Mormon conversion therapist admits being gay

This 9 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

What Gay Conversion Therapy Is Really Like

WARNING: This video contains language about sexual assault.

The new movie “Boy Erased” tells the true story of Garrard Conley — the son of a Baptist pastor who, after being outed to his parents at 19, was sent to a two-week long “gay conversion therapy” program.

Conley talked about what the experience was really like, and discussed his efforts to make the practice of conversion therapy on minors illegal. It is currently legal to practice conversion therapy on minors in 36 states. Conley was joined by his mother Martha, who experienced a change of heart while Garrard was in the conversion therapy program and removed him before it was complete. “Boy Erased” arrives in theaters on Friday November 9.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Healer’ of homosexuality comes out of the closet himself

The man who for years wanted to ‘cure’ gay people of their sexual orientation and claimed to be able to change the sexuality of people, has now come out of the closet. Conversion therapist David Matheson says in a Facebook message that he recognizes that he has damaged people with his work.

“A year ago … I realized I couldn’t stay in my marriage any longer. And I realized that it was time for me to affirm myself as gay”, he writes.

Matheson grew up in a Mormon congregation. From that ideology he developed courses and therapies with which he tried to “take away” homosexuals’ orientation.

Now the well-known conversion therapist says that his therapy came from his own ‘homophobia and narrow-mindedness’. He was stuck in his own ideological prison, he writes. … ‘But I’m sure I’ve hurt some people too.’He does not want to apologize, he continues, “but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came from too narrow a view of what “emotionally healthy” can look like”.

It was not his marriage, that was still strong after 34 years, he writes. ‘I also realized that being in an intimate relationship with a man was no longer something I wanted to avoid.’

Therapies illegal

Conversion therapies, promoted primarily by religious communities in the US, have been followed by some 700,000 homosexual and transgender Americans, according to figures from the Williams Institute. In more and more US American states, the use of such therapies for minors is prohibited. According to doctors and psychologists, (wanting) change of someone’s orientation leads to mental health problems.

According to Wayne Besen, founder of an organization that fights against anti-gay sentiments, this step by Matheson proves that conversion therapy is harmful and ineffective. The therapy gives people false hopes that ‘healing’ of an orientation is possible, he says.


Matheson still sees that somewhere deep inside a homophobe lurks in him, but he can accept the person he is now much better. ‘I am truly sorry for those flaws and the harm they have surely caused some people.’

He concludes his Facebook message with the wish that people through his story are encouraged and get trust in their life path. ‘Pursue it without fear or shame—regardless of what others might think.’

This 9 November 2018 Canadian TV video says about itself:

Garrard Conley’s memoir Boy Erased, about undergoing gay conversion therapy, is now a major movie starring Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Lucas Hedges (who plays him). On a recent visit to Canada, the author tells CBC’s Eli Glasner about the harrowing details of what he went through, and why he wants to see a ban on these attempts to change sexual orientation.

PUERTO RICO BANS LGBT CONVERSION THERAPY Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed an executive order on Wednesday banning the medically denounced practice of “gay conversion” therapy for minors across the island. “Today we take a step forward to raise awareness among the people about this type of practice that causes pain and suffering,” Rosselló said, adding that the ban would help “protect children.” [HuffPost]

Gay Conversion Therapy Provider Spoke At Parent Meeting At Prominent [Jewish] Orthodox School: here.

UTAH UNIVERSITY KEEPS SAME-SEX ROMANCE BAN Brigham Young University in Utah reiterated that “same-sex romantic behavior” is not allowed on campus — dashing the hopes of LGTBTQ students who thought they could be more open. The university, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it was clarifying a misinterpretation after it dropped a section of the code banning behavior that reflected “homosexual feelings.” [AP]

STUDENTS PROTEST UNIVERSITY’S ANTI-LGBTQ STANCE  Last week, administrators at Brigham Young University clarified that “same-sex romantic behavior” was still not allowed on campus. Several hundred people protested outside church headquarters in Salt Lake City to cap off a week of fury and heartbreak for LGBTQ students and their straight allies. They sang hymns and chanted “have no fear, God loves queers” as they held rainbow flags. [HuffPost]

Donald Trump, Hitler, singing and religion

This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet The Con Artist Leading Trump’s Inauguration Prayer

29 December 2016

Trump’s Inauguration guest list has some pretty interesting characters on it including a shady televangelist who has been investigated by the IRS and Senate. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks discuss Paula White, the TV preacher leading Trump’s Inauguration prayer. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“In 2007, TV preacher Paula White got investigated by the U.S. Senate for her shady fundraising practices.

Ten years later, she will pray at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Yes, really.

White is a televangelist with a huge audience and a knack for stirring controversy. She’s been a Trump booster for years, and she helped organize a summit for him in the early days of his presidential campaign with other televangelists. Her presence at the inauguration is a very strong indicator that Trump’s White House will be a safe space for the Christian right’s most controversial characters.”

Read more here.

This music video from the USA is called Nearer, My God, to TheeMormon Tabernacle Choir.

Not all Mormon choir members want to get nearer to Donald Trump.

By Chris D’Angelo in the USA:

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singer Resigns Because Trump Reminds Her Of Hitler

She would never sing for Adolf, and she won’t stay in a choir that sings for The Donald.

12/30/2016 04:58 pm ET

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has resigned in protest over the group’s upcoming performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration, saying she could “never look [herself] in the mirror again” if she sang for the president-elect ― a man she likens to Adolf Hitler.

In a letter sent to the choir and later posted on Facebook, Jan Chamberlin explained that she has “spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony,” reflecting, praying and searching her soul.

“I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man,” she wrote. “But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.”

By performing at the Jan. 20 ceremony, Chamberlin said, the choir will create the impression that it’s “endorsing tyranny and facism [sic].”

“History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding),” she wrote.

“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”

More than 200 of the choir’s 360 members are expected to perform at Trump’s inauguration, church officials earlier told The Salt Lake City Tribune.

But Chamberlin is not alone in her distress. Randall Thacker, a lifelong Mormon, launched a petition urging the choir not to perform for an “incoming president who has demonstrated sexist, racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic behavior that does not align with the principles and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Though many individual members of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may oppose bigotry, official leaders have a history of anti-African American racism, and a present of misogyny and homophobia.

As of Friday, the petition had topped 24,000 signatures.

Chamberlin concluded her lengthy letter thus: “My heart is shattered and broken … but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.”

Todd Starnes of Fox News blasted Chamberlin’s post on Friday, noting that choir members’ participation in the inauguration is strictly voluntary and describing her Hitler comparison as “not only intellectually dishonest ― it’s downright repulsive.”

Trump’s transition team has struggled to find performers for his inauguration. The Rockettes are scheduled to perform, but one member of the famed dance company has also spoken out. She told Marie Claire, “This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing.”

Mormon founder Joseph Smith’s 40 wives

A statue of Joseph Smith and his first wife, Emma, at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Photo credit Jim McAuley for The New York Times

From the New York Times in the USA:

It’s Official: Mormon Founder Had Up to 40 Wives


NOV. 10, 2014

Mormon leaders have acknowledged for the first time that the church’s founder and prophet, Joseph Smith, portrayed in church materials as a loyal partner to his loving spouse Emma, took as many as 40 wives, some already married and one only 14 years old.

The church’s disclosures, in a series of essays online, are part of an effort to be transparent about its history at a time when church members are increasingly encountering disturbing claims about the faith on the Internet. Many Mormons, especially those with polygamous ancestors, say they were well aware that Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, practiced polygamy when he led the flock in Salt Lake City. But they did not know the full truth about Smith.

“Joseph Smith was presented to me as a practically perfect prophet, and this is true for a lot of people,” said Emily Jensen, a blogger and editor in Farmington, Utah, who often writes about Mormon issues.

She said the reaction of some Mormons to the church’s disclosures resembled the five stages of grief in which the first stage is denial, and the second is anger. Members are saying on blogs and social media, “This is not the church I grew up with, this is not the Joseph Smith I love,” Ms. Jensen said.

Smith probably did not have sexual relations with all of his wives, because some were “sealed” to him only for the next life, according to the essays posted by the church. But for his first wife, Emma, polygamy was “an excruciating ordeal.”

The four treatises on polygamy reflect a new resolve by a church long accused of secrecy to respond with openness to the kind of thorny historical and theological issues that are causing some to become disillusioned or even to abandon the faith.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is formally known, has quietly posted 12 essays on its website over the last year on contentious topics such as the ban on blacks in the priesthood, which was lifted in 1978, and accounts of how Smith translated the Book of Mormon, the church’s sacred scripture.

Elder Steven E. Snow, the church historian and a member of its senior leadership, said in an interview, “There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history.

“We need to be truthful, and we need to understand our history,” Elder Snow said. “I believe our history is full of stories of faith and devotion and sacrifice, but these people weren’t perfect.”

The essay on “plural marriage” in the early days of the Mormon movement in Ohio and Illinois says polygamy was commanded by God, revealed to Smith and accepted by him and his followers only very reluctantly. Abraham and other Old Testament patriarchs had multiple wives, and Smith preached that his church was the “restoration” of the early, true Christian church.

Most of Smith’s wives were between the ages of 20 and 40, the essay says, but he married Helen Mar Kimball, a daughter of two close friends, “several months before her 15th birthday.” A footnote says that according to “careful estimates,” Smith had 30 to 40 wives.

The biggest bombshell for some in the essays is that Smith married women who were already married, some to men who were Smith’s friends and followers.

The essays held nothing back, said Richard L. Bushman, emeritus professor of history at Columbia University and author of the book “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.”

Dr. Bushman said of church leaders: “Somewhere along the line they decided they were just going to tell the whole story, not to be defensive, not to try to hide anything. And there’s no single fact that’s more unsettling than Joseph Smith’s marriage to other men’s wives.

“It’s a recognition of maturity,” said Dr. Bushman, who is a Mormon. “There are lots of church leaders who say: ‘We can take anything, just let us know how it really happened. We’re a church that is secure.’ ”

The younger generation of Mormons will benefit from this step, said Samantha Shelley, co-founder of the website in Provo, Utah.

She said she knew of Smith’s polygamous past, but “it’s so easy for people these days to stumble upon something on the Internet, and it rocks their world and they don’t know where to turn.”

In 1890, under pressure by the American government, the church issued a manifesto formally ending polygamy. The church’s essay on this phase admits that some members and even leaders did not abandon the practice for years.

But the church did renounce polygamy, and Mormons who refused to do the same eventually broke away and formed splinter churches, some that still exist. Warren Jeffs, the leader of one such group, was convicted in Texas in 2011 of child sexual assault.

There remains one way in which polygamy is still a part of Mormon belief: The church teaches that a man who was “sealed” in marriage to his wife in a temple ritual, then loses his wife to death or divorce, can be sealed to a second wife and would be married to both wives in the afterlife. However, women who have been divorced or widowed cannot be sealed to more than one man.

Kristine Haglund, the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, said that while she found the church’s new transparency “really hopeful,” she and other women she had talked with were disturbed that the essays do not address the painful teaching about polygamy in eternity.

“These are real issues for Mormon women,” Ms. Haglund said. “And because the church has never said definitively that polygamy won’t be practiced in heaven, even very devout and quite conservative women are really troubled by it.”

The church historian, Elder Snow, said that the process of writing the essays began in May 2012. Each one was drafted by a scholar, often outside the church history department, then edited by church historians and leaders, and vetted by the church’s top authorities. They may issue one more essay, on women and the priesthood, an issue that has grown increasingly controversial as some Mormon women have mobilized to challenge the male-only priesthood.

The church has not publicly announced the posting of the essays, and many Mormons said in interviews that they were not even aware of them. They are not visible on the church’s home page; finding them requires a search or a link. Elder Snow said he anticipated that the contents would eventually be “woven into future curriculum” for adults and youths.

The church recently released an informational video about the distinctive Mormon underwear called “temple garments” — and it received far more attention among Mormons and in the news media than the essays on polygamy.

Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of constitutional law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, and a non-Mormon who has studied the Mormon Church, said it had dealt with transparency about its past before this, addressing Mormon leaders’ complicity in an attack on a wagon train crossing southern Utah in 1857, known as the Mountain Meadows massacre. But she said this recent emphasis on transparency by the church was both unprecedented and smart.

“What you want to do is get out ahead of the problem, and not have someone say, ‘Look at this damaging thing I found that you were trying to keep secret,’ ” she said.

See also here.

80 per cent of gay and lesbian Mormons have tried to change sexual orientation, says survey: here.

Caught between apostasy and heartbreak: a Mormon lesbian love story. With their religion a key part of their lives, Celeste Carolin and Kathleen Majdali struggled with their decision to come out. Now they’re preparing for marriage – a celebration that could result in excommunication: here.

By Carol Kuruvilla in the USA:

The Mormon church has decided to pull its older teenage boys out of the Boy Scouts Of America, opting instead to have them participate in a faith-based, church-sanctioned activity program.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that beginning on January 1, 2018, its congregations will no longer charter the Boy Scouts’ Varsity and Venturing programs, which are meant for boys aged 14 to 18.

As a result of the Mormon church’s decision, the Boy Scouts expects to lose between 130,000 teenage scouts ― about 5 percent of its 2.3 million youth members.

The church insisted that this wasn’t a reaction to a recent change in Boy Scout’s policies that allowed gay adults to serve as leaders and transgender boys to join the organization. The policy change on gay adult leaders had initially left the church “deeply troubled.” 

A group of Mormon cult leaders is being charged with organizing sexual religious rituals with underage girls and threatening them with damnation if they did not participate, according to court documents filed in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday: here.

Watch: Mormon Missionary Gets Brutal Lesson on His Church’s Racism from Black Father. Having taught that black people are cursed and subhuman for 100-plus years, in accordance with its founder’s sternly held beliefs, has kept the church overwhelmingly white: here.

MORMON WOMAN CONFRONTS ALLEGED RAPIST A woman who claims a former Mormon leader raped her in the 1980s staged a protest from the pulpit — in the accused man’s own Arizona church. [HuffPost]

Mormons excommunicate women’s rights campaigner

This video from the USA is called Mormon Women: KATE KELLY, ORDAIN WOMEN standing for truth they desire to receive.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Mormon church excommunicates women’s rights campaigner

Tuesday 24th June 2014

THE US Mormon church excommunicated Kate Kelly, the founder of a prominent church women’s pressure group, yesterday.

The rare measure brings down the harshest punishment available on Ms Kelly, whose only crime was creating an organisation and staging demonstrations calling for women to be allowed to join the priesthood.

Kelly’s former church leaders in Virginia notified her by email after holding a disciplinary hearing on Sunday.

They found her guilty of apostasy, defined as repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings.

Ms Kelly’s group, Ordain Women, announced the decision and released excerpts from the letter she received.

After a year, they will consider allowing her back, but only if she displays “true repentance” and shows she has “stopped teachings and actions that undermine the church, its leaders and the doctrine of the priesthood.”

Ordain Women spokeswoman Debra Jenson said the group was saddened but will continue to fight on.

Mormon Church Hasn’t Budged on Gender Roles in 40 Years: here.

Mormons and money: An unorthodox and messy history of church finances: here.

Male Mormons exclude women

This video is called USA: Mormon women march for gender equality in church.

From Reuters news agency:

Mormons exclude women seeking ordination from male-only meeting

• Campaigners seek admission of women to lay priesthood
Ordain Women brave bad weather to press case

Salt Lake City

Sunday 6 April 2014 15.05 BST

Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt [to] promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference.

This follows the group’s attempt last autumn to gain admittance to the meeting. The actions have led to tensions between church officials and the women, who say they are steadfast in their faith but want to play a more significant role in the life of a religion that claims over 15 million adherents worldwide.

One by one, the women and some male supporters were politely turned away by a church spokeswoman. High school student Emma Tueller, 16, fought back tears after the rejection, which came with a hug from the church representative, who encouraged her to watch the proceedings of the meeting online.

Tueller, a resident of Provo, Utah, joined Ordain Women in the previous action last autumn. “This time it was more painful,” she said. “I love this church and I think my personal gifts and my personal talents could be much better utilised if I had the priesthood.”

In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.

Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said.

Men ordained to the priesthood in the Mormon church can perform religious rituals, including baptisms, confirmations or blessings and can be called to lead congregations. Boys enter into the priesthood as deacons at age 12 and grow in authority and responsibility as they get older or are called to service by more senior church leaders.

Initially, about 200 people appeared to be taking part in the action, but a spokeswoman for the group put the number of participants at 510.

Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.

Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.

“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.

Outside the gates to Temple Square, church member Nate Brown said he does not object to the idea of women in the priesthood, but does not like the tactics of Ordain Women. “I perceive [their asking] not as a civil action, but more of a challenge of church leaders,” said Brown, 59, who came from Salem, Oregon, for the conference.

Brown is not alone. A 2011 Pew Research study found Mormons overwhelmingly disapprove of women joining the lay priesthood.

But Brown said he would welcome the ordination of women if a church president, whom Mormons consider a prophet who communicates with God, changed church policies. “I believe in following the prophet,” Brown said.

Since Ordain Women first pushed their cause last fall, church leaders have taken some actions to show their regard for women. For the first time, a woman was asked to pray at the conference and the men’s priesthood meeting was broadcast live on cable television and the internet.

That is a far cry from the 1990s when the faith’s leaders excommunicated some women who advocated for gender equity, said Nadine Hansen, a lifetime church member and an attorney who published her first article about women’s ordination nearly 30 years ago. “I appreciate the changes they are making,” said Hansen. “They are listening.”

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Texas fundamentalist sect accused of abuse of girls, subsidized by Pentagon

This video from the USA says about itself:

Author Carolyn Jessop describes her escape from the FLDS, an ultra-fundamentalist offshoot of the Mormon Church.

From McClatchy Newspapers in the USA:

Polygamist sect gets millions from U.S. government

By Jack Douglas Jr.

FT. WORTH, Tex. American taxpayers have unwittingly helped finance a polygamist sect that is now the focus of a massive child abuse investigation in West Texas, with a business tied to the group receiving a nearly $1 million loan from the federal government and $1.2 million in military contracts.

The ability of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, to operate and grow is largely dependent on huge contributions from its members and revenue from the businesses they control, according to a former accountant for the church, and government officials in Utah and Arizona, where the sect is primarily based.

One of those businesses, NewEra Manufacturing in Las Vegas, has been awarded more than $1.2 million in federal government contracts, with most of the money coming in recent years from the Defense Department for wheel and brake components for military aircraft.

A large portion of the awards were preferential no-bid or “sole source” contracts because of the company’s classification as a small business, according to online databases that track federal government appropriations.

NewEra, previously known as Western Precision Inc. and located in Hildale, Utah, also received a $900,000 loan in 2005 from the federal Small Business Administration, the data show.

The president and chief executive of the company is John. C. Wayman, identified as an FLDS leader and a close associate to Warren Jeffs, the sect’s “prophet,” who was convicted last year as an accomplice to rape for arranging the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin.

When Jeffs, who was one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, was arrested in the summer of 2006, he was driving Wayman’s late-model red Cadillac Escalade, government officials say.

Wayman did not return phone calls seeking comment.

On NewEra’s Web site Wayman says the company is “an honorable and valuable asset to our country” in helping build military and commercial airplanes that carry people throughout the world. He does not mention its ties to the FLDS. …

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, the Fort Worth Republican who sits on the House Appropriations Committee that deals with issues of defense, military and homeland security, said she is surprised that the federal government is doing business with a group accused of mistreating women and children.

Ms Granger does not need to be that surprised about that; considering what her party’s George W. Bush administration does to women, children, and other civilians in Iraq and elsewhere. With the help of the military aircraft partly made by this religious fundamentalist business.

John Nielsen, who worked for the company when it was Western Precision in Hildale, said in a 2005 affidavit that he and other FLDS members were made to work for little or no wages, even as the company was bringing in lucrative government contracts and other work.

At the same time, $50,000 to $100,000 in company profits were going each month to FLDS “and/or” Jeffs, Nielsen said in the affidavit, filed as part of a civil lawsuit.

He said he and other sect members thought their working for free or for extremely low wages would bring them redemption. Instead, Nielsen said in the affidavit, he was found to be “wanting” by the sect’s leadership, ordered off the property and separated from his five young children and his wife. She was “reassigned” to another man, becoming the fourth of his six wives.

“It broke my heart,” Nielsen said in the affidavit. He declined to comment when reached by phone Friday.

In Texas, authorities raided the FLDS’ sprawling YFZ Ranch near Eldorado on April 3, beginning an exhaustive search of its 1,691 acres. Authorities were acting on a tip from a 16-year-old girl inside the compound who said she had been beaten and raped by a 50-year-old man whom she was forced to marry. …

While the men of the sect have held close rein on their “plural wives” and children, seldom allowing them to associate with the outside world, the male leaders have fanned out into successful public business ventures. They work as government defense contractors, dairy farmers, engineers, construction contractors, log-cabin homebuilders and suppliers of lanyards, the cords used on eyeglasses or nametags.

In addition, JNJ Engineering, a company owned and operated by FLDS leaders, has made millions of dollars in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in September. The company won $11.3 million in contract work from the Las Vegas Valley Water District; all but one of the project workers came from the twin towns of Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz., where most of the sect’s 10,000 members live.

Jethro Barlow, a former accountant for the FLDS whom Warren Jeffs excommunicated in 2003, said Jeffs ordered sect members, their families and the companies they operated to “give till it hurts….

“And people did.”

Jeffs was able to rally church members to tithe heavily, even if it hurt them financially, because he had convinced them that they had to prepare for the end of the world, Barlow said.

The fever-pitched preparation continued, even after several apocalyptic deadlines had passed. It motivated the rapid construction of the temple at the YFZ Ranch and the erection there of manufactured cabin-like homes made by sect members in Canada, he said.

See also here.

Decline of fundamentalist Southern Baptists in the USA: here.

United States Indians massacred in 1853 found

Ute Indians

Associated Press reports:

Indian remains unearthed by Utah builder linked to 1853 massacre

September 15, 2006

Digging in a ravine, a home builder discovered the remains of seven American Indians believed to have been killed in 1853 during a conflict with Mormon pioneers.

‘These people have an important story to tell,’ assistant state archaeologist Ronald Rood said of the discovery in Nephi, 85 miles south of Salt Lake City.

The bodies, discovered in August, were on top of each other in a grave just 3 feet wide, The Salt Lake Tribune reported in Friday editions.

Bones were splintered by bullets that hit some victims in the head and others in the leg.

Archaeologists found buttons attached to cloth, glass shards and a copper tube that contained what appeared to be hair.

What led to their deaths? There are two accounts.

In one version, the Indians were killed in retaliation for the deaths of four men who were traveling to Salt Lake City from Manti with wheat, according to Springville historian D. Robert Carter.

Another account suggests the Indians were summoned to town by military commander Maj. George W. Bradley and refused to drop their weapons.

One settler was struck with an arrow, and the seven Indians were killed.

The killings were part of the Walker War, a larger conflict between Mormon pioneers and Indians. A peace agreement was reached in May 1854.

Rood said evidence suggests the seven men, ages 16 to 25, were killed and thrown in a mass grave.

The archaeologist found a ball of lead inside one man’s skull. A head fracture stained green by a copper trinket suggests one Indian was killed with blunt trauma.

‘I don’t see it as revising history,’ Rood said. ‘I see it as adding another chapter.’

The fate of the seven skeletons is uncertain, he said.

Utah law allows Indian tribes to make claims on their ancestors’ bodies only if they are unearthed on public land. There is no provision for bones found on private land.

Unless a family link is found, the state retains custody. Forrest Cuch, the executive director of the state Division of Indian Affairs, said he’ll ask for change in state law.

‘I am an Indian and was raised to have respect for the dead and to understand that there are certain physical laws and spiritual laws,’ Cuch said. ‘I don’t think we have been honoring the spiritual laws.’

Kevin Creps, who found the Indians’ remains while preparing a foundation for his home, said he wants to see a ‘proper burial.’

Prehistoric arrowheads in South Carolina: here.

Trail of tears of the Cherokee: here.

Athapaskans in North America: here.

Taino Indians of Cuba: here.

Mass grave of Irish immigrants reveals hints of violence: here.