In recent days it has been made public that one of our hosts, Suzette Smith, was involved in the theft of funds from the organization, Exponent II. We at Mormon Discussion were aware of the offense long before it went public and before Suzette began publishing podcast episodes for the Podcast, “The Asherah Grove”, which is one of many podcasts available under the Mormon Discussion umbrella. We were notified by Suzette regarding her offense shortly after the offense came to light.
First we want to say that we believe in accountability. Suzette will have consequences for the actionable offenses she has made both in the legal arena as well in loss of relationships. What has occurred is no small thing. We extend our sympathy to Exponent II as an organization and hope they are able in time to recoup the entirety of the stolen funds and expect such to occur. We also have supported Suzette as she ensures restitution is made. Suzette is a unpaid volunteer contributor with our Podcast and organization and never had any access to our funds.
Second we deeply believe in forgiveness and giving people second chances to show they have learned and are taking a different path. We value Suzette as a human being and a friend and feel her position within the podcast is an opportunity to show the world she both has value beyond her mistakes and to contribute in positive ways.
We recognize that some observers will want to ensure as much criticism and punishment in such cases as possible and will be a voice for such actions as removing her as a host, boycotting the podcast, and essentially attempting to force as much hurt on Suzette and any who attempt to support her at this time and through this experience. Such is never the best path through such things where humans are involved and further deep damage to those involved is at risk. We value the relationships Suzette has with individuals within our organization and many here, while disappointed and betrayed, consider her a friend. A Friend who needs support as she works to restore confidence and make recompense. Any further Questions on this matter can be emailed to [email protected]
Bill Reel & The
Mormon Discussion Team
Bill, I so greatly appreciate you and your group of friends and podcast associates. I think you Are a godsend. Not that long ago a godsend really had a meeting to me. That has changed since my faith crisis. You personally and your associates where there as I walked this lonely journey. We shared tears and even some chuckles. I thank each of you for your bravery and courage. Thank you each for your compassion, your empathy and your support. I think your approach in your most recent posting demonstrates discipleship. I will tell you that I will now listen to more of Her podcasts. I have not listened to Suzette yet and her podcasts. I’m going to start to now. I wish the best each and to everyone of you. If we ever have a chance to meet in person – I’m sure we could call each other friend. I appreciate your efforts greatly, you make the world a better place. This world needs more people with courage that are there to make a difference. I have found in life That the difference is in the details… Those little things mean a lot!
Christlike attitude and a measured, thoughtful response. Thanks for that Bill.
I must respectfully disagree! AFTER restitution is made. AFTER hearts begin to heal. Then MAYBE it could be time.
In spite of your efforts to take the high road, what you seem to have done is to disregard the pain of a large group of victims. To imply that boycotting,etc is akin to pouty junior high behavior is o insulting! It’s like telling the abused to just get over it.
Please rethink your decision.
Bill, thanks so much for posting this.
Although she may need to some time out for sure.
I hope we can all heal and forgive and Bill embraces that.
Now, if only Pharisees, er, church Leaders could go through this repentance and restitution process which “Mormon Jeezus” says they are exepmt from, along with paying tithing, being honest in their dealings……. But they will jump in and pound on this for all it’s worth:
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 ¶ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 ¶ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
“I’ll get you my Pharisees, and your little minions too!”
Is this the same tone and philosophy you practiced regarding Holland?
The difference is Suzette doesn’t claim to be speaking for God while she makes her mistakes.
Wow, did you read the Statement of Facts in her legal case? This wasn’t an isolated incident – or even a few incidents. It was many deliberate acts over a decade, with fraud and deception throughout. She ingratiated herself into that position and built up trust to then take advantage of others for her own gain. That’s not just making a mistake, it’s predatory.
I’m all for forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean you give someone who preys on others (sexually, financially, or otherwise) more trust after the fact.
Now you’re going to give her a platform to build up trust with your listeners, many of whom will be none the wiser about this? Who knows how she will use the trust built up here at MDP in other endeavors?
Oh, but you won’t have to worry about that, because you’re keeping her away from your own money, right?
Sorry, but that’s not magnanimous. It’s complicit. And I hope you change course.
Complicit? Definition: Choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others.
Bill was in no way involved in the stealing of funds nor is he allowing her to build or defend her case here. Please separate the issues. She was the treasurer there. Here she records her opinions for free, unrelated to her crime there, and has no access to funds.
I’m interested in Suzette’s mind. Her podcast is great. She has a lot of interesting ideas and perspectives. I even linked to her latest episode on my most recent video, Mormon Discovery 11. Bill, if you’re deciding to keep her, I’m going to keep listening. Thanks.
Bill, I am the Executive Director of a Reentry Organization for Women who have committed a white-collar crime. First, I will commend your heart and say this is the first time in 4 years that I have seen people rally around a woman who definitely made some mistakes and is so very broken inside. I am so impressed by your compassion, sympathy and willing to give people a second chance. Most women in Suzettes situation do not get that. They come home from prison and isolate themselves out of shame and guilt for their actions. I hope the people here who were not so supportive understand that she is now a felon for life and has a very difficult road ahead of her when she returns home in March of next year. It is not as one might think, that you do your time and it is over. This woman will pay the rest of her life for being human and making some poor decisions. For whatever underlying mental health issues that may have surfaced for her to commit this crime, I commend her for her taking responsibility and accountability and coming to you when it occurred. That is exceptional and very rarely seen. I ask that all who read this please accept her and understand that people make poor choices and she is learning and growing every day. I can not tell you how your post affected my heart. I only could wish for every woman that is serving time in a Federal Prison Camp as a first time non-violent offender for a financial white-collar crime has people in their lives such as yourself. Thank you for being one of the very few who publicly come out with support.