From Radio Free Mormon
Oh yes, he was allowed the option to resign, as well.
I am surprised by this -- there was policy once (I saw it in either a handbook, or a bulletin) that name removal was not to be used as an alternative to excommunication. So I am surprised they are allowing people to just resign and forgo a disciplinary council. In fact, inviting him to resign hastens his own faith crisis to the point he would probably carry on his podcasts like John Dehlin does. Ultimately, the church wants the perceived negative influence of the podcast to go away -- so inviting excommunication would only invite more public broadcasting of criticism toward the church.
It also sends the message 'we don't want you' without any concern for Bill or for the continuation of his podcast -- it only encourages such continuation.
Also disturbing is that this came from on-high. In the past, local leaders have denied that their efforts to deal with public nay-sayers toward the church came from SLC. But if the statement above that local leaders were in fact getting pressure from SLC, then it shows that perhaps those statements aren't always true, and that SLC does direct local leaders to take on people on the fringe. Or maybe it was just general direction "make sure you are scanning your local wards for naysayers and deal with them".
I think people like Bill Reel who go out to help people in faith crisis are often using a form of projection. In trying to help other people, they are trying to help themselves. Or perhaps giving a voice to their own faith crisis under the vehicle of trying to help other people in faith crisis. I thought that repeatedly about John Dehlin. I have no desire to do that unless someone approaches me, and then I'm cautious about it if they are local. I'll help them here though, no problem, but I'm not out to start my own site or podcast. Such things seem to hasten movement along the path to the door.
You gotta be anonymous and not be perceived as building a following to openly criticize the church and not face consequences.
Also, if you post on sites like StayLDS, you have to be careful that you aren't coupling it with some kind of LOCAL unorthodox behavior that screams apostate. Or your online posting will be used against you in that case. We've seen it happen to people here. I have never heard of someone being called out for posting unorthodox or contrarion, or even critical ideas as individuals on sites like StayLDS, however. The other thing his SP and BP objecting to is Bill's facilitation of local support groups. There is a list on his site -- almost like the Middle Way groups that tried to form in Cache Valley a few years ago when CWald was brought to task by his local leaders. It was this Middle Way movement into face to face groups that seemed to be part of the hoopla.
I am glad they gave Bill a warning rather than go straight to discipline. That is good practice. I generally like to see counseling first though -- simply talking about it. Then if the person doesn't comply, a warning, and then, if no compliance, something more heavy-handed. I haven't experienced Bill's stuff, but in the beginning it seemed pretty clean with published authors and speakers only profiled on his podcast.