Former Mormon Bishop of Helston may have been secretly excommunicated for speaking publicly about issues in the Church

image

I’m in shock at discovering that I’ve either been secretly excommunicated in my absence, or my name has been removed from Church records without my approval in an effort to extinguish my cultural identity because they consider me an apostate.

The Mormons (or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) considers any dissenters in its ranks to be apostates and worthy of the worst punishment, eternal damnation. A fate reserved for murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Mormon leadership does not value free speech, even here in the mainly secular UK.

Once I resigned as bishop due to discovering that I’d been taught lies about the origins & history of the Church (set up in 1830’s Eastern United States of America by convicted fraudster Joseph Smith), I was set on a course which inevitably would lead to a conflict with the Church’s higher authorities, who do not value the members questioning either their authority or the narrative they teach.

The punishment for dissent by apostates is excommunication. There have been some very public examples recently with John Dehlin in Utah, who was excommunicated for publicly supporting the gay and lesbian community. And human rights lawyer Kate Kelly who advocates for equal rights in the Church.

It appears that if they have excommunicated me they have been very careful to try to avoid any media attention or publicity this time round.

I have had my name mysteriously removed from Church Records this month without either my knowledge or approval.

There is also suspicion that local Church leaders are only acting on instruction from the headquarters of the Church in Salt Lake City because another British Mormon man Chris Ralph has received similar messages from his local leaders. Both myself and Chris were named as witnesses by Tom Phillips in 2014 in a ground-breaking case of alleged corporate fraud against the Mormon Church President, Thomas Monson.

There is the possibility that this is a form of revenge attack on both of us. At that time the bishop of Helston Mormon congregation told me that the Church would destroy me for my actions in the fraud case against them. And Nelson Oliver, now the current bishop of Helston, sent me a message stating ominously, “Your days are numbered.”

Though I no longer hold many of the beliefs of the Mormon Church, it was my life for 46 years and the only culture I know. Over 50 of my extended family are Mormons including my parents.

Excommunication is such a terrible punishment for a believing Mormon that it is seen as a fate worse than death itself. In the Mormon belief system excommunication severs marriage ties and all other family relationships in the next life. It is the ultimate tool to sever an individual’s connection to their family, friends and culture.

With this action I believe the Church leaders are trying to extinguish my cultural identity. It is the ultimate form of tribal shaming. And just for being honest and speaking publicly about the historical issues. When I speak the truth they are fearful that believing members will also start to ask questions.

They have a right to feel threatened as the internet is allowing members to discover the truth about what really happened in the Church’s past. The Church is actually legally registered as a multi-billion dollar Corporation in America and is losing hundreds of thousands of members due to realising the truth is different than the Church has taught. And along with the members, the Church is losing millions in tithing receipts each year.

An issue which is of greatest concern to many in the Mormon Church is not whose doctrinal interpretation is correct and whose isn’t, but rather, is dissent tantamount to apostasy? And therefore deserving of excommunication!?

This question is of the utmost importance, because I believe it underpins the most basic of human character traits of integrity and authenticity.

Truth is paramount, and the ability to honestly and openly question without fear of repercussions is the beginning of discovering it.

Fear of the truth is a major impediment to authenticity and freedom to choose. Fear lies behind the actions of many Church leaders in trying to suppress free-speech.

In a time before the ‘age of information’ past Church leaders could value free speech.

“I admire men and women who have developed the questioning spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas and stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent – if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression. This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence nor any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.” (Hugh B. Brown, counselor in First Presidency, Speech at BYU, March 29, 1958)

“If a faith will not bear to be investigated: if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.” (George Albert Smith, Journal Of Discourses, v 14, page 216)

And other famous & respected men have promoted free speech & discussion:

Thomas Jefferson taught that, “However discomfiting a free exchange may be, truth will ultimately emerge the victor.”

English philosopher John Stuart Mill said, “Any attempt to resist another opinion is a ‘peculiar evil’. If the opinion is right, we are robbed of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. If it is wrong, we are deprived of a deeper understanding of the truth in its collision with error.”

I believe in free speech without threat from those who should know better.

I loved the church because I believed it was true, not just because there was a lot of good in it. The truth was something I felt I possessed and truthfulness was, & increasingly is, something I feel is worth standing up for &, if necessary, sacrificing for!

image

Here is my letter seeking answers from from the local Church leaders and an appeal to the highest leadership in the Church the First Presidency:

Letter to Stake President Re: Appeal Following Secret Excommunication/Name Removal

*******

UK National newspaper The Independent covers the story

*******

My Reasons for Wanting to Stay on The Records of The Mormon Church

This entry was posted in Free Speech, Mormon Issues, TRUTH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Former Mormon Bishop of Helston may have been secretly excommunicated for speaking publicly about issues in the Church

  1. Max Crapo says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Stephen. Thank you for being a man of integrity, and having the courage to speak out.
    Max

    • SteveBloor says:

      Thanks Max.

      I firmly believe no-one should be allowed to try to expunge a person’s cultural identity. Particularly in such an underhanded manner. This wreaks of deception, and hate for free speech.

      • John M says:

        This sucks now in the present, but I like to think that in …..another 50 years this kind of livelihood of deception and manipulation will be much less existent(at least in countries fortunate enough to be “1st world”). Tolerance of living in active peace of another have long been offset by man’s primitive needs and desires.

        The way that “foul play” of one person to another can now quickly be disseminated because of the information age, this is just going to further progress the new generations of people as has been the process of humanity as we have known it.

  2. Andrew Pearson says:

    Stephen,

    I wish to say that you do have a cheering section and, most importantly, it is a group which understands and can empathize.

    I did write you an email in order to connect and sent it to your business email through the LinkedIn address of your website.

    I do wish you the very best and should you wish to contact do let me know.

    All the best.

    Andy.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you.

      You’re most kind. I’m being public because I want to raise awareness. Otherwise my nature would be to be quiet and shy away from the attention.

      I’ll be in touch soon.

      Kind regards,
      Steve

  3. Heber Magalhaes says:

    “At that time the bishop of Helston Mormon congregation told me that the Church would destroy me for my actions in the fraud case against them. And Nelson Oliver, now the current bishop of Helston, sent me a message stating ominously, “Your days are numbered.”

    What’s the context for this? If it was actually meant as a physical threat the bishop needs to be called on his delusional crap, including involving the police.

    • SteveBloor says:

      The context is very ambiguous and worrying coming from a leader in a Church known in the past for having a vigilante group called the Danites.

      I reported it as Religious Hate Crime. The police have copies of the evidence and recorded it as a Hate Incident by the Church against me.

  4. joan barnes says:

    Thank you for what you wrote and I completely agree with what us say about truth. I believed in the church for 28 years never doubting until last july when the revelations about the historical lies came to my attention. I no longer want to be associated with the organisation because of this. I was ddevastated. I was treated coldly by the leaders of my ward, i felt very hurt by the way i was treated when i questioned things. I was not respected or responded to in understanding i was just told to keep quiet and if i didnt i was threatened with disciplinary action. I didnt want to carry on being part of such an organisation despite my membership being 28 years. To me it was about truth and faith and i lost both. I asked for my name to be removed and sent the appropriate worded letter but i havent even had the courtesy of a reply. Over a year has passed now snd im feeling a lot more settled now ive processed my feelings. I am still searching for truth and live a good life without needing any organisation to tell me how.nni feel free

  5. WHY I LEFT THE MORMON CHURCH and Became a Daheshisthttp://daheshism.webs.com/DARRICK.htm

  6. Why I Left the Mormon Church and Became a Daheshisthttp://daheshism.webs.com/DARRICK.htm

  7. Joe Hollenbaugh says:

    Steve, to put one’s integrity above all, to refuse to count the cost, is deeply honorable and worthy of great respect. Thank you for being a pioneer for others who need a trail blazed.

    In Buddhism, the goal is enlightenment. One who is enlightened crosses into a blissful state that is free of lies and error. Beyond the enlightened one is the Bodhisattva. This is someone who attains enlightenment, but rather than crossing over, remains behind to assist others on the way to enlightenment and bliss.

    Your commitment and leadership are much more meaningful being used to help others escape the lies and errors of the past and move forward toward freedom from error. The Church is foolish to let good people go because of its fear of criticism.

  8. Mike T. says:

    I’m sorry that this has happened in the way that it has. It might be of some comfort to know that the rules and regulations of the LDS church have always been enforced in capricious and arbitrary ways. It should surprise no one that they go against their own rules. You are strong; they are weak. So their approach has to be cowardly, because they will not welcome confrontation with anyone who can stand his ground.

  9. Talmage Bachmann says:

    Steve

    You seem like a great guy and I empathize with your journey, but I want to share a few thoughts.

    If we value truth and integrity, then we need to be honest about this kind of stuff.

    What I mean is this: it makes no sense to (A) recognize that Mormonism is a colossal fraud with a long history of capricious, unfair and even abusive behaviour, whilst (B) viewing expulsion from the abusive, colossal fraud as an injurious theft of one’s “cultural identity”. To do so is simply a convoluted way of announcing that one’s valued “cultural identity” is “fraud and abuse”.

    In other words, we should be doing everything we can to detach our “cultural identity” from “fraud and abuse”. For us, that means detaching from Mormonism – in spirit, in name, in every way possible.

    An inability or unwillingness to take the (admittedly difficult) steps to reconfigure our senses of identity without any dependence on fraudulent, abusive organizations like the Mormon church indicates mental confusion, and/or an enduring emotional fragility which we simply must recognize as such, and overcome, in order to progress in life.

    Forget these guys, Steve. If anything, they’ve done you a favour, as much as their behaviour might sting right now. You already know Mormonism is an abusive fraud; let’s accept that, accept that we do not need abusive frauds as identity pillars, and find new, exciting, life-affirming, soul-ennobling aims, endeavours, associations and passions. Others have done it; we can, too.

    Wishing you the best,

    Tal

  10. Bear Clan says:

    Sending light and healing. I live in Salt Lake. And with the recent announcement of not allowing gay people’s children to be baptized. I am feeling all the pain in the atmosphere from the members who truly have the Christ Consciousness. May our LOVE set all life free. Hug a tree and deep breathing really transmute the energy to the Earth for healing!!! Aho

  11. Reblogged this on journeyofloyaldissent and commented:
    This is a key moment perhaps in modern British Mormon history. It appears that my good friend Steve Bloor, a former bishop of Helston Ward, may have been secretly excommunicated by the sleight of hand of so-called spiritual leaders.

    If so, then presumably this will have been done in order to avoid adverse publicity. How wise is it really to throw paraffin on a smouldering fire in an attempt to extinguish it?

  12. Randy Basham says:

    Steve,

    I am confused. As I understand LDS Church discipline, a court would have to be convened in your Stake to decide if you were to be excommunicated or not. You would have to be notified of the court and you would be invited to present a defense. This did not happen? As with John Dehlin or Rock Watterman of late, these men who blog extensively about the LDS church, had their day in a Stake High Council Court. If this hasn’t happened and you have not been formally notified that you are no longer a member, I don’t see how it could happen according to the Church”s own rules and procedures. To me you are still a member until you are tried and found guilty of apostacy.

    I have no doubt that you no longer believe in the doctrines of this church. You have published such several times. To discover that the Church in the UK is no longer following its own rules of church discipline and holding a court, as is mandated in their own scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, is really disturbing. It seems you are hearing this after the fact. If so, I wouldn’t give it any credence.

    As for cultural identity, I don’t think anyone can add to or take away that which you hold onto dearly within your heart. You are what you choose to be. What is your membership in the church? Could it not be seen as a data base entry in a computer system owned by Intellectual Reserves Inc? It is a corporation aggregate that holds the intellectual property and trademarks of the LDS church. If you no longer identify or believe in this organization, your name not being included therein seems to be a small loss. But we both know its more. It’s the ostracism, the shunning, the whispers behind your back for taking a stand that you believe in that are most hurtful. I have no opinion right or wrong of your decision. I think I got to know you well enough to determine that you are an earnest and honest man. You seem to be a man of principal and integrity. I mourn what has happened to you but I rejoice that you and your family are happy and together. I will always consider you a friend for the kindness that you and Liz extended to Julie and me in Harrogate. I wish for you the best during your quest in this life.

    Randy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s