Gaddy v COP (LDS Church) Opposition to LDS Motion to Dismiss

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Gaddy v COP (LDS Church) Opposition to LDS Motion to Dismiss
October 11, 2019 - Hugh Parker

Opposition to LDS Motion to Dismiss of Proposed Class Action Lawsuit has been filed in Federal District Court

On October 8, 2019, Salt Lake Attorney, Kay Burningham filed an Opposition to Motion to Dismiss on behalf of Laura Gaddy, and all other [former Mormons] similarly situated, in Federal District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah. In 35 pages of responsive discussion, with over 40 citations of relevant case law, legal statutes, and other authorities, she decimated, in the opinion of some, the LDS Church’s Motion to Dismiss the Gaddy lawsuit on First Amendment grounds.

The LDS Church’s Motion to Dismiss was filed by David J. Jordan and Wesley F. Harward on August 27, 2019. Referred to as a “study in hubris and patently disingenuous argumentation” by a Utah legal professional not associated with Kay Burningham and who prefers to remain anonymous in fear of reprisals, the Motion to Dismiss plainly and openly misrepresents the factual substance of Gaddy’s complaint, and then argues for 27 pages that what Gaddy did not plead or request of the court, should be dismissed on the basis of legal precedent that had no bearing on what Gaddy actually did request of the court in her complaint.

Raising the concept of irony to new heights, we now observe that the First Presidency of the “Church” of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Quorum of Twelve “Apostles” have evidenced to the world the tangible “reality” of their “unique and exclusive” relationship with God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This “exclusive authority” to “act in the name of God” entitles them to actual “revelation” on behalf of and in the best interests of the Church and the entire world. With this authority, no doubt after solemn prayer, they have hired an attorney to employ the tactic of misrepresenting the substantive facts of the actual complaint of Gaddy, in a pleading before a Federal Court, and then ask the court to overlook the actual substance of the complaint of Gaddy and dismiss it on the basis of the Church’s misrepresentation of it.

Nothing could possibly hammer home the spirit of Gaddy’s complaint more definitively than this particular public display of disregard for legal decorum, reasonableness, and the simple integrity one might think would be required by the Utah State Bar. One might expect that an attorney should address himself to the actual issues before the court, in representing a client on the subject of those issues. Unless, of course, the client is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, answering to the accusation of fraudulent misrepresentation of material facts as an inducement to faith, and represented by a High Priest of the Mormon Church, bound by solemn covenant of obedience to the Church’s “Prophets”, in a case brought before a Federal Judge, in the State of Utah.

Let us take a moment of pause to ask, “What God is this that reigns in the State of Utah?”

Paragraph 2 of Gaddy’s complaint plainly and clearly states,

"This is not a claim for propagating false religious beliefs as part of the Mormon Church. Rather, it is a claim that the material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the COP to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism’s core beliefs."

On behalf of the LDS Church, in reference to Gaddy’s complaint, Jordan and Harward allege,

“She asks this Court to be the inquisitor and to use its Article III power to pass judgment on the Church’s doctrines. Each of Ms. Gaddy’s claims is based on her allegations that the Church’s fundamental religious teachings are false….. the Court would be required to answer the following questions: • Did God and Jesus Christ appear to Joseph Smith, the Church’s founder, in 1820? • Is the Book of Mormon the word of God? • Are other books of the Church’s canonical scripture true? None of these questions belongs in a courtroom.”

To this egregious misrepresentation of the substance of Gaddy’s complaint, Kay Burningham responds in her Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss,

“Defendant makes a threshold mistake by characterizing the Complaint’s allegations as requiring adjudication of Mormon beliefs. Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs challenge the truth or falsity of any belief or doctrine of the Church. Instead, Plaintiffs’ allegations are based solely upon material misrepresentations of fact, which—had Plaintiffs known the truth—would have altered their decisions to remain in, or join, the Church.”

Defendant’s (Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) offensive maneuver of egregiously misrepresenting the actual substance of Plaintiff’s complaint appears to serve the effort to provide the court with a smoke screen of apparent cover for what defendant hopes will be a condemnation and repudiation of claims neither made nor sought, while the truth of the offenses of the defendant and the actual human suffering caused by those offenses are buried under a contrivance of irrelevant discussion.

Let the world take note that Gaddy absolutely does not request or hope that the court will adjudicate the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism. Let the world take note that Gaddy recognizes that those beliefs include the beliefs that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Abraham and other canonized scriptures of the Church are true and of divine origin; and that God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in the flesh. These and all of the fundamental religious beliefs of the Church are acknowledged by the plaintiffs to be the religious beliefs of the Church which Gaddy once shared, and beyond judicial scrutiny for all of the reasons relevant to those beliefs as presented in defendant’s motion to dismiss.

The repugnant morality represented by defendant’s attempted contrivances, above referenced, to service hopes for the court’s conclusions based on falsehood without reasonable merit or scrutiny, is precisely the repugnant morality now at issue before the court.

Simply put, the complaint is for fraud, and the fraud alleged is the misrepresentation of material facts upon which the Mormon Church induces its prospective members to base their conclusions of faith. This is exactly the tactical methodology the Church is employing in this very proceeding, in a Utah Federal Court, by misrepresenting Gaddy’s complaints to be about beliefs and doctrines, not facts, hoping to provide the court with a cover for a conclusion that does not match the complaint on close scrutiny.

That misrepresentations of historical facts have been made, is now tacitly acknowledged by the Church in its own series of Gospel Essays addressing and partially correcting those facts, while attempting to obfuscate the significance of the inconsistency of false official narratives.

That those misrepresentations have had a profound impact on induced belief conclusions of countless members and former members is clearly evidenced by the Faith Crisis Report now submitted as an exhibit before the court, and by the rapidly increasing number of members abandoning their former beliefs as a result of the emotionally agonizing watershed precipitated for many, by recent disclosures of the misrepresentations.

Some of the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism are referred to in the complaint, filed by the plaintiff, by way of background reference, only, in setting forth the relevance of certain factual historical misrepresentations, knowingly and willfully made as an inducement to faith in those beliefs. Plaintiff has no desire or expectation that the court scrutinize and adjudicate the ultimate religious conclusions of belief of the defendant.

Rather, plaintiff pleads, and reasonably expects that the court will take heart and share the view, well supported by case law, that, while religious beliefs are beyond judicial scrutiny, willful misrepresentations of fact, as an inducement to belief, are not so exempt.

Gaddy recognizes full well that many may yet, now knowing that Joseph Smith did not “translate” the Book of Mormon from golden plates, as willfully misrepresented by defendant, but rather, “created” the book of Mormon through the same process of “divination” involving a stone in hat for which Joseph had been tried for fraud previously, still conclude that such a process may have been sufficiently “inspired” to support their conclusion that the Book of Mormon is authentic.

Gaddy simply argues that, now better informed, she does not share such a conclusion and, along with countless other former Mormons, would never have accepted the claims of authenticity of the book on the basis of the true facts of its creation, had they been honestly represented.

The right to draw conclusions in an environment free from motivated deceit and willful misrepresentation is a human right in which every civilized society has a paramount and foundational compelling interest. This compelling interest does not change, given the reality that some may still believe in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, notwithstanding the fact that the official narrative of its creation has been exposed to have been a fraud.

At bar, is not the question of whether the Mormon Church or its beliefs are true. At bar is the question of whether every human being has a fundamental right to draw conclusions in an environment free of fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment of relevant facts primary to the ultimate belief conclusions, and whether the court will find that this free society of Americans has a fundamental and compelling interest in that right, worth judicial acknowledgment and support. God help a society, otherwise.

Similarly, plaintiff recognizes that many may still believe that the Book of Abraham is a divinely inspired “translation” of Egyptian papyra, written by Abraham, notwithstanding the fact that such factual claims have been exposed to be an “impudent fraud” by scholars having proven that the very papyra and vignettes at issue are well known and understood by scholars to have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church’s claims of its translated content.

Defendant may well argue that the book was divinely conjured in some way unrelated to the actuality of direct translation and many may find themselves comfortable with that amended representation in support of their continued belief in the authenticity of the book. Plaintiff does not ask the court to adjudicate the divinity or truthfulness of the Book of Abraham. Rather plaintiff hopes the court will recognize that her right to draw a different conclusion was unfairly influenced by intentional misrepresentation of the actuality of the “translation” and the actuality of the relevant historical contradictions to such claims, and that such motivated misrepresentation matter greatly in a civilized society.

Similarly, the appearance of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, while no longer believed to be true, by plaintiff, is not a matter in dispute before the court. Rather, in dispute is the morality of concealing from plaintiff that Joseph Smith’s claims about such an appearance were inconsistent with the official narratives of the Church, in ways that would have been seen as rendering the final adoption of the belief that such an event actually occurred to be without sufficient credibility to be sustainable for the plaintiff, even if still believed by others.

Gaddy’s Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss continues on to make the fundamental point that so called “Church Autonomy Doctrine” of the First Amendment applies to willing members of a Church. Just as it is well established that fraud vitiates (voids) a contract, plaintiff holds that fraud vitiates membership in the Church, where said membership was knowingly pursued by defendant under false pretenses. As membership has been vitiated by fraud, the argument that the autonomy doctrine of the first amendment should bar scrutiny of the fraudulent conduct of the church on the grounds of said religious autonomy, fails.

Accordingly, all of defendant’s arguments in favor of dismissal, directly or indirectly, on first amendment grounds, fail.

In a dizzying dismantling of every argument made by the Church, Burningham well establishes with a preponderance of case law, that misrepresentation of material facts, even in a religious context, constitutes actionable fraud.

What is left, is to see how much political pressure both from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a front for a $100 billion dollar multinational corporation with close ties to the United States Intelligence Community, the Military Industrial Complex, and the prevailing oligarchies in America, can a Federal Judge in Utah, where the Judiciary is overwhelmed by Mormon High Priests, stand up to.

Skepticism about the outcome of this case, is not about the merits of the case. It is about the theme of Elizabeth Warren’s political campaign. No matter what we might think of her proposed solutions, this author agrees… that the “biggest problem in America, is Corruption”.

Both the Mormon Church’s Strengthening Church Members Committee, and corrupt elements within the United States Intelligence Community are widely believed to be associated with the outrageous manipulative social tactics revealed in this alarming disclosure attributed to Snowden,

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

… which reveals the institutionalization of unwarranted and abusive deceit at alarming levels in America and western society, precisely by those corrupt elements within the Intelligence Community.

Impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States of America are not at all unrelated to serious questions about the conduct of the Department of Justice.

(Hugh Parker and XMO Resources neither support or oppose the campaign of Elizabeth Warren. We simply agree that the largest problem in America is corruption. Also, neither Hugh Parker nor XMO Resources share or wish to be associated with the view that the entire "American Intelligence Community" is corrupt.

We believe there are many truth loving decent Americans within the Intelligence Community that support American values. We do, however believe there is an internal struggle within the Intelligence Community between those who are honorable people and the infiltrators who serve nothing but corrupt special interests. We believe the internal struggle is very real and very serious. We believe the same holds true for the Department of Justice.

We believe we are at a critical juncture in American and world history. It is paramount at this time that those who love truth and justice take a stand in support of those who are struggling to preserve it and oppose the incremental corruption that is on the brink of irreparably overwhelming our nation.

(The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke)

Time will tell if the merits of the case, like the facts of Mormonism, are successfully misrepresented to contrive support for a conclusion that serves the special interests at stake.

P.S. We understand that Kay Burningham is committed to appeal any ruling that does not support the legitimate claims at issue to the highest levels.

See also: Gaddy v COP (LDS) Case Background







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