The main topic is not the most pleasant one to read or write about, but I think it's kind of important. Trigger warning: sexual assault.
Mike Norton is not a friend of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe there are very few people on the planet who hates the Church more than he does. As far as its critics go, he's one of the nastiest, most unstable, and most willing to cross ethical boundaries, which is saying something. He likes to purchase temple recommends from equally unethical church members and record the ceremonies and post them on YouTube, except now he has to have helpers do it because the temple workers know who he is. So when McKenna Denson claimed that former MTC president Joseph Bishop attempted to rape her decades ago, and sued the Church for allegedly covering it up and not doing anything about it, Mike Norton was a natural ally. He happily filmed her harassing and embarrassing Bishop, and in return, she showed up to support him when he recently went to court for violating the Church's restraining order. It was a beautiful friendship. How could one not be touched watching them sing "Won't You Be My Neighbor" on the way to Bishop's ward to disrupt fast and testimony meeting?
But it was not to last.
Before this week, I would have regarded the possibility of Mike Norton teaming up with the Church of Jesus Christ against his former ally as only slightly more likely than Donald Trump expressing his admiration for Mexican Muslim women. Yet it turns out that he does have a shred of integrity. When his friend McKenna Denson claimed that three attempts on her life were made earlier this year, he naturally was concerned and wanted to help investigate. But in the course of his investigation he found some disturbing revelations. Now, some of this was already pointed out by the Church's legal team, and they got crucified for it. How dare they investigate the trustworthiness of someone who's suing them for a crapload of money? Don't they know they're obligated to roll over and accept whatever abuse is heaped on them? But Mike Norton found all that and more, and now he's quite literally and deliberately helping the legal team of his most despised religion in the world, because if possible, he now despises McKenna Denson even more. And he's getting applauded for it by most of the same people who crucified said legal team.
To sum up: McKenna Denson, or June Hughes as she used to be known before her criminal record under the latter name got inconveniently big, has a decades-long history of forgery, shoplifting, deliberately injuring herself or her property to file fraudulent lawsuits, extorting money via false rape/assault accusations (sometimes against actual men, and sometimes against imaginary men who are always black because it turns out she's racist too), and soliciting donations by pretending to have cancer. This last bit is what really set Mike Norton off and made him decide she's the worst person he's ever met. In a recorded phone call, he subjected her to a hefty dose of unhinged but not undeserved verbal abuse and told her that the people she scammed will now be less likely to donate to real cancer victims, so she's literally taken money away from children with cancer. Throughout the 14-minute phone call she denied none of his allegations and showed no remorse. She remained calm and implacable as he promised to end her career of lies and put a bullet between her eyes if she ever sets foot on his property again. (Trespassers are the worst, eh Mike?)
And it does look like McKenna Denson is finished. The vast majority of her supporters turned against her overnight. True, most of them are disgusting hypocrites who whined about the Church "persecuting" her when it pointed out her criminal record, but that detracts very little from my schadenfreude at watching her go down in flames. I originally formed no solid opinion on her claim against Joseph Bishop because it wasn't my place to do so, even though a helpful stranger informed me that I was "promoting rape culture" by holding him to the same standard that all accused persons are entitled to in the United States of America. Of course I didn't want it to be true, but it's by no means impossible for a high-ranking church leader to do something so terrible. They're not Jesus. I wrote a blog post over a year ago summarizing the details of the case, but I had to update it every day as more details came out, so I soon gave up and left it unpublished and just hoped the people who actually have authority in these matters would get at the truth. I'll probably publish it in the near future anyway so all that effort doesn't go to waste.
The clear fact now, though, is that McKenna Denson has been lying about being raped, and various other things, since before she even went on her mission. That's actually impressive. And the police know about this. So the fact that she isn't already in prison for life demonstrates that something is very, very wrong with our society. At the very, absolute least, the police should have stopped listening to her long ago. Anytime she goes to them for literally any reason, they should laugh in her face and tell her to take a long walk off a short pier, because for forty years or so she's been one of the least trustworthy people in the human race. She has repeatedly and voluntarily thrown away her right to be believed about anything whatsoever. Sorry not sorry. She never should have been allowed to file this bullcrap lawsuit against the Church, but since her one charge that didn't get dismissed already is moving forward, it looks like she'll be getting additional comeuppance, this time with nobody supporting her, and in fact with her previous most prominent supporter testifying against her on behalf of the Church. We live in strange times.
False rape accusers, which McKenna Denson/June Hughes demonstrably is several times over even if by some small chance she happens to be telling the truth this time, are every bit as wicked in my book as actual rapists. They put their victims through hell and they make it more difficult for real rape victims to be taken seriously. And her other lies and lawsuits took money from innocent people too. And pretending to have cancer is a garbage thing to do even if you don't take people's money, which she did. I don't care about the forgery and shoplifting. Nobody's perfect. If that was the only thing on her criminal record I would disregard it. But all of this taken together is why I would rejoice in her fall from public approval even if she wasn't targeting my religion. The judge will come to his or her own conclusions, but as far as I'm concerned the Church's only error in judgment was letting this monster serve a mission after she had already started her career of lies.
Mike Norton tells her to "rot in hell" even though he doesn't believe in hell. As tempted as I am to concur with that request, I must remind myself that I am not her judge. I am not either of their judge, and with that disclaimer I make this observation. Mike Norton is an amazing illustration of moral complexity. He's done some very crappy things and there's no indication that he intends to stop just because he's in a momentary truce of sorts. Yet this week he demonstrated that he has some ethical boundaries and gives a crap about innocent people, including those affiliated with what he considers his worst enemy. McKenna Denson/June Hughes, on the other hand, appears to give a crap about nothing and nobody but herself. Her lack of reaction to Mike's accusations paints her as totally amoral and unconcerned with the harm she's inflicted on so many people. This may be an indicator of mental illness, or it may just be that her conscience has fallen silent after decades of her willfully ignoring it.
Mike Norton's video where he discusses the police reports on McKenna Denson/June Hughes (with a bit of swearing toward the end):