Mormons Want to Excommunicate Romney Critic
David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of mormonthink.com, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers.
On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, “Cease and desist, Brother Twede.”
Mormon leaders have scheduled an excommunication “for apostasy” on Sept. 30. A spokesman for the church told The Daily Beast that the church would not be commenting for this story.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Twede says that during the interrogation he felt “attacked, cornered, and very anxious.”
The four church leaders verbally chastised him, he says, for hiding his identity on MormonThink and his personal blog in order to avoid discipline. Twede, who writes using only his first name, says they kept asking him why he didn’t identify himself online if he had nothing to hide.
“I told them I hide my name precisely because of things like this,” he says. “I said, ‘Look how fast you got to me.’ I know a lot of members don’t want their life disturbed. In the Mormon church, if you’re not part of the uniform group, you are ostracized.”
Twede asked church leaders how they came up with his name so fast after posting the articles. They wouldn’t tell him, but he says he’s since been told by a church insider that a contributor to the pro-Mormon Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, many of whose members are professors at Brigham Young University, alerted church officials in Salt Lake City, who apparently informed his local ecclesiastical leaders.