It appears that the false doctrine of infallibility has claimed yet more victims in the Mormon Church, this time in Colorado. There are those that claim Mormons that believe in blindly following their Priesthood Leaders, are easy targets for evil men that hide behind their leadership in the Church.
Take for instance, the 67 investors that gave over $20 million dollars to their Mormon Bishop, Shawn Merriman.
"Since the early 1990s, Merriman told his victims they were getting annual returns of 7 to 20 percent from stock market investments.
However, in 2009, the Aurora man admitted he was spending the money on himself, rather than investing it in the stock market.
Merriman lived in a million dollar home in Aurora where in 2009, federal agents seized his assets including a new motor home, a classic car collection, boats and motorcycles. The U.S. government will now have to auction off those items to try and recover money for Merriman's victims.
Most of his victims were fellow Mormon Church members, friends of friends, or fellow hobbyists.
"I even count my change at McDonald's because I don't trust any more," Todd McCann, one of Merriman's victims, said." (Source)
Currently, the Church has no policies against the practice of those in Leadership positions from profiting from the trust that their position affords. Everything from multi-level marketing scams, to fraudulant business transactions, are promoted by some of those that hold positions of leadership. Even more sinister, are those that molest children or worse, like the Church Seminary Principal that used his position to seduce at least one of his students.
In the LDS Church, individuals are "called" to positions by their Priesthood leaders. They are then "sustained" by the congregation(s) they are to serve. Mormons believe that these calls come from God, through inspiration, and are a reflection of the individual's "worthiness" and obedience to God. When individuals are publicly "sustained", there is a call for opposing votes, but some complain that those who have valid reasons for objecting are often considered "Apostate" for questioning the inspiration of their leaders.
Joseph Smith, the Founder of the Mormon Church, came out publicly against this very practice.
The Rule of Law states that all men, regardless of wealth, social status or political connections, should be held to the same standards. In other words, all men should be on equal ground when it comes to the law. This is the foundation of everything from the Magna Charta, to the Mayflower Compact, Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Rule of Law also applies to religious organizations as well. Granting immunity to any individual, regardless of position in a Church, will always lead to destabilization. The Catholic Church is now suffering the consequences of ignoring and even covering the crimes of its leadership.
When someone gives a criminal a good recommendation, they assume the liability for the consequences of that recommendation and can be held accountable in a Court of Law. Failure to comply with due diligence processes that include credit checks, verifying references, and even criminal background checks, will be punished by both judge and jury. Failure to document and respond to those that have just cause to oppose those placed in positions of trust, also creates culpability for their criminal actions.
Those that have been defrauded or abused by someone placed in authority will ultimately ask questions about those that put them there. If they find out, that things were reported and ignored, they will win multi-million dollar lawsuits in a Court of Law. No Church is immune to these principals, nor should it be.
Those that have authority over a flock are expected to defend that flock from the ravening wolves that threaten it. Failure to do so is a crime. Sooner or later, the sheep will figure this out. When they do, the Mormon Church, like any other Church that ignores the cries of its victims, will be pulling out its checkbook and hiding from the cameras.
Are you an attorney? I have a list of victims that need your help. email me: firstname.lastname@example.org