Fraudulent Baptisms

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moksha
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Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by moksha » Sun Dec 26, 2021 7:00 pm

I suppose in a church where Lying for the Lord is considered a virtue, it would stand to reason that fraudulent baptisms would be performed by LDS missionaries to bolster their baptism numbers and increase the bragging rights of the Church to growth and truth.

Anyway, I was just listening to a Mormon Stories podcast and hearing the extent of this fraud in South America in past decades.

What do you think of this practice? Do any of you have stories of your own?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Hagoth
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by Hagoth » Sun Dec 26, 2021 9:26 pm

I've told this before. I had a senior companion who's only goal in life was to be the top baptizer in the mission. His plan was to baptize as many kids as possible without even requiring them to attend church. I refused to play those reindeer games and he got mad at me and started arranging as many splits as he could. He even teamed me up with a 14-year old non-member kid once. Turns out he was out baptizing kids, some of them younger than 8 on those splits, and mostly without their parent's knowledge or approval. Guess what? We got the big trophy, he was praised by our GA mission president, and I was told that I had a great senior companion and I was to do exactly as he told me (serious cogdis being told that by a GA with Powers Of Discernment™). Then my companion transferred out just as the branch president started getting the paperwork from SLC for all of his new branch members. Boy was he shocked, and I was left to explain what happened to the best of my ability, "haminahaminahaimina..." I never heard of any repercussions for my companion and no warnings or concerns were communicated to the rest of us. If I remember correctly he went on to become top baptizer with his new companion while my numbers abruptly and shamefully dropped back to noise.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Palerider
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by Palerider » Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:04 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 9:26 pm
"haminahaminahaimina..." I never heard of any repercussions for my companion and no warnings or concerns were communicated to the rest of us. If I remember correctly he went on to become top baptizer with his new companion....
Knowing how badly GA's at that level want to look good for the top brass, I suspect your MP was willing to take the risk that the true story of the phony numbers would never reach upper management. Probably figured he could suppress it on a local level if anyone complained.

Just watched Hans Madsen on Mormon Stories and even now I was a little shocked to hear how blatantly obvious it was that numbers and money mean everything to the corporation. Made me feel a little sick that Hinkley would be so flagrant. 🤢
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Yobispo
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by Yobispo » Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:38 am

I never saw pre-8's being baptized, but we saw plenty of 9 year old's. Usually it was an inactive, poor family. We'd see a 9 on the records and we would show up. The families always loved the attention from nice young missionaries and the parent(s) tended to have residual guilt so they encouraged it, even though we all knew that this was probably going nowhere after the baptism. Once the kid was baptized we were out of the picture and the ward had to try to reactivate the family.

I hate to admit it, but most of the adults we baptized were needy people who though they were joining something that would support them. When it turns out that the church wanted them to support the church and the fun missionaries weren't hanging out anymore, they all faded away quickly.

Red Ryder
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:26 pm

I served in Southern California mid 90’s.

There were stories of the prior mission president putting a hot tub on a trailer behind a mission van and baptizing migrant field workers. The rumor was that they would baptize any willing participant after a rush through the 6 discussions. The president determined that the migrant worker would go back to Mexico and become a leader in the church. It was God’s will and a path to increase leadership in Mexico. Obviously it don’t work because we would have continued the practice if it had.

My brother served in Chile. He was a bee missionary in his greenie area. His companion would take him to the local cemetery and they would fill out a few baptism record forms with the names of deceased people. My brother wrote home to my parents and disclosed this fraudulent practice. Upon receiving the letter, My dad was so mad that he called the missionary department to complain. Word had gotten back to the mission president and my brother was banished to the farthest most crappy area in the mission. He knew at that point that the church was BS. He has since left the church.

I’ve heard countless other stories where baptisms were questionable.

My mission: I baptized 24 people into the church.

The majority were the spouse of part member families. The others were 9 year old kids of an inactive family.

I had 3 baptisms if people independent of familial relationships that were already part of the church.

One was a 20 year old that studied all religions and liked Mormon self reliance and community the best. His best friend in high school was a Mormon. He felt something special with their family.

The other two were looking for welfare handouts.

We didn’t know it at the time because they pretended to be all in. It wasn’t until 3 weeks after their baptism that they c tasted the bishop asking for assistance. Once the assistance stopped, they became inactive.

I look back on my mission with fondness and no regrets. I believed rightfully that I was providing a way of life that would make good men become better and put them on the path to eternal life.

I believed 100% that the people I met and taught would benefit from becoming members of the church. I still hold that opinion today because these people could have benefited from the community, structure, and intangible benefits the church provides to life long members.

I now realize that we subconsciously targeted the weak, down trodden, and in-betweeners who were drawn to something better or missing in their lives.

I don’t fault them. Religion was designed for people just like them. I was merely a salesman who brought them a pathway out of their pathetic lives.

Most bought in and stayed a short time.

I can’t say for sure but I don’t believe any are active today.

I think fondly of my mission and have no regrets. I gave a full effort. Was successful by Mormon standards. Had a hell of a time working hard and playing harder.

I still have my mountain bike. I still hate church basketball. I still miss some of the fun times.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Hagoth
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 29, 2021 7:31 am

Yobispo wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:38 am
I hate to admit it, but most of the adults we baptized were needy people who though they were joining something that would support them.
These are the people targeted by missionaries in general. It's certainly true for our local ward/stake missionaries. Just about all converts I have seen are desperate people who need help. The church can't just reach out and help them without setting traps.

Mrs. Hagoth was assigned to a primary calling with a recently baptized member, but the ward missionary warned her not to expect much help because, "you know what converts are like." Mrs. Hagoth was disturbed by this on two fronts, first that this was the guy who found, taught, and baptized this lady, and second that Mrs. Hagoth is a also convert.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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2bizE
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Re: Fraudulent Baptisms

Post by 2bizE » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:12 pm

I was in a mission somewhere south of the US border. I was a junior companion in an area for 5-6 months. We worked hard, but struggled to get many baptisms. Each month we received a mission newsletter that highlighted the highest baptizing companionship. Most were baptizing more than 30 people/ month. So, I get transferred to a new area. My old companion remains in this lower baptizing area. The next month and for a few months after that, he and his new companion are showcased as the highest baptizing companionship…. a few more months go by…come to find out my old companion was getting names from the local cemetery and baptizing them…apparent their church attendance was the same as other newly baptized members, but they never had much to say… :lol:
~2bizE

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