LDS Church Spying On CollegeTimes Despite Neumont ‘University’ Repeatedly Denying Mormon Affiliation
The email server lists.lds.org, which is responsible for distributing private email newsletters to members of the Mormon religion in Utah, appears to be sending visitors to recent CollegeTimes articles highlighting Neumont University, a for-profit Utah institution that has repeatedly denied any affiliation with Mormonism.
Massive LDS Interest In Neumont University
Just a few hours after a recent article was published on CollegeTimes announcing that Neumont University had been banned from Wikipedia for years of spamming and vandalizing the community-edited project, visitors from all over the state of Utah began visiting the article. Most notably, however, was the immediate traffic coming from LDS.org, a high profile domain owned and operated by the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. The traffic appears to have originated from one or more private email newsletters sent out to members of the the church:
Neumont’s administrators and student employees have repeatedly denied any official, or unofficial, connection with Mormonism, despite all of Neumont’s founders (Graham Doxey, Scott McKinley, and Marlow Einelund) being Mormon, most of their faculty being Mormon, many of their apparent investors being Mormon, and despite a predominant student club existing on the small campus known as the Latter-Day Saints Student Association – a student organization officially affiliated with the LDS Church, and managed directly by the organization’s Orwellian Church Educational System.
Out of the 19 academic faculty members listed on the school’s website, 5 are listed as having degrees from Neumont University itself, 5 are listed as having degrees from Brigham Young University, and 3 are listed as having no college degree at all.
Neumont, a privately-run computer science institute currently based in South Jordan, Utah, is planning a mid-2013 migration to a new property located in downtown Salt Lake City formerly owned by the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. The Tribune, founded in 1870 as The Mormon Tribune and having emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, recently ran a story heavily criticizing CollegeTimes for refusing to remove negative reviews of Neumont posted anonymously by students – a story apparently published at the personal request of Neumont University CEO Edward Levine, leading to accusations of false reporting and conspiracy to which the Tribune has not yet responded.
Among the hundreds of visits to CollegeTimes were dozens of online connections relayed via proxy.lds.org, which, according to their own discussion forum, is a private VPN service run by the LDS Church at all “meetinghouses” and other Mormon-operated properties in Utah. According to Wikipedia, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) uses the term ‘meetinghouse’ for the building where congregations meet for weekly worship services, recreational events, and social gatherings. A meetinghouse differs from an LDS temple, which is reserved for special forms of worship.”
Emails sent to LDS.org requesting comment on this flurry of internet activity, and the Church’s apparently strong yet secretive interest in Neumont University (and CollegeTimes) despite public denials of any affiliation with each other, were not returned.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith in New York, currently claims over 14 million members world-wide, including 55,000+ missionaries and 28,000+ congregations, across 176 countries and territories.