CIA and the Church

48 Primary Sources

May 1917

Joseph F. Smith speaks of Church duty to support government in war.

Apr 4, 1938

Levi Edgar Young comments on peacefulness of LDS.

Apr 6, 1942

FP statement on mobilization for war.

Apr 6, 1942

FP statement on mobilization for war.

Oct 5, 1946

JRC condemns use of excessive armament in war.

Jan 9, 1957

Daily Universe reports on CIA recruitment.

Jan 1, 1960

Mission circular reports rumor that missionaries in El Salvador are CIA operatives.

May 16, 1966

SLCC references Maxwell's CIA service.

Oct 19, 1967

Sandie Christensen writes article on Veri Allman who went to Zambia on CIA funding.

Apr 8, 1976

GBH comments on capacity of missionaries to navigate other cultures.

Jun 1976

Spence W. Kimball condemns American "warlike" tendencies in article published by Ensign.

Oct 1, 1981

AR reports on CIA recruitment from returned missionaries.


BOM scriptural basis for deception and intelligence gathering.

Oct 12, 1984

JA reports on CIA involvement from BYU students.

Oct 24, 1991

DN references a BYU professor who served with the CIA.

Mar 14, 2000

Karen Gutke reports on CIA's recruitment at BYU.


Bruce Hafen highlights Neal A. Maxwell's lessons learned from CIA service.

2002 - 2005

Washington Post website hosts contracts for John Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell.

Feb 7, 2002

George W. Bush holds that Al Qaeda combatants are not prisoners of war.

Jul 8, 2003

JB comments on his motivation to enter law.


Emmanuel Kissi reports on perceptions of Church association with CIA in Ghana.


Mike Ramsdell comments on the conflict between CIA work and his faith.


BH comments on NAM's lessons learned during his CIA service.


Mike Ramsdell, a former spy, comments on why CIA likes Intermountain (Mormon) recruits.

Jul 31, 2007

Katherine Eban highlights Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell as "Mormon mafia" CIA contractors.

Aug 31, 2007

BAC offers summary of dating and marriage at BYU (increased familial stability makes for better CIA recruits).

Jan 2008

Kim B. Östman reports that Finnish Community Party alleged missionaries were part of US infiltration efforts in 1980s.


Jane Mayer identifies James Elmer Mitchell as a Latter-day Saint.

Jan 2008

KO quotes TS re: use of Mormonism to spread the American empire.

Jan 2008

Kim Östman offers quote of Finnish Communist Party re: Mormon missionaries.


Jukka Rislakki alleges Neal A. Maxwell led covert CIA efforts in Finland.

Apr 2008

BJP highlights role of LDS interrogators in CIA torture charges.

Oct 2008

MRM writes about SS finding faith while in the CIA.

Aug 11, 2009

Scott Shane offers biographical details of Bruce Jensen.

Jun 13, 2011

Molly Worthen comments on role of missionary work in making LDS men culturally sensitive.

Aug 24, 2011

CBM, Edward Carbine's mission president, had actually served in the CIA, reports CBM.

Dec 9, 2012

Yekaterina Steniakina in Russia thinks Mormons are CIA.

Jul 23, 2013

Peggy Fletcher Stack highlights missionary work rigor and language capacity.


U.S. Senate references James Elmer Mitchell's and Bruce Jessen's (pseudonyms of "Swigert" and "Dunbar") work on CIA interrogation.

Apr 18, 2014

James Elmer Mitchell claims that he is not a Mormon.

Dec 11, 2014

BJ steps down from position as bishop following CIA involvement.

May 22, 2015

Michael Lipka highlights Latter-day Saint marriage rates.

Jan 1, 2016

Former Ghana mission president Daniel K Judd says Ghanaian government determined LDS Church was CIA infiltrated.

Jul 8, 2016

Church Public Affairs comments on effects of Russia law (passed due to belief of CIA infiltration).

Aug 8, 2016

TM reports on EM's candidacy (LDS former CIA).

Jun 23, 2017

Bethany Ann Ebrahiman reports on Kevin Mallory's espionage.

May 23, 2019

Linda Talbot highlights CIA efforts of Diane and Kory Sellers.

Apr 26, 2021

LH reports that JEM and BJ are testifying in Guantanamo Case.

May 5, 2021

Jay Bybee's memo providing legal groundwork for "enhanced interrogation techniques."