An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case Against Mormonism

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AN AMERICAN FRAUD: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism

"Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God or it is nothing."-LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, April Conference, 2003.

Many Mormons assume that this and other similar proclamations by Mormon Leaders are rhetorical statements. But what if the LDS leaders meant something else? It is estimated that more than 1-1.5 million ...

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AN AMERICAN FRAUD: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism

"Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God or it is nothing."-LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, April Conference, 2003.

Many Mormons assume that this and other similar proclamations by Mormon Leaders are rhetorical statements. But what if the LDS leaders meant something else? It is estimated that more than 1-1.5 million Mormons have resigned from the LDS Church since 1995. This book exposes why there is such a recent, formal abandonment of Mormonism by, in many cases, previously devout members of the Church.

Admittedly, the LDS Church "stands or falls," on the divinity of "The Book of Mormon." However, it has been proven that "The Book of Mormon" is not a translation of ancient American history engraved in "reformed Egyptian," on golden plates buried by an early American prophet. Instead, it has been shown to be a 19th-century work of fiction authored by Joseph Smith and perhaps others.

Until the advent of widespread internet access, most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, rarely read outside the strictly proscribed canonized scriptures, books and magazines approved by Church leaders. But over the past 10-15 years, Mormons have begun to discover facts about LDS history that had only previously been known to very few, mainly scholarly historians of Mormonism.

Through the discovery of these primary historical sources, now available on numerous internet sites, most intelligent and curious Mormons have reached a critical point and are furious. If they read, they have become disaffected and disoriented. Many are experiencing existential crises. Those who refuse to look outside Mormon Society for Truth have become increasingly self-righteous and insular. Older Mormons are confused and frightened.

The first third of "An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism," chronicles the Author's journey out of the Religion. The second two-thirds of the Book, the last six chapters, are an exposé including an analysis under the law. The Author, an experienced civil trial attorney, places the activities of Mormon Leaders over almost two centuries in their proper legal framework, analyzing not only the misrepresentations, but the resulting damages: political, environmental and especially psycho-social.

Ms. Burningham writes that a determination of whether Mormon Leaders have historically misrepresented the origins of LDS theology does not involve a judicial evaluation of the truth of religious beliefs and is therefore not beyond the reach of the American legal system-it is not constitutionally barred. The issue is not whether Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or the efficacy of prayer. These things could never be determined by a secular court of law. Instead, the fraud committed by generations of Mormon Leaders is that they have misrepresented the facts surrounding the source of their scriptures, presenting that source as divine, when they have known otherwise.
Neither the golden plates, nor the writings by the Old Testament prophet Abraham, claimed to have been inscribed on purchased Egyptian papyri, ever existed. Furthermore, the claimed visitations by biblical apostles to restore lost priesthoods to Smith and his colleagues never occurred. And yet for decades LDS leaders have at least ignored, if not suppressed and grossly misrepresented, what has been proven to be the true facts surrounding Mormonism's origins, reworking and re-packaging the founding facts and the theology as necessary.

Those who joined the Church or continued on in the Religion reasonably relied on LDS leaders' misrepresentations to their significant detriment. Given what has been proven about its sources, the Author claims that the Mormon Religion cannot continue to be defended under any guise as a religious organization for the good of its members.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615465890
  • Publisher: AmicaVeritatis
  • Publication date: 7/28/2011
  • Pages: 566
  • Sales rank: 1,249,668
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Kay Burningham is a United States civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

Ms. Burningham has tried a variety of civil cases in San Diego, California, U.S., Superior Court. In the early nineties she served as a San Diego Superior Court judge pro tem/civil settlement officer and arbitrator where she assisted in the resolution of a variety of civil cases. Since returning to Utah, she has tried cases in Utah District Court and has successfully argued before the Utah Supreme Court.

The Author was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) for most of her life. In 2001, she officially resigned from the Mormon Church. Ms. Burningham is an active member of the State Bar Associations of both Utah and California and practices in both jurisdictions.

She was recently interviewed by John Sweeney, along with former Mormons, Park Romney, Jeff Ricks (founder of LDS Apostle Jeff Holland and others for the BBC documentary "This World--the Mormon Candidate," about Mitt Romney and Mormonism. The documentary aired in the UK on March 27, 2012. Kay has also been interviewed by Doris Hanson, the host of a popular Christian television show, in two-parts, and was interviewed for the German press, FAZ/FAS. These videos and interview links can be accessed through her website at:

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2012

    From time to time, we all come across a book that we cannot put

    From time to time, we all come across a book that we cannot put down. This was just such a book for me, probably because Kay Burningham's experience with Mormonism parallels my own on so many levels.

    There is, of course, one major problem with the book: few active Mormons will --most lamentably-- read it. As Burningham accurately substantiates in her analysis, to read anything that is not church approved, sanctioned by the hierarchy, is deemed... a sin, a heresy, blasphemy, sacrilege, unworthy, shameful. As "apostle" Boyd K. Packer explicitly told the seminary and institute teachers decades ago, "If it doesn't build faith, we don't teach it --even if it's true."

    Burningham's book does convey the cold, hard truth about Mormonism, and backs it up with a wealth of documented sources and statistics, i.e., evidence that would stand up in a court of law. While reading it, I could not help but fantasize how very much I would like to watch the author cross examine Packer on the witness stand, sworn to finally tell, once and for all, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

    Most of the work covers a verifiable list of historical facts about the origins of Mormonism, its claims and doctrines, the past and present practices of its leaders, and the lamentable consequences in members' lives. Burningham introduces and summarizes these facts by relating how they influenced her own life through the years, thus adding a intimate touch that helps readers understand and empathize with the very real affects on real people in the real world.

    Indeed, I must concede that the author's experience with Mormonism has been even more traumatic than my own, precisely because she is a woman. Make no mistake: women have always been second-class citizens in Mormonism, excluded from positions of real authority and power, marginalized in a mandated "homemaker" role, subservient to the dictates of fathers and husbands who hope to become "gods" in the afterlife, surrounded and attended to by their multiple wives. Yes, that's right: contrary to what the "brethren" state in public nowadays, polygamy has only been "suspended" for the time being. Mormon dogma still deems it a requirement to enter into the "highest degree of the celestial kingdom" (the "heaven" where god dwells).

    In this regard, I take serious issue with the one reviewer who gave the book one "star," claiming that her own life as a Mormon woman has been exemplary, as though an occasional exception invalidates the general rule. Statistics do not lie. Nor do scientific data. How telling that said reviewer conveniently sidestepped the main question: whether or not Mormonism's claims are fraudulent. Personal anecdote simply does not eclipse the evidence: the Nephites never existed, Abraham did not author the Egyptian papyri, the temple ceremony was purloined from Freemasonry, etc., etc. In short, Joseph Myth was a consummate liar.

    Most shocking of all, as Packer's statement epitomizes above, the Mormon authorities to this day knowingly continue to perpetuate those lies --for their own gain and to the members' detriment. From the very beginning, they have managed to forge a near perfect combination of the psychology experiments of Stanley Milgram (obedience to authority) and Solomon Asch (conformity) into a modus operandi, which they then reinforce by constantly tapping into believers' emotions of fear, guilt, and shame. Burningham systematically exposes readers to what lies beneath the slick, polished, "osmondized" surface that they advertise to the world at large.

    I highly recommend this book, and commend Burningham for having the integrity and courage to write it. Apostates will undoubtedly find it informative, familiar --and touching. Should any active Mormons dare to clandestinely pick it up, it will actually provide them comfort and reassurance that they are not alone in their doubts --even though it seems like everyone around them claims to "know" that the emperor is wearing the finest of clothes.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Honest, hearfelt, heartbreaking and true.

    Honest, hearfelt, heartbreaking and true.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this e-book because it was entertaining

    I really enjoyed reading this e-book because it was entertaining, insightful, hard-hitting, and accurate. It was enjoyable and funny. I also learned a lot of factual information about the LDS church that I hadn't heard before. Inaccuracies abound in many books written about the LDS religion. The title of the book begs for a legalistic approach, which it eventually provides. But not until after the author discusses her youth and own personal experiences in an open and comical way. So it didn't really get boring for me at all. The book discussed controversial aspects of the LDS religion in a lawyer-like manner, with facts to back up each statement. This approach was very refreshing, because it provided references for each item, yet was very readable because each topic was condensed to an understandable point. The author obviously has a rich background in the religion as a devout follower in her childhood and college years. I really enjoyed how she was able to intertwine personal experiences growing up in the Mormon religion in Utah, with her spiritual awakening as she traveled to Africa with a group of B.Y.U. student performers. This book would be a very good media guide for someone in the media who is trying to get a basic understanding of Mormonism, from an objective viewpoint. There are many very good people who belong to this religion who have unfortunately been shielded from an objective study of their church's true historical beginnings. So their knowledge base is limited to personal experiences and heresay. This book should be read by the general LDS church membership so that the shortcomings of the religion are better understood. This would make it easier to converse with members who typically react emotionally to criticism, in a much more positive rational way. The religion produces many very good quality citizens. Mitt Romney is a good example. The book is very useful given our current Presidential race, and is a handy guide to understanding what has been a very mysterious church for many outsiders. Thanks to Ms. Burningham for writing such an enjoyable, original book on such a controversial topic as the Mormon religion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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