FW: Protest for Camille Martinez

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Feb 26 12:43:06 MST 2001

>This is an old, old story; it happened to my mother via the Mormons who are
>very active in snatching and programming Indian children.
>Jim Craven

The New York Times, October 1, 1981, Thursday, Late City Final Edition


SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 30 - The Mormon Church has altered the wording of a
prophecy about Indians so that it no longer says native Americans will
develop ''white'' skin if they join the religion.

In a new edition of the Book of Mormon, a prophecy that had said Indians
would become ''white and delightsome'' has been altered to read that they
will become ''pure and delightsome.'' Church members accept the Book of
Mormon as holy scripture equivalent to the Bible. . .

Church leaders, including Mr. Kimball, have said the curse of dark skin
would be lifted from Indians who embraced the Mormon religion. In 1960,
before he was elevated to the presidency, Mr. Kimball said in a speech that
Indian children living with Mormons had lighter skin than those who
remained on reservations. The church has a program of temporarily placing
Indian children with Mormon families so the youngsters can attend
non-Indian public schools.


Los Angeles Times, September 2, 1989, Saturday, Home Edition


>From Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - George P. Lee, the first American Indian appointed to the
Mormon Church hierarchy, was excommunicated Friday after telling the
leadership that it is spiritually slaughtering his people.

The first excommunication of a major Mormon leader in 46 years was
announced in a terse, one-paragraph statement from church headquarters here.

Lee, who was an elder of the church, was expelled for "apostasy and other
conduct unbecoming a member of the church," the statement said.

Lee, a Navajo and former president of the College of Ganado on the Navajo
Reservation, was at the meeting when the decision was made, it said.

Church spokesman Don LeFevre said he could not elaborate on the statement
on the instructions of church leaders.

But Lee said the action stemmed from basic doctrinal disagreements with
church leaders about the role of Indians in the religion and from his
contention that the leadership is racist, materialistic and bent on
changing the meaning of Mormon scripture.

"It got to the point where I had to follow them or Jesus Christ, and I
chose to follow Jesus Christ," Lee said in an interview Friday afternoon.
"I told them they are the ones that are apostatizing -- teaching false

Lee, 46, was made a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1975. The
First Quorum of the Seventy is responsible for administering the affairs of
the 6.7 million-member church under the direction of the Quorum of the
Twelve Apostles and governing First Presidency. Members of the three
all-male bodies are known as general authorities.

In an hourlong meeting with church President Ezra Taft Benson, Benson's two
counselors and the Twelve, Lee read a 23-page, handwritten letter in which
he accused his fellow churchmen of distorting doctrine to satisfy their own
racial bias, relegating Indians to second-class status and denying them
their rightful place in the faith's theology.

"You are slowly causing a silent subtle scriptural and spiritual slaughter
of the Indians," the letter said. "While physical extermination may have
been one of (the) federal government's policies long ago . . . your current
scriptural and spiritual extermination . . . is the greater sin and great
shall be your condemnation for this."

Lee's excommunication was particularly sensitive to a church that believes
Indians in the Americas are descendants of ancient peoples described in the
Book of Mormon, the faith's most cherished scripture.

The Lamanites, as the Indian ancestors are known in the book, were
themselves described as descendants of a prophet named Lehi who brought his
family from Jerusalem to the New World about 600 BC.

Lee said prophesies in the Book of Mormon are clear in defining Indians and
Jews as literal descendants of the House of Israel and all others as
"Gentiles," or "adopted Israel."

Louis Proyect
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