Friday, October 14, 2011

World Nut Daily Publishes Puff Piece About Tricia Erickson's Anti-Mormon Screed Entitled "Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters?"

The website in question is officially named World Net Daily, but I've re-designated it World Nut Daily after its headlong descent into gutter journalism. On October 12th, 2011, WND published what can only be described as a puff piece about Tricia Erickson's new book entitled "Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America."

The article, entitled "Mormon bishop's daughter spills Romney's 'secrets'", confers a completely undeserved patina of respectability upon Erickson and her hysterical screed. First, the very title of Erickson's book is a blatant lie. Mitt Romney has repeatedly said that if elected president, he will not take orders from Salt Lake City. Therefore, there's no question about him serving two masters. Richard Bushman, a Mormon and previous missionary himself who has taught at Harvard, Columbia and Brown Universities, says that although templeworthy Mormons have held national office for over a century now, he knows of no single instance where they have succumbed to church direction against their own consciences.

To add insult to injury, Joe Kovacs, the article's author, regurgitates four of Tricia Erickson's smears about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without any attempt at further explanation. According to Tricia Erickson, Romney believes:

-- He will become a "god" in the afterlife and be given his own planet. This, of course, is a true statement about Mormon beliefs, but is simple-minded. Godhood will only be available to those who qualify for celestial glory with exaltation, and will require incalculable additional time and training in the spirit world before it can be conferred upon us.

-- Satan is Jesus' literal brother. A misrepresentation designed to create the false impression that we value Jesus and Satan equally. While we believe that our Heavenly Father, in concert with the Heavenly Mother, created the spirit tabernacles for both Jesus and Lucifer (as he was known then), as well as for the rest of us, their subsequent actions -- and ultimate fates -- differ radically.

-- Jesus was not born of a virgin birth. This is a lie; Mormon doctrine holds that the Father begot Jesus Christ with Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, but the precise technique has not been revealed. Furthermore, we believe that Mary was indeed a virgin before she conceived Jesus. Some LDS authors and even former presidents of the Church have speculated on the process, but their speculations are not to be considered doctrinal. For the umpteenth time, the Journal of Discourses is NOT considered one of the Standard Works of the Gospel.

-- He will be given his own afterlife kingdom where he will have sexual relations with his wife, Ann, to populate his kingdom with spirit children as God the Father Himself has a wife on His own planet. We believe that when an exalted couple are finally ordained to Godhood, they will receive the power to tabernacle unorganized intelligences with spirit bodies after their image, just like our Father did with us. Apparently Tricia Erickson is a bit more obsessed with the "sexual" part; as Latter-day Saints, we really have better things to do than to speculate about if or how celestial beings have sex.

Tricia Erickson also claims that we Mormons have a "secret agenda" to take over the government, and that we've "infiltrated" people into the CIA and the FBI. Of course, she provides no objective evidence to support this claim, not even on her personal blog. One reason why Mormons are considered to be particularly attractive candidates by the CIA is because of the language training many received before going on missions.

World Nut Daily also provided a brief sanitized version of Tricia Erickson's life. They note that she was married in an LDS temple at the age of 19, but subsequently left the Church and now considers herself a non-denominational "Christian", but fail to report details about her professional past that impinge upon her personal integrity. Back on July 8th, 2011, I disclosed that Tricia Erickson was found to be a professional scam artist in the past. In May 1999, the FTC charged Model 1, Inc., and its president, Jason Hoffman; Creative Talent Management, Inc. and its president, Ralph Bell; and The Erickson Agency, Inc., and its president, then known as Patricia Erickson, with misrepresenting their ability to get lucrative jobs for consumers who contracted for their modeling and acting courses. The FTC's complaint also alleged that the defendants misrepresented themselves as highly selective in scouting, screening and reviewing consumers for marketability as models or actors. Model 1, Inc., Jason Hoffman, Creative Talent Management, Inc. and Ralph Bell settled FTC charges on August 27th, 1999. The terms of the settlement are posted in this FTC press release.

One must wonder why World Nut Daily didn't find it necessary to include this information. If some itinerant blogger could find it with a minimum of effort, then a major news website should be able to find it much easier. What was publisher Joseph Farah's real purpose in not publishing the information? At least Farah had the integrity to print two letters to the editor in reaction to the article, both expressing disagreement. Farah also published official LDS reaction; spokeswoman Jessica Moody says she encourages everyone to read the church's core beliefs as well as articles of faith posted online. And in regards to the plan of salvation, the LDS church states, "The mortal existence is seen in the context of a great sweep of history, from a pre-Earth life where the spirits of all mankind lived with Heavenly Father to a future life in His presence where continued growth, learning and improving will take place."

But this article is why I can no longer consider World Net Daily a reputable journalistic source. In recent years, Joseph Farah has increasingly displayed OCD behavior; his obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate is legendary and infamous. It's too bad a once-respected news source has degenerated to the level of the National Enquirer.


Jason said...

I'm afraid you may not understand that the whole thing about "intelligences" and how spirits are formed as not been revealed. The intelligences spoken of in Abraham are in fact speaking of spirit children of God. Joseph Smith said that we are co-eternal with God, that our spirits are in fact eternal. However, we believe God to be the creator of our spirits. There is no official doctrine stating that there is some sort of transitional blob that precedes the formation of spirits.

Jack Mormon said...

Jason - I am basing this on W. Cleon Skousen's analysis in The First 2000 Years, in which he explains that we have always existed as intelligences, but when we were first encountered by the Father after He received His kingdom, we were offered the opportunity to be tried, tested, and tabernacled. Once we had reached a certain level, we were "locked in", and given a spirit tabernacle. This concept is also put forth in Eric Skousen's book, Earth In The Beginning.

Both Skousens state at the beginning of their books that their conclusions may not always represent official church doctrine.

Appreciate your input nonetheless; it's a reminder that wherever the Lord has not specifically ruled, debate will take place.

D. W. said...

I believe you misunderstand the historic Christian doctrine of virgin birth. It is that Mary was a virgin before the conception of Jesus, during the pregnancy, and at the time of the birth of Jesus - not just before the conception - thus it was a truly miraculous conception. After that, Mary and Joseph entered into normal marital sexual relations where her virginity is 'lost' That seems to be the basis of Erickson's statement, meaning then its not a lie.