Understanding the Gaddy CaseUnderstanding the Elements of Fraudcontinue >>
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One of the great ironies of our generation is found in the definition of fraud by the Utah Supreme Court in 2001. In the case of Franco v. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Court re-asserted that to prevail in a fraud action…
“… a party must prove by clear and convincing evidence each of the following:
• That a representation was made;
• concerning a presently existing material fact;
• which was false;
• which the representor either knew to be false or made recklessly, knowing that he had insufficient knowledge upon which to base such representation;
• for the purpose of inducing the other party to act upon it;
• and that the other party, acting reasonably and in ignorance of its falsity;
• did in fact rely upon it;
• and was thereby induced to act;
• to his injury or damage.”
With the publication of the LDS Faith Crisis Report in 2013, it seems no reasonable doubt remains that all of the elements of fraud, including serious injury and damages, have been met are and well identified and established.
• The LDS Church established a "Correlation Committee" comprised of senior officials of the LDS Church to ensure that all historical representations of the Church would be uniform and consistent with the approval of the First Presidency and governing body (Quorum of 12 Apostles) of the LDS Church. We believe, as the Gaddy complaint asserts, that approval is well established to have required known misrepresentations of historical facts that have taken place under the direction of the Leadership of the Church in the forms of broadcasts, websites, books, theatrical productions, conference talks, magazines, and tightly supervised proselyting (missionary) activities and programs.
• Among the multitude of such "known misrepresentations" made under the direction of the LDS Church, The Gaddy complaint asserts that numerous and significant "misrepresentations of fact" have been made that are not exempt from judicial scrutiny (in the opinion of legal counsel of record for Gaddy).
Scrutiny of those particular alleged misrepresentations do not require the court to adjudicate the veracity of the underlying religious beliefs of the Church. Gaddy concedes that everything she now knows to be false, may yet be known to be false by others who still might accept that the ultimate core beliefs of the Church are true, notwithstanding the factual falsity of the Church's representations. Accordingly, the Gaddy case does not request or require that the court adjudicate the core beliefs of the LDS Church.
• Plaintiff (Gaddy) seeks the opportunity to demonstrate that the LDS Leadership knowingly and willfully intended to deceive prospective members and existing members in order to increase the likelihood that greater numbers would come to believe or continue to believe the core beliefs of the Church and enter into a covenant (agreement) to pay tithing to the Church on the basis of beliefs supported by false factual respresentations. Former employees of the LDS Church Educational System and other LDS Church officials in positions of responsibility and with access to this knowledge of intent have made numerous statements that have been seen online that lend themselves to no other reasonable interpretation in the opinion of credible observers.
• Gaddy and countless others relied on these statements, not knowing them to be false, believing them to be true and believing (wrongly?) that their LDS Church leaders were honest and honorable men who would not lie, and acted upon the alleged "factual misrepresentations" to their personal detriment and harm, suffering severe personal and economic damages. Gaddy and countless other former Mormons never would have adopted or continued to believe in the core beliefs of the LDS Church had they known the truth of the matters that they believe to have been willfully misrepresented by the LDS Church.
See also: Understanding the First Amendment
More detailed discussion will follow.