A technological crackdown has effectively blocked a prominent whistle-blower from accessing the Mormons' database that chronicles so-called baptisms for the dead.
Church officials said the move helps prevent overzealous Mormons and mischief-makers from violating church policy by submitting the names of prominent Jewish figures.
The decision to suspend the New FamilySearch accounts of anyone searching for Jewish Holocaust victims or celebrities also freezes out Utah researcher Helen Radkey, whose baptism discoveries have embarrassed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for decades.
"I have been effectively stopped," says Radkey, who shared a log-in screen shot that reveals a red box reading: "Your account has been locked temporarily. Please try again later."
A simmering interreligious controversy resurfaced recently with the news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had posthumously ``baptized'' a number of deceased Jews, including Daniel Pearl, Anne Frank, the parents of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, and evidently an unknown number of others.
The case of Mr. Pearl is particularly revealing, and holds important questions for Americans' ongoing experiment in religious pluralism.
Pearl, while on assignment for The Wall Street Journal, was beheaded in 2002 by a radical Pakistani group connected to al-Qaida. Moments before his death, he declared: ``My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish. My family follows Judaism.''