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=========================================================== = This file was downloaded from a Christian occult = = BBS, and should be regarded as suspect in areas of = = factuality. The Christian cult has seldom displayed = = any aversion to lying to achive their agendas. drice = =========================================================== THE GODMAKERS II UNDER FIRE FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT A real controversy has been raging in Salt Lake City ever since the film "The Godmakers II" was shown at a local church. The reason the film created such a heated debate was that it openly accused the acting head of the Mormon Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley, of committing homosexual acts with another man and even with "feminine looking boys... about fifteen or sixteen years old... just little youngsters, babies." In addition, he was accused of consorting with prostitutes. LAWSUIT THREATENED On Feb. 25, 1993, the Salt Lake Tribune reported the following: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is threatening to take legal action against the producers of the anti Mormon video 'God Makers ll.' The video 'contains numerous false statements that violate the privacy rights' of Gordon B. Hinckley... said Salt Lake attorney Patrick A. Shea this month in a letter to Patrick and Caryl Matrisciana of Jeremiah Films Inc. The statements in question, relating to the personal conduct of President Hinckley, 'are entirely false,' said Mr. Shea, who is representing the LDS Church.... Ed Decker,who narrated the film and helped research and write it, said this is the first legal action the LDS Church has threatened against them. Even before a lawsuit was threatened, a number of the important ministries to Mormons informed us that they would not carry the video because it was too sensationalistic in its approach. Dick Baer, a prominent critic of the Mormon Church, took issue with the contents of the film when he was interviewed by a newspaper: "A local resident who played a major role in the production of a film a decade ago which classifies Mormonism as a mind controlling cult is distancing himself from the just released sequel. "Richard D. Baer...says the follow-up to the 1983 movie... misses the mark. Baer says 'God-Makers ll' is sensational and dwells on the bizarre. Baer and Ed Decker... parted company in 1984, when Baer began his own organization to, he says, expose the radical differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity...." "Ed has a penchant to sensationatize, embellish on facts and center on bizarre issues to try to shock people, ' Baer says. 'This film will so turn Mormons off it will be difficult to even talk to them.' "Baer is not the only LDS critic refusing to support the new film. For instance, Sandra Tanner, who has written many books about Mormonism,including one that convinced Baer to leave the church, is not endorsing 'Godmakers ll.'" (The Sacramento Union, Dec. 26, 1992) As the article cited above indicates, Dick Baer did play a major role in the first film. The reader may remember that Baer was present with Ed Decker in the lengthy scene at the lawyers' office. Mr. Baer now operates Ex-Mormons and Christian Alliance, PO Box 530, Orangevale, CA 95662. In 1986, the Public Communications/Special Affairs Department of the Mormon Church prepared a list of ten "CRITICS OF THE CHURCH." Mr. Baer's name appeared in third place on that list. Because of Dick Baer's role in the first film and his extensive work with Mormons, his critical evaluation of The Godmakers 11 is very significant. Before looking at the charges against President Hinckley, we need to take a look at another part of the video that throws some light on the question of whether the material presented in the film was thoroughly researched. In discussing the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the narrator (Ed Decker) asserted: "There is strong evidence that in 1824 Joseph Smith actually had to dig up the body of hls dead brother Alvln and bring part of that body with him to the Hill Cumorah in order to gain access to the gold plates on which were written the Book of Mormon." To further illustrate this startling claim, a repulsive looking drawing of a skeleton is shown! The truth of the matter, however, is that there is absolutely no evidence to support such an accusation. The idea that Joseph Smith would consider digging up his brother to obtain the plates actually came from the mind of document forger Mark Hofmann and was set forth by him in his infamous "Salamander letter." In Hofmann's forgery, the "old spirit" told Joseph Smith to "bring your brother Alvin [to the Hill Cumorah] Joseph says he is dead shall I bring what remains but the spirit is gone..." The rest of the letter, however, makes it clear that even Mark Hofmann did not go as far as Mr. Decker in saying that the spirit actually required Joseph to dig up his brother's body. In 1987, Mr. Hofmann confessed to prosecutors that he forged the Salamander letter. He, in fact, was questioned about the very part of the letter that mentioned Alvin: "O What about, 'shall I bring what remains', talking about Alvin? A Part of that was from my own Imagination and part was from... different stories that I tied together." (Hofmann's Confession, 1987, pp. 441-42) Although Hofmann believed that Joseph Smith was involved in magical practices, he was not able to come up with any evidence that Joseph Smith was commanded to bring his brother's body to the hill. Since Hofmann's confession that he forged the Salamander letter has been known for over five years, it seems hard to believe that anyone would still be maintaining that there is "strong evidence" that Joseph dug up Alvin's remains to please the spirit. In any case, the use of this discredited tale should alert the reader to be careful about accepting statements in Godmakers II without doing further checking . Ed Decker and others who have brought accusations of immorality against President Gordon B. Hinckley claim that they have hard evidence to support the charges. Our examination of that evidence, however, raises many questions with regard to its validity. While we cannot say with absolute certainty that there is no truth in the accusations, on the basis of the evidence that we have examined, we find the charges difficult to accept. In fact, we find it hard to believe that they would be made public without some confirming evidence from more reliable sources. Lest the reader should misunderstand our position, we do not wish to be considered apologists for President Hinckley or the Mormon Church. In fact, in the last issue of our newsletter we severely criticized Hinckley and other church authorities for suppressing the McLellin Collection from prosecutors in the Mark Hofmann case. Nevertheless, we feel that it is our duty to present our readers with well-balanced research on this issue. We are deeply concerned about such serious charges being made on evidence that seems questionable. We are very sensitive to this issue because we ourselves have been the target of very malicious stories circulated by members of the Mormon Church. The evidence against Mr.Hinckley comes from four individuals. The first is Charles Van Dam. Mr. Van Dam made many serious charges against Hinckley in a video tape, made on July 17, 1988. He died of AIDS just months after making his statement. Van Dam maintained he had a homosexual relationship with Hinckley that lasted from "about 1964 to 1966." He also claimed that Hinckley was involved in sexual parties and "heavy drinking." Moreover, he charged that Hinckley was "a frequent customer" of prostitutes. Van Dam indicated that he procured prostitutes for Hinckley and that "he wanted wild, kinky girls...Girls that wouldn't mind being tor- tied [sic] up and things like that. He was a kinky man. According to Mr. Van Dam, Hinckley would provide the used car lot he (Van Dam) worked for "a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand dollars at a whack" and that "a lot of it" went out to pay for the "girls and guys" involved in the sexual encounters. Finally, however, Hinckley was supposed to have warned Van Dam and others to flee from the state of Utah to avoid an investigation. Later, when Van Dam was in Denver, he received money from Salt Lake City that he felt "had to come from the church." He bought a liquor store and "two gay bars," and they were used as fronts to launder" money for the people in Salt Lake. Eventually, however, the law caught up with Mr. Van Dam. He was called before a grand jury and "went to the penitentiary for telling the grand jury to hang it in their ear, that I wasn't going to testify against them Salt Lake people." A careful examination of Van Dam's interview raises questions regarding his motive, reliability and competency. For in stance, the video shows that he was rather bitter against the Mormon Church because he had been expelled trom the church. When Van Dam was asked why he was excommunicated, he responded: "Homosexuality." Although this would not necessarily invalidate Van Dam's story, it does raise the question of revenge. Moreover, there is another element in Van Dam's story that seems improbable. He claimed that Gordon Hinckley, the very man he had previously had sexual relations with, chastised him for his deviant behavior just before his excommunication ! Mr. Van Dam claimed that in 1969 or 1970, when he "went up to the Church Office Building to be excommunicated - for an interview," he found himself in the presence of Hinckley who rebuked him for his homosexual lifestyle. Van Dam claimed that he argued with Hinckley at that time: "I told him, I said, how can you... sit in judgment on me, when you're as big a queer as I am." Mr. Van Dam said that Hinckley refused to listen to his argument, and he was excommunicated. He went on to state: "They kicked me out of the city - threatened my life." It seems very hard to believe that if Hinckley really had a homosexual affair with Charles Van Dam, he would turn right around and help engineer his excommunication. As strange as it may seem, Van Dam also maintains that the church was giving him money to keep him quiet. If this was really the case, why would Hinckley want to have him excommunicated and risk having the whole story come out? This does not make any sense. One of the most disturbing portions of Charles Van Dam's story relates to another encounter he supposedly had with Hinckley before he was reprimanded in the Church Office Building. Van Dam maintained that when he was living in California, the following incident occurred: "I was just a deacon... they wanted to elevate me to a priest, and in order to do that they've got to have a General Authorlty come down and Interview you, and he [Hinckley] came to the stake presidency and to the stake conference..." Van Dam went on to state: "...when I walked in and saw him there, I said, 'there is no way that this man is going to sit in judgment on me.' " To those who are familiar with Mormonism, this is a preposterous statement. All worthy boys who are 12 years of age can be ordained deacons. At the age of 14 they become teachers, and when they turn 16 they are ordained priests. While the office of priest is a very important office in the Catholic Church, in Mormonism it is just the third step in the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood. Every boy who lives a worthy life is expected to become a priest. Contrary to Van Dam's statement that "a general authority" of the church has to "interview" those who would be priests, the interview is conducted by the local bishop of the ward in which the candidate lives. The General Handbook of Instructions, 1983, p. 29, makes it very clear that those who seek the otfice of "Priest, teacher, or deacon" are "INTERVIEWED AND ORDAINED... By or under direction ot [the] bishop." Since it is highly unlikely that any such incident could have occurred, a shadow of doubt is cast on the rest ot Charles Van Dam's statements concerning Gordon B. Hinckley. With regard to Van Dam's moral character, his own interview seems to speak for itself. He acknowledged participation in criminal activity and admitted he refused to testity betore a grand jury. His interview of July 17, 1988, contains no evidence to show that he had repented of his evil activities. In our opinion, viewing this video in its entirety severely weakens Van Dam's story. The Godmakers ll uses short extracts from another interview, and, of course, none of the problems found in the first video are mentioned. Another factor that needs to be considered when we look at Charles Van Dam's story is his mental state at the time he was interviewed. One of the problems associated with AIDS is that the patient can suffer trom dementia. Dementia is defined in The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, p. 296, as "an incurable disorder of the brain in which there is a progressive loss of memory and other intellectual functions so that the mind gradually ceases to function normally and the affected person slowly becomes increasingly confused, incapable of sensible conversation, unaware of the surroundings and generally incapacitated." The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 1977, p. 1542, says that sometimes a person suffering from dementia may embark on foolish and ill-judged, perhaps illegal activities..." In the video interview, Charles Van Dam showed some signs of confusion in telling his story. The interviewer tried to explain why Mr. Van Dam was making confusing statements by admitting that he had "dementia." When he asked Van Dam to explain the disorder, he responded:"Well, it's a forgetfulness that comes with AIDS... you lose contact in reality in remembrances - in memory banks back years ago and then all ot a sudden they'll come to you." While Van Dam was able to talk fairly well, his own admission about struggling with dementia raises the question of his reliability as a witness. The Godmakers ll is completely silent concerning the fact that Charles Van Dam suffered from dementia. Moreover, it does not mention anything about his death. We talked to three non-Mormons who were acquainted with Charles Van Dam before he made the video attacking Gordon B. Hinckley. None of these men seemed to have any personal knowledge about the accusations against Hinckley, and all of them felt that Van Dam was unreliable. One of them, who worked at a used car lot with Van Dam, said that he remembered Van Dam's wild stories concerning his criminal activities. At that time, Van Dam was not implicating the Mormon Church, but claimed he had been working for the Mafia in Chicago. This man felt that Van Dam was prone to telling tall tales. In The Godmakers II three people were used to shore up the charges against Hinckley. These witnesses - Viola (Vi), Ben and Louie - all seem to be of questionable character. William Claudin was present when these individuals made the affidavits and has given us copies. These statements raise a number of problems that are not discussed in the film. The first affidavit, dated Sept. 17, 1988, was given by Viola. In her statement she admitted she was having "an affair" with a married man who she said was Gordon Hinckley's friend. She maintained there were "very kinky" parties held at a "house on the East side" but she "would'nt [sic] take part in it, so, I would have ______ take me home. I knew it was time to leave before the kinky things started." This contradicts a statement by Van Dam in his video. He claimed that one night he came home to find a very wild bisexual party going on and that Viola was one of those he found on the premises. At any rate, she recalled that at one time Hinckley "was sitting next to me on a couch with a drink in one hand and his arm around a Girl with the other.... They then got up and went into a bedroom.. . I was much aware of the use ot the rooms and what went on inside." Viola made clear that prostitutes were present at the "kinky" parties. In his affidavit Louie said that "Viola ______ was a favorite of the group...." Viola apparently knew nothing at that time about a sexual relationship between Hinckley and Van Dam, but she said It does'nt [sic] surprise me now to know that Hinckley and Chuck were Bed partners. Viola admitted that when "the heat started to come down," she "left Salt Lake." While she does not give the reason, in his video Charles Van Dam explained that he and his associates fled to escape the law. The second affidavit, dated July 8, 1988, was given by a man named Ben. According to Charles Van Dam, he was involved in the scheme to "launder money" in Denver. In any case, Ben claimed that "one night in particular Chas and I came to his house and found all the Bedrooms full - His Booze all drunk and two additional people...on his couch...Chas went Crasy [sic] - yelling[,] Screaming and telling the [expletive deleted] to get. .. out of his house. - I witnessed _____ & _____ and Gordon Hin[c]kley running out the Door trying to Put on their pants over their temple Garments - By the Way." Ben's statement that Charles Van Dam chased Gordon B. Hinckley out into the night under such embarrassing conditions certainly seems hard to believe. As strange as it may seem, Van Dam himself maintained that he did drive Hinckley out of the house in the manner described above. This does not fit well with the rest of Van Dam's story. As noted earlier, he claimed that Hinckley was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the car lot and the evil activities that were going on. In another place in the 1988 video he said that "the church was definitely involved" in the matter. In The Godmakers II, Van Dam related: "I was personally involved with the apostle Gordon Hinckley sexually. We became financially involved in a house at 2213 Lakeline Drive. We bought the house for a party pad, and Gordon Hinckley came up there all the time and I had to arrange women for him, l had to arrange booze for him." In the 1988 video, Van Dam claimed that the money was given to me" to buy the house that was to be used for sexual purposes and that finally "the church took it back, or someone took it back and they ended up selling it..." According to his own story, then, it was not really his house and he would not have the right to throw people out who were using it for the purpose for which it was intended. lf Gordon Hinckley was really the benefactor, as Van Dam maintained, it seems highly unlikely that Van Dam would treat him in such a humiliating manner. In the video Van Dam portrays Hinckley as a Mafia-like person who would not hesitate to kill to protect his interests. lf this were really the case, why would he allow Van Dam to run him off from the premises without retaliating in some way? Ben's affidavit also raises an important question with regard to when these alleged sexual activities actually took place. Viola set the time frame in "the early to mid 1960's, namely 1964 thru 1967..." Charles Van Dam said that his sexual encounters with Hinckley took place "about 1964 to 1966." Louie's affidavit says that he partied "a lot" with Van Dam, "especially from 1964 to 1966." Ben maintained that "Over a period of 2 1/2 to three (3) years the activities took Place... The years of 1964 thru 1966 were the maln years that this part took place In Chas Van Dam's house..." Actually, nothing could have taken "place in" Van Dam's house during the year 1964, nor in the first eleven months of 1965, because the Salt Lake County Abstracts book and the real estate contract for the house show that it was not purchased by Van Dam until Dec.1, 1965. This, of course, does not rule out the possibility that these activities were taking place at the car lot or at other locations. One very important omission in The Godmakers II is that it never gives any indication of when these sordid affairs were supposed to have taken place. The reason may be that the producers did not want viewers to know how long ago it was that these events allegedly occurred. If we can believe Van Dam's statement that they took place "about 1964 to 1966," then it is clear that twenty-six to twenty-elght years have elapsed! Although Mr. Van Dam was suspicious that Hinckley was still involved in sinful behavior, he furnished no evidence that this was the case. His story concerning the sexual transgressions ended in 1966. In fact, Van Dam admitted that in his last conversation with the church leader, he (Van Dam) was rebuked because of his homosexual behavior and told to "change my ways." The Godmakers II presents no evidence to indicate that Hinckley is engaging in sexual sin at the present time. Also we doubt the propriety of exposing sins that are alleged to have happened so many years ago on such unsubstantiated accusations. In The Godmakers II Ed Decker said that Bill Claudin was responsible for the research on Hinckley. In a letter dated June 20,1990, Claudin claimed he had "more recent evidence against Hinckley: "An audio tape is available containing testimony from one of the call glrls who regularly sexually serviced Gordon B. Hinckley during the more recent late 1980's. "The producers of The Godmakers II must not have put much stock in this witness because she is not mentioned in the video. The reason her testimony was omitted might relate to Hinckley's age. He was born June 23,1910, and therefore would have been in his late 70's at the time. This, of course, makes her claim more difficult to believe. As noted earlier, the last witness used in The Godmakers ll was named "Louie." He also gave an affidavit on August 9,1988. In the 1988 video the interviewer asked Mr. Van Dam if Louie was a "pimp." Van Dam replied, "Yes." In his affidavit Louie claimed he worked with Van Dam at the used car lot. While he said he saw Hinckley "probably 5-6 times" at the car lot doing business, he did not speak of Hinckley being involved in any evil practices. In The Godmakers II Ben said that Louie would bring prostitutes to Van Dam's house: "Louie would bring up four or five girls at a time - bring them to the door. Mr. Hlnckley amongst other people were there." Although Louie said that he saw "bishops and other Mormons "going there or leaving there," he did not identify Gordon Hinckley as being at the parties. In his affidavit he confirmed that he did supply "girls - But cannot say If he (Hin[c]kley) was useing [sic] the girls." He went on to say: "I never saw Hlncley personally envolved [slc] wlth the women[.]" Like Viola and Ben, Louie seemed to know nothing about a sexual relationship between Hinckley and Van Dam. In The Godmakers ll Louie claimed that he brought prostitutes to the "exclusive neighborhood in Salt Lake" and that "basically most of the girls they requested me to bring to them were black girls. And most of them were tall and kind of lanky." I n her affidavit, Viola said: "I know that Louie brought the black prostitutes to the parties, he always had to go out and get them for the Guys.... _____ and Gordon always seemed to like the Black women."To those of us who are aware of the change of doctrine concerning blacks, it is very difficult to give credence to this accusation. During the 1960's Mormon Church leaders were denying blacks the priesthood and would not let them marry in the temple. In addition they were opposed to interracial marriage. Because of their "anti-black doctrine," which they attributed to God, they were openly criticized in the press. While almost anything is possible, it is very difficult to believe that one of the highest officials of the church would be carrying on with black prostitutes in front of a number of individuals who might betray him. Even if the prostitutes did not recognize him at first, they might see his picture in newspapers and on television. This hypocritical behavior would cerlainly raise the possibility of either exposure or blackmail. The Godmakers II charges that there has been an "extraordinary media blackout" which "stopped the hottest story of the 80's concerning one of the top Mormons in the world." Actually, the truth of the matter is that the news media felt that the story was not credible. We were pressured to break the story in our newsletter about four years before The Godmakers II appeared. It was felt that if we published it, the controversy would be picked up by reporters. We refused the offer, and on Jan. 17, 1989 we published an attack against the story entitled, "A Statement Concerning Some Charges of Immorality Made Against a Mormon Leader. Since we did not feel that it was right to reveal Gordon Hinckley's name, we referred to him only as "Elder Accused." Because of the sensitive nature of the subject and the fact that we might unwittingly add fuel to the fire, we did not advertise the publication. We did, however, give copies to various ministries working with Mormons and people who asked about the charges against Hinckley. Steven Naifeh was also asked to break the story. The reader will remember that Naifeh co-authored "The Mormon Murders", an anti Mormon book referred to in the Godmakers video. Although Naifeh pulled no punches in his attack on Gordon B. Hinckley in the book, he informed us that he simply could not believe the evidence presented with regard to Hinckley's sexual improprieties and therefore had no interest in breaking the story. In a "Spedal Update Report," printed in January 1993, Ed Decker candidly admitted that The Godmakers II "is not a film to use in wooing Mormons." ln our opinion, the use of Charles Van Dam's story distracts from the real reasons why one should oppose Mormonism. To focus on unsubstantiated charges against one of the LDS leaders comes across as sensationalism. It seems to encourage Christians to approach Mormons with derision instead of compassion, and, as Dick Baer has stated, it will "so turn Mormons off it will be difficult to even talk to them." The case against President Hinckley seems to be based on some very questionable statements. Since there is no hard evidence to support the accusations, we would advise all those working with Mormons to refrain from disseminating the story. Even if absolute proof should turn up, a Christian would still have to consider the fact that twenty-six to twenty-eight years have passed since the alleged offenses occurred and there is always the possibility that there was repentance and a change of life style during that interval. If it could be established that the Mormon Church is secretly promoting a doctrine of polygamy, adultery or homosexuality, then it would undoubtedly be our Christian obligation to bring the evidence to light. As it is, however, we only have charges that one General Authority in the Mormon Church has engaged in sexual behavior that is forbidden by the church itself. Mr. Van Dam never suggested that Hinckley taught that this was church doctrine or that he had the approval of other members of the church hierarchy. While we feel that it is important to expose Joseph Smith's doctrine of polygamy which played an important role in the early history ot the Mormon Church, we seriously question whether Christians should be involved in diseminating unsupported charges of immorality.


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