He’s been described as the Republican Presidential candidate from central casting. Good looks, lots of money and powerful connections. But Mitt Romney is a Mormon and there are many, even inside his own political party, who say they simply can’t vote for him. This week Four Corners presents a BBC investigation into an organisation that may yet destroy Mitt Romney’s attempt to become the most powerful leader in the world.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has been described by some as the ultimate American religion. Based on the Christian tradition, it was founded by Joseph Smith Jnr in the early 19th Century in the United States. However, some claim the Mormons act more like a cult than a religion. This week, BBC reporter John Sweeney investigates claims that the organisation brainwashes its members and targets people who leave the faith – keeping dossiers on them and telling their families, who remain in the church, to shun them.
The investigation looks at Mitt Romney’s work as a Mormon bishop and includes a revealing interview with the politician’s second cousin Park Romney, who says the church is a fraud and that after he left he was followed by people he believed were acting on behalf of the church.
The church denies it brainwashes people or forces them to shun members of their family, but that hasn’t stopped many voters asking themselves why they would vote for a man who’s involved in this religion.
“Mitt Romney and the Mormons”, reported by John Sweeney and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 30th April at 8.30pm on ABC1