Church Security Forces - Latter-day Danites

What type of gooks, geeks and gumshoes protect the brethren? What do J. Edgar and Gordon B. have in common? Please submit your church security sagas in the box below.

The day I was a bodyguard for James Faust

04/08/2006 - from Gunga Ga Gunga

During my TBM (True Believing Mormon) days it was announced that James Faust would be presiding over a Regional Conference in our area and I was asked to serve on his security team for the day. Those of us on the team had to meet on the day before the conference to go over security procedures, first aid, coordination with local law enforcement, and our assignments. Since I have a background as a former police officer I was asked to shadow Elder Faust the entire time he was at the conference.

We had to be at the arena at 6:30 AM. Since it was the sabbath I didn't hit a McDonald's or BK for breakfast. I figured that I'd be blessed for starving. Prior to the doors being opened, we had to do a complete sweep of the arena for weapons, bombs, and people who were not supposed to be there. We were also given small lapel stickers to show the other security team members that we were all on the same page.

Amazingly, church security did not accompany him on the trip and he was met by an off-duty LDS police officer at the airport's executive/private jet terminal who drove him to the local Stake Center for meetings. He arrived at the arena about 15 minutes before the start of the conference.

When the doors were opened to the members there was a mad rush to get the seats closest to the front. I was standing on the side of the podium watching for anything out of place when I noticed a guy with a bulge under his suit coat. I knew the guy was a nut case so I nodded to one of the uniformed police officers in attendance and he went over and confronted the man. The police officer put his hand on the bulge and he immediately grabbed the guy's wrist and walked him briskly to the other side of the podium where he was met by 2-3 other police officers. He was taken out the side door and was escorted to a waiting police car. He was carrying a .45 cal semi-automatic handgun. His reason was that he didn't want to see anyone get too close to Pres. Faust. He had a concealed handgun permit and was allowed back in without the gun.

When Faust arrived I met him behind the stage and shook his hand. I led him to his seat and sat directly behind him so that I was looking at the back of his head and could scan the crowd at the same time.

The talks were uneventful for the most part but Pres. Faust's stands out for some reason. I thought I'd hear some kind of prophetic message but instead all he did was tell a bunch of different stories about whatever was on his mind. Even his closing testimony was lacking in spirituality.

After the closing prayer he wanted to press the flesh so I ended up walking around the floor of the arena watching out for terrorists and kidnappers but none came close to where I was.

When he was finished I escorted him to his private room behind the stage where there was a huge spread of food laid out for the leadership. There must have been $3,000+ in catered food for 10-12 men. Shrimp, lobster, prime rib, salads, desserts, fruit trays, crab legs, breads, cold cuts- you name it and it was probably there. They closed the door while the security team stood watch outside and kept all the riff-raff away from the Lord's anointed. People had books they wanted him to sign, scriptures to sign, and one lady wanted a blessing. But the brethren were to busy eating that they didn't come out.

After about 30 minutes Pres. Faust came out with the Stake Presidencies and was taken back to the airport so he could fly back to SLC. He was on the ground in our town for about 5 hours. Before he left the arena the lady who wanted a blessing called out to him and asked him to please bless her. He stopped and asked her, "Sister, do you have a home teacher?" She said, "Yes." He said, "Than I suggest that you call him because that's what he is there for." And he walked away.

After he left I was hoping to get some of the food from the feast but when I got back to the room most of the food was already taken out to on of the Stake President's wife's minivan. I guess she needed it more than us starving security guys.

I met my wife in the parking lot (she came with her parents) and we went to lunch together. It was the first time in my life that I was unimpressed with one of the top 15 men in the church. I'd met Monson, Hinckley, Packer, Maxwell, McConkie, Benson, Kimball, and Tanner but Faust was different.

Looking back now I can say that he was just a man trying to entertain 5,000 people for 30 minutes so he could get back home before dinner.

F'n cult.

Blood atonement scare on temple square

11/17/2003 - from Danite Story

One time as a teenager I was at Temple Square with my TBM relatives and the usual protesters were jackassing around out in front of the temple gates. Some RM types were argung with them. I walked up with what my brother used to call "the evil eye look" on my face and asked the foremost of the protesters if he did not indeed recognize me. He said, no, he had never seen me in his life.

I told him that I was a modern Danite and that he had dreamed about me last night, if he would stop and think about it. And that as I had warned him in his dream, that if he came to the Temple that day day I would have to cut his throat. I gently said: now come along quietly with me, it is the only way. Resistance against me is futile. You know the doctrine and practice of Blood Atonement is true, now don't you. I mean you actually believe it while these others, pointing to the surrounding RM types, do not.

I took his arm and started slowly pulling him toward the temple gates. He got this wild eyed scared deer in the head lights look on his face, yanked free and screamed that I was f*****' crazy.

He left his pair of garments that he had been disrespecting on the sidewalk and ran down South Temple at a very fast clip and across West Temple against the traffic light. He was lucky that someone like Boyd Packer wasn't coming along that busy street in his SUV and ran him over.

I looked at the RM types and replied, I will take care of this as I picked up the garment. They turned kind of sympathetic to the protesters and they all said that it was a mean thing I had done to him, freaking him out like that. But I don't think it was that mean. I gave him a realistic taste of what Mormonism was really like. I think he learned a valuable lesson that day, for which he should thank me.

Wild Bill Hickman - Modern Day Danite?

10/11/2003 - from kestrel91316

William Adams Hickman, 1815-83 (courtesy Utah State Historical Society)

I am a descendant of William Adams Hickman, Chief of the Danites, who gained fame in the 1870's when he turned against the Mormon Church and told all about how Brigham Young directed him to murder numerous dissenters and apostates. I LOVE how the church tries to deny the existence to this group, when the historical record is so clear!! My grandfather got the straight scoop from his grandmother, who was WAH's oldest daughter and who certainly witnessed the hanky-panky of the day first-hand.

So don't ever let anybody try to tell you it's all just legend. They were a bunch of murderous thugs and the head thug was ol' Brigham himself. I am currently seeking any historical documents I can find about Hickman and the Danites, though I suspect the church has got ahold of most and squirreled them away or destroyed them. I can be reached at my email address: I am also interested in hearing any modern-day tales of "Danite-type" hanky-panky such as the Committee to Strengthen Membership (or whatever).

Anonymous response to "Modern Day Danite"

Submission from anon - 01/09/2004

The tripe posted above about Bill Hickman is nothing short of the same old misguided, unresearched crap.

Here is his real history from his family. WILLIAM ADAMS HICKMAN

Modern Day Danite?

09/13/2003 - from Connell the Barbarian

I was hanging out a lot with Brent Metcalfe (a rebellious Church Security Officer who loved delving "into the Mysteries") after I returned from my mission in '82. We would go hang out with Sandy Tanner at Utah Lighthouse Ministry and exchange gossip, rumors, beauty tips, etc. or go visit polygamist churches and temples, forge Mormon historical documents, whatever we could do to find SOMETHING even vaguely intellecually stimulating about the Mediocre Church of Jello. The details on this are a bit foggy, but I do remember that one day Brent received a strange phone call regarding a man purporting to be one of the Daughters of Zion (aka Danites).

He wanted to speak with Brent and Brent asked me to go with him. I don't remember where we went but it was some false store front kinda thing, very cloak and dagger place. We hung out for a couple hours with this guy (white, early 40s, non-descript Mark MoMo) who reiterated that he was a Danite for the Morg and had come to realize that it wasn't the righteous institution of its claims and he wanted OUT. Out of the church and especially out of the Danites. This guy was TERRIFIED. He basically asked Brent for help in changing his identity so he could get out of Utah without being murdered by fellow Danites!

Brent and I of course were totally skeptical, as there's absolutely no proof at all that Danites still existed after the 1920s, officially or not (I mean, I'm still alive and well and I know that I have sure been a thorn in the side of the Morg, right!) But in talking to each other afterwards, we definitely felt strongly that this guy BELIEVED he was a Danite, whether in fact he was one or not. I think Brent ended up helping the guy but I don't remember hearing of him again after that night.

Who knows???

Sitcoms from Ex-Temple Square Gumshoe

09/10/2003 - from Connell the Barbarian

I worked for two years as a security guard on Temple Square (nota bene: a security guard is a peon in the Maintenance Dept. while Security Officers are affiliated with Church Security). I guarded the West Entrance to the square and also gave out canned goods, bus tokens, and motel tokens to "the needy" who came onto the square looking for assistance. BTW, this was an afternoon job I held; my night job was working as a cashier at a local porn store on Main Street!!! I, you might say!

First of all, an earlier poster (Bert) indicated that he came to Temple Square the night Hofmann almost blew himself up. I was on duty that night and the west gates were NOT locked up as Bert said.

I did get interrogated by the FBI earlier that week (before Hofmann blew up) because one night after getting off work I went to get into my car and I discovered that my car door was unlocked (and I anal-retentively ALWAYS lock my doors). We had been instructed to report anything slightly suspicious so I called up Security and they sent a bomb squad to the LDS parking structure (now replaced by the great and spacious Ubernacle, I believe) to check out my car.

False alarm...but the police interviewed me and I told them that I did have connections with Hoffman. I had been introduced to Hofmann via Brent Metcalfe (a Security Officer and rebel-rouser whom I adore!) and I, as a professional genealogist, had done a tiny bit of research for Hofmann (looking for descendants of the Smith family so that Hofmann could see what treasures of trash they might have). So the police contacted the FBI and I was briefly interrogated by them. But I found them very pleasant, thorough, and professional.

Story #2 - In the mid-1980s there were a substantial number of men in the Mo Tab Choir who were Gay. One of my duties as guard of the West Gate was to let the choir members into the Snappertackle for rehearsals on Thursday nights. One of the men in particular started flirting with me outrageously. Since I was coming out at the time, I welcomed his flirting and shot some back at him. He let the other Gay men in the choir know that I was "family" (Gay-speak for "member of the Phi Alpha Gamma [FAG] fraternity") and they agreed to invite me to one of their after-hours "parties" (read orgies)!

When W. invited me, I politely thanked him but declined - I was just a tender morsel of chicken (Gay-speak for a young gay man) and wasn't into boinking any chicken-hawks (older gay men) at the time. But I did find it hysterically funny and deliciously subversive that the Lard's Choir had quite the Lavendar Section (including 2 or 3 Lesbyterians).

Story #3 - One of the first public appearances of Sister Enid Christensen was at my booth at the West Gate of the Temple Square. After coming out, my new Gay friend Jeff came to visit me one night, bringing along this enormous Mormon housefrau and introduced her to me as Sister Christensen. No sooner had we exchanged a couple of pleasantries than without further adoo Sister Christensen started bellowing out "I Am a Child of God" in her tremulous, operatic vibrato at the top of her rather large lungs.

I was embarassed and freaking out because of all the stares the tourists were giving us, but I didn't dare stop her, as she was certainly in the thralls of the Holy Spirit and who can stop such spiritual reveries, right? Finally the song was about to end, I was squirming like a trout out of water, and Jeff whispers into my ear, "Connell, that's not a woman - that's my friend Roger in drag!" Holy Helsinki!! I had absolutely no clue that this was a man!

The drag was FLAWLESS. The beehive, the polyester moo-moo, the fat ankles hanging over the sides of the too small pumps, the makeup, the voice, the Special Spirit!! Years later, Sister Enid Christensen (aka Roger Salazar) came out with her brilliant satire on Moron food and culture called "No Man Knows My Pastries", courtesy Signature Books. If you haven't read it, DO SO NOW!!! Not to be missed...Godess bless Drag Queens!! Long live the Jello Belt!

Story #4 - Although I had minimal security clearance, I occasionally had to help my supervisor's boss out with some stuff down in the Belly of the Beast (the underground tiers of Slick City, known only to the Most Faithful). We went down to the third level below ground of Temple Square, where the honeycomb of rooms, offices, hallways, and tunnels was bewildering. You have no idea what is below the surface of Salt Lake's city streets!!!

Most of the tunnels were fairly obvious and passable, with only the occasional electric go-cart (or Mo-cart, if you will) shuttling back and forth but I do recollect one particular tunnel that shot of at an angle (unlike the Mormonazi cardinal grid of the others) toward the south-east, as far as the eye could see. It seemed heavily guarded and I asked my superior what is was. He coyly whispered that this was the tunnel that went out to the granite vaults, several miles away! It was only to be used by authorized personnel when the millenium begun to whisk away all church leaders and staff to safe bunkers located there. Of course, he could have been teasing me, but it looked pretty damn authentic to me!!!

Story #5 - An older Security Guard that was a good friend of mine during that time had known Spanker Dubya Kimbull for many years and towards the end of Kimbull's unsavory life, this guard's faith was being severely shaken by what church leaders were doing to Kimbull to make him look somewhat presentable to the public. An hour or so before Kimbull's last appearance at Geritol Conflatulence, this officer spent some time with the old homophobe and took the time to give him a much-needed haircut. When he was done, he came over to my booth and began to weep pretty heavily.

He told me that Kimbull was totally fucked up on drugs, not even vaguely lucid and really should be in bed in intensive care with his family, rather than drugged out of his skull and propped up at the pulpit with crazy glue. Even though I was bitter at the old fart for being so hateful to gay people, I did kinda feel sorry for the way he was being treated. Kharma sucks sometimes, eh?

Story #6 - After Kimbull's death, I was working the West Gate the day that Xray Daft Bangs-son was first sustained as Profit, Sneer, and Elevator of the Crutch. I had always despised him (his affiliation with the Birch Society and statement about Democrats not being worthy of temple recommends really bugged the shit out of me) and long before Spanker Kimbull died I had made up my mind that if the Cosmic Roulette that the Apostles use to determine the next Profit pointed to Xray then I would know that the Crutch was false. No god I cared to worship would ever let such a vile extremist run a religion. Ouch.

So I'm standing between my security booth and the Snappertackle and I can hear the sustaining vote floating out over the beautiful grounds through the PA system. "All those in favor?" All hands shot up...but mine. This caught my boss's eye, who was standing quite a distance from me. "All those opposed?" And with all the strength and courage I could muster, I raised my hand.

My boss freaked. He left the scene and a few minutes later appeared at my post, asking me why I had opposed the sustaining of Bangs-son. I told him that I had prayed about it several times (I had) and that each time I thought of him as Profit, my guts wrenched, my soul felt awful (all true), and I could only conclude that he was no true profit. I got my walking papers immediately and that was the end of my career on Temple Square.

By the way, I did survey 25 members of my single adult ward in the Avenues about their sustaining of Bangs-son. All had voted yes. But only five had actually prayed about it (which freaked me out! Stupid sheep....) And NONE had received an answer in the affirmative. But they still felt it their duty to vote for the fucker. Drones in a hive....

Yours in the Gospel of Judy Garland,

The Positive Side of Richard Bretzing

07/12/2003 - from Bretzing Friend

(Editor's note: Richard T Bretzing, was to step down as head of LDS Church security in July/August 2003 to serve as a full time mission president.) Matt Perez was one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the FBI for discrimination. He was not only incompetent, but also a disloyal, loose lipped, ineffectual, moron who could take charge of a two year old let alone an office of agents. He leaked information to the newspapers -- information of a confidential nature -- and he did not have the skills to even get his own work done, let alone supervise anyone else. He was demoted for all of the above reasons. After the lawsuit, Perez was promoted to SAC of (I believe) the New Mexico office (could be a texas office though) and not many years later was quietly forced to retire because his lack of skills or leadership talent made itself extremely evident.

I don't know whether any other hispanics were discriminated against, but Matt Perez was not. In filing the law suit, the plaintiffs' attorney chose the forum in which the judge had made his disgust of the FBI very well known. Had that case been tried in almost any other district, it would have been tossed to the curb. But that fact is a part of our legal system, and as Churchill said, and I paraphrase, "It is the worst system --- except for all the rest."

As for Richard Miller, he was an irresponsible, immoral slime ball who trashed a good man in the paper to try to shift the blame and spot light away from himself. He confessed to having commited treason and then when he realized what he had done, tried to retract and claim eclesiastical pressure made him confess. Anyone who knows the whole story knows that MIller sought out Bretzing on the night he was arrested, asked him what he should do, and Bretzing, like any good COP, said, "Tell the truth -- confess."

All of that was then twisted and made to seem like religious pressure. Bretzing is a good man, worked hard for his family, long hard hours, and was a very good FBI agent.

Direct Descendant of John Doyle Lee

05/18/2003 -

Allrighty, you wanna talk about Danites and church cover ups? You guys have nothing that compares to my family history in the church. I am a direct descendant of John Doyle Lee. For those of you who don't know who he is, (he was the man that was like an adopted son to Brigham Young and was executed for his involvement in the Mountain Meadow Massacre.

The Mountain Meadow Massacre, the incident in which Jacob Hamblin ordered the execution of a Wagon train of Missouri wildcats Men women and children over the age of six(nits make lice) They ambushed the train and sent one guy on one horse to Salt Lake City to ask ol' BY what to do, and when the slow horseman returned conveniently a day late with the message to spare their souls they had already killed all the men women and children. And contrary to church teaching there was a network of Danites up and down Utah who could relay a message very quickly and there was no reason that the message from Brigham had to arrive late. That was planned.

Anyway this massacre didn't go over well with the U.S. government for some reason and they wanted justice or they were going to march the military in on the Mormons. So Brigham found a scapegoat, John Doyle Lee, the second in command to Jacob Hamblin. John had run off with his two remaining wives and had been running Lee's ferry down in Arizona.

The church officials nabbed him and got him back to utah where he was propped up on the end of his coffin and shot in the heart and he fell in. They also excommmunicated him and said that there would be a four generation curse upon his family. He was the man who was demonized for this horrific event in the big smelly and long set of church history volumes. But this little blood stain on the history of this church seems absent from sunday school meetings.


Hey son of D. Lee. Ya got it mostly right. The massacre was in old Jake Hamblin's pasture and one of his polygie wives was nearby. But Jake was off on another mission to the Lamanites. He wasn't much liked down there cause he advocated intermarriage with the primitive Piutes as the way to make their skin white and delightsome.

The man in charge of the massacre was Isaac C. Haight, great-grand father of David B. Haight now of the Q of the Twelve. I happen to be descended from him, so I think I got you beat. Lee was a young hot head and future scape goat but Haight was the man who organized the massacre. Brig. quietly axed him for about 30 years. He was on his way to Salt Lake to have his Second Annointing and his calling and election made sure when he died suddenly.

I think the question of whether Brigham Young ordered it or not is complex and remains plausibly unanswered. - 06/05/2003 - anonymous

Hofmann, ATF and Hinckley

Updated by Frank Wandell on 05/05/2003. Originally posted 06/15/2001 - by Gaffer of the recovery bulletin board

What I am going to do is move down below to the text from "Gaffer", and enter my own comments in parentheses and italics, starting with my initials, FHW. I think that would be an appropriate way to continue to post Gaffer's message. That way readers can see my line-by-line response to whatever Gaffer has written.

At the time Mark Hoffman decided to "blow the lid" off of his latest antique document scam with Gordon B. Hinckley, Frank Wandell was my elders' quorum president in Sacramento, CA and a seasoned ATF field agent.

(FHW - Mark Hofmann surfaced with his murders in October 1985. At that time I had been an ATF agent since 1972, living in working in Sacramento, CA. I had been an Elder's Quorum president in one of the Sacramento wards for 14 months in 1980 and 1981. Therefore, at the time of the Hofmann murders, I was an active member of the Church, but had not been an Elder's Quorum President for 4 years. - FHW)

Frank was surprised to get the call to come in from out of state to head up the ATF investigation. However, the fact that he was active LDS was no coincidence, as the Church thought they could influence his investigation.

(FHW - I was not called in to head up the ATF investigation. The ATF Resident Agent In Charge [RAC] in SLC was an old friend and welcomed my presence, but in fact he had simply requested additional agents to help in what was going to be a huge effort, and I was one of those sent, arriving later the same day that Bishop Steve Christensen and Kathy Sheets were killed by bombs. I participated directly in the investigation, interviewing witnesses, running down leads on evidence, etc. And I was also specifically assigned to reviewing and organizing and filing for ATF, all of the various reports coming in from the Hofmann task force of ATF Agents, SLCPD, SLCo. S.O., attorneys, etc. Without being in charge of the investigation, this assignment still gave me a unique position to review everything that was happening in the total task force investigation.

The church had no idea I was LDS until I gave that information to individuals once I was in SLC, so there was certainly no thought on anyone's part that they could influence the investigation thru me. In fact, in interviewing, LDS people were often uncertain as to how to proceed on certain matters, not knowing how I would perceive what was said. They would be startled when I told them that I was active LDS. Then they were more comfortable -- not in trying to influence me, but because they immediately realized we had a mutual and more knowledgeable communication base to work from. - FHW)

At first, former FBI agent and head of church security, Lamar Byrd, was very helpful and forthcoming to Frank's investigation. However, upon meeting with GBH, Frank was instucted to "...go home...there's nothing to do here...the guilty have been caught." Frank informed the GBH that he was a federal agent and had a job to do...that his investigation was just begining. GBH again asked him in his capacity as the mormon prophet to "pack things up and go home".

(FHW - Way off. First, I never personally met with GBH. Never. I met with Martell Byrd, the head of Church Security, and a retired FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC). His first name was actually not Martell. But he used only an initial for his first name, and went by his middle name. At first, he put on a veneer of being quite gracious, but as events developed, it quickly became obvious that as a former FBI SAC -- people who practically rule their territories like feudal warlords -- and current Chief of Church Security, he was arrogant, a man used to being deferred to, and once he spoke he did not like being further questioned.

My initial inquiry to Byrd concerned information I had that on the day that Mark Hofmann accidentally blasted himself with one of his own bombs, he had already been under surveillance by Church Security Officers, who had seen the whole thing. This, at a time when the Hofmann law enforcement task force had not yet established Hofmann as a suspect, even though we were very close.

Byrd angrily denied this. Categorically so. And as it turned out, the source of our information, despite having an influential position in Utah, was later described by other credible sources as a person of unreliable character and veracity. And further investigation never did develop even an inkling of evidence that Church security personnel had in fact ever surveilled Mark Hofmann.

Neither Byrd or anyone else ever told me to "go home ..... there's nothing to do here .... the guilty have been caught". Not Byrd, and not GBH, who again, I have never met.

My clashes with Byrd were two-fold. One, I told him I was going to continue to investigate any information I had about Church security personnel surveilling Hofmann; and two, when I interviewed Church employees, I was not going to OK it with him first, and be accompanied in my interviews by one of his personnel, which is what he wanted. I did not say it disrespectfully, but firmly and in the structure that it was my job to investigate all information with an unbiased mind, and that I was concerned that Church employees might be reluctant to talk about certain things they would ordinarily reveal to me, but not when someone from the Church security was right there too.

Byrd was quite hot about this. He openly erupted for a few moments, but I held my ground. As stated above, Byrd was a man used to being treated with deference, and that deference did not include a lowly field agent from any agency doing things the way he wanted, and not the way Martell Byrd wanted. But he faced the reality that he was no longer an FBI SAC and I was not one of his agents, and so we did maintain a working level communcation after that. In fact, I later agreed with him that prior to contacting any Church employees at their work locations, I would at least first advise him that I was going to do so, even though I still insisted that I would not conduct an interview in the presence of anyone from Church security. - FHW)

Frank disobeyed the GBH order and continued on with his investigation, even though Lamar Byrd and Company closed ranks and thwarted his efforts.

(FHW - Again, I never had any contact with GBH, and even though Martell Byrd was not happy with me, so far as I knew, he did nothing to obstruct or thwart me or anyone else from the Hofmann law enforcement task force - FHW).

According to Frank...bottom line was that, "GBH lied and covered up....put Christensen on an assignment that cost him his life and then totally abandoned his widow and family and denied all knowledge and responsibility"..."You lie enough and put enough distance between the lies....and eventually people perceive them as truth", said Frank.

(FHW - I no longer feel for sure that GBH lied about anything. It is more likely that with so many other responsibilities, Mark Hofmann et al was a minor thing on GBH's mind until suddenly murders were at hand. And when that happened there was real trouble in trying to remember every detail of church and personal contact with Hofmann and Steve Christensen. At that point, I believe that GBH and he and other church authorities were very reluctant to talk about any of their dealings with Mark Hofmann, because Hofmann had conned all of them, and it was very embarrassing. Because of this embarrassment, I think that GBH et al did withhold information that could have helped the investigation and/or corroborated other information that the Hofmann law enforcement task force had. I think that Steve Christensen was dismissed and treated as an embarrassment since he had the ill grace to be murdered while trying to do what they had requested of him, adding to their embarrassment. From my participation in the investigation I learned directly and indirectly that Christensen's widow, and many of his closest friends and family, were quite shocked and angry and bitter at how quickly the Church distanced itself from Steve. It was not at all a pretty thing.

I have no specific recall of ever saying in the words, "You lie enough and put enough distance between the lies ... and eventually people perceive them as truth". But I well could have said something just about like that in context. I was not at all happy with the scramble by certain people to disassociate themselves and the church with Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann. - FHW)

Naifeh and Smith interviewed Frank extensively for their book entitled "Mormon Murders". Frank's identity was included under a pseudonym. However, they took license beyond the facts, and that bothered Frank..."sensationalism, perhaps, to sell a book."

(FHW - Actually, I was only interviewed, and repeatedly, on the telephone by co-author Steven Naifeh. They gave me the pseudonym of Fred Harmon in the book. A couple of things he attributed to me were quite inaccurate. As noted above, it is sometimes difficult for LDS and non-LDS to talk about the same thing, and yet understand each other correctly. Perhaps that is what happened with Naifeh. Perhaps not. Perhaps he did want a little sensationalism to help sell his book.

In particular, Naifeh writes on the character Harmon "...... Hinckley, he concluded, was no different from any other powerful man. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, surely spiritual power corrupts spiritually." And of course, I have always known this to be absolute nonsense and would never have told him that. Spiritual power CANNOT be used in a corrupt manner. If a person becomes corrupt, they lose all spiritual power.

And then, Naifeh pities me because I have been so distraught despite reassurances from various church leaders that all I needed was "total faith". And in fact, no one ever used that term of "total faith" to me, or stressed to me in any way that if I even had just "more" faith it would all be OK. I was very distraught, and remained so for years, and for this and another primary reason fell totally from church activity by 1988, thru 2001. But it was not because I lacked "total faith" -- I do not know that anyone actually has such a thing -- and it was not because I believed that spiritual power had corrupted anyone. - FHW)

Another book that impressed Frank was "The Gathering of the Saints". Although it did not talk about Frank, it did include a photo of him at the crime scene with Hoffman's bombed out car.

To this day,although completely inactive, Frank still considers himself "mormon", believing in the church's history but having no faith in present leadership.

(FHW - As of June 2001, that statement was at least partially correct. It was not so much that I believed in the church's history so much as that I had never lost my belief in the scriptures or love and trust in God.

By late July or early August 2001, after many years of being inactive and very much living the temporal life, I gradually realized, thru a series of events and experiences and circumstances, that I wanted to go back to church. And so in August 2001 I went in to see my Bishop, a man I had never met before, and we began talking and I started back on the path to full activity and participation in church. And that is where I am now, still moving forward, but not as quickly or as easily as I would wish. But that is on me, not someone else. During my many years of inactivity and living the ways of the world, my Heavenly Father never lost patience with me, and always watched over me. I often did not realize it until much later, but it's true.

As for my long-enduring hard feelings for GBH, I had gradually come to accept that whatever human errors he made in dealing with Hofmann and Christensen and the aftermath, he had surely worked it thru with our Heavenly Father, or he would not be the current Prophet. And who am I to not forgive who Heavenly Father has chosen to forgive?

Then, during the October 2001 General Conference, which I watched parts of on TV, I saw GBH when he stood up to address the church, and started out by saying that he had just received word that U.S. forces had just begun moving into Afghanistan, and then he talked on about why we Americans should all feel at peace, because whatever travails awaited us in our war against terror, in the end, all would be well. A feeling of great peace did in fact come over me as I realized that I was listening to a man who truly was a prophet of God and knew what he was talking about. And I even consciously wished that the whole world could have shared those moments with me, and in their hearts, known the same things to be true and to recognize him as a prophet. I still have mixed feelings about GBH as a man, but I honor and respect him as a prophet. - FHW)

In any event, all can rest assured that the Danites are alive and well today in the form of lds chuch security.

(FHW - So says he - FHW).

Sister Missionaries - Church Security - Temple Square

02/05/2003 - -Aaron Shafovaloff

I'm an evangelical Christian with a heart for reaching the burden of false religion in Utah. I spent quite a lot of time this past summer tracting around Temple Square.

The security guards lied to us, intimated us, and at some points threatened us with arrest. We weren't allowed to walk through Main Street Plaza (even with our tracts tucted in our bags. We weren't allowed to step inside the gates (15 feet or so) to grab a drink from the water fountain (again, even with our tracts hidden). We were accused of harrassing people and impeding traffic.

One of us were approached at one point when traffic was minimal with the accusation that we were impeding traffic. The church security officer was asked, "are you a cop"? And he frankly replied, "yes", flashing his LDS security badge...

Isn't there a law against impersonating a REAL police officer?

Anyway. When we were at the corner where most LDS members come in to enter the temple, officers would come up to us and tell us not to cross the line that marked the beginning of Main Street Plaza. They were very rude. That same week I was approached and told by a church security officer about Main Street Plaza. I asked him over, and over, and over again to provide us with legal matieral (or at least a reference) stating that we weren't allowed on the plaza. He refused and simply threatened us with arrest if we stepped foot on it.

I would always implore the sister missionaries, when they were on their way in and out, to read the Bible and trust in Jesus. I was accused of harrassing them too...

Once, while having a good conversation with a TBM, a young man approached us and stood... almost directly between us (this is on the public sidewalk). We tried to carry on with the conversation (even the TBM got a little annoyed) but then had to ask him to step back. It became apparent he was in fact a security officer. A few times after that he again disrupted conversations. The simple presence of a man in black deters free conversation...

I remember talking to one lady on West Temple (was it?) who frantically kept looking in all directions. She worked for the geneology department (or whatever you call it) and didn't want anyone to see her talking to an "anti-mormon".

My dear friend and brother in Christ, Jordan, went inside with no Bible, no tracts, just to watch the choir practice. He sat down, and then a sister missionary sat right beside him. Jordan is really peace-loving, and very kind, and struck up a friendly, constructive conversation with her. She was really sweet too... so kind friendly. At the end she told him, "if I see you again by the temple gates and don't say hi or look at you, please don't think I hate you. I'm just not allowed to to talk to you."

Here's a trick that'll work for almost anyone. Step inside Temple Square, spark up a conversation with a sister missionary, and then pull out a Bible (not a quad). You'll see a pack of security officers watching from almost all angles (some aren't in uniform), other sister missionaries talking on walkie-talkies, and then the nice ladies you're talking to get really, really antsy.

Confession of Church Office Building Employee

01/03/2003 - Flew the Coop

This Internet conversation took place on the Recovery from Mormonism bulletin board.

Flew the Coop: We just got our names removed from the Church. We sent our letter of resignation in and after a brief telephone conversation or two with the Bishop in our old ward, we got our confirmation letter back from the COB. It has been about three years since we walked out of the chapel never to return. I have been a Elders Quorum president, Bishopric counselor, High Priests' leader, etc. I worked at the COB in middle management for many years. My wife was Relief Society president twice. Our Salt Lake City neighborhood is still in shock even after three years.

Weeder: I'm acquainted with one of the Church Historians in the library there in the COB. While he is very True Believing Mormon (TBM), I have also detected a lot of resentment for many of the church's shenanigans and historical dishonesty. He was one of the primary historians on "The Legacy" movie and was very non-TBM about what the church did with their proposed script and historical content.

My question to you is: being a COB employee, how common do you think it is for TBMs in such a work environment to hold similar animosities toward the church after witnessing it up close and personal? Is there a lot of negative feelings among COB employees or is it mostly TBM smiles?

Congrats on receiving your confirmation letter ! Yah-hoo!

Flew the Coop: I can tell you from 12 years of working there that there is a mixed bag that I think is also representative of the Church membership in general. I would say that roughly 1/4 of the employees are very true-believers and value obedience to authority very highly. About half of them are kind of in-between; meaning that they occasionally think for themselves and have some doubts about the Church. However this in-between half lack courage and so when push comes to shove they are loyal and are very willing to bow their head and say "yes" to whatever the Church asks of them.

There is, however, about 1/4 of the COB employees who have major doubts about the truthfulness of the Mormon doctrine or the modern-day leadership. Some of these are liberal free-thinkers and others are more what you might call fundamentalist thinkers who are alarmed with the mainstraim direction Gordon B. Hinckley (GBH0 is taking.

I know and still have many friends at the COB who I communicate with often. While I was an employee there, we usually went out to lunch everyday just to escape the gagging goody-goody environment for a break each day. Our main topic was almost always along the lines of Mormon doctrine and how it has changed and what is the latest thing GBH is up to. For example, one thing that was a major influence in my losing faith in GBH was his interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said the "God was once a man thing" was not Church doctrine, etc. I first learned of this at Church headquarters from a copy sent around among a select group of us friends. This copy (gasp !) was actually made on a COB copier (gasp!,gasp!).

So my answer to you is yes, there are many dissenters that work at the Church. However, their job is secure, the pay with benefits isn't that bad, and they mostly lack the courage to take that first step of rebellion which is to refuse pay your tithing and quit going to Church.

There wasn't a water cooler, but there was the mall across the street. The goody-goody atmosphere was enough to gag a normal person so normal people had to escape for a period each day to gain their sanity. It was great fun to always hear the latest scuttle-but. I can't believe I survived 12 years there before I walked out of Church employment never to return because I came to the conclusion that the COP was not an organization run by God which I had assumed for many years. That was also hard for me because I made 100,000 plus per year with benefits including a great pension plan. I volunteerily went out into the real world without any job prospects with 4 children at home and a mortgage. At the time I left they were trying to convince me to take a higher position with more pay.

By the way, I'll tell you one juicy story that is probably true. A few years ago, GBH's personal secretary was fired and excomunicated (this part is a fact for sure). I forget his name now, but he was a stake president in West Jordan and was the guy that traveled with GBH and helped him on trips, etc. He was highly trusted and a major goody-goody hoping to be a GA someday.

I somehow always knew this guy was pretty fake from a few run-ins I had with him during the years when he used to work as a Corporation of the President (COP) personnel manager. So I asked some of my friends in Church security if they knew what the skinny was on this guy getting fired and exed.

The story told to me which I believe is true is that this guy and GBH's front-desk secretary were getting it on one day in GBH's office with the door locked when GBH was home. They didn't know that the GA offices are bugged with audio and video devices by Church security. Well, this was all caught on tape. I bet that was interesting viewing for the whole department of security perverts!

Baz: I worked on a shoot in Faust's office...(with insight into Benson conversations w/ GA's!) ...and I was amazed at how spartan the place looked. It was dressed like a set before we even got there. Nothing on the desk save a pen, the bookcases free of any interesting materials, etc.

I just remember being pissed because I had to wear slacks for the shoot and I knew I would get grease from the camera dolly tracks all over them (which I did)

Since all the offices are wired, all the real interesting stuff must happen in the temple meetings. This might explain the responses that Steve and Mary Ann Benson well as why they were asked if they were recording the conversations!

The offices are just formalities. I did notice that he had two secretaries, and they had piles of stuff on their desks. They did not seem to be very friendly, and were sort of watching each other. Being a GA secretary must be pretty tough, kind of like being an aide to Saddam. You're close to the power, but if you slip up...your head will roll.

Also...very heavy bulletproof glass on the windows.

BestBBQ: When you were a church employee was your tithe automatically deducted from your paycheck? If so, was it 10% of gross, 10% of increases or something else? If it wasn't deducted then what was expected of you - 10% of gross or 10% of increase or something else? Also, do you think that your contributions were more scrutinized because you were an employee?

I ask because there've been some threads lately dealing with what's considered a tithe and to me it seems logical that to get the definition all one has to do is look at what's expected of church employees, but I have no idea if my theory is sound.

Flew the Coop No, tithing is not deducted as a Church employee; The requirement was just to have a recommend from your Bishop. There was never any attempt to check on tithing records that I ever heard of and I was in a postition to know about this. It is somewhat hard to 100% check up on tithing because it can be paid to the local ward or paid directly to the Treasury Department at Church Headquarters.

Wealthy people usually always do this, so that local leaders won't know how much they make. These two amounts are never brought together in any report under the members name, so one could simply say to the Bishop "I pay mine direct to Headquarters and no one could prove you wrong without going through all the detail receipts of the Treasury Dept which was infeasible unless it was for an IRS case or something.

I believe that many people pay directly to the Treasury Department or at least they say they do when their Bishop asks them why their tithing total is so small. This is a sneaky way that a person can lie to get a tithing recommend and it cannot be checked up on by the Bishop. Maybe this will be helpful to some of you closet unbelievers out there that need a recommend but do not want to pay the tithing and don't mind telling a lie to the Bishop. Actually I think this is fairly common practice among many because Mormons learn to fib to the Bishop from their first teenage interview involving masturbation, petting, etc.

However, back to work,The personnel department would periodically check for temple recommends. We would line up about once a year and present them. I remember one year, I presented mine and the smart ass personnel officer reviewing them asked how often I attend the temple which was off-the-cuff and way out of line, so I answered him "When my wife makes me". That's probably one reason I had several run-ins with the Personnel department after that.

I always paid on Gross and I think this is what the Church would suggest when asked.

Brother Threw Big Rock at Christus

12/26/2002 - name witheld

My brother was the guy who threw the big rock at the Christus statue at the Visitor's center in January 1975. It shook my testimony. You see, I had forbidden my brother to be in the Blessing Circle of my firstborn son, because he was delusional. He, in anger, left the meeting and when we got out three hours later, his deed was being broadcast on the CBS (national) news! I was saddened at the event. I should have let him stand in the Blessing Circle, but believed that the powers of Heaven would not bless my baby if an unstable Elder were present in the ring.

My testimony was shook also, as my brother was hosed down with boiling water at the Salt Lake County Jail, while he was in a cell, naked. (The hose went from the boiler to the cell.) This, because he had spread excrement on the walls, and the guards were very upset. My brother was in the Hospital for a while, due to the terrible burns. I learned from that that there is not much love in jail, even if the guards are worthy white males.

There is a happy ending: My Brother took his life in July 1984. Jumped in front of a van, driven by a drunk jackmormon. The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.

MORAL: If you throw stones at graven images that don't look like the Popular Mechanical Jesus...then by all means, don't write messages on the wall in the jail if the cell is less than 100 feet from the boiler room. Every time I see that now forever-flawed marble statue, I think of the pain my elder brother went through, all because of me. It hurts, to this day. Thank you for listening.

Hofmann Bombing Suspect Interrogation

12/25/2002 - from Bert

In 1985 I had an appointment one Thursday night for an audition in the SL Tabernacle for the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus. Earlier that day Mark Hofmann had blown himself up in a car one block north of Temple Square.

Being a naive young True Believing Mormon (TBM), I appeared at Temple Square at the appointed time expecting things to be normal. I arrived at the west gates finding them locked and everything dark inside. I must have lingered a little too long pondering what I should do because after a few minutes a couple of security guards appeared both from inside and outside the locked gates. They first started asking me question about what I was doing there. It quickly accelerated into questions designed to intimidate and trick me into contradicting myself. “Who asked me to come here, who was my Bishop and Stake President, what had I been doing during the previous day.” These questions were asked several times by each anointed security guard.

Afterwards, I walked away just grateful not to be dragged into some interrogation office. These people truly believe they are the only defense between Satan and God’s anointed ones.

Eleven Year Old's Plot to Blow up Beehive House

12/25/2002 - from anon

I was 11 years old-- I used to play the harp every Sunday at the Beehive House (Brigham Young's house) for the tourists, and, being a good little Suzuki student,I brought a list of songs I wanted to play. I was going to tape the paper to the back of the harp, but my mom couldn't find any tape except for electrical tape. So...I was let into room as usual and started playing. About half an hour elapsed, and then no less than 3 security guards complete with little wires coming out of their ears, were standing outside the gate wanting to know WHAT the electrical tape was for. Turns out that the security camera saw the roll of electrical tape and scissors plus my electronic tuner and figured that little 11-year old me was planning on blowing up the place. It still makes me laugh!!

Security Tries to Snag My Camera

12/25/2002 - from Puffrider

I have related this story before but it seems so stupid now. I was a True Believing Mormon (TBM), in the Bishopric, and a police officer at the time (about 1988). My sister had just been married in the Seattle temple and we were having lunch in the temple cafeteria in the basement. My mother had her camera sitting on the table and I picked it up and shot a picture of her. Next thing I know I was escorted by church security into a little room. The supervisor reminded me no photos were to be taken in the temple and then demanded my roll of film from the camera. I basically told him that I was a real commissioned Police Officer and there was no way in hell he was gettin the roll of film! He backed right down and wanted my assurance that I had only shot the one picture in the lunch room. I then returned to my jello salad feeling somewhat a victor! What a weenie!

Security and My Pregnant Wife

12/25/2002 - from JohnBoy

I was trying to help my wife. She was at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. She was 8 month pregnant and was carrying a heavy box up the stars and onto the stage area for a function that was going on that evening. I was at the back door. When I saw her carrying the box, I went to the front of the hall to help her. Out of nowhere came a church security nazi who stopped me right in my tracks and told me I wasn't authorized to go up the stairs. I told him the situation and he basically said that was too bad. I asked him to help her, and he said he couldn't. I told him that if there is a complication in the pregnancy due to this, he would be held responsible. He said that wouldn't happen, because it's not within his responsibility to help in this situation. That's when I told him that when I got through with him, he would be working security at K-Mart. That was before I knew that the church feels they can operate their security force like the FBI. What a bunch of morons!


Most of you people are nuts! Hey, maybe the church installs microchip surveillance implants during the baby blessing ritual. - 11/09/2002 - anon

I was investigated by the 'Committee on Strengthening Church Members', headed by Elder Glen L Pace, based on intercepted email correspondence with a fundamentalist friend of mine. The letter from Elder Pace asked the Stake President to investigate whether or not I had sympathy with fundamentalists. I felt (and still feel) very violated. These bastards will stop at nothing. The ends justify the means. - 06/22/2002 - anon

Searching for Evidence

05/31/2002 - from Beag

My wife has an LDS friend in California who went through a divorce with her LDS husband. The husband accused her of adultery in the course of the divorce. A short time after the accusation the Bishopic showed up at her house when she wasn't home and rummaged through her belongings looking for evidence of the accused adultery. Nothing was found. My wife was told about the incident because her friend had received an apology from Pres Faust more than a decade after the intrusion. The friend has been and still is inactive because of the violation of her Bishopric. However, she also insists that she, "knows the church is true."

Strengthening the Members Committee Confirmed

03/10/2002 - anon

Aug 8,1992 - Salt Lake Tribune reports that First Presidency’s spokesman has acknowledged existence of special “Strengthening the Members Committee” that keeps secret files on church members regarded as disloyal. Due to publicity on this matter, including New York Times, Presidency issues statement on 13 Aug. defending organization of this apostle-directed committee as consistent with God’s commandment to Joseph Smith to gather documentation about non-Mormons who mob and persecute LDS Church. Presidency lists Apostles James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson as leading the committee. - The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power - Appendix D titled "Mormon History Highlights" by D. Michael Quinn

Big Brethren Are Watching

03/07/2002 - by Sam

The following message may be of particular interest to at least one MIT subscriber, who (if he exists) must be a wonderful person in nearly every way but who suffers from at least one debilitating ethical flaw: He is afflicted with "consequentialism," a philosophical delusion in which one believes that the righteousness of one's ends sanctify the use of any means. In this case, the means in question are covert surveillance of doubting Mormons, and dutiful reporting of the expression of those doubts to Mormon authorities -- the sort of thing practiced by "Block Captains" in Cuba and Red China, as well as in Nazi Germany.

Last night, I missed an appointment with my Stake President (SP). The meeting, to be candid, wasn't a particular priority, and when I ran late at work and my evening schedule was upended, I tried to get a message to the SP that I'd have to reschedule. While I was at the "Y" for a long-overdue workout (which *was* a priority, not to mention a physiological necessity), the SP, who didn't get my message, called (wife) to ask why I hadn't shown up. I came home to a *very* upset (wife), who told me that the SP had called. She also shared the following very interesting news:

"President [--] told me that you'd been writing some things on the internet that were really bad."

In other words, 1) a TBM interloper on this list from our Stake has clicked his heels, said a hearty "Heil Hinckley!", and done what he believes is his duty, or 2) the Strengthening Church Members Committee (SCM) in Salt Lake, which exists to keep members under surveillance, has done the same thing. The SCM is just the latest among the world's notorious three-letter secret police agencies to get into the business of cyber-surveillance.

In recent weeks, it has been reported by both the British press and CNN that the KGB (now called the FSB in "post"-Soviet) Russia has been working for several years to penetrate the internet, so as to keep tabs on dissidents. Of course, Red China's secret police have been doing the same thing. The FBI, which -- tragically -- is becoming more like the security organs of Russia and China as it increases cooperation with them, has actively sought to acquire the means of decrypting private e-mail conversations. Given that every other authoritarian security organ in the world is trying to keep the internet under surveillance, it shouldn't surprise us that LDS authorities are doing so as well -- both through informants as well as through more sophisticated means.

Some of you are aware of the case reported on Eric K.'s "exmormon" site from a year ago, in which a now ex-Mormon from California was summoned into his Stake President's office and was confronted with a thick file -- print-outs of confidential e-mails between the young man and a correspondent in the Manti fundamentalist sect. (The man in question had no affinity for the polygamist off-shoot, but was merely asking questions.) His Stake President explained that the SCM had forwarded the file to him for disciplinary action. Understandably and properly outraged, the man immediately left the meeting and demanded that his name be removed from the Church's membership rolls shortly thereafter. His Stake President apparently saw nothing amiss in the fact that Church authorities had been reading that man's private mail; the disease of "consequentialism" appears to be a near-epidemic in some Mormon circles.

In order to obtain private e-mails, the SCM had to have employed a fairly sophisticated bit of cyber spycraft -- such as a "sniffer" program or a "trojan horse." (What little I know about this subject I learned at a counter-terrorism seminar in Chicago about a year ago, so don't ask for detailed explanations.;-)) There are in the employ of LDS Church Security a number of people with the necessary skills -- ex-FBI, ex-CIA, ex-Military Intelligence. What is really disturbing is that the authorities think it's proper and righteous to rifle through private correspondence and then use what they find in disciplinary proceedings. This is not only presumptuous and abhorrent, but it's totalitarian -- and, from the perspective of Mormon doctrine, it's Satanic. How would Lucifer, as he is depicted in Mormon theology, have compelled people to be obedient? Would he not have used exactly the variety of secret police tactics that are under discussion here?

I was not taken completely by surprise last night. A few weeks ago in Church the individual assigned to Home Teach our family made a cryptic remark to the following effect: "I hear we have a lot in common; we both like to post things on the internet." I didn't know if he was professing solidarity with my "apostasy" or trying somehow to rebuke me -- although the reference to "hearing" about my internet activity suggests the latter. It also suggests that my internet activities are or have been the topic of discussions involving my would-be Home Teacher.

My SP and I are going to have lunch tomorrow. As Korrin said, he's a genuinely nice person (occasionally intemperate and ill-considered things posted by me on this list notwithstanding). The problem here is that he has managed to "compartmentalize" his various ethics; he is, remember, the individual who told me about the value of having "two frames of mind" -- an "intellectual" frame of mind, in which we are allowed to question and examine issues critically, and a "gospel" frame of mind in which we simply obey, defer, and submit. I'm sure this meeting will be very interesting, and I'm sure I'll give the covert note-taker on this list a full report afterward.

Evil Does Exist

11/24/2001 - anon

Isn't it perculiar that only Hispanic agents of the FBI were held back because they weren't Members of the Mormon Church.....they couldn't bring up a discriminatory case against Bretzing because of race, since his only brother-in-law is Hispanic!

Don't you people have anything better to do than try tear down those who you obviously envy....? If only you would try as hard as they have to succeed in this world, where you have shown, by your actions, that evil does exist.

The People's Republic of Utah

9/14/2001 - anon


Let me tell you how the economy of Utah works.

1. the A & B students work for the C students. (this is because anyone with a lick of sense who tries hard will get at least B's. But the heir of power and wealth who inherit their fathers kingdoms and businesses don't put forth much effort and get C's)

2. The D students teach.

3. The F students work for the church. Some of them work in security, others in the missionary department, etc. etc.

It amazes me they haven't screwed up more than they have.

They ought to rename the church bureaocracy- The People's Republic of Utah.


Didn't the Prophet Joseph Smith once say that legions of angels protected the Lord's servants and they were gathered just beyond the veil with swords drawn ready to act at a moments notice? - 07/12/2001 - anon

Security Under The Tabernacle

06/14/2001 - by anonymous musician
I had a couple of nasty runins with the security Nazis. While living in SLC, I belonged to one of the musical groups that makes its home in the Tabernacle. There are tons of rehearsal rooms and tunnels underneath the place, and a couple of stories are amusing.

One time my wife came down to T^2 bringing me something I needed, and ran afoul of one of the Nazis guarding the door. I didn't like the way they treated her, and really let them have it. After that, I had no love for them, and would go out of my way to piss them off. There isn't a doorway or tunnel under T^2 that doesn't have weight sensors, magnetic switches, or cameras. We would go out of our way to exit doors we weren't supposed to, and make sure a rock accidently propped the door open. We'd hide and watch the security bugs crawl out of the woodwork like cockroaches to locate the offending door.

My personal triumph came one night on my way home from rehearsal when I noticed that a doorway blocking a tunnel that lead to the Hotel Utah had an accessible latch from my side. I popped the latch with my T^2 ID badge, and made a nice shortcut out of the rehearsal.

The following week, I found a stainless steel latch cover had been welded to the door. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw that a camera that had caught me in the act the previous week.

Nobody ever said a word to me about it though, and I was a TBM(usician) for many years.

Phone Tapping and Privacy Invasions

06/07/2001 - by cricket

I know the following may be hard to believe as it was a "big gulper" for me to believe.

So far I have three separate first hand accounts of exmo's phones being tapped or their homes being entered clandestinely.

First Victim: Marianne Benson, wife of Steven Benson. She told me this in Feb of 1999 at the exmo conference in Vegas.

During the time when The Benson's were leaving the morg and having visits with Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell about their beefs with the brethren their phone was tapped. She caught some man with a tool belt in their yard but he fled. She called the Arizona phone company, they came out and verified that their phone line had been tampered with.

Marianne also told me that in her phone conversations with some of the October Six ( I believe it was Maxine Hanks or Lavina Fielding (sp) it was common knowledge that their phone were tapped because of the odd noises that they would hear. They would even invite the phone tappers to join in on their conversations as a joke.

Victim Two: Rauni and Dennis Higley's phone went dead after some odd noises and connection problems. They call US West and the technitian tracked the problem to the switch box on their street corner a few houses down. The tech guy told them that the line was tapped, showed it to Dennis and said he would track it down.

An hour later the tech guy came back saying that he tracked the tap down to a line up the street and canyon to the local county water station where rising waters had shorted the line out.

Water station employees informed him of a temporary trailer that had just been pulled away from the spot. People were observed going to and from the trailer.

This was when Rauni and Dennis were leaving the morg and were quite public about their views. Rauni used to work for over a decade for the morg's translation department.

Victim Three: This person asked to remain anon but has been a bishop twice and left permanently while a bishop in Provo.

He was high profile and so was handled directly and indirectly by GA's whom he said "really put the heat on me." He was accused of a plot to organized Lamanite members in the Las Vegas area and attempt to overthrow the prophet.

The absurdity of this accusation is beyond belief and so out of character for this man!! This man told me how laughable the paranoia and over reaction of his church superiors was.

Then his son came home one day and came across a stranger in dark clothing rummaging through his fathers office files and belongings. The stranger looked at his son, about age 12 or so, smiled and kept on digging.

And these are just the three stories that I am aware of. I would venture that there are many more stories of privacy violations out there. The Danites are alive and well.

And those smiling sweet brethren we see sitting on the stand during conference don't know about this illegal activity?

The current head of church security used to be the head of the Los Angeles field office for the FBI.

Now could it be the morg behind these tapps and break ins? You be the judge.

Is this sick or what?

LDS Church Security - Special Security - SS

On a recent outing to Temple Square I took the opportunity to chat up a few security agents working the scene. Here is what I found out.

Job Requirements - High School graduates with some college are preferred and they are always looking for a few good men and women. Yes, they are hiring women. They have their own academy somewhat like the FBI's academy. Agents must be able to pass the Utah Law Enforcement Officer minimum physical fitness standards (which most average people can pass easily). Starting wages are around 12-15 dollars an hour. No part timers, all full time and "they take good care of us."

Many of the agents are young return missionary types but there are also many veterans of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. The tenured agents with seniority are chosen to protect the General Authorities, but they must be willing to be travel and be away from their families. A few lucky ones get to fly with the apostles on Jon Huntsman's Corp Jet to outlying assignments. Richard T. Bretzing, the director of Church Security is X-FBI director of the Los Angeles FBI Field Office.

The LDS Church must have a security force as they are certainly prone to whackos intending physical harm to its leaders or staff. There is nothing paranoid or wrong with having security. All famous people must have security.

For a most excellent read on the inside of security both personal and institutional check out the best seller The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.

De Becker brakes down the denial we all have about violence and how to protect ourselves from it by citing many fascinating case studies teaching us how to use our own natual self-protection warning systems.

My only concern about LDS Church security is them having "the fortress mentality" of being "special and a higher law unto themselves" and being under attack by those evil and wicked forces of Lucifer. It does not take much of a stretch of imagination to see a Danite like surge of security forces to be spying on the members and ex-Mormon types perceived as dangerous to the brethren. Look at The Strengthening the Members Committee fiasco from years past.

Following are some links and info about Bretzing.

"Mormon Mafia" Cited in FBI Discrimination Case Three hundred-eleven Hispanic FBI agents won a class action suit against the agency on September 30. A central argument in the suit was that their careers were stymied by the religious bias against non- Mormons of ranking FBI officials who are Mormon (LDS). Charges of a "Mormon Mafia" in the FBI's Los Angeles office have been circulating for years, but no one had taken the FBI to court on the matter until Matt Perez, an agent working out of El Paso, initiated the suit.

In ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, Judge Lucius Bunton of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, agreed that the Hispanic agents' careers were affected by discrimination in hiring practices and promotions. Bunton said there was insufficient evidence for him to rule the agency had discriminated against the plaintiffs in issuing assignments.

The plaintiffs sued for $5 million in damages and retroactive promotions and back pay. At press time the judge had not yet made a decision on the damages award. The FBI, admitting the discrimination practices and pledging to end them with the recent appointment of a new director, had no plans to appeal the ruling. Just after the case was filed, Richard T. Bretzing, 49, head of the Los Angeles division of the FBI since 1982, retired to become the Managing Director of the LDS Church's security department, according to the LDS Church News. Bretzing retired after 27 years' service

Overseas Security Advisory Council


In your section on LDS Security, you quote a story from CRI about the Mormon Mafia and a district court case in El Paso, TX. Have you noticed that the paragraph that speaks of Bunton finding in favor of the 311 plaintiffs also contains a sentence that states that Bunton found that there was "insufficient evidence" to support the plaintiffs claims of discrimination?

I am curious how you reconcile this, and would love to have the source material cited as I can find nothing on this case except CRI's article. - 11/18/2004 - anon

Editor's note: The Salamander Society has no additional sources regarding this matter.

12/26/2000 - anon
Richard T. Bretzing, the director of Church Security was recently the Special Agent In Charge of the Los Angeles, California FBI Field Office. Considering LA is the second largest FBI office in the US that's VERY high up the totem pole.

Was Bretzing was involved in that famous spy case involving a Mormon fellow named Richard W. Miller. (Seems like it was in the San Diego area with Miller's LDS Bishop or some kind of Mormon cover up of the deal?

OK, here's the lowdown. Miller was exed before he was figured out by the FBI. The True Believing Mormon would say," The church had him figured out before the FBI." Miller had a stormy affair with a female Russian spy. Also know the guy sold Amway out of the trunk of his bureau car, ( a HUGE no-no!) . I know someone who actually worked on the trial.

Bretzing was SAC in LA when the case broke. I doubt he was pleased even if Miller had been exed. It was brought up over and over in the papers that Miller was LDS. Of course, the California members whined about how the paper never mentioned he had been exed and wasn't really a member anymore. Between FBI retirement benefits and being head of church security I know he is a well paid man.

LDS people make GREAT FBI agents as they are GREAT rule followers.

Tracking Down D. Michael Quinn

08/09/2000 - anon

I was at a dinner party at my friends house once along with Michael Quinn. Michael was telling the story of how the church was trying to track him down so they could excommunicate him (he was still a member at that time). He had moved to the midwest and was living with his mother. The church called and said they were calling from American Express and needed to talk to Michael about an account. I can't remember all of the details.

Somehow he had traced the number back to the church office building. He had several incidents similar to that. It was like the KGB trying to find him. I was floored when after all this Michael said that he still believed the church was true!!!!!! Say, what?????

Comments Section

all these far fetched stories every one has a ax to grind.the lds church is the true church and i have never had any trouble with anyone and they have helped my family alot so i say to all those who are against the church grow up get over it and move on and leave lds people alone - 11/16/2007 - dennis

I retired FBI friend of mine from Salt Lake City once told me that LDS security was larger than the police force of Los Angeles. Not Baptist Security, Presbyterian Security, Congregational Security, Seventh Day Adventist Security, Catholic Security, shall I go on?

If the LDS edifice really requires that kind of securiy, or any security at all, then the reason for the existence of the institution and the holiness of its purposes is on a sandy foundation and will utlimately fail. I humbly ask you to find the solid foundation, the real God, the real Jesus, who can transform the LDS Church into an instrument of salvation.

Sincerely, David Taylor - 09/30/2006

I don't believe what you are saying. Because if the mormon church wasn't true why would you people go out of your way trying to prove it wrong? Maybe it is because the devil is trying to pull faithful members away by these false accounts. Don't you think the fact that even if people leave the church they still believe in it? Ironic huh? What you need is to stop critisizing my religion and read the Book of mormon and pray about it once you have steadfastly done that give me an e-mail and I will take it.

Good luck with love. -09/26/2004-

I was in Temple Square during the 1998 Baptist Convention. My church from Houston is filled with people who speak multiple languages. I noticed alot of the tour guides were ladies from other countries. If you began to debate them or ask serious questions about the church, they would hide behind there Second hand English. We had a Japanese girl show up first and I spoke to her in Japanese and she got paged out. The replacement was from Holland and a lady in your group spoke to her in fluent Dutch and she was paged out in 2 minutes and then a German girl and finally a Chinesse girl lead us through the tour. Only because no one spoke Chinese. - 02/28/2004 - from Speaker in Tongues


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