Board of Trustees

Our Board

Executive Director Tracy Simmons: Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.

Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently is a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University and serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She also writes nationally and is a reporter and columnist for the Spokesman-Review.

You can reach Simmons at tracysimmons@spokanefavs.com.

Riff Mattre

Board President Riff Mattré: Employed more than 20 years behind the scenes at The Spokesman-Review, Mattré currently serves as its commercial print division’s Manufacturing Manager. In 2018, he completed his first bachelor’s degree in Integrated Social Sciences through the University of Washington, Seattle. A champion of investigative journalism, Mattré believes exploring difference is the key to strengthening commonality. It was in his 20s Mattré set out upon his own quest for answers regarding faith and values. His adventures eventually landed him at a Buddhist monastery in Southern France where he decided Jesus and Siddhartha would have been great friends. Mattré is convinced our greater society’s future sustainability hinges upon easing gaps between siloed and artificially polarized beliefs. Helping us each appreciate truths of one path as often reflected in aspects of another is Riff’s highest pursuit. Since 2013 he has continuously imagined and supported FāVS becoming the conduit of such exploration for our youth of both today and tomorrow.

Contact Riff at: spokanefavs.riff@gmail.com

Mari Haworth

Board Treasurer Mari Haworth: Mari Haworth is a retired researcher whose love of research began at age 3, with a brand new set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. She was raised Lutheran and is currently studying Jodo Shinshu Buddhism at the Spokane Buddhist Temple, an all-volunteer temple. Mari is the past treasurer of the Temple, and currently serves on their Religious Education Committee, is the publicity and social media volunteer, newsletter editor, and fundraising committee co-chair.  She volunteers on the Board of the Spokane Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and publishes their newsletter. She is grateful for being a mother and grandmother, playing taiko drums with Spokane Taiko, and for the laughs and tunes with her karaoke family.

Contact Mari at: spokanefavs.mari@gmail.com

Rich Arnold

At-Large Member Rich Arnold:

Rich Arnold was born in beautiful British Columbia and, after a meandering road took him through the Canadian prairies to eastern Canada (with many stops along the way), he eventually wandered south of the 49th parallel and into Pennsylvania. He married one of the locals and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they resided for about 13 years and had two children. They moved to Spokane in 2016 to be closer to his family. He currently works as a data scientist for a healthcare tech and service company. Rich’s interests are varied and many. In addition to programming, math, and data, he enjoys hiking around state and national parks with his wife, kids, and dog, as well as playing and listening to music of all types, reading books of all kinds, and getting to know people of all colors, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and beliefs. He became a member of FāVS on account of his belief that our stories – both our personal and our religious ones – are a tremendously integral part of who we are as humans, and that it is important for us to afford each other the opportunity to tell them. Rich has found that listening to these stories, unique and varied and yet not without their common threads, has enriched his life and helped him develop a deeper appreciation for his fellow homo sapiens. He looks forward to hearing your story.

Contact Rich at: spokanefavs.richard@gmail.com

At-Large Member Steven Smith:

Steven A. Smith is clinical associate professor emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho having retired from full time teaching at the end of May 2020. Smith is former editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. As editor, Smith supervised all news and editorial operations on all platforms with a staff ranging from more than 140 in 2002 to 104 at the time of his resignation in October 2008. Prior to joining The Spokesman-Review, Smith was editor for two years at The Statesman Journal, a Gannett newspaper in Salem, Oregon, and was for five years editor and vice president of The Gazette, a Freedom Communications newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Newspaper Management Center Advanced Executive Program and a mid-career development program at Duke University. He holds an MA in communication from The Ohio State University where he was a Kiplinger Fellow, and a BS in journalism from the University of Oregon.

Contact Steven at: spokanefavs.steven@gmail.com

At-Large Member Ben Backstrom:

Ben Backstrom


Ben Backstrom grew up north of Seattle in a non-denominational Christian church. After graduating high school, he attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a minor in Liberal Studies. Through this minor he had the privilege of taking several courses in religious study and history. After graduating, he moved to Spokane and started working for a software development company that provides digital Bible study tools to consumers. He recently completed a second bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Ben is interested in the intersection between belief and technology. He is also interested in finding ways to promote religious tolerance in communities of diverse beliefs.

Contact Ben at: spokanefavs.ben@gmail.com

At-Large Member Julie Banks:

Julie Banks

After a varied career, Julie found her calling in non-profit and worked as a community development director for 15 years before retiring. A Spokane native, she was raised in the Christian (Disciples of Christ) church, giving her the foundation of faith as life’s journey. Currently, her journey includes studying non-violent communication, promoting empathy for another’s perspective before reacting out of emotion. The practice mindfully puts the Golden Rule into action. Becoming a board member of SpokaneFāVS fits with her belief that making Spokane a better place for us all requires building bridges to those whose voices have not been heard. She lives with her husband, three cats and one dog.  

Contact Julie at: spokanefavs.julie@gmail.com

At-Large Member Jody Cramsie:

Jody Cramsie has a background in history, theology, ethics and law. In her free, time she enjoys music, reading and hosting dinner parties for family and friends. She lives in Spokane but prefers to be on the Olympic Peninsula or in the south of France.
Contact Jody at: spokanefavs.jody@gmail.com


Mission Statement

SpokaneFāVS informs and builds faith and non-faith community through digital journalism and online and offline engagement opportunities.

Values Statement

SpokaneFāVS believes in building community and in bridging divisions through independent, transparent journalism and commentary, and engagement that emphasizes inclusion, acceptance, understanding, and respect. We give voice to the widest range of belief traditions with a particular interest in those whose voices have been muted or ignored. We strive to be politically neutral but recognize the intersection of ethics and values in any discussion of religion, politics, and ideological diversity. We demonstrate a wide-ranging worldview but remain deeply rooted in our home, which is the Inland Northwest.

Vision Statement

SpokaneFāVS will be the primary place to articulate faith and nonfaith practices in the Inland Northwest in which divisions are healed and communities connected.



  1. Please contact the District Attorneys of Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah Counties, Oregon and Senators Wyden and Merkley, Congresspersons Suzanne Bonamici, Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader and Oregon Governor Kate Brown for verification about this information:

    districtattorney[at]clackamas. us



    Please, fellow Christians, brace yourselves.
    A holocaust on Children.

    Their deplorable, heart breaking crimes:

    They reveled in the humiliation of their many, many victims in addition to the joy they derived from torturing their innocent, mostly young, disabled or elderly and infirm victims.

    Derisive cajoling and haranguing combined with confusion and disorientation supplemented the barbaric physical torture of their helpless, innocent victims.

    Never giving purchase, never showing mercy, fooling them with feigned pity, temporary relief, sudden assault, sending their victims into fits of desperation and hysteria.

    To their depraved delight.

    Cruelly absurd, calm and calloused, indifferent, while baby talking to their victims.

    Video recorded their acts for their latter “personal enjoyment” and for “the enjoyment of like minded friends and clients”.

    They introduced their depraved videos as if introducing the newest music videos witch they labeled “Video Spectaculars”.

    Chortling, commenting, gesticulating, cackling and laughing uproariously at their own antics

    and congratulating each others’ shrewdness and cleverness.

    In total abandon to their depravities, rapacious, predatory cannibals and ghoulish devourers of human flesh.

    Violently raped babies and toddlers, young prepubescent girls, making their impeding victims watch.

    Never allowing them firm footing, never giving rest, only according to their own needs, waking them suddenly from sleep with harrowing screams and pandemonium.

    Pan-Daemonic fest of demons, a feast for human beasts.

    They self-admitted that they made their victims watch their feasting on their flesh, while roasting them alive.

    They admitted, corroborated by their own “home videos”, that they used babies as Piñatas while other children, toddlers, watched.

    Smashed babies against walls, holding them by their feet.

    Battered them with bats.

    Boiled and Broiled them ALIVE.

    “They confessed that they fed human baby flesh to unwitting, innocent victims.

    To the relatives of two young women they roasted alive.

    To their Mormon families and to their ex-coworker acquaintances at Family barbeques attended by many members of the LDS church.

    They gave parents home-made baby food jars full of BABY HUMAN FLESH for their children to eat.”

    They severed all familial and non-criminal friendships.

    They assaulted and kidnapped two innocent, unawares young women, sisters of three of the criminals.

    They held them for ransom and to extort their own families and the authorities with vicious threats against their well-being and their lives.

    The criminals consorted with alien nationals, from countries that have adverse attitudes and nefarious designs against our national security, individuals involved in human trafficking and the distribution of Child Pornography of many degrees of viciousness and stripe.

    Rape and “Snuff” videos.

    They provided them with purloined National Security Technological Secrets.

    Secrets witch they, in turn, sold to members of organized crime and their foreign government.

    Vicious Pedophile, Child torturing murderers, TRAITORS.

    They consumed GREAT quantities of hard drugs while on their orgies of terror and defilement.

    They gorged on a large fortune’s worth of “speed balls” while they committed their crimes and belittled and denigrated the authorities calling them “ineffective” and “ineffectual”.

    They Luxuriated in self-satisfaction and supreme self-confidence thinking themselves beyond the reach of the Law and of Justice and lauded and praised each others’ cleverness and wicked “shrewdness”.

    They thought they were insular and isolated from the consequences that such behavior would elicit,

    that simple, common decency and morals were for “losers” and themselves, being “winners”, were exempt

    from such.

    Considered Compassion a weakness, should it apply in the handling of such as them?

    They openly confessed that, if not having been curtailed, their depraved and vicious rape, torture and killing spree would have continued unabated, with nary a pang of conscience.

    They plainly stated, on audio/video record that, unabated, they would have joyfully continued.

    Group beatings often accompanied verbal derision and extreme inhuman Humiliation witch included

    group urination and defecation on their victims while they made them lay for hours in these condition.

    Periods of sensory deprivation in tandem with time periods of sensory over stimulation and chaotic bedlam.

    Exposure to temperature extremes of hot and cold, including being dipped in BOILING WATER.

    Enduring physical and mental stresses and tortures, while their torturers carried on, casually, nonchalantly while enjoying a celebratory cocktail party atmosphere.

    They sought to emulate and surpass despicable historical and fictional figures of depraved notoriety.

    These include notably Roman Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, the Manson family, Kip Kinkel, Erik Harris and Dylan Klebold , David Koresh, John Wayne Casey, Leonard Thomas Lake, Charles Ng, Ariel Castro and the fictional characters in the books and films, “A Clockwork Orange” and “Hannibal” et al.

    The methods involved in acquiring their child victims included using their family’s connections and relationships in the hierarchy of the L.D.S. church and it’s inherent network, also, along with business connections.

    They used the cache of such connections with people of influence to facilitate said acquisition

    from adoption agencies.

    Some agencies, connected with the church were used, creating what they called a “pipeline”, a virtual conveyor belt in child trafficking.

    They had great plans to stream line these methods in order to provide not only a pool of high-paying clientèle with available victims, but also a possible way to Black Mail other paedophiles in order to accrue power and influence from a list of affluent and influential persons.

    Initially they used, for their own personal depravities, Hispanic-American children that where Physically and Mentally Handicapped, from low income parents who had signed a “No-Contact” agreement, that they obtained through Adoption agencies. They did this with the knowledge that no one would ever do a thorough check and that the parents, having signed a wavier of “No Contact” and being low-income and with little education, would have difficulties checking on their children, if they ever would wish to so.

    They had plans to eventually stalk, isolate and procure other children through the Illegal Surveillance System that they revealed members of the L.D.S. in high standing, had ordered them to install.

    They installed it in many places, including, private and public High Schools, Middle Schools, Grade Schools, Kindergartens, DAY-CARE CENTERS.

    By stalking them, they could check for patterns in their weekly schedules and find vulnerable points at witch the child could be abducted.

    They also had designs on manipulating and blackmailing their way through the hierarchical ranks and echelons of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and become very powerful and influential in order to achieve the highest positions in the Church. Those of the highest Apostleship’s and Christopher Alan Smith, to be elected President or “Prophet”.

    I am a 60 year old Christian man, who happens to know the two young women that are still being held hostage and am also a VICTIM of a Financial Extortion scam and have suffered horrendous persecution by these DEMON-LIKE sons of prominent members of your “church”.

    I have had many responses already, some from ADOPTION AGENCIES, thanking me for the information, witch tells me that they are interested in finding their missing children.
    These despicable paedophiles preyed mostly on PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY HANDICAPPED HISPANIC TODDLERS given up for adoption because their parents are poor, uneducated and therefore financially unable to check up on their children.
    These people claim to have “Adopted”-abducted- and sold out over two thousand children to Paedophiles and Child traffickers over the last few years. You and other agencies should inquire of the Authorities in charge about this so that the parents who gave children up for adoption can find out if their child has been trafficked and they can take Civil action against the L.D.S. and Todd Construction, both who facilitated, harboured and protected these disgusting criminals, the criminals are sons of highly placed L.D.S. families. L.D.S. church officials are trying to prevent a break-out of SCANDAL (I have documentation, from the L.D.S. supporting this) and are obstructing Justice by influencing events. Do not allow them to bury it and delay any further action. Many children can still be saved from the hands of vicious Abusers who are still holding them and the Todd brothers have to be made to confess to the children’s whereabouts. I have sent these emailings literally THOUSANDS of times to as many recipients, with the names and addresses of the culprits, the businesses their families own and the L.D.S., itself, CLEARLY DISPLAYED. If there is no crime being committed then I would BE IN JAIL buried in Law Suits for libel and defamation of character.
    Because I chose to stand-up to these Monsters and inform the Authorities about them, hundreds or perhaps thousands of children may have been saved from them and their ilk.

    Please, help me to try to save the children that are still abducted and to bring in to justice the accomplice Paedophiles that are STILL AT LARGE.

    A Paedophile Ring in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

    Documentation, please begin with document entitled “05b_letter_to_senator03c.docx

    ADOPTION AGENCIES: “04_molestation_ring02.docx”:


    The principals involved in these crimes, the kidnappings, Paedophilia, etc., etc. claim to have abused and ritualistically sacrificed, in a CLANDESTINE ceremony, Children to Satan in the Temple Located on 13600 S.W. Kruse Oaks Blvd. in Lake Oswego, Oregon. This means that the Temple has been DESECRATED as are all the ceremonies performed therein until the time that these abominable violators of Children are brought out, INTERROGATED and made to confess about the veracity of their claims. They themselves made Video Recordings of these acts to distribute to other Paedophile SATANISTS and are in possession of copies.
    The F.B.I. have been laying siege to these criminals for more than a YEAR and 11 months, ( in a similar situation to the the one involving David Koresh and the “BRANCH DIVIDIAN” in Waco, Texas in 1992) housed in a “Disaster Survival Bunker”, built by local members of the L.D.S., Adjacent to the water tank at or abouts 4911 Parkhill St. in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The FBI, for whatever reasons, incompetence, ineptitude, inefficient planning, etc. have allowed the situation to remain as a stand-off for this long period of time, allowing the criminals to consume great quantities of drugs while still holding two young women hostage and putting them and children in general in peril. They have also not informed members of the Mormon Church about the horrendous acts perpetrated in their temple as made evident by the fact that this temple has not been closed,.

    Nor have they contacted them about the unwitting cannibalism, because again, the temple would have been closed.

    The sacrifices in the temple was where the criminals obtained the flesh they bought as gifts to their families’ gatherings.

    You should inquire of them about this delay, they already have them surrounded in LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON in the triangle formed by I-5, Boone’s Ferry Rd. and Kruse Way, their names are Robert, John, Paul, Michael, Steven, Jordan, the Todds, Kimberly Holst and Christopher A. Smith.

    TODD Construction, Inc. 18407 SW Boone’s Ferry Road Tigard,

    OR 97224 PO Box949 Tualatin, OR 97062

    503.620.7652 503.620.6825



    They are part of this:

    /www.nbcnews.com/id/42108748/n s/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/m assive-online-pedophile-ring-b usted-cops/#.V9iOs9FyhZ7

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