Videos showing leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discussing current events in private meetings surfaced online over the weekend. The videos were likely leaked by a current or former employee of the LDS church.
In one video, LDS general authority Gerrit W. Gong discusses cybersecurity with members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the possible implications Wikileaks could have on the church. LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks asks whether Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, who released classified documents to Wikileaks and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange were gay.
“I’m suspicious that the news media cover up anything involving homosexuals when it would work to the disadvantage of the homosexual agenda and so on,” Oaks says.
In another video, former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith tells the Quorum he voted to support the war in Iraq because he believed it would open the Middle East to Mormon missionaries.
Lance Homer is an active member of the LDS Church. He says he’s glad church leadership are regularly briefed on global events and topics. But he took issue with the apparent focus on homosexuality and treatment of foreign affairs.
“It was really bothersome to hear former Senator Smith, who is LDS openly discussing topics that potentially could have been classified as confidential, as he admits in the video,” Homer says.
Former LDS Church member Ryan McKnight posted the 15 videos Sunday on YouTube under the name Mormon Leaks. McKnight says he obtained the video via email from an employee of the church who wishes to remain anonymous.
“I think the over-arching accomplishment of these videos is just to give everybody a peak behind the curtain,” McKnight says. “Kind of a fly-on-the-wall perspective and get a better idea of how they conduct their business.”
LDS Church Spokesman Erik Hawkins said in a statement quote “This is an informational forum, not a decision-making body."