillment of these signs of the times (including the restoration of the Jews to Palestine), they were also laboring mightily to build the New Jerusalem in Utah."

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Separation: The Anabaptists stressed holiness of life and the need to keep unspotted from the world. Sometimes this bordered on legalism and caused isolation of certain groups, but they also opposed worldliness in the local church. They held to complete nonconformity to the customs, thought, lives, and habits of the world. Being a cultured Christian held no value for an Anabaptist.

I was taught from my earliest childhood that there was nothing good outside of the Mormon Church; that the Gentile men were bad to the core, possessing neither honor nor manly virtues of any kind, and that every Gentile woman was so vile as to be utterly unworthy of mention; that goodness was unknown among them, and that certain destruction awaited them and those who associated with them. My mother mourned over her friends and relatives outside of Mormonism as lost souls, and she prayed almost literally "without ceasing" that they might be shown the true way before it was too late. She could not govern her natural affection. She must love them; they were her very own, and were very dear to her; but I really think, especially in the days of the intense religious excitement, that she almost hated herself for loving them so truly and so well. She wrote them the most pathetic letters of entreaty, filled with alternate pleadings and arguments, begging them to come to Zion, and "make sure of their souls' salvation." They, in turn, pitied her delusion, but had no hope that she would ever escape from it; they little knew that the child, whose future they were deploring, would one day be the means of leading that mother out of the bondage in which she was held, through many tears and much tribulation, to the light of a brighter, more comforting faith.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Free Will Theology: Although it would be difficult to classify all the Anabaptists, the great majority of them probably held to some form of freewill theology, as opposed to the Reformers who strongly held to the sovereignty of God in election and predestination.

Mormonism tries to escape the troubling paradox of free will and divine predestination and the clash between Erasmus and Luther on that score through means which resemble the Pelagian heresy. As Bushman comments, Joseph Smith "made individual persons radically free .... Rather than God being the sovereign creator of all things from nothing, He was the most intelligent of the free intelligences. The universe is a school for these free, self-existing intelligences .... This discourse envisioned a far different universe than the God-created universe of traditional Christian theology. The universe was composed of a congeries of intelligences and self-existent matter that God organized rather than made. He was bringing order out of chaos rather than making something from nothing." (Bushman, p. 535-6) Here again, the freemasonic influence is evident.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The Lord's Table: Unlike the Reformers, Anabaptists saw the Lord's Table simply as a memorial in which Christ was in no way present in the elements.

At three he dines, and it is then that he meets his family for the first time in the day. Dinner is served at the Lion House, and the appearance of Brigham Young's family at dinner is very similar to that at a country boarding-house, when the gentlemen are all away at business in town, and the wives and children are left together. At a short table, running across the head of the long dining-room, Brigham sits with his favorite wife by his side. In the days when I first used to be at the Lion House, as a partial guest and partial resident, Emmeline Free occupied this place of honor; but after Amelia's advent, poor, loving Emmeline was thrust aside. When Brigham brings guests to dine with him, they have seats at this table also. At a long table, running lengthwise of the room, all the other wives are seated, each with her children about her. At the sound of the large dinner-bell, they all file in, seat themselves quietly, grace is said by the "presiding patriarch" from his table, and the meal goes on. The family table is plainly spread, and supplied with the very simplest fare, while the smaller one is laden with every delicacy that the markets will afford. These, however, are only for the President and his favorite wife, and the rest of the family must be satisfied merely to look at them, and enjoy the dainties by proxy.

A very amusing incident took place once at this family dinner. One of the wives, -- not usually considered among the most spirited ones, -- who, like all the rest, had submissively taken the food which had been set before her for years, was one day seized by the spirit of discontent. She had taken a fancy that she should like some of a particular dish which graced her husband's table. She did not express her wish, but quietly rising from her place, went straight to the other table, helped herself to the coveted article, and returning as quietly as she came, took her seat, and resumed her meal, amidst looks of consternation from the other wives, and of indignant amazement from her husband. Surprise made him absolutely speechless for the moment; but I fancy she was properly reproved in due time, for she never attempted a repetition of the act.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Evangelism: The Anabaptists zealously carried out the Great Commission and were missionary-minded.

Missionaries were sent to Europe, and converts flocked from thence to Zion. Never were missions crowned with greater success than those that were established in Europe by the Mormon Church. The elders went first to England, from there to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France, and they even attempted Italy, but with so little success that the mission there was speedily abandoned. Indeed, the southern countries of Europe did not seem to have taken kindly to the new doctrine of the Saints, and evinced but slight interest in the establishment of a "spiritual kingdom on the earth," and paid no heed whatever to Joseph's revelations. But hundreds of converts were made among the English and Scandinavian people, and they all evinced a strong desire to "gather to Zion," and considered no sacrifice too great to be made to facilitate their emigration.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Discipleship: Discipleship was a major tenet in the Anabaptist code of Christian ethics. They wanted to know how it was that many of the Reformers, who held such pious doctrine, lived such sorry lives.

Yates was a trader on Green River, and was accused by the Mormons of being a government spy. In those days, if no other charge could be brought against a person, he was called a "spy;" and this, of course, gave sufficient reason for putting him out of the way very summarily. The Mormons were also annoyed because, although among his stores he had a large quantity of ammunition, he would not sell it unless the purchasers bought other goods. They then accused him of supplying the army, and arresting him, carried him to Fort Bridger, while they took possession of his store, stock, &c.

Hickman was detailed to take the prisoner to the city, and Yates's money -- nine hundred dollars in gold -- was given him to carry to Brigham Young. His watch was "taken care of" by some one at Bridger. Hickman was accompanied by a brother of his, a Gentile, who was on a visit to him; Meacham, the one who was connected with him in the murder of Back; and a man of the name of Flack. On their way they were met by Joseph A. Young, who informed them that his father wanted Yates killed, and that he, Hickman, was to take him to Jones's camp, where he would receive further orders. The party arrived at camp that evening about sundown, and that night Yates was murdered as he lay asleep by the camp-fire.

Hickman and Flack carried the news and the money to Brigham. He was very affable until Hickman suggested that, as they had been to much expense, he thought part of the money ought to come to them. His manner changed at once; he reprimanded the men very severely, and told them that the money was needed for the church; it must go towards defraying the expenses of the war. Flack apostatized at once; renounced Mormonism on the spot; it evidently didn't "pay" well enough to suit him, and Hickman himself was disgusted with the meanness of his master. He said that Brigham never gave him one dollar for all the "dirty work" he had done for him; he never made him the slightest present. But he paid him, it is said, in wives. I think he had seventeen, and a large number of children.

It was a class of men like this that the Reformation brought to the surface, and capital tools they made for a corrupt and bloodthirsty priesthood. They were earnest disciples of the "Blood-Atonement," and could slay an apostate or a Gentile with no compunctions of conscience.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Pattern of Reform: The Anabaptists felt that it was impossible to reform the Roman Church, arguing that one could not put life into a spiritually dead organization. They wanted to start a new church based entirely on the New Testament.

Joseph Smith received decisive help from Brigham Young in convincing the Mormon Saints that polygamy was divinely ordained. Brigham Young asserted that Adam was Elohim, the Mormon Jehovah, and that humanity had been divinely commanded to live under seven dispensations or divine plans for human affairs. The final dispensation was the one borne by Joseph Smith. According to Brigham Young, Joseph Smith's publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 was a sign of the end time, in part because it came 1,260 years after the Roman Catholic Church had become degenerate in 570 AD. Mormons associate this state with the centralizing activity of St. Gregory the Great, who extended a church administration over much of Christendom. The Catholic Church, needless to say, Brigham reviled as the Whore of Babylon.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.


One of the most tragic episodes in the entire history of the Christian Church was the attempt of certain radicals to set up an Anabaptist kingdom at Munster in Westphalia, Germany.

Melchior Hofmann, a radical on prophecy, predicted that Christ would return to earth in 1533. Hofmann was bitterly opposed by the Reformers and the Swiss Anabaptists, but multitudes in the Netherlands followed his teaching, including Jan Matthys. Hofmann was imprisoned in Strassburg, and eventually died there.

Matthys declared that he was the prophet Enoch, whom Hofmann had said would appear just before the return of Christ. In 1533 the followers of Matthys made themselves masters of Munster, and Matthys soon took charge. He proclaimed that Munster was going to be the New Jerusalem with community of goods and without law.

By now he was calling himself "Joseph Smith The Prophet." In Kirtland, the Saints began practicing primitive communism, according to that passage of the Acts of the Apostles which specifies that the early Christians "had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need." The vehicle for this collectivism was called the United Order of Enoch, with center of gravity in Kirtland.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

These Anabaptists preached a wild millennialism, and insisted that God's day of wrath was about to break in which the saints would dominate the governments of the world.

"A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every specie [sic] of wickedness will be practiced in the land. Father will be against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of bloodshed, murder and rape that have ever been imagined or looked upon will take place. People will be taken from the earth and there will be peace and love only in the Rocky Mountains. This will cause many hundreds of thousands of the honest in heart of the world to gather there, not because they would be Saints, but for safety and because they will be so numerous that you will be in danger of famine, but not for want of seed, time and harvest, but because of so many to be fed. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities for there will be no escape except by escaping and fleeing to Zion. Those that come to you will try to keep the laws and be one with you for they will see your unity and the greatness of your organization."...

"England, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium have a considerable amount of the blood of Israel among the people which must be gathered out. Those nations will submit to the nations of God [the Mormon power].
England will be the last of the nations to surrender, but when she does she will do it as a whole in comparison as she threw off the Catholic power. The nobility knows that the gospel is true, but it has not pomp enough, and grandeur and influence for them to yet embrace it. They are proud and will not acknowledge the Kingdom of God or come into it until they see the power it will have."...

The coming of the Messiah among his people will be so natural that only those who see him will know that he has come, but he will come and give his laws on to Zion and minister unto his people.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Soon Munster was besieged by an army of Catholics and Lutherans. After granting a short period of grace in which to leave the city, the Munsterites killed without mercy all those they suspected of being unsympathetic to them. Matthys was killed in battle in April, 1534, after which John of Leyden took charge. He introduced the practice of polygamy, ...

Immediately on the arrival of the church in Utah, polygamy was urged upon the people. Having no fear of the outside world, since they were so far removed from it, they laid aside all caution, and preached and practiced it openly. The plural-wives taken in Nauvoo were acknowledged for the first time, and others were added. The men were constantly urged to "build up the kingdom," and in order to do that they were counselled to "take advantage of their privileges." If they did not hasten to obey counsel, they drew down Prophetic and Apostolic wrath onto their heads, and were accused of not "living up to the privileges."....

In Nauvoo it had been represented to those who had been told of the new doctrine that it was optional; that no one need enter the relation unless he chose; and, consequently, although they felt it was a cruel doctrine, yet most of the women flattered themselves that their husbands, while they might receive it as a religious truth, would never practice it. But when the church was located in Utah, away from everybody, where help could never reach the oppressed and miserable, and from whence there was no possibility of escape, then polygamy was no longer optional, but every man was compelled to enter it, under pain of Brigham's displeasure, and its results.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

and in the autumn of 1534 assumed the title of king.

On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty,... In short, Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as its King....

He then spoke of the standard & ensign that would be reared in Zion, to govern the Kingdom of God And the nations of the earth.
For every nation would bow the knee & every tongue confess that JESUS was the Christ. And this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God & his Laws & Judgment in {the [-] if [--] man Christ}. And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven so there would be an invitation to all Nations under heaven to come unto Zion. (5)...

Joseph established the Kingdom in secret and the business of the members was to remain so....Members included a wide demographic of Mormon hierarchy and non-Mormons. All members were chosen by the Prophet. ... Council members were organized into a hierarchy by age and Joseph was chairman and anointed Prophet, Priest and King over the Council and the world....

Joseph taught that his first-born son in the covenant, David Hyrum – born after Joseph's death, would be this latter-day King over Israel
, which teaching was widely recognized by 19th century church leaders.

-- Council of Fifty, by MormonThink

In the view of Hirshson, the Council of Fifty embodied "the earthly Kingdom of God, the organization destined to plan and control the westward migration ... the Kingdom was to prepare the world for the coming of God." As King of the Kingdom of God on Earth, Joseph Smith appointed fifty-three princes to assist him. "Unlike the Twelve and the Seventies, the Council of Fifty was an independent organization and theoretically had nothing to do with the Mormon hierarchy." But in reality, its leaders were the same people who controlled the church. The Council of Fifty became Smith's election committee for the 1844 presidential campaign, and also finished building the Nauvoo Temple. (Hirshson, pp. 79-80)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Munster lay under siege for more than a year while these radical Anabaptists held out with great courage. Their sufferings were indescribable. On June 24, 1535, the city was taken. A terrible massacre followed in which the leaders of Munster were maliciously tortured.

Munster is the "black spot" in Anabaptist history, but most of the Anabaptists were not so radical. Many were actually godly Christians.

-- The Anabaptists: Reformation Men and Theology, by Dr. Jack L. Arnold

73 Online at exmormon.org.
74 Online at exmormon.org. 
75 Robert L. Millet, ed., Joseph Smith: Selected Sermons and Writings (New York: Paulist Press,  1989), pp. 128-144.
76 Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), pp. 344-45, 357-58, 345 (April 7, 1844).
77 Lawrence Wright, "At a time when Mormonism is booming, the Church is struggling with a troubled legacy," New Yorker, January 21, 2002. 
78 Brodie, p. 345.
79 Online at brainyquote.com.
80 See Robert S. Wicks and Fred R. Foister, Junius and Joseph: Presidential Politics and the  Assassination of the First Mormon Prophet (Logan UT: Utah State University Press, 2005).
81 William Hepworth Dixon, New America (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1867; reprint Ann Arbor: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library, 2006), i. 24, cited by E. Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 1894,online at Mormon Creed -- Infoplease.com and bartleby.com. 
82 Associated Press, January 16.2008; online at Mormon Coffee.org. AP has scrubbed the original article as of September 2012.
83 This resembles the Arian heresy, with additions. See Appendix for a comparison of Mormonism to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
84 Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Culls (Minneapolis MN: Bethany House, 2003), p. 192.
85 Martin, p. 253.
86 Martin, pp. 256-7. 
87 Martin, pp. 258-9.
88 Martin, p. 259.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:41 pm

Part 1 of 2


"I don't think the White Horse Prophecy is fair to bring up at all. It's been rejected by every church leader that has talked about it. It has nothing to do with anything."

-- Mitt Romney

Professor Aly Mazaheri (1914-1991) of the Paris School of Advanced Studies in Social Science and one of the most eminent Iranian intellectuals working in Western Europe, was fond of saying that there had been three miracles of the Victorian age, the mid-nineteenth century high point of British imperial world power. [89] By Mazaheri's count, these three were Karl Marx, the founder of communism; the Bab, the founder of the Baha'i religion: and Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. These were three prophets whose appearance on the world scene occurred at roughly the same time, and shared one characteristic: all were extraordinarily helpful for maintaining and advancing British world power.

In the case of Karl Marx (1818-1883), the idea that industrial workers should regard industrial entrepreneurs -- and not British imperialists, feudal aristocrats or parasitic bankers -- as their main enemies was a perfect divide-and-conquer strategy for British power plays against Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and other European nations that were at that time in the process of industrialization.

The Bab (1819-1850) provided a partial solution for the problems encountered by the British in the Moslem parts of the empire, where they found that those professing the Islamic faith refused to become colonial administrators for foreign infidels. The Bab was a merchant ofShiraz in Persia (today's Iran) who in 1844 proclaimed himself the Mahdi, the Muslim equivalent of the Messiah. He promulgated a new system of sharia law which differed from the original one in some important respects. Later, the Bab's teachings were codified into a new religion, the Baha'i faith, whose supporters turned out to be perfectly willing to take up their posts as British colonial bureaucrats, thus adding to the stability of imperial rule.


Another name which deserves to be added to this list is that of Hong Xiuquan (1814-1864), a young misfit of the Hakka ethnic group who, after having failed to pass the Confucian examinations to become a civil service official and thus a member of the Chinese elite, turned to Christianity and soon declared himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ. This made Hong a Chinese Son of the Christian God. Soon a movement of 10,000 to 30,000 followers (comparable to the early Mormon community) had gathered around Hong. This he called the God Worshipers Society. Hong and his movement soon created the Celestial Kingdom ofTaiping with Hong as "Heavenly King" -- another neat parallel to Joseph Smith, who had been named the King of the Kingdom of God in Nauvoo, Illinois a few years earlier. And the parallels keep coming. The Celestial Kingdom, like Mormondom, was explicitly a theocracy. The Taiping capital was Nanking, and the Celestial Kingdom embraced parts of half a dozen provinces in southeast China. The Taiping Rebellion against the Qing (or Ching) dynasty (1851-1864) followed. The Ching dynasty sent an army to restore imperial authority, which soon met the resistance of between 1 million and 3 million Taiping regular troops. Total war was waged on both sides, especially in regard to the destruction of agricultural production and the mass slaughter of the populations of captured cities. Some 600 cities were reported destroyed. The standard estimate of total military and civilian deaths in the Taiping rebellion is about 20 million, but other estimates go as high as 40 million. From this point of view, the Taiping rebellion is unquestionably the biggest civil war and most likely the biggest military event of any kind of the entire 19th century. It was a way to destroy some of the most advanced and westernized parts of Chinese society, while weakening the country in the midst of the three Opium Wars waged by the British.


The teacher who had started Hong on his career as prophet and martyr was the Baptist Isaachar Jacox Roberts, born in Tennessee, trained at Furman University in the South Carolina cradle of secessionism, long a playground for British intelligence. Hong studied with Roberts for several months at Canton in 1847. Roberts became an advisor to the Taiping foreign minister, but eventually became disaffected and had to flee on a British gunboat. The enormous social dislocation of the Taiping rebellion is a stark illustration of how much damage can be done to an existing society by unleashing a millennial, apocalyptic, theocratic cult. Under slightly different circumstances, the Mormons might have been able to wreak comparable havoc on the United States. And they still may.

Between 1830 and 1870, the British Empire reached the peak of its world power. The London elites intended to use this opportunity to wipe out every independent center that might resist its Imperial dictates. In 1830 and 1848, the British used their Mazzini, Marx, and Bakunin networks to destabilize the continental European powers -- France, Prussia, Austria, Spain, and the smaller states of Italy and Germany. As a result of the French destabilization, the British were able to install Napoleon III as Emperor of France, where he served as a geopolitical tool of London, invading Indochina and Mexico, weakening Austria, and joining in Britain's Crimean war against Russia. The British waged three Opium Wars against China. They provoked the Great Mutiny or Sepoy Mutiny in India. They sponsored the Confederate States of America.

But, in addition to these geopolitical and military operations, there was another dimension. The British religious and theological establishment deliberately fomented a worldwide wave of religious irrationalism, taking the form of charismatic prophets and prophecies, speaking in tongues, false Messiahs, predictions of the end of the world, and frenetic enthusiasm. The goal in every case was to weaken the social order and spread mass hysteria. In China, Iran, and the United States, these movements became large and powerful enough to pose serious risks to internal stability and even to national survival. British religious currents like the Darbyites, the British Israelites, and the charismatics were all deployed as part of this effort.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Britain also sponsored the development of Wahhabism or Salafism in Arabia, a form of purism claiming to return to the original doctrine of Islam. This theocratic, reactionary belief system was used to good effect in breaking up the Turkish empire. Today, secular, pluralistic Syria is being destroyed by a kind ofTaiping rebellion of Wahhabite fanatics backed by Saudi Arabia, the UK puppet sultanate of Qatar, and the US.


In 1832, the state of South Carolina, prefiguring its later role as the official cradle of secessionism, announced its intention to nullify the new federal tariff legislation, which free trade ideologues called the "tariff of abominations." For a while it seemed as if secession and possible civil war might result. After a time, the South Carolina fire eaters decided to back down, and a reprieve of almost three decades on the question of civil war was thus achieved. Joseph Smith responded immediately to these events with his famous Civil War Prophecy of December 25, 1832. Here Joseph Smith forecast:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.

And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. ... and thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations .... [90]

The scenario thus developed by the Mormon Prophet substantially corresponds to the strategic intentions of the British Empire in regard to the United States, as displayed during 1861-65. These were to foment a rebellion of the slave states against the Union, and then to arrange an intervention by Britain and possibly France and Spain against the United States. In the event, Anglo-French intervention was prevented by a number of factors, notably the strong support given to the United States by the Russian Empire, the world power which London and Paris had good reason to fear. This 1832 revelation prefigures in many essential details the White Horse Prophecy of almost a dozen years later, in which the Mormon White Horse and the British Red Horse unite against the American Pale Horse and defeat it.


The month of June, 1835 marks the first demonstrable official contact between the Mormon leadership around Joseph Smith and a representative of the British theological-intelligence establishment. This contact was established through a visit to Kirtland, Ohio by the British Reverend John Hewitt. Reverend Hewitt had been sent by a charismatic congregation in Barnsley, England. Reverend Hewitt, who came from the Rotherham Independent Seminary, explained that the Barnsley congregation had seen a Mormon-controlled newspaper which had been brought back to England by a merchant who had been in New York City. Based on this newspaper, the Barnsley group had concluded that the Mormons had common ground with them. The Barnsley letter announced that "The Lord hath seen our joy and gladness to hear that He was raising up a people for Himself in that part of the New World, as well as here." (Bushman, pp. 270-71)

Hewitt proposed an alliance between the Mormons and the Barnsley group. He was able to assure Joseph Smith that many members of his congregation were people of means who could be of great assistance. There was also the distinct possibility that many of the English charismatics would want to come to America. The letter from the Barnsley group promised the Mormon Saints that "many will follow, should he approve of the country, etc., who will help the cause, because the Lord hath favored them with this world's goods." This was a timely offer, since the Mormons were at this time in dire financial straits. The letter also indicated that the Barnsley group was not likely to be deterred by mob attacks and harassment: "we understand that persecution had been great among you, or would be, but we were commanded not to fear, for He would be with us."

Pro-Mormon historians argue that this visit did not lead to further contacts, but there is no doubt that the first official Mormon delegation departed for England less than two years after this first contact was made. That was then followed in 1839 by the transfer of the entire Quorum of the Twelve to England for an intensive program of publishing, fundraising, and recruiting work which made British subjects, be they English, Scottish, or Welsh, the majority of the world Mormon movement. Within a few years after this fateful 1835 encounter, Mormonism had been thoroughly Anglicized, and its dominant temper became decidedly Anglophile.

The curiosity of the Barnsley group about the Mormons had been whetted by parallels in the ecclesiastical apparatus of these two sects. Between 1832 and 1835, charismatic leaders in London, having allegedly received revelations, created a group of twelve apostles, just like the Mormons and at more or less the same time. The selection of the English Twelve Apostles had been completed on July 14, 1835. The Barnsley group also called themselves Saints.

The Bamsley group continued the charismatic-irrational religious revival which had been set into motion through the efforts of a famous London preacher of Scottish background, Edward Irving. Irving had preferred the name "congregations gathered under apostles," but eventually this denomination called itself the Catholic Apostolic Church. Edward Irving was a former Scottish Presbyterian who had been expelled by the Kirk in 1822, and who had thereupon set up shop in the Caledonian Chapel in Hatton Garden, London.

Irving quickly attracted the sympathetic attention of the top levels of the ruling British oligarchy. The chapel had seats for about 500 persons, but, for a time at least, Irving was able to draw two to three times that number. The neighborhood streets were blocked by luxurious carriages: "it has been said that, on one occasion at least, the queue of carriages waiting to return the worshipers to their homes was four miles in length." [91]


Edward Irving was a close friend of the famous British reactionary essayist and man of letters Thomas Carlyle, with whom he had been associated back in Scotland. Carlyle, like James Mill, John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, and other celebrated British literary figures of the Victorian age, was part of the ideological and cultural control apparatus of the empire. Irving attracted his following in part due to praise he had received during a parliamentary debate in the House of Commons from George Canning, the British Foreign Secretary and future Prime Minister. After Canning had called attention to Irving's church, other members of Parliament, wealthy lawyers and bankers, and clergyman from the English and Scottish established churches flocked to hear the new charismatic message. (Bushman, pp. 271-72)

Support from Canning meant support from the very heart of the British imperial apparatus. George Canning was one of the most powerful British politicians of the Napoleonic era. An associate of William Pitt the younger, he became Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1796 to 1799. He then served on the India board between 1799 and 1800. He was in Parliament between 180 I and 1804, when he became Treasurer of the Navy for two years. He was Foreign Secretary between 1807 and 1809, during which time he was associated with the cowardly British sneak attack on the Danish fleet in Copenhagen harbor. After five years in Parliament and two years as British Ambassador to Portugal, he became president of the India Board between 1816 and 1820. After two more years in Parliament, Canning became Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, posts which he held from 1822 to 1827. These were the greatest years of Edward Irving's success in London. In 1827, Canning became prime minister, with Lord Lansdowne, the son of the leading oligarch William Petty, the Earl of Shelburne, as a member of his cabinet, but he died suddenly on August 8, 1827.


Along with his rival Castlereagh, Pitt, and the Duke of Wellington, Canning was by any measure one of the leading British oligarchs of the age. His promotion of Edward Irving can be thought of as serving two goals. The first was to increase the degree of religious irrationality in the British ruling class, so as to facilitate the final push for total world domination over the coming few decades. The second aspect was that Canning could see the vast potential of preachers inspired by Irving's brand of charismatic irrationalism for destabilizing and disrupting nations around the world, which otherwise might offer resistance to the triumphant march of the British Empire. The British, in short, promoted Edward Irving for the same reasons that the Venetians promoted Savonarola against Florence and Martin Luther against Germany: to create chaos and conflict, and to weaken strategic rivals to the mother country.

Irving's congregation "was particularly notable for the proportion of professional people that contained lawyers, physicians, actors, artists, diplomats, and men from similar walks of life. They and their fine ladies were drawn in large numbers to his ministry .... England's literary circles were especially well represented." [92]

Frequenters of Irving's Sunday services included famous people like the anti-slavery activist Zachary Macaulay, an associate of Bishop Wilberforce. There was the poet and essayist Charles Lamb, and the philosopher and painter William Hazlitt. In another pew might sit journalist Thomas de Quincy, the author of the sensational Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821). The romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who also dabbled with narcotics, was a friend and admirer of Irving. Another worshiper was the future historian and Whig politician, Thomas Babington Macaulay. William Wordsworth, the future poet laureate, was also a visitor, as was Sir Walter Scott, the leading practitioner of the romantic historical novel and a prime asset of British cultural-political operations, as for example in the American South. The young future Prime Minister William Gladstone attended, and laughed to see the headmaster of Eton College in the crush. A wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Basil Montagu, tried to help Irving find a wife. He was originally interested in Jane Welsh, but she married Thomas Carlyle, and then moved on to Mazzini. [93] British intelligence was a small world at the top.

The Barnsley congregation may be thought of as a kind of contact bureau for the Caledonian Chapel and later Catholic Apostolic Church mother ships, a bureau tasked with keeping in touch with charismatic and apocalyptic movements across Britain and across the Atlantic. The followers of Edward Irving allowed various church members to act as prophets and speak in tongues during the worship services as the spirit moved them. But, Joseph Smith reserved the gift of prophecy to himself alone, and this practice was imitated by his successors such as Brigham Young. Despite these differences, large numbers of Catholic Apostolics transferred to the Mormon Saints.


Columba Graham Flegg, in a recent study of the Catholic Apostolic Church, includes the Mormons among various religious formations which the Irving tradition had helped to shape: "A further possible candidate for Catholic Apostolic influence might be the eschatology of the Mormons, who were also pre-millennialists and practicers of charismatic gifts ... [and] were prepared to publicize prophetic revelations widely in a way which the Catholic Apostolic apostles largely avoided .... Like the Catholic Apostolics, the Mormons believed in the gathering of Israel to 'Zion' (though locating this in the United States), in a personal return of Christ to reign on earth, and in the gathering together of an elect body in preparation for the Second Advent." [94]

Flegg sees Mormonism to some extent as a lower class version of Irving's charismatic preaching: "the Mormon mission in England, for example, had a strong appeal for the lower classes, because it preached a classless society, and had the added incentive of the possibility of immigration to the New World." [95]

Ernest R. Sandeen, in his 1970 Roots of Fundamentalism, places the Mormons in the millenarian (i.e. end time) tradition launched in Britain in the first half of the 19th century: "Joseph Smith taught an apocalyptic and pre-millennial eschatology; the Mormon periodical was entitled the Millennial Star; and as they gathered for worship, the Latter-day Saints could choose from dozens of hymns ... which focused their attention on the daunting glory and the imminent judgment ... as their headquarters moved from Ohio into Missouri and then Illinois, the Mormons began to concentrate more upon Zion as a place than upon 1843 or 1844 as a date [for the end of the world] .... Their expectations about the future, however, remained curiously mixed. The triumph of the Mormon cause was anticipated through a cataclysmic judgment rather than the gradual conversion of the world; and since natural calamities had been predicted as one of the indications of the nearness of this judgment, reports of fires, wars, and railroad and steamship disasters were regularly reported in the Millennial Star under the Heading "Signs of the Times" ... But while the Latter-day Saints waited anxiously for the fulfillment of these signs of the times (including the restoration of the Jews to Palestine), they were also laboring mightily to build the New Jerusalem in Utah." [96]

Many members of the British elite, Carlyle among them, became estranged from Irving's church when it became clear that the Scottish charismatic had not recognized that his brand of revivalism might set off a wave of hysteria in the British capital. The British imperial elite wanted charismatic cults for export to countries targeted for destabilization, not for domestic consumption. But Irving was really convinced that God was raising up a new order of prophets among the British. On November 19, 1831, the London Times reported that Irving's church was being "disturbed by individuals pretending to the miraculous gift of tongues." A certain Miss Hall spoke in tongues with such vigor that she had to retreat to the vestry. One Mr. Taplin violently harangued the congregation "in an unknown tongue." Irving, convinced he was witnessing the operation of the Holy Spirit, called for more spiritual gifts with a call on December 31, 1831 to "let prophecies and tongues go forth." The experiment was threatening to get out of hand and boomerang.

In 1832, Irving and his charismatic ban of "gifted" persons in Regent Square were largely abandoned and ostracized by the British upper crust. Carlyle and wife Jane played a key role. In the account of Irving's biographer, "Thomas Carlyle and his wife, both much beloved, not only disagreed, but remonstrated, the former making a vehement protestation against the "Bedlam" and "Chaos" to which his friend's steps were tending, which Irving listened to in silence, covering his face with his hands." The Bedlam and Chaos were supposed to be inflicted on the United States and other nations, not unleashed on London. [97] Irving died in relative obscurity in 1834, but the Catholic Apostolic Church continued.


Another way to see the support given to the Mormons by the elites of the British aristocracy is to examine the attitudes towards them exhibited by some of the leading Victorian men of letters. Given the inherent prudery and bigotry of the Victorian age, one would normally expect a sect of uncouth polygamists in the wilds of North America to be an object of execration among British literary elitists. But, surprisingly enough, the Mormons had powerful supporters, doubtless for anti-American geopolitical reasons. Some of these writers were notoriously linked to the British intelligence establishment, sometimes through the British East India Company. Writers seeking acceptance after about 1870 by a lower middle-class market, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, could portray the Mormons in a negative light, as in A Study in Scarlet, the first of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The Mormons also got a bad press in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Dynamiter. By this time, London's hopes for a Mormon version of the Taiping rebellion had cooled, and the mainline of British propaganda was simply to denigrate everything American.

But the more elite pre-1870 writers, with greater intellectual and social pretensions, often showed support for the Mormon Saints. Thomas Carlyle, one of the biggest names, was a warm admirer of Mormondom. So was his colleague, John Stuart Mill of the British East India Company. John Stuart Mill was the son of James Mill, who also claimed to be an economist. James Mill (1773-1836), a direct disciple of the satanic Jeremy Bentham, served for 18 years as the Examiner of Correspondence for the East India Company. This is another way of saying that he was one of the top bosses of British intelligence at that time. The elder Mill's job was to develop an intelligence picture based on the reports he received, and to promote policies to maximize profits and power, often with horrendous consequences for the people of India. The East India Company was much concerned with the manipulation of religious institutions, and systematically promoted the most backward and self-destructive tendencies in Hinduism and Islam, creating distortions which continue down to the present day. Others working for the British East India Company included the monetarist economist David Ricardo and the ideologue of genocide Thomas Malthus. [98]

After working for the British East India Company for 34 years, John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) took over the post of Examiner of Correspondence. The younger Mill directed a vast program of British cultural warfare, with special attention for the United States, which was seen along with Russia as a threat to the British Empire. He sponsored the career of the Scottish feudalist, neo-pagan, and proto-fascist Thomas Carlyle, who in turn became the main guru for Ralph Waldo Emerson of Harvard, the luminary of the Transcendentalist school. Emerson was famous for his concept of "self-reliance," which later morphed into the "rugged individualism" of Herbert Hoover, and the "you're on your own" doctrine of the current Republican Party.


The reactionary essayist Thomas Carlyle represented a younger generation of the British intelligence establishment following in the footsteps of Jeremy Bentham and Thomas Malthus. Carlyle was so reactionary that he opposed the very timid British Reform Bill of 1867. Reacting to Lincoln's victory in the US Civil War, which had captured the imagination of British workers, it finally allowed urban industrial workers the right to vote. Like Dickens, Carlyle was a great hater of the United States. Carlyle was a close friend of the charismatic Pentecostalist and mystic Edward Irving, to whom he devoted an essay of over 200 pages, which appears in his volume of Reminiscences. [99]

Carlyle was heavily involved in many important British strategic operations of the mid-19th century. One of the principal British political assets of this era was the Italian revolutionary nationalist firebrand Giuseppe Mazzini, who generally used Great Britain as his base of operations. Mazzini's assignment was to destabilize the Austrian, Russian, and Ottoman empires, while making sure that no powerful independent states could ever emerge from their wreckage. Carlyle worked so closely with the Italian provocateur and wrecker that his wife, Jane Welsh Carlyle, became a mistress of Mazzini. Another of Carlyle's important projects was the American transcendentalist movement, and especially its leading light, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Carlyle must count as one of the largest single influences on the Bostonian Emerson. Carlyle presented himself as an expert in German philosophy, which was considered chic by the British upper classes, who of course could read no German. Carlyle thus became the authoritative interpreter of German thought and literature (especially Goethe) in the British Isles. Carlyle is thus a leading example of epistemological warfare and subversive political operations in the Victorian era. Carlyle's draft essay on the Mormons was written in early January, 1854, but never published in his lifetime. It was discovered in the Beinecke Library at Yale and appeared in print for the first time in 1995. It is not known why it was never completed and published, but the essay still speaks for itself. (See appendix C.)


Carlyle was deeply hostile to the United States and to the system of representative government in general. As a reactionary romanticist, he wanted institutions to evolve "organically," meaning that positive change would be either impossible or excruciatingly slow. Carlyle's fascination with the dictatorial regime of Brigham Young is that it had been created in the midst of the hyper-democratic American society of the Jacksonian era, where free speech and other political freedoms were available to many. Democracy had brought forth tyranny. Mormonism he considered better than other religions because it was openly dictatorial and theocratic, and did not pretend to be a democracy:

Mormonism is a gross physical form of Calvinism; Gross, physical and in many ways very base; but in this one incommensurably (transcendently) superior to all other forms of religion now extant. That it is believed, that it is practically acted upon from day to day and from hour to hour; taken as a very fact, the neglect or contradiction of which will vitiate and ruin all other facts of the day and of the hour. That is its immeasurable superiority; in virtue of that it has still a root in this feracious [fruitful] Earth, and prospers as we see. [100]

Carlyle harped on the notion that democratic institutions were necessarily slow and inefficient, and not adept at getting things done. He would have applauded Mussolini crushing unions and stripping Italians of their political rights, while famously making the trains run on time. He would have endorsed Mayor Giuliani of New York when he decided to conceal the problems of homelessness and poverty by ordering the police to drive panhandlers off the streets. Carlyle hated the notion of a democratic republic because it was not sufficiently aristocratic, although he had to camouflage his aristocratic prejudices behind a meritocratic facade. He also tried to show that democratic elections generally failed to select the most capable leaders for purposes of governing:

Mormonism illustrates: 1° The value of sincerity towards one's convictions (as above); 2° it offers a good illustration of the mixture of Despotism and Liberty, -- indicates, in dim rude outline, what a perfect Form of Government may be which men are several universally groping after at present. Here, sure enough, is Liberty: all these people are free citizens, to begin with; members of the model republic: entitled to the ballot box, caucus, free press, open vestry, open congress, fourth estate and every form of opposition, conceivable by the human mind. -- nothing to limit whatever mutiny may be in them except the universal parish-constable, speaking symbolically. 'Hands not in each other's pockets; hands off each other's skins!' To this degree of liberty, unsurpassable even by fancy they were all born; to this any time they can appeal, and practically return, with themselves and all their interests.

At the time he wrote this draft essay, he was working on his biography of King Frederick the Great of Prussia, whom he subsumed into his general theory of history based on charismatic heroes and hero worship. Carlyle was also a great admirer of the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell, and he must have seen the strong similarities between Cromwell and Brigham Young. Carlyle felt that British society was plagued by hypocrisy and was therefore not producing the true heroic type.


Because of his feudal and oligarchical mentality, Carlyle was violently opposed to industrialism, and to the prestige acquired by industrialists in society, at the expense of the traditional landed aristocrats and their pseudo-paternalistic values. He was obsessed with tearing down the industrialist George Hudson, known as the "Railway King," who built several rail lines before going bankrupt when his speculative investments collapsed. Carlyle used Hudson as an example of the bogus hero of modern times, and contrasted him with the true heroes of previous eras. Carlyle celebrated Brigham Young as a beneficent despot, the prototype of a new form of reactionary dictatorship capable of leading mankind out of the social crisis of the 19th century:

But the curious point is to see Despotism withal. No Czar of Russia is so absolute as Joseph Smith's successor. ... Here then is a 'beneficent Despotism': a thing much in request with some among us, but impossible to discover hitherto by any hustings manipulation, or other constitutional apparatus. The question. How it is got there, is very well worth meditating, and will lead a man's thoughts into many reflections not quite common to the general mind at present.

Carlyle, already thinking in terms of fascism, welcomed the existence of Mormonism as a theocratic dictatorship on the North American continent, implacably opposed to the American democratic republic. It is clear that he hoped that the principle of theocratic dictatorship would overcome and supplant the democratic republic. The Mormons, he argued, have to be a dictatorship because they are constantly under siege, a situation which Carlyle evoked using the terminology of social Darwinism:

"But alas the Mormons have several advantages in choosing their King, in which we European men are still sadly behind them. First they had the conviction that wisdom is necessary: that it will be a sin, nay the chief fountain of sins, if the Fittest Mormon is not got to the top of Mormonism: sin which God will assuredly punish; -- and indeed it is too plain to me that the very laws of Nature, as we call them, do protest daily and hourly against any other than the Fittest being put to the top in anything what ever, especially in Society which is the summary of things."

Carlyle imagines that Mormonism can attain a harmony of will between the ruler and ruled, which is far from the partisan clash of government and opposition in a parliamentary system. Carlyle wanted charismatic leaders with absolute powers to carry out what he imagined as a conservative revolution in reaction against constitutional democracy and industrial development. Many of his ideas later came to form the basis for European fascism. At various points he gets very close to a fascist Fuhrerprinzip, and this is what he thinks he sees in Brigham Young.

"Being in earnest about this preliminary part is probably the chief secret of the Mormon success in getting their Fittest Man. And a second head of advantage to them, their getting a beneficent despot in their Fittest follows out of this first one, or is almost only the first one over again. The Mormon Government is supreme in Mormon Conviction; what he does and orders is what every good Mormon is longing to see done. That is the secret of just despotism, of a Despotism which can be called beneficent. The few wise are all for it; None but the insincere and unwise are against it -- and these are not so given up to their many insincerities and coward ices and unwisdoms as not to be amenable when better is shown to them. Joseph Smith's successor has his Council of Elders, Inspectors, Deacons etc. etc. -- an actual Aristocracy sufficient for the nonce. All proceeding from sincerity on the part of his people. A government that fills us with envy." [101]

Another affinity felt by Carlyle for the Mormons could well have been the racism they shared. Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets became infamous for their contention that black people in Jamaica and the Caribbean were parasitical: Carlisle saw the British West Indies ("our Black West Indies") as the embodiment of the "lazy refusal to work." Carlyle's "Occasional Discourse on the N****r Question" scandalized even less vehement racists. Carlyle praised "heroic white men" and said he wanted "to abolish the abuses of slavery, and save the precious thing in it." [102]


Most historiography about the Mormons concentrates almost exclusively on events in and around Salt Lake City and Utah, but it should always be recalled that Great Britain was in many ways the other leg of Mormonism, indispensable for its recruiting, finance, and world influence. For example, by 1855 the Utah Territory had 60,000 people and Salt Lake City had a population of about 15,000, most of whom were Mormons. But, by July 1853 there were almost 31,000 Mormons in Great Britain, and the Mormon weekly newspaper, the Millennia; Star, had a press run of over 25,000 copies. [103]

In 1837, two years after having been contacted by Reverend Hewitt, Joseph Smith sent two of his top lieutenants, Heber Kimball and Romney's great-great-great uncle Orson Pratt, to Great Britain. About two years later, soon after Brigham Young had established his family in Nauvoo in 1839, Joseph Smith announced that he had received a revelation from God telling him that it was now imperative to spread the doctrine of Mormonism in Great Britain. Brigham Young, although ill, immediately obeyed the Prophet's order to leave for Britain. As Brigham and other apostles departed, they cheered "Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel!" Brigham Young left his family behind, and his wives and children were soon destitute. More than legend has it that Brigham and his associates financed their trip to England by fund-raising on the way. Brigham recounted later in life that whenever he traveled in the service of the Faith, he would put his hand in his pocket and always find some money, evidently as a gift of God. One wag suggested that Brigham was not putting his hand into his own pocket, but into somebody else's. [104]

In England, Brigham Young produced a British edition of the Book of Mormon. He started a weekly newspaper, The Millennia/ Star, under the editorship of Mitt Romney's ancestor Parley P. Pratt. There was a recruiting meeting virtually every day in some parts of England, with the largest number of new converts coming at the expense of the Methodists, whose clergy lodged complaints which mysteriously went nowhere, suggesting support in high places. Werner writes that "Brigham Young and his associates established branches of Mormonism in most of the large towns and cities, converted 8,000 people, sending 1,000 of them to Nauvoo, and published 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon, 3,000 hymn books, and 50,000 tracts." They also established a travel agency for converts who wanted to emigrate to the New Zion. [105] The main foci of this activity were places like Liverpool and Manchester, in the north of England. London, by contrast, proved to be a difficult place to recruit new members. Before long, the Mormon Church had more members from England, Scotland, and Wales than from the United States. This made it easier for the Mormon Saints to act like the foreign body they were on the borders of the new American Republic.


Werner points out that Brigham Young's recruiting machine was during his lifetime "the most extensive source of converts to Mormonism." Before long, Joseph Smith had a megalomaniac vision that he could convert Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Mormonism. He sent an order to Elder Lorenzo Snow to deliver copies of the Book of Mormon to Buckingham Palace. He even thought Victoria and Albert might decide to leave London and make the journey to the rude frontier village of Nauvoo, Illinois. But this went far beyond the tasks which the British establishment had in mind for the Mormon Saints.

But that did not stop Eliza Snow, the resident poetaster of the Mormon Church, from waxing poetic on the perspective of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort declaring open support for the Latter-day Saints:

"Oh! Would she now her influence lend --
The influence of royalty --
Messiah's kingdom to extend,
And Zion's nursing mother be,
Then with the glory of her name
Inscribed on Zion's lofty spire,
She'd win a wreath of endless fame,
To last when other wreaths expire." [106]

Naturally, Queen Victoria, as head of the established Anglican Church of England, never openly embraced Mormonism. But Joseph Smith's idea that he could convert the British royal family, and the propaganda exercises generated by the Mormons around this perspective, give us an idea of how closely the Mormon Saints felt themselves to be allied to the British monarchy -- an institution which most Americans of their time held in deserved contempt. For much of the 19th century, the LDS has to be considered as the agency of a hostile, foreign, imperialist power -- London. Whereas Americans regarded Great Britain with grave suspicion, the Mormon Saints were enthusiastic about their British alliance.


One book which is often mentioned as a possible source for the Book of Mormon is the 1823 View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith (apparently no relation to Joseph Smith). Ethan Smith was from Poultney, Vermont, where he had been the minister in a Congregational church attended by Oliver Cowdery, who was one of the stenographers used by Joseph Smith in compiling the Book of Mormon. The thesis of this book lies that the American Indians were the descendents of one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. An alternative view, which was popular in Great Britain at this time, was that the inhabitants of the British Isles were in fact the true descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

Joseph Smith imagined the end of the world as the culmination of a two-pronged process. On the one hand, the Mormons would gather into their New Zion -- whatever that happened to be -- the remnants of Israel which could be found in the British Isles, northern Europe, and among the Lamanites or American Indians. At the same time, a parallel concentration was supposed to result in the transfer of Jewish populations into Palestine. This latter process was being sponsored by Lord Palmerston and other British colonial strategists as a key part of their destabilization of the Ottoman Empire, which at this time held Jerusalem and the nearby holy places.

In 1840, after most of the Quorum of Twelve had transferred their operations to Britain, Joseph Smith detailed Orson Hyde to travel to Jerusalem and to report on the ingathering of the Jews. Smith asked John Page to accompany Hyde. (Bushman, p. 407) According to Bushman, "Joseph was enthralled with Israel's destiny." He believed that those who assisted the ingathering of the Jews to Palestine would receive a special reward, assuring Hyde and Page that "'those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel,' he wrote Hyde and Page, 'cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord, and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.'" (Bushman, p. 408)

Hyde reached Liverpool in February, 1841 and wrote to Solomon Hirschel, the Grand Rabbi of London, urging him to start the mass migration of Jews to the Holy Land. (Bushman, p. 408) Hyde reached Jerusalem in October 1841, where he found a population of 7,000 Jews. He climbed to the top of the Mount of Olives and composed a prayer "to dedicate and consecrate this land ... for the gathering together of Judah's scattered remnants." Hyde also prayed to "restore the kingdom unto Israel -- raise up Jerusalem as its capital, and constitute her people a distinct nation and government" under a king from the House of David. Hyde assembled a pile of stones on the Mount of Olives and another on Mount Zion to mark the Mormon commitment to Zionism. (Bushman, p. 408)


John Stuart Mill of the infamous East India Company family was a direct disciple of Jeremy Bentham, the de facto leader of British intelligence during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. Mill showed a decided sympathy for the Mormons. In his famous treatise, On Liberty (1859) he deplored the "persecution" of Mormonism.

"I cannot refrain from adding to these examples of the little account commonly made of human liberty, the language of downright persecution which breaks out from the press of this country, whenever it feels called on to notice the remarkable phenomenon of Mormonism. Much might be said on the unexpected and instructive fact, that an alleged new revelation, and a religion founded on it, the product of a palpable imposture, not even supported by the prestige of extraordinary qualities in its founder, is believed by hundreds of thousands, and has been made the foundation of a society, in the age of newspapers, railways, and the electric telegraph.

"What here concerns us is, that this religion, like other and better religions, has its martyrs; that its prophet and founder was, for his teaching, put to death by a mob; that others of its adherents lost their lives by the same lawless violence; that they were forcibly expelled, in a body, from the country in which they first grew up; while, now that they have been chased into a solitary recess in the midst of the desert, many in this country openly declare that it would be right (only that it is not convenient) to send an expedition against them, and compel them by force to conform to the opinions of other people. The article of the Mormonite doctrine which is the chief provocative to the antipathy which thus breaks through the ordinary restraints of religious tolerance, is its sanction of polygamy; which, though permitted to the Mohammedans, and Hindus, and Chinese, seems to excite unquenchable animosity when practiced by persons who speak English, and profess to be a kind of Christians.

"No one has a deeper disapprobation than I have of this Mormon institution; both for other reasons, and because, far from being in any way countenanced by the principle of liberty, it is a direct infraction of that principle, being a mere riveting of the chains of one half of the community, and an emancipation of the other from reciprocity of obligation towards them. Still, it must be remembered that this relation is as much a voluntary [act] on the part of the women concerned in it, who may be deemed the sufferers by it, as is the case with any other form of the marriage institution; and however surprising this fact may appear, it has its explanation in the common ideas and customs of the world, which teaching women to think marriage the one thing needful, make it intelligible that many a woman should prefer being one of several wives, to not being a wife at all. Other countries are not asked to recognize such unions, or release any portion of their inhabitants from their own laws on the score of Mormonite opinions.

"But when the dissentients have conceded to the hostile sentiments of others, far more than could justly be demanded; when they have left the countries to which their doctrines were unacceptable, and established themselves in a remote corner of the earth, which they have been the first to render habitable by human beings; it is difficult to see on what principles but those of tyranny they can be prevented from living there under what laws they please, provided they commit no aggression on other nations, and allow perfect freedom of departure to those who are dissatisfied with their ways.

"A recent writer, in some respects of considerable merit, proposes (to use his own words) not a crusade, but a civilizade, against this polygamist community, to put an end to what seems to him a retrograde step in civilization.[107] It also appears so to me, but I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. So long as the sufferers by the bad law do not invoke assistance from other communities, I cannot admit that persons entirely unconnected with them ought to step in and require that a condition of things with which all who are directly interested appear to be satisfied, should put an end to it because it is a scandal to persons some thousands of miles distant, who have no part or concern in it. Let them send missionaries, if they please, to preach against it; and let them, by any fair means (of which silencing the teachers is not one), oppose the progress of similar doctrines among their own people.

"If civilization has got the better of barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilization. A civilization that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy, must first have become so degenerate, that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilization receives notice to quit, the better. It can only go on from bad to worse, until destroyed and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians."

Notice that Mill is arguing that it is better to permit the collapse of civilization than to compel a community of fanatics to give up flagrant abuses. Clearly, in a debate between Saint Augustine and the Donatists, Mill would take the side of the Donatists. But Mill is throwing out the window even his own dubious criteria about when society isjustified in interfering with the activities of individuals. According to Mill, interference with individuals is justified only when their behavior causes harm to others. This is clearly the case with polygamy, the issue which Mill here refuses seriously to consider. Mill undoubtedly knew that Deseret was an oppressive dictatorship, enforced by a Danite reign of terror. Lurid tabloid stories of women desperately attempting to escape from the harem of Brigham Young were already circulating widely. He is also not interested in the issue of little girls being forced into marriages with men old enough to be their grandfathers. [108]

Most of all, Mill is utterly contemptuous of the sovereignty of the United States. He seems to think that America is so big that anybody who wants to can carve out a vast area and set up an independent theocracy. Mill clearly acted in bad faith, anxious to foment a Mormon rebellion which only one year earlier had brought the United States to civil war. If the Mormons could cut off US travel and communications to California, Mill would be delighted. Would he say the same thing if the Mormons had decided to take over the county of Northumberland or Scapa Flow and set up the Kingdom of God in an area of strategic importance for the British Empire? Surely not. Mill was, as usual, in bad faith.
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:41 pm

Part 2 of 2


Charles Dickens, who generally hated everything American, became to some extent a fan of Mormonism -- perhaps because Mormonism is so fundamentally anti-American. In an article originally published in his magazine All the Year Round, Dickens relates that in June 1863 (one of the moments when the United States and the British Empire were moving towards war over ironclad warships, which the UK's Laird shipyard was building for the Confederacy), the famous writer went to visit the steamer Amazon in London Harbor, and got to know its many Mormon passengers who were about to leave for North America. Dickens says that his purpose was "to see what 800 Latter-day Saints were like." He admits that he started with a negative impression of the Mormons, since he "went aboard their ship to bear testimony against them if they deserved it, as I fully believe they would." But instead, he was favorably impressed by the seriousness, calm, literacy, and organizational discipline of the Mormon passengers he found on the boat. His observations thus caused "the rout and overthrow of all my expectations." Far from being inferior, Dickens discovered that the Mormons were, "in their degree" "the pick and flower of England." [109] "I went over the Amazon's side, feeling it impossible to deny that, so far, some remarkable influence had produced a remarkable result which better known influences have often missed." [110] Dickens later reprinted this account in his collection, The Uncommercial Traveler.

Dickens also tried to downplay the issue of polygamy among the passengers of the Amazon: "that they had any distinct notions of a plurality of husbands and wives, I do not believe. To suppose the family groups of whom the majority of emigrants were composed, polygamically possessed, would be to suppose an absurdity, manifest to any who sought the fathers and mothers." [111]


Dickens added that he had talked about the Mormons with the well-known essayist Richard Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton), who had an article of his own about the Mormons in January, 1862, in one of the flagship magazines of the British establishment, The Edinburgh Review. This was a review of the description of the Mormons published by Sir Richard Burton, the famous British Orientalist and intelligencer. Milnes was also exceedingly favorable to the Mormons, citing an 1854 report by the House of Commons about the Mormon program for transatlantic migration of new converts. Milnes reported that the British Parliament was also very much on the side of the Mormon Saints. Their report had declared:

"The Select Committee of the House Of Commons on immigrant ships for 1854 summoned the Mormon agent and passenger broker before it, and came to the conclusion that no ships under the provisions of the "Passengers Act" could be depended on for comfort and security in the same degree as those under his administration .... The Mormon ship is a Family under strong and accepted discipline, with every provision for comfort, decorum and internal peace." [112]

This inquiry reminds us of so many recent whitewashes of outrageous crimes, like the death of weapons expert David Kelley, issued by the British Parliament. Even a cursory reading of the account by Dickens tells the story of a distraught mother who came on board the Amazon looking for her daughter, who had "run away with the Mormons." She did not find her, and Dickens was forced to concede that "the Saints did not seem to me particularly interested in finding her." [113]


In his book The Cleansing of America, a compendium of Mormon apocalyptic thought, the late W. Cleon Skousen stresses that "Joseph Smith knew there would be two great crises in American history." Skousen saw the first as the Civil War, and the second as still located in the future as seen from the early 21st century.

We have already seen Joseph Smith's famous Civil War Prophecy of 1832. Here is what Skousen calls the Second Crisis Prophecy of 1833:

" ... I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and the earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the North country .... Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion before the overflowing scourge overtakes you." [114]

Skousen comments: "notice that in the Civil War, the military conflict took upwards of 600,000 lives, but the nation survived. In the subsequent crisis incidental to the cleansing of America, Joseph Smith speaks of an 'overflowing scourge' that will depopulate much of the nation and be accompanied by 'pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake.' This ominous prophecy remains to be fulfilled sometime in the future." [115]

Cleon Skousen's last work was a warning to "The Gentiles" and a call to prepare the Kingdom of God on earth, much in the tradition of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Skousen's program includes "the restoration of the Constitution, the adoption of God's law, the introduction of a Zion Society under the law of consecration with individual stewardship, the great last gathering of Israel, the coming of the ten tribes, and the building of the New Jerusalem." [116]

Apocalyptic fantasies against the United States have always been a staple of the Mormon outlook. As Lukacs famously warned, every prediction of the end of the world has a very specific class content. In many of these, the element of gloating or Schadenfreude is markedly present. Take for example the vision attributed by Skousen to top Mormon leader and Britisher John Taylor, successor to Brigham Young as the First President of the church, which he experienced in the night of December 16, 1877.


In Taylor's vision, most of the houses in America had a badge of mourning on the door. The railroads and the roads had collapsed, but the roads were full of refugees carrying bundles and seeking to make their way to the Intermountain West. In deserted Washington, DC, the halls of Congress and the White House were empty, and everything was in ruins. In downtown Baltimore, "the dead piled up so high as to fill the square." The waters of the Chesapeake Bay stank of the putrefying flesh of dead bodies. Philadelphia was equally abandoned and filled with the stench of death. New York was in ruins. Every city in the United States had been destroyed, and most of the population wiped out. Missouri, Illinois, and part of Iowa were singled out for special punishment, with most human life extirpated. But near Independence, Missouri, Taylor saw twelve men in robes representing the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem. Refugees were arriving to help build the temple. When Taylor awoke from his trance, he was back in Utah.

Another Mormon ideologue was Orson Pratt, who figures in Mitt Romney's family tree. Pratt had a vision that the "great, powerful and populous city of New York ... within a few years become a mass of ruins. The people will wonder while gazing on the ruins that cost hundreds of millions to build, what has become of its inhabitants." [17] This same apocalyptic spirit has been projected into the realm of Fox News Channel and of cable television by the recent rantings of the Mormon convert and true believer, Glenn Beck.


In the summer of 1838, the Mormons were in bitter conflict with their neighbors in northwest Missouri. Groups of proslavery Missouri Border Ruffians were frequently clashing with the Mormon Danite militia. In a climate of great tension, Joseph Smith and his deputy Sidney Rigdon presided over a meeting of Mormon Saints for the purpose of discussing self-defense and military measures. Joseph Smith led off the proceedings by proposing that all lukewarm or vacillating Mormons who had failed to attend the gathering should be stripped of all their property. The crazed Rigdon, anxious to go one better, demanded that "blood of the backward be spilled in the streets" -- meaning that the halfhearted Mormons should be physically liquidated.

Joseph Smith urged his followers to loot the border ruffians in retaliation for the depredations which the Mormon Saints had suffered in Missouri. Joseph Smith then continued with a violent outburst:

"If the people will let us alone, we will preach the gospel in peace. But if they come on us to molest us, we will establish our religion by the sword. We will trample down our enemies and make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was 'the Alcoran or the Sword.' So shall it eventually be with us -- 'Joseph Smith or the Sword!"' [118]


According to Mormon accounts, Joseph Smith delivered an important prophecy in May of 1843 in the presence of his adepts Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley. There are several written versions of this pronouncement, recorded in later years. The most detailed version comes from the diary of John Roberts of Paradise, Utah in an entry dated March 2, 1902. This has become known as the White Horse Prophecy. The LDS authorities have always been uneasy with the political implications of this statement, and so they have relegated it among the esoteric or "shelf doctrines" which circulate among the top leadership, but are not considered suitable for official public distribution or comment.

On May 6, 1843 Joseph Smith presided over a Grand Review of the Nauvoo Legion, his private army. On this occasion, he drank a threatening toast, inveighing against the Mobocrats and Gentiles of the surrounding counties: "I will drink a toast to the overthrow of the mobocrats ... here's wishing they were in the middle of the sea in a stone canoe with iron paddles and that a shark swallowed the canoe and the Devil swallowed the shark and himself locked up in the northwest corner of Hell, the key lost and a blind man hunting it." [119]

The next day, after clashing with a critic of Mormonism over this toast, Joseph Smith took Rushton and Turley aside, and began to prophesy.

"I want to tell you something of the future. I will speak in a parable like unto John the Revelator. You will go to the Rocky Mountains and you will be a great and mighty people established there, which I will call the White Horse of peace and safety."

The Prophet conceded that he himself (no doubt on the model of Moses) would never see this promised land. The Mormon exodus to the Rocky Mountains would be predicated on a continued pattern of persecution by the American Gentiles: "Your enemies will continue to follow you with persecutions and they will make obnoxious laws against you in Congress to destroy the White Horse, but you will have a friend or two to defend you to throw out the worst parts of the laws, so they will not hurt you so much." He instructed the Mormons to maintain their political pressure on Congress, even in the absence of immediate positive results: "you must continue to petition Congress all the time, but they will treat you like strangers and aliens and they will not give you your rights, but will govern you with strangers and commissioners."

There follow the words which have become a central part of the insider folklore of the Mormon community. They contain the idea that, in a grave future crisis of the United States government, the Mormons will save the country by concentrating all political power in their own hands:

" ... you will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber."

This trope of the Constitution hanging by a thread has become a staple of Mormon rhetoric. Is it also one of the unspoken premises of the Mitt Romney presidential campaign?


Putting on a long face, the Prophet continued: "I love the Constitution: it was made by the inspiration of God; and it will be preserved and saved by the efforts of the White Horse, and by the Red Horse who will combine in its defense." Here is another staple component of reactionary and proto-fascist rhetoric, which has become a favorite especially among the Austrians or self-styled libertarians. We will see it again coming from Brigham Young. It is the idea that one can hate and revile the United States government and all of its policies and officials, virtually without exception, while at the same time loudly professing a total devotion to the Constitution. Here we can see the deep ideological linkage of the Mormons with the Ron Paul libertarians. The idea of the Mormons combining with British imperialism to defend the U.S. Constitution is absurd, a hallucination.

During a Florida Republican presidential debate, Romney advanced the interpretation that the US Declaration of Independence is a universal or theological document, not limited in scope to the specifics of the American Revolution, but rather creating a "covenant between God and man." [120]

As for the Red Horse, Joseph Smith is here expressing the alliance of the Mormons to the British Empire, against the United States. To clear up any possible doubt about this, we can skip ahead to a later passage of the same White Horse Prophecy, where we read:

" ... one of the peculiar features in England is the established Red-coat; a uniform making so remarkable a target to shoot at, and yet they have conquered wherever they have gone. The reason for this will be known to them some day as red is seen in different colors threading through under all history. The lion and the unicorn of England come from their being so much blood of Israel in the nation."

The Red Horse is thus the power of the London oligarchy, with an included nod to the British Israelites, a school of thought which had been launched by Richard Brothers in 1794. This is the doctrine that the population of the British Isles are the direct descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Joseph Smith was alleged to be a descendent of the Hebrew patriarch Ephraim, and Mormons are assigned membership in one of the tribes of Israel, so that they may be gathered in during the last days. These beliefs provide a background for the Romney-Netanyahu alliance.


Continuing with his prophecy, Joseph Smith -- interested as always in money-digging -- predicted that the Mormons would get rich through mining in the Rocky Mountains: " ... the White Horse will find the mountains full of minerals and they will become rich. You will see silver piled up in the streets, you will see the gold shoveled up like sand." At this time, the great California gold rush that started at Sutter's Mill in 1848 was still a decade and a half in the future, so this passage may represent an intelligence nugget designed by some well-informed agency to burnish Holy Joe's prophetic credentials.

But a crisis was coming in which survival, and not gold, would be the issue: " ... gold will be of little value then, even in the mercantile capacity; for the people of the world will have something else to do in seeking for salvation. The time will come when the banks of every nation will fail and only two places will be safe where people can deposit their gold and treasure. This place will be the White Horse and England's vaults." Joseph Smith's rhetoric has much in common, not just with the apocalyptic preachings of our time, but also with clever sales pitches of merchants offering overpriced gold to gullible Austrian-school libertarians.

After the financial crisis, a political calamity will begin, and soon refugees will be streaming into the Rocky Mountains to take refuge with the Saints:

"A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every specie [sic] of wickedness will be practiced in the land. Father will be against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of bloodshed, murder and rape that have ever been imagined or looked upon will take place. People will be taken from the earth and there will be peace and love only in the Rocky Mountains. This will cause many hundreds of thousands of the honest in heart of the world to gather there, not because they would be Saints, but for safety and because they will be so numerous that you will be in danger of famine, but not for want of seed, time and harvest, but because of so many to be fed. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities for there will be no escape except by escaping and fleeing to Zion. Those that come to you will try to keep the laws and be one with you for they will see your unity and the greatness of your organization."

At this point in the prophecy, Joseph Smith began delving into geopolitics, and specifically into the Eastern Question -- the rivalry of the great powers, and especially of Great Britain and Russia, to expand their power in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean at the expense of the moribund Ottoman Empire, otherwise known as the Sick Man of Europe: "The Turkish Empire of the Crescent will be the first power to be disputed, for freedom must be given for the Gospel to be preached in the Holy Land." Once again, Joseph Smith makes clear his full support for the British Empire in its rivalry with the Russian Empire, one of the central structural geopolitical contests of the entire 191h century. He even endorses the British self-conception as the balancer in a system of playing off other nations and groups of nations one against the other:

"The Lord took of the best blood of the nations and planted them on the small islands now called England and Great Britain and gave them power in the nation for a thousand years and their power will continue with them that they may keep the balance of power; and they will keep Russia from sweeping her power over the world."

Joseph Smith is also aware that, after the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, and under the July monarchy of King Louis Philippe which was in power at the time that he was making this prophecy, France was functioning as a junior partner of the British Empire. He noted that "England and France are now bitter enemies but they will be allied together and be united to keep Russia from conquering the world. The two popes, Greek and Catholic, will eventually come together in their decline and be united." The union of the Vatican with the Greek patriarchy of Constantinople was a project of British intelligence which never came to fruition. The mere mention of it suggests the quality of the intelligence which Joseph Smith was receiving from the City of London.


Joseph Smith cannot hide his admiration for the murderous psychopath King Henry VIII of England, the monarch who had six wives -- although not all at the same time -- and killed several of them while founding the Anglican or Episcopal church of England. In doing these things, Henry VIII was profoundly influenced by advisers attuned to the strategic goals of the Venetian Republic, the great power of diplomacy and intelligence at the beginning of the 16th century. Joseph Smith also takes a polemical position against the Roman Catholic Church: "The Protestant Religions do not know how much they are indebted to Henry VIII for throwing off the Pope's bill [sic] and establishing the Protestant faith. He was the only monarch who could do so at that time and he did it because the nation was at his back to sustain him." The question is raised: Could a Roman Catholic vote for Romney in good conscience?

In Joseph Smith's imagination, the Red Horse of Great Britain appears not as an agency of empire and exploitation, but of beneficial action. This fantastic appraisal needs to be contrasted to the prevailing and correct American view of the time, which regarded Great Britain with much suspicion. Friedrich List stands out for his systematic critique of the destructive effects of British free trade. The Tory Prophet observes:

"While the terrible things of which I have mentioned are going on, England will be neutral until it becomes so inhuman that she will interfere to stop the shedding of blood and history will be more properly understood. England and France would unite together to make peace, not to subdue the nations. She will find this nation [the United States] so broken up and so many claiming government, till there will be no reasonable government. Then it will appear to the other nations, or powers, as though England had taken possession of the country."

At this point, Joseph Smith introduces a new actor into his prophecy: this is the Black Horse. Mormon protestations to the contrary, there is no doubt that the Black Horse represents the Afro-American or black slaves of the United States, who in Mormon theology represent the descendents of those wretched spirits who refused to take sides in the struggle between the Mormon Jesus and the Mormon Lucifer. Joseph Smith foresees a slave rebellion in the US on the Haitian model, backed by the British:

"The Black Horse will flee to the invaders and will join them for they have fear of becoming slaves again; knowing that England did not believe in slavery, they will flee to them that they believe will make them safe. Armed with British bayonets, the doings of the Black Horse will be terrible."

At this point, Joseph Smith paused in his prophecy, saying that he was overcome by the horror of this vision.


We now find the ominous epithet "Pale Horse," the symbol of death, applied to the United States: The Pale Horse has traditionally appeared as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Revelation of Saint John the Divine in the Christian Bible. The rider of the pale horse traditionally carries a bow and arrows, and is thought to represent pain and pestilence. This is a characteristic metaphor for Joseph Smith to use in describing the United States. Has this Mormon hostility to the United States abated, or is it still present consciously or subconsciously in figures like Mitt Romney? The Prophet went on:

"During this time the Great White Horse will have gathered strength, sending out elders to gather the honest in heart from among the Pale Horse, or people of the United States, to stand by the Constitution of the United States as it was given by the inspiration of God. In these days which are yet to come God will set up a Kingdom never to be thrown down, but other Kingdoms to come into it, and those Kingdoms that will not let the Gospel be preached in their lands will be humbled until they will."

In other words, the Mormons will save the Constitution by creating an American theocracy which will conquer the world. Is this what Romney has in mind?


The way out of the crisis will thus be opened by a massive buildup of Mormon power and influence. The gathering of the lost tribes of Israel will then take center stage:

"England, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium have a considerable amount of the blood of Israel among the people which must be gathered out. Those nations will submit to the nations of God [the Mormon power]. England will be the last of the nations to surrender, but when she does she will do it as a whole in comparison as she threw off the Catholic power. The nobility knows that the gospel is true, but it has not pump enough, and grandeur and influence for them to yet embrace it. They are proud and will not acknowledge the Kingdom of God or come into it until they see the power it will have."

This evidently foreshadows the merger of the Mormon power with the British Empire, but now with the Mormons as the senior partner. Apparently Joseph Smith regarded the Anglican High Church party, shortly to produce the Oxford Movement and the return to Rome of Cardinal Newman, as the key obstacle in this coming merger.

Under the world condominium of the Mormons and the British, a golden age will emerge, with its epicenter in the Rocky Mountains:

"... peace and safety in the Rocky Mountains will be protected by the Guardians, the White and Red Horses. The coming of the Messiah among his people will be so natural that only those who see him will know that he has come, but he will come and give his laws on to Zion and minister unto his people. This will not be his coming in the clouds of heaven to take vengeance on the wicked of the world."

Is this who Romney thinks he is? Obama was certainly not lacking in messianic delusions, so there is no reason why Romney should not be asked about this.

In a prophecy which was not destined to be fulfilled, The Prophet further foretold that "temple in Jackson County, Missouri, will be built in that generation .... You will have ... all the skilled mechanics you want and the Ten Tribes of Israel will help build it." This is once again perhaps an indication of help coming from Great Britain and northern Europe.


There were two last great enemies which Joseph Smith had to deal with: these were China and Russia, who, as always in British intelligence estimates, appear as hostile and threatening powers.

First, there was a threat of Chinese immigration to California: "There is a land beyond the Rocky Mountains that will be invaded by the heathen Chinese unless great care and protection be given. Where there is no law there is no condemnation; this will apply to them. Power will be given to the White Horse to rebuke the nations afar off and you obey it for the laws go forth from Zion."

Warding off the "heathen Chinese" was, however, only a prelude to the final apocalyptic struggle with Russia:

"The last great struggle that Zion will ever have to contend with will be when the whole of America will be made the Zion of God. Those opposing will be called Gog and Magog. The nations of the earth will be led by the Russian Czar and his power will be great, but all opposition will be overcome and this land will be the Zion of our God. Amen. [121]

Mitt Romney has famously stated that Russia remains the "number one geopolitical foe" of the United States. Does Joseph Smith's White Horse Prophecy playa role in this strategic estimate?

In October 1918, the General Conference of the Latter-day Saints proclaimed that the White Horse Prophecy was "never spoken by the Prophet" and repudiated it. Of course, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both denied that they were practicing polygamy at times in their lives when they knew that they were indeed doing so. The prophecy remains "on the shelf," held in abeyance until the proper moment.


Mormon scholar George Cobabe also pronounced the White Horse Prophecy totally irrelevant. "I don't think the White Horse Prophecy is fair to bring up at all," said Cobabe. "It's been rejected by every church leader that has talked about it. It has nothing to do with anything." [122]

Strangely, Mitt Romney used exactly the same boiler plate, verbatim, in a 2008 interview with the Salt Lake Tribune. "I don't think the White Horse Prophecy is fair to bring up at all. It's been rejected by every church leader that has talked about it. It has nothing to do with anything," said Mitt. Was he working from Cobabe's text, or were they both quoting LDS talking points on how to deal with this potentially embarrassing subject?

As the Mormon Coffee blog ("It's forbidden, but it's good!") points out, there is also the embarrassing problem that Joseph Smith's religious and political heir, Brigham Young, repeatedly endorsed the White Horse Prophecy. One such moment came in 1855, when Brigham Young stated:

"And when the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the 'Mormon' Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it."

In 1868, after the Civil War had ended, Brigham Young again showed his allegiance to the White Horse Prophecy:

"How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass." [123]


As Sally Denton of salon.com points out, Romney grew up as the son of the celebrated George Romney, Governor of Michigan, Nixon cabinet official, presidential candidate, and the most famous Mormon politician in the United States. Romney was christened as Willard Mitt Romney in honor of the super-rich Mormon plutocrat, J. Willard Marriott. In 1970, when Romney's mother Lenore was campaigning against Philip Hart for a Michigan Senate seat, Romney was a member of the all male, lily-white, Cougar Club at Brigham Young University, named after the hardened traitor, British agent, and abuser of women we are getting to know in these pages. By this time, Romney had already served as assistant to the President of the LDS mission to France, which had over 200 missionaries in the field. As Denton recounts, the refrain of "If not Mitt, who?" was frequently heard among these rich Mormon elitists, and it meant that Mitt Romney was destined to fulfill Joseph Smith's vision of The White Horse. [124]


According to Denton, Romney "at BYU was idolized by fellow students and referred to, only half jokingly, as the 'One Mighty and Strong.' He was the 'alpha male' in the rarefied Cougar pack, according to Michael D. Moody, a BYU classmate and fellow member of the group," in which young Mormon missionaries back from abroad were heavily represented. The expression "One Mighty and Strong" might represent a leader combining charisma and theocracy -- a dangerous combination, as historical experience shows. This concept, it will come as no surprise, is rooted in visions of Joseph Smith. In a letter to his speechwriter William W. Phelps of November 27, 1832, the Prophet shared the following revelation, which he said he had received from Jesus Christ:

"It shall come to pass, that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the vivid shaft of lighting ... These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfill." [125]

Michael Moody, like Mitt Romney a BYU graduate and a prominent descendent of a family which has been part of Mormonism for seven generations, but unlike Romney now critical of Mormonism, recounts that he was indoctrinated on the need to carry out Joseph Smith's White Horse Prophecy. Moody says that the LDS Church attached great importance to having its members serve as important government officials. Moody received what amounts to a political commission as part of his Temple Endowment: " ... the instructions in my [patriarchal] blessing, which I believed came directly from Jesus, motivated me to seek a career in government and politics," he relates. [126] In 1982, Moody, believing he had received a divine injunction to "expand our kingdom," ran for governor of Nevada. He was commanded to "lead the world into the millennium." "Moody was indoctrinated with the White Horse Prophecy," writes Denton. "We were taught that America is the Promised Land. The Mormons are the Chosen People. And the time is now for a Mormon leader to usher in the second coming of Christ and install the political Kingdom of God in Washington, DC," says Moody. [127]

Does such a seizure of power in Washington by the Saints under Romney's leadership constitute the long-awaited Mormon Moment, a time when legions of predatory, antinomian Mormons would seize control of the government and attempt to settle old scores, perhaps even going back to the 1844 assassination of Joseph Smith and his brother? You have been warned.



89 I got to know the Iranian historian Aly Mazaheri in Paris during the I980s, when he was  teaching at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He was the author of many articles  and books, notably La route de fa soie (Paris: S.P.A.G. Papyrus, 1983).
90 Miller, Joseph Smith, pp. 172-3.
91 Flegg, p. 47.
92 Dallimore, pp. 47-48.
93 Dallimore, p. 49.

94 Flegg, p. 437.
95 Flegg, p. 443.
96 Sandeen, pp. 47-48.

97 Margaret Oliphant, The Life of Edward Irving (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1864), 3rd edition,  pp. 342, 325.
98 See Anton Chaitkin, Treason in America (New York: New Benjamin Franklin House, 1985).
99 Thomas Carlyle, Reminiscences, edited by James Anthony Froude (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1881), pp. 55-267.

100 Clyde de L. Ryals, "Thomas Carlyle and the Mormons: an Unpublished Essay," Carlyle  Studies Annual XIV (1995), pp. 48-55. Ryals comments: "Thomas Carlyle's essay on the  Mormons, unpublished during his lifetime, reflects a surprising sympathy with the religious sect  that had first come to Britain from the United States in 1837and had grown to an extent that a  decade later one out of every three members of the Latter-day Saints was British. Carlyle was  impressed by the sect's hierarchical administration dominated by a strong leader, the earnestness  of belief on the part of its adherents, and their total dedication to it, even to the point of death."  See Mark Cumming, ed., The Carlyle Encyclopedia, article by Ryals on "Mormons."
101 Clyde de L. Ryals, "Thomas Carlyle and the Mormons: an Unpublished Essay," Carlyle Studies Annual XIV (1995), pp. 48-55.
102 Paul E. Kerry, "Thomas Carlyle's Draft Essay on the Mormons," Literature and Belief 25: 1.
103 Hirshson, p, 138.
104 Werner, Brigham Young (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925), p. 110.
105 Werner, p. 111. 
106 Werner, p. 113.
107 For the civilizade, see Thomas Taylor Meadows, The Chinese and Their Rebellions and An  Essay on Civilization (London: Smith, Elder, 1856), p. 544. This work is interesting for its  comparison between Mormondom and the Middle Kingdom.
108 See Bruce Baum, "Feminism, Liberalism and Cultural Pluralism: J. S. Mill on Mormon  Polygyny," The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 5, number 3, 1997, pp. 230-253.
109 Paul E. Kerry, "Thomas Carlyle's Draft Essay on the Mormons," Literature and Belief 25: 1-2, 2005.
110 Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveler (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1873), p. 326
111 Dickens, p. 311-312.
112 Paul E. Kerry, "Thomas Carlyle's Draft Essay on the Mormons," Literature and Belief 25: 1-2, 2005. 
113 Dickens, p. 313.
114 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section One 1830-1834. Doctrinal History of the Church I: 315, cited by Skousen.
115 W. Cleon Skousen, The Cleansing of America (Orem UT: Valor Publishing Group), online preview at books.google.com.
116 Skousen, Ibid. 
117 W. Cleon Skousen, The Cleansing of America, online preview at books.google.com.
118 History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 167.
119 Future Prophecies Revealed at FutureRevealed.com. According to George Cobabe, "The White Horse Prophecy," online at FAIRLDS.org, original text is in John J. Roberts, Reminiscences and Diaries 1898-1902, microfilm manuscript, Church History Library, Salt Lake City Utah. 
120 Sally Denton, "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy: a close look at the roots of Romney's and  the Mormon Church's -- political ambitions" (Salon.com, January 29, 2012).
121 Future Prophecies Revealed at FutureRevealed.com.
122 See the Mormon Coffee blog of the Mormonism Research and Ministry at blog.mrm.com. 
123 Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2: 182 and 12:204, Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 360-361, cited by blog.mrm.org.
124 Sally Denton, "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy: a close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" (Salon.com, January 29, 2012). 
125 Joseph Smith, History of the Church, ed. B. H. Roberts, vol. I, pp. 297-299.
126 See Michael Moody, Mill, Set Our People Free!: A Seventh Generation Mormon's Plea for Truth (Universe, 2008).
127 Sally Denton, "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy: a close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" (Salon.com, January 29, 2012). 
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Re: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of

Postby admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:42 pm

Part 1 of 3


"If the Mormons had behaved like other people, they would never have been driven from Illinois and Missouri; but they stole, robbed and plundered from all their neighbors, and all the time.'"

-- Former Mormon and Joseph Smith speechwriter William W. Phelps, (Hirshson, p. 63)

On the day that Joseph Smith and Hiram Smith were killed by the mob in Carthage, Illinois, Brigham Young was in Massachusetts campaigning for the election of the Prophet as president. A public meeting in Boston on July 1, 1844 which was addressed by Young, Lyman White, and Orson Hyde had not gone well, since "catcalls and hoots drowned out speeches .... " (Hirshson, p. 48) The question immediately arose as to whether the gift of prophecy had departed from the Mormon Saints with the death of Joseph Smith, or whether the prophetic voice would continue to speak through another of the apostles. Did the LDS Church still possess the keys that would unlock or lock the kingdom of heaven? Brigham Young conferred with Mitt Romney's ancestor Orson Pratt, and soon proclaimed: "the keys of the kingdom are right here with the church.''' (Hirshson, p. 51) Naturally, Brigham Young was already preparing his own candidacy as the successor of Joseph Smith.


A bitter faction fight soon followed. Brigham Young was able to dispose of the first challenge, which came from Sydney Rigdon, whose pre-Mormon career always set him apart from the tight clique of true believers. But there were still other contenders. Brigham Young was able to finally assert his primacy by using his already recognized ability as a mimic, capable of imitating the gestures and voice of other persons. Brigham Young's performance on August 8, 1844 was decisive, and became "perhaps the most famous in Mormon history." (Hirshson, p. 53) Brigham Young was able to convince the majority of those present that he was channeling the spirit of Joseph Smith, and therefore the role of successor ought to go to him. This then became an official theological dictum of the Mormon Saints: "The church insisted that at the meeting Joseph Smith occupied Young's person." (Hirshson, p. 53)

Brigham Young, like Joseph Smith, had been born in Vermont. He was an early recruit and loyal retainer. Much less interested than Joseph Smith in spirituality and doctrine, he made fewer theological pronouncements and recruited fewer converts than Mitt Romney's ancestor Parley Pratt. Like Stalin however, Brigham Young rose to the top because he was a consummate Organization Man. He had been sent by Joseph Smith to establish contact with the British, and he later made sure that his own son renewed these contacts. Brigham Young's face betrayed his brutal, carnal nature. He was given over to the passions of pride, rage, hatred, violence and vindictiveness. Charity, mercy, and pity played no role in his mentality. He loved strife. He was interested above all in power, with wealth coming in a close second. Polygamy he regarded as a means of power. Polygamy gave him power over individual women, and polygamy also allowed him to establish a cohesiveness in the Mormon community that allowed it to be impervious for many years to outside influence. In politics, he was a hardened traitor. These qualities allowed Brigham Young to successfully organize the wagon trains that carried the Mormons from Illinois to Salt Lake City. But his greed was also instrumental in creating the Mormon handcart debacle of 1857, which led to a political backlash against him.

After the Civil War, Brigham Young was trying to convince federal officials that he had always been on the side of the Union, which of course was not true. But he did this by announcing that he would have executed not just the Confederate diplomats Mason and Slidell, but every Confederate official he could get his hands on. Young "uttered this sentiment 'with such a wicked working of the lower jaw and lip, and such an almost demon-like spirit in his whole face, that quite disposed to be incredulous on those matters, I could not help thinking of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, of recusant Mormons, of Danites and Avenging Angels, and their reported achievements.''' (Saints and the Union, p. 265) Brigham Young was a man of blood, and the greatest terrorist in North America during the 19th century.


Brigham Young held women in contempt, and was an anti-black racist, as his contemptuous response to the Emancipation Proclamation will show clearly enough. The Mormon Moses also hated Jews, of whom he once said: "I would rather undertake to convert five thousand Lamanites [Indians] than to convert one of those poor miserable creatures whose fathers killed the Savior, and who say, 'Amen to the deed,' to this day. Yea, I would rather undertake to convert the devil himself, if it were possible.''' (Hirshson, p. 255) Brigham Young knew that he was hated, and that his life was often in danger from enemies within the Mormon camp. Accordingly, "when Young picnicked, he kept the place and time secret." (Hirshson, p. 249)

One of the hallmarks of Brigham Young's leadership was the systematic cultivation ofa vendetta or blood feud by the Saints against the United States of America. This was expressed in the Oath of Vengeance, which Brigham Young inserted into the official Mormon temple endowment, or liturgy for divine service. This became the ideology of his theocratic regime. The leading lights of Mormons tried to outdo each other in making apocalyptic pronouncements about the utter doom and devastation which would soon overtake the ungrateful who had scorned and then murdered Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God.


For the Mormons succumbed to the temptation of idealizing their own conduct, while demonizing that of their neighbors. Two recent scholars point out that, while the grievances of the Mormons over their expulsion from Missouri were real, the Saints "quickly forgot the farms the Danites had burned and the cattle they had rustled," but they had photographic memories and meticulous catalogs of all the wrongs done to them, and this tradition lives on in the Mormon and pro-Mormon historians of today. (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, pp. 16-17) In the words of former Mormon William W. Phelps, "If the Mormons had behaved like other people, they would never have been driven form Illinois and Missouri; but they stole, robbed and plundered from all their neighbors, and all the time." (Hirshson, p. 63) We can detect the influence of the antinomian heresy, which suggested to the Saints that the moral law had been suspended for their benefit.


Brigham Young's bitterness was doubtless increased in December 1845, when an Illinois Circuit Court indicted him for counterfeiting. According to the Illinois district attorney, "from the testimony before the grand jury, it appeared that counterfeiting coin had been largely carried on at their place for some years. The defendants evade the service of process." Named in the indictment were four other Mormon leaders, including Parley Pratt, Mitt Romney's ancestor. (Hirshson, p. 68)

Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather Parley Pratt poured out his venom against the United States in a memorable pronouncement. To punish the Gentiles, he foresaw, plagues, earthquakes, storms, tempests; and other dire calamities would strike the world and "devour the wicked." Pratt predicted "the wreck of nations; the casting down of thrones; the crash of states, and the winding up of all mere human institutions; while a new dynasty, as a universal Theocracy, shall succeed and stand forever." (Does this prophecy foreshadow the presidency of Parley's great-great-grandson, Mitt Romney?) God would then defeat the Gentiles and create his own kingdom on earth. God would "overthrow their armies, assert his own right, rule the nations with a rod of iron, root the wicked out of the earth, and take possession of his own kingdom." (Hirshson, p. 92) The Mormons would be placed in command.

In December 1847, after running the show for three years as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young was ordained as First President of the church. At this point, Brigham Young was the dominant personality in the Quorum of the Twelve, and also controlled the secret Council of Fifty, the broader body including non-Mormons which Joseph Smith had created for the express purpose of seizing political power in the United States and then worldwide. Because conflict between the Saints and the rest of the population had become endemic in Illinois, Brigham had moved many Mormons to winter quarters in Nebraska in 1846, and then continued on to Salt Lake Valley, where he arrived on July 24, 1847 -- still celebrated as Pioneer Day in Utah, and considered much more important than the Fourth of July.

Salt Lake Valley was many hundreds of miles beyond the frontier of American settlement in the 1840s, and was still part of Mexico, but the authority of the Mexican state had grown very weak in this outlying territory. The Great Basin represented a power vacuum into which Brigham Young and the Mormons moved. Their goal was unquestionably to create an independent state, which they called Deseret (allegedly the Hebrew word for honeybee, one of Brigham Young's personal symbols, as it had been Napoleon's). Deseret was designed to include in whole or in part the modern states of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and California. Now exercising dictatorial authority, Brigham Young sent out parties of Mormon settlers to build settlements and forts guarding the approaches to his new Inland Empire.

Brigham Young aimed at duplicating the kind of theocratic tyranny which Joseph Smith had established in Nauvoo during the last days, when he had concentrated all spiritual and temporal power in his own hands. In those days, Joseph Smith had been the mayor, the lieutenant general in command of the militia, the head of the city Council, and the Chief Justice of the local court. (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 19) And of course, Joseph Smith had been King of the Kingdom of God.

Emma Smith, the widow of Joseph Smith, refused to join Brigham Young in this endeavor, although he tried mightily to lure her in. Emma Smith and her sons indignantly denied that Joseph Smith had ever practiced polygamy, and on this basis created a dissident minority branch of Mormonism which exists to this day: this is the Reorganized Church of the Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Reorganites. Another dissident branch was located in Michigan under the authority of James Strang, who set up his own theocracy on an island and ruled it for a time.


It was during this time that Brigham Young introduced the Mormon Oath of Vengeance against the United States of America into the Mormon Temple Endowment or ceremonial liturgy. The late Prophet Joseph Smith's son William, who was the leader of a Reorganite congregation in Covington, Kentucky, warned President Zachary Taylor and Congress about the activities of Brigham Young. William Smith compared Deseret to Sodom and Gomorrah, and told the US government that Deseret should not be admitted to the Union, because it was a theocracy. He accused Brigham Young of entertaining "treasonable designs against the liberties of American free born sons and daughters .... Their intention is to unite church and state, and whilst the political power of the Roman pontiff is passing away, this American tyrant is endeavoring to establish a new order of political popery in the recesses of the mountains of America." Raising the alarm against the Oath of Vengeance specifically, William Smith told President Taylor that "At Young's insistence fifteen hundred Saints had sworn to 'avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this nation,' to 'carry out hostilities against the nation, and to keep the same intent a profound secret, now and forever. '" (Hirshson, pp. 101-102)

If Brigham Young wanted his Inland Empire, he would need to have the Indians on his side to defend it against the United States. In theory, Brigham Young argued that it was better to feed the Indians than to fight them, and that, as descendents of the Lamanites, their ultimate destiny was to intermarry with the Mormons and be absorbed into the community of Saints. But here, the Mormons had a very uneven record.


The American or "Gentile" subagent Henry R. Day of the Bureau of Indian Affairs provided evidence of the deep suspicion the Indians held towards the Mormon Saints. Day was in touch with Chief Walker, the war chief of the Ute or Utah Indian tribe, and with Sowiette, the tribe's civil leader. Day reported that the Ute tribe was reluctant to attend peace talks with the Mormons, because "they believed it to be a trap set by the Mormons to kill them. They seem to have but little confidence in anything the Mormon people say to them and decidedly stand in fear of them ... the old Chieftain, Sowiette ... raising himself up to his full height said to me, American -- good! Mormon -- No good! American -- friend. Mormon -- kill -- Steal.' Each year, complained Sowiette, the Saints shoved his people further away from good soil and timber. With tears in his eyes he begged the 'Great Father' in Washington to stop the aggressors before they drove the Indians into the mountains, where starvation was certain." (Hirshson, p. 114)


There is good evidence that Joseph Smith introduced polygamy under the influence of his own carnal obsessions. The Prophet once confessed: "whenever I see a pretty woman, I have to pray for Grace." [128] Under the Joseph Smith regime, Mormon polygamy was always strictly, and vehemently, and indignantly denied in public. It also tended to be limited to the top levels of the Mormon hierarchy, and was not the rule among new converts or rank-and-file members.

A perceptive analysis of Brigham Young's use of polygamy or celestial marriage came from F. T. Ferris, the "Gentile" business manager of the Salt Lake Daily Tribune. Ferris said:

"Brigham Young did not become a polygamist, nor do I believe that he enforced polygamy on his subjects simply for the indulgence of the animal passions. It was different with Joseph Smith, who was a man who could not control his passions, and who practiced polygamy even before he received the revelation making it the bounden duty of all good Mormons. In fact, the belief is common among the more intelligent Mormons that Joseph's carnal passions were the cause of the revelation. With Brigham it is different. With him, it is a matter of statesmanship. He is a shrewd man rather than a fanatic, and looks upon the building up of a power in the territory rather than to the indulgence of his passions .... He, I believe, clings to polygamy, first, because he thinks it will more rapidly build up the Mormon state, and, second, because its practice tends to isolate those who practice it from the outer world, keeps them together, and thereby renders his power more secure and stable than if the polygamic institution did not exist.'" (Hirshson, pp. 302-03)

Brigham Young's attitude was more manipulative and more calculating. He clearly viewed polygamy as a means of maintaining the unity and cohesion of the Mormon community in the midst of a hostile American and Gentiles sea. Under Brigham's regime, polygamy was encouraged for all male Mormons who were in good standing with the church. The rule was that a man had to have at least three wives in order to be taken seriously as a Saint, since this was the minimum quota needed to become a god and rule over a planet in the afterlife. Even the poorest farmers soon had plural wives in their impoverished cabins. The result of this was to guarantee that these polygamists would remain in Brigham Young's fiefdom forever. This was because there was no place else in the United States, nor in North America, nor in the Western world and much of the non-Western world where polygamy would be tolerated. Once you were a polygamist you had to stay in Deseret, and that meant serving Brigham Young and his geopolitical-theocratic designs. Polygamy became even more of a recruiting tool.

It was in 1852 that Brigham Young reversed the Joseph Smith policy of publicly lying about polygamy, and proclaimed the Order of Jacob (meaning celestial marriage and plural wives) before world public opinion. As was now typical, Brigham Young in this pronouncement mixed theological and administrative issues according to his own demagogic needs.


The essence of his announcement was that the Mormon God, sometimes called Elohim, was a polygamist in heaven, and had descended to earth with one of his wives. The two had become incarnate in the Garden of Eden in the form of Adam and Eve. Brigham's revelation was that: "When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days about whom holy men have written and spoken -- He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do."

The Mormon apologist Edward Tullidge later touted this pronouncement, claiming that "When Brigham Young proclaimed to the nations that Adam was our Father and God, and Eve, his partner, the Mother of a world -- both in a mortal and celestial sense -- he made the most important revelation ever oracle to the race since the days of Adam himself." (Hirshson, p. 119)

A group of traveling notables came to Salt Lake City in that same year of 1852, and included the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Schuyler Colfax, and journalists Samuel Bowles of the Springfield Republican, and Albert D. Richardson of the New York Tribune. Before this august company, Brigham Young further embroidered his account, asserting that the Virgin Mary and Mother of God was also a wife of Adam: "That very babe that was cradled in the manger was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being. Do you inquire by whom? He was begotten by God our heavenly Father." The begetting was accomplished not by the miraculous action of the Holy Spirit, but materially, Brigham said, "by the process known to nature -- just as men now create children." Betraying the inherent materialism and anti-Trinitarianism of Mormon doctrine, Brigham Young also pointed out that the father and the son were identical in appearance, except that God the father looked older. (Hirshson, p. 119) It was a pagan caricature of the Scriptures.


For Brigham Young, if God the Father practiced polygamy, so did the Mormon Jesus. Mormons like Orson Pratt (the great-great-great uncle of the GOP candidate) and Jedediah M. Grant asserted that Jesus had married three wives, including Mary Magdalene, the repentant woman in Luke, and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Jesus' friend, Lazarus. (Hirshson, p. 119) The next step, obviously enough, was to claim that the Mormon Saints were the biological descendents of Christ. Brigham Young made this claim, saying "You understand who we are; we are of the House of Israel, of the royal seed, of the royal blood." (Hirshson. p. 17) In China at around the same time, the Prophet Hong Xiuquan was creating the Celestial Kingdom of the Taiping with a claim to be Christ's younger brother.

Brigham Young taught that men who died unmarried might go to heaven, but could never become gods and rule over planets in the way that polygamists could. These bachelors could only hope to become angels, meaning that they would become the servants and errand boys of those who had advanced to the level of Godhead. (Hirshson, p. 122) A society based on classes was thus projected into heaven. As for the women, their only hope of entering heaven was by being married in the temple, and their chances were increased if their husband was a Mormon bigwig, and not some obscure settler.

Brigham Young and his machine put out the word, ordering the Saints to "Make haste and get married! Let me see no boys above sixteen and girls above fourteen unmarried," as one contemporary reported. (Hirshson, p. 126)


Mormonism thus established itself as an oligarchy of patriarchs ruling over extended households. These male oligarchs were the true beneficiaries of the system. The losers were the vast majority -- polygamous wives, young men, and older women. The fact that powerful polygamists were monopolizing numbers of marriageable women meant that non-elite males would have trouble finding a spouse. We see the same phenomenon today in a Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints, where hundreds of boys and young men have been driven out of the Southern Utah strongholds and forced to go elsewhere. Warren Jeffs was reported to be constantly on the lookout for minor infractions by these young males that he could use as a pretext for expelling them.


As for the older women, Ann Eliza Webb Young in her highly readable Wife No. 19 tells the story of a destitute old woman who had been one of Brigham Young's wives, but whom he had expelled from his household and refused to support. This unfortunate lady would regularly confront the women still living in Brigham Young's harem, and remind them in no uncertain terms that she would have precedence over them in heaven because Brigham had married her before them. Ann Eliza Webb Young, although still young and attractive, could see the danger that she would be treated in the same way: Brigham Young, although he was a multimillionaire. came to her one day and announced that he could no longer pay her an allowance for her living expenses. At that point, she initiated divorce proceedings for abandonment and nonsupport, and was ultimately granted a divorce. She also obtained ajudgment awarding her a cash settlement and alimony, but when Brigham Young refused to pay, the Mormon-controlled probate courts refused to enforce collection, and so Ann Eliza Webb Young and her children got nothing. On the basis of this, Brigham Young takes his place as one of the most famous deadbeat dads of the 19th century.


Ann Eliza Webb Young also tells the story of two young sisters, both children when their mother married the Mormon polygamist McDonald. Here the arrangement was that the two little girls would also marry McDonald as soon as they were a little older. Eliza said she heard them talk about "Marrying Pa." [129] Polygamy in such cases also subsumed a violation of the incest taboo.

From the point of view of the women involved in some of these marriages, polygamy or polygyny for the husband sometimes implied polyandry from the point of view of the woman. This is especially the case with the wives of Joseph Smith, many of whom were married women. Once they had entered into celestial marriage with Joseph Smith, they had two husbands, and had thus crossed into polyandry.

One perceptive visitor to the Mormon Mecca was Sir Richard Burton, the author of the Arabian Nights. Burton had seen harems in the Middle East. He noted the economic advantages of the plural wives system for the male patriarchs: "Servants are rare and costly; it is cheaper and more comfortable to marry them. Many converts are attracted by the prospect of being wives, especially from places where, like Clifton, there are sixty-four females to thirty-six males." (Hirshson, p. 123)

Research suggests that about 20% of Mormon families practiced polygamy. According to Hirshson, of 1,748 polygamists in one sample, 66.3 per cent had two wives, 21.2 per cent had three, and only 6.7 per cent had four. Brigham Young, Jr. claimed that Utah had four women for every three men. According to another distinguished European visitor, the French naturalist Jules Remy, there were many bachelors who could not find wives. (Hirshson, p. 124)


Mormon architects designed houses for polygamists with separate entrances to many individual apartments, one for each wife and her children. Brigham Young's biographer Hirshson notes that "some rich men avoided domestic troubles by scattering their families all over town, but others, including Young, preferred harem life, keeping most of their wives together but apart from the husband, who had his own quarters nearby." (Hirshson, p. 124) One wonders how many rich and powerful Mormons even today stash their plural wives in apartments scattered all over the United States or even all over the world, somewhat like Mitt Romney's offshore bank accounts.

The south of Utah, known as Dixie, acquired a reputation for having the most aggressive polygamists, an infamy which persists down to the present-day reign of Warren Jeffs. Southern Utah was also the home of Miles Romney the younger, great-grandfather of the candidate. "Abuses were especially common south of Salt Lake City, where the immigrants who lived in the isolated communities were subject to the bishop's absolutism. In Provo, sixty miles south of Salt Lake City, a man settled with his beautiful seventeen-year-old daughter. Many polygamists desired the girl, but the father warded them off. Early in 1857, he died. At the graves ide the bishop who conducted the service ordered the girl to marry him. She had no alternative but to become his seventh wife." (Hirshson, pp. 125-26) The Romney family lived for a time in St. George, Utah, in this southern part of the state.


Hirshson records more cases of polygamy crossing over into incest: "A man named Winchester married his mother, and Young himself sealed a mother and daughter to their cousin, Luman A. Shurtliff. The Prophet often allowed his favorites to marry their stepdaughters, sometimes encouraged brothers and sisters to marry, and at least once sealed a half brother to his half sister. He also sealed an elderly man to a fifty-seven-year-old woman and her fourteen-year old granddaughter." (Hirshson, p. 126)

Inevitably, polygamy also created examples of what was then called the white slavery, and would today be classified as sex slavery or human trafficking: "Prominent Mormons sometimes purchased girls. Frederick Loba, the Swiss chemist the Saints converted and ordered to Utah to manufacture gunpowder, saw 'two young sisters sold by their father to General Horace Eldredge for some groceries.' In 1856, according to The New York Times, Kimball offered a father a yoke of oxen and a wagon for a sixteen-year-old girl." (Hirshson, p. 129)

The network for foreign recruiting which Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, and other leading Mormons had helped to found provided Deseret with a steady stream of converts who could be exploited by the church hierarchy for political, economic, military, and sexual purposes. By 1854, the LDS Church "had branches in England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Malta, Gibraltar, Australia, and the Sandwich Islands, India, Siam, Ceylon, South Africa, and British Guiana. Although the Prussian king expelled them, the Saints usually succeeded in Protestant countries, especially Scandinavia, northern Germany, and Great Britain, but convinced few people in southern Germany, Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, and other Catholic countries. Jewish converts were almost nonexistent. Realizing the power of the written word, the Saints translated the Book of Mormon into French, German, Italian, Danish, Welsh, and Polynesian." (Hirshson, p. 106)

The criteria for Mormon recruiting were anything but rigorous, and one observer noted that" ... Mormonism, a mixture of superstition and tradition, appealed, as Saints themselves admitted, to the fearful, the credulous, and the downtrodden." (Hirshson, p. 16) The best results were obtained in the north of England as part of an operation which could not have been conducted without at least the tacit approval of the British government. By 1870, the travel agency which Brigham Young set up had financed the travel expenses of 38,000 Britishers, plus 13,000 people from other European countries. Another positive aspect of this for the Mormons is that these immigrants had no connection whatsoever to the United States, and had never been a part of the US. (Hirshson, p. 106)


One member of the Quorum of the Twelve was Heber Kimball, code-named "the Herald of Grace." In an article entitled "Among the Mormons" by Fitz Hugh Ludlow, published in the Atlantic Monthly of April 1864, we can see how the grotesque ran riot in the little world of Mormon polygamy. Kimball sounds like a polygamist Falstaff when he praises the various nationalities of women represented in his harem. Kimball boasted that he admired women of all nations. "I love the Danes dearly! I've got a Danish wife." he told Ludlow. Kimball then went on "the Irish are a dear people. My Irish wife is among the best I've got." Kimball kept going: "I love the Germans! Got a Dutch wife, too!" (Hirshson, p. 130)

A Mormon defector told the New York Times of February 15, 1852 that the reality of Salt Lake City was "licentiousness run mad.'" On September 21, 1857 an anonymous source identified as one of the many daughters of Brigham Young was quoted by the New York Times as observing "If Salt Lake City was only roofed over, it would be the biggest whorehouse in the world." [130]


In October 1855, Heber C. Kimball advised "young men to get married at sixteen, and take two wives and a dozen if they wished." In the view of this apostle, girls "were old enough to get married at fourteen." With a strange idea of apostolic decorum, Kimball said he "wanted all the girls 14 & boys 16 to go to it and get married or rather get married and go to it." Brigham Young taught that "there were spirits of a nobler class waiting to take bodies & it was the duty of every man to be taking to himself more wives." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, pp. 81-82)


When the newly recruited Mormon Saints arrived in Deseret, they were not left to their own devices under some mystical regime of free enterprise, but were rather inducted into a collectivist system with overtones of debt peonage under centralized control: "In Utah the church directed the convert's activities. It inventoried his goods and if he had money told him what to do with it. An impoverished man was sent to a bishop, who gave him up to ten acres of land, seed, a wagon, and a yoke of cattle. The immigrant signed a note for these items plus interest as high as twelve per cent a year. Until his debt was paid, the bishop disposed of the man's harvest: a tenth went to the church as a tithe; a portion provided for the laborer's family; some went for seed; the rest paid off the debt." (Hirshson, p. 107)

The horrors of Mormon polygamy and theocracy were on display in national newspapers for all to see, but, nevertheless, on September 9, 1850, US President Millard Fillmore named Brigham Young as the governor of Utah Territory and superintendent of Indian affairs. The doughface Fillmore had become president after the very suspicious death of President Zachary Taylor, a Whig nationalist. Thanks to his appointment as governor, Brigham Young could now exercise theocratic power under the color of territorial law. (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 48) Brigham Young was always certain that Zachary Taylor and James K. Polk were going to hell, but he made an exception for Fillmore, even naming a town in Utah in his honor.

In order to make elections easier to control, the part of the Utah territorial code dealing with elections demanded that paper ballots be numbered so as to allow the name of the voter to be ascertained, in case an heretical ballot had been cast. [131]

Brigham Young regarded the building up of Utah Territory as inseparable for preparations for war against the United States. At the founding of Salt Lake City in 1847, Brigham Young was already looking ahead to an irrepressible conflict with the government in Washington. "If the people of the United States will let us alone for 10 years, we will ask no odds of them," said Young. Without doubt, the goal was always a separate country, an independent empire decidedly hostile to the United States. Charles E. Mix of the Office of Indian Affairs denounced the "policy pursued by the Mormons, which aimed at the establishment of an independent Mormon empire." [132] (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 11)

Standard Mormon practice was to insist that all federal officials operating in the Utah Territory and in surrounding regions be obedient members of the Mormon Church. If these federal officials attempted to implement policies which the Mormons did not like, they harassed them mercilessly, even putting their lives in danger. One Mormon trick was to make sure that the Utah probate courts had jurisdiction over most legal cases. Since Brigham Young controlled the juries and judges in his probate courts, any attempt to compel respect for federal law was doomed from the beginning.

At this time, Utah was a territory, and not a state. Standard practice for all territories at this time was that the territorial governor, federal judges, and other key appointments for the territories were filled by the president, acting with the advice and consent of the Senate. No territory had the right to choose its own governor or its own federal officials, although of course intensive lobbying of the Congress and the executive was carried on.


US President Franklin Pierce, who was close to the Mazzini Young America networks, refused the initial bid of Utah to become a state. The result was a situation of virtual insurrection. At the same time, we should look forward to Abraham Lincoln's policy of temporarily leaving the Mormons alone, until such time as growing federal power allowed their barbaric practice of polygamy to be dealt with effectively. The approach of President James Buchanan contrasts significantly with Lincoln's. Lincoln wanted to act from a position of strength, while Buchanan insisted on acting from a position of weakness, on the eve of the Civil War. Buchanan was notoriously a famous doughface -- a free state man with slave state principles, as he showed by backing the slaveholder party in Bleeding Kansas. The Buchanan administration's malfeasance and nonfeasance opened the door wide for secessionism and civil war.

Under the disastrous Kansas-Nebraska legislation and its principle of popular sovereignty or squatter sovereignty, sporadic terrorism broke out between proslavery Border Ruffians and anti-slavery farmers, sprinkled with abolitionist provocateurs like John Brown, coming into Kansas. From the Mormon point of view, the Border Ruffians were of course the Missouri mobs who had attacked them in the 1830s.

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia was intended to set off a general slave insurrection in the southern states, which might have started the Civil War years in advance. John Brown's actions were financed by a group of Boston bankers who descended from the New England secessionists of the War of 1812 era, and who were in close contact with British intelligence. Given Brigham Young's own historical pattern of keeping close to London, we may speculate that he was expecting the civil war to break out in the Midwest and the East sooner than it did, diverting federal forces away from the Utah front. If so, Brigham Young's calculation was off by several years.

As if the Kansas conflict were not sufficient, James Buchanan chose this moment to begin appointing non-Mormon officials for the Utah Territory. A more serious approach would have been to send in federal troops in advance of this announcement, so as to be able to enforce federal authority from day one. As it turned out, when the Mormons moved toward secession in 1857, the U.S. Army under the disloyal Secretary of War Floyd was unable to put a garrison into Salt Lake City until 1858, creating an unmistakable impression of weakness which may have encouraged the Confederate secessionists to move ahead with their subversive plans.


The conflict between the Mormon theocracy in the Intermountain West and the United States federal government in Washington was in many respects an irrepressible conflict, to use Seward's phrase. Rather than keep the Constitution, as they claimed, the Mormons wanted to supersede and subsume United States and all other human governments under their earthly version of the Kingdom of God, which would be a prelude to the second coming of Christ. This meant there could be no peace between Mormons and the United States government.

The theocratic-millenarian current in Mormon thought had grown in Joseph Smith throughout his prophetic career, and had been become stronger out in the wilderness of Deseret. This was inseparably linked with Mormon fantasies of world conquest and world reformation. During Joseph Smith's last days in 1844, the Prophet had intoned "I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the Kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world." [133]

Brigham Young became variously the Mormon Moses, the American Moses, or the Lion of the Lord. One of Brigham Young's retainers was Jedediah M. Grant, who became second counselor in Brigham's First Presidency. Grant proclaimed: "If you maintain the fact that the Priesthood of God is upon the earth, and that God's representatives are upon the earth, the mouth-piece of Jehovah, the head of the kingdom of God upon earth, and the wiII of God is done upon earth as it is in heaven, it follows that the government of God is upon the earth." [134] Grant also taught that "It is a stern fact that the people of the United States have shed the blood of the Prophets, driven out the Saints of God ... consequently I look for the Lord to use His whip on the refractory son called 'Uncle Sam."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, another theocratic Kingdom of God had been conjured up by English-speaking missionaries. The Celestial Kingdom of the Taiping, with its capital at Nanking, was in 1857-58 near the height of its power.

As the jurisdictional conflict between the Kingdom of God on the one hand and the United States of America on the other became more acute, Brigham Young in 1857 planted his celestial banner with the rhetoric of defiance: "I am at defiance of all Earth and hell to point out the first thing that this people have ever committed where in righteousness it could be called an infringement upon our government. I am at the defiance of all hell [and] Governments, but especially ours .... We have observed good, wholesome rules and laws, but now they can pass over every Mobocratic spirit and institution, every violation of the Constitution, they pass over it as nothing, and raise a force to come and slay all the Latter-day Saints, men, women and children .... We will keep revolutionizing the world, until we bring peace to mankind, and all hell cannot help it." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 10)


Even before leaving Illinois, the ruling Quorum of Twelve had made clear its goal of establishing an independent Mormon state with the help of Native Americans. They announced their goals in a document known as the Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles. Significantly for our purposes here, this proclamation was written by Parley P. Pratt, the great-great grandfather of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate. This bombastic tirade is addressed "to All the Kings of the World; to the President of the United States Of America; to the Governors of the Several States; and to the Rulers and Peoples of All Nations:"35 "Know Ye" -- it proclaims -- "that the kingdom of God has come as has been predicted by ancient prophets, and prayed for in all ages: even that kingdom which shall fill the whole earth, and shall stand before ever ... the great Elohim Jehovah has been pleased once more to speak from the heavens; and also to commune with man upon the earth, by means of open visions, and by the ministrations of Holy Messengers." Parley Pratt warned the Gentile that, if they failed to repent, the Lamanites would "tear them in pieces, like a lion among the flocks of sheep." The Gentiles would be wiped out, with "an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our Cities, Forts, and Strong Holds -- an entire annihilation of our race ... except such as embrace the Covenant, and are numbered with Israel."


Brigham Young became even more strident once he had created the settlement at Salt Lake City. According to Isaac Bullock, in one of his key policy speeches, Young said he "hoped to live to lead forth the armies of Israel to execute the judgments & justice on the persecuting Gentiles & that no officer of the United States would ever dictate him in this valley, or he would hang them on a gibbet as a warning to others." [136] Accordingly, asserting independence became just a question of time, as the Saints gathered their forces for the inevitable collision.

On Pioneer Day, July 24, 1850, secessionist and subversive speeches included "Declaration of Independence of Deseret" and "The Constitution of Deseret." An eyewitness reported that "They said many hard things against the Government and people of the United States ... They prophesied that the total overthrow of the United States was at hand, and that the whole nation would soon be at the feet of the Mormons, suing for mercy and protection." [137]

To maintain this saintly purity of the kingdom of God in Deseret, the senior Mormon Saints applied a kind of ideological cleansing to make sure that American Gentile travelers passing through on the way to California or other destinations knew that they were not welcome to stay. The Mormons embarked on a policy of confessional cleansing, in the form of systematic harassment against American pioneers. Americans were sued in the Mormon kangaroo courts, subjected to discriminatory taxes and fees, gouged with outrageous prices, spied upon, threatened, and denied justice for crimes committed against them. They were also subjected to a torrent of obloquy and verbal abuse. American pioneers who made the unlucky decision of spending the winter of 1851-52 in Salt Lake City were subjected to unprecedented harassment, which historians have seen as foreshadowing the ultimate break in 1857. (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, pp. 39, 42)


The Mormons, like Mitt Romney today also practiced the regime of systematic secrecy, concealment, and deception. A permanent bureaucracy read and censored all correspondence going through the Utah post offices -- in itself, a federal crime. Later, Mormons would also monitor the traffic on the transcontinental telegraph, including presidential messages from Abraham Lincoln going to California. The agency carrying this out was doubtless the Danite secret police. The Mormon routine was to "destroy letters containing anything against themselves." [138] (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 40)

Two Gentile travelers attending Pioneer Day in the early 1850s quoted the following choice remarks to a critic from territorial Governor Brigham Young: "[President] Zachary Taylor is dead and gone to hell, and I am glad of it!" Young explained how he knew this: "Because God told me so." Young's retainer Heber C. Kimball added: "Yes, ... and you'll know it, too; for you'll see him when you get there." [139] Young raved on that any American president "who lifts his finger against this people shall die an untimely death, and go to hell." [140] (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 43)

Many travelers complained that they had been either robbed outright, or separated from their money through shady practices and the corrupt judiciary. One was so outraged that he later wrote: "Were Brigham Young to come in person and tender back the money he robbed us of, there is not a man among us but would exclaim: 'Your money perish with you! In our distress and anguish of soul, you robbed us of our all, and exposed our wives and little ones to the danger of perishing with famine, amid the wastes of the desert! Never, never, NEVER!'" (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 41)

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