A “cancer” has infected the Church

28

August 16, 2010 by The Mormon Worker

I recently recieved this email regarding the Mormon Worker Newspaper. I have included my response below the initial email. MW

To Whom It May Concern:

I visited your website this afternoon. Yes, I was very surprised. But as I read on I was sickened. I am sure that anything I say will be either ignored or laughed at by anyone from your site that reads this email. But that is OK, it is for me that I say these things. I have seen an increase in numbers of liberals in the church. Not converts, but those from existing member families.

To find this site confirms there is a canker, a cancer, that has infected the church and perverted the gospel in many ways. As I read some of the articles I saw how a simple twist on the author’s part could make the change from free agency to satan’s plan. How tithing could be equated with property tax. I will compliment your author’s…they have a way with words. Too bad it is an evil way…a way that leads people away from God and the plan of salvation. There is nothing I can say that would change your mind…I know that. But I will tell you that those that are secure in the gospel, that have a firm testimony and a personal relationship with our brother Jesus Christ will not be fooled by any of those writings or the concepts behind them.

I will leave you to your mission…but I will hope for your utter failure. For every person you convert to your perversion is a person that will fall from the real plan that Jesus put forth. It is sad to see what is happening in the world today…very sad. It is made even worse knowing there are (so-called) members of the church helping in its destruction. I hope one day that you may return to, or find the truth.

My Response:

Thanks for your feedback. I am not sure why you feel that anyone who has a different view of politics or economics than you has lost his or her testimony. At any rate, you may want to read this article from a Sociology professor at BYU called “Wealth and Poverty”:

http://contrarianmormon.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/wealth-and-poverty/

Or, you may want to check out Hugh Nibley’s book, Approaching Zion, or Warner Woodworth’s book, Working Toward Zion. These were all written by faithful members of the Church who have long taught at BYU and whose ideas on politics and economics appear to be directly contrary to yours.

Even though I disagree with your politics, and feel they run contrary to the Gospel (as you feel mine do) I have no reason to question your testimony. However, when you question other people’s testimonies based on their politics, I want to let you know that it drives people away from the Church. Roughly half the members of the Church in El Salvador vote for the FMLN, which is a left wing, democratic socialist party. Most of the members in Germany, where I served my mission, support progressive taxation, universal healthcare, and a strong social safety net.

Though your views are in the majority among members of the Church in Utah, California, Arizona, and perhaps the US generally, they radically depart from the views of many members outside of the US, and perhaps even most of the members worldwide, as there are now more members outside the US than within it. Would you like a few million members of the Church worldwide excommunicated to rid the Church of this so-called “cancer?”

Secondly, what effect does labeling “liberals” (or people even farther to the left, such as socialists and anarchists) as apostates do for missionary work and building the kingdom? In short, it alienates potential converts. Anyway, these are some things I would ask you to think about.

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28 thoughts on “A “cancer” has infected the Church

  1. elchupacabras says:

    Excellent response! I am sad to see this type of commentary exist. I have met excellent members of the Church who are liberals, socialists and anarchists. I never once questioned their testimonies or their thinking, as these are some of the finest, most CHRISTIAN examples of Mormons I’ve met. It saddens me that some have the mentality that you have to be a NEOCON in lock step with Cheney, Bush, and the rest of the Republican party in order to be a “good” Mormon. In fact, if heaven will be full of people like that, maybe I’d prefer being in hell. But thank goodness I don’t believe such B-S, as in “Brother Skousen….”

  2. Erick says:

    Awesome response.

  3. Tod Robbins says:

    I think it is rather unfortunate that author’s claims are so vague and misdirected. The above is the full text of the email? Weird.

  4. Forest Simmons says:

    It seems likely that the writer of the letter believes in spontaneous voluntary giving to the needy, but objects to secular government based social safety nets as being contrary to individual agency. Most of us here can understand that, and find it not too far from our own thinking.

    My article, “Yes, the Gospel of Redistribution,” is probably the one that seemed to him to give a “simple twist” or two on some basic scriptures to bring into question some of his most cherished political beliefs. Hence, the strong reaction.

    A single sister recently went to her bishop to ask for financial assistance for moving herself and two young kids out of an abusive situation into something better than a camp under a bridge. The bishop (rightly) responded that the church could not take on a continuing rental obligation in such a case, because the fast offering funds were adequate only for very temporary relief until she could get a job and live within her own means.

    This sister, believing all of the Mother’s Day rhetoric she had heard over the years, thought that being a full time mother was the most important work she could ever do. She told the bishop that she had understood that the Law of Consecration was supposed to take care of those in good standing; “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”

    The bishop responded, “Yes, that is the ideal, but it has to be voluntary.” The sister left in tears, her “church family” bubble burst for the first time.

    Yes, consecration will always be voluntary as is tithing, for example. But bishops are not afraid to ask members to pay tithing, and politely remind them of that fact when they ask for a temple recommend.

    I wonder how many bishops are asking wealthy members to voluntarily live within the mean income of the church members.

    If they are not asked, how do we know that they will refuse?

    Even if we are sure that they will refuse, they still need to be given the opportunity to say, “no.”

  5. Tariq says:

    Say whaaaat!?
    And what is the “real plan that Jesus put forth”?: Tax cuts for the rich, war, torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless surveillance of citizens, racism and xenophobia, police brutality, fear-based propagandistic fake news, economic exploitation and environmental destruction; in short, everything the right-wing stands for? It’s the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of FOX News. Who is the one who is perverting the gospel; the anarchist who argues for an economic system as egalitarian as the one Christ set up, or the right-wing teabagger who argues for an economic system based on division, exploitation, coercion, war, and destruction? All I can do is hope that the “canker or cancer” of people who care about the poor, oppressed, and downtrodden spreads and infects the whole church.

    How evil and un-Christlike it is to actually take Jesus’s teachings about lifting up “the least of these” seriously. Don’t you wicked Mormon Worker people know that Jesus is a capitalist, immigrant-hating, war-loving, red, white, and blue flag-waving member of the republican party? I’m sure it says that somewhere in the scriptures. I haven’t actually read the scriptures, but I take the prophet Glenn Beck’s word for it.

    • Sherri says:

      I love what you said about this being the Church of Jesus Christ and not the Church of FOX News. I may borrow that in conversation.

      • Ned says:

        The church is full of Beck Neoliberal Republicans, but they wont have a tea party against the flat tax or buying indulgengences on Salvation unlike the saints of old, William Law and the Narvoo expositor, are the Mormon version of Wikileaks- who challenged to expose the wickedness in high places. I remember listening to Bill Cooper, Remnant radio, pod cast where he said no law to pay income tax in constitution? The church seem to know this, but tollbooth the gospel
        and their God making lodges. They have their franchisee system too of GODS-R-US, Mormonator tm. Purity game inc. Mormon-K-2-Ultra of faith promoting stories, and sanitised History’s. Tithing is a property tax, and a 10 percent tax on love, because it’s a Neoliberal God making tollbooth to enter the temple, with a flat tax or perpetual Greek style Austerity measure from day one. Worst of all, its a tax on love, no tithing means no temple recommend, means your treated like a social leeper, an outcast” What did Jesus do for the leper”? Who is better than this? Jesus said! Also your treated as an untouchable in LDS circles, no dating, a freeze on your salvation, groping around at the bottom the pyramid in outer darkness wailing and gnashing teeth thirsting for truth and a recommend (water) means no tollbooth admission to the God making ceremony’s of the celestial Mormon complex.

  6. Mats-Einar says:

    Hi im a member living in Stockholm Sweden and i get really upset by that fundamentalistic non forgiving attitude towards pepole that dosent fit the authors wiws it is scary to see that the ultra conservative non forgivning non caring wiews are spoken out as mormon wiews they are not the way of Jesus christ as ive go to know him hHe is loving caring and wants all pepole to feel well and he sais come to me ye who are burdoned…excludning not including is not the way of the saviour and social wellfare was founded allready when Joseph Smith was alive in the United order that was practical socialism sharing evrything but due to mans greed and selfishness it couldent work and still wont thatsa how faar away we still are as members of his church in practicing his gospel we reallly and evryone really needs repentence no doubt about it in my Christian mind
    Pride and selfishness is all around us in the church and many pepole has forgotten the essence of the gosp4el of Jesus Christ justifying their actiobns and beeing very judgemental towards all others even within the church that is soo sadening to se…well we all as mebers do need repentence in some way or another swo let the one without sin cast the first stone.

  7. Joseph says:

    I’ve come to view myself more as a virus rather than a cancer, but I guess it might be harder to find a consonance to “v” than “c”.

    I’m glad I made a commitment to deep-breathing before writing responses on this blog before I read this individuals complaint e-mail.

    I do appreciate the response listed in the post, but an explanation for why it’s wrong to alienate “liberals” (whatever the author of the complaint means by that) in the LDS Church. It could be justified as “cleansing” the Church by bigoted individuals with little Gospel understanding. I think it’s important to remind such individuals of LDS Church leadership’s statements of political neutrality (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/political-neutrality), and that a disagreement on how to apply Gospel principles to politics does not make one or the other an advocate of “Satan’s plan.” Nobody I know of has a monopoly on truth or error. There are, of course, many other reasons why individuals should not be alienated for their politics, and I think individuals like the one above complaining about the Mormon Worker need them spelled out.

  8. Joseph says:

    *”…but an explanation for why it’s wrong to alienate ‘liberals’ (whatever the author of the complaint means by that) in the LDS Church…” was supposed to be “I do appreciate the response listed in the post, but an explanation for why it’s wrong to alienate ‘liberals’ (whatever the author of the complaint means by that) in the LDS Church is needed.” Forgot to finish the sentence.

  9. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    For what it’s worth…. as a non Mormon and as idiotic as I find your guys politics this site doesn’t give me a negative view of the Mormon church.

    • Joseph says:

      SUNNofaB.C.Rich,

      I’ll take it as a compliment. For what it’s worth, as much annoyance as I might express in my responses, I do appreciate being attacked just on politics without religion being brought in.

  10. A Worker says:

    If you find our politics so “idiotic,” SUNNofaB.C.Rich, why do you keep coming back? I don’t troll conservative, fascist, or ultra-liberal (i.e. “Libertarian”) sites. What’s up?

  11. J.L. says:

    This letter explicitly demonstrates my favorite conservative neo-con hypocrisy. They tout the concept of ‘Free Agency’ as sacred when it comes to the economy. But, on social issues they are complete fascists. No one should be allowed to choose to marry if it goes against church beliefs. No one should have the right to engage in whatever medical procedure they choose if it goes against church doctrine. So, even though God is the source of agency and we are directed by scripture to let each person choose their own religious beliefs, we won’t allow people to violate OUR beliefs in their own private lives.

    If agency is so sacred, then you can’t cherry-pick your liberties.

  12. Forest Simmons says:

    “Thank You, Glenn Beck!” is the title of a counterpunch article about MLK’s “I have a dream” speech that King gave 47 years ago today:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn08272010.html

  13. Gina Colvin says:

    As a life long member living outside of North America I too am appalled by the conflation of Christian discipleship with neo-liberal post-fordist American capitalism. It might surprise you that we non-
    American Mormons look on American (and particularly Utah) Mormonism as an embarrassment. We are embarrassed by the Mormon support of the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, we are embarrassed to be associated with Mormons who by and large have supported George Bush, who have sustained and endorsed racist regimes, and have built a culture of blind consent (which is mistaken for righteousness) rather than a vigorous and well informed theological dialogue that is supported by a decent exposition of the scriptures.

    I could care less about the constitution of the United States, I could care less about the founding fathers (although I am sure their veneration is important to Americans as a ‘National’ tradition). I love my own country and wouldn’t expect Americans to give a fat rats about our National traditions – so stop expecting us to buy into this conservative morality that serves no purpose but to constitute a compelling but spurious relationship between God and American politics.

    So there – wet raspberries!!!!

    • Joseph says:

      It is a great relief to see that I was not wrong in theorizing that a large number of members of the LDS Faith outside the U.S. are not a part of the ultra-conservative mentality that dominates Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and surrounding areas (my comment on the post https://themormonworker.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/can-mormons-be-socialists-the-case-of-el-salvador/).

      My main complaint is that your wonderfully worded discourse is kinda preachin’ to the choir here. But I enjoyed it anyway. I echo Ron with my agreement (though thankfully I’m not a Utah Mormon at this point in my life).

      • Gina Colvin says:

        I know I’m preaching to the converted here – but hey – its nice to have a forum where there is some sympathy for a critique of ‘McCarthyest’ Mormonism.

        Thanks for your feedback!!

      • Ron Madson says:

        Gina,

        thanks for showing up at our blog. we are a small but increasingly vocal counter-voice among our faith. Your little “hit the nail on the head” post said a great deal and I have taken the liberty of copying and pasting it and sending out to dozens others—with, of course, your name as the author.

  14. Ron Madson says:

    Gina,

    I am now a Utah (Utah County) Mormon and all I can say about your post is “AMEN AND AMEN”

    • Gina Colvin says:

      Hi Ron, thanks for thinking it was worthwhile enough to send out! There is plenty more where that came from!! There is a growing number of us at the church ‘periphery’ who would very much like to be a part of this kind of conversation but we have gotten so used to the Americentric top down hierarchy that we simply don’t speak (publicly at least). I reckon that small voice that you feel you have in the US might actually grow significantly with the weight of LDS thinkers in border spaces.

      I have never been questioned about my left wing politics at church because we live (in New Zealand) within a socio-cultural context that freely admits dissent as part of a rich political terrain.

      On the other hand we were living in Asia during 9/11 with an enclave of expatriate LDS Americans who were emphatic that the ‘attack on America’ and the subsequent invasion into Afghanistan and Iraq were religious issues and for us non -Americans this was astounding. Church became a difficult and conflicted place to be in the aftermath as a significant number of us non-American expats just couldn’t see why the American tragedy should apprehend our sympathies more than the the war in Sierra Leone or the Genocide in Rwanda – and we certainly couldn’t see why we should ‘support the President’ in his military assault on Afghanistan!!

      Anyway – I could go on and on – and I haven’t even started on Glen Beck!!!

      • Joseph says:

        Gina,

        I thought I should clarify that I am enjoying your comments. I am really glad to know there are members of the LDS Faith outside the U.S. that see through the mangling of Gospel truths by U.S. conservativism. Earlier I was just clarifying that I, and I think most, if not all, who participate here at the Mormon Worker agree with you. And my pointing out that you are preaching to the choir should not be taken as a criticism. I am obviously here doing the same. I really enjoy sharing my thoughts in a setting where I don’t have to be afraid of receiving anonymous attacks in the mail.

  15. Murray says:

    Just found your site and am so thrilled to find others that have views that are similar to mine. I do cancer research but don’t feel the need to rid myself of the so called “cancer” of your critic. Thank you for your work.

  16. Robin Payne says:

    This blog began with the contribution from a member of the Church expressing his/her feelings about this forum entitled–“A ‘cancer’ has infected the Church”. You have all had your cathartic experience of mocking and challenging the expressed thoughts of this person. I have followed the “Mormon Worker” for some time and have read much of the publications and some few blogs such as this. There is much substance to the individual’s observation about the doubtful cause you as a group represent.

    Having said this much, you would be interested to know that with each published message that I have read, I have found some truth and understand as to how you have come to your communal conclusions. I, myself, am not a particularly worthy individual as a Christian or Latter-day Saint. My imperfections are legion, but my striving is deliberate and ongoing. I am offended by the far right; they are cruel, intolerant, and selfish in most cases. The far left, on the other hand, often seek to justify life choices and hide behind the Words of the Master in promoting aberrant views of life and the Gospel with distorted interpretations . These views often opposed those eternal truths that bring ultimate peace to themselves and those around them. I abhor war; I believe in tolerance as the Brethren encourage routinely; there are many things that I share in common with your group. However, there is a pervading ingenuity that accompanies so much that is discussed in this forum – (MW). The sophistry over the months (years) I have read and otherwise participated with certain contributors, now reinforce for me more than ever that following the Brethren with an “exercised” faith will take anyone farther along the path to love, tolerance and promoting peace in all its worthy forms.

    To those of you who are known to me, I would want you to know that I believe that an examination of the restored church, the scriptures, and utterances of past and present apostles and prophets are amazingly abundant with seeming contradictions. So many that if one were to dwell on them overmuch that there would be a swift departure from the Church. Your rhetoric as a group plays these contradictions against each other, but not surprisingly in favor of a common leaning. This missive is missing specific examples to illustrate my point. The point I would invite you to consider is that it takes a great deal of faith and then some more to harmonize those contradictions that you find most inviting to promote the professed goals of the Mormon Worker.

    I find too much of bitterness, intolerance for others (believe this or not, from this group) and an unhealthy grouping of all mainstream LDS with the noted and outspoken far right. You really don’t need a forum of dissent to discuss the Gospel of Christ. I have found more strength and encouragement from an annual church conference than all the time I have spent reading the online publications and blogs of this group. Perhaps, unlike you, I need those discussions that make me a better person not so much those designed to make everyone else better. I truly am in need. I realize that there are many Latter-day Saints with distorted views of time and eternity that concern you as a group. They will, if they choose, come closer to the concepts of peace and a tolerance of humanity by the principles of humility and listening to living prophets quicker than any other method.

    It just isn’t much fun to run a forum based on those simple ideas. So many of you have a gift of words. It’s a pity to me that you will continue to use those gifts of speech with a tone that will continue to alienate many LDS and attract those of like mind. I don’t think you will make many converts to your ideas; you will simply enfold those who are already willing to be bedfellows with you in ideology and shared inclinations. In these last days, there will be many. I invite you to the true peace of Christ that I and others seek that acknowledges failings within groups of saints and ourselves, yet at the same time welcomes the gentle admonition of the good word of God such as is exemplified by living Apostles and Prophets.

    I think there is an incredible potential within your group as with most individuals that represent you. I hope you each find it. I don’t pretend to be a match for any of you, either verbally or intellectually; I am simply trying to accomplish some of the same, but from a perspective that truly is dependent upon the transcendent that invites peace. The best effort tries to invite the perfect tolerance, balanced with perfect judgment that only Christ offers to all and is accomplished by man only after a lifetime of listening and practice. My best to all.

    • Gina Colvin says:

      Robin,

      I think your missive is somewhat misplaced. You seem to have mistaken dissent for divisiveness, and critique for criticism, and what you haven’t grasped is that we are having this conversation precisely because we are devoted and believing LDS Christians, not inspite of it.

      I also predict that the mainstream theology of the US LDS church will follow a necessary decline, and those ideologies that have the church in America wedded to a belief system that mirrors a conservative political economy will have its day.

      • Ron Madson says:

        Robin,

        Good to hear from you again! It has been some time and appreciate your thoughts. You will note that I have not entered an original post here for about a year, but I have prepared a couple essays for the upcoming LDS Peace/War conference in Claremont hosted by Richard Bushman this March.
        You said a lot and there are some common points to build on. You indicated that you have read some of this blog and found “some truths” and come to understand some of our communal thoughts. I am still trying to understand the whole “anarchy” thing but it is growing on me and I no longer see it as left or right but rather localized self-governance (libertarian mixed with a desire for a united order of some sort).
        Also, I agree and most of us do agree that general conference is wonderful and I find personally the brethren emphasizing patience, tolerance and understanding. They teach us correct principles but then the hard part is the applying/governing ourselves.

        Of course, there is historically abundant inconsistencies but that IMO is the nature of a faith that is organic and in a state of evolution. For a season Peter and others thought the gospel was only for the Jews but then repented and offered to all, even Gentiles. I would hope that it is inconsistent over time…that being a sign of constant repenting and evolving.

        My thoughts right now is in regard to application. For example, in my one paper for this spring I address DC section 98. That revelation is a miracle like many other sections—something that I do not believe Joseph could have invented. But the real miracle to me is if a people actually lived and applied it. It is one thing for Joseph to give it at their general conference so to speak, but another to actually live it–that is the real miracle. It is in the application that I contend we failed during the Missouri wars and still fail today. Note that Elder Nelson in conference taught section 98 in fall of 2002 but then the PR dept. of the church ran out and said it did NOT apply to our present wars/conflicts. Huhhh? So they teach us correct principles, but we are left to debate, wrestle, and seek to apply the teachings and that is where the real work is done in these blogs. We wrestle over the application whether Iraq or Afghanistan. We are taught to love on another at conference, but then we wrestle with how that applies to health care or immigration. Let the debate ensue. They do NOT tell us how to approach these issue in application—just general principles.
        So I do not see watching general conference and wrestling with these issues at odd, but rather the wrestling an indication of faith whether on the right or left as it pertains to putting our faith into real application.

        BTW, my HPGL here in the Mormon Corridor is a John Birch supporter and every month our monthly teacher that reviews conference finds a way to show that Glenn Beck represents the word of God for our days. That is my reality and if anything this blog and others are a little counterbalance.

        However, I do agree with you that it is unfair to treat most members as a straw man or foil to make our points. The reality I believe that I, like you and most members find ourselves with all kinds of mixed, nuanced thoughts on issue by issue. We are a diverse group.

        AND I do think that Will Van Wagenen who is the Mormon Worker who wrote in response to the opening post was very, very gracious and tolerant. I simply suggest as you would agree I am sure that the tent of our faith needs to be big enough to have love and tolerance for a real diversity of thoughts and applications.

        In my HP group on July 4th my HPGL was on a rant about constitution and the implied that Obama is the devil and Harry Reid is an apostate. I came to the defense of Harry and said I knew Harry and while I may or may not agree with his politics there is no place to condemn him personally. My father for example when we lived in DC said he loved Eisenhower and Ezra Taft Benson even if ETB thought Eisenhower was a communist. In our stake back there were lively debates between democrats, republicans, progressives and John Birch types on sunday but they all worked at the church welfare farm and appreciated each other. that is the ideal.

        I do agree that we need to build more bridges here and be more tolerant lest we became the very thing we deplore.

        But many here have been on the defensive for some time in the mormon corridor and that may cause some lack of patience

        thanks for showing up. hope to hear from you again. My computer is about to go dead and I rambled this off real fast and long and I apologize in advance for any incoherency and the more then usual length.

        your brother Ron

  17. Brooks W. Wilson says:

    I am delighted to learn from the “To Whom It May Concern” author that there is an increase in the number of liberals in the Church. I have not personally seen any progress. I suppose an increase of one in the authors ward would be a 100% increase and, indeed, very alarming.

    Your response was very good. Mine would not have been as patient. Maybe because I have been around longer and have seen, or heard, so many more examples his/her illogic. The complaint was nearly totally devoid of any scriptural or logical support except for the outrage that we may view tithing as a form of tax. As a matter of fact, tithing IS a tax, more of an income tax than a property tax but it is a tax. And, Malachi 3:8-10 makes it clear that it is not voluntary; being subject to agency does not make a commandment voluntary. Civil taxes are also subject to agency and voluntary but like tithing, non-compliance carries a penalty.

    Thankfully the conservatives (right wingers, actually) in my ward are much more loving and tolerant of my liberalism than this brother.

    • Iamdavid says:

      to my most dearest:

      You all need to take a step back, and seriously consider who the people we have all come to know as our “Greatest of Leaders”…really are. I would love to give you some “links”, but, maybe you would rather wait for CNN or Fox to NOT tell you the truths about the real World. Innywayzzz…I love you all…and…happy hunting? There are the liberals and there are the “others” Who really knows who the government really works for nowadays….

      READ IF YOU CARE/DARE

      News
      World news
      Nigeria
      Nigeria to drop Dick Cheney charges after plea bargainHalliburton agrees to pay $250m in fines in lieu of prosecution over alleged multimillion-dollar bribes

      Share1208 David Smith in Port Harcourt guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 15 December 2010 19.42 GMT Article history
      Nigerian anti-corruption police said this month they planned to file charges against Dick Cheney. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

      Nigeria’s anti-corruption police have dropped charges against Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, over a multi-million dollar bribery case after the energy firm Halliburton agreed to pay up to $250m (£161m) in fines.

      The move followed the intervention of ex-president George Bush Sr and former secretary of state James Baker, according to Nigerian press reports.

      The country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it met officials representing Cheney and Halliburton in London last week after filing 16-count charges relating to the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in the conflict-ridden Niger delta.

      Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the EFCC, said: “There was a plea bargain on the part of the company to pay $250m as fines in lieu of prosecution.”

      The sum consists of $120m (£77m) in penalties and the repatriation of $130m (£83m) trapped in Switzerland, he added.

      Babafemi said he expected Nigeria’s attorney general Mohammed Adoke to ratify the decision . “I can tell you authoritatively that an agreement has been reached.”

      Several Nigerian newspapers added that Bush and Baker took part in negotiations through conference calls with Adoke and other officials, but Babafemi could not confirm this.

      Houston-based engineering firm KBR, a former Halliburton unit, pleaded guilty last year to US charges that it paid $180m in bribes between 1994 and 2004 to Nigerian officials to secure $6bn in contracts for the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas project in the delta. KBR and Halliburton reached a $579m settlement in America but Nigeria, France and Switzerland have conducted their own investigations into the case.

      Last week, the EFCC charged Halliburton chief executive David Lesar, Cheney, and two other executives. It also filed charges against Halliburton as a company, which was headed by Cheney during the 1990s, and four associated businesses.

      Campaigners in the Niger delta expressed disappointment at the plea bargain. Celestine AkpoBari, programme officer at Social Action Nigeria, said: “I would have loved to see Dick Cheney in chains in our court and facing justice in our prisons. That would have been a very big point that would have lifted Nigeria out of its woes.”

      Kentebe Ebiaridor, a project assistant at Environment Rights Action, suggested that Bush and Baker took part to protect America’s huge oil interests in the region. “They are trying not to jeopardise the relationship,” he said. “But if Dick Cheney is guilty, he should be brought to book.”
      Printable versionSend to a friendShareClipContact us larger | smaller World news
      Nigeria · Dick Cheney · George Bush senior
      Global development
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      6 Sep 2008

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      11 Jul 2002

      Cheney sued over accounting fraud

      4 Aug 2004

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