Category Archives: US Politics
Ontario residents have been kept in the dark, but Canada’s most populous province is about to become an unlikely and international battleground. After all, how many times does the Great White North threaten the drinking water of more than 40 million people, including their neighbours in America?
Legislators from south of the border have already taken issue with plans for a deep geologic repository. Less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron, Bruce Power intends to store 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste within the natural rock formation. Senators and congressmen shared their dissent with the Canadian government, but the fed responded by sending police to the homes of eco protesters, in what some would call an act of intimidation.
(photo credit: Ontario Power Generation)
It will take at least 300 years for the nuclear waste to decay, to a point that radioactive catastrophes are not a threat to human populations. This Kincardine, Ontario location was also chosen for its low seismic activity, reducing the likelihood of water and soil contamination by earthquake.
This much we’ve always known, due to the federal environment assessment that required public consultation. The Harper government has since levied time restrictions to speed the process along, but this is one project that was too big and too perilous to keep from the radar at all.
Seemingly unrelated, the controversy over fracking and in-situ technologies to harvest oil has been raging around the world. Ohio experts claim it causes earthquakes. Texans say it releases benzene and hydrogen sulfide in the air, causing everything from cancer to nosebleeds and skin rashes. British scientists say it causes radioactive contamination. Researchers at Duke University say it makes water flammable in Pennsylvania and New York, where investigators cite enough contamination to blow up homes with families in them. In Canada, the Idle No More movement continuously defends First Nations from plans to frack their tribal territory and there’s still the argument of numerous toxic chemicals used in the extraction process.
(photo credit: HBO, GasLand)
The topic of hydraulic fracturing is so polarizing that countless provinces, states and cities have sought a moratorium. The mayor of New York City added his voice to the opposition, with strong reservations about the impact to water safety. By contrast and north of this shared water source, scientists from Canada were abruptly silenced by the federal government and environmental laws were gutted, so there is no mechanism or freedom to complain above the forty-ninth parallel any longer.
This much we also knew, but how could it possibly relate to a nuclear waste dump?
Critics warned that sweeping changes to de-monitor water, curtail public input and failure to assess smaller power projects would have a grave and lasting impact on the Canadian ecosystem. They denounced newly legislated secrecy and threw their hands in the air when the government conducted a good old-fashioned, scientific book burning. They went so far as to accuse the Harper administration of oppressing Canadians for the sake of Alberta oil profits, meant to benefit the Prime Minister’s friends at a cost to every other industry in the country. With few studies or consultations required anymore, the public wouldn’t be privy to projects that conflict with each other either.
It was a Nostradamus moment that wouldn’t take a thousand years to come true. It’s just that our first example arises in Ontario, further east than they predicted when pitted against bitumen, LNG or coastal pipelines as the likely candidates. When people think about oil, they don’t naturally imagine the Great Lakes region as an epicenter for this development.
No one can blame residents for being remiss, when information became inaccessible to the public and for that matter to Americans who are impacted by Canadian activity. Former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty claimed there would be no fracking until the province studied evidence to determine if the practice was safe. The new premier has never commented and no elected officials have alluded to anything different.
With all this government subterfuge from provincial and federal levels, the only way to learn about energy projects is through private company investor reports and knowing which ones to research now.
Bruce Power, meet Dundee Energy Limited. The former is an Ontario nuclear giant and the latter has the largest stake in Ontario oil. The two may operate side by side, but you’d never know from asking any level of government including municipal managers. These companies also favour the same rock formation, but for very different reasons.
Nuclear proponents believe the shale is strong enough to store radioactive waste, while oil competitors have chosen the area due to rich deposits and the porous nature of the same rock, making it a perfect specimen for fracking. It’s hard to see how both could be correct, but everyone drinking water along the Great Lakes is in the crosshairs of this corporate aggression.
From Neil Young to Yoko Ono, concerned stars have raised alarm bells regarding each of these topics, but no one thought to consider the impact of running these operations together. Fracking beside nuclear waste is a new concept for sure. The consequence of either practice is still a new frontier and combining them won’t be studied in Canada, nor will anyone be informed to care.
This situation is complicated by a few key players. Nuclear behemoth Bruce Power is technically owned by TransCanada Corp, that is better known for the KeystoneXL oil pipeline and tribulations visiting the White House. It’s also owned by Cameco, recently accused of tax evasion related to uranium sales. This partnership is completed by the retirement funds of municipal employees and the Power Workers Union, otherwise known as an affiliate of the left-wing labour movement and CUPE. As these strange bedfellows negotiate long term destruction of the environment for short term gain, the public is none the wiser because every brand of elected official appears to have taken a vow of silence.
In the case of Dundee Energy, it’s a subsidiary of the Dundee Corporation and federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch was implicated in an alleged conflict of interest with this very consortium. While sitting on a board of directors for Dundee (REIT), Leitch was also debating legislation that impacted her environmentally averse tenants. In addition to meeting the needs of numerous oil clients under the Dundee real estate umbrella, this MP’s company position included an asset-based relationship with the National Energy Board (pgs 20-26).
The National Energy Board is Canada’s environmental regulator and the body that oversees public consultation in a situation like the Bruce Power nuclear waste dump. It no longer needs to conduct environmental hearings related to Dundee’s oil pursuits, as a result of the Labour Minister and Conservative government’s plight to de-monitor water and “streamline” approvals.
It’s now come to light that Leitch’s business associate was buying considerable land for oil extraction, with an eye for the riding she continues to represent. Dundee Energy also purchased junior speculators with rights to harvest oil in Ontario, around the same time she was named a trustee to the sister company with shared executives.
For context, the Labour Minister’s family established the Fort McMurray oil sands town in Alberta, before her career was transferred to Ontario where the process may be repeating. This time brings us to Collingwood, Ontario and begins with thousands of acres around Blue Mountain that the oil industry took an interest in.
This location boasts a farming heartland and world class ski resort, with waterside tourism in the summer. It’s unlikely Intrawest realizes the surrounding property is on the fracking horizon. It doesn’t bode well for stable snow formations if earthquakes are indeed caused by fracking. Yacht owners may pull their boats from oil-slicked waters and tourism around the protected Niagara Escarpment Biosphere may soon resemble the tar sands on this deregulated trajectory. The groundwaters sustaining agriculture in the bins at your local grocery store may also become poisonous if the experience of early adopters is any indication.
To manage a complex and conflicting set of developments, here’s a recap to give clarity that illuminates who might have known what.
1857 – 1863: Canada’s first shale gas operation was founded in Collingwood, Ontario. It originally supplied the market in Toronto. This enterprise eventually failed due to competition from Lambton County and this local history would be forgotten, until the present day when it’s repeated.
April 2008: Bruce Power begins drilling boreholes to test Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Georgian Bay and Manitoulin shales, in preparation for the nuclear waste deep geologic repository. A layout of the project is included, depicting the proximity to Lake Huron and a railway passing directly above the proposed radioactive location.
September 2008: Mooncor begins aggressive acquisition of Ontario shale oil assets. They have access to 23,000 acres with the ability to develop Collingwood and Blue Mountain formations.
November 2008: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Talisman and Torque Energy, as well as Enbridge, Haliburton and the US Energy Development Corp. Exhibitors include the Government of Newfoundland and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The latter presents “Shale Gas Opportunities in Ontario” during the session dedicated to fracking. The Ontario Power Generation also speaks about the Bruce Power waste site. That seminar is sandwiched between the effect of petrochemicals and how to fight back against eco protesters.
February 2009: A Calgary based oil and gas consultant is hired to conduct seismic testing for the Ontario Bruce Power nuclear site. Data is borrowed from a nearby Texaco well and Shell oil pipeline. Many gas wells are noted in the area and previous studies failed to indicate a seismic fault line. With newer technology however, faults were discovered around the nuclear site and this information will be submitted to the National Energy Board.
May 2009: The federal government finalizes a process of environmental review for the proposed Bruce Power nuclear waste site.
November 2009: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Torque Energy, Talisman Energy and Enbridge. Shale gas opportunities are promoted in Ontario and the Minister of Natural Resources is a keynote speaker this year. Numerous reps from the Ontario government provide seminars as well as a report for oil companies, enticing hundreds of new explorations. The Collingwood and Blue Mountain deposits are given special attention, closest to the nuclear waste site. Health Canada is also an exhibitor.
March 2010: Central Ontario oil was predominantly owned by Mooncor and Talisman Energy. The Dundee Corporation purchases “the largest accumulation of oil and natural gas assets in Ontario” for $131 million from Talisman, to overtake their interest in the area.
June 2010: Simcoe and Bruce Counties experience an uncharacteristic earthquake. The area surrounding a proposed nuclear waste dump and fracking locale, shakes enough to startle half the province awake.
October 2010: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsor information was withheld this year, but exhibitors include the Canadian Consulate General and various members of the Ontario government. Keynote speakers include disgraced Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) and seminars are provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources, in addition to the Ministry of Northern Development. Dundee Energy updated their progress in purchasing Ontario shale assets, as the government updated its list of shale assets for promotion. Additional seminars were offered regarding hydraulic fracturing and the difficulty moving enough sand, water and chemicals to supply the fracking industry.
April 2011: The Bruce Power nuclear site tests for the presence of gas. It’s found in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay formations, among others. Upon detailed analysis, the highest concentration of oil is noted in the Collingwood shale samples (closest to the nuclear repository), while the highest gas concentrations can be found in the Blue Mountain companion. This study and many more were submitted to the National Energy Board.
April 2011: Mooncor creates spinoff company DRGN Resources to handle its Ontario shale oil and gas assets. The long term strategy includes overtaking smaller companies to become a major player in the province.
May 2011: Kellie Leitch is elected Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, after accusations of being parachuted from out of town. This riding consists of Collingwood, Blue Mountain and much of Georgian Bay. She still works with Dundee REIT and will not resign the executive position until the end of the next quarter, representing both the public and a corporation at the same time.
June 2011: Dundee Energy Limited establishes 100 percent ownership of its Ontario oil assets, further retained by the Dundee conglomerate as the parent company. New horizontal wells are planned for extraction.
June 2011: Several fish begin dying in Lake Simcoe. It’s part of the same glacial movement that created the Great Lakes system and it’s a 30 minute drive from the shores of Lake Huron. A magnificent amount of oil and gas tests are occurring at the same time (from government, the fracking and nuclear industries), but this is not considered a possible culprit because the public is unaware.
August 2011: Dundee Energy purchases Torque Energy – a former sponsor of the Ontario Petroleum Institute and a remaining holdout competitor. Torque Energy includes oil assets in Ontario and the acquisition helps to pad Dundee’s dominant market share.
September 2011: Mooncor retains a small amount of stock in Torque Energy, now owned by the Dundee corporation (pg. 12). At the end of this month, Member of Parliament Kellie Leitch resigns from her position with Dundee’s real estate branch as well.
October 2011: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Dundee Energy, Torque Energy (under Dundee ownership) and Mooncor (with stock interest in Dundee). Keynote speakers include the Mayor of London and First Nations elders. Seminars are provided by the federal government’s Indian Oil and Gas Canada agency, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Energy Board. Topics covered Aboriginal affairs and fracking, with a hydrofracturing demonstration to close the event.
October 2011: Six thousand dead birds and fish scatter the shores of Wasaga Beach. It’s the longest freshwater beach in the entire world and lines much of Georgian Bay, connecting to Collingwood at Lake Huron. Both shale formations were being tested for oil and gas reserves, but botulism is the suspected culprit with little explanation regarding changes to the lake’s chemistry. The area never saw a die-off like this before and experts were left to guess a reason.
November 2011: Mooncor engages the Dundee conglomerate for help to raise $5 million toward expansion.
November 2011: An executive lawyer for Bruce Power and the nuclear waste site is appointed to the Ontario Centre of Excellence, to guide the provincial economy. This centre is funded by the Ontario government and Bruce Power continues to be owned by the same curious partners.
May 2012: Thousands of dead fish appear on the shores of Lake Simcoe. The second time is worse than the first. The Ministry of Natural Resources waited a number of months before informing the public of a widespread infection and no detailed cause was ever given.
September 2012: The Ontario government promotes shale fuel extraction at a conference in the United States. Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay formations are the focus, with 31 percent oil saturation and 77 percent gas saturation to encourage deeper investment. One of the wells cited is adjacent to the Bruce Power nuclear waste site. (A similar situation between oil wells and nuclear generators occurs in the Pickering location on Lake Ontario.)
September 2012: Dundee Energy invests $13.7 million in Ontario assets. Another $3.4 million is spent to acquire maps with seismic data, needed to plan the next harvesting sites. Inland extraction has become a priority to increase production, that offsets lower gas prices affected by greater American penetration and the Canadian petro dollar. A rig is purchased to assist with new drilling, allowing expansion in the Toronto gas market. In the process, they reserve $3.3 million for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, in anticipation of future environmental costs.
October 2012: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. The sponsor list is excluded again, but the Ministry of Natural Resources, Conservative MPP Bob Bailey and a National Post editor were mentioned as speakers. Embattled Liberal Energy Minister Chris Bentley was invited to give the keynote address and topics narrowly focused on pipelines, fracking and promoting Ontario’s shale assets for exploration.
November 2012: The Ontario government releases a comprehensive report (490 pages) meant to attract investment, reform applicable laws and assist corporations in negotiating with First Nations. Shale gas and oil in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Georgian Bay, Nottawasaga and Manitoulin areas is given special attention (pgs. 222-240), with specific mention of fuels (pgs. 275-286). Each is promoted as having the best potential for fracking related extraction. At least 360 samples were tested from wells and new boreholes in the years preceding, as part of the larger “shale gas assessment project” the public was never informed about. Groundwater mapping for Simcoe County is thoroughly noted (pgs. 295-306) and includes data from Lake Huron to Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, the Nottawasaga River, Newmarket Till and Oak Ridges Moraine. It is further identified as one of the most significant glacial aquifers, responsible for drinking water obtained from the Great Lakes and every connecting path from Canada to Chicago, Illinois.
November 2012: At the same time Ontario promoted shale extraction, Premier Dalton McGuinty informed the media there was no reason to worry about fracking in the province. He offered this reassurance despite public objection to Dundee Energy and Mooncor buying land for the same purpose. This message was supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources when they confirmed one new shale well was drilled, but denied any knowledge of plans to continue. All political parties responded as if the premise of fracking was hypothetical, but each shared a connection to this series of concrete developments. The Liberal government spent millions to encourage fracking extraction and accepted millions from interested companies. Elected Conservatives spoke at fracking events and/or occupied an executive table with the most aggressive corporation. The NDP also enjoys considerable input from the labour movement, as business partners with an oil giant involved in testing the area.
June 2013: Dundee Energy plans to invest $13.2 million in new Ontario wells and exploration to increase production. Another $2 million will be spent to map 314 kilometers of prospective shale opportunities. The corporation pays an extra $270,000 to the Ministry of Natural Resources in anticipation of future abandonment costs (pgs. 8, 28). This expansion is again reported to offset losses incurred by the American market and complication from the petro dollar (pgs. 10-13).
September 2013: Dundee’s rig is used in Lambton County, Ontario to fracture-stimulate a new well. Additional projects are planned for summer the next year.
October 2013: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. This time it’s at the Windsor casino and sponsors are dwindling as companies are bought up, but Dundee Energy has attained the gold level. Seminars are provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Dundee itself, regarding radial jet drilling and its benefits to the fracking industry. This talk was followed by a presentation regarding the Blue Mountain shale formation and the majority of that day was dedicated to hydraulic fracturing topics. The smaller event was then closed by the Ontario Minister of Rural Affairs. It should be noted that a few days earlier, First Nations made international news with a government standoff against fracking. A Chief close to Bruce Power was also protesting the nuclear waste dump.
In other curious developments, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources defers to the oil industry as its spokesperson. Visiting the government internet page to learn about provincial resources not only misinforms about Ontario’s history (forgetting Collingwood as the first producer), but it also directs readers to the “Discovery Education Centre” as the government’s source for facts.
It just so happens the Discovery Education Centre is owned by Discovery Drilling Funds. They were purchased by LongBow Energy Corp and this business is steeped in the Alberta oil sands. Head office is located in Calgary, Alberta and one of the key executives is a former Koch Petroleum manager (of Koch Industries fame). It’s unclear why a private group of five western oil companies is now speaking for the Government of Ontario.
Regarding competition between fracking and nuclear waste, the town of Walkerton, Ontario is located at the midpoint between them. Driving half an hour west, residents will arrive at Bruce Power and driving half an hour east, they’ll arrive at the heavily promoted Collingwood oil deposits. If they dare to drive south, they’ll arrive at Sarnia’s petrochemical industry and advanced plans for fracking in Lambton County as well.
This tiny hamlet was foisted to world news when the water supply was contaminated and more than 2,300 residents became severely ill. Several died. Criminal charges were laid. The Conservative government of the day was blamed for legislation that privatized the testing of water safety. Now the same families may serve as a test, to see what happens when government policy allows fracking beside nuclear waste, fourteen years later in a repeat performance.
Everyone who obtains drinking water associated with the Great Lakes will also be affected, if any part of this experiment goes wrong. And despite Ontario denying plans to frack, taxpayers footed the bill to produce widespread tests for shale oil, in addition to yearly seminars designed to entice extraction.
These water tables come from one of the most important Precambrian aquifers. It supplies the local area and stretches deep into the United States. This underground water highway also supports Toronto and all the towns branching out along the way. The only thing that doesn’t appear to support 40 million North Americans, is politics north of the border and its friends in the energy industry. If all bureaucracies have skin in the game, who’s left to speak for the water?
(This was previously published by CBC when I was an Occupy Toronto correspondent. All Occupy related articles have since been migrated to the archives section. A live link is no longer accessible and the original would need to be sought by request from the broadcaster.)
It’s a widespread, global phenomenon; the greatest revolution of our time – and yet no one can seem to put their finger on it. The participants haven’t summarized the problem in three weeks’ time and the media isn’t sure where to begin. So what’s this Occupy Movement all about?
On Saturday, October 15th, I will join with citizens from every nation in what is set to be a record breaking event, with the Toronto chapter. Representatives for 99% of the world’s population are intent to be heard, uniting their voices as one. This movement now spans every continent except Antarctica. But is this for teachers, pilots, unionists, the unemployed, middle class, impoverished… or is it a bunch of communists as some corners have suggested?
The first question that begs answering is who are the 99% and how did they get that way. They are you and me and everyone we’ve ever known. Unless you’re part of the 1%, you’re part of the 99 and it’s just that simple. The middle class has a tendency to view themselves separate from the woes of common man, but rest assured the consequences apply to them too – especially them, in fact.
Ultimately the occupation results from “trickle down economics”, to put a very complex set of circumstances in a single nutshell. According to the Conference Board of Canada, the gap has been growing between rich and poor for more than two decades. The disparity grew by the greatest proportion in Canada, where average incomes remain stagnant with levels of the 1970’s. After factoring inflation and debt, our value from wages has actually decreased 10%. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives paints a stark contrast for the top 1%, who happened to increase their value 219 times greater than any of us.
The score is -10 versus +219. This kind of disparity hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression and even then society’s wealthiest only controlled 8% of income growth, whereas they control an entire third today. In response to that historic calamity, governments were forced to respond with public policy that addressed fair taxation and wages. The goal was to redistribute prosperity even-handedly to prevent another collapse of the country. Presently however, they control as much as 42.5% of our wealth and government has insisted on lowering their taxes, again to levels not seen since the Depression. It’s apparent those lessons have been forgotten and astute historians are intent on getting the message out before lines under Salvation Army signs quadruple.
The theory to cut taxes for the 1% says this will result in trickle down benefits for the other 99. It’s supposed to create jobs and cause the market to remunerate us properly based on natural forces. It’s supported by both the IMF and OECD in the global view of financing. Except all data shows the benefactors continue to pocket the overwhelming profits and fail to invest in our workforce. They’reinvesting 40% less in their businesses than they were before the gift of major tax reductions. That means our so-called stimulus is filtered straight to their bank accounts and they’re taking even more from profit margins.
This is like asking us to ignore an elephant in the room. There have been 11,724 foreign takeovers of Canadian companies in the last 25 years and all our jobs are exported with them. It was thought through even distribution of global competition that we could replace these countless industries. But we’ve been forced to reckon with the inability to maintain a system of minimum wage, health or safety regulations and remain competitive with countries that don’t have them. We’ve already cut costs at a detriment to safety and felt the repercussions through Walkerton and Maple Leaf. The utilization of employment agencies and repeated attempts at union busting already serve to decrease our wages or any access we had to benefits. All in the name of shining us up, so we look our best for the 1%.
In another bid to win their favour, our governments are deregulating everything from banking to trade, takeovers, wheat, power, food and pharmaceuticals. Canada has been undergoing a personality makeover to morph into the US and it’s been a harsh battle to keep our social network balanced with the shift toward total capitalism.
The FIAT monetary system also bears mention. At the same time a gap defining rich from poor was allowed to establish, so too was this currency adopted. No longer was money gold-backed and instead it became traded on the stock market based on debt, wars, ability to repay, GDP, employment rates, investment and poverty. Since debt is now factored into dollar value, governments have found themselves printing money without the ability to repay it and as a result cause hyperinflation. The history of FIAT currency has ended in complete failure, without exception, since the beginning of money in 800 AD and bureaucracy only turns to this method of calculating wealth in times of trouble to artificially pad their value.
But the moment of truth has arrived and 99% can no longer afford to live within reason. We’re not making enough to afford inflation, depreciation of wages, or repayment of a deficit to cushion the elite. We can least afford the cuts to public services that are sacrificed to maintain this pretense of funny-money in our time of suffering.
Financial industry employment already outnumbers public sector jobs by 4% to 0.82% respectively. By the year 2023 they are predicted to control the majority of employment across Canada, should present trends continue. For every doctor, teacher, police officer, fire fighter, social worker, EI counselor, garbage collector and soldier – there are four stock brokers, insurance agents and bankers to steer our agendas and speak for our needs.
This is how pressure becomes placed on our governments to accommodate deregulation that increases prices, again in an effort to pad the 1% at our expense. They’re the folks who do the advising, they approve loans for governments in trouble and they fund a majority of major political parties. Talk about a conflict of interest! And yet the current Canadian federal government is making laws to end subsidy based on votes and force every party to embrace financing from the 1%. They also do what they can to prevent unions representing public interests from participating.
When that wasn’t enough, the deregulated markets took up the art of speculating. For those who don’t understand, speculation is the process of buying something (in large quantities) without the need or perhaps intention to sell it. This artificially manufactures shortages and drives up prices for the 99%. You’ve watched the result of this activity unfold at the gas pump increasingly throughout the years. We’re paying the same price per barrel of oil today, as we were when it cost 79 cents at the gas station. The price has only risen to $1.30/litre now, specifically because of speculation.
Since middle class incomes haven’t risen effectively for more than a quarter century and the cost of living has gone through the roof, we also lost our buying power – which is essential to keep a capitalist system functioning. We were thoroughly supported by manufacturing to meet our own demands, but can only need so many TVs, cars or new clothing patterns and our ability to purchase them on a whim has diminished.
So enters the business of speculation and commodities. We still must eat, drive and light up our homes. Again through deregulation and privatization, we’ve seen hydro, insurance and interest only climb and once those avenues were saturated they started tinkering with our food. The 1% is now gambling with our ability to eat, the same way they did with hedge funds and everything else that bubbled over.
Global markets are now speculating on corn, grains, sugar and water – the basis we need to make all else. Like clockwork it’s already doubled our prices at the grocery store, the same as they did with oil. The 1% has run out of things to increase their incomes beyond the 220% benchmark and they haven’t stopped at anything to maintain their status quo.
Further complicating matters is the logistical problem with 1% holding everyone’s wealth. We’re told they’re “too big to fail” and have to cover their tab for unbridled, vicious grabs at even more of the economy. They created the internet bubble, housing bubble, finance bubble, food bubble and oil bubble, but the system is set up so they continue to benefit no matter what they’ve done to the economy while you and I are forced to pay for it – WE, the 99%.
Last but not least this eats into our tax base, as they lobby governments for deeper cuts and fewer regulations still. The bulk of our services like health care, child care, education, pensions, EI and housing are on the chopping block because we can’t afford to provide public services while covering the debts of the rich. The 99%’s debts are forever owed to the 1% and the 1% shift their debts to the 99%. It might be brilliant if it wasn’t so blatant.
The result of these high stakes experiments is the disappearance of a middle class. It’s predicted for 2025 in Toronto and most cities around the world are similar. I don’t think there’s any coincidence between financial markets dominating the workforce by 2023 and the collapse of families on its heels 2 years later.
I hope this explains why we’re the 99% and everyone needs to support this movement, no matter which path they take to get there. Ultimately you’re not protesting the people who work on Bay Street, or the police for that matter (they’re the 99% too)! The financial district was chosen as a symbol of capitalism gone awry, without the courage of governments to control them in the best interests of their people. And make no mistake; while Canadian banking is more regulated than our counterparts, the entire act of trading, speculation, lending and borrowing is still done on the same global playing field, to the same rules and repercussions. The attitude of governments is how to become a bigger player in that game, as opposed to moderating the Billionaires Gone Wild before we’re manipulated to ruin.
The Occupy movement is not asking for “a” program. They’re not asking for “a” tax rebate. What they’re asking for is fundamental change within our system and readdressing priorities like our forefathers had to do in times of disparity past. This is no easy task on a global scale, but it’s precisely why we elect governments and it’s their job to enter an open discussion in favour of solutions. The gig is up and 99% of us are ready to take our balls home – or stare through windows in every financial district until they have the courage to notice.
This isn’t a fringe group of radicals or anyone holding a grudge from the G20. This is Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad; Suzy, Bobby and Rufus too. The most people ever documented in history will be joining together to begin a dialogue with their governments on Saturday. We can’t afford what amounts to trickle down economics to support the 1% anymore. Two thousand new entries were made on the critical housing list in Toronto just last month. 40% of our food bank users are now children. A full third of many communities are already dining there.
When situations were radically unfair and unmanageable in the 1960s, our families united and led the way for reluctant governments then too. Call them hippies, call them whatever you like. But I call them honest and courageous, agents of positive change. No one in history will argue they didn’t do something necessary that shaped our future for the better. The time has come for us to show the same care to our children.
***Added February 13, 2014 for educational value. Please see this fantastic animation that makes the economic situation crystal clear.
Conspiracy theorists need theorize no more. In pages from a fiction novel brought to life, the strangest twists in popular folklore have been winding through our government corridors. In this case I wouldn’t blame you for being tempted to run it by Snopes.
Fabled as a secret society, Freemasons see themselves as an esoteric fraternity; an ancient brotherhood of initiates who are voted into membership for the purpose of sharing enlightenment through the use of exclusive teachings.
They are not a religious group and yet elevated status can be obtained through invitation to the various esteemed Rites and the legendary Knights Templar. That full proper title is The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta.
It is argued they find their roots in an historical Christian militia, which once upon a time nearly bankrupted the Vatican. Despite an effort to distance themselves from politics and religion in modern times, Scandinavian branches to this day will only permit entry of fellow Christian worshipers. Women remain forbidden although there’s good news for slaves and the disabled — who may have overcome discrimination after a thousand years of human rights progression.
On the Grand Lodge of Canada website, they continue to affirm this illusive aura with statements like the following:
“Freemasonry is a fraternal association of men of good and high ideals but it is not a public association. “Private” is a more appropriate description than “secret” and as with many organizations, certain information is reserved for members only.”
So why then is an exclusive group collecting our children’s DNA, with support of police and the government across the USA and Canada?
You know them as MasoniChip, or perhaps you’ve been led to believe it was a state and provincial endeavor intended to protect your little ones. They set up fairs, forge partnerships with law enforcement and even strive to distribute their services through North American public school systems.
In Massachusetts this Freemason program was promoted by CBS News from the steps of the official State House and included their police dog, coincidentally named Mason. Reporters only failed to mention the private nod to those promoting him or that government had little to do with it.
What is MasoniChip you ask? It begins on the surface as a child identification project, in case your loved ones are ever to be horrendously abducted. Parents are familiar with at-home kits to record their kids’ vital information, for protection against the greatest of all fears to be inflicted on a family. Normally height, weight, hair and eye colour are recorded, along with a set of fingerprints and hopefully a current photograph. It’s just the good folks at your local Masonic Lodge saw fit to take things further.
With advances in technology, they began to offer digital fingerprints, digital imaging, digital video, dental impressions and DNA mouth swabs. This data processing is managed by their proprietary software that’s designed to be compatible with local and national law enforcement. This is after all, a campaign created by police in the brotherhood regardless of its private funding.
A great distinction is made to ensure governments are nothing more than their supporters. Freemasons assert ownership of this project as an integral part of their mission statement:
“We the Freemasons are the sole “sponsor” of the Masonic Safety Identification initiatives as developed in our various Masonic Grand Lodge Jurisdictions. As such we schedule the Events and coordinate the equipment, materials and volunteers necessary to conduct events. All groups and individuals are welcome to work alongside, but they are not referred as sponsors but listed and involved as “supporters”, “supporting partners”, “corporate partners”, “in collaboration with”, or “in cooperation with.”
They claim their services are superior to what a parent could accomplish at home, by recording the children’s data personally and providing their own “health care professionals” to collect their DNA samples.
These are either hired hands who answer to the Freemasons or members of the fraternity whose history and credentials are protected by the organization. There is no way to guarantee what happens behind closed doors and although they claim to delete sensitive information (the Canadian website states “No information is ever stored by the MasoniChIP program”), any computer savvy person knows that clicking an “x” isn’t permanent unless you format the entire system.
Parents are asked to trust an intriguing, private fraternity; to ensure that quality standards are met and family privacy is legally respected without any kind of oversight. Because Freemasons fund 100 per cent of the initiative, there is no opportunity to discuss issues regarding data ownership or how they feel about those technicalities in the privacy of their meetings.
Every Masonic Lodge may “jump on the bandwagon” and choose to run the program differently. None are managed at the national level by an exact set of principles. The only thing they share is an internet portal, where everyone claims to expunge the information that was painstakingly collected.
Let us then consider the function of a DNA sample. If a child goes missing will police swab every glass and rock they come across for a match to find the trail? In the video for Massachusetts they claimed it would help Mason pick up a scent, but in all reality the clothes a child was last wearing will provide stronger notes and this can’t be the intended purpose. DNA has nothing to do with scent and its only use can be harnessed once a child has been located.
With somber scrutiny and if further tragedy struck, authorities would match remains with parental samples for definitive confirmation. It is the parents’ DNA that could aid in matching the unnamed, but only accredited laboratories are permitted to conduct the process. Whether a parent or child, collecting DNA cannot occur at an open park event, run by stranger volunteers and become admissible to the national database. The FBI continually quotes the DNA Identification Act of 1994 in establishing these requirements to be included within CODIS.
It is with great sadness for grieving families that we must note the Freemason project is not supported by government DNA databases. Although the superficial identifiers are surely helpful and Freemasons contribute to charitable acts in their communities, the most controversial component of the MasoniChip undertaking is not recognized for the purpose they advertise and state to parents.
Furthermore, a simple hair sample from children is all that was needed and in the United States only five of these cases are permitted per month, per licenced agency. (Downloadable from the FBI here.)
In Canada the situation is even more colluded, as the federal government won’t consent to a missing persons DNA database whatsoever. They cite privacy law and cost concerns as a barrier to its establishment; so the 50,000 families that already participated have shared their biometric markers with Freemasons for apparently no good reason. It is therefore peculiar the Masonic Grand Lodge of Canada would make bold claims to be working with Canadian law enforcement agencies to gain the trust of parents.
All in all they’ve registered 1.5 million children to date. The push is on to document as many possible, as keenly demonstrated by the event schedule for Ontario. From community halls to grocery stores, fairground booths, libraries and even chartered banks, the private fraternity will be on hand to collect everything about your children whether it’s relevant or not.
When it comes to the little people we’d do anything to protect them, but perhaps their families might give sober second thought to what exactly they’re signing in a contract with Freemasons. This DNA collection program is planned to be extended to the disabled community and seniors, but who benefits when it’s inadmissible to a certified registry of any sort?
And why is the face of government through public schools or police through public events, being placed on an effort from private organizations to mislead parents? Sharing one’s fingerprints and biometrics is a serious decision. For public safety we must insist that brokers of such events become transparent and regulated.
Note from the author: The following is an 8 part series examining Republican Mitt Romney like you’ve never seen him before. His family founded the Mormon religion on the shores of America and he’s a royal figure in this specifically political church. While some have been misled it’s just another form of Christianity or that Mitt is merely a volunteer, may this serve as an eye opener and I highly recommend sitting firmly before reading. Latter Day Saints are a powerful business empire and professional lobby in pursuit of theocratic control. Written in their tenets is the goal of becoming President and it’s one they’ve long sought after, to rule the people in a literal “government of (their) God”. It’s a long read yes, but it’s the only way to look at all the issues that range from blatant racism to anti-Semitism and nuclear warheads championed by the Church that have implications in today’s conflict with Iran. Bank fraud, anti-trust lawsuits, gay rights and control of the food industry are a few more surprises you’ll find along the way. Please be patient as the facts unfold, but if you’re anxious to see where it’s heading – links to parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 can be found at the bottom. In the final entry you’ll see disturbing references to the Holocaust and I forewarn my Jewish friends with heartfelt caution… it will not be easy to absorb. Same with my Indian and African American friends as you’ll observe throughout the entire series. It’s fraught with white supremacy that I do not support or condone. If we don’t speak up about this hatred though, no one will ever know to stop it. Moreover you’ll see how these beliefs translate to Mitt’s policies and that includes the strategy to deny minorities the right to vote. If you thought Republicans had strong support for Israel then you need to read this more than anyone. Once these issues are addressed you’ll observe a pattern of socialism for CEOs. When Mr. Romney was speaking about the 47 percent it was coming straight from a Mormon playbook and his duty to represent their interests is a priority far above the country. I can only summarize so much in a prologue and I hope you’ll stick with it to learn the truth beyond excessive spin in the headlines. If you’re hesitant to believe, then wait till you see what really happened to PBS and other things we never could have imagined. ***Please accept these are rough notes for a greater project and there may be language errors.
We’re about to embark on a journey to discover the makings of Mitt Romney, unlike any opportunity presented to us before. This is a backstage pass to view the presidential hopeful; unscripted, unedited and intimate as the utterings one might only whisper to the family dog. To facilitate the explanation of a tremendously complex businessman, this process must be patient and broken into segments.
Some material you may have seen before but most has managed to thrive in obscurity and few have sought to connect the myriad of loose ends with Mitt’s unwavering “no comment”. You’ll have to trust it’s all relevant until the eureka moments have a chance to percolate and by the end, no one can say this is simply a critique of faith.
The legend of Mitt is steeped in polygamy, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, corporatocracy, government and war. It is no easy task to explain these things and I caution against making assumptions until the repercussions can make themselves fully known.
To begin we must accept the arduous task of illuminating Mitt’s religious royalty. While constitutional rights ensure freedom of religion that is not the issue, nor would I try to make it one. What’s at stake is a conflict of interest between corporate tables of a global nature, a caveat regarding theo-democracy and the public’s equal right to be separated between church and state.
Republicans will accuse, “Oppression! Discrimination!” but I assure you this is not. The term religious royalty is just a good publicist’s way of cleansing plenty the campaign couldn’t otherwise dilute. If the Pope, Muhammad or Jesus was running to be the President of America, it would surely present an ethical conundrum. Therefore when the equivalent of a Mormon faith attempts the same, we’re tasked with answering a slew of questions they would rather pay millions to suppress.
In a calculated act of deceit, the prodigy downplayed his place in the church as simple and kind-hearted volunteerism. Upon examining the Romney legacy as Prophets, Apostles and founders of this religion though, it becomes clear Mitt the King-God is ascending exactly as the family instructed.
It may not be common knowledge but both his maternal and paternal makers partnered as architects of the new religion. It was the first unique doctrine to be patented in America or the western hemisphere for that matter; throughout the 1830’s between New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and finally Utah. It has no ancient roots and although any campaigner will tell you it’s Christian oriented, there is no religion like it and Christians who understand the tenets are some of the most vocal dissenters of Mormonism.
Recognized churches have denounced the practice as blasphemy and others teach it is a cult. That kind of in-depth knowledge is only shared by worshipers who attend Bible study and may explain why Republicans have been successful in equating Mormonism with Christianity. (Even if you’re not religious, the importance of this information will become apparent as the series transitions to business deals.)
With that said, Mormon creation begins with a fellow by the name of Joseph Smith Jr receiving a vision in the burnt out boroughs of New York at the age of seventeen. It was a time of religious excitement where revivals were commonplace and so was the practice of religious folk magic. In that regard Joseph earned extra income as a treasure hunter, by divining with seer stones he claimed to be sacred and powerful. The skill in using them comes from placing the stone in a top hat, sticking your face inside and waiting to receive the rock’s prophecy. Don’t forget this is the early days of pioneers and his whole family was employed by the same craft.
Among the fervor Smith claimed to receive a revelation from an angel named Moroni, to unearth a set of golden plates that had long been hidden near his home in Cumorah, NY. In September 1827 at the age of twenty-one, he reported to finally locate these relics along with a pair of holy seer stones that were needed to decode the inscriptions. In official Mormon collections, it is also said he employed a necromancer to aid in pinpointing the treasure’s location. (LDS Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young 1855, The Priesthood and Satan, pgs. 180-181, includes access to the church’s original scanned document). Necromancers are known today by those who play video games as the undead, those who talk to the dead and that hasn’t changed much since the time of Joseph Smith.
In any event these plates would become what is known as the Book of Mormon and young Joseph was directed as God’s newest Prophet to translate and deliver this substantially amended update to the more commonly accepted Bible. Although Latter Day Saints (LDS) still support his assertion the plates were written in Reformed Egyptian, there are no scholars in the world who will confirm the existence of what has become a Mormon concocted language. It was only known to Smith and is believed only by Mormon followers. According to the Bible it is also sacrilege to add new pages, but Mormons claim they’re the chosen few with divinity enough to change it. Right or wrong, here or there; this presents a sticking point in identifying oneself as Christian.
Despite popular resistance, Mr. Smith would continue translating the plates by harnessing magical stones left behind by the angels. As he would see the words they would immediately disappear, so no one could steal or share in the gift of prophecy. He kept the project secret and only business colleagues like the necromancer would provide testament to the plates’ existence. Nevertheless this work would be promoted as a sister to the Bible and depicted brave new examples like setting the real Garden of Eden in the heart of Jackson County, Missouri.
Signing on early was Mitt’s great-great grandfather Parley P. Pratt, as the founder and first editor of the faith’s official newspaper, Millennial Star. In this position he would devise marketing and communications to establish the new church in both England and America. Parley was quickly endowed as one of the first twelve Apostles and wrote many of the hymns still sung by congregations today.
Mitt’s great-great uncle Orson Pratt would also take the helm of communications. His most celebrated contributions came from editing the Book of Mormon and as a settler of the State of Utah. He created what became the modern day odometer, to measure wagon wheel revolutions upon mapping the Mormon Trail. His plotting was integral to avoid the army’s Oregon path, since this family of Mormon was attempting to flee the country.
The United States was only partially settled and mostly to the east. Both men on the Romney maternal side would play leading roles in the Vanguard Company, which was known to most as a Mormon militia intent on claiming new lands, so they could be left alone to rule their own theocracy. The only problem was they believed in violence to overthrow rules of the federal government and forced their beliefs on inhabitants whether they liked it or not.
First these Saints along with young Joseph Smith, settled in Kirtland, Ohio to colonize new towns for Mormon followers and their special beliefs. One of the greatest bones of contention with neighbours that drove the founding group from New York, was the doctrine of polygamy dearly held as a condition of reaching God-dom. Great-great grandpa Parley kept 12 wives and great-great uncle Orson kept 10 wives, as leaders within the church and affirmation of their Apostle duties. According to the University of Utah, it was Orson who promoted the practice so vigorously that he took to editing polygamy into sermons and the official covenant.
Amid the early hubbub, Mitt’s maternal ancestors visited England and converted great-great grandpa Miles Romney on the paternal side as well. Orson was the mission president, Parley fulfilled a similar calling and they found value in Romney’s devout skills as a carpenter. He was quickly absorbed into the hierarchy and brought to America with the other half of the family, where he would go on to build the first Mormon temples and a sacred residence for the church president.
What the founding family taught defies all logical explanation. Controversial highlights from Latter Day Saints include revelations that hinge on establishing America as a parallel Holy Land to that of Israel. Independence, Missouri is considered the new Jerusalem and if Bishop Mitt Romney was your teacher, you’d learn that Jesus is the brother of Satan (second entry, official LDS church) and the Archangel Michael is really Adam, the creator of all Christian humans. Adam and Eve were sent by Elohim from the planet Kolob to purposely eat the forbidden fruit, so they could transform into humans and give birth to men-Gods of which the Romney family occupies the upper echelon.
They believe Jews murdered Jesus rather than the Romans and not only that, but Jews are condemned to Lucifer’s minions if they don’t convert to Mormonism to repent for the greatest sin. (LDS Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young 1854, Spiritual Gifts & Hell, pgs. 142-143, includes access to church’s original scanned document.) Furthermore Jews are considered so vile, they’re believed to shed their sinfully marked colour to become “a white and delightsome people” if successfully rescued from Judaism.
Should they not accept Joseph Smith as the Prophet and fully absorb his American scripture, Mormons continue to preach that non converted Jews will receive the harshest punishment come the day of reckoning. At that time Saints in the Romney clan will build the new temple for Christ’s Second Coming, at the contested Temple Mount in Jerusalem while usurping it from both Jews and Muslims to become the righteous rulers.
Mitt’s founding Apostle/Uncle Orson elaborates more in a famous sermon that became part of the church’s official study guide to support the cornerstones of scripture. He prophesized Mormons will build that temple as the pure seed of God and inherit their desert Eden back from the evil rulers of Israel. This will complement the more bountiful Eden already bestowed to them in America, which they also address as their gift of milk and honey meted straight from the hand of Jesus. Essentially all the world will belong to Mormons as the only ones worthy of wielding God’s power. (Journal of Discourses by Uncle Orson Pratt 1877, pgs. 18-20, Revelation Gradual, Volume 19.)
I can safely say no other religion believes these things and my confusion was warranted when Netanyahu endorsed his modern day Mormon ruler for President of America.
In the second installment we’ll look at the founding of a truly theo-democratic state and why so many Mormons are compelled to seek this office, as ingrained by certified doctrine and the example set by Joseph Smith. The tenets of Mormon theocracy will be explored and how far the Romneys would go to protect their place will reveal itself throughout history.
In the meantime great strides were made in linguistics and this award winning documentary that debunks the translation of Mormon, took number one at a great many film festivals. Behold, the Lost Book of Abraham:
In the interest of time, we’ll skip the lengthy opener and refer to Part 1 (Religious Royalty) of the series. Warring for President continues examination of the Romney legacy and building the path to Mitt:
In the course of establishing Mormons as an American staple and tracking their migration to Ohio from New York, Joseph Smith founded the Kirtland Safety Society with the help of his associates including business Apostles like Grandpa Parley. It was a quasi bank for Mormons based on stock valuation, with the express intent of helping the brotherhood purchase all surrounding lands. Latter Day Saints were intent on birthing their own sovereignty and that could only begin with a territory to transform religious canon into law.
The mass purchase of property didn’t go over well with previous inhabitants, but the institution’s final demise came at the hands of insider fraud that resembles the current market collapse. The bank made continuous loans to push non-believers out of the area without having the capital to cover disbursements. This may even be where the term “ phony as a $3 bill” originated, as the bank printed exactly these worthless denominations and put all local Mormons in the poor house for holding them.
(Mormon $3 bill, Kirtland Safety Society/Bank)
Inner discord was not enough to plummet the church into shame. It wasn’t until fraud charges were announced that Smith and the Mormons would flee to avoid capture in the middle of the night, January 12, 1838. Along with the Romneys they would attempt to overtake Missouri and lay claim to the purported twin city of Zion, as the new headquarters and rightful place of Saints.
Again this wasn’t well received by Christians or presiding authorities of the new state. Heralding fantastic claims of celestial ownership, concentrating Mormons to elect their own and disapproval of polygamy were a few of the allegations against those of the colonizing faith.
At a midpoint of conflict the Lieutenant Governor attempted to mediate with Mormons and resettled them to what became Far West. In turn Joseph Smith would prophesize the new location to be Adam-ondi-Ahman; the same place Adam and Eve took refuge upon expulsion from the American Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately this effort became futile when Mormons defied the boundaries of their settlement and vigorously spilled into adjacent counties, laying claim to those as well. This swell was enabled by the defection from Ohio and spawned an Election Day skirmish that resulted in Mormons taking Judge Adam Black hostage at gunpoint to do their bidding. Under duress he was forced to sign an allegiance with Smith and once returned to safety, the state responded with criminal charges against the violent band of Latter Day Saints.
Instead of backing down, the Mormon militia torched and pillaged the homes of unfaithful Missourians, also while stealing their businesses for personal gain, committed in the name of the church. According to official entries from Major Joseph McGee,
“For over two weeks we could stand in our door… and see cabins burning. Scarcely one was left standing in the county unless occupied by Mormons.”
Members of the government felt Saints were trying to capture the entire state, as Mormon leaders were preaching to parishioners inciting violence to the bloody end. This resulted in the famous Extermination (eviction) Order commissioned by Governor Boggs, which was levied as a last resort to bring an end to the Missouri Mormon War.
As per terms of that agreement Mormons were found to owe for damage and allowed to leave in peace, if they forfeited their property to foot the bill in yet another ravaged state. There was initial rebellion against the government and only after the church executive put their settlers in harm’s way, did Joseph Smith and the twelve Apostles accept conditions to relocate their people. These circumstances included surrender of self and fellow leaders; on indictment of treason, murder, arson, burglary and larceny. All court documents can be viewed as archives, courtesy of the Secretary of State.
These judiciary pages cite Mitt’s great-great grandpa Parley as a main perpetrator in the town burning (11/12/1838 Witness Ezra Williams), in addition to being one of the few imprisoned for committing murder (3/6/1841 State of Missouri vs. Parley P. Pratt, Maurice Phelps and Lyman Gibbs). Official court record is one of few places to confirm the Romney family’s involvement, as most popular history pages have glossed over this Apostle.
But Parley did indeed play a great role as jailed leader and close partner of Joseph Smith. He was the Prophet to teach all Prophets at the School of Prophets in Missouri, where lesser Apostles were sent for counsel to grasp the doctrine he helped create. During the incarceration, they were also broken out of captivity together and fled to Nauvoo, Illinois. It is here a subsequent Mormon town was colonized and great-great grandpa Miles Romney was graciously waiting to build the next temple.
In just a few short years after the mayhem in Missouri, the Mormons were living semi peacefully in Illinois. It is claimed they sought retribution against Governor Boggs from afar and there was an attempt on his life resulting in 3 gunshot wounds to the head.
But in the shelter of their newest settlement, the Prophets took warring lessons from the past and put them to good use. They immediately sought a city charter that enshrined the right to a bonafide militia, ironically named the Nauvoo Legion – since Nauvoo means “to be beautiful” in Hebrew.
Such entitlements afforded Saints their own municipal court, police and university, from which they would construct the ultimate goal of theocracy as directed by the Book. They also made headway by assuming prominent positions within the Freemasons, to bolster community allies in their mission.
However, when harsh feelings from non-Mormons arose about that pesky issue of polygamy, Joseph Smith headed every level of the law and there was no recourse for outsiders. They had effectively taken control of a city from all possible positions. Smith was the mayor, judge, church president and commander of the militia.
Amongst the dissatisfaction Illinoisans took to founding their own newspaper the Nauvoo Expositor, but it only lasted one printing and was deemed a public nuisance by the church. Smith accordingly ordered it to be destroyed and the presses were smashed along with burning everything in sight. The only free speech in a theocratic domain would belong to Joseph Smith and the Apostles, with capable Romney editors to filter the news. This act was considered outrageous and the dissenters of heretical prophecy brought their complaints to law enforcement, but Smith was empowered as the sheriff and judge so the charges were dismissed. In fact any complaints against Mormons in the town of Nauvoo were dismissed.
At the same time the almighty Quorum of Twelve Apostles congregated to create the Council of Fifty, whose task was campaigning on the Prophet’s behalf to become the President of America. The local order they currently enjoyed was only the beginning of the true Mormon mission; to establish the government of God that was ready to rule the world upon His Second Coming. The long name of this council is The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servant (pdf study file) – but it was shortened to “The Fifty” by the number of prophets who would be given these keys to ensure a Mormon God was controlling the US government. They would only toil to get their Prophets elected and have continued these pursuits with Mitt Romney, his father George Romney and all Mormon politicians running for Governor or President before them. This is a pillar in the Latter Day Saint’s Doctrine and Covenants.
Feeling oppressed themselves, Christians approached the Illinois legislature that was compelled to incarcerate Joseph and his marauders, due to contravening matters of free speech and persecuting others with unabashed personal use of Mormon police. They were accused of employing arbitrary violence in an effort to silence their critics, apprehended by the state and placed in Carthage Jail to await trial.
Still afraid of his connections and flagrant abuse of theo-democracy through other church members, there was a backlash from non-Mormons all around. Anti Latter Day Saints finally had enough and believed there was little chance of convicting Smith or his entourage. A band of community vigilantes then decided to take assassination into their own hands. Joseph Smith died on June 27, 1844, to be worshiped forevermore as the martyr of Mormon, after that mob laid siege to his jail cell.
Apostle Brigham Young stepped in to fill the leadership; with Parley, Orson and Miles at his immediate side. Although the Book of Mormon was created by Smith’s revelation, it is Young who would become the greatest father of the clan. He set out to preach polygamy and theo-democracy even more so than his predecessor. Brigham and (fellow Apostle) Uncle Orson christened these theories into doctrine and had it reported through the church newspaper the very next day.
This created a split of sorts and Mormons who were shy about plural marriage ended up going their separate way. Politically there was still much discord and the Saints holding strong in Nauvoo were eventually stripped of their city charter by the state legislature. That action gave rise to the third confrontation known as the Illinois Mormon War and despite the dressing down, they continued to run a covert arm of religious police and government. Eventually they had to come to terms that without the legal backing, their rebellion was fairly futile.
Instead of repeating quite the mayhem that took place in Missouri, Brigham Young and company negotiated their departure and set out to build the Mormon Trail all the way to Utah, where no faithless federal government could condemn their way of rule. This is where Uncle Orson would demonstrate his own leadership by carving that path and claiming Salt Lake City in the name of Latter Day Saints (see Mathematician and Scientist).
On the paternal plane, Mitt’s great-grandpa Miles Park Romney was born in Nauvoo of polygamous parentage and he followed in his father’s footsteps. A church editor, chief of theocratic police, builder of Mormon religious temples and a studious attorney; he attempted to challenge congressional anti polygamy laws on behalf of his prophetic underlings as a young man in Utah.
Maternally, Mitt’s other great-grandpa Helaman Pratt was born somewhere on the trek between Nauvoo and Salt Lake in the winter crossing the plains of Iowa. At the age of twenty-three he would depart for Nevada and settle the Mormon religion there, in addition to performing the first baptisms in Mexico as that president as well. Miles Park Romney went with him, since both were interested in protecting their right to plural wives while the federal government of America was clamping down. They continued to chart new lands and bring the doctrine with them as leaders of the church.
Mitt Romney commands an identical post, as stake president of the Boston area. He doesn’t possess polygamous wives, but in part three of the series we’ll examine why. We’ll also take a look at the true accomplishment of the first theocratic state government, upon Mormons capturing Utah from the Indians. There’s only one more war to go before we arrive at the immediate family and the exact nature of Mitt’s inheritance.
Theocracy, or as Mormons call it theo-democracy; is a system of government controlled by Apostles according to their God’s law. It is the way Saints believe the earth must be run to achieve their fate as inheritors of the planet and managers of Jesus’ power. Addressing the staples of Mitt’s religion was less about faith than it was to demonstrate the goal s of a political prophet. On our journey to understand his calling, we are now stopping in the state of Utah.
The western frontier was mostly their own, as pioneers forged the Mormon Trail to the great valley. Utah was deemed the new Jerusalem and new platform from which a theocratic government could thrive without the interference of Washington. Brigham Young was the equally new president of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and he picked the next Heaven on earth, while Mitt’s family were the ones to proclaim it Zion on behalf of their kin to follow.
Great-great grandpa Parley, along with Uncle Orson, was first on the scene and considered to be one of the most influential Apostles in the building of an empire. Among his sermons that founded the doctrine, he also created a language (beyond Reformed Egyptian) that was secretive within the Saints. The Deseret Alphabet was rebellion against the Latin based English language and relied more on phonetic symbols, known only to the creator and those he taught. Although books were translated in the new form it became too cost prohibitive to transition the whole community and the tongue of Deseret was then used as the code of personal missives. Curiously this language was important enough to mark the gold Utah currency from the Latter Day Saints mint.
(Wikimedia Commons, from LDS Mint)
(Wikimedia Commons, from University of Deseret)
In the beginning the iconic Mr. Young petitioned the federal government to create the state of Deseret. The eager proposition included most of the west (including parts of what is now California, Wyoming, Nebraska, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah), to be regulated by Saints according to the Book of Mormon. They used the Constitution to justify theocratic rule and that argument was reasonably successful, except with the Civil War approaching the ambitious land grab was reduced from Deseret to the Territory of Utah (see Compromise of 1850).
The Mormon clan formed their own legislature, ensuring only Prophets and Apostles held these bureaucratic positions. This included Mitt’s predecessors as the first senators and constitution drafting members of the legislative assembly. The government of Utah was dedicated to men-Gods and the full senate was re-baptized to confirm the purity of their hierarchy as the main condition to being sworn in (see Dec 30, 1856). They sought to build a wall around their fortress, to keep the goodness in or the evil out and as a result the religion-ruled state was finally realized.
The courts were ecclesiastical in nature and Brigham Young exercised tighter control over the lives of inhabitants than any other state as the first governor. The United Order of Enoch was established, stipulating residents would owe all their profits from commerce and trading directly to the church for the benefit of the Mormon community. The Welfare Plan was such that non Apostles could work on the farms and be fed for their contribution to the literal commune, as a means of giving the poor some purpose within their ranks. Despite many troubles gaining adoption, the most successful areas were under command of the Romneys/Pratts and this feat remains a condition to achieving world ownership according to the official Mormon Doctrine and Covenants.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints describes early Utah in these terms (see Provisional State of Deseret),
“There was no separation of church and state because the Latter Day Saints considered all affairs of the kingdom of God to be one, whether spiritual, economic or political.”
Upon the grand opening of the first Utah tabernacle (architect Miles Romney), Brigham Young delivered an impassioned sermon to command support for their theocratic version of government. He goes on to warn that any person of riches who hoards them from the church, will be condemned to an eternity of suffering and ousted from the kingdom. (Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young, Weakness and Impotence of Men, pgs. 201-203, April 1852, with access to scan of original church document.)
Current lessons for Mormons include explanation of their gospel as the only way to exaltation, noting all earthly religions before them fell short of becoming God’s rulers and are therefore part of the Apostasy. Humans were only returned to the divinity through the prophecy of Joseph Smith and the Twelve Apostles,
“The Lord began to prepare those social, educational, religious, economic and government conditions under which he could more easily restore the gospel for the last time.”
This quote is taken from Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition 1966, as presently instructed by LDS leaders. The book was revised by Mitt’s cousin and former Mormon president Marion Romney, from its original “tone” that was deemed too blunt for the masses. Although it remains a cornerstone for Bishops to teach, the church ceased printing any more copies should they fall into critical hands. When Mitt was confronted about this in April 2012, according to the Washington Post the discussion was off limits. The presidential nominee would only address his faith as opposed to the workings of it.
According to the Divine Constitution (that Mormon’s feel was angelic inspiration for the American one),
“We’re now digesting a plan which in its operation would decide forever the fate of Republican Government…. It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. Tis right politically, for a man who has influence to use it. From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get.”
More adeptly preached by Grandpa Parley in the church’s Journal of Discourses (see pg 10),
“The Jews once held the Gospel, with its Apostleship, powers, and blessings offered unto them, but they rejected it as a people and for this reason it was taken from them…. These blessings would have continued on earth and would have been enjoyed in all the ages and nations of man, but for the agency of the people. They chose their own forms of government, laws, institutions, religions, rulers and priests, instead of yielding to the influence and guidance of the chosen vessels of the Lord, who were appointed to instruct and govern them.”
They created their own money to govern themselves and since the land was essentially free, it was divvied up amongst the Saints who then donated the deeds to the church. Much of this prosperity was used to benefit the Romney family as executives of LDS and so appeared Prattville, the Pratt Ward(entire region) and numerous historical sites maintained in the Romney honour.
Grandpa Parley became a top judge who wrote many of Utah’s early laws, Uncle Orson was the stake president and polygamously-related Uncle Mathoni was named the presiding bishop. Because the family was so heavily impacted by considerable plural marriages it is difficult to outline every one of Mitt’s makers, but they all enjoyed esteemed positions within the administration of Mormonism. The founding capacity of Apostle grandparents on both sides of the tree has spawned an American made patriarchy in which every Romney may aspire for the crown. (See Romney family tree.)
Upon rebirth of the ‘ancient gospel’ to Mormons there was also recreation of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Only those special enough and called to the highest order can achieve this oneness with God and bestowal of His powers as a Prophet. Mitt is a Melchizedek Priest (see The Washington Temple). His dad was a Melchizedek Priest, as were all Romneys of Apostle heritage since the beginning of Mormon in 1830.
Grandpa Parley explains (Journal of Discourses by Parley P. Pratt, Reminiscences and Testimony of Parley Pratt, pgs 194-201, Sept 1856, with access to scan of original church document),
“I learned something of the rights of the Church…. the restoration of the Priesthood and many important truths….The man that believes in Mormonism, believes in…. the keys of the Priesthood and Apostleship, and through those keys the people are to be built up, preserved, sanctified and prepared for the coming of the Lord. These keys came from Joseph Smith who received them from…. the risen Jesus, the Redeemer of men. If we harken unto these keys we shall be saved and inherit the celestial glory and exaltation….”
Only iconic men can be Apostles and the church produces a lesson guide to teach women about the respect they must show them. Although they’re permitted to receive blessings, only males can hold these limited keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. This birthright is so protective that Prophet and father George Romney shared his testament on record while paving the way for Mitt.
As a sidebar, Cousin Marion Romney was born in Chihuahua, Mexico along with George W. Romney. Mitt’s father was a Mormon bishop, stake president and high priest who became the Republican governor of Michigan. Immediate Grandpa Gaskell Romney ran for county commissioner as a Republican and Cousin Henry B. Eyring spoke of him as the church patriarch who gifted his official blessing. This was before Henry’s exaltation as an Apostle to the Quorum of Twelve in 1995. Mitt’s polygamous but immediate other grandfather is Rey Pratt, who served as president of bringing Mormonism to Mexico. Cousin Vernon B. Romney completed missions for the Saints and sat as attorney and chair for the Utah Republican party before making his own run for governor.
Great uncle George S. Romney also completed missions and was rewarded with the presidency of Brigham Young University in Idaho. He added his name to a Supreme Court lawsuit brought by Mormons against the United States government, to recoup property in Utah that was confiscated due to transgressions by the church against federal law. He was not successful but challenged the court to the very end. Cousin Spencer W. Kimball then received exaltation to the Quorum of Twelve to make it a family affair. He then inherited the all-powerful presidency and instituted the Indian Placement Program; where indigenous children were taken from their homes to be assimilated into white culture and educated by the Mormon Church.
Marion on the other hand, went from working at the Salt Lake post office to becoming the city prosecutor, before winning a spot in the state legislature as a Democrat. However, this resulted in being called to the Quorum of Apostles so he’d resign his post under a non-Republican banner. He was tasked with chairing the Home Teaching committee which regrettably led to lawsuits that persist to this day, regarding complications with oversight and the abuse of youngsters while in an Elder’s care. The Mormon religion purports to be a Republican institution, but aside of this all Romney men have stood as general authorities of this highly political religion. Church president Marion Romney also descended from an original Apostle through polygamy, but Mitt’s particular lineage is worshiped as the most esteemed of any.
Had a rough go with polygamy not hampered his ambitions, Grandpa Parley might have succeeded Brigham Young as president of the faithful. But non-Mormons of the founding day were staunchly against the ministry of plural wives and God-dom, giving rise to tipping points that precipitated the Utah War.
The way grandpa contributed is through a mission he took to Arkansas to preach the gospel and convert those who’d never heard it. While there he celestially married another wife, Eleanor McLean, but she was already legally married to Hector and they had a few children. Grandpa Parley absconded with the lady and her little ones, although he claims to have saved them from a life of oppression without the Book of Mormon.
Needless to say Hector was angry and when stifled by the law he took matters into his own hands. Parley Pratt was murdered May 13, 1857 and his remains never made it back to Utah. What did return was word of the Apostle’s demise and this reignited the violent side of every ecclesiastic general in the Utah Mormon army, including President and Governor Brigham Young.
A plan was hatched to exact revenge but the Saints didn’t want their name on it. News arrived that a caravan was migrating from Arkansas and Mormons set out to deceive the Indians about it. They felt the people of Arkansas were responsible for not protecting the Prophet and wanted to see these 120 men, women and children sacrificed to atone for their error.
In his last confession, a fellow by the name of John D. Lee explains he was sent to spin the tale, that an emigrant group was on their way and Mormons had word they planned to viciously kill the Indians. The only option was to destroy the group and convincing them took a great deal of prodding. The orders had come from Brigham Young and the Apostles though, so Brother Lee wasn’t in a position to let them down.
After desperate negotiation he managed to sell the idea and Indians, against their better judgement, set out to snuff the allegedly threatening clan on their way from Arkansas. To their surprise the travelers were formidable and managed to fight them off, with the tribes returning to Lee in horror asking for the same help in return.
According to Plan B the Mormon army accepted responsibility to commit the act. It was a terrible ambush on September 11, when Saints befriended pioneers to gain their trust and swooped in to murder everyone when their guard was down. It was dubbed the Mountain Meadows Massacre and to this day it remains one of the darkest moments in establishing Mormonism.
In the meantime Brigham Young declared martial law in the Territory of Utah. The federal government passed anti-polygamy laws and decided to crack down on the theo-democratic violence as well. Eventually this led to the 1890 Manifesto in which Mormons would give up plural marriage and senate, in exchange for clemency (related to polygamy) and having Utah inducted into statehood with access to federal funding.
The only last bit of business was persecution for the massive slaughter at Mountain Meadows. Despite John D. Lee being unable to kill 120 alone, Brigham Young and the Elders testified against him to protect themselves and higher ranking Prophets. It’s a sad story no matter the perspective and upon his execution, Mr. Lee made rather poignant comments regarding the treachery of these Apostles.
Up next is the special Mormon doctrine focused on Blacks, Jews, Indians & Christians; followed by Good Ole Dad and how these theories make their way into real legislative and moral actions committed by Mitt Romney and his prophetic family.
Minorities have certainly seen their share of discrimination and Mormons may be the only group who’ve bothered to canonize such indifference. The years 1978, 2000 and 2009 will come to be pivotal, but first we must describe the scripture and beliefs that led to the indoctrination of fear. Remembering Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the Romney Apostles were selected by angels, the following is essentially their description of how we should treat our fellow man according to The Book and skin colour. This is not my view and with concern, I only report to be the messenger.
This challenging conversation begins with identifying the word Lamanite, since it’s a Saintly term uniting two of the three and accounts for Native Indians as well as Mormons being the blood descendants of Israel. As with most LDS (Latter Day Saint) creations previously explained, this is another example of a word and train of thought that can’t be found beyond the Book of Mormon. (Atheists will need to bear a little longer as we sort through the logistics of doctrine, as they will illuminate Mitt Romney’s policies upon conclusion of the series. This is required reading and the last stretch of background before getting to the heart of current politics.)
The church believes Indian tribes from around the world are Lamanites and constitute part of the original Israelis scattered from the Kingdom of God. They’re fabled to escape Babylon and the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar in Jerusalem, as the unknown prophets that got away and weren’t revealed until 1830 by Mormon. Instead of following the traditional Torah or Bible this new people is said to hop on boats and settle America – where the real holy land is located and Jesus is reported to have risen. Coincidentally, Nebuchadnezzar relates to what Mormons are taught about Bible Christians and perhaps Mitt has been disingenuous when claiming to be Christian on the campaign trail (Journal of Discourses, Volume 5, pgs. 73-75).
Before we get any further it is important to explain the Book of Mormon; that it’s not a simple chapter written by a single prophet. The Book is a collection of chapters that mimic the Holy Bible; through some amount of copying and complete additions of an entirely new story. Whereas the Bible contains the Old and New Testaments; Mormon scripture contains only select lines and mixes them with new material, while failing to provide credit or explanation for where the two doctrines diverge.
A prime example is the Book of Nephi from Mormon literature, versus the Book of Isaiah from the Christian Bible. In Nephi the Saints plagiarize lines from Isaiah in the first and second half, but they add their own take from Mormon prophets unknown to Christianity to fill the middle. It is amongst these additions that we find the most trouble, especially about Blacks, Jews and Indians. LDS calls these new Apostles preachers of the restored gospel and argues Christians and Jews will be judged for their failure to accept the newest version of the truth.
Many a writer has attempted critique of the Book of Mormon, as did Mark Twain (of Huckleberry Finn fame) at the time of its inception. In his best-selling novel Roughing It, the prolific wordsmith reports on his visit with the Saints of Salt Lake valley, while passing through to the California gold rush. He also stumbled upon the plagiarism and described the scripture as chloroform, also known as a sweet tasting poison. In defence of this criticism Brigham Young University continues to refute the assessment with some unkind words of their own and as an arm of the Church directly.
Mormons believe not only that Jesus, Adam and company were man-Gods, but that new Apostles can be born every day and they harken to the Mormon faith. Therefore they created the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as the Pearl of Great Price and the Journal of Discourses, to serve as companion guides with the Book of Mormon written by present day prophets like Mitt Romney and his ancestors (Abraham 1). A Mormon Apostle has a calling to receive new revelations which are just as important as Moses or Abraham in the days of yore. Only those of the Melchizedek Priesthood are endowed with this ability, but as previously noted the presidential hopeful is indeed one of them and subject to revelations that could change the course of faith at any time (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 289).
Strung throughout the core literature we find messages that are less than inspiring. Mormons believe they are the covenant people who are righteously able to wield the power of God, especially in judgment of Jews who do not convert to the Mormon version of Christianity.
“Wherefore he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” (2 Nephi 10:16)
Let us be clear that Mormons are the only remaining, entitled seed of Israel and the covenant made with Jewish descendants was overridden by a new covenant forged with modern day Apostles in America. The Jews were deemed a wicked abomination (Nephi 1: 19-20), for which vengeance must be sought (Mormon 8: 32-41), because they refuse to accept Jesus Christ as God and therefore their church is of the devil (1 Nephi 14). The Saints are further seeking justice against Jews for committing Jesus’ crucifixion (2 Nephi 10: 3) – however misplaced.
If anyone fails to heed Joseph Smith and his Quorum of Twelve Apostles they’ll be cut from society (Doctrine & Covenants 1: 14-18). As the true heirs to Israel, they brought the Book of Mormon across the seas to America as a “white, exceedingly fair and beautiful” people (1 Nephi 13: 15). They also slur at other churches for excluding their testimony by calling them harlots (1 Nephi 13). More spectacular is their claim the Mormon Twelve will constitute the panel that sits in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel (3 Nephi 27: 27) or they became a “dark and loathsome, filthy people” as punishment for disbelieving (1 Nephi 12: 9-10 & 23). Native Indian-Lamanites could become white and delightsome if only they bond through marriage to Mormon Elders, but I’m not sure the same deal is being offered to Orthodox Jews.
Brigham Young once asked his followers if you can make a Christian of a Jew. Although the answer was no, it was decided if a Jew renounced all they knew to become a Saint, that the evil blood of Judah would be purged from their veins (Journal of Discourses, Volume 2, page 142). Therefore, in a heartfelt plea unto their brothers of Israel, the Mormons provided one last chance to repent (Book of Mormon, Chapter 7),
“Know that ye are the house of Israel. Know that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved. Know that ye must lay down your weapons of war and delight no more in the shedding of blood…. Know that ye…. must…. repent of all your sins and iniquities and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God and that he was slain by the Jews…. Therefore repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus…. And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the covenant; and if…. ye believe in Christ and are baptized first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savoir…. it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.”
This statement applies to both Jews and Indians, who do not subscribe to the practice of baptism or Jesus Christ as the one almighty Savior. These apparent blasphemers were marked with a curse according to the Book of Alma 3: 6-11, although there are countless Mormon scriptures to solidify this division and reasons for the shades of sin,
“The skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren…. who were just and holy men. The Lord God set a mark upon them…. And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that the Lord might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction. And it came to pass that whosoever did mix his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his (children).”
Pertaining to Native Indians in North America, it was Mitt’s cousin Spencer Kimball who began the Indian Placement Program as president of the church. The idea was to assimilate them into Mormon, white culture; while providing education and baptism into LDS. As with any foster parenting there were good stories and bad, causing backlash that resulted in government study during 1977. Many natives accused the service of destroying indigenous culture and eventually it was disbanded in the year 2000, however unofficially. A non-profit group named Worlds of Difference sought to explore these challenges in protecting one’s heritage and produced a documentary examining the pros and cons of this program. In it they state,
“A handful of former students told me they had been physically or sexually abused in their foster homes, but were still grateful to have found the Gospel. A great number spoke of abuse in their natural families and of mothers who used Placement to protect them.”
Those who blended successfully may have become part of the singing group at Brigham Young University:
Another contentious part of Mormon culture has raised important questions for Blacks. From plentiful scriptures we can ascertain they were cursed with blackness for smiting the white God of Nephi (2 Nephi 5: 21-23). In 1954, Apostle Mark Peterson gave an especially troublesome address to the Mormon teacher’s conference about the Negro Question. It was after the US Army desegregated and a Supreme Court decision promoted integration amongst schools that he offered this,
“I have read enough to give you an idea what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a café where white people sit…. It appears the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. This is his objective and we must face it. We must (not) feel sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have…. This Negro…. which justified the Lord in sending him to earth…. with a black skin – if (he) is willing when he hears the Gospel to accept it…. and is truly converted…. he can enter the Kingdom. He will go there as a servant….”
This belief is stirred by a number of Mormon prophets. They assert the people of Canaan were cursed with heat, a barren land and marked with blackness on all their children to be despised throughout the land. Because they were black they could claim no place amongst the Saints either, except in continued servitude (Moses 7: 8, 9 & 22).
As governor, Brigham Young delivered a speech in the legislature on February 5, 1852. Entitled Slavery, Blacks and the Priesthood; he proceeded to inform the government about the origin of African blackness. He emphatically professes it to be the curse of Cain, from whence Cain slayed his brother Abel in the first murder committed by humans. Departing from Christianity however, the theocratic governor thought anyone who produced mixed children should be murdered as a favour,
“Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse…. upon themselves, but they entail it upon their children after them and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head – and kill man, woman and child, it would do a great deal toward atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? No it would be a blessing to them – it would do them good that they might be saved with their Bren. A man would shudder should they hear us talk about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood.”
Men did hear it though from this address in sitting government. Grandpa Parley and Uncle Orson held elected posts, as they continued debating the US Constitution on this matter. By their interpretation, it had no right to undermine the Territory of Utah and Blacks should never be afforded the right to assume office.
In continued persecution, their perceived lack of intelligence was documented in the Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 290,
“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of intelligence that is normally bestowed upon mankind…. Cain slew his brother…. and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind…. and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the “servant of servants” and they will be until the curse is removed; and the abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”
It goes on to say the curse can only be lifted after all the fair people have reached the priesthood. Only then, at the very end, can Blacks be relieved of the smiting put upon them. It is clear white skin accounts for holiness to Mormons because they also compare the shades of coloured races against one another, to suggest they each remember their own filthiness when seeking a hierarchy amongst the dejected (Jacob 3: 8, 9). The term white and delightsome has been repeated many times, in many speeches and Books (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 336).
A more detailed account of Indian skin colour becoming whiter due to Mormonism, Jews having their blood changed to achieve Mormon repentance, the curse of Cain and the selling of Black slaves between LDS Saints, police surveillance of dissidents, a shooting, legislative denial of civil rights, oppression of Martin Luther King and a Supreme Court case preventing Blacks from becoming Boy Scout leaders can be found in a thorough investigation here (162 pages of predominantly Black history with the Church of Mormon, including historical documents from the beginning until 2004).
Whereas discrimination against others can be summarized in paragraphs; it is impossible to quote the real actions taken against Blacks in this type of overview. There’s an extensive history behind the doctrine taught to Prophet Mitt Romney and I can only encourage sitting down with the above linked document as time permits.
It was 1978 when the Church relaxed restrictions against Blacks; so they could finally receive baptism, entry into the priesthood, marriage within the temple and acceptance to Heaven beyond that of servants. Despite pressures from the NAACP and like minds, an attempt to change policy earlier was blocked directly by the church president. Some have even suggested it was Grandpa Parley who helped to usher in the original ban against them.
Cousin Spencer Kimball was in charge of LDS at the time of Official Declaration 2 and explained it as a revelation he received, as a prophet, from up above, to let the Blacks in. It coincided nicely with the church’s expansion into Brazil, since it was harder in other countries to trace the ethnic origin of participants and find anyone of pure white heritage. In an effort to monitor the Saint’s evolution, it is noteworthy their first Black African authority wasn’t ordained to an executive position until 2009, despite the policy amendment occurring 31 years prior. Other ethnicities accepted earlier have either been released or excommunicated and women are still uninvited to the table of revelations.
This goal of expanding the church to a global scale was at definite cross purposes with the deeply rooted meaning of scripture. In an effort to alleviate the growing pains and convince Black members who’d been disaffected to return, the Genesis Group was created as support through a church auxiliary unit. The homepage opens with Darius explaining how he misses the old days when his parents were slaves unto masters and the times seemed more respectful. More uncomfortable is this month’s newsletter that spiritually discusses racism in Mormonism and offers an account of church missionaries calling Obama the N word. The church’s own site goes on to say that discrimination is widespread and Blacks are still treated differently.
Technically if you wanted to make a complaint, you could send one to Mitt Romney. He’s an executive at the church and his family is the board of directors. Coming up next is Good Ole Dad, followed byChurch Business. I leave you with this video of Mitt’s son, Tagg Romney, to offer a preview of what church, government and business look like when mixed together.
By now you’re asking what all that preamble has to do with the here and now. Mitt’s faith is protected by the Constitution and proudly so, but there are still political commandments to be fulfilled that could sacrifice everyone else’s rights in favour of a literal priesthood possessing the whole kit and caboodle.
To soothe doubts that compel us to minimize, we’re investigating how far the apple falls from the tree. We’ve already seen what patriarchs Parley, Helaman, Rey, Miles Sr., Miles Jr., Gaskell, George S., Marion, Vernon, Henry and Spencer have managed to accomplish in the spirit of Mormonism. Next is George W. Romney of more modern times, in his role as High Priest and Governor; similar to what Brigham Young achieved while in the process of establishing Utah. This is the example set by good ole dad, for his progeny Mitt to aspire and continue.
In tying the past to the present it would be an injustice to overlook the “W” in George Romney’s name. It hails from Charles Heinrich Wilcken, who shared the head of family on the maternal side along with Grandpa Parley (see family tree). At first the German connection appeared to be an anomaly, but research revealed why he would rank so high as to warrant a namesake in the formidable Romney clan.
Charles Wilcken was raised in Holstein and joined the German army when rebellion struck to decide if the area would break away from Denmark. It was a brutal, uncivil war that resulted in great atrocities; including mass graves and hand to hand combat where even women would need to fight for their lives. Grandpa Charles discovered heroism and found the idea of battle suited his personality quite well, so when the war ended he was disheartened and eventually immigrated to New York.
Speaking very little English, he joined the American army for employment and received orders to march on Utah almost immediately after arriving. The Saints refused to back down on polygamy in spite of federal law and the government was taking heavy losses in light of the Mormon’s scorched earth policy. They continued to set everything around the troops ablaze so they’d have no food, supplies or livestock to carry them through the winter.
The goal was to remove Brigham Young as theocratic governor and Grandpa Charles began on the side of the US President. It was not long that he found himself at odds with American culture and upon reaching Salt Lake he defected to the Saints’ militia.
The next bit comes to us from the Juvenile Instructor, published as the first American children’s magazine designed for teaching future leaders of the LDS religion. This was written as a series by none other than Charles Wilcken and circulated amongst Bishops for use in Mormon Sunday School,
“They acted hostile toward us and as punishment we were permitted to sack the town, or in other words allowed to do what we liked for three hours. During these three hours the people suffered terribly…. The saloons and whisky shops were visited first and in a short time almost every man was drunk or under the influence of liquor. This of course, made them (us)more wild and cruel. Houses and furniture were demolished, valuables taken, women ravaged and all manner of cruelties and wickedness were committed. If anyone interfered he was simply cut down. A scene like this beggars description and the people upon whom such a fate falls are indeed to be pitied.”
Reading further explains how Grandpa Charles was disgusted with the un-regimented nature of American forces, especially when he arrived in Utah to see the uniformity of Mormons in battle. Along with their military cohesion he was wooed by theo-democracy and now his story is shared with children to teach Mormon pride and their superiority over Israel,
“As a rule, the American army is made up of the scum of the nation – a lot of men that are worthless to society. The drunkard, the loafer and the depraved find, when they are at their rope’s end, an asylum in the army and become the “defenders of their country”…. Everything was so unlike German – no discipline, no care of dress, no punctuality, no order – it seemed to me more like a mob than a regular army and I soon became disgusted with my situation.
(Upon meeting the Saints of Salt Lake)
I pitied them because I thought…. they were under a religious spell…. Little did I think that I should soon change my mind and become as zealous a defender of the power as they were…. I had made up my mind to cast my lot with the Latter Day Saints….
I frequently compare our position as Latter Day Saints to a well organized army. We have our commander in chief, our generals, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants…. All of us have enlisted under the banner of Jehovah and made a covenant with Him, to serve Him with all our might, mind and strength. As good soldiers we should love our officers, have implicit confidence in them and yield obedience to their wishes and commands. They receive their orders from the great Captain of our salvation (Jesus) for our good, for our benefit and for our safety….
A Latter Day Saint should train himself to be blind to the faults and failings of his superiors…. Our only safety and deliverance from our enemies is based upon the condition of obedience…. But if we are disobedient and instead of keeping His laws break them, we must suffer the consequences…. My opinion is there will be no deliverance until Israel will humble themselves, repent of their sins and do as they are told.”
Before joining the Mormon militia and seeding the Romney family, Charles Wilcken received the Iron Cross for his bravely mentioned works on behalf of the German Reich. This is the same medal that was notoriously adorned by the chest of Adolph Hitler and I hesitantly emphasize their similar feelings toward a certain ethnic people.
Moving on, the heir to this name was deemed a moderate Republican. George Wilcken Romney claimed to support human rights and won his place as Governor of Michigan. During that time he declined political business on Sundays, in keeping with the Mormon holy day. This also allowed him to decline a march with Martin Luther King, in contrast to professing his support of the civil rights movement. In public life he rode the middle ground between electoral speeches made to gain support and conflicts with faith regarding the perception of African-Americans’ sinful origin. For this reason it is prudent to look at a politician’s actions in comparison to their words.
Under Romney’s watch the Detroit Riots occurred and police brutality against Blacks resulted in the beating of men, women and children. Others met a harsher fate and many were shot dead. Caucasian residents had previously erected a wall to bar them from entering their communities along Eight Mile Road. This is the same place Eminem tried to revive in our memories with an album and Oscar winning movie of the same title.
Events precipitating the riot included matters of housing, as Blacks were forced to pay much higher rent for much shabbier accommodation than their counterparts. Governor Romney oversaw the bulldozing of their neighbourhoods to make space for freeways that would better provide for his white and delightsome constituents. Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh had been making painstaking progress on the issue of race relations, but Romney fostered an arbitrary relationship with him as well.
On July 24 Romney overrode the mayor’s wishes, not to mention strong arming a reluctant President Lyndon B. Johnson by declaring a state of insurrection. Having already ordered Michigan State Police to take part, he now obligated federal troops to descend upon the Black and sympathetic masses. This violence spawned the type of mayhem that lives on in the darkest of infamy, to become a subject of study in most public schools.
From there, the governor attempted a run to replace Johnson as president. He was favoured to beat Nixon in the Republican primaries but bowed out before questions of his Mormon faith could become a factor. Richard Nixon of “I am not a crook” and Watergate fame succeeded in winning the White House.
Before his subsequent and scandalous resignation, he named George Romney as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Part of the mandate instructed HUD to desegregate Black housing and he was said to embrace this task with passion. However, implementation of the Fair Housing Act was lacking and George failed to meet with the NAACP or any legislative supporters to see it through.
He did get around to inventing the Ginnie Mae program though, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as integral parts of the working whole. It ushered in government-backed mortgages for low income families, to help pave the way to home ownership for the poor. On the surface it was a great triumph but in two short years and under George’s command, it became entirely defunct. Numerous lawyers and real estate agents were indicted for fraud, as the value of inner city properties was inflated and loans were made to black families who could never afford them. This resulted in massive default and left the government on the hook for every cent they owed, due to lacking oversight on the part of HUD. This other scandal was enough to end desegregation efforts and resembles the subprime crash that Obama inherited from Republicans years later.
George Romney also formed the National Recovery Administration. Again it contained a few good principles like putting an end to child labour, but it was deemed unconstitutional for industry price fixing and issues of anti-trust. The NRA placed powers of regulation directly into corporate hands, greater than even congress possessed. This led to increasing costs by a whopping 40 percent, to be borne by customers and played precisely into Romney’s Mormon ideal of “competitive cooperative capitalism”.
Despite the federal government dismantling the organization it continued rebelliously after the fact. In the campaign, if a business failed to support the platform by placing a poster in their storefront, they were punished with calls for boycott. This poster is particularly famous and served as inspiration for the Philadelphia Eagles logo (NFL), but it also inspired the Second New Deal giving unions greater purpose. In essence, this socialism for CEOs resulted in so much backlash that it propelled more democratic minds to enshrine the rights of the workforce.
Looking deeper into the mind of dearest dad we must visit the National Center for Voluntary Action, created by his hand as well. It acted as a clearinghouse of volunteer information to liaise between the private sector and government; as a privately funded entity established by executive order of the president (Nixon). Throughout some ups and downs and replication by George W. Bush, it was eventually merged and translated into the Points of Light foundation with his.
As thanks for conceding to the newer president, George Romney was honoured with the first Lenore and George Romney Award, in celebration of his lifetime achievement. Some may find it odd to win your own blessing, but we’ll leave that as it is. Lenore then became the Points of Light director after her failed Republican bid for senate. The NY Times described her as a faithful, Mormon, stay-at-home mom, who thought the ride to government would be easy with a royal (prophetic) name like Romney to support her ambitions.
Behind the scenes was a different story and one that is yet unknown. This explanation is shared by a Canadian-Korean war veteran, in the official newsletter circulated by the military organization (please see September’s PDF version or non PDF version). The gentleman provides a thorough background, stating he is the true creator of this Romney legacy (Points of Light) and he never received payment, thanks or credit for his work. George accepted the glory and this soldier was never to be mentioned.
Since George was the Governor of Michigan and LDS stake president for Detroit, both political and religious affairs put the Romneys in touch with Canada. Part of his boundary included Ontario, where the famous vacation property is located that managed to spark negative headlines. First was the dog sadly strapped to the roof and then came the irony that Mitt celebrates every Fourth of July at this very cottage across the border.
Americans may not be familiar with the significance of this campaign blunder, but their Canadian cousins attach notoriety to the Beach O’ Pines property as a matter of racial discrimination. The real story hinges on a terrible smudge in their past that resulted in a Supreme Court decision and legislative amendments.
It was 1948 when Mrs. Noble tried to sell her property in the gated community. Upon closing the transaction however, the purchaser’s attorney discovered a socially outdated and pre-existing covenant that would serve to cause him trouble.
“The lands and premises herein described shall never be sold, assigned, transferred, leased, rented or in any manner whatsoever alienated to, and shall never be occupied or used in any manner whatsoever by any person of the Jewish, Hebrew, Semitic, Negro or coloured race or blood, it being the intention and purpose of the Grantor, to restrict the ownership, use, occupation and enjoyment of the said recreational development, including the lands and premises herein described, to persons of the white or Caucasian race not excluded by this clause.”
Mr. Wolf, the purchaser, was of Russian-Jewish descent and Mrs. Noble wasn’t happy with the covenant against him either. At the height of the appeal, Beach O’ Pines residents hired their own attorney to protect these oppressive rights on behalf of the exclusive community that favoured them. It was then George Romney moved the family in and considering the high profile nature for Canadian human rights, he could not have missed knowing about the bitter fight against them. In fact, he would have purchased his home with the identical covenant on it.
As property owners the Romneys were covered by the legal umbrella arguing in favour of maintaining the race restrictions. They bought at the very moment in Canadian history, when a gated establishment was trying to prevent progress from happening. The case wasn’t settled until November 1950 and well after the Fourth of July Mitt would have spent there. It’s a battle the group doesn’t wish to speak about and a victory the Law Times calls Ontario’s dark legal past.
One of George’s last major contributions came through Brigham Young University. It was established by the first Saints of Utah and continues to be a Mormon facility, where all the Romneys graduated and then administrated or provided seminars. It contains the Marriot School of Management thanks to J. Willard Marriott, for whom Mitt Romney is named after. It also houses the Romney Institute of Public Management to instruct religious degrees in political science, as Brigham Young would have wanted.
In the next installment we’ll examine the empire of lucrative Church Business; followed by Insider Trading and finally what it means to the ultimate Church Power that Mitt wields on behalf of the Mormon Party of America. There’s a reason he won’t open the books and you’re on the cusp of understanding why.