Mormonism: An insidious contemporary fraud
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March 28, 2023

Mormonism: An insidious contemporary fraud
P. Brannock responds to the question, 'What do you REALLY think of Mitt's Campaign for the presidency?'

This is the article made famous by Dana Milbank's (of the Washington Post) commentary.

Q. Some are aware that you have far more serious reservations about your cousin, Mitt’s, campaign for the presidency than you have made clear. Is this the case? If so, why the hesitation? Can you see your way clear to getting past those reservations now and making your concerns clear?

A. Yes, that is true. I hesitate for a variety of reasons.

First, I don’t think I’m the most qualified commentator on the real issues that his campaign gives rise to, although I understand them well enough. There are those who think I can articulate them as well as anyone and have really asked me to do so. I don’t necessarily agree, but I feel somewhat obliged on the one hand, while quite reluctant on the other hand. I really don’t want the attention, but I understand and appreciate the request. It’s a controversial topic with considerable risks to even talk about.

Mitt Romney’s religion, Mormonism, which is my former religion, having been a Mormon High Priest, like Mitt still is, is a far bigger issue than most people realize and understand.

In our rush to avoid being accused of being bigoted, in America, we have a natural tendency to want to steer clear of this topic. I will be the first to agree that to be arbitrarily dismissive of a man’s candidacy for the office of President, or any office for that matter, on the basis of his religion is definitely bigoted. “Arbitrarily dismissive” is the key phrase here. In the case of Mormonism, we have a very unique situation.

Questions about Mormonism for those fully informed of the very real issues are not in the least degree arbitrary. There are very real concerns that millions of former Mormons are very much aware of. This is not simply a question of subjective disagreements on points of faith that really can’t be proved or disproved anyway.

In the case of the Mormon Church, I share the view with many others, including people far more scholarly and qualified in other ways than myself, that the Mormon religion is not only an insidious contemporary fraud, but has been demonstrated conclusively to be such by researchers who are alive today and competent to testify on the basis of evidence still available today.

Accordingly, the questions that are most important and relevant to Mitt's candidacy here, since he is a current High Priest of the Mormon Church, are not of religion, but very fair questions of ethics and judgment.

I defy anyone, for example, to view the half hour long video on the Book of Abraham, now available at and come away with a different conclusion.

In my view, this is one of many conclusive and irrefutable evidences that the Mormon religion is a fraud. This is difficult for us to talk about in our society for a variety of reasons. Most of us have Mormon friends or associates or family members. We want to be respectful. We don’t want to be insulting, demeaning, or disrespectful.

Generally, lay members of the Mormon Church are kind and sincere, well-meaning people. Unfortunately, kind and sincere and well-meaning is not a sound basis upon which to elect a president, nor is it a sound basis to be dismissive of fundamental questions of judgment and ethics that are unavoidable as they relate to the very appropriate scrutiny of the man in whom the citizens of the United States of America intend to invest the most trust and political power of any other human being on earth.

The exposure of the Mormon book of Abraham as a fraud is not a small, trivial, or insignificant thing.

The book of Abraham is a part of the greater volume of canonized Mormon scripture, known as the Pearl of Great Price. The book of Abraham, in particular, is the book of scripture in which we find the very basis of some of the most significant and fundamental doctrines that differentiate the Mormon faith from other faiths.

This book was supposedly translated from Egyptian hieroglyphics that came into the possession of the early Mormon Church in a well documented story out of the Church’s own Documentary History, complimented by authenticated journals of Joseph Smith, the original Mormon prophet, himself.

There is no denying that Joseph Smith claimed to translate these Egyptian hieroglyphics which came into the possession of the Church after Joseph Smith talked Mormon investors into putting up the money for their acquisition on the basis of his representation that, after a cursory review, he was able to assure the investors that they were ancient writings of the Biblical prophet, Abraham and Joseph from the Bible, and that they were now brought forth by God to the hands of the Church for him to translate with the gift of prophecy and revelation with which he was “endowed”.

The hieroglyphics were acquired on this basis, and a detailed account of the process of translation, including mention of specific characters from the hieroglyphics, is documented in Joseph Smith’s authenticated journal. These translations resulted in the canonized Mormon scripture now known as the Book of Abraham which is published with the Standard “Works” (Scriptures) of the Mormon Church, complete with a copy of the very hieroglyphics from which they were “translated”.

At the time Joseph Smith’s translation took place, no known scholars knew how to translate such hieroglyphics. However, over the years, due to the discovery of the Rosetta stone and other research into Egyptology, considerable scholarly work has been done on such hieroglyphics.

The video, mentioned above, documents, in painstaking detail, the exposure that the hieroglyphs that Joseph Smith “translated” were burial documents quite commonly found in tombs whose meaning and interpretation has been well known and unquestionably established to have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Joseph Smith’s purported translation. The video documents the exposure of this fraud in such painstaking detail as to leave the Church with no plausible retreat from the inescapable conclusion that the purported scriptures resulting from Joseph Smith’s translation are a fraud.

Only the most naive and uninformed remain with their delusions about the authenticity of this purported body of scripture, propped up by subsequent attempts by Church apologists to re-frame the history of their translation in ways that fly in the face of that which is documented in Joseph Smith’s own authenticated journal. (Featured fair use video clip is from The Lost Book of Abraham masterfully produced by Institute for Religious Research ( in cooperation with Grooters Productions. Full video is found here.)

No thoughtful, rational, observer of this fiasco, as masterfully presented in the above referenced video, escapes the corollary questions. If Joseph lied about this, which he obviously did, what of all the other implausible stories at the root of the Mormon faith including the Book of Mormon itself and its dubious beginnings in stories that have been shamelessly re-written, time and time again, in an effort to eliminate the conundrum of faith that the inherent contradictions which a thoughtful and thorough investigation of the actual events, as purported by the Church, reveals.

The overwhelming accumulation of this type of evidence, together with staggering evidence that the contemporary leadership of the Church is well aware of this evidence and expends enormous energy and resources to conceal it from the view of its members and the public, has resulted in volumes of well documented books on such subjects. These include, An American Fraud, One Lawyer’s Case against Mormonism, by Kay Burningham; An Insider’s view of Mormon Origins, by Grant Palmer and The Mormon Corporate Empire by John Heinerman; and other notable works.

My book, The Apostasy of a High Priest – The Sociology of an American Cult, deals with the corrupt epistemology (or doctrinal theory of truth and knowledge) of the Mormon Church which renders the membership susceptible to the level of intellectual absenteeism enabling such preposterous fraud to go unchecked.

I was pleased that it received an honorable mention by Kay Burningham in her review of it, in which she referred to it as the “cherry on the cake” of the books dealing with the fraudulent underpinnings of Mormonism.

Kay Burningham, by the way, is not only an attorney, but a former Judge pro tem in the San Diego Court system with years of experience in civil litigation, including fraud actions. (Featured fair use video clips are from DNA vs. The Book of Mormon video masterfully produced by Living Hope Ministries. For full video, click here.)

The inescapable questions that we are left with, as they relate to the campaign of Mitt Romney, are not whether we are comfortable with Mormonism as our President’s religion; not whether Mormonism is a cult; not whether Mormonism is compatible with Christianity; not whether Polygamy is good or bad; not whether the average lay member of the Mormon Church is a good citizen who we are reticent to offend; but rather, whether Mitt Romney, a current High Priest of the Mormon Church, and former regional church leader, is aware that his religion is a demonstrable contemporary fraud in which the leadership of the Church are exploiting the faith of the lay members in extracting countless millions of dollars in tithing receipts, a significant portion of which being invested in world-wide commercial enterprises controlled by the Church, and real estate development in down town Salt Lake City, and all over the world?

Is the man in whom so many hope to place all of their hope and faith for a brighter future for America, and in whom they will rely for the assessment of intelligence briefings that are the basis of world-wide military action, aware of the unmistakable, and incontestable evidence that his Church is a fraud?

If he is aware, how do we escape the conclusion that he is a party to this fraud, as a High Priest of the Mormon Church, and a party to the oath and covenant of the Holy Melchizedek priesthood of the Church, and a party to the oath of obedience to the Church Leadership, that is part of the sacred Temple covenant to which I have personal knowledge that he is a party.

If he is not aware that it is a fraud, amidst glaringly unmistakable evidence that makes what Secretary of State, Colin Powell, presented to the United Nations, in justification of the invasion of Iraq, look like an inconclusive pack of lies by comparison, (perhaps a bad analogy, since it did anyway), then shall we not have profoundly serious questions about his judgment?

I could go on, and get into a discussion of his notion of human rights, as evidenced by his infamous “double Guantanamo” position, and on about the actual conflict of interest that his Priesthood covenants do, in fact, present him with. But what would be the point? If we can’t grasp the questions that are clearly before us, already exposed, what difference does any of the rest make? Then we are, in fact, the nation of arrogant fools that the rest of the world sees us as, and we will need to continue to tell people we are Canadians to avoid ridicule when we travel overseas with American passports.

See also: Intent to Deceive
See also: Other Interview Responses and Articles

For more on this subject see

See also: Other Interview Responses and Articles

Yet, another Smoking Gun...

...exposing LDS Intent to Deceive?

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