After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members
A picture of Anne Frank, perhaps the most famous victim of the Holocaust.
February 22nd, 2012
05:11 PM ET

After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Reacting to a report that well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank had been baptized by proxy in a Mormon temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy.

Word of the Frank baptism came a week after the issue of Mormon posthumous proxy baptism of Jews attracted national attention. This controversy surfaced after it was reported that the dead parents of Jewish Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal had been baptized in a Mormon temple.

The church apologized for that baptism, blaming it on a technical glitch in its system for submitting names for posthumous proxy baptism.

“It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place,” LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement Tuesday, responding to the report about the Anne Frank baptism.

Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?

Though the church regularly conducts proxy baptisms for dead, in what it calls an attempt to give everyone a chance to accept salvation through Jesus, it has a 1990s-era policy against conducting such baptisms for Holocaust victims.

The policy was adopted after complaints from Jewish groups, which said it was offensive to conduct Mormon baptisms for Holocaust victims who were killed because of their Jewish faith.

“The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism,” said Purdy in his Tuesday statement.

The church said it is “committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges,” the statement continued. “We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.”

According to Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who tracks Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms, the one for Anne Frank was conducted on Saturday in the Dominican Republic.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Mormonism

soundoff (1,379 Responses)
  1. Sophist022751

    Poor Anne. She just keeps getting killed over and over.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:25 am |
  2. AveryTimm

    It's okay... I just had a ceremony here, that was just as effective, to un-baptize Joseph Smith and everyone else identifying as a Mormon...so the church doesn't really exist anymore.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • tad pole

      Well done. I still find it odd how someone could be upset about a ceremony that, according to their own religion beliefs, would have no impact.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • mb2010a

      They're dead...I'm sure they could not care less...

      February 23, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Drew

      1 Corinthians 15:29 – Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

      God loves all his children and all will have the chance to accept or reject salvation. All are alike unto God... both Jew and Gentile.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Razi

      @Tad Pole... because it is insulting. It is like speaking ill of the dead. It is saying, "this person was in hell so we'll do this thing so they won't be anymore", when it is your belief that this person was a good person and not in hell. It is saying that you will go to hell because you believed the same thing as the person they want to baptize after death. Does not matter if it won't do anything religiously – it is a major insult... like desecrating a grave.

      Imagine if they wanted to remove a star a David off a headstone and replace it with a cross... you might as well replace it with a swastika. It is an insult.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  3. Bryan

    It doesn't matter what they say. There is no such thing as proxy baptism. I can say I have a invisible purple dinasuar in my backyard but that doesn't make it true. Not only are they hurting the Mormon religion, but they are hurting ALL religions, showing how bogus and made-up they all are.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • dsavio

      By this logic, NO baptism is real because it's all just made up anyway, and I completely agree.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • sam stone

      You say they are hurting all religious for exposing them as bogus. It seems to me that they are helping people by exposing religion as bogus

      February 23, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  4. The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre !

    If you google for the list of famous people who have been posthumously baptized, you get quite a weird collection including Hitler and the major nazis (including the very evil Dr. Mengele), Stalin, Marx, Jesus, Ted Bundy Sid Vicious and the girlfriend he killed, Kurt Cobain, Liberace, Matthew Sherpard, and a whole lot of other people who would definitely choose to NOT be there, or by their evil SHOULD NOT be anywhere near any heaven.

    Then again, people like Hitler and Bundy and Stalin really deserve to spend the rest of eternity with Mormons – what a hell that would be!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • bobcat

      Hitler and Stalin were baptized as babies, that's what's wierd

      February 23, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • AntiPalinAlaskan

      They baptized Jesus? Wonder what John the Baptist would have to say about that.

      (BTW...kudos on the best posting name I've EVER seen).

      February 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  5. hybarney

    Your ancestors are not just baptized and confirmed as members of the mormon faith. Also necessary for salvation are initiatory and endowment ordinances. All names submitted to the temple are baptised, confirmed, recieve initiatory and endowment, and are then "sealed" to family over an altar. The temples frequently run out of names and "recycle", so temple work is frequently done many times per dead person.

    Initiatory involves washing and anointing, partially clothed (the proxy, of course), in preparation for becoming a king and priest, or queen and priestess unto the most high god, hereafter to rule and reign in the house of Israel forever. The proxy then recieves their new name, sacred and holy, never to be repeated outside of the temple. I feel safe revealing mine, as I am an exmormon. My temple name was Ruth, as were all other ladies in the temple that day. When I returned to do the work on behalf of dead people, they recieved names like Naomi, Eliza, Abish, Esther, Lucy, and Martha.

    The endowment involves watching a film, (or live action in select temples), which details the mormon view of the creation. A series of special handshakes and passwords are learned to ensure access to heaven. Mormons are strongly cautioned to keep these ceremonies secret, though they prefer the term sacred. Penalties, spiritual and physical, are threatened if confidentiality is breached. As I've left the church, I feel safe! Details of these ceremonies can be found with a simple google search.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • ryan

      bla bla bla angry person who had a fight with someone so left their religion

      February 23, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • RoonToon

      You are disregarding the sacredness of one's personal submission to God in the manner (perhaps previous baptism) chosen by the individual/s themselves. To attempt to alter someone's else's other than your own connection to God for salvation and frankly using a pagent in an attempt to upstage God Almighty is a useless abomination. If dead

      You are disregarding individual personal submission to God in whatever manner taken, perhaps previous baptism. Our Dead have left the earthy stage: They are within the environs of GodLand and God is entirely capable of doing what is needed for continued spiritual existence. How dare you to assume any right here. Do not attempt to upstage God anymore. This is the vanity condemned, not just a couple of words. I don't reckon God being to happy about your messing with His established connections with those already in his domain.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • RoonToon

      You are disregarding individual personal submission to God in whatever manner taken, perhaps previous baptism. Our Dead have left the earthy stage: They are within the environs of GodLand and God is entirely capable of doing what is needed for continued spiritual existence. How dare you to assume any right here. Do not attempt to upstage God anymore. This is the vanity condemned, not just a couple of words. I don't reckon God being to happy about your messing with His established connections with those already in his domain.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  6. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    February 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Joe

      There is scholarly evidence for both Abraham and Moses and quite a bit of evidence for reincarnation, so you need to redo whatever "research" led you to your conclusions.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • plot


      In fact there is NO scholarly evidence of Abraham, Moses or reincarnation. None.

      You think the mass exodus of Jewish slaves would be mentioned in the Egyptian heiroglyphs. It ain't there.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  7. O.S. Bird

    It seems we aren't safe from religion even when we're dead. Depressing.....

    February 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  8. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Lee

      Reading your post was a waste of time.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Peter

      Agreed. Big waste of time...

      February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Joe

      You see? This is why mommy doesn't want you playing with her computer when she's going potty. Now pick up your toys and take your nap.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • dsavio


      February 23, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Untrue. I keep praying you'll change your posts.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  10. hippypoet


    fuc.kget ash wednesday...... want meat, eat it! No imaginary sky fairy will tell me otherwise ~ not that the fairy is talking to anyone anyway, or ever has for that matter! And just so you all know, fish and chicken are NOT to be eaten either – why you ask, why the definition of the word meat may be of service here – meat :The flesh of an animal as food. Fish and birds are animals too for any who are too stupid to not know that already!

    Oh and just to give some insight here – jesus supposedly spent 40 days in the desert...the fasting is penance and inner cleansing for catholics....which is confusing because if one was to be not clean by eating meat then why eat it in the first place if once eaten one has to fast to be clean from it? Second, (in the form of a condescending question) what do you think the J man ate while in the desert? lots of vegetation there right? My answer (in the form of a condescending answser) I mean, its like a garden of eden in the desert wherever jesus went, sure – totally buy that! Or he ate anything he had at arms reach...now thats more likely, but why be rational when religion is on line...so sorry, never again, i swear to god!

    hugs and kisses,
    the Hippypoet

    Now fuc.k off!

    oh and fuc.k mormons too, they suc.k at life and thats why they feel the need to get followers after the living dies!

    February 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HP, I have to share a VERY dissappointing story with you. I went to a Scottish Fest on Saturday last, and signed up for a single malt Whisky tasting. Only ten bucks. Only problem is, they had a 10am and a 3am which both sold right out, so they added a 5pm tasting. Naturally I was first in line. The bad news is, they were out of product from the "real" tastings and grabbed some single malts from hotel that SUCKED. Very dissappointed. And the dude sitting next to me who thought he was all that told me Glenfiddich is blended. I gave him a stearn talkin to.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • hippypoet

      glenfiddich is NOT blended! HOW DARE THAT SILLY MAN, i have a right mind to shave his eyebrows!

      glen is only blended when something happens like in 2009 or 2010 when a roof caved in and they had to mix years to save the casts from going nasty in the winter cold. its called phoenix... i can't wait to try it.... i have heard that they blended some others but it makes mention on the bottle and a glen blend is a special bottle so will cost more, this guy doesn't know his stuff!

      February 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Well imagine my dissappointment! I was hoping for the good stuff!!

      February 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Flinders the butler

      What is the MATTER with you ?
      Everyone knows one eats honey and locusts when one goes to the desert for a "purge".

      February 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal


      Avoid the honeyed locusts. Just ask Strong Belwas.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  11. Alien Orifice

    Prophet, help me out I came in late. Who is helping, who in ignorant and who has questions? Thanks.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • vlm98

      ??? Did you take your meds today?

      February 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  12. Alien Orifice

    It is very obvious that "prophet" enjoys hearing itself talk. Well, type. Whatever.

    February 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  13. Alien Orifice

    I am going to babtize my favorite pet Seymore. He was a black lab that died tragically in a car accident about 35 years ago. Seymore, I still love you buddy.

    February 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Flinders the butler

      What is "babtism" ? Is it related to baptism ?

      February 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  14. Portland tony

    I say to the Mormon baptism of Anne Frank........So what! If anything it's a tribute to her memory and just by hearing about her again, I am reminded, if left unchecked...man's inhumanity to man!

    February 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Slow news day PT

      February 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre !

      She will run into Hitler and Himmler and Mengele and Goering and Goebbels and the rest of the gang when she gets there. They have already been baptized in before her. What a tribute to Ann Frank!

      February 23, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • sam stone

      Isn't it a disrespect of her belief system?

      February 23, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • AveryTimm

      BBCM: Goebbels was excommunicated...he was the only one of the NAZI high command to be excommunicated even though many others were Catholic, including Hitler...his crime? He married a Protestant.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  15. GodPot

    I thought Christians weren't supposed to "discipline" their members because it can cause spiritual blindness...

    February 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Since when do the zealots pay attention to their own rules?

      February 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I am lost here. If I go run the faucet and think about my dead Grandmother who was neithe Jew or Morman...must I now be disciplined? Can I pick the whip?

      February 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  16. Notm Ormon

    We believe in Tolerance of Religious views. Baptizing someone, by proxy, against their chosen religious views seems to be the opposite of tolerance. Therefore, you can now baptize friends and strangers to Notm Ormon, at http://www.notmormon.com.

    February 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hey Notm, I just babtized you! Do you feel better? This proxy stuff is great!

      February 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • vlm98

      too funny...Notm, you are a piece of work. Now go play in your padded room.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  17. JustIn

    Santorum should become Mormon. He gets frothy with discipline.

    February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • GodPot

      frothy member discipline, maybe they need to slow down a bit...

      February 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Justin, GP...if I may.

      Santorum is a fictional character carved from our nightmares of how a future apocolypse will start.

      Now, wake up. Everything is ok, the Dems are in the White House and all is well.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  18. Colin

    What nonsense. A group of morons in Utah perform some silly superst.itious ritual and a group of superst.itious Jews thinks it can really affect dead people.

    It is the 21st Century. When will we give up our Iron Age sky-fairies?

    February 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Mr. Peabody

      1000 years go by ....

      It is the 31st Century. When will we give up our Iron Age sky-fairies?

      February 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I think what you and I both know, is that, if humans are still around, they will naturally replace the current God and holy books with new ones. The cycle never ends. Same ol same ol.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  19. prophet

    it is very obvious who the people are who have the problems by their use of a very basic style of language that normal healthy people don't use.

    February 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Who are the healthy sons a biches you are talkin about there pencil dik? Oh I am sorry, did I offend your feminine sensibilites?

      February 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  20. prophet

    sadly it is the ignorance of people that criticise those that try to help them that keeps them from having their questions answered

    February 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • No

      Sadly, you are a blatantly obvious and insipidly unimaginative troll maggot.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Sadly Evangelical Atheists though emotionally immature prefer to wallow in their mud. Ignorance is bliss they say and confronting their prejudice makes one a "troll" which is an object of supersti.tion they don't like. lol

      February 23, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Brad

      Nii Croffie-

      I wouldn't generalize – some of the brighter, less abusive ones have interesting things to say. Conversation is possible.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Yes Brad I agree with you so forgive my gen.eral.iza.tion.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:39 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.