After nearly three years of writing on this blog, I have covered all manner of unexpected stories related to religion, but this one really caught me by surprise.
Laura A. Gaddy, represented by her attorney Kay Burningham, has filed a class action lawsuit against the Mormon Church.
Why did she file the lawsuit? I already covered plenty of reasons why the Mormon Church should be subjected to scrutiny in a series of posts, but this is something new.
Gaddy's grievances are based on the Mormon Church's changing doctrine.
Gaddy was raised in the Mormon Church since her childhood. So she is suing them because she believes they lied to her. Her anger is based on the church “misrepresenting the foundational history of Mormonism.”
According to Gaddy, the church has “whitewashed” and “manipulated” their history. This, according to Gaddy, has lead to “immeasurable emotional harm in the form of existential crises, suicides, broken families, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.”
Right. I mean, it sure is true that Joseph Smith was a con-artist and made up the whole Mormon scam, but... I sure did not expect a lawsuit like this.
So, what exactly is Gabby's point of contention? Well, there are many, but we can focus on one example. She claims that the gold plates the Mormon Church has claimed Joseph Smith found were recently called into question by leaders of the Mormon Church, who admitted that Smith did not directly use the gold plates to create the Book of Mormon. That is a BIG contradiction to traditional Mormon teaching.
Basically, all the differences between reality and what the Mormon Church teaches as part of its history have all added up and become too much for Gaddy to bear.
In her lawsuit, Gaddy is seeking the following: an award of special damages equal to the out-of-pocket monetary loss from such violations in the sum of the amount that she and each class member has paid in tithing, tuition and/or personal missionary expense over the course of their affiliation with the church, coverage of attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages for all common law fraud-based claims, breach of fiduciary duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
So, she wants to be repaid for everything she has paid into the church over her life, as well as the additional court fees.
An interesting point regarding this lawsuit is that Kay Burningham, Gabby's lawyer, wrote the book "An American Fraud. One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism."
Here is one review of that book: "'An American Fraud,' is an historically significant work that calls out the most insidious fraud of American culture for what it is. It is a timeless masterpiece, and will be associated with the beginning of the end of Mormonism in years to come. It is an essential work for any library on the subject matter of Mormonism to be considered complete." That review was written by Park B. Romney, the author of "The Apostasy of a High Priest-The Sociology of An American Cult."
I actually do not have high hopes that this lawsuit will be successful. I just cannot imagine a court ruling that a religion changing some of its doctrine is a crime. I mean, religions have been changing their doctrines whenever it suits them throughout time.
Whatever happens, I do look forward to watching the drama unfold.