Friday, January 6, 2012

If you can't beat the Facts - JOIN THEM!

Just when you think a Mormon apologist can't stoop any lower, they pull out stunts that never cease to amaze:  Like taking the name of a well-known Christian ministry organization and creating a copy-cat page complete with inflammatory hate-speech (i.e. apostate, anti-Mormons).

Facebook has already removed plagiarized word-for-word content that he stole from the original Facts page to his copy-cat page.  We can't help but wonder what he might do next?  Steal Johnny Stephenson's online identity to make him a spokesman for his church?  Sadly, we wouldn't put it past him. 

Is this what they teach Mormon apologists to do in order to harass or silence the opposition?  Why would someone steal another organization's name if it were not for the purpose to harass and deceive?  The name of his church doesn't incorporate the terms Mormon or LDS.  And aren't there enough pro-Mormon sites on Facebook and the internet?

For almost 2 years, Mormon & LDS Facts has been the working name of a Christian non-profit organization comprised of ex-Mormons and concerned Christians with the mission of sharing our understanding of LDS facts & history, as well as the testimonials of former members. We've always told everyone upfront who we are and what our mission is.  Our official home base is located in the state of New York.  We are not richly funded like the Mormon church; we ask for no donations and work free of charge.  Our official website is currently being re-designed and we are currently working on publishing several literary works - all by the volunteers of our organization. 

Mormons like Berman may think that we are being deceptive by using "Mormon" lingo as a part of our name.  However the same can be said about the organization he represents.  We believe that their church is deceptive and misleading in many ways.  However, this is not why we chose that name; we chose the name because it describes the niche of our Christian ministry and outreach.  We seek to explore, examine and expose the FACTS about Mormonism that the public deserves to know but are often hidden or suppressed.  

If someone does not like who we are or what we do, we are fine with that; we don't have to engage them and are quite happy to pursue our mission in peace.  We do not engage in or support hatred or violence against anyone of any other beliefs and do not seek to infringe upon the rights of others.  However, we have come under attack by those who wish to silence us and slander us with false information and accusations.  It is for this purpose we feel the need to publicly respond. 

Timothy Berman is currently the most outspoken critic of our ministry and those who support us.  He has even dedicated pages of his "apologist" blog in effort to discredit us.  He has openly admitted to "reporting abuses" while at the same time denies any involvement.  He also claims that he did not "steal" private Facebook conversations for malicious purposes and that is a LIE.  Perhaps Timothy Berman doesn't know the difference between private and public but the comments that he used for his blog were NOT part of a public conversation.

He further believes it's OK to publicly publish the private conversations of others, but asserts that it is against Facebook privacy rules to make copies of truly public information.  We have to wonder if he's really ever READ the Facebook rules regarding what's public and what's private.  Based on his confused and misleading assertions, we can only guess he has not or is making up his own set of rules.  So we're attaching what Facebook really says about what is public and what is private.  Private posts are not intended for public visibility.  Public posts can be seen by potentially anyone on the internet.

Facebook clearly says for all users:  "When you publish content or information using the PUBLIC SETTING, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture)."  (emphasis mine)

When they changed a privacy setting from everyone to public - they made it clear that the "public" includes everyone on the internet.  

We don't need to get permission to access and use the information that Berman shares publicly.  However, Timothy Berman misappropriated (stole, hacked, whatever you want to call it) a PRIVATE conversation and used it for public slander.  He doesn't seem to understand the difference between private and public content and he doesn't seem to be able to understand basic Facebook rules.  Why should we listen to Timothy Berman (seeing how he is running thin on integrity) about the supposed protocol of cutting & pasting quotes when a picture is worth a thousand words?

Unlike Berman's actions, every screen shot here of Berman's activities (and those which will be forthcoming) are copies of comments, posts and activities that were made PUBLICLY on the internet.  Google his name and see for yourself.  As of right now, Timothy Berman has his personal Facebook wall set to PUBLIC for a number of his posts.  How do we know?  Because anyone on Facebook (and possibly the internet) can click on his name and what he's saying publicly.  The choice to make wall posts public or private belongs to every adult on Facebook and is managed in their privacy settings.

The authors of this blog post are not Facebook friends with Timothy Berman and never want to be.  However we were able to go to his personal profile and see his public comments which include the announcement that he just created a new "Mormon & LDS Facts" page.  This infringement is apparently celebrated by other Mormons and copy-cat pages.

He claims that we are not willing to have a decent conversation but the evidence is clear (from his personal comments and the comments he has on his Facebook pages) that he is the one who wishes to SILENCE those who hold a different view and does not want them to speak. 

It appears that Timothy Berman has one agenda:  Destroy the press.  ...And if you can't beat them, steal their name.  ... And apparently he does all this in the name of Jesus Christ?!   

He invites us to answer his allegations one by one but we will decline.  After slandering us, stealing our ministry name, and violating our last agreement by re-publishing his slanderous blog post, he has already proven that he lacks the decency and character of one claiming to be a representative of Christ.  Going back and forth to answer Timothy Berman at this point does not appear to be the best use of our time and certainly we have better things to do.  Nevertheless, we are praying for Timothy Berman.  We believe he sincerely needs it.