Romney’s cousin attacks Mormon church

Republican candidate’s cousin Park Romney says the religion is a cult…

 

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail © Gage Skidmore

 

The cousin of US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has spoken out against the family’s religion. He said the Mormon faith, of which Mitt Romney is a former missionary and church leader, was fraudulent and divisive:

I became convinced that it’s a fraud,

In an interview with the BBC, Park Romney, who was previously heavily involved with the Mormon church, said his decision to split from the organisation had cost him his family:

I am alienated from my family,

Their doctrine, their protocol and their culture as enforced by bishops encourages the families to disassociate themselves from the apostate.

Despite his allegetions that the practice of ‘shunning’ or encouraging families to cut off ‘apostates’ is widely practised, church elder Jeffrey Holland denied this was the case, and said he would not personally cut his own family members off in a similar situation.

He also said that if Park Romney believed the religion was a cult, then it was for the best that he was no longer involved in it.

Romney’s criticism of the religion -founded by Joseph Smith in the 1820s after he apparently found golden scriptures buried by an ‘angel’- went far deeper than simply his own experiences however:

There’s compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and wilfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable,