the thinker

Transcripts - Tom Phillips' interview

Below are the transcripts from the audio interview posted on the Infants on Thrones website.

Note: Special thanks to jiminycricket of RfM for providing the transcript. He has also provided easy-to-read, color-coded PDF formats.

Tom Phillips joins Scott, Matt, Bob and Glenn to discuss the recent summons against Thomas S. Monson and the LDS Church. Posted by Glenn Ostlund

Part 1

Link is here.


(0:00 minutes)

TOM PHILLIPS: First of all, this is not allegations of fraud against the religion. This is a criminal allegation against a corporate entity that is worldwide, that markets in a deceptive manner in order to receive financial benefit. It is a corporation that sends out salesman, eighty thousand[s] of them or whatever, to market a product. Not only do they not give full disclosure, they actually give false information about their product, and about their history, their doctrines, and they do not give full disclosure. These allegations are all based on factual statements. So this is the case. If you look at this as a corporation they have committed financial fraud under this specific act. It's not a type of religion.


GLENN: Welcome back to Infants on Thrones. I'm Glenn Ostlund and today we're kicking off our multi-part series on The Summons: Tom Phillips versus Thomas S. Monson, a tale of two Tommys. Actually I don't think we're going to be using that last part. But, I say this as a multi-part episode because you know at this point I don't really know how many of these we're going to eventually put out. We recorded nearly three hours-worth of conversation with Tom Phillips last Sunday, February ninth. And, as this case progresses, we'll follow-up with other interviews and other discussions. So there is going to be more than just what you're going to listen to today. Unfortunately the audio quality for this first interview wasn't great. Tom was in Thailand. Scott and Matt and Bob were on the west coast and I was in Germany. So it's amazing that we were able to have this conversation at all. But there were a few parts where Tom's audio cut in and out. So I apologize for that up front. We'll do our very best in classic infant style to keep the content and the flow of the story.

So I'll give a brief background on what's going on for those of you who may have been living under a rock for the past three weeks.

On January 31st, 2014, the Westminster's Magistrate Court in the U.K. issued a summons to Thomas Spencer Monson, the President of the Mormon Church. Now President Monson has been summoned to answer allegations of criminal fraud as defined in the 2006 Fraud Act of the U.K. And it's been brought against him by Tom Phillips. Now many of you will be familiar with Tom Phillips from his unpublished Mormon Stories interview a few years back where he talked to John Dehlin about his experience receiving the second anointing. Now that's a fascinating discussion that you can find if you search for it on [com] where Tom serves as the chief editor.


Link is here.

Link is here.

But let me quickly give you a brief background on Mr. Phillips:

Now Tom is a British citizen who joined the church with his wife in 1969. He served twice as a bishop in two different wards for a total of about six and a half years. He also served as a stake president for five years. Now during that time he came to know several general authorities and apostles on a pretty personal level.

In 2002 Tom was invited to receive the very secretive second anointing where he was essential sealed up to eternal life – his exaltation and eventual Godhood guaranteed. A few years later however he experienced a crisis of faith and left the Mormon Church at great personal cost. Again, you can listen to that story elsewhere. But it's important to know going into this that Tom Phillips is not just some random, angry ex-Mormon with an axe to grind. When he speaks about church leadership and the tenants of belief, he speaks from a wealth of experience.

So we have this summons issued by a British court and if President Monson does not appear to answer the summons on March 14th at 10 A.M. in courtroom six a warrant could be issued for his arrest.

Now this sort of thing isn't new and shouldn't even be completely unexpected if you've ever spent any time as a member of the Mormon Church. Now Joseph Smith had numerous run-ins with the law throughout his life. The first was in 1826, four years before the founding of the church, where he was found guilty of fraud himself. Now, that wasn't of a religious nature at the time, it was as a glass looker, a treasure seeker, someone who used fraudulent claims and extraordinary supernatural power to get gain.

And then of course his last run-in with the law ended eighteen years afterwards with an angry mob taking his life in June of 1844. Now this time he was arrested for destroying a printing press that was exposing things that he would rather have kept in the dark.

Now 170 years later the president of the largest break-off group from Joseph Smith's original Mormon Church is being summonsed to answer accusations of fraud and the repression of true information once again.

Now if you don't find this stuff completely fascinating, well than maybe you're just – I don't know. So here's what you can expect to hear in part one:

[1] Why the October Surprise became the January Surprise.

[2] Why the allegations are for criminal fraud against a corporation – and why this is not an attack on religion.

[3] You can hear the process that Tom went through with the courts to issue this summons.

[4] How Steven Bloor and Christopher Ralph became involved in the case.

[5] What types of response has Tom heard from the church so far.

[6] Why the church in this case is rightfully looked at as a corporation.

[7] And the significance of tithing in this fraud case.

So sit back and enjoy the episode. So with no further ado, I'm going to kick it off to our very own Jesse, A.K.A. Scott, I think he's going to go by Scott for now on. So it's Scott who arranged this interview with Tom in the first place. Way to go Scott. He and Matt, both attorneys, make it for a very interesting discussion. So here you go.


(7:02 minutes)

SCOTT: So this was originally people started referring to it as the October surprise because you were planning to release this news in October of 2013 and it didn't end up happening until late January of 2014. So a lot of people were skeptical that anything was going to happen. But can you give us some insight into kind of a time frame and what happened?

TOM: I think so. Also, I never coined the October surprise. I think what happened early 2013 after the so called Mormon moment of 2012 with the presidential campaign [Mitt Romney], some of us on the boards were talking about something occurring better in 2013. And I made a comment at one time saying, “I think there's a number of things happening in 2013 and one of which I'm involved in. But there's a lot of other things which I think will have an impact on the church.”

Then I was questioned about it. In my enthusiasm, people talked about legal situations and how the church could never be taken to court and things like that. And at one time in my excitement for the project I was working on, I did let it slip that I was taking some action. And then I was asked questions. I didn't give any details. But I was asked questions about when, and I just said, “We'll maybe by October.” And I was thinking there was two things happening in October. There was the church had its October general conference and also there was an ex-Mormon Foundation Conference at which I had been invited to speak.

So I thought that sounded like good timing and as far as I was concerned there was adequate time for this to happen by then. So I said October. I was being non-U.S. I was ignorant of the term October surprise. I later on found out that prior to November elections people put out things to try and sway the election. Hence the populace term called the October surprise. So that's I think how it became known and as you say didn't happen then and there was various delays.

I was being asked when would it happen? And each time I thought well maybe we're two weeks away, or a month away, and it just went on and on. And I think I got quite vilified by a lot of people that felt nothing was going to happen and it was also kind of ruse with ulterior motives. So that's a bit of background to the October surprise.

Now your question, “Why didn't it happen then?” I don't know. There's a simple answer to that: there is no reason at all why it should not have happened. I had prepared my various submissions and submitted them to the court on 10th of October and said that I would be available in London for following week. And I did appear before a district judge and had an oral hearing and there's no reason why it shouldn't have happened then. So my answer is I don't know why.


SCOTT: O.K. So let's just, if I can jump in there. Let's just describe what we're talking about here for anybody who may not be familiar with it. So you're a U.K. citizen?

TOM: Yes.

SCOTT: And you, forgive me if I use the wrong term or feel free to correct me, but my understanding is that you filed an action under what's called the Fraud Act of 2006. And basically your allegation in that document is that the church, namely Thomas Monson, has made seven specific fraudulent claims that are demonstrably false.


GLENN: So here are the seven claims that Tom made in this summons:


SCOTT: And that now there's a summons for Thomas S. Monson to appear in London in that court action. Is that a good explanation of it?

TOM: That is. Sometimes it's been described as a lawsuit or as you say filing an action. It's actually, yes it's for criminal fraud – allegations are criminal fraud, and that I'm bringing as a private prosecutor.

SCOTT: Now describe that for our U.S. audience, because in most United States cases, if you were bringing the action you would be a party to the case. And if it were a criminal action it would be the state or the city or the government entity that would be acting, it representing the government acting as the prosecutor. So how does that work when you're acting as an acting prosecutor as a citizen?

TOM: OK. Yes normally in a civil action it's one of the aggrieved parties that would take that action. Criminal prosecutions, and Matt can correct me if I'm wrong, but certainly in England for hundreds of years, well almost since the Magna Carta, every citizen had the right to bring criminal action. In fact the idea of state agencies or government agencies taking action is a fairly recent modern phenomenon. Originally it was private individuals that did that. Now as I understand it in the U.S. I think there is some kind of private prosecution but a much watered-down version because, as you say, it's usually the state that take action.

In England and Wales, and let me just say this does not apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland that have different laws but in England and Wales, the private prosecutor has been retained in the law and it was seen by parliament as being an essential part of the justice system. So I'm taking that as an individual citizen action which could normally be taken by the Crown Prosecution Service or by the Serious Fraud office in the U.K.


SCOTT: So maybe you could describe in a little bit more detail the process that you've had to go through. You've said that you've lodged documents or you've filed something in October of 2013. What did you submit and what was the process to get from there to this summons that we've all now seen that we'll be talking about?

MATT: And if I could add to the question because the two who are mentioned, what Steven Bloor and I don't remember the name of the second person, how did they get involved in that process with you as well?

TOM: OK. The process according to law is for a private prosecution to take place. What one is required to do is to lay an information before a magistrate. That is, a document, it doesn't specify the particular format of that document, but it must identify the law under which the allegations are being made and various things like that. Often it can be a one page submission or two pages and that is then looked at by a magistrate or in this case a district judge and either starts to initiate the process or throws it out immediately. The reasons for throwing out any private prosecution on laid down by law as if it is vexatious, I'm using the word trivial that's your legal term, somewhat different, trivial, vexatious or an abuse of process. Any of those and it's immediately thrown out because obviously you can't have a private citizen just going along making accusations about someone that's just based on nonsense.

Having passed that test, what you did, you then look at does the private prosecutor have the authority to bring this prosecution: and does the court have the right to listen to this application; and then passing that test it then looks at the evidence that there is sufficient prima facie evidence for a case. Those are the legal conditions.

Now in that case, this should have taken hardly any time to get through. In fact, the district judge in this case cannot obviously know what the motivations would be, but I assume from the kind of backlash we've got, could see better than I the kind of opposition there would be and the outcry of religious freedom and all sorts of things like that even political influence that could become to bare. So I actually appreciate that this particular district judge decided to go through this in minute detail. My submissions were not one or two pages but more like fifty or more pages of documentation and argument and basically the judge put up every conceivable defense that came to her mind that could be brought into this case.


SCOTT: OK, could I just interrupt you real quick there just to clarify something? So that judge who looked at those documents, is that the same district judge that you will be in front of on March 14th?

TOM: No it will not be the same judge.

SCOTT: OK so that

TOM: Well I have assumed that, well sorry. I asked that question and I was told it was unlikely to be. This judge has taken part in this process. There will be another judge at that time.

SCOTT: OK and that

TOM: That is my understanding.

SCOTT: And that 50-page filing that you made initially is that something that's publically available or is that just only seen by the court?

TOM: No. That is only seen by the court and some of that is yes – communication between the judge and myself. So that at this stage as I understand is not something that the court would enter into the public record. So far as I am aware, the court has already confirmed that this action and the listing for the March the 14th – that's in the public domain. But they really start from March the 14th where there will be an open court session; there will be reporters there, so anything there is in the public domain. Britain believes in open justice and it's unusual – there have to be unusual circumstances for restrictions to be placed on reporters.


MATT: Because the only thing that really matters is American law obviously to Americans anyway. If I can compare a little bit, in the United States an action or a complaint can be filed, a criminal action is brought typically by the law enforcement officer will initiate it, the person that's investigated a crime. And they will submit it. But there has to be a finding of probable cause. They submit it with what they call a PC statement or a probable cause statement that could be many pages long or it could be a paragraph long. So and so did these things that give rise to an offense. And then you have a judge that will review that and determine whether or not there is in fact probable cause. Then they have an opportunity to deny it or say no there's not enough here and then it proceeds where we have to get either a formal finding of probable cause by a judge or an indictment by a grand jury where they also find probable cause.

So that's the process in the U.S. and virtually every state that I'm aware of. And so it sounds like this tracks that same process to a degree except that it's a[n] action that's brought by a private citizen but there's still this judicial review of whether or not there's at least this prima facie finding or there's a prima facie finding that an offense was committed and this person committed the offense. Is that a fair description of what's done by that judge?

TOM: That is a very fair description. Yes.

SCOTT: OK forgive us because Matt and I are both trial attorneys. We practice in different areas of law somewhat. But we're going to try to not be too overly legalistic in this interview.

SCOTT: Since it is a legal action I think it's kind of important to define exactly what's going on,

MATT: It's helpful though I think because . . . (hey we're right here.) People are still characterizing this as a civil lawsuit . . . it's criminal, so that's an important clarification to make I think.


GLENN: As one of the lay people, I think the main question that I want to ask is just how dismissive can I be of this whole thing without understanding it? Because that's kind of what's been floating around both on surprisingly on the ex-Mormon side and on the active Mormon side. There's this sort of attitude of, “Oh it's from a private citizen. This happens all the time. Anybody can do this at any time. Sure it's gone through one stage but that doesn't matter. There's still a wide funnel here that has yet to narrow down, and this is nothing until it becomes something.”

And I want to understand if that's a fair criticism in some ways or what level of filtering there still is in other cases how far things go before they get dismissed and that sort of thing?

MATT: Well there's a saying in America at least that they say, “You can indict a ham sandwich.” So I can get a grand jury, for example, to indict anything, and I can go forward. The question is whether or not it goes further. So at the March 14th hearing, which I believe is the next step, what happens there?

TOM: OK. Let me just back up to answer an earlier question there in this whole thing about U.S. / U.K. law. Because yes, most people have weighed-in on this are U.S. and a lot of U.S. lawyers and doing it from that side. I'll get to the British so called law experts have commented on it maybe later on.


GLENN: And it's at this point that our so called podcast started having some serious audio issues. So let me just summarize the main points that Tom made in response to Matt's question.

(a) The district judge who reviewed this case has over 20-years' experience on the bench.

(b) The district judge reviewed each allegation in the 50-page document in meticulous detail.

(c) There are conditions whereby a case without merit could be thrown out at any point. Now this case did not meet those conditions and obviously was not thrown out.

(d) This is not an unsubstantiated crack-pot charge. It's already been rigorously reviewed and vetted. In the court's understanding, there's enough information here to demand that President Monson personally explain and defend the allegations of fraud being made against him as the head of this corporate structure.

So no one should really dismiss this, because I don't know how to put this, but kind of a big deal.


SCOTT: Tom do I understand it correctly? It seemed like you said there were about 50-pages that were submitted, that the magistrate talked with you about those different points and challenged you on some of them? And where I thought that was going was that the seven points that ended up in the final charge were kind of the result of that vetting process? Is that what happened or am I thinking about this the wrong way?

TOM: No, the seven challenges are what I contained originally.


TOM: To answer – those seven charges, they're intact. The wording may be a little bit slightly different to what I had originally put, and may not be ---- certainly when that goes forward to the indictment stage some of that wording will be, I think, improved. Because some of that wording was not my original wording, and I don't think it was tight as it should be. But anyway that will be better done at the indictment stage by trained prosecutors.


SCOTT: I'm glad you clarified that, because that was a question I had. So do you have any indication when the indictment stage will be and where does it go from here? I know there's a hearing on March 14th.

TOM: March 14th, that's right. Now let me just -- [audio problems] -- Steven Bloor and Christopher Ralph, two names appear on that -- two summonses, individual names. Now that caught -- I was faced with a situation there, that I will admit to here, that was a -- during this process I've always maintained the victims of this crime are thousands of individuals in England and Wales and also the U.K. treasury, representing the British tax payer. They are the victims in this crime. And I was only seeking one summons to rectify that.


The district judge, again looking at the wider issue of fraud, wanted named individuals. At the time I was asked to provide one individual as an example of the thousands I was talking about.  At that time I contacted Steven Bloor and Christopher Ralph to see if they would be willing to putting written submissions and if necessary to attend court under oath to represent those submissions. I gave them, so they had access to make these things, and my understanding was that was just to demonstrate to the district judge that there were people out there. It was never my intention that they would part of this case other than during trial such individuals could be called to confirm these things.


It then became a final point between us that the judge insisted on named individuals. Now I was then faced with the fact that OK I can go out and get hundreds or thousands of named individuals, that will take a little bit of time plus I will have to disclose what's been going on here, because I can't just ask people. Steven Bloor and Christopher Ralph I could trust to keep this all confidential. But if I suddenly wanted to have say a thousand victims, that's going to get out and there's no way I can contain that.

I also pointed out at the time that the law did not require named victims, and the Home Office which is maybe like your Justice Department but gives guidance on these things to the judiciary has actually commented on this Fraud Act 2006 and they have said quite explicitly that there doesn't even have to be one victim, because the offenses that are alleged only require that the person making the false representations INTENDED, dishonestly intended -- dishonestly made the statements and secondly they INTENDED to make a financial gain for themselves or for someone else, or to cause a loss to someone else, or to cause an exposure to the risk of loss to someone else.


So even if someone had made false representations in England and Wales and there wasn't one victim because no one fell for the con, if you like or whatever was being represented, they would still be guilty of a criminal act under this legislation. So I maintain to this day we don't have to name any victims in these summonses or in this indictment.

Now I argued that -- let me finish on that -- I was then faced with the consequence of either accept the summons as they are or to appeal that decision of the district judge, which I was quite entitled to do and take that to the high court for them to decide on the law, but that would involve meaning another four months delay. I chose the option of let's get it on with process now and then we'll look at that kind of thing as it moves forward and into the indictment stage.

So to answer your question about March the 14th that's a date now, that's not something that would be rescheduled. I mean there would have to be some serious reasons for rescheduling that whether it was ill health or whatever. And that would be an application to the court. This is on the listing for the 14th.


Regarding the seriousness of the summonses people are saying, and again I wish Mr. Monson would actually take proper legal advice and listen to that, instead of getting the church PR machine. I've seen an email from Michael Purdy to the PR people in the church which basically says, “Kill this story at all costs. Kill this story at all costs.”

Now I would think that anyone that's faced with a summons, especially in consideration of the twelfth Article of Faith, would actually take proper legal advice and find out, if at all, they might be guilty of such a thing. And if they are, address it seriously, not just dismissively say, “There is nothing here, these are bizarre allegations and we're not even – Mr. Monson will not even attend.”

Now let me get that quite clear to him if he does not attend, just read the bottom of the summons if he's got that far. If he does not attend then an arrest warrant will be applied for and issued for him.


GLENN: Tom I've seen a lot of speculation and I don't know if these people have any idea what they're talking about, but speculation that the church is going to put their attorneys on this thing and it's just going to go away, it'll be dismissed before this March 14th. Is that even a possibility?

GLENN: I gotta tell you it feels a little weird cutting in and out right after my own voice, but again we're having audio problems, so you're just going to have to trust me here. Tom said, “That it is a possibility that the church could file some motions to bury the courts in paperwork.

TOM: (audio continuing) paperwork and cause all the delays imaginable. The proper thing to do is to turn up and face . . .

GLENN: face the issues head on. And here Tom once again cites the twelfth Article of Faith, which I don't know, President Hinckley what does the twelfth Article of Faith say?

GORDON B. HINCKLEY (recording of GBH saying): “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

[audio of primary children singing the 12th Article of Faith]

TOM: . . . My personal view, and what I have been advised is, there is no way out of this summons other than for me to withdraw the summons. And I'm not even sure that's a possibility.


GLENN: So what does Tom think about the dismissive attitude he's seen about this case from both active Mormons and former Mormons alike?

TOM: Obviously that's a reaction to this flippancy I see in the press from again who is being quoted as dismissing it --- but may needs to I see it is that the church PR machine. - - - This is solid.

SCOTT: I think some of the basis for that, at least from what I've seen, seems to be that here in the U.S. we have a legal doctrine that says that the law basically can't get involved with any kind of doctrinal claim. And what I mean by that is that if there's any kind of theological assertion that a church makes it's basically off the grid in terms of the law is concerned in terms of anything being fraudulent or anything like that. So it's somewhat shocking I would say to a U.S. mindset and maybe even to a European mindset to think that a religion could be prosecuted for this type of a fraud. So could you describe for us, is there any kind of legal precedence for this? I mean I know that the Church of Scientology has had some prosecutions against it for some things, but is there any kind of legal precedence for fraud against a religion under this Fraud Act of 2006?


TOM: Well, first of all this is not allegations of fraud against a religion. This is a criminal allegation against a corporate entity that is worldwide that markets in a deceptive manner in order to receive financial benefit. Just take religion and everything else out of context for right now. It is a corporation that sends out salesman, 80,000 of them or whatever, to market a product where they do not only give full disclosure they actually give false information about their product and about their history, their doctrines, and they do not give full disclosure. And if they are confronted with anything

***Comic Dialogue insert***

VOICE 1: Why are you trying to avoid us?

VOICE 2: I'm not trying to avoid you. Why would I be trying to avoid you? That's so funny that you think that.

VOICE 1: And you are legal counsel and spokesperson for diversified industries?

VOICE 2: No I'm not.

VOICE 1: Your name is on the letterhead?

VOICE 2: No it isn't.

VOICE 1: Yes it is. I have it right hear. Would you like to read it?

VOICE 2: You read it.

VOICE 1: I have read it.

VOICE 2: Then why should I have to read it?

VOICE 1: Because it's your letterhead.

VOICE 2: I know that. You don't think I know that? It's my letterhead. I'm quite aware of that. Is it me or is it him? It's him isn't it?



TOM: It isn't attack on religion -- proper religion -- then we're talking about beliefs and theology. I don't think they're quite so testable in court that these allegations are all based on factual statements that are to be taken literally, not metaphorically, but they are literal statements. And in terms of precedents, I'd say precedent in the United States, Bernie Madoff. OK it's not a religion. But if I want to, or if someone wanted to commit a fraud and made it surrounding a church, would that actually fly in the United [States]? And I don't know. I don't know anything about that. But churches in the U.K. if they break the law they are culpable under the law.

GLENN: And I think that the strongest point that you make there Tom, you know you say that you've got to imagine the church as if they're a corporation. But the strength of that statement is that it's not a metaphor you know because they actually are a corporation. This is how they're structured and this is what they're doing.

TOM: Yes. And when we talk about this corporate structure if I look at the U.K. they have, let's say for argument's sake they have four hundred wards or parishes in the U.K., they under U.K. law each parish is considered like an un-incorporated association an it's recognized and protected as their['s]. Now however, the church also has an actual corporation that's registered at Company House and registered with the Charity Commission. That corporation receives all of the tithing income for the church. That corporation is not a church. It is a registered charity that is supposed to assist the church in whatever it wants to do. So that is purely a corporation.

There are two stockholders in that corporation. One is the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And the other stockholder is the Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both of those are corporate soles. And the one per individual that has ultimate control of those is Thomas Spencer Monson, hence his name appearing on the summons. He's responsible for all of the corporate affairs associated with this alleged fraud.


SCOTT: And can we describe then in your 50-page complaint that you drafted was that somewhat explained in there. Because based on this summons the only thing that we see is that it's just addressed specifically to Thomas Monson and it doesn't actually list those corporate entities on the summons itself. Is that why that's the case?

TOM: Yes. Those corporate entities that I had just mentioned are included in the written submissions.


MATT: Tom if we can I don't want the point to get lost, so I don't want to get in danger of just having you repeat yourself. I think it's really important to clarify that you are not out – this is not an action to prove whether or not the church or the belief system is false or fraudulent, but rather that an individual or a corporation engaged in knowing deceit – to having information and not disclosing that and benefiting financially as a result of that. Is that a fair articulation?


TOM: That is very fair and that should be explained. This is not an attack even on the Mormon Church or anything or the faithful Mormon members there are around the world. All I am saying is if you got out with missionaries, tell the full story. Tell the truthful story. And let people make up their minds whether or not they wish to join the church. Don't leave out important information, or even you could put in misleading information. If you want to tell the world that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and that he translated through the gift of God the Book of Mormon, and was also inspired by God to translate Egyptian papyri into the Book of Abraham, and all of those things, and he communed with God, and the Doctrine and Covenants, that's good. Now if you'll just give them that one side of it it's very easy for someone to have a very positive approach or response to that and join the church.

But, along with it you ought to be able to disclose, well now there are these other issues you ought to be aware of. And did you know for instance that he married other men's wives and things like that? Now that's not part of this. But if you wanted to get into those that's part of the full disclosure and then give the answers to it.



MATT: How significant is the connection between tithing and ordinances in your cause of action? Does that question make sense?

TOM: It makes absolute sense and that's why you're very sharp. I think in this action it's fairly easy to prove that the statements that I've listed, those seven statements are untrue. That's the easy part of the case. Right? I think that having experts in court to give evidence it will be unlikely that any one of those statements would be shown to be true and therefore thrown out. The trial will go more to the link between the tithing and those statements and other statements and also the question of honesty.

If for instance, and I think this goes to the heart of another church. Supposing another church was guilty of making some untrue statements, but they didn't illicit any money from you, you can just join the church, you can have the full benefits of that church, no question about it. But you know what each Sunday will pass around a collection plate and it's up to you whether you put money in that or not – they are freewill offerings. That I don't think, that such a church did that, I can't see being prosecuted under this law.


GLENN: So based on that as the premise that these questions are explicitly linked to tithing and the way the church collects money, I guess I have to ask, I'm surprised a little bit at some of the seven topics chosen, because I would have thought it might mirror say the temple recommend interview that's repeated over and over again by all of the lay clergy in the church or are in the common structural way that these so called facts are connected to tithing. So I am just curious how you arrived at the seven? If you're really going for causality there could have been some other ones in my opinion?

SCOTT: And before we totally get to that, you know Tom you mentioned that the freewill element of paying tithing in other religions that it's voluntary, I've seen that argument made in discussion boards by members of the church. In our church tithing is voluntary too and you're not going to be able to point to anybody who has been excommunicated from the church because they haven't been paying their tithing. So they would try to make this tithing issue a non-point. And that's where I think our questions kind of intersect Bob that if we can show that the tithing – you're prohibited from going to the temple if you don't pay tithing – you're prohibited from getting your endowment and being sealed together forever, certainly getting the second anointing, which we should probably talk about at some point, but there's all of these parts of Mormonism that you're excluded from even though you can still be a member of the church and not pay tithing. But you can't be in full fellowship and get all of the blessings, ‘cause you can go to one of the other three heavens, not the top one. Right? And it's a trickier argument.

TOM: Well, let's say, this is crucial you mentioned tithing interviews and things like that, temple recommend interviews, all of this has been [audio issues]


GLENN: been explained in those documents and this is what really impressed the district judge. I mean just listen to the way that President Oaks speaks about tithing during a general session of conference. Now does this sound like tithing is voluntary or optional at all to you?

DALLIN H. OAKS [of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles]:

When the risen Lord appeared to the faithful on this continent he taught them the commandments the prophet Malachi had already given to other children of Israel. The Lord commanded that they should record these words (see 3 Nephi 24: 1).

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

“Ye are cursed with a curse for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” (3 Nephi 24: 8-9 and Malachi 3: 8-9).

After the Savior quoted these words he expounded them unto the multitude and said, “These scriptures which ye had not with you, the Father commanded that I should give unto you, for it was wisdom in him that they should be given unto future generations” (3 Nephi 26: 1-2).

Here we see that the law of tithing is not a remote Old Testament practice but a commandment directly from the Savior to the people of our day. The Lord reaffirmed that law in modern revelation commanding his people to pay “one- tenth of all their interest annually” and declaring that “this shall be a standing law unto them forever” (D&C 119:4). (LDS General Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session, April 2, 1994; “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994)


MATT: Can I ask a follow-up question to this tithing question? Did I understand correctly that how tithing works in the church was some of the information that was contained in the 50-pages that was submitted to the district judge?

TOM: It's the first question that came up even before I went to the judge with contacting or discussing this with other law firms. They immediately thought in terms of the Anglican Church and said, “No way because these are all voluntary contributions.” When I actually laid out to them the way tithing works in the church, they immediately said “Wow, this is different. That is the connection – and yes this case should go forward.”


GLENN: So when a new convert is interviewed prior to baptism there are certain commitments that they must make before they're able to receive this saving ordinance that most members of the church consider to be a free gift from Jesus.

TOM: One of those commitments is to pay a full tithe. And so you agree to that. Now if you were to say, “No I'm not going to pay a full tithe.” Guess what? There's no baptism. You don't qualify to join the church. You have to commit to that. Then the church has a follow-up 30-days later, the bishop is supposed to interview you. And he's got a number of questions for you. And the first question he asks is, “Are you paying a full tithe?”

So for the church to argue these are freewill offerings with all of the tithing settlement and everything else that goes on and actually refusing for you to attend your child's wedding because you haven't paid tithing, or you've been behind with your tithing, it's not a freewill offering. It is pay to play basically. And there are circumstances where I've have had reported to me parents who were behind in their tithing because of financial difficulties and they had a child of theirs being married. And basically what the bishops said, “Well you write me a check for the last years' tithing and you go. You don't write me a check and you don't go.” So we've got incidences where people have gone into debt to attend their child's wedding.


GLENN: And we should just clarify that that's based on the Mormon structure that doesn't allow those who aren't quote unquote temple worthy, which includes paying a full tithe, to attend Mormon weddings which occur inside the temple which require a pre-screening and you to answer all these questions correctly. And what you're saying is you have cases of people stating that they basically have to choose between seeing their child get married at the ceremony, or not seeing them get married in that ceremony in the temple or going into debt to make that happen and that's basis for how important tithing really is for fellowship in the church.

SCOTT: So Tom as you explained these things to the magistrate what were their reaction?

TOM: Illuminating. Not believe …


GLENN: He said it was illuminating for them because tithing isn't treated like this in other churches. And this is one of the most significant factors in the allegation that a knowing fraud is being perpetuated for financial gain.

MATT: Oh this is very valuable I think to hear you explain these things. ‘Cause it's clear, what is clear that nobody understands through all the discussions on the boards and Facebook and all these different things really what this action is about.

TOM: That's correct. There's only two people that understand it up to this [point],

GLENN: himself and the judge, and maybe a few other officials within the court,

TOM: And none of those others are going to say anything about it and I realize I need to be somewhat circumspect in what I say because I don't want to prejudice the prosecution case, and also I don't to be unfair to Mr. Monson.



GLENN: So this concludes part 1 of the summons: Tom Phillips vs. Mr. Monson. In part 2 we'll explore in more detail the connection between the set of claims spelled out in the summons and the accusation of intentional fraud.

Now how is this all tied to tithing and what connection, if any, does Tom Phillips' experience with the second anointing play in all of this? We'll discuss this and more in our next installment.

Part 2

Link is here.

Below is the TRANSCRIPT from the audio interview posted by Glenn Ostlund on the Infants on Thrones website, February 20, 2014: Link is here.



Special guest Tom Phillips is joined by Scott, Matt, Bob and Glenn to discuss the recent summons against Thomas S. Monson and the LDS Church.


(0:00 minutes)

THOMAS S. MONSON: No cause, no force in the entire world can stop the work of God. Despite what comes, this great cause will go forward. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear. (General Conference, April 7, 2012, Saturday morning; “As We Gather Once Again,” Ensign, May 2012.)

AUDIO COMIC: I just told a lie. I just used my imagination.

TOM PHILLIPS: What we're advised by the prophet to say, If anyone ever asks us that question whether we've seen Christ or not, we just look at them in the eyes and we say, “We have been counseled by the prophet not to discuss such sacred experiences.”

(Comic audio excerpts, etc.)


GLENN: Welcome back to Infants on Thrones. This is part two of our three part series: The Summons: Tom Phillips versus Thomas S. Monson, the Follies of Tom Foolery. Actually I don't think we're going to use that last part. But did you catch that this is now going to be a three part series?

So yah, OK. In part one you heard about the criminal fraud charges and you heard about the unique way that the Mormon Church, or maybe more accurately, The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the tax exempt corporation that was set up to assist with the transfer of money and capital. Anyway, the unique way that this organization mandates tithing while making it appear to be a voluntary thing. Anyway that was the gist of part one.

So here in part two you'll be hearing:

[1] The criteria that Tom Phillips used to select his seven charges against the church.
[2] You'll hear how the U.K. has any jurisdiction over a US citizen.
[3] You'll hear what could happen if President Monson is found guilty.
[4] We discuss whether or not this case could simply be thrown out.
[5] You'll hear the unique way that the British government pays a portion of tithing money directly to the church on behalf of its LDS citizens.
[6] And you'll hear how Tom's experience with the second anointing could play in to all of this.

Now we realize that there is a huge interest in this topic and that several of you listening today are pretty new listeners to Infants on Thrones. So I have a few things to say concerning you new listeners, but I'll save that for the end ‘cause I know that's really not why you're here. So with no further ado, let's pick up where we left off with Bob's request to go through the seven different charges. Take it away Bob.



(3:38 minutes)

BOB: Alright so can we go through the seven points, and I'm still curious.

TOM: Oh yes. Probably I could have come up with a hundred. First of all, all I need to come up with is one that's a criminal act. If there's one untrue, false representation made with the intention of making money or causing someone a loss that is it. That's all I need is just one. So initially I approached this – I'll go through a round number of ten, because you don't want to have the trial time to be taking up so much, that you're going through so many – certainly a hundred allegations. So I wanted to contain it. Do I go for one or not? I ended up with the seven.


GLENN: So here are the seven claims that Tom made in this summons:

               • First, that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith.

               • Second, the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates by Joseph Smith and is the most correct book on earth and is an ancient historical record.

               • Third, that native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 B.C.

               • Four, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed as martyrs in 1844 because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon.

               • Five, the Illinois newspaper called Nauvoo Expositor had to be destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith.

               • Six, there was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago.

               • Seven, all humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago.


TOM: And I tried to get ones that had to cross two criteria as far as I was concerned. [1] One is they had to be factual statements that can be tested in court. It's no good getting into anything of religion or theology and it's no good going back into some obscure history as to for instance, “Did Joseph Smith consummate his marriage with other women or not?” So for they had to be things you could state and they could be tested in court. They're either true or untrue. That's number one.

[2] Secondly, they needed to be reasonably current. This legislation came into effect on –


GLENN: This legislation came into effect in 2006 so it needs to be a teaching that's currently being taught today. So each of these seven statements can be proven to be true or false in a court of law and they're all currently being taught as true and can be proved to be misleading. So those are the two tests.


SCOTT: Yah and I think that makes a lot of sense because the ones that you've chosen – they're pretty concise and they're quite falsifiable in terms of current information. But they're also claims that are central to the church. I mean they're things that are not tangential to any kind of – you know it's not some kind of obscure doctrine about Kolob or anything like that. It's something that strikes to the core of what the church's teaching is – and it's not anything that they would be able to wiggle around. I think some of them are a little bit more – we can go through them one by one. Is that what you wanted to do Bob?


BOB: Well maybe that's not necessary. I guess, now that I understand the criteria it makes more sense to me. Although, I think part of the risk specifically with the last two, if I can just say briefly, is that critics of this whole thing are going to convolute a couple of things. Because whenever you see something that's problematic in a bunch of other religions, then it sends alarm bells off and people get really nervous because it's not as uniquely confined to Mormonism as you stated in one of your explanations which I think is a very valid point.

But then you see this stuff about no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years, and all humans alive descended from just two people – and that's sort of crossing over into stuff that's believed by more than just Mormons. And I just want to make sure that people don't latch on to that point and then you know dismiss this by association with it being an attack on all religion which I don't think it is. But that's kind of where some problems could come.


SCOTT: Well not all religion. But you're saying fundamentalist Christians


BOB: Right.

SCOTT: Like Ken Ham last week debated Bill Nye –

SCOTT: And he's not Mormon, but he would agree with number six and seven – which are: there was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago, and that all humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago. Those are both things that you know – fundamentalist Christian is very likely to believe. So I guess – is your point Tom that if these are fraudulent for the LDS Church to put those out and then make financial gain it would equally apply to any other organization that has the same claims that's also, you know, requiring money from its members?


TOM: Well let me say first of all if that's so then I think Mr. Monson should call Ken Ham as one of his expert witnesses in court. Let's hear twelve members of the British citizenship listen to those arguments and determine whether Mr. Ham is telling the truth or Professor X,Y,Z is telling the truth on these matters. And we'll leave it to them to determine whether the statement is true or untrue.

Getting into religious beliefs, people can have – there're all sorts of religious beliefs. Some that sound extremely comforting and others that [are] just way-out crazy – in all sorts of religions. Now people are entitled to believe in crazy things. What they're not entitled to do is to take those crazy things and promote them through 80,000 missionaries throughout the world based on the fact that these literal truths associated to support those crazy beliefs – and give me your money in return for membership in the church. That's where the fraud comes.


Now someone could honestly believe these things to be true and not go out with any dishonest intent to get money off people. I've already said the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, they don't, you know, they accept these as – false statements about 6,000 years, about, whether evolution's involved or not. They say no. This has been a thirteen-fourteen billion-year process. They're quite open about that.

Now fundamentalist Christians may take the view of a six day creation or whatever and they're entitled to have that as a belief. And as I understand it the courts have ruled that's a belief, but it's not science. Now so if anyone's out there preaching those kinds of things, they're entitled through religious freedom to believe –


GLENN: I guess the other question that I have there for you there Tom is, there's this implicit accusation that Thomas Monson and others in the Mormon Church know these things to be false, but they're promoting them as true otherwise, and there's an element of fraud there. Whereas, if they were truly believers in these seven things there really isn't as much element of fraud. But is there a way to prove that they don't believe these things but they're pretending? Or is there a strategy to bring that out?


TOM: Yes, yes there is proof that they know these things are untrue and yet they are promoting [them]. Let's put it this way, they're between a rock and a hard place in this. If you even noticed, even with the Encyclopedia of Mormonism which they get written by apologists, the church doesn't put its name to it. But they try and make all sorts of excuses for this and that because they know, and remember the prime example of this was Gordon B. Hinckley when interviewed on Larry King or on 60-Minutes, they have to distance themselves from certain nonsense. But it is what is in their scrip[ture]. But what they can't get away from is what's in their scriptures.


Now the no death before 6,000 years, you will [garbled audio] . . . professor [Daniel C.] Peterson or anyone – and they say, “You don't understand, that is not church doctrine, blah, blah, blah.” Well I'm sorry it's clearly spelled out in the Book of Mormon. It's also spelled out in the Doctrine and Covenants and in other places. They're scriptures. If these things are not true they need to correct their scriptures. So they're actually between a rock and a hard place. They're either have to, if they want to say these things are true, they've got to prove that. If they say they're false they've got a problem because they've got their scriptures which are supposedly the word of God and therefore inherently true.


Now if these statements that they make – I see Mr. Monson as having two options, well there's three options but two options are: come to trial and defend these statements that are made by the church as being true. There by you can be a true Abinadi or Peter or Saul or whoever you want to claim from the past, speak there as a prophet of God. You'll have an opportunity to bare testimony to the people of the British Isles and anyone else in the world that is listening to this that these statements are true. Or you go and say sorry they're not true. But you know what? I honestly believe them to be true and I didn't do anything dishonest. Which strategy do you want?

MATT: Do you know what?

TOM: I won't even mention his third option right now but –

BOB: Get the lawyers involved and don't do anything? That's probably the most likely one right?


TOM: He can't do it. If he gets the lawyers involved and doesn't do anything he [garble] arrested – arrest warrant that comes on March the 14th if he doesn't show up. Sending his lawyers doesn't do it. The summons says he personally has to turn up. If he doesn't or/and he doesn't get it postponed, there's an arrest warrant.


MATT: Here's a question on that point – or others I've heard ask, “How the U.K. has jurisdiction over him personally?” Do you have any insight in to that?


TOM: Yes. These acts have been committed and that they've been shown to be committed first of all in England and Wales. You know someone from, and I won't even name any country, but someone can't just go into – let's take it this way – you can't just travel into England as a tourist and go and rob a bank, and then leave for your home country – and then they find out later it was you that did it. That's breaking the law in England regardless of where you live in the world.

So he's broken the law in England. The particular act is what's called “non-territorial.” So it's not even confined, but in this particular case it's been broken in England and Wales. He is subject to the courts of England and Wales in that regard and therefore they will issue an arrest warrant. [garble]


MATT: What are the potential consequences if he's found guilty of this fraud because it is a criminal act? Again, because a lot of this misunderstanding or misperception that you're seeking tithing money back from these two individuals, or some sort of monetary reparations. What are the consequences?


TOM: OK. There's three consequences. Now again we've got to stress, if found guilty in a court of law by a jury of twelve people, alright, at this stage they are allegations and Mr. Monson has not even pleaded on these yet as to whether he's guilty, not guilty, or not willing to enter a plea. So, if your question to me is if found guilty of these offenses?

MATT: Yes.

TOM: Then alright, now first of all the act specifies that he can be sentenced to imprisonment, or fined, or both on each account. The maximum sentence of imprisonment is ten years on each account. It doesn't mention a maximum fine or anything like that for the Crown Court. So that's number one. That's – a judge will have to determine what is an appropriate sentence for this offense – bearing in mind this is not something that was trivial. I am – I've actually submitted documentation showing something like 200 million pounds. That's roughly – that's over 300 million dollars. And a big chunk of that is taken from the British taxpayer. So this is not a slight, “Oh this was a little misunderstanding or whatever,” this is a major crime. So the judge will have to take that into account and any other mitigating circumstances.


Now also what can be applied for and what I can apply for as prosecutor is two other things. One is compensation, financial compensation for the victims, and that would basically mean – that would be the victims which are members of the church in England and Wales and also the U.K. treasury. They would be victims and they could be paid back. Again, we're talking very large sums of money.

The third option, the third thing that the court could do is actually have a Confiscation Order and take over church assets.


MATT: Can I ask you on the restitution issue for victims. Would that be limited to the two-named victims or is it your understanding that the restitution could be sought for a[n] other unknown or unnamed victims?


TOM: Yes, I'm fairly confident when eventually we have the indictment it will be for unnamed victims who will then join later on, on conviction, to get their money back.

SCOTT: So it's really basically the equivalent of a class action lawsuit at that point, in terms of that aspect of – I'm not saying it's a civil action but


TOM: The criminal court would award what they thought was fit to any victims. The two represented on the summons at the moment, Steven Bloor and Christopher Ralph, are just examples of such victims. They're not the only ones. And if we/they thought it was being confined to them we're talking about much smaller amounts of money obviously.


SCOTT: Right. We have the same thing here where we have to for a class action lawsuit we have to have representative plaintiffs – who represent the


MATT: But more importantly, there is a mechanism in criminal law for restitution and that defendants are responsible for actual economic loss caused. And it sounds to me that it's more akin to that. So there is a component of the criminal conviction, if I'm understanding correctly.

TOM: And the third part on this which is confiscation –


GLENN: Confiscation is that the laws say that you cannot benefit from the fraud. So if there's a clear benefit that's determined and then that benefit is recognized as certain assets or properties, then it's possible that those assets or properties could be confiscated as a result. So that's a third possibility.


MATT: Right. Again, if the American listeners are familiar with RICO [Act] statutes, organized crime statutes, any criminal enterprise or an entity doing business legally but that also has a criminal component, they're subject to getting all of their assets taken. It sounds similar to that. If I've misrepresented you let me know.


TOM: No in fact –

GLENN: In fact what he says is that the closest thing to the U.S. are the RICO laws, which I don't really know what those are. Something to do with organized crime, I think, I don't know. To me it sounds more like that Copacabana song.

[20:11 minutes: Interlude music to segue into second anointing topic]





SCOTT: Now Tom can we talk about how the second anointing ties into all this. There's been some speculation that the church has been reluctant or has refused to excommunicate you due to what happened or due to the fact that you've received the second anointing. I wonder if you could address that?


TOM: Now that's interesting. Now I posted or I told the world or whoever wanted to hear in January 2008 about the second anointing. Where are we now? 2014. So that's six years ago. I have also published other things and never once, and all this time, the church has known my address, my phone number, my email, everything. Not one person's ever contacted me about threatening to excommunicate me or anything. I have never actually – I don't – let's also get this straight. I do not regard myself as a member of the Mormon Church. However on their records they regard me because of two reasons: One, I've never formally resigned and followed their procedure for resignation; and/or secondly I've not been excommunicated. So as far as I'm concerned I think their rolls would show that I am a member of their church. But I do not regard myself, let me just contrast that with the Angli[can], once I was a member of the Anglican Church, I was a confirmed member. Now they don't count me as a member these days. Otherwise the Anglican Church would have at least fifty million members because everyone's been christened or married or whatever in Eng[land]. But what they say – if you ask the Anglican Church how many members do they have, they say we have approximately one million people that come out to our church every week.


So now why? OK, sorry I've got back to the -- I know that they [the Mormon Church] have gone after all sorts of people. It's why a number of people on various boards post anonymously. They are scared stiff that the church will find out who they are and excommunicate them and it would have repercussions with their family and all sorts of things. They live in fear of their identity being disclosed.

So all of these people somehow get excommunicated. You know they called Grant Palmer – writes a book – and they called him before a – and we could go and name all sorts of things: Simon Southerton and all of these people. For some reason that has never been done to me.


Now the only thing I can think is different about myself and those people I have just stated is I received an ordinance called the second anointing wherein I was ordained a king, all conditions were laid off me, I'm going to inherit, I'm going to be in the celestial kingdom, I'm ordained to be in a Godhood and all of that. So basically the only thing that will prevent me from doing that is to deny the Holy Ghost. I can do all sorts of other things. And although I may be handed over to the buffetings of Satan for a while, ultimately I will be raised in the resurrection and I will be a God, and create my own planets, and all of that goes with it. Apparently, Gordon B. Hinckley forget about, on one news program, but within a few days he was smiling to a lot of priesthood leaders saying, “Of course I know the doctrines of the church.” Yet he denied to the public that we have the doctrine which is spelled out in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants that the idea of Mormonism that we become Gods. Gods and Goddesses is what it's all about.


BOB: So would you say that you have – your actions and where you are now – do you feel like you have, I guess implicitly or explicitly denied the Holy Ghost or are you not comfortable stating that one way or another? I'm just curious.


TOM: According to what I understand of the doctrine, and remember as with all Mormon doctrine, they're quite convoluted and they,


BOB: Right.

TOM: They tend to contradict one another. So it's very hard. You could ask two apostles and maybe get opposite answers. The answer I got at the time was, “Of course I wouldn't be a son of perdition.” Mind you that was before I talked about the second anointing. Just leaving the church would not make me a son of perdition. However, I would say now if they're true to their doctrines, remember their doctrines change according to what they want to have at the time.

Yes the unfortunate thing is a man called Adolph Hitler was able to have killed at least six million Jews. Now as I understand from section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants, Adolph Hitler, and he has had apparently his temple ordinances done for him, that he will at least get to the telestial kingdom, which according to Mormon scripture and Joseph Smith is a kingdom of glory. In fact, I think Joseph Smith said, “If we actually saw the glory there we'd commit suicide right now just to get to that lower kingdom.”

Now so apparently if I kill six million Jews I can get there. But, if I come out and tell the truth, then I don't get that glory. I become a son of perdition. I'm with Satan and all his followers gnashing my teeth or whatever I'm going to do for eternity and I think that's a little bit unfair to be honest.


GLENN: To be fair to Hitler, I'm going to be fair to Hitler here (laughter), we never know, I'm stepping into my apologetic shoes here Tom and I'm doing it sarcastically so I'm just going to give you that fair warning up front – that Hitler may be presented with his temple work on the other side and say, “Screw you, I'm not taking that,” at which point if he rejects the Holy Ghost as well he'd be right there with you in outer darkness and maybe the rest of us here, I don't know. Because I think the way of looking at it, at least in my more believing days, was that the highest that Hitler could ever attain in the afterlife would be the telestial kingdom.

But, for Tom Phillips the highest that you could ever attain would be the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. And in fact, you did have that sealed upon your head by virtue of that second anointing. However, then you became an enemy of the church and you know now you filed a lawsuit against Thomas Monson, in my mind, in my Mormon mind of ten years ago that would have been clear son of perdition territory.


TOM: Well again, we can go into all sorts of things there, section 76 and all the rest of it and even the definition of perdition. And yes, you have to fall from a great height to be perdition. So I don't think, yes Hitler had that opportunity to falter. So that's why I say no. He gets into the telestial kingdom according to Mormon theology because he did not commit anything in this life to get that knowledge and then fall from it. All he did  was kill people. I mean, what's the big deal about that? (laughter) – i.e. mountain meadows massacre? You know these were evil people anyway and that they were responsible for the death of Joseph Smith. Oops sorry that's from the wrong state – but anyway.


GLENN: It is interesting that like the two greatest sins one of them is killing people the other one is just denying the Holy Ghost.


SCOTT: Well, it's only killing innocent people. If they're not innocent that's fair game. Right?


TOM: OK. John D. Lee has had his blessings restored to him, his seconding anointing and everything. So it's [garble] for an atrocious murder.


SCOTT: So that actually brings up a good point that of course, yes, they could excommunicate you. The church could do whatever they wanted. It seems that the reason why they wouldn't is they don't want to have the conversation about Tom Phillips. They don't want to acknowledge Tom Phillips' existence in a press release. You know president newsroom, if president newsroom has to say those words, Tom Phillips or second anointing, it's going to be a really bad day for PR.


TOM: That's right. Well you've said exactly what happens now. Instead, of as we understood a prophet of God and apostles either spoke to God or inspired by him, nowadays any questions or anything it's PR or legal.

You know I was excited when I joined the church that we had supposedly a prophet of God in Joseph Smith, and at the time of [garble] – came Joseph Fielding Smith. These men were willing to stand up at a pulpit and proclaim the truth to the world. And now we're in an age where [they're] ask[ed] a question and it's assigned to a BYU professor or the PR department, LDS newsroom, or the law firm that's acting at the time. It's not to me a prophet of God.



MATT: If we can, can I get back to the lawsuit procedurally ‘cause I was, I guess, a little unclear on what happens procedurally on the 14th and then going forward? I know there's conditions if this – if this then if he does appear, if he doesn't appear. But, if we could fast track this and he appears and he doesn't delay, but shows up and the case is able to move forward.


TOM: Right.


BOB: I was just going to say, before we get to that, I feel like the unanswered hypothetical is the first rule [garble] my belief, the most likely scenario is that he doesn't appear, he maintains silence, and there's some sort of weird diplomatic relationship problem at some level between the U.K. and the U.S. with this high profile individual who has an arrest warrant out for him and that's the part that fascinates me because it's the first one that's going to happen, as far as I can tell.


TOM: OK. Well first of all


GLENN: First of all if he doesn't show up there's an arrest warrant and that's pretty much automatic. So if that happens, then if he ever travels inside of the U.K.


TOM: as he goes through passport control, it will flag up, he will be immediately arrested, and incarcerated at the point and brought before a court to answer charges. So that's what he does. So if he doesn't show up there'll be an arrest warrant and he will not be able to land in Britain for fear of arrest. If he wants to take that route, fine. But, [garble] things are going to be happening in Aus[garble] and Germany and other countries and gradually the world will become a smaller place for him to go. Now with an arrest warrant, now if we actually want to


GLENN: And Tom mentions at this point that extradition is a possibility but it would be very difficult.


TOM: Now if the political powers that be want to interfere in the judiciary, then I think they do it at their own risk. Certainly in the U.K., if the U.S. for political reason, let's say if the U.S. for legal reasons don't extradite, that's everyone can accept that. But if there's no legal reason for them to stop the extradition and they do it for political reasons because they see Mr. Monson as an important man in America, and he has at least three senators in the Senate, if there's reasons like that given, then the U.K. Prime Minister will have a hard time getting re-elected in a year or two's time.


MATT: So, well first of all there's no way the church is going to allow this to go to warrant. That fact would be I think untenable from the church.


TOM: How would they stop that? Now hang on here. And this will rile the British people and also the British judiciary. When you say the church will not allow it, what right has the church [have] to stop anything in the U.K.? Now I would agree


MATT: I'm saying

TOM: In Utah they will stop it because they have some control or influence with the judiciary there. But in the U.K. they can stop an arrest warrant? No way. I've just told you – it's automatic.


MATT: Right. By that I mean they're not going to just ignore. What you said of him just ignoring it, that's not an option.

TOM: Exactly.

MATT: I'm not suggesting they could somehow exert influence. I'm saying they are going to follow whatever procedures they need to avoid that from happening.


SCOTT: Right. They don't want that headline. One question I had Tom, and I know this was the case with Brigham Young in a court proceeding involving the mountain meadows and it also came into play with the Reed Smoot hearings, but if Thomas Monson's health, if he's in ill health, it would seem that that would be pretty good grounds for the church to assert that he can't travel, that he can't appear there, that he can't, you know that he's not able to be, to appear for a proceeding. Do you know if there's any possibility of a teleconference, or you know, a remote arraignment for this kind of a hearing?


TOM: If – obviously the court would be sympathetic to anything of that nature. If a man cannot travel, it's injurious to his -- he just can't do it, then I'm sure they will accommodate it in whatever ways possible. But at the same time, if he's going to make [garble] maybe that would be genuine. And I'm sure if it is genuine the court will allow that. They're not going to put this off. They're not going to say, “Well wait until you get better.” They're going to want to go ahead with it in whatever way they think is right. And whether that's video conferencing, or whatever, that's for the court to determine.

But, listen to this. Now supposing that is not a truthful way, but they decide this is the way we're going to play the game, presumably he's going to have difficulty turning up at general conference three weeks later.

MATT: Right.


SCOTT: That's a good point.


TOM: If he's incapacitated, then what do you do? If he can get up and talk before 20,000 people and however many you claim worldwide are listening to you, unless you're sitting there in a wheelchair, and we have had the happen in the past, with President Benson and others in the past, where they're clearly incapacitated, so their first counselors speaks in their behalf. Now if that happens at conference, I think we can all believe that he's incapacitated and unable to attend church, and we will have great sympathy for him. But if he says he's unable through ill health to attend a court in London and at the same time, three weeks later, gets up boldly before the world and gives his normal conference addresses, people will wonder.


MATT: Right. It would be a thumb in the eye to the British government, to the British people certainly.


TOM: Absolutely. And it would then show whatever petition he put into it to do this, they would then see, and I would certainly go in as prosecutors, they'd look this was obviously not valid. And then you can bet your life there would not just be an arrest warrant for this, there would be an arrest warrant for contempt of court.


MATT: Now again let me emphasis this point. You say that there is no discretion in whether or not to issue this warrant if he fails to appear or take some sort of action procedurally. Is that right?


TOM: My understand[ing], now the wording that was used in the summons was, and this people who'll think is a loophole, it says that a warrant may be issued [garble] what it actually says on the warrant. Now I'm not a legal expert on this matter of the issuing of the warrant or anything. The word may is often used rather than [garble] just to give some judiciary discretion. But from what I was told by the head of the legal team at this particular court, his words to me was, “this will be automatic, if he doesn't show, that's it, it's automatic – an arrest warrant.” He didn't seem to think that [there's] any discretion in this.


MATT: So if again I'd like to end this, I hope I'm not be pedantic about this because I'm still interested

TOM: Please do.


MATT: in how procedurally this goes forward on the 14th, if he was to appear, that's effectively and arraignment where he pleads not-guilty. Did I get that right?


TOM: No. Sorry, that's what I would have assumed. But no, as I understand this process, on the 14th he needs to be present, but there's not going to be any trial or anything occur there. At that time, I or my lawyer, will read out the charges against him. At that time, he has, he could if he wanted to, enter a plea. But I don't believe he will be asked to plea at that stage. Once the charges are read out in court, the judge sitting there will consider that as to his, then [the] decision is who will take jurisdiction for this. Will he and his Magistrate Court take ownership of this case or will he refer it to the Crown Court for trial?

Now [garble] I have been clearly told that this will be an automatic decision they will say, “No this is too big for the Magistrate's Court, we will immediately allocate this to the Crown Court,” which is the Suffolk Crown Court. And then the next stage is to set a date for an appearance there when a plea will be asked for, and when you'll have, that's what you would call your arraignment.

MATT: I see.

TOM: Crown Court not the Magistrate's Court. If this were a more minor offence it could happen there and then at the Magistrate's Court. But this is too big for a Magistrate's Court.

MATT: I see. And then it goes to the Crown Court where it will proceed as it does pre-trial after arraignment? 

TOM: Pre-trial, yes.

MATT: So eventually resulting in either some form of a plea agreement or trial?


GLENN: Tom says here that he loves to watch American television, especially court room drama, so he's vaguely aware of this concept of striking a deal.


TOM: Cutting a deal with the D.A. or whatever it is. That is not part of the English system unfortunately for him.


MATT: OK. Is there a stage where this complaint can be dismissed or thrown out procedurally along the process as you understand it?


TOM: Yes, yes there is. Sorry. And a lot of people are assuming this is what will happen. Normally as you said earlier, cases are brought in Britain of a criminal nature by the Crown Prosecution Service. That is the usual format. In this case it is a private prosecutor that is taking this action.

Now at some stage, probably soon, the Crown Prosecution Service will have to look at this and be in dialogue with me to make a decision. [garble] They basically have three options, they look at the evidence, and they've got three options. What Mr. Monson's team will be relying on is one option is to take over the case and immediately close it down. They have the right to do that. I'll come back to that though.


Number two is they look at the case, they decide to take it over and they will prosecute. That gets rid of a load of financial burden for me if they do that.

Number three they look at the case and they say no continue as you are. And that [there] you go.

So the only risk to this process stopping is that first one, where they take over the case and close it down. They usually do that where there is a flippant case anyway, where somehow it squeaked through the district judge or the magistrate who has not looked at matters properly and therefore they correct it that way. This won't happen in this case.


Now for them to take it over and close it down they've got to pass two tests. Basically, they've actually got to determine and show that there is no chance whatsoever of a conviction in this case – that the, you know, the possibility of a [conviction] – it's not that they have to determine, you know all I have to prove there will be a conviction, it's as you mentioned earlier about the probability – that there's at least a good chance of a conviction. You can never know at trial, well you've got two trial lawyers there. You can never know at trial which way something will go and I just have to mention O.J. Simpson and everyone seems to understand that issue.

So they just have to say right, there's no, there's just totally insufficient evidence. I'm grateful to the district judge who went through this so thoroughly, that I don't think they can come to that conclusion.

The next spar they have to say is, “Is this in the public interest?” Now if British taxpayers have been defrauded of tens of millions of dollars, you can bet your life this is in the public interest. So I don't personally see anyway this can be stopped. They will have to have some very clever legal arguments to get the Crown Prosecution Service to say, “No way can this go to trial, ‘cause there is no chance in whatever language you want to use that this can happen.”


BOB: And even if that happens that's after the March date right? Like we have to get to the point where he shows up? There's no [garble]


TOM: No they could do that tomorrow presumably if they so choose. It wouldn't be an easy thing for them because you know in order to do that they've got to do battle with me and my lawyers. And I've already been told by the law firm, “No there's no way, this is -- [garble] going to get to close this down, we won't let them close it down.” The only reason that could be suggested, and I think this is what the district judge was aware of, and you've allude to, the only reason they can close this down is for political reasons. And all I said there, that they make a decision on political reasons and there is a storm in Britain, because the political process should have nothing to do with the judiciary.


BOB: Right, right.

TOM: That would be within the U.S. as well – [garble] any country – you do that and you have got a big problem on your hands. OK so it's my personal opinion, I can be wrong, I can be wrong legally, I can be wrong in my personal opinion, but the way I see it there is no way of stopping this.

There's a way of delaying it, I've already mentioned that. If they go in and appeal to the high court to have this summons thrown out, they won't win that, but that might be a tactic because that would delay it for another three or four months – so March the 14th won't happen. It will be a subsequent date of May or June or whatever the subsequent date will be.


MATT: I'm sorry Tom if I missed this. You have talked about two issues: the fraud issue pertaining to the seven allegations but then you've mentioned a couple of times the tax, some of the tax fraud, I'm sorry you said they have defrauded through the taxpayers of England or of the U.K. Could you talk to that for a second?


TOM: Certainly. And even this is evidence by statements that have been given to the court by Mr. Bloor and Mr. Ralph. One of the things they mentioned in their written admissions was they paid tithing and why they pay tithing. But they also said they paid their tithing under a tax efficient scheme called Gift Aid. And therefore they paid X in tithing, but an amount called Y was also paid direct from the British Government to the church as a contribution towards their contribution.

Now let's say in the U.S., let's say I have an income of $10,000 and I want to pay $1,000 to the church as my tithe. What I would normally do is write a check or whatever of $1,000 to the church. Then when I fill out my tax return I would put that as an itemized deduction or whatever. And that would reduce my taxes. Now for simplicity let's just say everyone has a 20% tax rate. So, I pay the church $1,000 and the U.S. federal income tax gives me, or reduces my taxes by $200. That's the way as I understand it would work in the U.S.

In the U.K. it doesn't work the same way but it's the same net effect. In the U.K. what I would do is pay $800 to the church instead of $1,000 and then the U.K. government would pay them $200 out of the taxes that I have already paid. So, it's the same net effect. The church still gets the $1,000. It still costs me $800. It's just gone a different route.

Now again, when we look at the uniqueness of the Fraud Act 2006, and one of the reasons I maintain you don't need a victim to be named, is the victim doesn't even need to be aware that they have been defrauded. And that's why I say the U.K. treasury is the most significant victim in this. Because I don't think any ordinary tithe payer in England and Wales has paid as much as the U.K. treasury will have paid to the church.


MATT: That component then is part of the financial proof that you're showing as far as the financial gain – that's how it's connected to this action?


TOM: There's two things in the act. There's financial gain but there's also financial loss to another. [garble] This is a gain to the church, it actually works both ways. It's actually a loss to the U.K. treasury. They have actually lost tens of millions of pounds because of this fraudulent behavior. If, sorry I'll underscore that, if it is proved that it is fraud, at the moment it's alleged fraud.


MATT: That helps me understand how that's connected to it. And I know that's come up a couple of times.


TOM: A gain or a loss. So even if under this act, if you were to make some false statements and you made no financial gain out of it, but you caused someone else to lose money,

MATT: Sure,

TOM: That's the criminal act. Or if that was you're intent, not for you to personally gain, but you did something that made someone suffer a loss – that's the criminal offence.


SCOTT: That covers pretty much everything I wanted to talk about unless you guys had any questions about the second anointing.



GLENN: I did have some thoughts around the second anointing. You know, as I prepared for this Tom, I read through your write up of the – you're experience with that. And one of the things that really struck me was your expectation going in that your calling and election was going to be made sure and that means that you're going to see Jesus. And you know at some point in that process it must have crossed your mind, “OK where's Jesus?” And I heard you talk about this when you did your interview with John Dehlin.

But, there's an expectation among members that definitely Thomas Monson has seen Jesus, the quorum of the twelve, they're special witnesses of Jesus Christ, so they've probably seen him too. Anybody who has a calling and election made sure has seen Jesus. It seems to me that falls very nicely in line with these charges that you're making. You know, why do people follow blindly the prophet? Well he's working for Jesus. Jesus is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes. So, why wasn't that included as one of the seven charges? Is that something that you could demonstrate or at least put President Monson or someone else on the hot seat to say, “This is the main assumption in the church, you know, it's too sacred to talk about, but we need to know what's going on because this is part of this fraud.”

TOM: Well,

GLENN: Long winded question.


TOM: No, no, I understand your point. You can go on, particular go to, well look up Wikipedia second anointing. Originally when I posted they actually put in my experience. That's been taken out by the church every time that gets put in it's taken out. You go to any church website, they won't talk about it.

Now could I put that in court? Well, do you know what? It would be my word against Mr. Monson's word. Now who would the jury believe? I would hope that they would believe me. But why would I even bother? That's not so testable in a court of law. That's – and again he's not even going to be able to prove to them that he's seen Christ or whatever.


GLENN: But if you were able to prove the general membership belief that they have, I mean that could be devastating. [garble]


TOM: Oh, sorry. Well, let me just back up here a bit. Yes, I was so, at the time, I just felt so humbled – when I was first asked [garble] or said that the prophet asked me to go along for this, I went, I can't remember now I think I went through about a three week process. I looked at my, as far as I was concerned I wasn't worthy of such. Yes, as far as I'm concerned I'm going to meet Jesus, no question about that. I'm being judged right now. Now I'm no perfect man. I can easily pass the bar for a temple recommend. But you know what, I don't [really] [garbled] regard myself as perfect. I'm thinking, “I can do this.” And I had to really, I did a lot of fasting and praying during that period to prepare for this event. And I had to leave it to OK well if he i.e. the prophet, presumably talking to Christ has invited me to have this ordinance, than whom I to object and say, “No, I am not worthy.” He would know more than I would know as to my worthiness. So, I approached it in that respect. And even on the occasion when my wife and I went to a separate room on our own where she performed an ordinance on me and actually put her hands on my head and gave me a blessing, I thought, “OK this is where it's going to happen with just the two of us here in a room,” without an apostle around or anywhere I assumed Christ would appear at that stage. OK it didn't happen.


Was I disappointed? No I wasn't disappointed because it was a very uplifting experience. I mean the impact this has on your spirit or your emotions is just absolutely fantastic. I came out of that even more dedicated and committed. It didn't bother me that Christ didn't appear. But sometime later, a couple of years later I think it was – I did ask one of the general authorities. I said, “Well hang on, Christ never appeared to me. Now when? Is this going to be some future event or am I actually lacking in something or what?”

Now telling, this maybe might answer your question, what he said to me was, “Tom,” he said, “What we're advised by the prophet to say if anyone ever asks us that question whether we've seen Christ or not, we just look at them in the eyes and we say we have been counseled by the prophet not to discuss such sacred experiences.”


Now when he said that to me, I thought, “Well that means that I have.” And he kind of just looked at me. I said I'm not prepared to say that because if I say that to people I know, if they were to ask me that question, I said that, they would go out and say Tom Phillips has seen Christ. That's not true. I would have to say to them no.

Now I was instructed not to say no. I would assume that applies to the apostles and to President Monson as well because if it's true that they've seen him, I don't know the whole Bible especially the New Testament is based on the testimony of apostles that declare Christ. Even Paul, that came after this thing, still testified of his vision of Christ. We don't hear that anymore. But they do allude to it. They won't come out honestly and say no we haven't [seen]


GLENN: Tom explains that throughout his life he always assumed that the general authorities and the apostles have seen Christ and when he would talk with them about it that they would infer that they had. But it wasn't until later on through his own personal experience with this and other things that he realized that they hadn't.

So why not get them to come to the court and stand in front of a judge and declare very boldly like the prophets of old that, “Yes they have seen Christ?” And he started getting a little worked up here.


TOM: Do it. That's what's supposed to happen in the Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't it? Declare it to the world. Call them to repentance. You know, tell them what you really believe that the Catholics are wrong, the Pope is wrong, this is wrong, that's wrong.


GLENN: This was my original question, would there be a way if President Monson comes and he has to stand in front of this court and answer these questions that that could be one of the questions? That we've got to get to the heart of this. You know, is Jesus Christ really at the head of your church?

TOM: Good point. Good point. We'll consider that in the indictment. I think it's a good point.



MATT: Infants on Thrones affecting change. Good job.


GLENN: Yes. My dad'll be so proud.


GLENN: Actuall he wouldn't. But there you go. That wraps up part 2 and hopefully will get the next one out to you soon. You know, we broke it into pieces like this as a way to push it out to you faster, so hopefully you will forgive us for making you wait to hear the whole thing – at least for those of you who are following us as we post this.

Part 3 will conclude our interview with Tom Phillips and we'll get a little closer to his motivation behind all of this action. And will also include some post interview panel discussion where we're joined by Randy, and our very own Tom you know the other Tom the sighing Tom.

So just a few words for those of you who are new to this podcast, I just want you to know why we do this. We do it because we like it. Period. It's fun. It's interesting to us. We like each other and we like to talk. So none of us really consider ourselves especially qualified in any extra special way. We're not really experts in anything other than our own experiences and our own opinions. And most importantly, I think we know that. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We don't have any ulterior motives. There's no objective here. We're not out to attack or undermine the church or anyone's faith. We just talk about the things that are interesting to us. And we don't monetize this project in any way. We promise that we never will because that just leads to all kinds of issues. And you know, the minute this stops being a hobby that we do simply because we enjoy it, that's the moment we lose our mojo. And I don't think anyone wants us to lose our mojo.