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Fake Family Software
Status: Hoax-facilitating software
Genealogists are in an uproar about new software that allows people to create fake (but real looking) online family trees. The program is called Fake Family. (Because of the controversy, the website of the software maker is now given over to an Open Letter to Genealogists.)

Genealogists argue that the fake information created by this program could easily find its way into real family history databases. They also charge that the only purpose of the software is to create webpages that will lure people with false information, and then profit from advertising links.

The maker of the software, Don Harrold, defends his creation by insisting it's very unlikely that a serious researcher would be taken in by the information Fake Family produces. For instance, the software will often list people as being born in cities before those cities existed. He also makes a curious point:

The people most upset about Fake Family seem to be folks who have a RELIGIOUS reason for being upset. (However, if I was going to be baptizing people who had passed on, I would do more research than just "grabbing names" from a website.)

Does this mean there are people who do genealogical research in order to retroactively baptize their ancestors? Can a dead person be baptized? I had never heard of such a thing.

Anyway, Harrold's basic argument is valid enough. The internet is so full of misinformation that anyone who uncritically uses historical information they find online is asking to be misled. But having said that, it sounds like the purpose of his program is to create spam (spam that clutters search engine results rather than email inboxes). And spam in any form should be condemned.
HistoryIdentity/Imposters
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 13, 2005
elscotty said:

"For those of you that are concerned about being baptized by a Mormon: If the Mormon church and its doctrine are false, then what's the worry about being baptized after you're dead? It really won't make a difference. On the other hand if you get to the after-life and find out that the doctrine is true, wouldn't you regret telling all of your family to make sure that you're never baptized by proxy?"

Hey, here's an idea--how about you guys just honor the wishes of people, even those who disagree with your faith? Why do you feel the need to FORCE it on others?

Seriously, is the BEST argument you can make for your beliefs that it MIGHT be right, so therefore everyone should just go along with it? Do you not see how generic that is? Any belief system could use that "logic." You'd have no problem if I inducted you into the Church of Satan without your permission? After all, it *might* be the correct belief, so what harm could it possibly do?

Silly, silly, silly.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Nov 16, 2005  at  06:42 PM
Cranky Media Guy,

I am not arguing the LDS beliefs or attmepting to convince anyone of the doctrine. Also, I am not advocating forcing anyone to become a member of a demoniation that they do not wish to be. You read way too much into my post. I just wish to understand why someone might get upset at the idea of someone (with misguided beliefs or not) baptizing you 100 years after you have died.

Do you believe that if you are baptized after you have died that you will be "forced" to be a member of a demonination that you do not want to be?

To answer your question: If you "inducted" me into the church of Satan without my permission, and I am dead, I really could care less. I don't believe it will affect me either way whether there is an after-life or not.
Posted by elscotty  on  Thu Nov 17, 2005  at  05:06 PM
elscotty said:

"Do you believe that if you are baptized after you have died that you will be "forced" to be a member of a demonination that you do not want to be?"

No, it's all nonsense. What I DO believe is that people should respect the wishes of other people. If I don't want to be baptized, how about you just DON'T DO IT whether I'm alive or dead when you perform your silly little ritual?

As I see it, it's as if you were to put my name on some petition I don't agree with after I have died. No, it won't "hurt" me but it goes against my wishes. If I haven't consented to it, don't assume that it's okay to do, whether I'm here to argue or not.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Nov 18, 2005  at  03:03 AM
First of all, they aren't "magic undies". Temple Garments are an outward expression of an inward commitment. They are a reminder of the covenants you make with Heavenly Father, not some underpants that will give you the winning lotto numbers.

And to all of you who are so adamant about not being baptized after your death and do not want to be FORCED into a religion: in my beliefs, you have the CHOICE, to accept the Gospel after your death. So if you're so afraid of "being Mormon" then so be it.
Posted by Scott  in  CA  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  01:04 AM
Scott said:

"First of all, they aren't "magic undies". Temple Garments are an outward expression of an inward commitment. They are a reminder of the covenants you make with Heavenly Father, not some underpants that will give you the winning lotto numbers."

Oh, they DON'T give you the winning lottery numbers? In that case, I DEFINITELY don't want to be a Mormon. Man, you guys are sure testy about the "magic underwear" thing. I remember when I was doing a morning drive radio show in Boise, Idaho; talking about "magic underwear" was a sure-fire way to get Mormons to call in.

"And to all of you who are so adamant about not being baptized after your death and do not want to be FORCED into a religion: in my beliefs, you have the CHOICE, to accept the Gospel after your death. So if you're so afraid of "being Mormon" then so be it."

As you well know, the LDS church believes in post-mortem baptism so, in a sense, you DO force people into your church. I don't believe in this nonsense, but you guys DO, so if you say it doesn't make any difference, why do it at all?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  04:00 AM
"As you well know, the LDS church believes in post-mortem baptism so, in a sense, you DO force people into your church. I don't believe in this nonsense, but you guys DO, so if you say it doesn't make any difference, why do it at all?"

Because we believe it's a commandment. Baptism is only half of it. The second half is you have to be confirmed a member of the church by the laying on of hands. We obviously can't do that once your dead, so that' is your free agency on the other side. If you so choose to not follow the Gospel then so be it. You won't become one of those "cultish Mormons", even in the afterlife.

"Oh, they DON'T give you the winning lottery numbers? In that case, I DEFINITELY don't want to be a Mormon. Man, you guys are sure testy about the "magic underwear" thing. I remember when I was doing a morning drive radio show in Boise, Idaho; talking about "magic underwear" was a sure-fire way to get Mormons to call in."

I'm done arguing about this. I'm not trying to convert anybody. I just wish people would be a little more open-minded. Don't you have any convictions? Wouldn't you be upset if someone openly mocked your deepest beliefs?
Posted by Scott  in  CA  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  01:32 PM
Scott said:

"Because we believe it's a commandment. Baptism is only half of it. The second half is you have to be confirmed a member of the church by the laying on of hands. We obviously can't do that once your dead, so that' is your free agency on the other side. If you so choose to not follow the Gospel then so be it. You won't become one of those "cultish Mormons", even in the afterlife."

The dead do not have the ability to consent (or NOT consent) so you guys just go ahead and do what you want. Nice.

How about respecting the desire of the living to NOT be subjected to your little rituals. Have it done to yourselves or those who want it but leave the rest of us out of it.

As for my personal beliefs, knock yourself out criticizing them, I'm not that touchy. Besides, being challenged about your beliefs makes you use your brain. Why should I fear criticism?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  08:03 PM
There is a difference between criticism and open mocking of over-used stereotypes.

"The dead do not have the ability to consent (or NOT consent) so you guys just go ahead and do what you want. Nice."

So what is this argument about in the first place?

I'm glad we had this little "debate", if you will. It has strengthend my testimony.
Posted by Scott  in  CA  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  03:40 AM
Scott said:

"There is a difference between criticism and open mocking of over-used stereotypes. "

Please explain to me what I've said that is not accurate.

I'm glad that you've managed to avoid any rational examination of your superstitions and will persist in clinging to them. I'm sure that's very necessary to you.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:28 AM
"Please explain to me what I've said that is not accurate."

By whose point of view?

"Magic undies" is one example. A serious criticism involves respect. Refering to something that is sacred to millions of people across the globe as "magic undies", is not very respectful.

"I'm glad that you've managed to avoid any rational examination of your superstitions and will persist in clinging to them. I'm sure that's very necessary to you."

Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. - Alma 32:21
Posted by Scott  in  CA  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  07:46 PM
The Nazis hated the Jews...

It seems that there are a few Mormon haters here which probably have more in common with the Nazis than the topic that touched off the discussion.

The real issue is that the Fake Family Software was designed to trick Genealogy researchers into clicking on organic search results that matched the names they were searching for online.

Once the Geneaology researchers landed on the Fake Family site the creator hoped they would click on adsense ads or other links that pay them for each click they get.

The argument that the Fake Family results could not possibly corrupt Geneaology research online is a weak one since the entire purpose of the fake sites is to trick researchers into visiting them.

Here is a more full account of the opinion of the creator of the fake family program, the detractors, and the family tree software company threatening to sue the creator of "Fake Family" which has apparently been taken down since heat was put on him:

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635160683,00.html
Posted by Josh Anderson  on  Tue Jan 31, 2006  at  05:13 AM
Okay seems like no one understands the whole baptizum of the daed. First of all if there are living realitives to the person being baptized they would have to have there permission before submitting their name. Secondly if you were baptized after you were dead you have the option to accept it or deny it. Look up john 3:1-10. after reading that look up 1 cor 15:29. We believe that everyone must be baptized to enter into the kingdom of our heavenly father. So baptizums of the dead is preforemed for those who have not been baptized in their earthly state. I have been to the temple to preform baptizums for the dead and I witness unto you that I have felt the joy of those people who's names were being called. I know that we have a heavenly father and that he lives and loves us and has sent us a prophet to guide us in these latter days.
Posted by Mindy  in  Washington  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  03:25 PM
Okay i have something else to add. First of all they are not called "magic undies" they are called GARMENTS. What is wrong with us having diffrent undergarments than everyone else. Our under garments are modest is that a bad thing. Plus in order to be able to have garments you have to have a temple recommend from your bishop. Every one says that Mormons are a cult. Why is this? Is it because that we don't beleive in drinking alchol, or smoking. Some people say that is being controled. I say that if you become fond of drinking or smoking you become addicted to it thus causing you to be "inslaved" to something that is beyond your own control. Smoking and drinking have been proven to cause health problems and even death. So is it a bad thing that we don't partake of these such things? We belive in strong Family values, maybe that's why we are called a cult. being that in today's society the family is no longer the most important thing anymore.
Posted by Mindy  in  Washington  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  03:58 PM
Posthumous baptism? That's for amateurs.

The Mormons do POSTHUMOUS WEDDINGS! That's right, they scour through the death registers for unmarried or widowed women who recently died and marry them to men of their church who also recently died. There's some religious reason for it, something about unmarried women not being able to get into heaven and men having their own planets to rule in heaven or something, I don't know. Point being, they think they are doing your grandmother a favor by marrying her again after she is dead in some weird little backroom ceremony.

They got caught out doing this in Mesa, AZ, a few years back and their researchers were banned from accessing the official Maricopa County registers, but I doubt that slowed them down much.
Posted by Some Guy  on  Thu Mar 23, 2006  at  05:34 PM
i hate mormons and the proselithistic stuff, they were stalking at my family, once they even entered to my house without asking, we threw them out, but is awful the way they disrespect people and impose they'r stupid (stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid) beliefs onto everyone, even kids.
I've heard that they have a very shady credit borrow (?) policies.
And... well you dont have to be very smart to see how they sicollogically abuse of weak people, they're like ticks feeding of puppies. Awful.
i hate mormons and they'r magic undies and people living in the sun ideas.

http://www.rotten.com/library/sex/masturbation/mormon/
Posted by Some girl  in  Chile  on  Tue Jun 06, 2006  at  12:57 AM
Love to see everyone is still posting their opinions based on over used FALSE stereotypes.
Posted by Scott  on  Tue Jun 06, 2006  at  08:35 AM
I'm not basing my opinion in a FALSE stereotype.
It just happens to be in that way, if they just washed your brain and you dont think it is so, go...
just
assume that is crappy to be a mormon but some day all the normal and mentally sane person would be in hell while you enjoy salvation. HA-HA-HA.
Posted by some girl  in  chile  on  Thu Jun 08, 2006  at  11:05 PM
"i hate mormons and they'r magic undies and people living in the sun ideas."

that completely discredits any of your arguments.

I'm sorry that you feel my beliefs are stupid. I never attacked your beliefs. All I did was stand up for my own.

Please, tell me which LDS beliefs bother you the most, perhaps I can straighten things out.
Posted by Scott  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  02:32 AM
i dont have special beliefs,ergo there is no way you attack my beliefs.
i dislike the proselitism of mormons.
is you feel like keep on discussing or you feel so sure of you beliefs you shoud try by sending me an email.
its van i dosa@ gm...com
Posted by some sick girl  in  chile  on  Thu Jun 15, 2006  at  12:01 AM
Do those come in Magic Thongs also?
Posted by Poopah  in  UTAH  on  Wed Jun 21, 2006  at  07:48 PM
that's easy, it's hard to attack nihilists beliefs
Posted by some sick girl in chile  on  Fri Dec 28, 2007  at  01:11 PM
I have to say that I have never seen a more idiotic set of people who are fired up over nothing. If you don't share our beliefs that is fine. Just please stop claiming to know what we believe. So far all of the non-LDS statement about LDS beliefs are far fetched and any of those that are close are blown way out of proportion. If you are actually concerned about these topics and want to understand them, as an intellegent, mature adult, go to the LDS.org website and look up the "Temple" and actually read what is there. Maybe then you can speak about something that you know.

As for underwear, why do you want a pair of mine? I honestly don't want any of your nor do I want to know anything about them.
Posted by Sam Daventrie  in  New Mexico  on  Fri Jan 04, 2008  at  10:45 AM
I am not Mormon, nor am I all that crazy about some Mormon beliefs, and baptism after death is among the beliefs I'm not that crazy about. (Why? Primarily because the important thing about baptism -- the really crucial thing -- isn't the act of splashing water and saying words, however meaningful. What baptism is supposed to be is a public commitment to a faith, which means that it is meaningless unless someone makes the commitment him or herself. If it's done after death, there clearly is no choice, which invalidates the whole thing, at least in my theology.)

But anyway, that's not what's important now. What's important is that there are people participating in this thread who can say with one breath that Mormons ought to respect the beliefs of others and then with the next breath deliver a diatribe about the beliefs (many of them distorted and inaccurate) of Mormons ...well, that's just wrong. Shouldn't the beliefs of Mormons be respected too? Or are they not included in the list of "others"?

Nothing can force you to become Mormon, OK? If there is life after death, you will still have to choose to make the commitment or not as the case may be, and if there isn't, it won't matter.
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Fri Jan 04, 2008  at  02:13 PM
"As for underwear, why do you want a pair of mine? I honestly don't want any of your nor do I want to know anything about them."

But YOUR underwear is MAGICAL!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jan 04, 2008  at  03:58 PM
Yes, we Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, as we prefer to be called, do perform baptism for the dead. Although, it is not as morbid as it might sound. No dead bodies are involved. Instead, a living person is baptised as a proxy for the deceased. And we do believe that the baptism holds no meaning, unless the person the baptism is performed for accepts it. My husband works in a hospital and has seen many devastated parents who felt that their just deceased baby was damned because they did not have the opportunity to be baptized before they passed on. We believe that God has made the blessing of baptism available to all His children through baptism for the dead.
Posted by Another Nettie  in  East Coast  on  Mon Jan 07, 2008  at  01:33 PM
Evedently there is a new software that generates fake family trees available. They promote it as a way to get SE listings and make money on adsense. Why would anyone want to do this is beyond me, I think it's a new low in ways to make a quick buck. Also looks like it has the geneology community up in arms.
Posted by Kelly Lawson  in  UK  on  Thu Jul 14, 2011  at  03:15 AM
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