Phillips claimed Mr. Monson breached the Fraud Act by seeking money using “untrue or misleading” statements. Between February 2008 and December 2013 Mr. Monson allegedly induced two men to pay an “annual tithe” based on untrue teachings related to human history on earth, the source and accuracy of Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon translations, and the descendancy of Native Americans.
The summons, signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, ordered Mr. Monson to appear at Westminster and threatened arrest if he did not. But Judge Riddle ruled the threat of arrest was “wrong” and should not have been made. He described the attempted prosecution as “tenuous”, with no chance of ever making it to trial. “To convict, a jury would need to be sure that the religious teachings of the Mormon Church are untrue or misleading,” he said. And “no judge in a secular court in England and Wales would allow that issue to be put to a jury.”
BBC religious-affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said a court decision to pursue the case would have had “awkward implications” for other religions, and that a “ruling against the literal truth of Adam and Eve” could have been seen as the “start of a slippery slope” of legal challenges to religious beliefs. (BBC News/UK, 3/20/14) [IT 5.2]
The American Psychological Association (APA) has apologized to the Utah Psychological Association for saying the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) uses “brainwashing,” “mind control,” and “powerful psychological techniques” to retain members and motivate missionaries. The statements about the major Mormon denomination in the U.S. were made to promote the documentary, “Get the Fire,” screened at the annual APA meeting last year. (Carrie A. Moore, Deseret Morning News, Internet, 4/30/04) [csr 4.2 2005]