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Written by: Reynolds, Michael    Posted on: 05/02/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN


- By Michael Reynolds, Director Utah Missions Inc.

  In the last year UMI has written and produced many articles dealing with VISN and its connection with the LDS church. New readers as well as some old may wonder why UMI continues to deal with the subject. The following is an attempt to speak to that issue and bring the subject up to date.

  VISN is the Vision Interfaith Satellite Network that is made up of 28 members representing 54 different faith traditions. These include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS), The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Unitarian Universalist Assoc. of congregations just to name a few. With no further issues at play at all this is enough to give a Christian pause for thought. It takes little effort to realize that these folks just do not have the same agenda that evangelical Christians have and that they are not promoting the same Lord.

  Sadly, there is more here than what appears on the surface.  The LDS church's involvement in VISN directly appears to be of a rather large magnitude. Weekly they monopolize 18 to 19 hours of programming. This does not include special broadcasts that add to the number of hours per week that the LDS church stays on the air. This appears to be out of proportion with the rest of the 28 members and their broadcast time.  When looking at recent program guides it is more than interesting to note that LDS worship services and other shows often follow evangelical Christian programs. Some would pass this off as a coincidence, but I wonder if this is coincidence or plan?

  Some might make the comment that the LDS church is one of the largest groups of the 28 members and therefor put more money into the programming and thus they get more time. The argument would conclude that the LDS church is no more or less involved in VISN than any of the other members. If this conclusion is correct then why does UMI have in its possession letters of invitation to come and learn more about VISN to pastors and churches from diverse places in the United States, all on LDS church letterhead? And why do these meetings all take place in the LDS ward building?

  Over the last two decades the LDS church has made a concerted effort to appear Christian. They have done so without changing their doctrines or practices. These invitations for Christian leaders to come to meetings where they can learn about VISN, held at LDS buildings are designed to promote the LDS church as Christian. That along with the millions of dollars spent on commercial television in advertising is working. More and more people are perceiving the LDS church as Christian. This makes it easier to proselytize people into the LDS church by their 46,000 missionaries.

  One of the main reasons that the LDS church's involvement   in VISN is that it fits a very established pattern. The LDS church is heavily involved in the area of broadcasting. It owns outright 3 television stations in two states and 16 radio stations in 10 states. Together these two media alone reach an audience of nearly 2.4 million people. The LDS church also owns Bonneville Media Communication, an advertising agency, Bonneville Entertainment, Bonneville Broadcasting system which sells radio formats, Applied Technology group which develops technology for the communications industry, two television and film production companies and Keystone Communications which owns a 33% interest in satellite television transmission. They also own a large interest in Gannett News corp. which owns television stations all over the country. On top of all of that the church also owns stock in CBS. Through satellite communications or cable hook-up the LDS church is linked to everyone of its stake, ward and branch buildings in the United States and most of the world.

  The LDS church is heavily involved in the broadcast media and this is all brought into play within the context of their involvement in VISN. The LDS church tends to dominate the areas it is involved in. Its massive broadcast holdings and its dominance of VISN's schedule leads UMI to the conclusion that if the pattern continues the LDS church will be a formidable threat to clear Christian broadcasting. Already there is confusion with LDS theology and music either preceding or following Christian programming and some wonder where the lines of doctrinal integrity should be drawn. This is why VISN is a problem.--MHR (Much of the research for this editorial came from Arizona Republic's reprint of its 1991 articles on "Mormon Inc.  Finances and Faith." This is available from UMI for a $5 donation plus shipping.-ed)


This article was first printed in The Evangel, published by UMI, a ministry dedicated to exposing Mormonism as a cult. For a free, on-year subscription, call 1-800-654-3992.

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