The Book of Mormon claims it’s the history of migrating Hebrews who came to the Western Hemisphere and started a new civilization after the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago.

However, according to reputable historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and DNA experts this never happened.

Outside of Mormon sources you won’t find anything about the mythological cities and characters cited by Joseph Smith.

Smith was the supposed discoverer and translator of this religious tome and founder of the Mormon Church.

Most credible scholars surmised long ago that Smith was more of a con man than a “prophet,” though if you are Mormon coming to such a logical conclusion might be the basis for your excommunication.

After more than a century with nothing to show as proof regarding their book, one Mormon has finally come up with something.

Gary Rogers has made “The Book of Mormon Movie.”

The Mormon moviemaker spent $2 million on his pet project and staged a world premiere last night in Sandy, Utah reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Well, if you can’t have a museum exhibition why not a movie? And if scholars won’t confirm your myth there’s always Hollywood.

Parts of the newly proclaimed epoch were filmed on a Hollywood soundstage.

The producer hopes that his fellow Mormons will buy admission around the world. And basically this would seem to be the film’s only viable audience.

Rogers plans more installments, but only if ticket sales hold up. Apparently even his faith has limits.

Increasingly it is becoming apparent that nothing ever really changes in the land that Brigham built.

Despite demographics that show Salt Lake City (SLC) is becoming less Mormon, the Mormon Church (LDS) essentially still dominates everything.

Forget that contrived image created for the Summer Olympics by LDS leaders through a slick public relations campaign. They wanted tourists to believe that their city was somehow a modern cosmopolitan place, a pluralistic experiment within largely ethnocentric Utah.

The first proof of this false image came when LDS stamped out free speech for dissenters around its historic temple in downtown Salt Lake.

More cracks in the Mormon PR façade are now showing as the church makes clear it has its own master plan for SLC, even when it comes to shopping.

The Mormon Church is now defining Salt Lake City’s Planning Commission policy regarding anchor stores proposed for a new shopping plaza reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Maybe it is God’s will that city residents should not have a Nordstrom or Target?

The same LDS attorney who cut the deal with the city to silence free speech around Temple Square is now busy working the latest church demands concerning potential shopping destinations.

It seems the Mormon Church has a salvation plan, even when it comes to shoppers.

SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson has already learned the hard way that bucking LDS is an easy way to lose your job. And so he is dutifully waiting to receive the latest LDS commandments from on high.

However, one developer said these latest church edicts are “going to send a chilling message to retailers across the country” about coming to Salt Lake City.

But LDS doesn’t seem to care if the city’s shoppers lose out.

The salient point is simple; the Mormon Church rules SLC. And if you don’t do things its way, there’s always the highway out of town.

Who should determine the parameters and/or identity for a religious denomination?

Most people would answer that the historically established leadership of a religion and/or denomination has this exclusive and traditional right and role.

But some disgruntled former members and/or splinter groups seem to think otherwise.

Movie star Mel Gibson belongs to just such a group composed largely of former Roman Catholics. The actor was raised from childhood within such a religious environment.

Gibson and his fellow religionists consider themselves “traditional Catholics.”

But ironically such so-called “Catholics” have abandoned perhaps the most established tradition of Roman Catholicism, which is the teaching of one church under the direction and ecclesiastical authority of the Pope.

“We just want to be good Catholics,” says one “priest” from a schismatic group quoted by Knight Ridder Newspapers.

However, a “priest” like this has no standing in the Roman Catholic Church and is very often an excommunicate.

But some media reports persist in calling such groups “traditionalist Catholics,” whatever that means.

There is an old axiom, “If you want to be a member of the club you must abide by its rules.” But somehow this doesn’t seem to apply to “traditional Catholics.”

Instead they apparently want to have it both ways. That is, to have the status of being in the club generally, but make up their own rules.

Isn’t that non-traditional?

Catholic authorities seem to regard such splinter groups largely as a nuisance and there are only about 20,000 members in the US. An insignificant number, given the size of Roman Catholicism worldwide.

The present Pope excommunicated a renegade French priest, Cardinal Marcel Lefebvre, once a key figure in the so-called “traditionalist” movement.

Lefebvre has since died, but his faithful followers soldier on. The largest single group is the Society of St. Pius X; perhaps named after the last Pope they really liked.

The Roman Catholic Church has endured an assortment of schismatic “kooks,” “crazies” and “cult leaders,” who claim to speak for Mary, God and/or the Holy Spirit.

This burgeoning list of former Catholics includes Caritas of Birmingham, William Kamm known as the “Little Pebble,” the Army of Mary, His Community/Christ Covenant Ministries, Four Winds Commune, Friends of the Eucharist and the Magnificat Meal Movement.

The most destructive and tragic group of former Catholics was the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, responsible for the mass murder/suicide of hundreds in Uganda.

Not unlike the problems posed by pseudo-Catholics the Mormon Church also has its share of troublesome splinter groups.

Polygamist groups that are often called “fundamentalist Mormons” practice their faith largely in Arizona, Utah and parts of Canada. They are an embarrassment to the Mormon Church, which abandoned the practice of polygamy more than a century ago.

Yet some media reports confuse the public with the label “fundamentalist Mormons” to describe these disparate sects, frequently run by absolute leaders much like “cults.”

Recently, an author apparently striving for better book sales said, “Mormon authorities treat the fundamentalists as they would a crazy uncle — they try to keep the ‘polygs’ hidden in the attic.”

His book titled Under the Banner of Heaven, places grizzly murders within the context of so-called “Mormon Fundamentalism” reported Associated Press.

An official church spokesman made it clear that such groups have nothing whatsoever to do with the Mormon Church and that those Mormons. And when Mormons do become involved with them they are excommunicated, much like former Catholics in schismatic groups.

Recently since the 1960s Jews have also endured apostates setting up their own so-called “Jewish” groups.

Interestingly, these groups, which are composed of converts to fundamentalist Christianity such as “Jews for Jesus” and so-called “Messianic Jews,” are closely aligned and supported by Protestant denominations within the “born-again” movement.

These “Jews” like the polygamists and former Catholics have no standing in the organized Jewish community.

Israel’s “Law of Return” does not recognize them as Jews and recently a Canadian court rejected one such group’s attempt to use historical Jewish symbols for self-promotion reported Canadian Jewish News.

But some media reports continue to confuse readers with a mixed bag of historically incoherent labels and/or oxymorons, such as “traditionalist Catholics,” “fundamentalist Mormons” and “Jews for Jesus,” that are self-referentially incoherent.

Even if such a group has a celebrity sponsor like Mel Gibson, it’s unlikely to be a meaningful substitute for the Pope’s blessings.

And there is a historic right of denominational leaders to determine the parameters of their own faith’s identity, which should be recognized by responsible and objective journalists, rather than misleading the public.

The Book of Mormon made a list published within Book Magazine called the “20 -Books That Changed America” reported KSL TV in Utah.

But this list included “novels or nonfiction works.”

So which category does the Book of Mormon fit within?

Overwhelmingly, historians apparently agree that the book is clearly fiction created by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith.

According to American history senior lecturer Raymond Richards of Waikato University in New Zealand, Smith was a “fruadster” who ran a “scam.”

The church founder claimed he unearthed ancient “golden plates” in an unknown language outside Palmyra, New York. He then translated them to become the Book of Mormon.

These plates supposedly told a previously hidden history about the Americas, replete with prophets and peoples never heard of before.

However, no serious scholar outside of Mormon apologists has ever designated Smith’s book as history. Instead, it is seen essentially as a yarn. And as for his golden plates, they conveniently disappeared, never to be meaningfully authenticated as historical artifacts.

This must mean Book Magazine considers the Book of Mormon one of its listed “novels.”

Never mind.

Teachers at Brigham Young University (BYU), a Mormon institution, seemed breathless. One called the inclusion of the book “exiting.” Another said, “The more that [the Book of Mormon is] discussed and…talked about…the more curious people become.”

Does this mean the BYU faculty thinks such secular attention might help Mormon missionary efforts?

Historian Richards says the church that was made in America is “aggressive, racist and sexist.”

And for comments like that the teacher made a list too. Richards is listed by a Mormon website as “anti-Mormon” reported Waikato Times in New Zealand.

The lecturer’s reaction was to point out that Mormons don’t “allow freedom of thought and academics needed to be alerted to that.”

Given the penchant of the church’s leaders to excommunicate scholars with inquiring minds and its efforts to muzzle free speech in downtown Salt Lake City Richards words don’t appear far fetched.

A BYU professor acknowledged that the Book of Mormon was “spawned in controversy.” And it looks like that controversy continues even today.

Some sex offenders have all the luck.

This week Utah’s parole board decided to let a convicted sex criminal out without continued supervision, reports Associated Press.

This means that David Ortell Kingston, convicted of felony incest with a minor, will have no one to report to and leaves prison a free man without strings attached.

Why would Utah officials trust this felon and former predator?

Well, Kingston is an important man. He does the books for a polygamist clan that controls a reported multi-state business empire worth $150 million. And besides he promised not to do it again.

Officials said Kingston was a “model prisoner,” but of course there are no minor girls to prey upon in prison.

The conduct of polygamist groups regarding child abuse of minor girls is a long-running scandal.

There are an estimated 50,000 polygamists living under the absolute rule of several family clans in the United States, Canada and Mexico, most notably in Utah and Arizona.

Mormons in Utah at times seem ambivalent about polygamy. This may be because many are themselves the descendents of polygamists. Both the religion’s founder Joseph Smith and its famous pioneer leader Brigham Young had many wives.

But the practice of polygamy was abandoned by the Mormon Church officially in 1890, though this occurred only after some pressure was exerted by the federal government.

Once again it seems continued public scrutiny and pressure is needed if Utah and Arizona authorities are to remain vigilant regarding the plight and protection of polygamist children.

Joyce Brothers, Ph.D. has been a regular on television and within newspapers for many years. She graduated from Cornell in 1947 and received her doctorate in psychology in 1955. “Baby boomers” have literally grown up with her advice

Still syndicated as a columnist Brothers dispenses advice on an array of subjects.

This week she has tackled “cults,” “brainwashing” and “mind control” in two of her columns.

Her first piece on Monday assured the concerned grandmother of a Marine that “cult brainwashing” is not the same as “torture and brainwashing” used on prisoners of war (POWs). Brothers’ comments were featured within the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

However, her commentary is actually somewhat misleading.

Psychiatrist, author and researcher Robert Jay Lifton revealed in his seminal book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, that civilians incarcerated by North Korean Communists during the Korean Conflict, subjected to “thought reform,” often called “brainwashing,” were temporarily transformed without the use of “torture.”

Likewise, imminent clinical psychologist and author Margaret Singer discovered the same, through her examination and research regarding military prisoners, while working for Walter Reed Hospital.

In other words, what Lifton and Singer found, is that there is no significant difference between what was done to POWs and the techniques employed by destructive “cults” through their thought reform programs.

Today Brothers lays out for readers the basics regarding “mind control,” within the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The good doctor posits a couple of rather controversial points worth mentioning.

She said, “If the captors happen to be of the same religion as their captives…their task of mind control might be somewhat easier.”

Actually, this is a bit too simplistic.

For example, “cults” composed largely of former Roman Catholics, are actually most often schismatic groups that may have begun within a mainstream church and then were drawn away by a charismatic leader and later excommunicated, such as Christ Covenant Community.

Another example would be polygamist groups with many former mainline Mormons as members, such as “The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days” (“TLC”), which simply recruited within a state that, is overwhelmingly made up of Mormons.

Brothers also says, “The best targets for brainwashing are…upper and middle economic classes.”

But this can be seen as a direct result of cult recruitment efforts often focused at college and university campuses, where “upper and middles class” students are ubiquitous.

Both of these observations by Brothers can be seen as a kind of “victim bashing.”

That is, if the cult victim were not “religious” or “middle class” they would not be as vulnerable.

However, when psychiatrist John Clark of Harvard researched the issue of some demographic group’s special vulnerability to cult influence, he found no evidence to support such a theory.

Instead, Clark discovered this vulnerability to be widespread and that no special class or group was immune or predisposed to be taken in by cults.

Of course there are times when everyone is more vulnerable to suggestion, such as college students away from home and family for the first time in a new environment, people that are depressed and/or under extreme stress. And there is always the obvious vulnerability of a subject during a hypnotic trance, which might also include certain forms of meditation.

It seems there are no easy answers when attempting to understand whom destructive cults and leaders victimize.

Perhaps the only meaningful immunity that can be achieved is through specific education and increased awareness about destructive “cults,” their dynamics and the techniques they may employ to recruit, indoctrinate and retain members.

Polygamist groups are most often run like destructive “cults.”

That is, an authoritarian leadership with little if any meaningful accountability. And often they have one dynastic family ruling like royalty by “divine right.”

This is apparent amongst such groups within the United States in Arizona, Utah and Montana.

But the ramifications of living under an absolute monarchy can be daunting, as proven by a court case currently making its way in through the courts of Arizona, reports The Kingman Daily Minor.

When the polygamist parents within a so-called “fundamentalist Mormon” sect in Colorado City, Arizona refused to surrender their teenage daughter to become one more plural wife for a much older man, they were served with an eviction notice.

The leaders of the group known as the “Fundamentalist church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (FLDS), own everything in the community and decided if the family wouldn’t hand over their 16-year-old daughter, they must go.

Their plight illustrates the total power and control exercised by the Jeffs family, which rules over the FLDS with impunity.

Not unlike “destructive cults,” the polygamist sect tolerates no dissent. Members live by the leader’s law, which seems to be “My way or the highway.”

In Colorado City one family with nine children may soon find themselves out on the street.

Probably the two most widely accepted and respected researchers regarding Mormonism in the world today have announced their coming retirement, reports Salt Lake City Weekly.

Sandra and Jerald Tanner of Salt Lake City have researched the Mormon Church (LDS) and its history for three decades.

Due to Mr. Tanner’s health the couple has chosen to move on into a less demanding schedule and mode.

Shortly after meeting, Jerald and Sandra Tanner married in 1959. This was perhaps the culmination of a period of doubt and questioning about their Mormon faith.

Ironically, Sandra is the great great granddaughter of Brigham Young and Jerald is related to LDS Church Apostle, N. Eldon Tanner. A background like this certainly would have assured them status and acceptance within seemingly genealogy obsessed Mormon society.

However, instead after the Tanners closely examined the historical records of their church as Sandra explains, “We felt that the Book of Mormon didn’t meet the standards of historical authenticity.”

As a direct result, the Tanners, like many Mormon free thinkers and intellectuals, were eventually excommunicated.

But unlike some excommunicates that drift away into relative obscurity amongst Mormons, this couple took a very different path and eventually became the “notorious Tanners.”

In 1964 they established Modern Microfilm, an archive, and that would eventually become perhaps the single best and most credible resource for objective historical information about the Mormon Church and Mormonism. This effort would ultimately be known as the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, a nonprofit charity.

Along the way the Tanners became part of Mormon history themselves, as pivotal players in numerous critical and important archival revelations, not always appreciated by their former church.

At times they were also debunkers, exposing purported Mormon historical documents as forgeries, even if they appeared to support their own theories or suspicions.

Always honest, forthright and concise in their work, the Tanners are even respected by Mormon apologists that largely consider them enemies.

One such apologist admitted, “They’ve been effective” And regarding their research begrudgingly added, “In an odd sort of way, I’m grateful for them..”

The Tanners are not apologetic about their Christian faith.

Sandra Tanner said, “We are for Christianity, and like consumer watchdogs, we put out the alert against an aberrant group that claims to be Christian.”

What this refers to specifically is the claim often made by the LDS and its members, that “Mormons are Christian.”

However, to date no Christian church has accepted this claim based upon Mormon doctrines, teachings and added scriptures, which clearly contradict historical Christianity.

Taking such a stand about Mormonism didn’t make the Tanners popular amongst their former brethren. They have often been called “anti-Mormon.”

Sandra shrugs this off saying, “We make people uncomfortable and so if they can call you ‘anti’ they can dismiss our work.”

Mormon historian Michael H. Marquardt said, “The Tanners don’t make anything up…and a sad thing is, there are other historians who will use their work and not admit it.”

But Sandra and Jerald Tanner’s odyssey as researchers and people of faith was never about appearing in footnotes.

The couple now married more than 40 years wanted to help others like themselves in a struggle for truth and an authentic history.

The Tanners raised three children in Utah and throughout their family life resided a short walk from the historic Mormon Temple erected under the direction of Sandra’s revered ancestor.

Isn’t it odd how that history came around full circle?

An evangelical Christian has decided to sue the Mormon Church (LDS), Salt Lake City (SLC) and its mayor for violating his religious rights, reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Kurt Van Gorden filed a lawsuit for $1 million dollars in U.S. District Court this week, due to his arrest for passing out religious tracts and witnessing near the historic Mormon Temple at Main Street Plaza last September.

A federal court later ruled that an LDS ban of such behavior is unconstitutional.

The Mormon Church seems to have made one mistake after another using its considerable muscle in SLC to control the area around its sacred Temple Square.

This has not only been a public relations nightmare for the church, but has also alienated many non-Mormon SLC residents and now there’s a lawsuit.

Again and again the question has arisen, is there really room for more than one faith in Utah?

Mormons claim there is, but LDS actions appear to indicate otherwise.

An LDS member occupies virtually every elected position in Utah. The church is also the state’s largest employer.

Gorden thinks his equal rights were violated.

But perhaps the power structure in Utah supposes that “some are more equal than others.” The revealing motto of the pigs, a privileged class, within George Orwell’s book Animal Farm.

The Gorden case may well expose a raw nerve.

Specifically, it might provide an objective means to examine the repeated claims that there is meaningful religious tolerance in Utah.

Apparently “cult apologists” are concerned about the Elizabeth Smart case. They seem to feel a need to dismiss any claims that the kidnap victim was “brainwashed.”

Veteran cult defenders James Richardson, H. Newton Malony and Nancy Ammerman, have all been quoted concerning the case.

Dick Anthony, another “cult apologist,” more recently weighed in.

The mainstream media apparently overlooked Anthony, who describes himself as a “forensic psychologist,” so he found another outlet for his opinions.

His commentary about Elizabeth Smart is now posted on the website CESNUR (“Center for Studies on New Religons”), run by Massimo Introvigne.

Introvigne is an interesting character and reportedly connected to a group that has been called a “cult.” The organization is named “Tradition, Family and Property” (TFP). Not surprisingly, Introvigne seems to be personally offended by the “C” word (“cult”) and the “B” word (“brainwashing”).

Within his treatise Anthony laments how the “proponents of brainwashing theory” are misleading the public by “asserting that Elizabeth Smart was brainwashed.”

According to Anthony that “theory” was “formulated by the American CIA as a propaganda device.”

Hmmm, was Elizabeth then somehow the most recent victim of a CIA conspiracy?


Anthony speculates that due to Elizabeth’s “strict Mormon upbringing…[she] may actually have been predisposed to accepting the stern religious authority of the self-appointed prophet Brian David Mitchell.”

Does this mean the Mormon Church and/or her family not only somehow predisposed Elizabeth to embrace the bizarre beliefs of others without question, but also to not seek help or identify herself to authorities when kidnapped?

Anthony seems to think so.

He says, “Such offbeat theological worldviews allegedly primarily attract conversions from rebellious young persons from Mormon backgrounds.”

Despite his self-proclaimed title of “forensic psychologist,” Anthony doesn’t offer any factual “forensic” evidence. And he doesn’t really explain Elizabeth’s strange behavior. Instead, everything is attributed to her “totalistic personality,” which was apparently just waiting to be Mitchell’s next “conversion.”

The good doctor is less kind to 70s cult kidnap victim Patricia Hearst.

Anthony says, “There is good reason to think that her involvement in SLA [Symbionese Liberation Army] crimes was based upon a real conversion.”

He does admit Hearst was exposed to “indoctrination.”

But just like Elizabeth, Anthony claims the then 19-year-old Patty Hearst’s capitulation to her captors, was all about “the interaction of her pre-existing totalistic personality.”

Anthony gets a bit nasty bashing Hearst as a “rebellious” teenager who “…took psychedelic drugs” and was “dualistically divided between corrupt mainstream people and good counter-culture people and down-trodden minorities.”

Uh huh.

He concludes, “Hearst fit the profile of an ‘individual totalist’ prone to seeking for a totalitarian counter-cultural worldview.”


Apparently, the SLA really didn’t need to violently abduct Hearst at gunpoint from her college campus or imprison the girl for months in a closet and brutally beat her. She was ready to accept their beliefs willingly, and all they needed to do was proselytize a bit to produce a “real conversion.”

Likewise, Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping, months of confinement and her assault, did not contribute to her “brainwashing”—it’s that old “totalistic personality” ready for a “real conversion” once again.

In his latest foray in the realm of “forensic psychology” Anthony cites the “research” of a relatively small group of academics that share his views about “cults.”

He mentions the work of Stuart Wright, “Jim” James Richardson, Eileen Barker, H. Newton Maloney, Anson Shupe, David Bromley and Gordon Melton and of course his sponsor Massimo Introvigne.

However, all these “academics” are within the world of “cult apologists.”

In fact, Bromley, Melton, Maloney, Richardson and Wright have all been recommended as “religious resources” by the Church of Scientology.

Melton and Barker were funded by “cults” to produce books.

Anson Shupe was paid hefty fees by Scientology lawyers to become their “expert witness” about the “anti-cult movement.”

Benjamin Zablocki, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University put it succinctly when he said, “The sociology of religion can no longer avoid the unpleasant ethical question of how to deal with the large sums of money being pumped into the field by the religious groups being studied… This is an issue that is slowly but surely building toward a public scandal. I do think there needs to be some more public accounting of where the money is coming from and what safeguards have been taken to assure that this money is not interfering with scientific objectivity.”

This brings us back to Dick Anthony.

Last year Anthony made $21,000.00 consulting on one civil case alone, without even appearing in court.

That case involved a wrongful death claim filed against Jehovah’s Witnesses and a “Bethelite” (full-time ministry worker) named Jordon Johnson in Connecticut, by John J. Coughlin, Jr., Administrator of the Estate of his mother Frances S. Coughlin .

Johnson killed Francis Coughlin in an automobile accident and was criminally convicted for manslaughter.

The Coughlin family sued both Johnson and the organization that controlled him, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commonly called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Dick Anthony was hired by the Watchtower Society as an “expert,” to assist them in their defense. And in the process was deposed under oath on October 11, 2002.

The man, who prides himself as a “scholar” and “academic” actually admitted that he hasn’t worked within an institution of higher learning (i.e. a university or college) for more than twenty years.

So how does Dick Anthony support himself?

He is “self-employed.” The name of his business is simply, “Dick Anthony, Ph.D.”

What does Dick Anthony Ph.D. do?

Dr. Anthony explains, “Probably two-thirds of my time to three-quarters of my time is spent writing for publication, and probably a quarter of my time to a third of my time is involved with participating in legal cases.”

Anthony’s writings are most often connected to defending “cults,” attacking the so-called “anti-cult movement” and/or the “proponents of the brainwashing theory.”

His work on “legal cases,” is as an “expert” hired by “cults,” or somehow as a “expert witness” in a related area of interest.

What this admission by Anthony means, is that he can easily be seen as a full-time professional “cult apologist,” who has no other means of meaningful income.

How much does he get paid?

Anthony stated for the record, “My fee for reviewing materials in my office is $350 an hour. And my fee for work outside my office is a flat fee of $3,500 a day plus expenses.”

Anthony admitted that he collected “$21,000” on the Coughlin/Watchtower Society case alone. And that was without even appearing in court.

For his deposition of only a few hours, he was paid “$3,500.”

Who else besides Jehovah’s Witnesses is willing to pay such substantial fees?

Anthony listed some of his clients for the record. That list included the “Unification Church, the Hare Krishna movement…The Way International [and] Church of Scientology.”

All of these groups have been called “cults.”

But Dr. Anthony doesn’t like the “C” word, he prefers “nontraditional religions.”

On his list of “nontraditional religions” are the Branch Davidians, Unification Church and he says, “In the United States, the Catholic Church, well it’s definitely the largest nontraditional religion.”

Dr. Anthony belongs to a “nontraditional religion” himself.

Explaining his own background Anthony stated, “I’m a follower of Meher Baba” and a member of the “Meher Baba Lovers of Northern California.”

According to Jeffrey Hadden, a fellow “cult apologist” who is now deceased, Meher Baba and his followers believe that he was the “God incarnate” and the Avatar of the ‘dark or iron’ age, also called the Kali Yuga.”

Baba died in 1969. Gordon Melton says, “By loving Baba, Baba lovers can learn to love others. In the highest, most intense, state of love, Divine Love, the distinction between the lover and the beloved ceases and one attains union with God.”

Sound like a personality-driven group that would be perceived by many as a “cult”? Anthony would of course prefer the description “nontraditional religion.”

The good doctor calls himself a “forensic psychologist,” which supposedly means the application of medical facts to legal problems.

So what facts does Dick Anthony apply to resolve the legal cases he is paid to testify and/or consult about?

When asked what specific research he relied upon regarding the Coughlin case against Jehovah’s Witnesses Anthony replied that he would largely rely upon “a range of materials provided me by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Did Dick Anthony have any experience as a psychologist helping Witnesses, “None as far as I know,” he said.

Anthony also openly admitted he had done no formal research or published any paper about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So what facts or direct working experience would be applied or used as the basis for rendering his expert opinion?

Anthony said he would base his opinion largely on a “general knowledge of the sociology and psychology of religion.”

When pressed repeatedly during the deposition for something more specific and scientific Anthony cited, “The research of Rodney Stark…generally considered to be probably the leading expert on sects and cults.”

Stark like Anthony has received money from “cults” and has often been called an “apologist.” He is not “generally considered” a “leading expert” on the subject cited either.

Anthony later said he would rely on an article by his old friend “James Richardson [though he couldn’t remember the title]…and…several articles by Catherine Wah [correct name actually Carolyn Wah].”

Carolyn Wah was the in-house attorney assigned to defend Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Coughlin case and a long-time “Bethelite” herself, working full-time at Watchtower headquarters.

Interestingly, it was Richardson who Anthony later admitted had referred him to the Witnesses for the job.

During his deposition Dick Anthony cited other legal cases he was working on at the time.

He claimed to be “a witness for the prosecution” in the criminal case against Winnfred Wright. Anthony said some of Wright’s followers were “claiming that they are innocent because they were brainwashed.”

This criminal case involved the starvation death of a 19-month-old boy.

Described as a “cult” by Associated Press, Anthony called the criminally destructive group a “little family.”

Apparently the judge didn’t agree with Anthony’s expert opinion. He ordered one of Wright’s followers released for “cult deprogramming” so she could “enter a treatment clinic for former cult members,” reported the Marin News.

Wright received the maximum sentence allowed.

Anthony also said he was advising “the Church of Scientology in Ireland…in Dublin.”

This is clearly a reference to a lawsuit filed against Scientology by Mary Johnson, a former Irish member who alleged “psychological and psychiatric injuries.” Anthony said, “I’ve had a number of conversations with [Scientology] about that.”

But despite those “conversations” Scientology decided pay off Johnson. And costs alone ran them more than a million.

And what about the Coughlin case?

After paying Anthony $21,000 in fees and on the first day of trial, the Jehovah’s Witnesses opted to settle too. They cut a check to the plaintiff for more than $1.5 million dollars. This was historically the largest settlement ever paid by the organization, which has been around for more than a century.

It seems Dr. Anthony doesn’t have a very good track record in the recent legal cases he has consulted on.

Perhaps Anthony himself explained this best during his deposition when he said, “It is the nature of pseudo-science…to pretend to certainty in interpreting situations where such certainty cannot possibly be based upon scientific knowledge. Such false claims of certain knowledge in the absence of a clear factual foundation for that knowledge are more characteristic of totalistic ideology than of genuine science.”

Indeed. So who really has a “totalistic personality” after all?

Dick Anthony seems not only a “pretend[er],” but as can be seen through the Coughlin case, he actually offers no directly applicable “scientific knowledge” or “clear factual foundation” to form his opinions.

Instead of applying medical facts and/or “genuine science” to resolve legal problems, this “forensic psychologist” seems to offer only “pseudo-science,” in an effort to please the “nontraditional religions,” who are paying clients and represent his predominant source of income.

Despite Anthony’s repeated failures he is still being paid $3,500 per day, which is not bad, or is it?

Note: Copies of the Dick Anthony deposition are available for an $18.00 tax-deductible donation to The Ross Institute