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Mormon Church Goes After WikiLeaks

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the for-once-its-not-the-scientologists dept.

Censorship 1172

An anonymous reader writes "The Mormon Church has instructed its lawyers to gag the Internet over WikiLeaks' release of the 1968 and 1999 versions of its confidential handbook for Church leaders. Apart from attacking WikiLeaks, legal demands were sent to Jimmy Wales of the WikiMedia foundation for a WikiNews article merely linking to the material, and scribd.com has also been censored. WikiLeaks has (of course) refused to remove the documents."

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"Gag the Internet" (5, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401444)

That would be as easy as pushing water uphill with a sharp stick :-)

Re:"Gag the Internet" (5, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401508)

That would be as easy as pushing water uphill with a sharp stick :-)

"Dum, dum, dum, dum, DUM!"

Re:"Gag the Internet" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401530)

I usually say "jello uphill with a toothpick", myself.
Maybe Barbara Streisand [wikipedia.org] can write a song about WikiLeaks.

Re:"Gag the Internet" (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401564)

That would be as easy as pushing water uphill with a sharp stick :-)

John Lennon said it:

Like trying to shovel smoke
with a pitchfork
in the wind

Re:"Gag the Internet" (1, Funny)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401622)

CORNY CLICHE MODE ENGAGED...

"Some m****rf****rs are always trying to ice skate uphill."

--Wesley Snipes as Blade

  EO CORNY CLICHE MODE...

Re:"Gag the Internet" (5, Funny)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401692)

Step 1: Place stick in water. Leave enough to hold on to with both hands poking out.
Step 2: Freeze the water.
Step 3: Push the frozen water uphill with the stick.

Re:"Gag the Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401874)

Step 4: ???
Step 5: Profit

That's a strong stick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401882)

Or did you mean "freeze the water AROUND the stick (and no more) because if you freeze the water the stick is in, then you've frozen the river into its banks.

And that stuff is heavy...

Re:"Gag the Internet" (5, Funny)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401842)

"Gag the Internet" I had no idea Mormons were so kinky.

Pushing Water Uphill (3, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401876)

It's quite easy, if you freeze the water into the shape of a wheel and put the sharp stick through the middle.

"What do they teach in the schools these days?"

Re:"Gag the Internet" (5, Informative)

KnightMB (823876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401990)

That would be as easy as pushing water uphill with a sharp stick :-)
Especially since I just made a torrent for the file in question :-) Get the torrent here: http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/4187865/Mormon_Church_Handbook_of_Instructions_(1999).4187865.TPB.torrent [thepiratebay.org]

Inevitably.. (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401454)

Good morning, Mormon Church. Say hello to Ms. Streisand [wikipedia.org] for me!

Re:Inevitably.. (-1, Redundant)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401542)

Sorry, man: saw you'd beaten me by six minutes on that link only after clicking Submit.

Re:Inevitably.. (5, Interesting)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401590)

The funny thing is, from a quick look at the Wikileaks summary (I didn't read the handbook itself), the handbook doesn't even seem that bad. Pretty standard Christian stuff, the Catholic church generally sticks to the same standards.

Re:Inevitably.. (1)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401672)

After a quick skim of the material, I have to agree. IANAM (I am not a Mormon) but I can't see why the LDS cares that this handbook is out in the open. You would think that it would be publicly available, maybe on their own website.

All legitimate churches have some sort of bylaws they operate under. Maybe I'm missing something...

Re:Inevitably.. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401814)

Maybe they object to the filename having "Mormon" in it.

Re:Inevitably.. (5, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401758)

I concur. The manual seems fairly well thought out, and doesn't have any really good secret stuff I was hoping to read. I don't know why LDS wants it concealed. In fact, I'd argue that manual is strong evidence to the rest of the Christian world that LDS is not an out-there weird cult.

Perhaps LDS wants it publicized? Threatening Wikileaks is the perfect way to do it!

Re:Inevitably.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401986)

"I'd argue that manual is strong evidence to the rest of the Christian world that LDS is not an out-there weird cult."

Well, the facts surrounding the origins of the Mormon church, and their behavior since then, strongly testify that it IS an out-there weird cult. Joseph Smith, their founder, was a well-documented fraudster. Apparently he alleged that he received some sort of revelation from God that only he could read using a very large pair of "special" reading glasses. Mormons also believe that when they die, they become gods of their own planet, and that our own planet is ruled over by one such god. This begs the question "Who was the first god?" And perhaps you've heard on the news about the Mormon polygamist compound in Texas that was recently raided? Many of the girls under 18 were found to be with child, and many had broken bones indicating child abuse.

Re:Inevitably.. (5, Interesting)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401686)

...Which makes you wonder if they wanted it to Streisand. When was the last time you think they got so many non-Mormons reading about them. Another poster said it is rather innocuous. On the heels of the FLDS blowup, I think lots of people reading stuff that shows your church in a good light is a great plan.

Well played, sirs.

Re:Inevitably.. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401694)

They may be counting on that. Much easier than sending people to your door.
Their documents are probably mostly benign (albeit private) compared to Scientology's stuff.

How come nobody ever learns from this? (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401456)

You'd think after the Swiss bank debacle it'd be pretty well known that trying to suppress this kind of information (particularly when it's distributed by an international organization), just guarantees that it will be more widely disseminated than it'd otherwise have been.

Someone circulate a memo about the Steisand effect to the lawyers of the US.

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401544)

Deeply religious people don't learn from the mistakes of others on the first try. In fact most people can't wrap their head around the idea of global communications and a global economy. Take a look at efforts to censor, or even tap into the internet.

Everyone is trying to limit information on an unlimited information supply. They can't understand what the word unlimited really means.

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (5, Funny)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401556)

Everyone is trying to limit information on an unlimited information supply. They can't understand what the word unlimited really means.
You mean they all work at comcast?

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (5, Informative)

Calmiche (531074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401788)

Yah, but what is so sad is that the LDS church has a HUGE online presence, uses the internet on a frequent basis to distribute media and is an early adopter of a lot of technology.

Secondly, these books aren't secret. Any member can walk into any LDS distribution center and pick up a copy. I've got a copy. 95% of the book is on how meetings run, proper activities for youth, how to distribute tithing and how to put in requisition forms for repairs.

However, there are sections on church doctrine and rules. These are more solid rules than what is generally liked in the church. It gives hard and fast examples of improper conduct and what the church response is to them.

The basic idea is that people should govern themselves. If you give them a hard and fast rule, some types of people will see how close they can get to that rule without breaking it. Not a good way to live a christian life.

As a lifelong member of the LDS church, I'm extremely disappointed in how church lawyers and officials are handling this. It's not SECRET. It's PRIVATE. There's a big difference that some church members just don't seem to get.

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23402058)

Thought "unlimited" was established. 5-30GB/month, then you have to call customer support to get turned back on or pay extra for a 2nd account.

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401638)

See, the thing is, everyone thinks money=intelligence. "If you're so damned smart, why ain't you rich?"

But there is no real correlation between intelligence and wealth. The wealthy can afford better schools, but education != intelligence.

These people are used to getting their own way, they're used to the law ALWAYS working for THEM and can't imagine that there's the slightest possibililty that they, spoiled brats that they are, can't have things exactly as they want them to be.

To quote Mr. T: "I pity the foo's".

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401658)

I think a lot of organisations do learn from this. It's just there will always be an occasional few who don't. We don't hear about Sony, or Monsanto or Catholic church or whoever not suing wikileaks and we don't know whether this is because Wikileaks has nothing they want to suppress or that they have learned not to draw attention to themselves.

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401696)

more widely disseminated than it'd otherwise have been.
maybe it's a datastorage strategy ?

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401730)

No, no! You're going about it the wrong way.

You should attempt to get all memos about the Steisand effect banned!

Re:How come nobody ever learns from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401892)

Have you considered that there really isn't anything to hide here? Perhaps the Mormons are using reverse psychology to get their document more widely read.

Isn't the handbook already read by millions of Mormons around the world? And don't they have something like 50,000 missionaries dedicated to trying to get everyone to learn more about their church?

The standard tactic (4, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401462)

When heretics try to disperse reading material that the religious deem unsuitable for the public to read, the only choice that comes to mind is to burn and censor.

Re:The standard tactic (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401546)

According to the old meaning the Mormons would be the heretics - but so would just about every extreme fundamentalist Christian Church as well. Ultimately it is really about politics between different sub-groups so "heresy" doesn't really apply.

Re:The standard tactic (0, Flamebait)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401712)

every Christian Church as well.
voila, fixed it for you.

Re:The standard tactic (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401718)

I think you misunderstand how the word "heretics" is used. Heretics can be whoever the Church wants to label as such, for whatever reason, stated or not, they desire.

Re:The standard tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401908)

the only choice that comes to mind is to burn and censor
... the religious

Cult. (4, Insightful)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401466)

If you even have a "confidential handbook", you're a cult, not a religion...or maybe a good old fashioned pyramid scheme.

Re:Cult. (5, Insightful)

dc29A (636871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401552)

If you even have a "confidential handbook", you're a cult, not a religion...or maybe a good old fashioned pyramid scheme.
There is no difference between a religion and a cult. Well, a minor one: religion is a popular cult.

Egypt (5, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401618)

Interesting, I never thought of the old Egyption religions as pyramid schemes, but I suppose they were the first too.

Re:Cult. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401746)

That was a nice ignorant statement. I can't wait for your follow-up.

Re:Cult. (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401750)

Not really. Most of the major religions will allow you to leave their churches/temples without any problem. You can even convert to another religion with minimum fuss. For example, I'm Jewish. There's nothing to stop me from leaving my temple and joining another. (My wife and I have even discussed this very subject recently.) There's also nothing to stop me from leaving my temple, becoming Christian, and joining a church. (Beyond the fact that the Church's religious beliefs don't match with my own, of course.)

In a cult, leaving the church is unthinkable and anyone who expresses a desire to do so is forcibly kept from doing so. Were I a member of a cult, expressing a desire to leave the group would likely result in my detention for "re-education" or perhaps in my "disappearance."

You are kind of right about religions being popular cults, though. Most religions start out as cults and the either die out or ease up on the cult-like behaviors and merge more into society. Christianity was a cult when it first started, but over the years it integrated more into society to the point that it isn't considered a cult now.

Re:Cult. (4, Insightful)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402052)

For example, I'm Jewish. There's nothing to stop me from leaving my temple and joining another. (My wife and I have even discussed this very subject recently.) There's also nothing to stop me from leaving my temple, becoming Christian, and joining a church. (Beyond the fact that the Church's religious beliefs don't match with my own, of course.)

Oh really...

The Torah states:
Deuteronomy 13:6-10:
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Re:Cult. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401790)

I realize this will get your statement will get you to +5 Insightful, but it is incorrect. A cult is defined by its secretiveness. Scientology definitely qualifies as both a religion and a cult. However the two terms are not mutually inclusive.

Re:Cult. (1)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401794)

True, 'Cults' are a term that popular religions use to derogate an uprising religion, just to maintain their own supremacy over the populace.
Every major religion now was a 'Cult' sometime in the past, It just takes a critical mass to convert it into a full-fledged religion.

Re:Cult. (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401926)

Regardless of my personal views I think that is rather harsh. While I have witnessed many religious groups slowly become cults there is a glaring difference of note.

Cults are absent of the betterment of the individual person but rather than leader only. Cults try to subvert the human will with total and complete obedience to the leader of a group or sect. [answers.com]

Any religious group can become a cult if it elevates an individual over the greater good of the group but that doesn't make every religion a cult.

BTW, if you can read this thank a religious monk.

Re:Cult. (2, Insightful)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401586)

Or a Special Forces group. Or any of several classified government groups. Or a (weird but true) philanthropic group such as the PEO.

Re:Cult. (4, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401676)

I dunno. To some extent, I believe any corporation (church, business, whatever) has the right to some privacy about its inner workings. The Masons protect the privacy of their rituals. Businesses keep private how a product is made. And though I don't even consider it a church, the Church of Scientology even has the right to of privacy with their documents. Not everything has to be transparent and openly available. Even in a church. Those documents are accessible to members of the church, but not outsiders.

Re:Cult. (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401774)

I believe any corporation (church, business, whatever) has the right to some privacy about its inner workings

Not being persons, they have no such inherent right, only the rights that we the people choose to bestow on them. Since you've voted "for some", I'll register my vote as "for considerably less than persons".

Re:Cult. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401878)

I'd say a good definition for cult would be a group that hides information about beliefs and rituals from its lower orders and the general public. With this criteria, I'd say both the Masons and Scientology are cults, along with most churches, while a typical business or corporation is not.

Re:Cult. (3, Insightful)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401754)

Not sure I agree. Many religions have confidential texts -- some are spiritual, some are operational.

By that logic, a lot of organizations are cults, including corporations and governments. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to keep some policies public and some private -- the content of the policies is another matter, though (public OR private).

IMO the stuff in this one is pretty dark and unpleasant. And keeping this particular stuff confidential doesn't allow a potential or current member to make an informed decision about their church. But in this case I think it's as much an issue of the policies as it is that they are (or were) confidential.

Re:Cult. (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401782)

This includes the Roman Catholic Church who holds many secrets in the Vatican. Though I view them as a cult as well.

Re:Cult. (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402002)

IMO the stuff in this one is pretty dark and unpleasant.

What do you see that's "dark and unpleasant"?

Re:Cult. (2, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402056)

The difference between a cult and a religion is that cults have to keep their texts secret religions just keep them private ....

See: Freedom fighters and Terrorists

As some one above said the text is freely available but only to members ... i.e. it is private but not secret

Re:Cult. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401914)

Sorry but this is so much hype that it is silly.
I am a member of the LDS church. That confidential handbook is just the bishops handbook. It is given to each bishop in every ward in the world. They hype about "normal" members not seeing it is just that hype. Just about every "normal" member has seen that and other confidential handbook you can imagine.
I have only been a member for 8 years and I am not a high up in the church and I know everything that is in that handbook.
So yea this is a lot of hype.
BTW Most members of the church will at sometime in their life server in a leadership position. We don't have paid clergy so the members do all the work. In my ward right now I know of at least five people that have served as bishops maybe more since there are so many of them. Again this isn't some big secret. I suggest you take a look at the excerpts on wiki leak. They are not exactly shocking.
What it comes down to is that the church holds the copyright to that handbook. The website that published it did so in violation of that copyright. No different that some company taking GPL code, taking out the GPL notice, and selling it.
Maybe you should stop making statements out of a combination of arrogance and ignorance and visit an LDS ward near you and maybe get to know some of the members.
BTW most of the leadership manuals but not the Bishop's manual are available on the Church website. LDS.org if you want to read them for yourself.

Re:Cult. (2, Informative)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401936)

The book isn't exactly confidential. There is a distribution list. Every Church building has three copies. There are other copies for Temples and various other leaders.

All in all, there are about 250k copies of this book provided for 10,000,000+ members.

If a member wants to discuss a point of Church business (how is the opening song selected, can we use toasted rye bread for Sacrament, could I be excommunicated for having an abortion), the member can ask their leader to show them why and how.

South Park Ref. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401472)

Mormons trying to gag the internet DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB

History repeats itself (2, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401484)

First as tragedy, then as farce. The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" was a disgusting anti-Jewish complete fabrication, but it still gets reprinted by right wing nuts from time to time. This Mormon handbook appears to be genuine, and the Mormons are trying to suppress its publication.

There's a lesson there, but I suspect you can't recite it on the Internet without invoking Godwin's Law.

Re:History repeats itself (-1, Troll)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401820)

There's a lesson there

That religion is for morons, not just mormons?

Re:History repeats itself (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401852)

There's a lesson there, but I suspect you can't recite it on the Internet without invoking Godwin's Law.

You can't mention Godwin without invoking Godwin's Law either. I looked it up. [uncyclopedia.org]

Approved by the Kansas State Board of Education.
This page meets all criteria and requirements for use as teaching material within the State of Kansas public school system. It consists of facts, not of theories, and students are encouraged to believe it uncritically, and to approach alternatives critically.

"Godwin's Law is precisely like Hitler. The similarities between Godwin's law and the Nazis are uncanny. People who start screaming that the fascist law of Godwin has been invoked are no better then the guards at the Nazi death camps." ~ Godwin's Law on Godwin's Law

Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Apparition) is a scientific law. It is not a theory!

The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of Nazis or Hitler spontaneously materialising and enacting systematic genocide against the poster approaches one.
Godwin's Law does not question whether the genocide enacted by Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate or justified, but only asserts that the enactment of one is increasingly probable.

The most frequent invocation of the law today is found on Wikipedia, where discussion threads for the most trivial of topics cover pages and pages. This explains the origin of the WikiNazis who roam the site, permitting only their warped "NOPV" version of the facts. See also slashdot [uncyclopedia.org]

Silly Lawyers... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401498)

As a lifelong Mormon and legal professional, I would just like to note how disappointed I am in the "business arm" of the Church, including its lawyers. This is an unnecessary stab at keeping "secrets" that haven't been secret for decades. When you have a lay clergy, there's always someone willing to discuss ostensibly "proprietary" information about church administration.

These handbooks contain nothing more "damaging" than can be found all over the Internet, in most bookstores, et cetera. I hope the Church's spiritual leadership is swift to address what was likely a foolish bureaucratic decision.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (4, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401584)

  1. * Religious
  2. * Lawyer
  3. * Rational and reasonable

Something is very wrong with you!

Re:Silly Lawyers... (1)

futlib (1278238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401706)

Take care, it's dangerous enough to mess with a lawyer. This guy may attempt to send you to jail, then to the chair and eventually to hell. What an incredible combination. --- WikiLeaks is great, I am happy that the author can write his "(of course)". For other sources, it's not so "(of course)" to not obey to the will of a lawyer.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401720)

One of these things is not like the other... I bet he just goes to church for the social aspect.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (4, Insightful)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401826)

Great Scott! It's almost as if the religious == irrational meme is not 100% accurate.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401836)

He's a Mormon!

Re:Silly Lawyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23402054)

No, I can see it since lawyers are accustomed to twisting the truth to fit their whims. Their belief in fairy tales is no different.

Now what boggles the mind is when you have a religious scientist or engineer. It makes you want to take their geek card.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (4, Funny)

zrq (794138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401734)

Unless they actually wanted 1000's of unconverted heathens to download and read the document in the hope that a few might be converted.

A weird kind of inverse spam :

  • Church : "We don't want you to read this"
  • Wikileaks : "Hey everybody, they don't want us to read this"
  • Geeks : "Gotta get a copy of that"

What else would cause 1000's of geeks and nerds to actively seek out and read a church document.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (4, Insightful)

goretexguy (619280) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401764)

As a Mormon, you should know that the materials in these 'secret' manuals are pretty boring. With a lay clergy, you've got to have *something* to help the poor souls who are suddenly responsible for leading congregations. A quick RTFM (haha) shows me this. As a lawyer, I'm disappointed you fail to see the larger issues of copyright and ownership, which is the real issue here. That the owning organization is a religion is an inconsequential detail.

Re:Silly Lawyers... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401784)

I agree. I am also Mormon. There's really nothing in there that everyone doesn't already know about. In fact, there are probably half-truths and lies spreading around that the information in that book would clear up. But really, I don't think there is anything in that book that anyone would really be interested in anyway. It's just alluring because it's marked as "confidential".

I also understand the LDS church's perspective on this. They have a right to keep certain information confidential. But, everyone knows by now that once it hits the internet, there's no stopping it.

It seems like they should be able to sue the hosting website for copyright infringement or something along those lines for posting it on the web, though.

Hey! This is the first I've heard of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401536)

Hey! This is the first I've heard of it...thanks for the link...very interesting reading.
I guess I should thank the Mormon church for this lawsuit because I wouldn't have read it without them suing!
Yup the "Streisand Effect" strikes again

Oh... missread that (-1, Troll)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401570)

it's Mormon Church

Hey Mormons (0, Flamebait)

hassanchop (1261914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401578)

Why not just pray to god about it? Isn't that why you people have a god?

Re:Hey Mormons (2, Informative)

bamwham (1211702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401688)

Seriously: If this leak is so damning to God's one true church, won't he smite the site with the internet's version of fire and brimestone? Sit back and enjoy the (virtual) fireworks.

Or is it more that the church is worried about the economic impact of this more than the spiritual one?

It is to bad, after watching the PBS documentary a year ago on the Mormons I became aware of some of the good work they do through their charitable foundation. This cause me, who had long been strongly anti-Mormon (or more specifically anti-religous), to reconsider my opinion of their church. However it is moves like this that will reverse my opinion...

Re:Hey Mormons (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402008)

I don't think they're seriously trying to suppress this. They must know that WikiLeaks isn't going to take stuff down just because they're told to. So, this whole thing is publicity for the church. They just got information about Mormonism to be actively sought out by thousands, and what those thousands found isn't bad at all.

What's the best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401580)

Is there any juicy information in there?

If that transsexual stuff is the worst, I don't see why they care.

So what? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401596)

Like this manual really mentions anything disastrous or hurtful to the church? I don't see a single thing wrong with it, in fact it is far more likely helpful to church leaders who want answers to questions like this than harmful to the churches reputation

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23402022)

Yes, but if they allow this secret (albeit innocuous) book to leak, what will they do when someone leaks the bad one?

The book of Moron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401608)

Why don't you go eat some corn with some native americans and pretend jesus is in your presence, or something.

so bad? (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401632)

Looking at the summary on wikileaks (I didn't look at the PDF) this doesn't exactly look like scientology material. They're a church, the community expecting them to behave like a politically liberal* non-religious organisation is a religious / political argument not a freedom-of-information one. It looks like the person who selected those highlights for the wikileaks page had a religious objection, which is not a strong argument against the church or the document.

And I don't think every organisation should be mandated to release all their materials. You, the person reading this, show me your bank details.

I'd welcome (and invite) mormon bashing on any other score (such as corruption in corporate america etc). I have my reasons for absolutely despising them. But from these summaries, this is a weak basis for argument.

* I understand liberal has a slightly different meaning in America, which I'm not aware of. YMeaningMV.

Re:so bad? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401682)

* I understand liberal has a slightly different meaning in America, which I'm not aware of. YMeaningMV.

Please explain how that statement does not contradict itself.

Issue a Fatwa!!!! (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401648)

I'll bet a few beheadings on youtube will get WikiLeaks to change it's ways.......wait a sec.......Mormons?!?!? I thought the article said Muslims! Nevermind.

Not beheadings (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401822)

I'll bet a few beheadings on youtube will get WikiLeaks to change it's ways.......wait a sec.......Mormons?!?!? I thought the article said Muslims!

Based on their history, Mormons are more into disembowelment than beheading. But I think it would get the point across just as well.

Re:Issue a Fatwa!!!! (1)

doggod (1081287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401886)

Fatwa? Nah, the Mormons prefer your basic massacre [wikipedia.org] . Get in there, get the job done, none of this pussyfooting around.

Where is wikileaks? (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401666)

Is wikileaks run outside the USA? How are they able to withstand legal injunctions based on USA copyright law?

Don't get me wrong. I love wikileaks. I'm just wondering how it is set up to withstand the long haul of attacks that will keep coming from powerful people and organizations who get their nose bloodied by documents there.

Re:Where is wikileaks? (2, Informative)

kmarshallbanana (1192023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402038)

From wikipedia: Wikileaks is hosted by PRQ, an internet service provider in Sweden

Also: Wikileaks information is distributed across many jurisdictions, organizations and individuals. [From: http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks:About%5D [wikileaks.org]

Re:Where is wikileaks? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402044)

One of the methods by which you can get away with publishing copyrighted and secret/classified information is by claiming it is newsworthy.

Order of the Arrow (5, Insightful)

Ottair (1270536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401698)

I'm no fan of the LDS, either as an institution or as a theocracy, but they have as much right to privacy as any other group or individual. Another organization often under attack by the societal, self-elected correctness monitoring crowd is Scouting USA which sponsors an organization known as the Order of the Arrow. OA also has self published, private material that it wishes remain so. There is also an article on Wikipedia about the Order in which editors have come to a consensus about not publishing those private details in accordance with that groups request, which is within their rights. I suggest the same courtesy be extended to the LDS, it's an issue of fundamental importance to anyone who values freedom of expression in all its forms, internet or otherwise.

Re:Order of the Arrow (1, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401798)

religions are tax free. they should, in return, disclose ALL their so-called 'secrets'.

this is supposed to be about god, right? right? why would a deity want his 'true word' kept a secret?

this makes no sense.

then again, NO religion makes sense. none of them - that involve a creator an a lot of MADE UP SHIT that has never been found to have a shred of actual truth (historically or scientifically) in it.

"I know how to do magic." "you do?" "yes, but I can't tell you or it ruins it"

same shit with religion.

haven't we humans had enough of this 'scare and control primitive man' stuff yet? (don't answer that - we all know what the answer is).

btw, does anyone have an archive.org (etc) link of the data they removed? I'm really curious, now, what they think is SO special that god, himself, will get so annoyed at us for knowing such things. I bet it makes their religion look silly (sillier than normal) and we can't have THAT, now, can we?

Re:Order of the Arrow (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401994)

Well, I may be wrong, but I don't remember the OA group going ape shit lawsuit happy about that kind of stuff either. This is a little amusing to me that a church and all of its professed teachings of morality are doing this, while a non-religious organization that teaches morality does not go berzerk.

"Hey, we would kind of like to keep that private, you can see there is nothing of significance in those documents to anyone outside the organization, can you please take that down" vs "God be with us as we send our hordes of lawyers to destroy you heathens and your devil ways! We command you to do as we say!"

One of these approaches seems to work better...I'm not quite sure which one yet...

Re:Order of the Arrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23402064)

Sort of. The OA has a manual which can be readily purchased (at least that's how I got mine 20 years ago) at a regional scout office. There is, as you point out, some private material which is NOT printed and passed on verbally to new members (i.e. WWW). So if you want to keep something private, a good start is not writing it down.

Obligatory South Park reference (0, Troll)

alephnull42 (202254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401728)

"All Hail Xenu!"

oops, sorry, got my alien-worshipping loonies mixed up...

Imagine the combination of... (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401778)

Scientology and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....

Oh my god, I can foresee a whole season of South Park about such a group....

Dum, dum dum, dum, dummmmm

Re:Imagine the combination of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23401910)

Scientology and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....
Special underwear that costs $300,000.

The Bill Hicks Defense (4, Funny)

Layer 3 Ninja (862455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401792)

"You guys are christian, right? So forgive me."

Times Change (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401796)

The only problem I see with this is that people will read the 1968 version and try to compare that to today's LDS Church.

The statements in the 1999 summary seem pretty reasonable.

Please explain (5, Insightful)

jopet (538074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401838)

This is just a normal case of copyright infringement. Somebody holds the copyright and does not want somebody else to publish the book. Whether it is this book or a bestselling novel does not matter.
I wonder how those who talk about "gagging" here would actually want copyright laws to work? Abandon them alltogether and let anyone publish whatever they like? Or just allow the publishing of something when some group decides it is "evil"?

Of course, news media should have the right to publish excerpts from anything that is news or relevant and in most countries this is legal (i do not know about the US). So if you want to report about some weird/dangerous,/ridiculous issues in this book, provide a write-up (your own words of what is in there: legal) and support it with facsimiles of excerpts of the original (small parts: legal).

What would be the problem with that?

Looked at the examples (2, Insightful)

Edward Ka-Spel (779129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401856)

I just looked at the excerpts on wikileak and it looks like this is much ado about nothing. Agree with them or not, I find nothing scandalous about a churches stance on transexuals, sperm donations, surrogate mothers, etc. Sounds like something any good church SHOULD have a stand on, one way or another.

It sounds to me like this really is a pure IP issue. The handbook is a published material with applicable stated copyright laws. I think if you went and asked a Mormon church leader, he would be more than happy to show you his copy and answer any questions you have... ;)

As for the PR value of this move, that is certainly questionable.

Talk to the Scientologists! (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401884)

Ask them how well their campaign of suppression is working out for them.

Religious texts should not have copyright (5, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23401950)

In 'The Gallic Wars' by Julius Caesar, book 6 chapter 14 [ucl.ac.be] , there is a description of Gallic religious practices. The druids would not permit their texts to be written down, they had to be memorized. One reason being that as soon as a text was written it would pass into a sort of 'public domain' where non-druids could read it.

This sounds like something that should be in place today. Make all religious texts public domain, no exceptions. Religions are not for profit (well in theory) and they are tax-exempt, so they have no reason to have copyright. And they use copyright law to harass and bully their detractors. So take that power away from them.

Oh, Your religion wants hide something? Fine, memorize it.

chi99.htm works better (2, Informative)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23402030)

The html version here chi99.htm works better cause it has the hyperlinks, the pdf has link references to it. http://www.provocation.net/chi/chi99.htm [provocation.net]
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