Monday, June 17, 2013


TYLER, TX—Edward (name changed) had mixed feelings after he started his computer late Tuesday evening.  The college junior, at home for the summer from Texas A&M University, found himself again bored and lonely, but when he looked for soothing in his sinful habit, he found that his files of pornography had been erased.

“I was upset at first, and then worried,” said Edward. He continued, “I was worried that my mom had found them and erased them, but then I realized that she doesn’t have the password and that the computer had not been turned on.” What had actually happened was some spyware Edward had inadvertently loaded had erased his files.

Mark Summers from McAfee, a prominent spyware detection and removal company, said that “we started to get reports (like Edward’s) in April. It was mostly men and they were all Mormon saying that their porn was gone. Some were panicked, while others seemed mystified and even relieved.”

McAfee has pinpointed the pornography erasing software as a spyware program called Nrop.  “Frankly,” said Summers, “it is just the sort of sophisticated, clever, and virtuous programs that we would expect, the source seems to be Orem, Utah, and the rather corny name refers to how it reverses porn.”  Added Summers, “Mormon programers tend to be bright but goofy in their program naming practices.”

The program was apparently covertly bundled with any downloaded files from the General Conference Priesthood session and with downloads of For the Strength of Youth and Preach my Gospel. The program not only blocks incoming pornographic images or texts, but it targets existing computer files. What happened to Edward seems to be typical. Edward explained that “the program found my folders like the one labeled 'Hot Eskimo Sorority Girls' and erased it completely.  I was pretty upset initially, but then I was glad that it had all been erased. Sort of.”

No one from Church headquarters would comment on the Nrop spyware, though an official who could not be named said that “the Lord and BYU’s Computer Science Department work in mysterious ways.”

Monday, June 10, 2013


VALDOSTA, GA—Lowndes County health inspectors, doing a routine check of an LDS church, closed the building’s small sacrament preparation room because of a number of health code violations.  Said county inspect David Harris, “it was really pretty filthy in there.  I mean, I’m sure that the members of that congregation have faith and everything, but you would need a lot of God power to not get sick from anything that came out of that place.”

Health inspectors found moldy bread as well as small plastic cups with traces of mildew.  “What also stood out,” remarked Harris, “were the metal trays. Let me just say; I served two tours in Iraq, and what I saw in those trays will haunt my nightmares forever.” 

When asked to comment on the situation as a whole, Harris noted that “unsupervised fourteen year-old boys in charge of food storage, preparation, and clean up could be a policy that the Mormons might want to revisit.”  

Monday, June 3, 2013


PROVIDENCE, RI—Graduate student Helen Moore recently reconstructed 20 years of sacrament meetings from the evidence she collected while cleaning one pew in a local chapel.  Moore, a student at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World, said that “once you see what is really going on with the pew, the micro particles in the fabric cushions, debris caught between cushions and seatbacks, and artifacts near the base, cleaning the chapel becomes an act of historical and cultural discovery.”

Moore did not anticipate such an archaeological trove when she showed up with her Ipod on Saturday morning. She did not want to mop the bathrooms again, and washing the windows with four primary children running around “seemed like a hopelessly Sisyphean endeavor,” reported Moore.  When Moore began cleaning the 3rd pew from the front “just as something new to do,” she was shocked at what she found. 

“I knew that there would be food particles,” explained Moore, “but the variety of midden was truly amazing.” Moore reported that “to the untrained eye the stratigraphic layers of archaeological material can be hard to distinguish, but (in and around this pew) they were remarkably clear and consistent.”  Moore further elaborated on how “beyond the ground up Cheerios found at all layers of my investigation, it was at lower ones that I found cereals that have long since become extinct, including Cap'n Crunch’s Choco Crunch, Smurf Berry Crunch, and even Dino Pebbles.”  It was the discovery of Berry Berry Kix, a discontinued cereal introduced in CE1992 that pushed Moore to dig deeper. “At first I had no idea what I was looking at,” stated Moore.  Moore continued, “among the goldfish cracker fragments I saw colorful nutritive particles that I could not identify, but once I got them back to the lab and ran a phytolithic analysis, sure enough, it was the rare General Mills cereal at exactly the level one would expect.”

Moore made several other key discoveries that helped her recreate nearly two decades of religious and cultural rituals at the site. “Some key artifacts really made it easier to fit all of the pieces together,” said Moore. When asked about those artifacts, Moore mentioned a piece of a sacrament program outlining the now discontinued practice of a “Missionary Farewell,” a stylus trapped in a pew cushion from an old PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) circa CE2003, and a scrap of paper from the “Daily Tasks” portion of a Franklin planner page. Said Moore, “like so many other archaeological sites, this one was a rich source of primary evidence resulting from both historical accidents and lapses in ancient and contemporary cleaning protocols.”