SALT LAKE CITY — An Internet document-hosting website disabled a webpage posted this week by MormonLeaks that contained a PowerPoint presentation for leaders of the LDS Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent MormonLeaks a notice that its post infringed on a church copyright and asked it to take down the page, MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight said. McKnight posted a copy of the letter in place of the PowerPoint.
The church has established a policy that it won't verify allegedly leaked information, and on Thursday a spokesman declined to confirm or deny whether the PowerPoint presentation or the letter of infringement were authentic.
The leak purported to be a recent, internal PowerPoint presentation for LDS leaders about people leaving the faith. Docdroid.net disabled the page at the same time the church's intellectual property office apparently sent a notice to MormonLeaks that the document infringed a church copyright, MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight said.
The PowerPoint, allegedly from a 2015 meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about training area authorities of the church, presented one view of some of the issues, ideas and people that influence people to leave the church. The issues range from personal struggles with commitment, chastity and pornography to questions about church policies and history and the external impact of secularism or teachings of former Mormons and anti-Mormons.
The presentation refers to area business weekends, defined as weekends on which apostles and other general authorities and area authorities do not have an assignment and can travel to an area of the church affected by some of the issues and people listed.
MormonLeaks provides an anonymous web platform for people to leak documents and videos pirated from the LDS Church.
MormonLeaks posted the PowerPoint on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the LDS Church's Intellectual Property Office sent a notice of infringement letter, according to MormonLeaks. McKnight said his group viewed it as a takedown notice.
Docdroid.net took down the PowerPoint "independent of any action on the part of MormonLeaks," McKnight said.
McKnight declined to comment on discussions with his attorneys about strategy. He also declined to discuss who leaked the PowerPoint presentation to MormonLeaks.
The apparent letter from the church said the PowerPoint presentation is copyrighted and contained "material not authorized by the (intellectual property) owner, its agents or the law."
The letter concludes with this statement: "Please act expeditiously to remove or disable access to this item."
The letter is signed by Barry Taggart, manager of the Intellectual Property Office of the LDS Church.
MormonLeaks coordinated the release of the document with John Dehlin, whose name appeared in the PowerPoint document as a reason people leave the church. Dehlin's local LDS leader excommunicated him two years ago for apostasy and teaching "false concepts" about the faith. Dehlin has operated groups that support people leaving the church. He, McKnight and others participated in a podcast about the PowerPoint that they recorded Monday and released Tuesday in conjunction with the document's release.
"I think the importance from our perspective is that it shows the church makes it a point to identify issues and address those issues methodically and in a very organized fashion, just like any business would," McKnight said. "In that context I don't see anything wrong with that. They're perfectly within their rights to do that."