A former Mormon launched a web site Monday offering a secure portal for people who want to leak internal documents or videos about the Utah-based church.
The Mormon Wikileaks web site seeks to build on a growing number of leaks that have shed light on the inner workings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its position on controversial issues such as gay marriage.
The site was launched by Ryan McKnight, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who gained national attention in October after posting a series of inside conversations between senior Mormon church officials on a YouTube channel called “Mormon Leaks.”
“Our goal is, pure and simple, transparency,” McKnight said in an interview. “Sometimes people come across information through the course of their jobs that makes them feel uneasy or like it is something that church members deserve to know.”
He said the web site provides an anonymous “avenue” for them to share it.
The web site comes as digital information is easily shared and is modeled after Wikileaks, the international group that has collected and shared millions of government documents.
A spokesman for the Mormon church declined to comment on the new site. Church employees sign non-disclosure agreements.
McKnight grew up in the church, went on a mission and got married in a Mormon temple. About three years ago, at the age of 32, he became disillusioned by aspects of Mormon history, including the polygamous practices of early church leaders. He said he felt like he had been taught a “white-washed version of the truth.”
He stopped going to church in 2013 and had his name removed from the membership rolls a year later. He got involved in on-line forums of other questioning former Mormons looking for a place to talk.
In 2015, he said he helped bring widespread media attention to a memo that updated a church handbook detailing a revised position on same sex households in the aftermath of the legalization of gay marriage. Access to that handbook is usually reserved for church leaders.
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