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Special Report: Fracking Nuclear Waste, Say What? #cdnpoli #onpoli

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.

 

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(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.

 

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(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.

 

May 2010: Kellie Leitch becomes a trustee at a Dundee company that oversees real estate. These portfolios include a considerable roster of oil companies and the National Energy Board.

 

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.

 

December 2012: The federal government passes controversial legislation to de-monitor Canada’s water and reduce environmental assessments, in favour of oil lobbyist demands.

 

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?

 

Part 1/8 – Mitt Romney & Corporate Mormonism – Religious Royalty

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: