By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Dean Cooley's son Mike was once Ready's bishop. He recalled that Pearce ordained Ready, backing up the information I'd gleaned from what appears to be Ready's 2004 ordination certificate.
The certificate, along with the baptism photo and other info, came into my hands via a confidential source.
Mike Cooley said Ready seemed sincere at the time but that the neo-Nazi is no longer active in the LDS.
If Ready's true colors had been evident, would Cooley have allowed Ready into the church? "If I knew then what I know now, no," he told me flatly.
Both Cooley and his father, as well as Johnson and Pinkerman, insisted that Ready's beliefs are contrary to LDS teachings and their own beliefs.
LDS spokeswoman Farah stated:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abhors hatred, intolerance, or abuse of any individual or group. We are all brothers and sisters, equal in God's sight as His children."
Well, except when it comes to gays. But that's another column.
To its credit, the LDS church is officially at odds with Pearce's stance on illegal immigration and has expressed support for the Utah Compact, which calls for humane immigration reform that does not unnecessarily separate families.
I exchanged e-mails with Pearce over the baptism and ordination, and I will post them in full on my Feathered Bastard blog. Pearce admitted he was at the baptism but conversely stated he had "nothing to do with [it]."
Queried about whether or not he had ordained Ready an elder, Pearce at first said that he didn't recall, and that he didn't think so. When told of Mike Cooley's statements, he backpedaled.
"That could be true," he wrote. "But it was by invitation at the last minute, as I showed only as a guest."
Cooley told me the baptism and the ordination probably happened months apart.
In any case, the fact Ready chose Pearce to ordain him and Pearce accepted, indicates a much stronger tie than Pearce has previously admitted.
When I contacted Ready about the photo, the certificate, and Pearce's denials, he was indignant, slamming Pearce for opposing the First Amendment right of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement to parade and rally in Phoenix on November 13, activities Ready participated in.
"He is the worst kind of racist," Ready said of Pearce, in a pot-calling-kettle-black moment. "One who will do anything to achieve power, then trample on our rights like a tyrant when he gets that power."
Ready added, "I christen him Grand Wizard of the AZ Senate!"
The Mesa race-baiter, who now leads patrols in the desert hunting "narco-terrorists," confirmed the details in the photo and in the certificate.
Previously, he's told me that he's a "recovering Mormon" but has refused to explain beyond that.
Based on the information I have, I believe Pearce was Ready's mentor, and Ready was getting groomed for political advancement. But when Ready began to openly attend neo-Nazi rallies, he turned radioactive.
Pearce was forced to disown Ready during Pearce's 2008 primary, but they were apparently close at one time, despite all of Pearce's squirming obfuscations to the contrary.