the thinker

Kay Burningham

This web page is dedicated to the accomplishments of Kay Burningham and her dealings with the Mormon Church.

Who is Kay Burningham?


Kay Burningham, author of An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism, is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

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

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


Kay's website: Link is here.

Television Interview

The Mormon Candidate - a BBC documentary.

The BBC aired a documentary on Mitt Romney and Mormonism on March 27, 2012. It features several interviews with Apostle Jeffrey Holland and many others including Kay Burningham.

Available in its entirety on youtube here.

SLC programming: Polygamy: What Love Is This.

Kay was featured on two episodes of Polygamy: what love is this on April 27, 2012 and May 10, 2012. She was interviewed about her story regarding her experiences with Mormonism and her book.

Episode 5.17 aired April 26, 2012

Episode 5.18 aired May 10, 2012


"An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism" by Kay Burningham

Here's a new Mormon book taking a completely new angle on the question of whether or not there is sufficient justification to warrant legal action against the LDS Church. We find the premise fascinating.

Have you ever wondered why the LDS leaders have made statements that the Church is either true or it is a fraud; Smith was either a prophet or he was a charlatan? Statements like these have been made at church conferences and in LDS magazines, especially after widespread high-speed access to the internet became common.

As has noted, and as Ms. Burningham explains in depth, portraits on LDS Church websites and in LDS literature and other propaganda depict the creation of the Book of Mormon, the keystone of Mormonism, with Joseph Smith appearing to translate from gold plates. However, all primary source evidence establishes that he used a seerstone placed in a hat. Additionally, Priesthood restorations by biblical apostles celebrated annually by modern Mormons have been backdated to precede the date of Church Restoration because according to even LDS scholars, there is no mention of such events in any of the writings of the Church for up to five years after they are alleged to have occurred.All these facts have been established and conceded by scholars of Mormon history, LDS and non-LDS.

What does it all mean?The Author, an experienced trial attorney who has tried cases in San Diego and argued before the Utah Supreme Court, claims that there are two classes of Mormons, the deceivers and the deceived.The former have induced the latter to join or remain in the LDS Church through fraudulent misrepresentations, even according to Utah law.

“…not only was The Book of Mormon a fraud and the Mormon Religion based upon fraudulent origins (something alleged by Mormonism's critics since it all began), but that the continued representation of the Joseph Smith story—that quintessential Mormon fable, complete with heavenly visitations, golden plates, priesthood restoration and temple covenants and ordinances as the God-given truth, for almost two centuries—that was the real fraud. Fraud in the inducement had been committed by each collective group of Mormon leaders against every rising generation of born-in-the-church Mormons and innumerable unsuspecting investigators of the Religion who ultimately became converts to the Church.” (An American Fraud, p. 180).

MormonThink Review: For several reasons, I enjoyed reading Kay Burningham's book, "An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism". I was also raised as a stalwart Mormon in Bountiful, Utah, attended Bountiful High School, and indeed, had a drama class from Kay's uncle, Kim Burningham.  I have never met Kay, so it was interesting to read her book and discover how much we have in common.

Since I am also female, I appreciated her insights from a feminine perspective, which parallel some of my own experiences in Mormonism, and which I haven't read in any previous book.

I learned from Kay's legal viewpoints, especially those in the Appendix.  Her legal training showed a new slant for me that I hadn't run across before. She clearly expresses the value of evidence in making judgments, and she lays out that evidence with copious documentation.  This was my favorite part of the book, the last two-thirds where she provides the documented evidence on the Book of Mormon and science, Joseph Smith's method of translation, Book of Abraham, Blacks and the Priesthood, polyandry and polygamy and misogyny, First Vision, and so much more.

Kay's honesty and authenticity are very apparent, and her clarity of expression made this book an interesting read.  I would recommend this book as not only worthwhile, but also a fresh perspective on many issues.

An MT reviewer

Other Interviews

Interesting youtube interview with Jeff Ricks, founder of

Part 1: Link is here.

Part 2: Link is here.

Part 3: Link is here.

2013 ex-Mormon Conference Presentation

Kay did a very interesting presentation at the 2013 Ex-Mormon conference in Salt Lake City. "Are Mormon Leaders Above the Law? Fraud in the Inducement and Mormonism: An Historic and Contemporary Look" Youtube video link