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For week ended January 3, 1999 Posted 20 Jan 1999
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How the Mormons brought Salt Lake City to East Anglia

Summarized by Kent Larsen

How the Mormons brought Salt Lake City to East Anglia
London UK Independent 1Jan99
By Emma Cook

The rise of the LDS Church as one of Britain's largest landowners (14,000 acres) has not escaped notice, with the Independent's Cook calling the area around Huntingdon, where some of the holdings are concentrated, a 'second Utah.'

In spite of the relative lack of publicity surrounding the purchases, the Daily Mail recently claimed that the LDS Church is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the European Union's farming subsidy, which caused some controversy in Britain. And the LDS Church has responded with an advertising campaign in the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard and a direct information campaign sending literature and videos to 40,000 homes in Britain.

The general tenor of this article is very similar to the attitude it seems to find among the Church's neighbor's in East Anglia; suspicion and unease. The ownership of the farmland is viewed as an attempt to either capture subsidies or rape the land with chemicals. Even a local pastor is suspicious when Elder's sit in the back of his chapel and listen to his sermon.

In spite of interviewing Clive Jolliffe, who manages the Church's farm operations in Britain and in spite of accompanying two Elders as they knock on doors in the area, Cook still is suspicious, and gives the impression of a bias against the LDS Church from before her interviews started. And Cook concludes that the Church sounds like a political machine operating with military precision.

Nevertheless, Cook attributes the LDS Church's success in Britain to the nature of its values, saying that the values are similar to those of the readers of the Daily Mail, but with less affluent lifestyles, noting that it is no surprise that the Church's ads were placed there.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information