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Ex-Mormon News, Stories And Recovery
Online Since January 1, 2005
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General Church Leadership including Bishops, Stake Presidents, Zone Leaders, Area Presidents - anything below General Authority.
| Thanks to our friends at Nauvoo, we now have the names of all the area presidencies (click here). |
Who they are tells you more about the state of the church world-wide, but particularly Latin America, than any stilted conference talk or boring Ensign puff-piece. A quick glance at the names of those called to serve reinforces what we've written about here before, namely that growth in Latin America is a shadow of what Salt Lake claims it is.
Mexico, the land of 1 million plus Mormons has the following presidencies:
Jorge A. Rojas
C. Scott Grow
Jose L. Alonso
Marco A. Cardenas
Craig C. Christensen
Jose L. Torres
Out of 1 million members, they couldn't find two they could trust to be the presidents. Gringos rule the roost in both areas--C Scott Grow in the North. BTW, what the hell is up with that name?
Moving south, we have Central America:
Don R. Clarke
Spencer V. Jones
Jose E. Boza
Again, gringos running the show with a token at 2nd counselor.
On to South America where we have one native as president--a Uruguayan in Brazil, with yanquis in charge everywhere else except SA North. SA North consists of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador; I guess it wasn't safe enough for the first stringers, so they let the natives run that one.
Brazil, however, has nearly 900K claimed members; surely they could find at least one to be their president. Guess not, hell they pulled a joker with Mervyn Arnold.
SOUTH AMERICA NORTH
Benjamin De Hoyos
Claudio R. M. Costa
Cesar A. Davila
SOUTH AMERICA WEST
Willy F. Zuzunaga*
James M. Dunn
Alexander A. Nunez
Stanley G. Ellis
Walter F. Gonzalez
Pedro J. Penha
Mervyn B. Arnold
Carlos A. Godoy
Carlos H. Amado
Carl B. Pratt
Oscar W. Chavez
SOUTH AMERICA SOUTH
Shayne M. Bowen
Lynn G. Robbins
Fernando D. Ortega
Bottom line: the church has been in Latin America since the 1920s (the 1870s if we count Mexico), and they still can't provide local leadership to receive instruction from Salt Lake.
What about Asia, specifically the Phillipines? Or Polynesia, surely they have enough to provide their own leaders, maybe even a Lamanite? Guess not, they've got one native in each presidency.
Keith R. Edwards
D. Rex Gerratt
Michael J. Teh--the lone Filipino
NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS
David S. Baxter--from England
Spencer J. Condie--from Idaho
Hans T. Sorensen-- at least he's from New Zealand
When they instituted area presidencies we were hoping that they would understand local conditions better. It turned out to be a total bust. Wirthlin might as well have stayed home. He believes that he understands Germany. He also thinks that he can speak German. His younger brother was a great mission president though.
During the early decade, they finally instituted CES centers at various universities. I had told the guy who did the first one in 1985 that this would help retain college kids. It took them fifteen years to see the common sense. They probably sold it as a speshul revelation.
Seriously, I don't think that an area president has much power. They don't have budget authority. They are not allowed to raise their own money. Nor can they deviate from worldwide budget policies. Hence their creative capacity trends against zero.
When they are in Germany they attend Anglo wards. They don't care about information that stake presidents provide. Area presidents only care about communication from Salt Lake. Priority number one is to get statistical reports in on time.
In a word, they are glorified pencil pushers that pretend to be in Germany. In reality, they might as well have remained in Utah. It would not make a difference.
A Spokane psychologist who helped develop controversial interrogation methods that some human-rights groups say amount to torture became the new spiritual leader of a Mormon congregation on the Spokane's South Hill this week.
As a bishop - an unpaid position that usually lasts several years - Jessen will take confessions and help people with their personal problems - such as masturbation or being gay.
Bruce Jessen was proposed by Spokane Stake President James Lee, or "called" in the terminology of the Mormon faith, to be the bishop of Spokane's 6th Ward. He was presented to the congregation on Sunday. He was unanimously accepted by some 200 in attendance, Lee said.
Contacted by phone for a comment, Jessen said, "I don't have anything to say to you" and hung up.
At least four Mormons, Timothy E. Flanigan, John Bybee, James E. Mitchell, and Bruce Jessen, were prominently involved in designing and justifying the torture regime. See http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_1225...
Here is some excellent reporting on Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell's (also mormon) methods.
"The tactics were a "voodoo science," says Michael Rolince, former section chief of the F.B.I.'s International Terrorism Operations."
"Instead of the careful training...some recruits allegedly received on-the-job training during brutal interrogations that effectively unfolded as live demonstrations."
"Mitchell and Jessen's methods were so controversial that, among colleagues, the reaction to their names alone became a litmus test of one's attitude toward coercion and human rights. Their critics called them the "Mormon mafia" (a reference to their shared religion) and the "poster boys" (referring to the F.B.I.'s "most wanted" posters, which are where some thought their activities would land them)."
Washington newspapers are reporting that Bruce Jessen was called and “sustained” (or approved) to serve as bishop by his Spokane-area congregation in mid-October. [UPDATE: Sources have confirmed that Jessen stepped down from the position last Sunday.]
| According to Wikipedia Bruce Jessen (CIA and military torture architect) resigned as Bishop one week after being appointed. The reference only links to the original article of his appointment as a Bishop at the Spokane newspaper that broke the story which hasn't been updated to reflect his resignation. I can only assume the person who edited the Wikipedia article is correct as that statement is not referenced.
Unfortunately, the calling of Bruce Jessen as a bishop was not simply a local matter. According the secret LDS Church Handbook Vol. 2, Section 19.6:
"Before a new bishop may be interviewed, called, ordained, or set apart,
his recommendation must be approved by the First Presidency. The stake
president may extend the calling after he receives written approval from
the First Presidency. With this approval, the stake president may also
ordain and set apart a bishop after ward members have given a sustaining
In other words, all bishops are individually vetted and approved by the highest authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this case, assuming the the First Presidency knew of Jessen's past--something that his stake president probably should have disclosed in the recommendation process, they have given their tacit approval to someone deeply involved in modern American torture, or at the very least, they have decided that being a strong proponent and facilitator of torture is not a disqualification for the office of bishop (unlike, say, drinking coffee).
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