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LDS Church issues statement regarding legal action, fraud allegation

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Posted at 8:56 PM, Mar 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-14 23:00:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement Friday in response to legal proceedings in Britain that came about as a result of claims some of the LDS Church’s teachings are fraudulent.

Arguments were heard by the Westminster Magistrate District Court Friday after action brought forward by Tom Phillips.

LDS Church Spokesman Cody Craynor released a pair of statements Friday in response to the issue:

“There was absolutely no requirement for President Monson to appear today. The Church was represented by legal counsel to contest the appropriateness of the summons.”

“Unfortunately there is nothing to stop a member of the public with a personal grievance playing this kind of mischief with the legal system. The Church respects the judicial system and the law, and we are well prepared to see the process through. A court case which seeks to put a religion on trial for its theology has no precedent and we are ultimately confident that it will be dismissed.”

A transcript of a podcast interview with Phillips posted on MormonThink.com details Phillips’ reasoning for the legal action. MormonThink.com lists Phillips as its current managing editor.

The transcript quotes Phillips: “First of all, this is not allegations of fraud against the religion. This is a criminal allegation against a corporate entity that is worldwide, that markets in a deceptive manner in order to receive financial benefit. It is a corporation that sends out salesman, eighty thousand[s] of them or whatever, to market a product. Not only do they not give full disclosure, they actually give false information about their product, and about their history, their doctrines, and they do not give full disclosure. These allegations are all based on factual statements. So this is the case. If you look at this as a corporation they have committed financial fraud under this specific act. It’s not a type of religion.”