an archive of unsettling histories, mythistories, and mystories
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
On Sunday June 12, 2022, thirty-one white men as members of a U.S. American white nationalist and neo-fascist hate group called Patriot Front loaded up their weapons, shields, and selves into a Uhaul to go terrorize a northern Idaho Pride event. Six of these men are from Utah and ten of them are said to be Mormon.
In 2014, the second leading cause of death in Utah for people 10 to 24 was suicide, which is higher than the national average.
LGBTQ youth are at least three times more likely than heterosexual youth to attempt suicide and about four times more likely to make a medically serious suicide attempt. At least 40% of the 5,000 youth who are unsheltered in Utah are LGBTQ and 60% from Mormon homes.
Some folks "wonder" if the history of anti-queer violence in Utah and Mormonism has influenced these young men who travelled to Idaho to commit hate-based anti-queer violence. I don't. I know that Mormonism is a deep source of anti-queer murderous rhetoric. And as a Lafferty brother from "Under the Banner of Heaven" says, the religion, "breeds dangerous men."
At the beginning of the Book of Mormon, the main character, Nephi, is commanded by God to murder a leader named Laban. Nephi is told by God, "Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief." Thus, from the very beginning of Mormondom murder has been an acceptable practice when done in the preservation of righteousness, like protecting the world from the gay agenda and the "national suicide" Mormon leaders teach will come from "one generation of homosexual marriages."
Jacob Smith on Twitter claims that "Maybe if you’d really pay attention to the talks given and the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you would know that there isn’t any anti gay doctrine."
Well, I also read through some talks and found a lot of anti-LGBTQIA2s doctrine. And much of it encourages suicide, physical violence, and murder against queer people.
Here's a timeline of anti-queer openly violent rhetoric from this church (including some anti-queer "national suicide" fear mongering which directly aligns with "white genocide" rhetoric from white-nationalist groups like Patriot Front and Mormon anti-queer activists like Ayla "Wife with a Purpose" Stewart & the DezNat folks:
“Illicit intercourse shall be punished with death.” Future Prophet, George Q. Cannon, 1857
The only way to stop homosexuality, this "filthy…nameless crime," was through “the destruction of those who practice them … if a little nest of them were left ... they would soon corrupt others" - Mormon President George Q. Cannon, 1897 General Conference,
“I would like to hear a little more musket fire (against queers) from this temple of learning.” - Apostle Jeffery R. Holland to BYU faculty in 2021
“For homosexuality, (the Old Testament punishment) was death." - J. Reuben Clark 1957 Gen Con.
“Sexual sins are ‘most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost.’ (Alma 39:5)”
"Better dead clean, than alive unclean.”
“Many (a) faithful Latter-day Saint parent…has sent (a child) into the world with the direction: ‘I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it’”
- Bruce R. McConkie, “Mormon Doctrine,” 1958
"Molesters, rapists, killers, homosexuals ... are emotionally sick and disabled creatures. ... They are waiting. They are hunting. They are seeking .... The deviates prowl that jungle." - Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Church specialist on homosexuality, Deseret News editorial, 1961
“There are moves… to ease up on…homosexuals and other deviates…This is one of the greatest evidences of apostasy of mankind…They which commit such things are worthy of death.” - Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Gen Con, 1965
“We are constantly pressured to understand and help murderers, rapists, thieves and now the 'poor, sick, misunderstood homosexual.' ... The believers of the Bible know what the Bible has to say of homosexuals, and that it states the penalty is death for this act." - Deseret News, letter to the editor, 1966
“Homosexuality was made a capital crime in the Bible (Lev. 20:13) and the wage of sin is death. (Romans 6:23).”- Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Church Specialist on Homosexuality, Gen Con 1969.
“The glorious thing to remember is that [homosexuality] is curable … How can you say the door cannot be opened until your knuckles are bloody, till your head is bruised, till your muscles are sore? ... Your virtue is worth more than your life . . . preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives.” - Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, 1969
From 1971-1980, BYU President Dallin H. Oaks had security spying on BYU students which led to many queer student deaths by suicide.
After a missionary told Apostle Packer that he’d punched his companion who was coming on to him, Packer said: “Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it, and it wouldn’t be well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way…You must protect yourself … Boys are to become men—masculine, manly men” - To Young Men Only, Boyd K Packer, 1976 Gen Con
“We see evil and crime and carnality covering the earth. Liars and thieves and adulterers and homosexuals and murderers scarcely seek to hide their abominations.” Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, 1980 Gen Con.
“Families are under a more serious attack today than at any time since the beginning of the world, with the possible exception of the days of Noah, because of birth control, abortion, and sterilzation, as well as homosexuality.” - Gen Authority Hartman Rector Jr., 1981 Gen Con.
“Today we are aware of great problems in our society. The most obvious are sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug abuse, alcoholism, vandalism, pornography, and violence.” - Ezra Taft Benson, 1982 Gen Con
"One generation of homosexual 'marriages' would depopulate a nation, and, if sufficiently widespread, would extinguish its people. Our marriage laws should not abet national suicide." - Apostle Dallin H. Oaks 1984
The AIDS epidemic is “a plague fueled by a vocal few who exhibit greater concern for civil rights than for public health, a plague abetted by the immoral … Where is Wisdom?” - Current Mormon Prophet Russell M. Nelson, 1992 Gen Con
The three main dangers facing the church are “the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement,... and so-called scholars or intectuals.” - Apostle Boyd K. Packer, 1993
"Homosexual activity is a serious sin … sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder and denying the Holy Ghost” - Mormon Church, True to the Faith, 2004
“Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner.” - Apostle Dallin H. Oaks 2004
“As a Family Law professor concerned about the dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage, I sometimes feel like Moishe the Beadle” who tried to warn his people of the dangers of Nazis, but “they refused to listen.” - BYU Law professor Lynn D. Wardle, 2007 World Congress of Families in Warsaw, Poland.
"Others may not be free [of same-gender attraction] in this life" but "our bodies, feelings, and desires will be perfected in the next life so that every one of God’s children may find joy in a family." - "God Loveth His Children,” 2007 official church publication
In 2009, current Prophet Russell M. Nelson warned of the dangers of “national suicide” as a result of marriage equality at the fifth World Congress of Families conference.
“I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies of to give them.” - Apostle Dallin H. Oaks in an in interview In January 2015
"Less than a year ago, right here in Washington, DC, my friend killed himself. He was Mormon and gay. You've gone on record that the church does not give apologies. Does religious freedom absolve you from responsibility in the gay Mormon suicide crisis?" asked Andrew Evans.
"That's a question that will be answered on judgment day. I will be accountable to a higher authority for that." Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, 2016.
“We are confronted by a culture of evil…(including the) phenomenon of lesbian, gay, and transgender lifestyles and values.” - President Dallin H. Oaks, 2019 BYU-Hawaii devotional
“I would like to hear a little more musket fire (against queers) from this temple of learning.” - Apostle Jeffery R. Holland to BYU faculty in 2021
Days later BYU students drew pro-LGBTQ chalk art on the corner of campus and another BYU student poured water on the chalk and told onlookers "faggots go to hell".
In 2021, Hank Smith, BYU religion professor called a gay BYU student Korihor on twitter. Korihor is a Book of Mormon anti-Christ prophet who was punished for his “wickedness,” by losing his speech and then trampled to death. The gay student then received death threats from others, but there was no public action against the professor by BYU.
The Myth of the Charismatic Individual: Richard Hansen as a chain in the US / Mormon anti-communist, anti-Indigenous, capitalist-imperialist project
“There’s no such thing as an egalitarian society. Somebody can always run faster, somebody’s always the better shot, the better fisherman–they’re the ones that are going to excel. When you see changes in society, they’re never done by society. They’re done by charismatic individuals.”
- Richard Hansen
Richard Hansen sees himself as a “charismatic individual” manifesting the destiny of El Mirador in his battle against Maya and Ladino communities. I see Hansen as a common result of the US / Mormon capitalist, anti-socialist, imperial culture in which he grew.
Of the Mormon-influence in his work Hansen nearly shouted, “It’s irrelevant!” Yet, every step of his archeological journey is founded in his religion.
Hansen started as a child looting arrowheads from his father’s farm on Shoshone Bannock lands stolen by our People. He studied archeology at BYU, was invited to this project because he spoke fluent Spanish from his mission in Bolivia and his work in Guatemala is funded by The BYU Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.
As he seeks to privatize lands collectively owned and managed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, his work is directly rooted in the anti-communist, extractive-capitalist, U.S. military and CIA backed oppressions in Guatemala.
From the 1954 U$-backed coup against Guatemala at the behest of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita) to Reagan’s “War on Drugs,” these projects are seeded in the U.S. imperialist Monroe Doctrine (and Mormon Apostle / U.S. Ambassador J. Reuben Clark’s “Clark Memorandum.”)
While Eisenhower signed off on this anti-socialist coup to end Guatemalan agrarian reform, anti-communist, John Bircher, and Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, was Secretary of Agriculture, cutting aiding to farmers here.
Hansen was a youth during the Ezra Taft Benson era with his anti-communist, anti-civil rights, U.S. Nationalist, racist rants. Now, deeply embedded in these ideologies Hansen perpetuates them.
His determination to make Maya lands private-property under the banner of “protecting the forest” is a literal continuation of this Mormon / U.S. settler-colonial, capitalist, imperial, anti-Indigenous, anti-socialist, neoliberal project.
Ezra Taft Benson, John Birch Society, & J. Edgar Hoover: a history of anti-Communism & white-supremacist criminalization of nearly everyone
“The John Birch Society (JBS) is an American right-wing political advocacy group. Founded in 1958, it supports anti-communism and social conservatism and opposes collectivism, big government, one-world government, and a New World Order. Critics and academics have called the JBS an ultraconservative, radical right, or fár-right organization.”
Politico has asserted that the JBS began making a resurgence in the mid-2010s, while the JBS has argued that it shaped the modern conservative movement and especially the Trump administration. Huffington Post called the JBS "the intellectual seed bank of the right." Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, called Trump a "John Birch Society president" and claimed Trump was "more John Birch Society than the John Birch.”
The JBS opposed the 1960s civil rights movement and claimed the movement had Communists in important positions. In the latter half of 1965, the JBS produced a flier titled "What's Wrong With Civil Rights?" and used the flier as a newspaper advertisement.
Here’s a video in which the JBS lays out this conspiracy theory.
Ezra Taft Benson echoed these anti-Black/African conspiracy theories in his 1967 General Conference speech, “Civil Rights: Tool of Communist Deception.”
The John Birch Society, along with other conservative groups such as the Eagle Forum and the Christian right, successfully opposed the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. JBS accused the ERA's supporters of subversion, asserting that the ERA was part of a Communist plot "to reduce human beings to living at the same level as animals.”
In their 1980 Ensign article, “The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue” this church also took a stand against the Equal Rights Amendment stating that it could “endanger time-honored moral values by challenging laws that have safeguarded the family and afforded women necessary protections and exemptions.” and “extend legal protection to same-sex lesbian and homosexual marriages, giving legal sanction to the rearing of children in such homes.”
The John Birch Society also campaigned against the ratification of the Genocide Convention, arguing it would erode U.S. national sovereignty.
Now why would a Genocide Convention erode the sovereignty of the genocidal US settler-colonial project?
Benson's activities within the John Birch Society came under the scrutiny of the First Presidency of the LDS Church for using its meeting houses for recruiting and political meetings, issuing a statement in January 1963 directly condemning the activities of the Birch Society. Ezra Taft Benson complained to McKay that the statement seemed to be directed against him, and "his son, Reed, and Brother Skousen," McKay confirmed that it was. The LDS Church called Ezra Taft Benson on a mission to Europe in late 1963 in the hopes that his political zeal would subside.
In July 1965 the NAACP called for all Third World nations to refuse to grant visa to missionaries of the LDS Church for its "doctrine of non-white inferiority," and planned to protest the churches October general conference. In response, Benson wrote a memo to all Birch Society chapters instructing them to spread rumors that the protesters planned violent riots.
Benson gave this speech after the first presidency condemned the John Birch Society.
In 1968, the John Birch Society made an effort to nominate Benson as a presidential candidate, with segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond as Vice President, for which Benson sought and obtained approval from LDS Church president David O. McKay. Several months later, Benson flew to Alabama to meet with segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace, who asked Benson to become his vice presidential running mate for the presidency. This time McKay refused Benson's request, even after Wallace himself wrote to McKay.
Benson's son Reed Benson, along w other Birchers, spied on BYU students & faculty hoping to out potential communists on campus.
Ezra wrote a letter while mission president in Europe (where he was sent to discourage his extremism) to his friend J. Edgar Hoover expressing his gratitude for all the anti-commie work Hoover has done in the FBI. He marked this letter "Personal-Confidential"
Hoover was currently operating COINTELPRO, the illegal program thru which the FBI spied on feminists, homosexuals, Black people, civil rights organizers, anti-war activists, & any other leftists. Oh & a lil bit on the KKK.
Of this work, Benson wrote, “I realize that only in the next life will we fully appreciate all you have done to preserve freedom In this country. - am most grateful for your exposure of the communist conspiracy and for the wonderful organization you have established in the F.B.I, I pray that your courage will continue and that your hand will be blessed and prospered in all that you do to preserve our Constitutional Republic.”
Just Being Black Was Enough to Get Yourself Spied on by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI
COINTELPRO, far right, Christian, militant, & End-Times conspiracy theorists all have in common a fear of a supposed "New World Order" which has deep roots in anti-Communism & anti-semitism
“Before the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily the part of fundamentalist Christianity concerned with the end-time emergence of the antichrist scenarios. Political scientists are concerned that mass hysteria over New World Order conspiracy theories could eventually have devastating effects on American political life, ranging from escalating lone-wolf terrorism* to the rise to power of authoritarian ultranationalist demagogues.” *Lone-wolf is code for acts of terror inducing violence by white men
New World Order is anti semitism is anti-communism is Red Scare is anti-union is anti-immigrant
A Red Scare is the promotion of a widespread fear of a potential rise of communism, anarchism or other leftist ideologies by a society or state. It is often characterized as political propaganda.
“During the Second Red Scare, both secular and Christian-right American agitators increasingly embraced and spread dubious fears of Freemasons, Illuminati and Jews as the alleged driving forces behind an ‘international communist conspiracy.’”
“The threat of ‘Godless communism’ in the form of an atheistic, bureaucratic collectivist world government, demonized as the ‘Red Menace’ became the focus of apocalyptic millenarian conspiracism. The Red Scare came to shape one of the core ideas of the political right in the United States.
First Red Scare
Fueled by labor unrest and the anarchist bombings, and then spurred on by the Palmer Raids – attempts by United States Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer to suppress radical organizations–the First Red Scare was characterized by exaggerated rhetoric, illegal search and seizures, unwarranted arrests and detentions, and the deportation of several hundred suspected radicals and anarchists. In addition, the growing anti-immigration nativist movement among Americans viewed increasing immigration from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe as a threat to American political and social stability.
In April 1920, concerns peaked with J. Edgar Hoover telling the nation to prepare for a bloody uprising on May Day. Police and militias prepared for the worst, but May Day passed without incident. Soon, public opinion and the courts turned against Palmer, putting an end to his raids and the First Red Scare.
J. Edgar Hoover had been lying & hunting leftists for decades before COINTELPRO
This “first” Red Scare really more of a second red scare as noted in Nick Estes’s, Original Red Scare: The Criminalization of Indigenous Resistance, in which he shows how the settler-project focused on breaking up collective land stewardship practiced by many Indigneous nations turning the land into private property through the Dawes Act and reservation system.
Even Dr. William F. Russell acknowledges communism in Indigenous cultures in his “"How to Tell a Communist, and How to Beat Him,” in which he writes, “There have been forms of Communism since earliest times, even in America. Note the tribes on the Indian reservations”
So back to the so-called First Red Scare. This Scare led to the popularization of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the Western Hemisphere. This text, which J. Reuben Clark handed out on his mission in Germany, also appeared in the 1919 Philadelphia Public Ledger newspaper. Called the “Red Bible,” it took “Protocols” and replaces all references to "Jews" with references to Bolsheviki (Leninist communism).
Similarly, David D. Cole has written that the Patriot Act "in effect resurrects this philosophy, simply substituting 'terrorist' for ‘communist.’”
The Second Red Scare, or McCarthyism, was characterized by heightened political repression and persecution of left-wing organizers along with a campaign to spread fear of alleged communist and socialist influence on American institutions. After the mid-1950s, McCarthyism began to decline, mainly due to Joseph McCarthy's gradual loss of public popularity and credibility after several of his accusations were found to be false.
Suspected homosexuality was also a common cause for being targeted by McCarthyism. The hunt for "sexual perverts", who were presumed to be subversive by nature, resulted in over 5,000 federal workers being fired, and thousands were harassed and denied employment. Many have termed this aspect of McCarthyism the "lavender scare"
Homosexuality was classified as a psychiatric disorder in the 1950s. However, in the context of the highly politicized Cold War environment, homosexuality became framed as a dangerous, contagious social disease that posed a potential threat to state security. As the family was believed to be the cornerstone of American strength and integrity, the description of homosexuals as "sexual perverts" meant that they were both unable to function within a family unit and presented the potential to poison the social body. This era also witnessed the establishment of widely spread FBI surveillance intended to identify homosexual government employees.
So from the first red scare, to J. Reuben Clark, to McCarthyism, to Benson & Skousen, to Civil Rights & New World Order, to COINTELPRO–the US, leaders of the Mormon Church, the FBI, & J. Edgar Hoover have essentially made it deathly illegal to be a leftist (or homosexual, Black, Indigenous, Brown, Muslim, Communist, Jewish, etc)
& these connections & collaborations are ongoing
Why Mormons Make Great FBI Recruits
“The F.B.I and C.I.A. recruit heavily from the Mormon population because they are usually cheaper to do a security clearance on, they often speak another language from their mission trips and they usually have a low risk lifestyle.”
“But there's at least one place in American society where Mormons have found an unusual degree of acceptance--in agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA, which see Mormons as particularly desirable recruits and have a reputation for hiring a disproportionate number of people who belong to the church. There have been Mormon FBI agents since early in the bureau's history. Some accounts allege that J. Edgar Hoover had a particular interest in recruiting Mormon agents: one well known Mormon leader, J. Martell Bird, served in Hoover's heyday, from the 1940s through the end of the '60s”
“But it Wasn't until the 1970s that outsiders started paying close attention and turning up connections between prominent Mormons and the CIA, Watergate conspiracy, and other government activities. One 1975 report on. the CIA, for instance, included the tidbit that one Mormon-owned PR firm made some "overseas offices available…as cover for Agency employees operating abroad." And in the 1980s a BYU professor told the authors of The Mormon Corporate Empire, a 1985 social science study on the church and its power, that "we've
never had any trouble placing anyone who has applied to the CIA."
Similarly, when Mormons aren't allowed to proselytize in certain nations they'll usually go in as English teachers instead
Not long before Miller's Soviet dalliance came to light, Perez, a Latino FBI agent, had filed his first discrimination complaint with the equal employment opportunity office. In the course of the next few years, he, along with more than 300 other agents, would file a class action suit against the FBI for racial and religious discrimination. Part of their complaint was that their Mormon higher-ups had favored agents of their own religion, which isn't known for its diversity. Even after its Hispanic officers won that discrimination case and after other lawsuits over similar issues of hiring practice, most people working for the FBI are white men. What is known is that agencies like the CIA and FBI still recruit at BYU, looking for students with language skills and an interest in public service, although even the university doesn't know how many…
Often, after a long career in the FBI, agents will join the Latter Day Saints' Security Department. Bird, the FBI agent who worked with Hoover, became head of church security; Richard Bretzing, the L.A. bureau chief who was so key in the spread of the idea of a Mormon Mafia, left the bureau in 1988-and became managing director of the same office.
This church is also invested in private land in so-called Central and South America through AgReserves. AgReserves' three divisions operate in more than 30 states and international operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The three divisions include Cattle, Permanent Plantings, and Row Crops .
These are 3 of the main causes of deforestation in so-called Central & South America.
And this church has been politically involved in establishing imperialist policy via The Clark Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine or Clark Memorandum, written on December 17, 1928 by undersecretary of state and Mormon President, J. Reuben Clark, concerned the United States' use of military force to intervene (i.e. overthrow democratically elected socialist governments in favor of capitalism) in Latin American nations.”
The Clark Memo is a piece of U.S. imperial policy which basically says the U.S. can “coup whoever we want” as this is the right of the U.S. to “protect” its “sovereignty.” Which really means the U.S. can destroy any country on this continent because it views its hemespheric dominance as an extension of its sovereignty
“The Clark memorandum rejected the view that the Roosevelt Corollary was based on the Monroe Doctrine. However, it was not a complete repudiation of the Roosevelt Corollary but was rather a statement that any intervention by the U.S. was not sanctioned by the Monroe Doctrine but rather was the right of America as a state.”
I wonder how much the myth of the Lamanite & the centrality of so- called Latin America has to do w/ the white supremacist Clark writing constitutional legislation on the US's right to distrust those nations?
Even tho John Birch Society & Ezra Taft Benson (in his private letter to J. Edgar Hoover) called Eisenhower a tool of the Communist conspiracy, Benson worked as Sec. of Ag. in the Eisenhower admin. which led to the major shift to industrialized ag & monocrops (see also: AgReserves by the LDS church)
Dwight D. Eisenhower promised to take a harder line against communism and made good on his promise by allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to engage in covert actions, such as the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba.
This Guatemalan coup was enacted by the CIA (wit's Mormon agents) in support of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Bananas) of which Dulles, the head of the CIA, was on the payroll.
“The links that his staff members John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles had to the UFC also predisposed them to act against the Guatemalan government. Additionally, with its power being challenged by the new democratic government, the United Fruit Company looked to the US government for support. Luckily for the company, the Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles' law firm represented the UFC. In addition, his brother Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA and owned shares of the UFC and formerly sat on its Board of Trustees.
With all this in mind, I want to note the Geneva Office of Human Rights Education which is owned & run by this Church thru the J. Reuben Clark BYU law school's International Center for Law & Religious studies seems very suspicious & dangerous. I certainly don’t think this church, with its history of fighting nearly every civil rights movement in this country in the last century, should be teaching anyone about human rights.
Thus U.S. imperialism & its ongoing global extractive-capitalist violences that led us to the collapse of the climate & biological life IS MORMON DOCTRINE
Now for some resistance:
JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR Boycotting General Conference 40 Years Ago: The Lamanite Generation, the American Indian Movement, and Temple Square
“In 1973, a group of over one hundred members of the American Indian Movement boycotted the church’s annual conference, beating drums and demanding that the church donate one million dollars to Indian social programs. The event was covered in local newspapers like the Salt Lake Tribune and the Church News and in national outlets like the New York Times. The following year members of AIM issued a challenge from the gates of Temple Square to the Mormon Church to donate ten million dollars to Indian self-help programs and to return native skulls from the church’s history museum.”
Remembering Black Protests of the 1960s-70s
"By the 1960s Utah civil rights activists started to demonstrate against the Mormon church itself, in their efforts to secure favorable civil rights legislation…. The Utah legislature did repeal the state’s long-standing antimiscegenation law, but failed to enact other desired legislation. In response, the NAACP decided to organize a protest against the Mormon church leaders, whom they perceived as blocking civil rights measures in the state legislature.
"The Salt Lake NAACP chapter made tentative plans to picket Temple Square during the LDS General Conference in the fall of 1963. In addition, NAACP chapters across the country announced plans to picket local Mormon mission headquarters in support of the Salt Lake chapter.12 The threatened NAACP demonstrations, however, were averted when Apostle Hugh B. Brown of the Church First Presidency released a statement outlining the “position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the matter of civil rights.” This statement let it “be known that there is in this Church no doctrine, belief, or practice that is intended to deny the enjoyment of full civil rights by any person regardless of race, color, or creed.”
“In lashing out at black priesthood denial these advocates initially concentrated their fire on the church-owned Brigham Young University. Militant black and white protesters demonstrated during athletic contests between Brigham Young and other colleges and universities. In the spring of 1958, eight members of the University of Texas-El Paso track team refused to compete against Brigham Young University because of their belief that the Mormons considered “blacks…inferior and…disciples of the devil.””
“By January 1970, Sports Illustrated observed that ‘“the protests [against BYU] have grown in intensity to the point where they have almost transcended all else.’”
Even Putin's youth think this church is an oppressive totalitarian org
“Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI. The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: These white-supremacists are very well organized.
Find an abolitionist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti- imperialist organization in your area & work with them. find the radical BIPOC-led orgs in your area & learn if/how you can be an accomplice
in their work. DO THE WORK. LEARN FROM THOSE WITH THE MOST EXPERIENCE RESISTING & EXISTING BEYOND THE US SETTLER-EMPIRE
Utah Senator Mike Lee is the great-great-grandson of John D. Lee, the only person held legally responsible for the Mountain Meadows Massacre. John D. Lee was a friend of Joseph Smith & the spiritually adopted son of Brigham Young
Mike Lee: “The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution (the Green New Deal), but the serious business of human flourishing - the solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”
Mike Lee--who is the Center for Biological Diversity's Public Land Enemy no.1 (this list is nearly ½ Mormon politicians btw) and is tied for first in their list Congresspersons who fight the hardest against the Endangered Species Act--is also related to:
The "greatest political dynasty in the West--the Udalls. J. David Lee, Mike Lee's great grandfather, had two daughters who married into the Udall family making Mike Lee cousin to both Democratic Udalls, former senators in New Mexico, Colorado as well former Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), whose mother is a Udall.
The Udalls have represented AZ. CO, & NM- the other 3 of the "4 corners" otherwise known as "Indian Country". They've also led the U.S. Dept. of Interior (Stolen/Public Lands) & Senate Indian Affairs.
Follow the Udalls back to their Pioneer politician patriarch, David King Udall, a Mormon polygamist who helped settle Arizona & you find a family tie to another Mormon political dynasty: the Romney's.
“In 1885, he was indicted for perjury after swearing out an affidavit to support a land claim of his neighbor, Miles Romney.” Miles is the grandfather of Michigan governor and 1968 Republican presidential candidate George Romney, and great-grandfather to 2012 presidential hopeful & sitting Senator Mitt Romney.
These families have been in power since Mormons rose to power thru land theft & Indigenous genocide.
Keep going & we find political solidarity with a non-Mormon political dynasty of the west: the Goldwaters. Family lore has David King Udall bailed out of jail by Baron Goldwater, father of 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Barry Goldwater is the catalyst for contemporary conservative, libertarian (ie Reaganism/Trumpism), & Neoliberal US political movements States in 1964.
“Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, many political pundits and historians believe he laid the foundation for the conservative revolution to follow, as the grassroots organization and conservative takeover of the Republican party began a long-term realignment in American politics which helped to bring about the 'Reagan Revolution' of the 1980s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.”
Racism Killed the New Deal (and Gave Us Neoliberalism)
“Presidential primary in Wisconsin. Segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace carefully avoided explicitly racial matters, instead of attacking the government itself for its 'overreach' and other aspects of the impending civil rights legislation. He warned middle class suburbanites and White working-class ethnic voters of attacks on private property rights, federal encroachments on individual market freedoms, union job protections, their children's schools, and other ways."
“Goldwater voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but reluctantly opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, despite believing in racial equality he felt one of its provisions to be unconstitutional and a potential overreach of the federal government- a decision that considerably anguished him.”
So basically, we've got a conservative, libertarian culture that is anti federal government, welfare, civil rights, taxes, & pro states' rights, unfettered capitalism, "law & order" & nationalism all of which operate as anti-Black, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, U.S, imperial, extractive-capitalist, white-supremacy–basically the Glen Beck show
We Need To Talk About Sen. Mike Lee's Far-Right Pocket Constitution
The pocket constitution that Mike Lee carries around is from the National Center for Consitutional Studies, founded by the Mormon far-right conspiracy theorist, and John Bircher, W. Cleon Skousen is a go-to for right-wing militia groups.
From Danites to DezNat, from John D Lee to Mike Lee–from the Nauvoo Legion, to the Utah Territorial Militia, to the Bundy Family Militia–from the John Birch Society to Donald Trump society–from pioneers to politicians–from libertarian to neoliberal – Mormonism has always harbor far right, white supremacist, extractive capitalist, anti-socialist/communist, settler-colonial beliefs, practices, & prominent members
From Smith, to Young, to Clark, to Benson, to Skousen, to Beck, to contemporary Mormon far right racist conspiracy theorists, & this guy:
"Nathan Wayne Entrekin, who was dressed as Captain Moroni during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, poses for a photo recovered from his phone by the FBI. Entrekin has been charged in federal court for his role in breaching the Capitol.”
I have been informed that Stewart & Mo Udall left the church after WWII, in part be of the Black Salvation ban (keep in mind it wasn't just priesthood it was temple rituals which = no salvation for Black Mormons) Which also means that Tom & Mark were probably never Mormon.
Now, their legacy & power is still rooted in the land theft & genocide which means these families have a responsibility to that history, especially as they accept this legacy of Political power, they have even more responsibility to #LandBack to give up that power gained thru white-settler violence, as does nearly all the wealth & power of this nation.
From the LDS.org News Room
“The Church's mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics. This applies in all of the many nations in which it is established.
The Church does not:
On 3 July 1936, the First Presidency published this warning to Church members:
"Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government... Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism... We call upon all Church members completely to eschew [shun] Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America"
- The First Presidency - Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark Jr., David O. McKay.
Deseret News, 3 July 1936
"Communism is Satan's counterfeit for the gospel plan, and that it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land" - President Marion G. Romney, quoting David O. McKay, in the First Presidency Message, "America's Promise," of the September 1979 Ensign Magazine
President Wilford Woodruff declared that "those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits... [and] were inspired of the Lord" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898)
"This is one of the most famous paintings in American history: Declaration of Independence. I decided to put red dots on all the men who held slaves." - Arlen Parsa wrote above an image of the 1818 oil by John Trumbull.
"For behold this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God....Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ" - The Book of Mormon, Ether 2:10, 12
On April 17, 1949, the First Presidency published their Official Statement on "The Negro"
President J. Reuben Clark, on of the signers of this Official Statement was also an anti-Semite who handed out anti-Semitic propaganda in Germany during and after World War II was also an open anti-communist. Author D. Michael Quinn notes that "although not all American anti-Communists were anti-Semitic, the more intense tended to be. Reuben's own fusion of anti-Communism and anti-Semitism was representative of this tendency."
On Dec 15, 1969 the First Presidency reiterated their last official statement on “The Negro”
On Sept 29, 1967 Apostle Ezra Taft Benson gave his “Civil Rights: Tool of Communist Deception” speech at General Conference.
Ezra Taft Benson, who was also Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration, wrote the forward to the book The Black Hammer, which argued that the Civil Rights movement was run by communists. The Southern Poverty Law Center called this a "vicious and racist book."
"The head of the [LDS] church, its president Mr. McKay, kept on asking during our visit, 'Isn't it at all possible to buy in the Soviet Union, at least five acres of land and begin preaching there our Mormonism?' Naturally we answered Mr. McKay that the land in the Soviet Union belongs to the people and is not for sale." - Alex Adjoubey, The Silver Cat, or Travels in America, 1956,
For those wondering how a church with "The Law of Consecration" (described below) can be so anti-Communist:
"The basic principle underlying the United Order (Law of Consecration) is that everything we have belongs to the Lord; and, therefore, the Lord may call upon us for any and all of our property, because it belongs to him. In other words, an individual conveys his titles to all his property to the Church through the bishop. The property becomes the property of the Church.” - Ezra Taft Benson
So ideologically the difference, as I understand it is:
In "Law of Consecration" all property is owned by a hierarchical pyramid of mostly white men & doled out "according to the wants & needs" of Mormon practioneers.
Communism all property & means of production are owned by the people in a heterarchical collective without stratified classes (i.e. all are of worth) emphasizing communal care regardless of whether you believe in (the same) God.
I am nicholas b jacobsen, an artist, researcher, historian, educator, and organizer. I am a trans-non binary Euro-settler raised in the Nuwu lands of so-called Utah. My family has been Mormon and Utahn for as long as either of those concepts have existed. My ancestors sacrificed everything--their identities, homelands, jobs, health, & safety to become Mormon, Utahn, U.S. American, & white--to settler their Zion. I take it as my personal responsibility to unsettle what my ancestors settled. and to help my fellow settlers do the same through writing, art, and community building.