SALT LAKE CITY — A new online venue has launched, targeting what happens behind the scenes at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The goal of the website is simply to promote transparency within the LDS church,” said Ryan McKnight, Founder of MormonWikileaks.com.
On Monday, he published four internal church documents: a memo to the Executive Director of the Temple Department about unauthorized photos and videos of temples online, an organizational chart for the Intellectual Property Division, a memo regarding the operation and procedures of the Correlation Committee and a memo reminding local leaders to get consent before disclosing details of Church welfare assistance members have received unless a subpoena has been issued.
“If it has to do with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or the First Presidency, chances are that’s going to be put out because they’re public figures and they have a responsibility to their members,” said McKnight.
McKnight admits nothing currently on the site is a "bombshell" and he said it should not be seen in a negative light. Already, he said, two different people working at the church have offered him tithing records of famous Mormons. The example he gave is BYU and NFL great Steve Young.
In October, McKnight made headlines when he released a series of leaked videos on his youtube channel ‘Mormonleaks’. Ironically, the one that has drawn the most views (over 30,000), features a presenter warning church leaders about cyber security.
“Could Wikileaks or a group like wikileaks embarrass or damage the church,” the presenter is heard saying in the video.
During the discussion with the presenter, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made a comment sparking dozens of online comments.
“I’m suspicious that the news media cover up anything involving homosexuals when it would work to the disadvantage of the homosexual agenda,” said Oaks.
The comment, McKnight said, is the kind of thing Mormonwikileaks seeks to expose.
“The rhetoric that we heard them spout in that video was very different from their current rhetoric they are presenting to the public,” said McKnight.
The church declined to comment for this story.