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Critics Corner


An Incident in Early SHIELDS History

The following was posted on the old MORMON FIDONet BBS echo.  It was posted by one of the originators of the SHIELDS name, Doug Marshall.  The organization mentioned in the post no longer exists as SHIELDS.  The SHIELDS name was donated to the current owners (Stan Barker, Eugene Humbert, and Malin Jacobs).

We felt this incident, typical of the actions of the old directors of UMI, is worthy of note.

Area # 31 Mormon        04-20-95 18:00           Message # 12822
From : Doug Marshall [former LDS]
To : Ron Hathcock
Subj : Anonymous

RH-> DM> 3.  Ignoring the opposition is effective. UMI's stories
         DM> (nearly a dozen about me and my partner and our
         DM> organization)

RH-> Because I only read messages to myself or to ALL, I've
RH-> missed out on this.
     -> What is your organization doing to earn UMI's attention?

Uh.... it didn't happen here, so ya' really didn't miss anything.

I had the audacity to actually question what Mike Reynolds had to say, in public and with documentation... and then to print the information and Reynolds' **documented** lack of response in front of a roomful of witnesses... Reynolds and McKay are EXPERTS and they ARE NOT to be questioned... they also have rules against Mormons ignoring the Strawman named "Mormon Belief" that they build and going after their statements.

THEN I read the political stories in the Evangel... follow this:

    a)  UMI is a 501(c)3 organization, so they are not to endorse political candidates.
    b)  UMI publishes the Evangel, a tabloid-style newspaper that talks about the UMI version of Mormon Doctrine **and** that makes a point in every issue to show that Mormons are morally, mentally and spiritually inferior and maybe even unAmerican.
    c)  UMI, in a typical Mormon-bashing issue, published a story about a local (Marlow, Oklahoma) political race in which one candidate was a Mormon and one went to Church with a member of UMI's staff.
    d)  I felt it was a political endorsement **when taken in context of UMI's stated purpose and typical issue of the Evangel.**
    e)  I called a local Oklahoma paper (The Duncan Banner) to find out what I could find out about the race...  They ended up interviewing me and running a couple of stories on UMI that were not full of fawning praise for these intrepid experts.
    f)  I called several organizations for an opinion of the legality of UMI's stories vis-a-vis their 501(c)3 status... all of them told me that they would advise a 501(c)3 organization to NOT do as UMI had done as it got very near the line, and that the IRS were the only ones who could say if it was legal or not.
    g)  so I sent the info to the IRS.

To say the least, UMI went ballistic.

One of the most interesting comments they made was that I should have asked **them** if they had done anything illegal..... (When I pointed out that that would be like asking Mrs Clinton if she had done anything against they law, they got really abusive...)

Our organization is SHIELDS, the Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-day Saints... we are an informal network of regular Mormons who do some research and reading and responding to the antimormonoids.  We developed the name, and the structure, because sometimes having an organization is a benefit, but we do not have membership or anything like that.

I've posted our address several times, but will do it again...
[NOTE: address removed as no longer valid for the current SHIELDS.  The SHIELDS name was donated to us by Doug Marshall and Doug Yancey.]

Thanx for asking,