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Rabble-rouser Helen Radkey

Keeping tabs on proxy LDS baptisms

By Brandon Burt
Photo by Erik Daenitz // Helen Radkey
Posted // September 20,2011 -

Ex-Mormon Australia native Helen Radkey is a spiritual consultant and educator, soul reader, past-life therapist, prayer therapist, marriage celebrant, writer and researcher, but is best known as that rabble-rouser who’s been keeping close tabs on the LDS Church’s temple ordinances for the past 18 years. City Weekly caught up with Radkey to find out what she's been keeping tabs on lately.

Why do proxy baptisms matter to people who don’t believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Alive or dead, people deserve to be treated with respect. Proxy baptism is a disrespectful attempt to reframe a person’s life and negate the religious choices they made when they were alive. Jewish Holocaust victims were killed by Nazis because they were Jews. They should always be memorialized as Jews. Ideally, Mormons should not be treating the memory of murdered Holocaust victims as though Judaism is a halfway house to God. Mormons claim they are only offering the dead person the option of becoming Mormon. However, the wording of the baptismal rite itself says nothing about choice, and the subsequent confirmation declares the deceased is now a member of the LDS Church.

Every couple of years, it’s reported that the proxy-baptism dispute between Jewish leaders and the LDS Church has come to an end. How accurate is that?
News media reports on the Mormon-Jewish controversy are usually not accurate. As far as I know, the failed 1995 Mormon-Jewish agreement was never kept on the Mormon end. The key element in that arrangement was the LDS Church’s promise to cease the improper posthumous baptisms of Jews, with special emphasis on Jewish Holocaust victims. That never happened. Even the newer pact between Mormons and Jews—which was announced on Sept. 1, 2010, and is little more than a year old—has been violated. LDS officials say they have “fixed” the problem of the posthumous baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims, but this is not the case.

LDS temple workers conduct proxy baptisms and endowments based on genealogical data submitted via a Website, New FamilySearch. How secure is it?
Only Mormons can enter names for temple rites for the dead in New FamilySearch. Outsiders cannot access it. New FamilySearch appears to offer few safeguards against illicit submissions of Jewish Holocaust names. Claims that this relatively new program offers surefire security measures against the wrongful submissions appear to have been exaggerated—it does not appear to be working anywhere near as well as claimed.

What are your top three favorite entries you’ve found in the proxy database?
Jesus Christ, Mickey Mouse and Ted Bundy. I’d also like to mention the 9/11 hijackers. I found most of their names in New FamilySearch. These discoveries freaked me out, and I began muttering that the submitter should be deported from the USA.

What else have you been up to lately?
Since December 2010, I have been researching the polygamous ancestry of Mitt Romney. I have added Jon Huntsman’s polygamous ancestry to the mix (Huntsman shares some common ancestors with Romney). But most of my focus is on Romney. Plural marriage was the chosen lifestyle of many of his Mormon ancestors—yet Romney has tried to distance himself from polygamy, calling the practice “bizarre” and “awful.” If he is sincere, Mitt Romney should acknowledge that polygamy is still an inherent part of the Mormon faith. 

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Posted // February 16,2012 at 11:32

Radkey is obsessed with this, as if the LDS Church was some Stalin-esque creation that could dictate the actions of every single one of its millions of members, or guarantee a few won't act up. Who the hell cares? If you don't believe this stuff, then it means nothing more than throwing a pinch of salt over your shoulder. If you believe it, then the intent must be good -- you know, salvation and all that stuff. It's not like they're digging up corpses and splashing them with Holy Joe Juice. It's proxy baptism.


Posted // February 15,2012 at 18:27

Why is it that it takes radkey to get the lds church to apologize to the jews of the  holocaust? see the latest on mormons baptizing simon wiesentahl's family  members.

why does God tell TSM that baptizing dead people

is sacrilegious, that is He does not want them to do that for ANY reason!!!


Posted // February 15,2012 at 18:41 - I still can't figure out why people get so up in arms about this! We aren't forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to do! People obviously don't like us, and don't believe as we do. Why is it, then, that they assume that we have the God-given authority to change the religious beliefs of a dead person? If it IS God-given, then no one should fight against it, since you'd be fighting against God Himself. And if it's NOT God-Given, then it doesn't make a bit of difference in the price of rice in China. The Jews who died as a result of Adolf Hitler and his band of goons died because they were Jews, and nothing we do is going to change that fact. Really, you give us more power than you think we have.


Posted // January 31,2012 at 07:05


you are almost hopelessly stalled in the "first half of life"- i will explain later but first, the God i believe in and is the God of all creation loves every person and thing in heaven and on earth since God is Love. Jesus Died and paid the price  to eternal life, not just resurrection,for  every person who has lived, lives now and will ever live on this planet. What an awesome Savior. listen more closely to the gospel and you will know is savior of ALL, not some! whether you have heard of him or not- His great love is that huge!

our god is not a petty god worrying about worthiness- btw who really is worthy? not you, no t me not the pope not monson-no one! so it is all about grace- a word not often used in lds circles. since we cant save ourselves even though most GC talks we can by working our asses off to get to heaven.

so the first half of life is one where your ego, career, paycheck , toys, power and control , religion, are in control- everyone goes thru it, most stay stuck in it. however where we want to be is in the second half of life where the above mean absolutely nothing. ego is gone, the things of the world are of no value, being right is meaningless in the second have of life, having security in your religion, job, $$$ are first half of life activities and prevent us from becoming whole in Christ Jesus.

the first half of life journey feels secure because one has all the answers, like you knowing for sure what's going to happen to those billion of chinese who die w/o Christ- my God can handle that, yours apparently cant and that's said.

i wish you the blessing of moving from the first half of life to the second- it will make all the difference in your life because God is love and never changes-only we do!




Posted // February 15,2012 at 19:07 - Baptism for dead or alive people is a scared ordinance for mormons. Commemorating Passover is a sacred Jewish ritual. Every Mass is sacred for Catholics. Now mix those up- Mormons celebrating a mock Passover, Jews playing Mass, Catholics pretending to baptize dead mormons. It is disrespectul at every level. Can't you see that!! Leave the Jews alone- uh oh iforgot adolph hitler has already been baptized by proxy. Baptize by proxy your own family members -let God figure out the rest of the world. He can do it-trust him! just sayin!


Posted // January 31,2012 at 20:16 - redhat, the bottom line is, you know NOTHING of what WE believe, and we are telling you, stop TELLING US what we believe, as if you know. You are fully entitled to believe what you want to believe, as are we. However, you would tell us not only what we believe, but that we are NOT free to believe what we want. It's called a "straw man" argument, because you build a straw man by telling us what we believe (which is usually wrong) and then knock it over by telling us how wrong we are (when it's YOU who's wrong about what we believe) and then rejoicing over how you have defeated "Mormonism". When all you have really done is shown your ignorance of our beliefs, and a total intolerance of our beliefs, while at teh same time COMMANDING us to tolerate your beliefs, AND your total bastardization of our beliefs. And since you don't seem to be even TRYING to understand us, or what we are saying, this whole post is going to be totally lost on you, I'm just answering for those who ARE listening. Like Bill, I was raised in the Protestant faith, by good faithful Christian parents. So, it's not like I am ignorant of what YOU believe.


Posted // January 30,2012 at 14:27

brother bill- for that is how Jesus would address you and me.

i can see Jesus sitting in the temple courts listening to you go on and on with anger in your voice and authority as your mantle, claiming you are doing what he wants you to do. He will probably be shaking his head, hoping you had listened better to the true Gospel-the Gospel that saves with mercy and grace and not the trumpeting of "i have the true faith-i know better than you attitude".

the jesus i believe in and know as Savior and Lord of my life is  a merciful, forgiving Jesus who would simply would  pray "Father forgive Bill for he knows not what he is doing"

approach the throne of grace and mercy bill when you are ready he is there ready to forgive and give you a big hug, not ask for how much tithing you gave or how many home teaching visits you made or how often you went to the temple"

he will ask you how many cups of water you gave to the thirsty though- i hope you have a good answer.



 through Him who gives peace beyond understanding and who wishes peace on his church which are all those who believe on HIm-catholic, mormon, baptist, presbyterian, evangelical and all. and who has not forgotten his chosen people the jews with whom his covenant is everlasting and should not be broken by mormon proxy baptism even when they thk they are doing good!

your brother in christ



Posted // March 3,2012 at 01:18 - Coolone, we cannot presume to know who did or did not know or hear or got the chance. I have heard of people born and raised in the USA, who said that they had never heard the name of Jesus Christ until well into adulthood. So, we must baptize all who might not have had the chance. God will sort them all out on His end.


Posted // March 1,2012 at 10:55 - If this baptism after death is to help those sho didn't have the "opportunity" to do so in life, why are people who lived in towns with Mormon churches baptised after death? Or people who stated flat out they did NOT want this after death? Such respectful people you are ... NOT for doing this. Here's an idea: Anyone born after 1900 (1850 would be better - that gives people 20 years to have chosen whether or not to join) is strictly off-limits.


Posted // January 31,2012 at 00:47 - Of course, this kind and loving Jesus you have imagined is willing to send people, even children, to burn in the pits of hell for eternity if they, through no fault of their own through circumstance or birth, never take the opportunity to accept his grace. Billions of Chinese and Indian people, many of them young and innocent, burning in the pits of hell forever because they didn't even know Jesus existed. This is the lie in the story you tell. Your God is capricious and unfeeling towards anyone who doesn't jump through his magic hoop. Give me baptism for the dead any day over the monster you have invented.


Posted // January 30,2012 at 15:00 - Holy blah blah. How do you think Jesus would feel about you guys beating each other over the head with his words? Think he'd be proud of either of you fools? Why don't you give poor Jesus a rest (really, he's been though enough) and go knit a sweater or something? P.S. Just so you know, this article is from September of last year.


Posted // January 30,2012 at 12:57

brother bill

first a little homework for you- please count the number of times Jesus Himself uses the word 'believe" in the Gospel of John. you will be shocked hopefully to realize He really means it. second count the number of times He uses the word "love". again you will  realize that those 2 words are the foundational words of of Jesus and the gospel he proclaimed. and of course he did not add all the other baggage that manmade religions like mormonism or catholicism added.

second you have no idea what happens at death-none! and if you thk Joseph Smith knew, well you do have his word for it- no one else's.

your thought processes are muddled by the upbringing you had and so you cannot fathom anything but mormonism being true- i do not fault you for that but think of the billions of people who have no connection to mormonism at all being left out in the cold so to speak because you believe they must be like and believe like you to become a god of your own planet-elitist thinking i would say.

unflortunaltely many members are drifiting away because the lds church cannot explain at any level the  doctrines of mormonisn-  today's temple spiritual polygamy(ala oaks and nelson and perry), curses on blacks, baptism by proxy based on a totsl misreading of paul in corinthinans etc. local and national lds leaders have no anwers for jS marrying other men's wives-men who were stalwarts in the church like orson hyde who went to palestine and came back finding his wife married  to JS.  JS translating the BOM with his head in a hat using a seer stone /rock and not the urim and thummin- pls feel free to tell me how that was done. and the BOA- JS did not get a single thing right on fac #1 or anything else for that matter.

so members in the usa are walking away-no sin involved just cant understand why the chruch cant explain its doctrinal history-btw chk out the washington post oped today- claire sheffied explains why  their is  need for  major mormon reform.

ok- unless an angel comes to tell you diffferent you will probably be a mormon till you die-OTOH the internet has real answers from lds sources that will give you pause to reconsdier the fate of your immortal soul.

just sayin!



Posted // January 30,2012 at 13:45 - Well, if ALL He said was believe, then the discussion would be over. But He says for us to DO far more than He says for us to believe. He commands us to care for the poor SEVEN TIMES MORE than anything else He said. You can twist and proof-text the words of the scriptures all you want, but at the end of the day you are poorly informed, and know even less about Mormonism, as the outrageous logical fallacies in your arguments thus far have proven. As for your believe and be saved nonsense, what about be ye not hearers of the word but doers also? Be ye therefore perfect? Faith without works is dead? I suppose you have snipped those out of your Bible. Selective reading and narrow faith are so easy. BTW, I am an LDS convert. I am fully versed in the myopic view of Christianity you cling to. I had it sung to me as a babe, and grew up among it in the Bible-thumping South. I am willing to say that I have spent more time reading the Bible, studying the writings of the early Church fathers, examining the credos and dogmas established hundreds of years after Christ (which are entirely non-Biblical - like the blasphemy of the Trinity) which Born Agains like yourself often believe and swallow without question, recent trends in Biblical Archaeology, and everything along the spectrum of modern Christian doctrines - from hyper-simplisitc faith-only approaches, to perverse prosperity theology, to the outrageous revival of Calvinism and Arminianism than you will ever hope or care to. By the same token, I have pored over the doctrines of the LDS Church, read the Journal of Discourses, and lectured on the progression of theology in the Mormon Church. I can tell you, with a degree of authority, that you do not know what you are talking about. So, I am done here. It is clear that you have chosen to be both deaf and blind, and there is nothing anyone can do to help you. However, when you choose to lie about what my Lord taught in the New Testament, or grossly misrepresent the principles taught within my CHOSEN faith, I will call you on it. Because your false humility and treacly sweet reference to me as 'brother bill' are insulting. We are not brothers, at least not in the Gospel, for you worship a false Christ and preach a slippery path.


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