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Mormon leader accused of fraud, ordered to appear in British court

Thomas Monson
Thomas Monson

Thomas Monson, leader of the Mormon Church, has been ordered to appear before a British court to answer charges of fraud. Monson, considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" in the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is accused of making statements he knows to be factually untrue in order to secure tithes from church members, according to a Washington Post report issued Feb. 5.

Late last week a district judge in Westminster Magistrates’ Court of London issued a summons to Monson to appear before the court on March 14 to answer charges alleging that his church's teachings about mankind are fraudulent. Asking members of the Mormon Church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act of 2006.

Raw Story reports court records show the facts in question are tenets of the Mormon faith, including that Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon from ancient gold plates, that Native Americans are descendants of a family of Israelites, and that death didn’t exist on this planet until 6,000 years ago.

The charges of fraud and subsequent summons stems from legal action initiated by Tom Phillips, a former Mormon bishop and stake president who now runs MormonThink, a website which is critical of the church.

The Mormon Church dismissed the summons as containing “bizarre allegations” and signaled that Monson has no plans to attend.

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