Anonymous Utah Man Speaks Out Against HB99

 

Families, Not Felons against HB99

Anonymous Mormon Fundamentalist Utah man against HB99 and the persecution of the LDS Church.

The persecuted have now become the persecutors. The LDS church once was persecuted so harshly in Missouri that the Governor of Missouri (Governor Boggs) gave an extermination order of the Mormons, which made them head west to Utah to find religious freedom. Now that they accomplished and are living their level of religious freedom, since 1890, they have now become the persecutors. They represent a large portion of the House and Senate, which both voted in favor of HB99.

Their most recent attack has been with House Bill 99 (a bill they support) that now makes polygamy a felony crime for the thousands of polygamists living in Utah. All the polygamists in Utah now face a 5-15 year prison sentence for living how they feel their Lord is telling them to live. Will the LDS Church violate more of their remaining 12 articles of faith they claim to believe in? Since giving up the 11th Article of Faith which used to allow all men the right to worship who, how or what they may, will they change the wording to say “…as long as they believe what we believe”? Or will they only now teach the remaining 11, since they no longer live by the 11th article of Faith?

Will the thousands of fundamentalists living in Utah move out of State to avoid the LDS and State persecution? Will they all turn themselves into the Utah State Attorneys Office for prosecution, knowing full well the State doesn’t have ability to house tens of thousands more men and women in prison who only want to worship how they may? Or will they go underground, living their principle, legally divorcing their first wives with regards to the State, and just live in cohabitation as they did through most of the past 125 years?

It is sad that a state that was built on religious freedom is no longer willing to allow others that same freedom the LDS enjoyed in the 19th Century. Do the LDS people even realize the refugees they are opening their arms to are also polygamists? Is it okay because they are Islamic polygamists instead of Mormon polygamists? I wonder how the LDS people now feel about being the persecutors considering they were once persecuted? Will they only live by their 11 articles of Faith, since their actions now prove they don’t allow “all men the same right to worship who, how or what they may?

~Anonymous Man, Utah

2 comments for “Anonymous Utah Man Speaks Out Against HB99

  1. Amy
    March 29, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I am glad people are speaking up about this issue. It comes as a surprise to most the level of caliber fundamentalist hold. Positions as doctors and lawyers and dentists. The media has done a fine job painting the entire class of people as a stereotypical boogie man. Stop it everyone. As the article says, that’s exactly what happened to the LDS up until late.

  2. James Justice
    March 30, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Angela,

    Perhaps the below doesn’t fit what you’re trying to do here but consider it. It should be another post and not a response to the above comments. It is an excerpt of an article I wrote 17 years ago.

    Church and Utah State Government Persecution of Mormon Fundamentalists
    Or, The Persecuted Become the Persecutors

    At first the U.S. Government used test oaths against the Church. Then with pressure from the U.S. Government the Church resorted to using them against their own membership. Emphasis shifted from the 11th article of faith: “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” to the 12th: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”. For those members that answered the test oath questions wrongly, excommunication followed. Finally, in the Church’s effort to stamp out the practice of plural marriage, they assisted in civil prosecutions.

    In 1935 the statutes against plural marriage changed from a misdemeanor (six months in prison) to a felony (up to 5 years), mostly through the instrumentality of Church leaders Hugh B. Brown, David O. McKay (First Presidency), and David A. Smith (Presiding Bishopric) under the supervision of Church President Heber J. Grant. This bill (H.B. 224) passed the legislature and was prepared by lawyer Hugh B. Brown, and presented into the Utah Legislature by Mormon official Lyle B. Nichols. (See Ogden Kraut, Compromise and Concession, pg. 170)

    An Associated Press release from Kingman, Arizona, on August 3rd, 1935, verifies Church involvement in the investigations and prosecutions. County Attorney Elmo Bollinger stated: “Officials of the regular Church (LDS) were assisting to bring about the arrest and conviction of polygamists”. David A. Smith, of the Presiding Bishopric, said: “Persons using the Church as a cloak for such practices are bringing ill repute to us, and we are cooperating wherever possible in obtaining enforcement of the law” (Ogden Kraut, Compromise and Concession, pg. 170). However, every time the Mormon Fundamentalists were persecuted, it backfired against their persecutors, creating more publicity for them. There were three major prosecutions they received which was followed with interest and sympathy from people throughout the world. The raids made national headlines, and those at the forefront of the persecutions and prosecutions suffered the most.

    Specific cases

    1935 – A religious test oath was presented to all the members of the Short Creek Branch (on Utah/Arizona border) which all refused to sign except one family. Among other things, they were asked to “denounce the practice and advocacy of plural marriage” and to support the leaders “without any mental reservation whatsoever” or risk excommunication. 21 members were excommunicated.

    1939 – Three of the Short Creek men were arrested. One of those imprisoned, Price Johnson, was presented the opportunity to sign a test oath or manifesto. Said he: “If I signed a Manifesto denying that doctrine of my faith, it would undo all of the international publicity I have received for sustaining that principle. My time in prison would be a waste, and my life’s work would be undone.” (Arizona State Prison, 1936) A month later he said before the parole board: “…before I would break these covenants, I would remain in this prison the remainder of my life, yes, before I would break these covenants, I would go to that gas chamber over there.” Mr. Johnson was released after serving 11 months in jail.

    1944 – Federal F.B.I. agents, U.S. Deputy Marshals, Deputy Sheriffs and City Policemen Utah conducted a raid, charging 34 with violating Federal and State conspiracy acts, and also the Mann and Lindbergh Kidnapping Acts. A federal jury indicted 20 in three different states. All was done without search warrants. One of those arrested, Heber C. Cleveland, wrote: “March 7, 1944,… I was awakened by loud shouting and commotion in my room… was told to get out of bed. `This is the F.B.I.’…’You are under arrest.’ I asked, `Where is your warrant?’ The spokesman said, `We don’t need any’… I said, `I am an American citizen and I know my rights.’ Newman remarked, `We don’t care anything about that.’…They took me to the S.L. County jail… I was the last one of the `so-called polygamist renegades’ to arrive at the jail house.” Heber later learned that all of the other men “had the same experience”. (Journal of Heber C. Cleveland, Vol. 3, see pp. 371-381.) Church President Heber J. Grant, among other Church leaders, was pleased with the raid, stating in a letter to Joseph Musser: “I shall rejoice when the Government officials put a few of these “best blood,” as you call them, in the county jail or the state penitentiary”.

    1953 – In July, Governor Howard Pyle conducted a massive raid on Short Creek, Arizona. He said the Mormon Fundamentalists were in a state of insurrection, and gave $50,000 in state funds to support it. Over 200 law enforcement and related personnel were involved, including the attorney general, state troopers, deputy sheriffs, liquor inspectors, welfare workers, etc. Officers chased after old men, women and children, and even two servicemen who had arrived home the previous night after being furloughed. One of the town’s residents queried: “By what law is our property confiscated and tempts made to sell what can be sold to pay our fines before we have been tried in a court of law, proven guilty, or sentenced. (Truth 18:108) All of the children were placed in foster homes, the parents were to be tried and convicted, and they planned on demolishing all of the town’s houses and businesses. The children were to remain in those foster homes for two years.

    In reporting this story, an Arizona newspaper editor stated: “…A veritable army of law enforcement officers roared into the tiny village in the dark of the moon. Bristling with guns, they swept into the homes of misguided women and children…The only life they know has been disrupted in a bewildering raid that resembles too closely the hated police-state roundups of the Old World…By what stretch of the imagination could the action of the Short Creek children be classified as insurrection? Again we say–officials of the State of Arizona have humiliated its citizens by a pistol and shotgun raid that resembled an operation to subdue Pork Chop Hill. Insurrection? Well, if so, an insurrection with diapers and volleyballs! (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona)

    Another newspaper reported: “But Governor Howard Pyle and his own Attorney General Ross Jones appear to have looked the other way when the “Civil Rights” of the citizens of Short Greek, Arizona, were involved. It is a pity that the truth about Governor Pyle’s hunger for publicity which will cost the taxpayers of Arizona more than $600,000.00 before it ends, has been hidden from the voters and others of Arizona…Yes, Communistic Russia and China moved into Short Creek the morning of July 26, 1953. Is that not the story we read about Russia and China? The mothers of the children who were and are legally married under the law of the State of Arizona, were brow beaten intimidated and told their children would be taken away from them and they would never see them again. Oh, you may say –“so what”–maybe that’s why we are losing our rights so readily–is because unless it hits us as individuals the average person just does not care–but that was how Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin became possible, the apathy and so what attitude of the citizens of Germany, Italy and Russia. Then it became too late. (Arizona News Reporter, Oct. 22, 1954)

    The Graham County Guardian reported: “Aside from the human side of the situation, think of the cost to the taxpayers. Each of the 122 persons charged must be given a fair trial. A jury panel of 70 persons for each trial must be drawn and paid for. The person selected cannot serve on the next case. That would mean 122 separate trials. As far as we are concerned, it is just a cheap publicity stunt the way it was handled, and a costly one.” (Compromise and Concession, pg. 212, taken from Graham County Guardian)

    In contrast to other newspapers, the Church owned Deseret News supported Governor Pyle and his tyrannical tactics: “Law-abiding citizens of Utah and Arizona owe a debt of gratitude to Arizona’s Governor Howard Pyle and to his police officers who Sunday, raided the polygamous settlement at Short Creek and rounded up its leaders for trial… and we hope the unfortunate activities at Short Creek will be cleaned up once and for all. (Deseret News, July 27, 1953)

    A test oath was presented to the parents, with the Judge saying: “It is almost inconceivable that you would be willing to compromise your beliefs in order to avoid a one year prison sentence for the fathers but would not be willing to change your ways for the sake of your children. How could this be justified? (David A. Anderson, Judge, Salt Lake Tribune, p. 24, March 25, 1954). There were no signers. One polygamist, when asked about the prospect of losing custody of his children, answered the Judge: “It looks as though we’ll have to.”

    1955 – Salt Lake County made more arrests. One of those men, Louis Kelsch, held the record among polygamists for serving the most time in state prison. Seven years. At the time of this last arrest, he had 5 wives and 31 children.

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