Welcome to Kay Burningham's blog
about Mormonism: An American Fraud

Meet Kay Burningham,
attorney, advocate, and author of
An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism

Here we discuss the truth about Mormonism--what people know, but are afraid to say and what others don't know, but are afraid to learn.

Please visit Kay's official site at kayburningham.com

Excerpt from Reader review

"...Kay Burningham’s painstaking studies unfolded for her, and now her readers, the details of a grotesque fraud of cosmic proportions masquerading under a charitable fa├žade of public spirited nobility. In her book, Kay demonstrates for the world to see, how a reasonable application of the law should be applied to the “affinity fraud” of Mormonism, whose very continued existence employs the quiet acquiescence of government officials and judicial officers whose canons of ethics demand of them a higher standard than to allow this fraud to continue unchecked.

An American Fraud: One Lawyer’s Case against Mormonism, is, ..., an historically significant work that calls out the most insidious fraud of American culture for what it is. It is a timeless masterpiece, and will be associated with the beginning of the end of Mormonism in years to come.

For more information about the book, click here

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Book of Mormon Girl: Joanna Brooks Avoids the Hard Questions

Joanna Brook's tells an excellent story of her very Mormon child and young adulthood. Many Mormons will relate to the things she describes: the fun pioneer day celebrations, the home-made fruit preserves, feeling as if you had the answers to the big questions in life—what will happen when we die, how do we fit in this increasingly complex and frightening world?

Mormon women will relate to the desperation Brooks so eloquently describes: “For years, I cried every time I set foot in a Mormon ward house. Crying out of fear and anger and loneliness and misunderstanding. Crying that the Church had punished women like me, people like me, leaving us exiled among our own.” (Kindle location 1687). Beginning in her teens, through her young adult years at BYU and beyond into graduate school, she questions the value of her gender. These questions increasingly appear to cause her despair and angst. Then, she describes her complete dismay and disagreement with the LDS position on Proposition 8, California’s successful ballot measure which overturned the legislated and judicially upheld law allowing same-sex marriage. In contravention of LDS policy, she openly advocates voting “No,” on Proposition 8.

Yet Brooks barely alludes to the real problems with Mormonism: the suppression and misrepresentation by Church leaders of historical facts. Members who have questioned this white-washed version of Mormonism’s historical and theological foundation have been criticized. Leaders have openly denounced intelligent inquiry into these issues. Members of the LDS hierarchy have pronounced as heretical the discussion, let alone exhibition, of true feminine power and have unabashedly exhibited the above-described patent bigotry against same sex-marriage. Why so much backlash against an advocacy of true history and basic human rights? Why all the insular Mormon secrets and narrow-minded thinking?

The author conveniently skips over the real, underlying problem with the LDS Religion: that it was built and continues to be presented as something that historical documents reveal it never was: gospel teachings from an ancient history written by American prophets on golden plates. Brooks ends her book with a plea for a pluralistic Zion, one that mirrors her marriage to her Jewish husband and their admirable effort to bring both religious (and perhaps cultural) traditions together for the sake of their young children. Hers is a worthy goal. However, it cannot be obtained by sweeping real doctrinal and historical issues under the carpet as Brooks has done. These need to be exposed and examined for what they are, addressed openly and then, dealt with. This is something that, absent a demand from Mormons within the Church, will never be done. Yet this very thing is what is necessary.

Brooks doesn’t want to be a victim, decries any civil action for redress based upon a false representation of the source of the religion (yet, by her very admission of the possibility, inadvertently acknowledges a real problem): “Do we sue to get our tithes and offerings back, all the dollars we faithfully mailed to Salt Lake City, to build temples we would never see?” (Kindle location 2261). Here she seems to have some sort of insider’s knowledge that the LDS Church is cutting back on its temple building.

The author seems to forget a teaching that is true in most all religions: repentance. The secular counterpart to confess, redress, forgive and “go and sin no more,” is restitution. A proper civil action filed against those who have committed fraud in the inducement is nothing more than Mormons seeking redress for the sin committed against them by their leaders. It is restitution! Certainly Hebraic theology would endorse such an attempt. There is nothing wrong or sinful in bringing a lawsuit against an entity that has misrepresented its origins, and by doing so, obtained billions of dollars in tithes under false pretenses. This is redress, an important step in the repentance of the LDS hierarchy. Some would argue (even if only from a psychological perspective) that it is impossible to move on, to achieve that pluralistic utopia to which Brooks aspires, without such a step.


  1. Here's the real issue Kay, once sex sex marriage is accepted and legalized, Pologamy is right behind. Then the Church has no where to go, the manifesto stopped the practice for the main reason of being against the law. So, here we'll have a Church who advocates Pologamy in the eternal perspective, faced with the legalization of the earthly practice. What will be their reasoning to oppose it or band it then? In addition, if you use historical Hebrew as a comparison to the BofM, the Old Testament or the Talmad is in the same boat do to speak, even the New Testament, there is no historical record of Moses or Abraham other than the Old Testament. Most of the books in the New Testament were written hundreds of years after Christ died, so you could say all three major religions are founded on highly questionable books and their authorship

    1. Yes, you could say that ("all three major religions are founded on highly questionable books and their authorship")--good point James.

  2. A little research is in order. Every respectable New Testament scholar, even the agnostic ones, acknowledge that all of the NT books - every single one of them* - were written in the first century CE.

    *The only exception is the Gospel of John. Some scholars posit a date as late as 120 CE.

  3. STILL, not first hand accounts, PhysRev.

    1. Conceded. How about if we limit our comments to the facts rather than making them up on the fly?

    2. Nor the original language of the actors which would have been Aramaic not Greek. As regards dating when these were written, the scholarly sleuthing on which these claims are made are hardly definitive.

  4. What about the SOL for any fraud claim? Seems like it would have been running since the advent of the Internet. Unless some equitable tolling could be claimed.

    1. You are right to point out SOL issues. However, generally speaking, in some cases there are factors which mitigate a strict application of the SOL defense. Thank you for your comment.

  5. Mormons are directed to church-approved sites and told to avoid "anti-Mormon' sites by the LDS hierarchy, Some Mormons believe that the internet is evil.

    1. Some catholics, baptists, etc. believe the internet is evil as well. I dont see the relevance of that fact

  6. I have read both this book and yours and like both although Joanna Brooks is not as hard hitting. I am not a Mormon but came to an interest in this topic from my wife who is ex-LDS and thus I recognized the same issues I had been hearing from her for several years. My take, as an agnostic is that many of you still seem very much attached to the spiritual dimension of the church in spite of all the other problems that you discuss. The ex-LDS women in particular also seem to regret their loss of the LDS sisterhood. I think there is a core of beliefs or attitudes to spiritual things that the LDS church for all its flaws could be directed towards although this could take me more time to explain than I could do in a short comment.

    BTW Kay I really loved one of the lines in your book and put it on my FB page as follwos:

    "The idea of God is really just a whisper to our consciousness. It is pure ego to claim to know God." Kay Burningham

    I don't go in for many thoughtful quotes, but as an agnostic, if you add to this "or to claim to know there is no God" this sentiment comes close to my own thoughts.

    1. Thank you Edward! I dont know if I ever felt a really close sisterhood with LDS women--there was always too much depression underlying a superficial veneer of happiness. With regard to most of them, I could never connect with their core.

    2. As a male, I am sure I am on thin ice to be discussing "sisterhood" and as an agnostic taking a similar risk trying to discuss the spirituality of Mormon women. But it seemed to me that you made some reference in your book to the fact that women played a greater role in the early Moromon Church. My ex-LDS wife, currently an atheist, has indicated that she would probably not have left the church if it had allowed her to be a bishop. So it seems to me that some of the frustration women have with this church comes from not being given the same spiritual authority as men, including the ability to develop their own approach to such issues.

      Mormons are not unique in downplaying women's roles in religion. Several of the books by Bart Ehrmann discuss the male power grab in the ancient Christian church, in which women's roles were consistently downplayed while men grabbed the power and authority. One poignant image of the role of women in the founding of the church is of the women who remained with Jesus as he was crucified, while the male elite fled.

      Then there is the infamous passage of Paul allegedly instructing women to silent in church. However this is contradicted by his earlier admonition for women to cover their hair when they pray and prophesy, which implicitly acknowledges their role of preaching in church and thus contradicts the latter passage which was probably one of the many bogus add-ons by a man with an axe to grind against the role of women.

      Also the mainstream Christian church has its' own problems of authenticity of its books comparable to the Mormon experience. Again Ehrmann gives a fascinating introduction to biblical scholarship on this point. Just that Mormonism is more recent and thus easier to find its distortions. For a start you don't have to be able to read ancient languages.

      But I am not ntending an attack on religious books. I tell my daughters (one an atheist the other agnostic like myself) that the Bible doesn't belong to Christians and Jews, the Koran does not belong to Muslims, and neither does the book of Mormon belong to Mormons. These books are our common heritage and anyone can take what benefit they may be able to find from them. I see them, when they have any worth at all, as inspirational in nature, to be read for their allegorical, not literal meaning.

      As regards the line I quoted from your book, it is very evocative and it stopped me cold, as I was reading, to make me ponder all of what it was saying. A good turn of phrase can carry a large body of meaning.

      For example normally I think that one comes to an understanding of the divine, after considerable thought and effort, a "glimpsing" of some aspect of divinity as "through a glass darkly."

      However the whispering metaphor reverses the actor-perceiver relationship. The effort to understand is no longer a one-sided search, one is being spoken to, if only faintly. God is not so aloof and remote, but is attempting to speak to us.

      But some of us are too egotistical to hear and/or consciously distort the truth.

      In any event thank you for your very interesting book. It must have been hard work.