Volume 2
Home Up Prolog Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Case Reports of the
Mormon Alliance
Volume 2, 1996

Lavina Fielding Anderson
Janice Merrill Allred

Compilers and editors

Mormon Alliance
Salt Lake City, Utah
April 1997

Trustees of the Mormon Alliance

Janice Merrill Allred
Lavina Fielding Anderson
Marti Lynne Jones
Paul Swenson

©1997 by the Mormon Alliance

All rights reserved. Published annually by the Mormon Alliance. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, the Mormon Alliance, 6337 Highland Drive, Box 215, Salt Lake City, UT 84121.

Summary (Not part of the printed edition)

Many Latter-day Saints, regardless of their devotion, fear their own church. They fear the society and culture of which they are a part. They fear the judgment of leaders and members alike. They fear the punishment should their historical views, political opinions, or doctrinal understandings become known. They fear for their own souls. Most heartbreakingly, some of them even fear their Savior.

Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 2, 1996 explores part of the dynamic of that fear: the authoritarianism within the Church and the abuses that can occur as a result. Most of the printed volume (Part 4) is devoted to Janice Merrill Allredís documentary history of the ecclesiastical action that led to her excommunication in May 1995 and its aftermath. It is a complex, continuing story. Her account documents and raises questions of conscience, freedom of thought and expression, intent, motivation, authoritarianism, revelation, and truth. Her history is, in many ways, a record of ecclesiastical contempt for truth.

Closely related to Janice Allredís accounts are those in Part 1: "Effects of Authoritarianism." Although the situations vary greatly, they all share encounters with authorities who exercised "unrighteous dominion" (D&C 121:39). In each case, members realized that an organization which had been a source of blessing and comfort also had a malign side. They describe their efforts to come to terms with this new realization and the resulting changes in their relationship with the Church.

Part 2 contains the experience of David G. Pace, whose father, George Pace, received a summary, public chastisement . This section introduces the topic of secondary abuseóor the "innocent bystander" phenomenon. Although usually one person is singled out for punishment, the effects of that punishment spread through a wide circle of relatives, friends, professional associates, and strangers. Those whose love and loyalty to the abused person remain strong suffer in direct proportion to their love, and feel their religious and spiritual world change in unpredictable ways. The abused person may become a cautionary lesson of how to stay out of "trouble" with the Church.  Nearly always rumors and gossip about other alleged misbehavior circulate for years, permanently damaging the abused personís reputation in the Church and the broader community.

 Part 3 reviews four books related to religious abuse. None of the authors is Mormon, underscoring the fact that ecclesiastical and spiritual abuse can occur in many kinds of religious organizations. The fact that Mormons did not invent these problems is a helpful perspective that all readers should keep in mind; but this fact should also intensify the search for useful responses and remedies.