warning: The information that follows contains details that may be upsetting for those with a history of ritual abuse.
The title of this post sounds sensational, like a Weekly World News article about aliens taking over the White House. But the problem with blase dismissal of the claim is that Mormon ritual human sacrifice has been conclusively demonstrated as verifiable by multiple credible sources.
Mormon Blood Atonement: Fact or Fantasy?
By Jerald & Sandra Tanner
(This article originally appeared in The Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue No. 92, April, 1997)
It is a well-known fact that the early Mormons suffered a good deal of persecution at the hands of the Gentiles-i.e., non-Mormons. The prophet Joseph Smith and his brother were murdered by a cowardly mob that took the law into their own hands. A number of Mormons lost their lives during these early years. Unfortunately, however, many Mormon historians have overlooked the other side of the story.
During the early years of Mormonism it was frequently alleged that the leaders of the church sanctioned the practice of putting both Gentiles and Mormon apostates to death. In 1969-70, we made a detailed study of the charges and published our conclusions in a book entitled, The Mormon Kingdom, Vol. 2. The evidence that we marshalled convinced us that many of the claims were genuine. Since doing this research we found even more evidence to verify that there was a conspiracy to destroy dissenters and other people that the Mormon leaders hated.
While many Mormon scholars would like to scoff at those who have seriously studied this matter, there is incontrovertible proof that Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon Church, publicly preached a doctrine called "blood atonement." Although one might think that the name of this doctrine came from the atonement of Jesus on the cross, the truth of the matter is that it relates to people being put to death. Brigham Young explained this in a sermon given on September 21, 1856:
"There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world...There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, or a calf, or of turtle dove, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man." (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 53-54); also published in the Mormon Church's Deseret News, 1856, page 235)
On another occasion Brigham Young made this chilling statement regarding a person's obligation to spill the blood of those who committed serious sins: ..."I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance... if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the Devil... I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them....
"This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it.... if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind." (Sermon by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, February 8, 1857; printed in the Deseret News, February 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 219-220)
"To whatever extent the preaching on blood atonement may have influenced action, it would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members. In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who was found guilty of adultery with his stepdaughter by a bishop's court and sentenced to death for atonement of his sin. According to the report of reputable eyewitnesses, judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his unconsecrated grave in full confidence of salvation through the shedding of his blood. Such a case, however primitive, is understandable within the meaning of the doctrine and the emotional extremes of the [Mormon] Reformation." (Utah Historical Quarterly, January, 1958, page 62, note 39)
This may be the same case spoken of by John D. Lee, who was sealed to Brigham Young and was a member of Young's secret Council of Fifty:
"The most deadly sin among the people was adultery, and many men were killed in Utah for the crime.
"Rasmos Anderson was a Danish man who came to Utah... He had married a widow lady somewhat older than himself... At one of the meetings during the reformation Anderson and his step-daughter confessed that they had committed adultery... they were rebaptized and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if they again committed adultery, Anderson should suffer death. Soon after this a charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery with his step-daughter. This Council was composed of Klingensmith and his two counselors; it was the Bishop's Council. Without giving Anderson any chance to defend himself or make a statement, the Council voted that Anderson must die for violating his covenants. Klingensmith went to Anderson and notified him that the orders were that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of his blood would atone for his sins. Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrines and teachings of the Mormon Church, made no objections... His wife was ordered to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried... she being directed to tell those who should inquire after her husband that he had gone to California.
"Klingensmith, James Haslem, Daniel McFarland and John M. Higbee dug a grave in the field near Cedar City, and that night, about 12 o'clock, went to Anderson's house and ordered him to make ready to obey Council. Anderson got up... and without a word of remonstrance accompanied those that he believed were carrying out the will of the "Almighty God." They went to the place where the grave was prepared; Anderson knelt upon the side of the grave and prayed. Klingensmith and his company then cut Anderson's throat from ear to ear and held him so that his blood ran into the grave.
In the same book John D. Lee made this startling statement:
"I knew of many men being killed in Nauvoo... and I know of many a man who was quietly put out of the way by the orders of Joseph and his Apostles while the Church was there." (Ibid., page 284) Lee also revealed another very cruel practice which took place both in Nauvoo, Illinois, and in early Utah:
"In Utah it has been the custom with the Priesthood to make eunuchs of such men as were obnoxious to the leaders. This was done for a double purpose: first, it gave a perfect revenge, and next, it left the poor victim a living example to others of the dangers of disobeying counsel and not living as ordered by the Priesthood.
"In Nauvoo it was the orders from Joseph Smith and his apostles to beat, wound and castrate all Gentiles that the police could take in the act of entering or leaving a Mormon household under circumstances that led to the belief that they had been there for immoral purposes.... In Utah it was the favorite revenge of old, worn-out members of the Priesthood, who wanted young women sealed to them, and found that the girl preferred some handsome young man. The old priests generally got the girls, and many a young man was unsexed for refusing to give up his sweetheart at the request of an old and failing, but still sensual apostle or member of the Priesthood.
As an illustration... Warren Snow was Bishop of the Church at Manti, San Pete County, Utah. He had several wives, but there was a fair, buxom young woman in the town that Snow wanted for a wife.... She thanked him for the honor offered, but told him she was then engaged to a young man, a member of the Church, and consequently could not marry the old priest.... He told her it was the will of God that she should marry him, and she must do so; that the young man could be got rid of, sent on a mission or dealt with in some way... that, in fact, a promise made to the young man was not binding, when she was informed that it was contrary to the wishes of the authorities.
"It was then determined that the rebellious young man must be forced by harsh treatment to respect the advice and orders of the Priesthood. His fate was left to Bishop Snow for his decision. He decided that the young man should be castrated; Snow saying, 'When that is done, he will not be liable to want the girl badly, and she will listen to reason when she knows that her lover is no longer a man.'
"It was then decided to call a meeting of the people who lived true to counsel, which was held in the school-house in Manti... The young man was there, and was again requested, ordered and threatened, to get him to surrender the young woman to Snow, but true to his plighted troth, he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife, and performed the operation in a most brutal manner, and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards.
"The party then left the young man weltering in his blood, and in a lifeless condition. During the night he succeeded in releasing himself from his confinement, and dragged himself to some hay-stacks, where he lay until the next day, when he was discovered by his friends. The young man regained his health, but has been an idiot or quite lunatic ever since....
"After this outrage old Bishop Snow took occasion to getup a meeting... When all had assembled, the old man talked to the people about their duty to the Church, and their duty to obey counsel, and the dangers of refusal, and then publicly called attention to the mangled parts of the young man, that had been severed from his person, and stated that the deed had been done to teach the people that the counsel of the Priesthood must be obeyed. To make a long story short, I will say, the young woman was soon after forced into being sealed to Bishop Snow.
"Brigham Young... did nothing against Snow. He left him in charge as Bishop at Manti, and ordered the matter to be hushed up." ( Ibid., pages 284-286)
...Orrin Porter Rockwell was certainly one of Brigham Young's "meanest devils." Rockwell, who had served as a bodyguard for Joseph Smith, did not hesitate to shed blood.... Bill Hickman was another ruthless man who killed many people. In his book Brigham's Destroying Angel, Hickman confessed that he had committed murders for the church.
In 1858, an extremely grotesque double murder was committed. Henry Jones and his mother were both put to death. These murders were obviously the direct result of Brigham Young's doctrine of "blood atonement." Two months before Henry Jones was actually murdered, he was viciously attacked. Hosea Stout, a very dedicated Mormon defender, wrote the following regarding the first attack on Jones:
"Saturday 27 Feb 1858. This evening several persons disguised as Indians entered Henry Jones' house and dragged him out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square & close amputation." (On the Mormon Frontier; The Diary of Hosea Stout, Vol. 2, page 653)...About 8 o'clock in the evening of the murder the company gathered at Bishop Hancock's... They said they were going to guard a corral where Henry Jones was going to come that night and steal horses; they had guns...."The next Sunday after the murder, in a church meeting in Payson, Charles Hancock, the bishop, said, as to the killing of Jones and his mother he cared nothing about it, and it would have been done in daylight if circumstances would have permitted it.-This was said from the stand; there were 150 or 200 persons present. He gave no reason for killing them. And further saith not.
Those who murdered Henry Jones and his mother may have remembered President Brigham Young's sermon which was delivered just two years prior to these murders: "Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; under such circumstances. I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 247)
In his book, The Mormon hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol. 2, pages 241-261, Dr. Quinn presented compelling evidence showing that "blood atonement" was endorsed by church leaders and actually practiced by the Mormon people. Quinn gave the names of a number of violent men who served as "enforcers" for Brigham Young. In addition Quinn wrote: "During this period Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders also repeatedly preached about specific sins for which it was necessary to shed the blood of men and women. Blood-atonement sins included adultery, apostasy, 'covenant breaking,' counterfeiting, 'many men who left this Church,' murder, not being 'heartily on the Lord's side,' profaning 'the name of the Lord,' sexual intercourse between a 'white' person and an African-American, stealing, and telling lies....
"Although most accounts claimed that the militia killed only the adult males and let their Indian allies kill the women and children, perpetrator Nephi Johnson later told an LDS apostle that 'white men did most of the killing.' Perpetrator George W. Adair also told another apostle that 'John Higbee gave the order to kill the women and children,' and Adair 'saw the women's and children's throats cut.'...
..."As late as 1868 the Deseret News encouraged rank-and-file Mormons to kill anyone who engaged in sexual relations outside marriage....On pages 804-805, of the same book, Quinn reported concerning a murder committed in 1902... at least two groups (the Lebarons and the Laffertys) broke off from the Mormon Church and still hold to Brigham Young's teaching of "blood atonement." Consequently, they committed a significant number of "blood atonement" murders between 1972 and 1988. more...
Here is more information regarding contemporary accounts of Mormon blood atonement, via ritualabuse.us:
...The following article (written by S.M.A.R.T.) is compiled from information and quotes from the journal article “Deviant Scriptualism and Ritual Satanic Abuse Part Two: Possible Masonic, Mormon, Magick, and Pagan Influences,”by professor Stephen A. Kent, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada). His article was originally published by Religion (1993) 23, 355-367, c 1993 Academic press Limited...“…This study compares portions of people’s accounts (using interviews and diaries from several alleged survivors), with doctrinal precedents for satanic ritual souse in deviant interpretations of Masonic, Mormon, Magick and Pagan traditions… Just as parts of the Bible may provide direct inspiration or justification for satanic worshipers, so too may some of these same parts provide additional sanctification of satanic worship through aberrant Freemasonry.” (Page 355)
“…. at least five survivors from allegedly three separate groups have indicated that male ritual abusers whom they remember were also Masons” (S.M.A.R.T. note: other studies have shown incidences of Masons allegedly ritually abusing children as high as 33 percent of the total number of reported cases of ritual abuse, see S.M.A.R.T. Issue #1 http://ritualabuse.us/2008/10/issue-1-march-1995/ ).”...“…Masons frequently are willing to rent their lodges to appropriate individuals or organizations, and few if any questions would he asked about a fellow ‘brother’ who used the facilities (along with a few ëassociates’) from time to tine. Satanic rituals could occur in Masonic lodges (as at least some survivors suggest in their stories) without respectable members knowing anything about them.” (Page 357)
...Louise (a pseudonym), whose father was a Mason, remembers at age 3, “being sexually assaulted by a man in a crimson robe that her father brought to her. She also recalls an incident where she was placed on top of a white set of three steps . . . and sexually assaulted by numerous men. She also recalls seeing a young girl sacrificed and dismembered next to her on a table. Furthermore, she spoke about another incident in which thirteen men each placed an object into her vagina and caught the resultant blood and additional discharges in a container (Louise, 1992)” (page 357) Kent claims that Crowley’s rituals may provide an explanation for this...“The strongest (but not definitive) evidence that satanic rituals are being conducted in the context of deviant Mormonism appears in an internal memo about ‘ritualistic child abuse’ written by a Mormon bishop…. Bishop Glenn L. Pace …. indicated that he had “met with sixty victims. That number could be twice or three times as many if I did not discipline myself to only one meeting per week… All sixty individuals are members of the church. Forty-five victims allege witnessing and/or participating in human sacrifice. The majority were abused by relatives, often their parents.” (Pace, 1990 p. 1, reprinted in Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1991 p.3)
. . . The alleged perpetrators were Mormons, often ones in prominent church positions.” (Page 358) These included Young Women and Young Men leaders and members of the Tabernacle Choir...“There can be no question that the “Five points of Fellowship” were derived from Freemasonry.” (Page 29) Mormons in Utah were not allowed to join the Masons because “Joseph Smith stole part of the Masonic ritual and included it in his temple ceremony.” (Page 144). The book also shows similarities between the Mormon “The First Token of Aaronic Priesthood” and the Masonic oath in the First Degree, and “The Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood” and the Masonic Second degree. Other similarities are shown between other grips, vows, signs, use of aprons, anointing ceremonies, etc....
The patently unreasonable researcher might wonder why Mormons maintain the world's largest genetic database, especially considering that one of the primary purposes of the Monarch Project is to track and catalogue people with greater-than-average inherited tendencies towards dissociation.
Databases of the Dead
It's open-source time in the great beyond. The Mormon Church, famous for a fixation on departed souls, is dumping a mountain of free data into the red-hot world of Web genealogy. Twenty-two miles southeast of Salt Lake City, buried deep in the ragged rock of Utah's Wasatch Range, lies a catacomb of names. Behind 700 feet of granite and six monstrous Mosler doors, the Mormon Church has squirreled away the world's largest collection of genealogical material: more than 2 million microfilm reels of parish records, marriage indexes, necrologies, census reports, pilgrim registers, and piles of other documents - some dating back to the Middle Ages. The Granite Mountain Record Vault holds around 2 billion names, a sizable portion of the total number of people who have ambled through recorded history...
It's surely a coincidence that Freemasons are also assembling a genetic database as part of a child identification project. Stranger things have happened, after all, and conspiracy theorists have such a long history of overreacting to trivialities.