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An American Fraud. One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism [Kindle Edition]

Kay Burningham
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 566 pages
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

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Book Description

AN AMERICAN FRAUD: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism

"Each of us has to face the matter--either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God or it is nothing."--LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, April Conference, 2003.

Many Mormons assume that this and other similar proclamations by Mormon Leaders are rhetorical statements. But what if the LDS leaders meant something else? It is estimated that more than 1-1.5 million Mormons have resigned from the LDS Church since 1995. This book exposes why there is such a recent, formal abandonment of Mormonism by, in many cases, previously devout members of the Church.

Admittedly, the LDS Church "stands or falls," on the divinity of "The Book of Mormon." However, it has been proven that "The Book of Mormon" is not a translation of ancient American history engraved in "reformed Egyptian," on golden plates buried by an early American prophet. Instead, it has been shown to be a 19th-century work of fiction authored by Joseph Smith and perhaps others.

Until the advent of widespread internet access, most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, rarely read outside the strictly prescribed canonized scriptures, books and magazines approved by Church leaders. But over the past 10-15 years, Mormons have begun to discover facts about LDS history that had only previously been known to very few, mainly scholarly historians of Mormonism.

Through the discovery of these primary historical sources, now available on numerous internet sites, most intelligent and curious Mormons have reached a critical point and are furious. If they read, they have become disaffected and disoriented. Many are experiencing existential crises. Those who refuse to look outside Mormon Society for Truth have become increasingly self-righteous and insular. 

The first third of "An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism," chronicles the Author's journey out of the Religion. The second two-thirds of the Book, the last six chapters, are an exposé including an analysis under the law. The Author, an experienced civil trial attorney, places the activities of Mormon Leaders over almost two centuries in their proper legal framework, analyzing not only the misrepresentations, but the resulting damages: political, environmental and especially psycho-social.

Ms. Burningham writes that a determination of whether Mormon Leaders have historically misrepresented the origins of LDS theology does not involve a judicial evaluation of the truth of religious beliefs and is therefore not beyond the reach of the American legal system--it is not constitutionally barred. The issue is not whether Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or the efficacy of prayer. These things could never be determined by a secular court of law. Instead, the fraud committed by generations of Mormon Leaders is that they have misrepresented the facts surrounding the source of their scriptures, presenting that source as divine, when they have known otherwise. 

Neither the golden plates, nor the writings by the Old Testament prophet, Abraham, claimed to have been inscribed on Egyptian papyri, ever existed. Furthermore, the claimed visitations by biblical apostles to restore lost priesthoods to Smith and his colleagues never occurred.  Yet for decades LDS leaders have at least ignored, if not suppressed and grossly misrepresented, the true facts surrounding Mormonism's origins, reworking and re-packaging the founding facts and the theology as necessary.

Those who joined the Church or continued on in the Religion reasonably relied on LDS leaders' misrepresentations to their significant detriment. Given what has been proven about its sources, the Author claims that the Mormon Religion cannot continue to be defended under any guise as a religious organization for the good of its members.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"An American Fraud is a lightning-fast and surprisingly smooth read that explores the relationship of one woman with the faith she was taught to love while documenting her methodical and pragmatic approach to the unraveling of a great lie." -  QSalt Lake

About the Author

Kay Burningham, author of An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism, is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

Ms. Burningham has tried a variety of civil cases in San Diego Superior Court. In the early nineties she served as a San Diego Superior Court judge pro tem/civil settlement officer and arbitrator where she assisted in the resolution of a variety of civil cases. Since returning to Utah, she has tried cases in Utah District Court and has successfully argued before the Utah Supreme Court.

The Author was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for most of her life. In 2001, she officially resigned from the Mormon Church. Ms. Burningham is an active member of the State Bar Associations of both Utah and California and practices in both jurisdictions.

She was recently interviewed along with former Mormons, Park Romney, Jeff Ricks (founder of Postmormon.org), LDS Apostle Jeff Holland and others for the BBC documentary, "This World--the Mormon Candidate," about Mitt Romney and Mormonism. The documentary aired in the UK on March 27, 2012 and is now available on YouTube. She was also interviewed by the German Press, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.) Kay was recently interviewed by Doris Hanson, a former victim of fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, who is now the current host of the Utah based Christian television program, "Polygamy, What Love is This?" Links to these documentaries, articles and interviews can be found by visiting Kay's website at: kayburningham.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 13070 KB
  • Print Length: 566 pages
  • Publisher: Amica Veritatis; First edition (March 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S7FTXE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The emperor is naked June 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From time to time, we all come across a book that we cannot put down. This was just such a book for me, probably because Kay Burningham's experience with Mormonism parallels my own on so many levels.

There is, of course, one major problem with the book: few active Mormons will --most lamentably-- read it. As Burningham accurately substantiates in her analysis, to read anything that is not church approved, sanctioned by the hierarchy, is deemed... a sin, a heresy, blasphemy, sacrilege, unworthy, shameful. As "apostle" Boyd K. Packer explicitly told the seminary and institute teachers decades ago, "If it doesn't build faith, we don't teach it --even if it's true."

Burningham's book does convey the cold, hard truth about Mormonism, and backs it up with a wealth of documented sources and statistics, i.e., evidence that would stand up in a court of law. While reading it, I could not help but fantasize how very much I would like to watch the author cross examine Packer on the witness stand, sworn to finally tell, once and for all, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Most of the work covers a verifiable list of historical facts about the origins of Mormonism, its claims and doctrines, the past and present practices of its leaders, and the lamentable consequences in members' lives. Burningham introduces and summarizes these facts by relating how they influenced her own life through the years, thus adding an intimate touch that helps readers understand and empathize with the very real effects on real people in the real world.

Indeed, I must concede that the author's experience with Mormonism has been even more traumatic than my own, precisely because she is a woman.
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85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THERE IS A WHOLE NEW WORLD OUT THERE! July 30, 2012
Format:Paperback
I am in my eighties and have been a Utah Mormon all of my life. I grew up in the LDS Church and have attended regularly. I was married in the temple at age nineteen. The ceremony was so repetitive. From that very first time, I never felt the "spirituality" that my friends claimed to feel. I thought the ceremony was silly and anything but spiritual. But I thought the problem was me.

A friend of mine gave me her copy of An American Fraud to read. It was a real page-tuner. Before I read Ms. Burningham's book, I rarely read anything but what the leaders in the LDS Church told us to read. It was always the same thing, reading the same scriptures, about the lives of leaders, year after year. I felt guilty if and when I read another type of book that wasn't approved by the Church. After reading An American Fraud, I realized that I had been denied access to most all the good books in the world. I followed up on some of the author's footnotes and found them to be true. I couldn't believe it--I was never taught any of these things in Church meetings or books. Many of her sources were written about the Mormon leaders by those who knew them personally. I feel that the author is writing this from her heart, trying to show the truth about Mormonism, which has been hidden from its people for so long.

The writer did a great job of presenting facts. I could relate to many things in the book. For years the Church has presented only the white washed version of the Church's history. This book shows the other side. As the reader, after hearing both sides, I realize that there are many other things out there other than what the Church teaches.

I feel sorry for my friends who don't want to take the blinders off.
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108 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest journey, a necessary book January 15, 2012
By Lane
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had this book downloaded in my Kindle for three months before I opened it, but then I couldn't put it down once I started it. I rolled my eyes when I realized I had to endure the first third of the book as Kay Burningham's personal history, before I got to the meat of it; only to find myself wanting to understand more about her life and those she has loved along the way. Kay's honesty, and forthright style, captivated my imagination and gave me greater insight into my own circumstances.

Interestingly, I graduated from BYU Law School in 1979, the same year, I learned from this book, that Kay commenced law school there. We had the same civil procedure professor, and for 30 years I could find no one at the law school to tell me what happened to cause his "disappearance" a couple of years after my graduation. Thank you, Kay, for clearing up this mystery. I laughed at your expense for several days over our professor's hubris, while mourning the pain and loss you suffered. Having said that, this anecdote serves as a small illustration of life's random, uncaring, almost perverse indifference to us. Any dignity we can cut out for ourselves seems to have to be wrestled away from the institutions that want to own us. For those of us raised as Mormons, it's the Mormon Church that wants to determine what level of dignity one may be entitled to. This book is a beautiful declaration of one person's independence, and as such, it is quite inspiring.

For anyone interested in a shorthand book on Mormon history, its foundations, the evolution of its doctrines, and the consequences thereof, this is a great book for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally...
Mormonism is a true cult. This book is well thought out and does not rely on heresay, but on empirical evidence based on this "church's" history and actions. Read more
Published 3 days ago by A. Riffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening book
Very well written and very enlightening. As a former Mormon myself knowing most of this, I still learned an enormous amount.
Published 9 days ago by "Corky"
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a must-read
I would consider "An American Fraud" a must-read for everyone, especially Christians - and doubly especially Mormons. Read more
Published 15 days ago by J. Barringer
4.0 out of 5 stars good and bad
The personal story shared in the first half is written in a slightly halting voice at times, but does a pretty good job of portraying the life I recall being raised in the same... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Shane Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars This book thoroughly proves it's point!
Very well written. Thoroughly documents ongoing major fraud in this "church" / business. No one in their right mind would get into Mormonism after reading this!!!!!
Published 19 days ago by John Schaffer Camden, SC
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much "legalism"
I liked the book but there seemed to be a little too much legal jargon which made it hard to follow. I would recommend this book to non-Mormon friends.
Published 20 days ago by debbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, Well-Written. Kay Burningham is Someone You Can Trust.
An American Fraud--One Attorney's Case Against Mormonism, by Kay Burningham is an honest take on where the Mormon Church really came from and what it is today. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Child of the Light
5.0 out of 5 stars On the mark
This book is on the mark. It presents the background of the church and how Mormonism evolved into what it is today based on facts. Read with an open mind.
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid case against all the religions of the world.
The writer Kay Burningham is a lawyer. She presents her case against mormonism quite logically and cogently. Her arguments cut deep. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Maninder Pal Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This book has become one of the capstones of my journey through Mormonism. I appreciated how the author worked her personal experience into the discussion of the church history and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by William Keffeler
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More About the Author


Kay Burningham, author of An American Fraud. One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism, is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage, employment, real-estate and securities litigation. Ms. Burningham is an active member of the State Bar Associations of both Utah and California and practices in both jurisdictions.


The Author was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for most of her life. In 2001, she officially resigned from the Mormon Church.

She was interviewed along with former Mormons, Park Romney, Jeff Ricks (founder of Postmormon.org), LDS Apostle Jeff Holland and others for the BBC documentary, "This World--the Mormon Candidate," about Mitt Romney and Mormonism. The documentary aired in the UK on March 27, 2012 and is now available on YouTube. She was also interviewed by the German Press, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.). Kay was interviewed by Doris Hanson, a former victim of fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, who is the host of the Utah-based Christian television program, "Polygamy, What Love is This?"

Munich's FocusTV aired a special documentary on Mitt Romney's Mormonism, "Romney's Glaubensbrüder" Nov. 5, 2012, just prior to the US presidential elections. Ms. Burningham is featured along with Park Romney and a former LDS family who lives in Utah county. Links to most of these documentaries, articles and interviews can be found by visiting: www.kayburningham.com

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